Sunday 28 September 2014

TAST #131 Beaded Lock Stitch

Sharon gave us another Lock Stitch, Beaded Lock Stitch, TAST #131. I have seen so many beautiful interpretations of this stitch by others that I think the possibilities are endless.

Here is my bead play:
Row one and two with Double Lock Stitch, row three with Lock Stitch on Aida. The thread is Coton á broder.
 Perle #5 on my sampler.
I loved playing around with beads on these curved designs in perle #8. It is hard to believe they are the same stitch, isn't it? Because I used a variegated thread,  the stitches in the middle design are both light blue and pink, while the beads are all pink. I should have stuck to a solid coloured thread.
I used Sharon's templates to draw the designs. If you want to learn the stitch, here is the link to Pintangle.

Wednesday 24 September 2014

WIPW - Wasting wool?

It is Wednesday and time for the Work In Progress Wednesday (WIPW) report on my needlework projects. For details of WIPW, please visit Pintangle.

Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
I completed the 'kavelfrans', aka napped edging.

The wool was tufted with a comb and brush. A tedious job if ever there was one!!!
The tufted wool was trimmed with scissors. Wasting wool?
The trimmed edging was steamed to make the wool more compact.
The completed kavelfrans pretending to be a hairy twisted creature while waiting to be attached to the collar. More on this next week.

Swedish Cushion
At first I disliked the two TAST stitches, #129 Lock Stitch and #130 Double Lock Stitch. Then I got over my fobia, began to like them, and finally enjoyed them so much I just had to add them to the Swedish Cushion. There was space for the Lock stitch,
 and the Double Lock Stitch.
 As you can see I can fill them with another TAST stitch, so this cushion is still not done!

TAST Reference Chart
I added the two most recent stitches, #129 and #130. Then updated the chart with the missing name labels.

Haven't we got an impressive number of stitches under our belts now? Thank you Sharon for teaching us all of them, and hopefully many more to come.

I used my TAST reference chart to select the next quilting stitch. I looked carefully at the back of the chart to find a stitch that would not leave long 'toe catching' stitches on the back of the quilt. In the end I chose the simple, well known, and by me much loved Chain Stitch.
This will take some time to quilt. No doubt the traditional quilting stitch (Running stitch) is much faster, but I really want this to be an embroidered quilt!

It has been a productive week. I wonder if my fingers will be as nimble for next week's report. See you then!

Sunday 21 September 2014

TAST #130 Double Lock Stitch - turns into a birthday card

TAST stands for Take A Stitch Tuesday.
Sharon teaches you a new stitch on her blog, Pintangle, on a Tuesday. You learn it, photograph the result and post it on your own blog. You then leave a comment on Pintangle with a link to your blog so other members can see how you interpreted the stitch. Why don't you join in?

Having said all that, I must admit that for TAST #130 Double Lock Stitch, I felt like not blogging about it at all!
It is a version of #129, and equally hard to get the tension even.

On Aida, using yellow Cotton a Broder and blue Perle #8.

Here is a strange thread combination, black Perle #3 and variegated nylon thread, or is it string? It is something I picked up at Festival of Quilts some years ago.
I thought that one day I will try these stitches again, and hopefully they will fall into place in my mind and hands!

Well, that day is already here! Thanks to encouragement and inspiration from other TAST members (read the comments on my previous blog posts and you can see how much support I get from my online friends) I decided to put in some more work into this stitch.

Annet, always a source of knowledge, advice and inspiration, mentioned that she prefers doing the second part of the stitch from left to right. So I gave that a try, hmm, yes, easier but still the tension was not good, and I was using a hoop.
Then suddenly the name struck me, Lock Stitch, of course that could mean that you 'lock' the stitches by pulling tightly on the thread!
After looking through my library of embroidery books I finally found one that contained the Lock stitch; the Danish Jytte Harboesgaard's Brodera - Stygn, sömmar och tekniker (Swedish translation). She stitches from bottom to top, like this:

See how the direction of the needle moves and that the thread is always behind the needle.
I think my tension was poor because I was confused about the direction of the needle and the thread!

Chitra is often using a paisley design, or making flowers or curves for her TAST samplers. Maureen made some fantastic Christmas wreaths. It was time for me to try some other shapes and different tension.
In the green hexagon shape I worked two rounds of white thread. Instead of Straight stitches I tested the stitch on orange Buttonhole stitches. By pulling the thread tightly, 'locking' the Lock Stitch, you get almost an Up and Down Buttonhole look like in the variegated circle. However, can you spot the mistake I made?

Then I felt I wanted to use the Lock stitch in a project and made this birthday card for my uncle:
Check out the flowers made up of orange and yellow Lock stitch, and the green leaves! Are they all the same stitch? YES!

Isn't it great when a stitch you did not like becomes something you love? NEVER give up!

Fore more fantastic Lock stitch eye candy, have a look at six days work of Quieter Moments.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

WIPW - Kavelfrans

Work In Progress Wednesday offers support and encouragement so you can progress on your various needlework projects. Read more and join in at Pintangle.

Swedish Cushion
I worked the remaining initials in TAST, S and T, in the same cross stitch pattern I used last week.
Q and P for Queenie Patch were then stitched in purple padded Satin stitch on either side of the Dalecarlian Horse, and the year 2014 added in green. The font is called Modern Gothic, and is from a book of monogrammes dating 1946.

The cushion was also decorated with TAST #128 Interlaced Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch in turquoise Perle 8. (I have now been cured of the dislike of #129-#130 Lock and Double Lock stitch, and will be adding them, too. This cushion might never be completed!!!)

Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
The embroidery is completed, all those weeds, you know... and it is time to work on the edge. This will be a fluffy woollen edge called kavelfrans in Swedish. I did some online research and the English translation would be a napped edging.
When I added kavelfrans to the wrist warmers that I made last summer I used an old ice cream stick and struggled a lot. My fingers got pricked by the needle and became very sore. You can read about it and see the process and result here.

For the collar I thought I would use a different way.
Bias tape, marked along the middle, a triangular scale ruler, needle and thread, and a good selection of left over yarn were collected.

After placing the bias tape over one of the ridges of the ruler, I wrapped groups of yarn over it.
At the end of the tread I made a loop.
I then stitched Chain stitches on the ridge, catching both the yarn and the bias tape.
When that was done, I turned the ruler over and cut open the yarn.
This is the basic edge. 
The next step is tuffting the yarn and attaching it between the collar's upper side and the lining. Hopefully I will blog about that next week.

This quilt is so happy to be out of its protective summer storage! I am happy to see it, too!
Instead of marking the quilting lines with pen, I have basted the lines (roughly) and will start the quilting  tonight. Near the edge of the quilt I won't be using a hoop and then it is good that the layers are firmly basted. Now what stitch will I be using for the quilting?

Monday 15 September 2014

TAST #129 Lock Stitch

Take A Stitch Tuesday, TAST #129 is called Lock Stitch. It is easy to stitch, but hard to make it look even! Does that make it a difficult stitch, I wonder?

 First I worked it on my Aida sampler. I used stranded floss, the pale pink is stranded linen.

Here I used Perle #5. I think the fibres in the thread got a better grip, but I am still not pleased with the tension.

As always Sharon's examples in the instructions are MUCH neater. Go to Pintangle and learn, and do a better job than I did!

Saturday 13 September 2014

A birthday card made from orts

I made a very simple embroidery for a birthday card for my aunt.
It was an effective way of using up the stray lengths of perle 8 and the left over beads from my travel projects.

I don't know about you, but I find it hard to judge how much thread I'll be needing for a seam. Often I am left with a length that is too short to use, and too long to throw away, if you see what I mean. Such snippets of thread, or (long) orts,  are just right for a Lazy Daisy chain stitch flower.

From now on I will collect my stray ends in a jar and eventually make an orts embroidery.
What do you do with your left over thread?

Wednesday 10 September 2014

WIPW - 1946 1955 2014

Work In Progress Wednesday is a support programme to encourage you to work on, and eventually finish, your various needlework projects. To join in, first read all about it at Pintangle. You are in for a hussif treat!

Swedish Cushion
I have reached the stage where some initials and a date should be added. I have a few vintage books in Swedish where I found some nice designs.
 I used a cross stitch pattern from the small book, which was published in 1955, to stitch 'TAST' in capital letters. Waste canvas was a great help.

I selected a font from the blue book, of 1946, for my own initials and the year 2014.
You will have to wait to see the result until next week.

 Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
The weed of last week went to seed and those spread to make new weed flourish on the rest of the collar.

The fibres of the wool yarn add a lot of charm.

TAST Reference Chart
I stitched Interlaced Up and Down Buttonhole in square #128:

This quilt is out of its summer hibernation and is getting an airing. Stitching starts soon.

Monday 8 September 2014

TAST #128 Interlaced Up and Down Buttonhole stitch

Wow! This is a fantastic stitch! It is easy to do, looks stunning both in its simple version and when worked in uneven lengths or in a variegated thread.

What am I talking about? Well, TAST #128 Interlaced Up and Down Buttonhole stitch, of course!

 Here on Aida fabric. By lacing the two rows of stitches you get those neat diamonds.
I love the contrast between the short stitches on the first row and the longer, uneven ones on the second row.

Do you feel tempted to try? Why not go to Pintangle and let Sharon teach you.

Thursday 4 September 2014

WIPW - Late 'weeds'

I try to publish my Work In Progress Wednesday reports on a Wednesday, but it is now Thursday. I am late, and what do I have to report? Some weeds!

Swedish Wool Embroidery Collar
The 'weed' has sprung up between the main flowers on the collar.

Half the collar is still free from weed, but hopefully, by next week Wednesday they have spread all over the place.

Not a WIP but... 
This can not be called Work In Progress as it was a new project started and completed in  90 minutes.
I made another stumpwork portrait:
Her scarf is a scrap of fabric from a pocket of an old suitcase.
The hair is a lock of fleece for felting that I picked up from this selection at a felting workshop:

Adorning my scissors
A stitch-less WIP was adorning my good embroidery scissors with the lovely scissor fob I was given by  Pamela.

Finding a place for...
My final WIP was finding a home for these 'stow-aways' that somehow sneaked into my suitcase.

By next Wednesday I hope to have some progress on the shelved projects; Kafferepet and The Swedish Cushion.
To see what other needleworkers have been up to, go to Pintangle. There is also some information  about Sharon's newsletter.

Monday 1 September 2014

TAST #127 - Beaded Alternating Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch

Here is a great version for you: TAST #127 - Beaded Alternating Up and Down Buttonhole Stitch.

Do you remember that I  thought its unbeaded version was 'barbed wire'? I had difficulty making it look nice on a curve. Well, others made wonderful curves, Chitra for example, so I just had to try again. This time I used a stencil to draw neat curves and took pains to followed them. However, the 'barbed wire look' is still there as I have used various lengths on the arms. I also used a variety of stray beads, some blood red! The result is maybe an organised messy bloodshed!

Want to learn? Go to Pintangle!