Sunday, 17 January 2021

Sunday Stitch school - Lesson 157: Invented Stitch (Cross)

Do you sometimes have problems interpreting instructions? I am sure most of us have at one time or another followed instructions, either written or illustrated, only to find the result didn't look right.

That was the case when I tried the Invented Stitch from Arts & Design. The drawing of the completed stitch looked so neat, but however many times I followed the text or the step-by-step illustrations, my result looked nothing like the sort.

I found the situation even more confusing when I read the text and also looked at the pictures. By following only one set at a time, I suddenly had two different stitches.

In the end I had three different stitches - and they all looked great. Three for the cost of one, so to speak.

I will introduce them to you one by one, in three consecutive lessons. Let's start with # 157 Invented Stitch (Cross).

Combining a Stem Stitch with a Buttonhole Stitch that is pulled askew you get this neat individual stitch. Keep on going and you have a straight barbed wire look.

Work it like this:

Notice the holes used on the Aida cloth.

Make a Stem Stitch where you take the needle out slightly above the stitched line.

Take a Straight Stitch on the other side of the stitched line

Keep the thread under the needle, to make a Buttonhole Stitch, and pull through.

Now pull the thread back across the Stem Stitch, and insert the needle on the upper side of the stitched thread, forming a cross.

It is beautiful as an individual stitch, or

continue in the same way for a neat line.

Add to the samplers

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Saturday Sightings of Spring - 1

This is the first Saturday since I launched this spring project, based on Jacquie Harvey's pattern for a cushion - 'Promise of Spring'.

Anyone who wants to make use of the pattern and instructions, contact me and I will send you the pdf file.

I have decided to work the pattern in felt on silk, and with plenty of embroidery, in the style of Fay Maxwell. 

Do you know this British most inventive textile artist? In the video below you will get to know her, as well as see examples of her 'Crewel and Unusual' embroidery style which I am adopting for my cushion. 

Most of the video is focusing on one of her other techniques, slashing fabric. The video is about half an hour long and well worth watching.

Now back to Queenie's 'Saturday Sightings of Spring'.

The paper parts were cut out. They in turn aided the cutting out of the felt parts.

The foundation silk was backed with a thin cotton (to support the embroidery). 

The picture was built and pinned down.

All parts were basted in place and the pins removed.
This is as fas as the indoor signs of spring can be seen.

Outside, in nature, the sightings of spring include buds forming on the hydrangea. Isn't the contrast beautiful, the pistachio green buds against the decaying leaves of last year?

Friday, 15 January 2021

Friday Homework for Lesson 156: Hyacinth Stitch

This is a nice stitch and a good reminder that it is always possible to stack stitches.

Aida Sampler

Sunday Stitch School Reference Chart

Teal Wool Tailoring Scribble Cloth

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

WIPW - Tatting Progress

Wednesday it is, so here comes the Work In Progress Wednesday report.

Before having a look at the progress made, I just want to tell you that I am once again having problems leaving comments on some of the blogs I visit. If you haven't heard from me, it's because of Mr Blogger and his tricks.

Crazy for Crazy

I have made some simple stitches in orange, mainly Running Stitch, Herringbone, Straight and Detached Chain Stitch, as well as a row of Satin Threaded Running Stitch.

Log Cabin Challenge

Five more blocks, total is now 340. Nearing the end...


Needle tatting is such fun. I learned to add beads, and worked over another button, where I also added graded picots. The pink crown might find its way into a future Crazy for Crazy block.

Saturday Sightings of Spring (Promise of Spring by Jacquie Harvey Project) 

In my blogpost last Saturday, I wrote about the challenge of Jacquie Harvey's spring cushion. I will report in more details about my progress on Saturdays, but here is a picture of the cut felt I will be using.

Now should you want to take part and stitch up the design, contact me and I will send you the pdf file with pattern and clear instructions.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 156: Hyacinth Stitch

Welcome to another year of stitch exploration. Let us start the year with the advent of spring. 

Hyacinth Stitch is a stacked stitch, a combination of Fly Stitch and Twisted Chain Stitch. I found it at Rachel's VirtuoSew Adventures, she created this stitch when she was working on a display of Grape Hyacinths.

Make an upside down Fly Stitch, and add a Detached Twisted Chain Stitch on top.

Follow the pictures.

Borders of hyacinths want to sprout in these three 'flower beds'

Saturday, 9 January 2021

NEW! Saturday Sightings of Spring - Free Pattern from Jacquie Harvey

 The very best of Saturdays to you all.

Are you tired of winter, the cold and gloom? Well, if you are eagerly looking for signs of spring and want to stitch something while awaiting its arrival, I have a great free offer for you, by UK quilter Jacquie Harvey, BEM. 

Jacquie is an award winning quilter who specialises in exquisite hand quilting. Most of her designs have a very feminine look and feature floral patterns and elegant lines. Jacquie is as well-known for her quilts as her quilted historical costumes and 3 dimensional creations.

Here are two examples, a jewellery travel case and thread cutter cover.

Another passion of Jacquie's is teaching, and encouraging others to quilt. For that purpose she has led many workshops and designed numerous BOMs (Block Of the Month) projects.

For spring 2021 she is offering the free pattern and instructions for this lovely cushion, which of course could also be made into other things like a miniature quilt or bag.

As you can see it is a simple design of Buttonholed appliqué and Suffolk Puffs (Yo-yos). In her instructions, Jacquie suggests other methods, too, e.g. needle turning, or colouring with crayons instead of appliqué. 

She has also proposed that friends of Sunday Stitch School could try out various embroidery stitches to work the pattern. 
Well, that is what I am going to do, and call the project Saturday Sightings of Spring.
With Jacquie's blessings I will go even further, and combine this pattern with the unique embroidery style of Fay Maxwell. In her book 'Crewel and Unusual', Fay Maxwell appliqués felt onto a  silk foundation, and then bedeck the felt with heavy embroidery and shisha mirrors.

Are you interested in celebrating spring with Jacquie Harvey's pattern? It comes in a pdf file, with 11 pages of illustrated and clear instructions. Let me know if you want a pattern and I will send you an email with the pdf file, (please make sure I have your email address).

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

WIPW - The First Work of the New Year

Work In Progress Wednesday, the first report of 2021.

During the New Year break I focused on learning


both with a shuttle and with a needle. 

Some examples of my first trial and errors....

I much prefer the needle tatting, maybe because it resembles casting on loops on a (knitting)needle, which I am already familiar with. 

Shuttle tatting, however, is more stylish, the clicking sound of the shuttle is very pleasing and it is fascinating to see how each loop magically turns from the shuttle thread, to the hand thread - IF you get the tension right!

There is where shuttle tatting gives me a problem. My fingers are getting stiff (with age) and it is hard to control the tension for each loop. 

With needle tatting the loops form automatically on the stiff needle and the core thread is simply pulled through the loops - straight forward, without the magic or style the shuttle gives you, unfortunately. 

Well, the result looks the same, but wouldn't it be nice to 'show off' zippy shuttle work! Hm, if that is my goal, I will have to flex my fingers and keep on practicing.

Log Cabin Challenge
5 more blocks - total count is 335.

Crazy for Crazy
I started a new octagon block. This time it is oranges and milk - I hope it won't curdle!
Can you see the orange row of tatted rings trying to nestle its way into this block?

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Happy New Year

Best wishes for a Happy New Year 2021!

I hope everyone has had a good rest and are ready for a new creative year.

Personally I have spent the holidays sorting out my stash, haberdasheries, notions and projects. 

Furthermore I have learned two forms of tatting, with a shuttle and with a needle. I will report on my progress on Wednesday's WIPW report.