Wednesday, 31 March 2021

WIPW - Tail Chasing

My Work In Progress Wednesday report for the past week ... it has been a Tail Chasing week, with FAR too much work, and too little play - in my opinion. Anyway this is what I have been up to.

Log Cabin Quilt
I have only managed to assemble two units of 12 blocks each.

Crazy for Crazy
Here are the twenty octagon blocks, and the outlay for the quilt top.
I might turn some blocks in another direction... A graphite gray cotton fabric with printed golden swirls is what I am going to use for filling in the gaps between the blocks.

I am learning how to make a cross, but have not completed it yet. I want it done before Good Friday so two more days.

Saturday Sightings of Spring
The Kantha quilting continues.... more in my report on Saturday.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Sunday Stitch School - Revision: Stitches 161 - 165

 I bet you are ready for a break! It is time to revise the last five stitches.

Click on the title to get a link to the instructions.

161 Ceylon Stitch

It takes some time and patience to get the tension even, but once mastered, this stitch looks like knitting.

162 Cashmere Stitch

This is a nice canvas stitch.

163 Canvas Stem Stitch

Arrows galore!

164 Satin Threaded Running Stitch

An easy stitch obviously, but it can still look striking. Think different colour, different thread, different weight, different length, or why not two pairs of legs for the same Running Stitch - wouldn't you have a headless four-legged animal? Just add a French Knot and the horse is ready for your carrot!

165 Lazy Daisy Popcorn Stitch

Here is a wild stitch, the wilder the better, I guess.


As always, make a Sunbonnet Sue portrait with these five stitches.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Saturday Sightings of Spring - 11

This is a progress report on the Jacquie Harvey cushion I am making.

I am still working on the Kantha quilting. The area below the main motif is done, and I have started the echo quilting near the coin, the Japanese 100 yen coin with its cherry blossoms.


It feels appropriate to quilt this area. Outside the window the cherry trees are in full bloom.

Inside the house there is  another sign of spring - a small treat for tea time, a so called Tulip Rose confectionery. The tulip is made of 'cat tongue' batter (in French known as 'Langue de Chat', and the rose is berry flavoured butter cream. Isn't it beautiful?
Cat Tongues can be found in many countries in Europe, but also in South America and Asia. In Japan one of the most famous versions is Shiroi Koibito - a sandwich of  two square cookies with either white or milk chocolate in between.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Friday Homework for Lesson 165: Lazy Daisy Popcorn Stitch

I tried both versions of the Lazy Daisy Popcorn Stitch and must say I prefer Madam Totsuka's. In my eyes her stitches look more like real popcorn, fluffy, uneven and unique. 

The instructions I found on YouTube left me with something of a ring, a bit similar to un untidy  #65 Rosette Stitch Rose.

Having said that,  the charm of Lazy Daisy Popcorn Stitch is the wild look, so why not mix them for a scene of windswept wild flowers? Or a paper cup of popcorn? The closer you work them, the more texture you get.

Just remember that the loosely wrapped it is easy to snag it, so it might not be the best stitch för cushions or other things that will be fingered

Aida Sampler

Sunday Stitch School Reference Chart

Teal Wool Tailoring Scribble Cloth

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

WIPW - Tandem Blocks Completed

 Hello and welcome to my Work In Progress Wednesday report.

Crazy For Crazy
I have now completed the last two blocks for this quilt, which I worked in tandem.
On the red purple block I attached the Buttonhole Petal ring I had made earlier, inserted a paste jewel in the centre. There are cut beads inside the holes of the tatted arch, too, and a sprinkling of sequins. The gimp that I couched down a couple of weeks ago looked a bit dull. I changed the couching thread to a raspberry one, but the difference is not that spectacular.

I decided that this block had all it needed, so simply declared it done without adding anything more.

Next week I will take out the other 18 blocks and play around with how to arrange them for the quilt. Furthermore I need to find some suitable fabric for the triangles I need to fill in the gaps between the blocks - they are octagonal and don't join beautifully as hexagon blocks do. A big planning mistake on my part!

Log Cabin Quilt
The five units I showed last week were stitched together, then joined to the previous length. I now have 120 blocks and you can see how much of the daybed they cover.

Saturday Sightings of Spring
More on this progress on Saturday, here is just another glimpse of the Kantha quilting.

I am following the instructions of Rusti Kate to make a cross, but haven't had time to finish it yet. Too many other things get in the way all the time.

Norway has a wealth of fantastic folk costumes. The district of Hardanger is famous for its beautiful dress. The apron has a wide border of Hardanger embroidery. There are plenty of pictures on Pinterest. 

This Norwegian embroidery style from Hardanger has long been on my bucket list. 
Several of my friends have been an inspiration - Margaret in the UK starts her work spontaneously somewhere in the middle of the fabric and just works from there, totally without planning. The result is always spectacular. 
I also admire another Margaret, in New Zealand. She is a Hardanger wizard and makes lovely Christmas ornaments and angels. 

I have a Norwegian aunt who once gave me a pillow case, then some years ago a friend in the UK gave me 'The Anchor Book of Hardanger Embroidery', and today in the post I found some charts for Hardanger designs sent to me by Pamela, another lover of Hardanger. Look at the beautiful brooch with added beads.
she once made.

So you see, I just have to get started on my own Hardanger project. Before that I want to finish the Saturday Sightings of Spring silk cushion, though. Watch this space.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 165: Lazy Daisy Popcorn Stitch

I have two sources for today's stitch. First I found it in Sadako Totsuka's Basic Stitch (基礎のステッチ). She calls it Lazy Daisy Popcorn Stitch.

I later came across it, or a very similar version, on YouTube, where it goes under the name of Pop Corn Stitch. 

There are slight differences in how the stitch is worked.

Below are my pictures based on Ms Totsuka's instructions.
Start with a Lazy Daisy Stitch.

Instead of anchoring it, make loose loops by 
taking the needle under the Lazy Daisy Stitch.

Use a pin to make the loops an even length.

Make three loops.

Then insert the needle in the loops and

by following the black line in the 
picture, make a knot.

Anchor it near the pin.

Here you can see how the choice of thread 
can change the impression; tightly twisted rope like thread 
gives a stiff look. Six strands of stranded floss 
fluffs it up.

By anchoring further up, under the loops,
you get more of the popcorn look, I think.

Work on the three samplers.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Saturday Sightings of Spring - 10

Although I have added a lot of Kantha style quilting on my silk cushion, it does not look like much.

The central motif has all been surrounded with echo quilting, though.

Much of what remains to be quilted is 'dead' space, eg. the back of the cushion or areas that will be  hidden in the envelope style closing I am planning to make.
Anyway I am trying to add some circular patterns for added interest.

I am making this cushion on silk with felt appliqué and rich free style embroidery. It is based on a Jacquie Harvey design, 'Promise of Spring':

For the appliqué and embellishments I was inspired by Fay Maxwell's 'Crewel and Unusual'.

Sightings of spring

The cherry trees have begun to blossom in Tokyo. 
There are parks where you can see many splendid trees, although this year, like 2020, there are strict crowd control measures in place: No picnics, no eating or drinking while walking, no singing or loud voices, and the paths have been roped into one way lanes. 
I won't be going to any of these famous spots. Actually there is no need to go far for a view of the pink flowers. Along back alleys, or in gardens there are many trees that can be seen over the fence.
Tall trees reach up among the ugly electric power lines and clouds of pink flowers add beauty to a plain parking spot.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Friday Homework for Lesson 164: Satin Threaded Running Stitch

This stitch is easy and quick. It is a nice addition to the Running Stitch family.

Aida Sampler

Sunday Stitch School Reference Chart

Teal Wool Tailoring Scribble Cloth

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

WIPW - Tatted Block

 Work In Progress Wednesday.

Log Cabin Quilt

I made five more units of 12 blocks each.

Next job is to join those five into a length like the previous one (see below). Then I will join those two together.

The quilt is growing steadily.

Crazy for Crazy
You might remember that I am working two blocks at the same time. 

The brown is almost done. First I made a shirtwaist button, then I added a set of dangling earrings as ornaments and attached the tatted arch I had made previously. I also added a few beads and stitches in silver thread.

The raspberry block still needs some work, but what I have done is the following:
Stem Stitch on the lace, then Petal Stitch on its edge and in between them the God's Eye Stitch.
The length of tatted Split Rings have also been added.

I am still learning, so challenged myself to try the Block. I think this could be used for a pumpkin (if worked in orange, that is).

Saturday Sightings of Spring
More work on the Kantha quilting. This is a view from the back.
More on this project on Saturday, of course.