Wednesday, 30 April 2014

WIPW - Unpicking

I did not post any progress last Wednesday; I was busy being lazy, if that makes any sense!

Another reason for not having anything to post was that I was just not satisfied with the leaves I had quilted around the coffee pot on Kafferepet. It resulted in me unpicking and that can not be called 'progress', can it?

Now for this Wednesday's progress report I have:


The quilting done in three strands of olive embroidery floss was unpicked and replaced with one strand of light mint green thread. The coffee beans are intact, as are the veins of the leaves.

Swedish Cushion

I have completed the flower that was only half done in my last WIPW post.
There is a row of yellow Surface Satin Stitches and in the middle I filled the area with TAST #47 Berry Stitch:

Another flower of Surface Satin stitches was made and in its centre I placed TAST #99 Eastern Stitches. You might also notice a line of #14 Stem stitches:

Other participants show their progress at Pintangle. Go and click on their links in the Comments.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

TAST #108 Rice Stitch (and variations)

TAST #108 is named Rice Stitch. I wonder why. It does not look like a grain of rice to me. Does anyone know the origin of the name?

As I had never worked this stitch before I first made a sample on Aida, which turned out nicely I think.
 The top row shows the original stitch with one beam across the foundation cross stitch.
 Underneath are two variations with several stitches across the arms of the cross stitch.
I used stranded floss.

I then worked two rows on my other sampler.
I stitched in Perle 8.

If you would like to learn the stitch and/or take part in TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) click here and the link will take you to Sharon B's Pintangle.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Work In Progress Wednesday - 1 1/2

Work In Progress Wednesday, lead by Sharon at Pintangle, is worth checking out. This week there is a mini challenge, if you are interested.

I am almost back on track with my two projects. I completed the set task on the Kafferepet quilt, but am only half done on the Swedish Cushion.

This is the last of the central blocks to be quilted. I worked Alternating Stem Stitch for the leaves, i.e. one Stem Stitch and one Outline Stitch. It makes a nice ragged outline, but I think the three strands of embroidery floss might have been a bit too heavy. I'll give it a think... The spots are coffee beans made out of TAST #58 Woven Detached Chain Stitch.

Swedish Cushion
The Swedish Cushion needs some REAL Swedish traditional design, not just my play with stitches.
Recently I was given the English translation of Karin Holmberg's book 'Karins Broderier', 'Stitched in Scandinavia' is the English title. This book contains samples of traditional and typical Swedish embroidery. For this week's work I selected Påsöm. This kind of stitchery is usually worked in wool on homespun and is featured on folk costumes from Dala Floda region. The stitch is Enkelsidig Plattsöm, Surface Satin Stitch. Of course, I am working on the cotton fabric of the cushion and use stranded floss. As you can see I have not completed the flower, nor have I worked particularly neatly! 

(You can read Karin Holmberg's blog here and read a review of the book by Carorose Creations by clicking here)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Friends to the rescue

Oh, the greatness of having online friends! Once again someone has come to my rescue. It was  Annet of Fat-Quarter who left  a comment on the last blog post of mine.

I had been complaining about how difficult the TAST #106 Looped Cretan Stitch was to space, or rather how hard it had been for me. Then Annet mentioned that she often uses Aida fabric for trying out new stitches. Why hadn't I thought of that!? I quickly pulled out a piece of scrap Aida and stitched two rows: 

Aren't they neat? From now on, I will need to test the stitches on Aida before struggling with all those holes in even-weave.

Isn't the advice, inspiration and support of one's online friends something to be very grateful about? I think so, and this time direct a heartfelt THANK YOU to Annet.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

TAST #106 Looped Cretan Stitch and its Beaded version #107

TAST #106 has been named Looped Cretan, and if you want to learn it, you should go to Pintangle.

It looked complicated to me and I had a hard time counting threads to get an even spacing. Many other participants, however, said they had no problems. I think I will love this stitch in free form rather than formal counted work.

Here is the beaded version of the stitch. I got on a bit better with this TAST #107 Beaded Looped Cretan, or maybe I just liked the colours better...
However, as you can see I missed the placement of one of the pearls, so you need a certain amount of concentration to do this stitch, too. Want to try it out? Sharon will teach you at Pintangle.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

TAST #104 and #105 Buttonholed Cable Chain and Alternating BCC

Finally I have made some progress on the TAST front.
#104 is called Buttonholed Cable Chain and consists of a base stitch of Cable Chain onto whose chains buttonhole stitches have been worked. Do you follow?
They are here seen in blue.
#105 is the same stitch but the buttonholes are only worked on one alternating side of the chain, so it is appropriately called Alternating Cable Chain. Here they are worked in red.

A bead would fit beautifully on the link, so I expect one day there will be a Beaded Buttonholed Cable Chain...Let's just wait and see what Sharon says..
If you want to learn this stitch or any of the other 103 TAST stitches head over to Sharon's Pintangle.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

WIPW - Two Stitches Combined

If you have needlework projects that progress too slowly, why not join in the Work In Progress Wednesday challenge? You write a bit on your blog about what you have achieved, then leave a comment on Sharon's Pintangle for everyone to see. The pressure of publicity!

Since returning home from my break, my Work In Progress has been on getting MYSELF and the household settled; I have only had energy and time to put in some stitches on the

Swedish Cushion

Here I couched (TAST stitch #9) a turquoise viscose chainette from Oliver Twist with #15 French Knots in Ravenna, a rayon thread from the Kyoto based thread manufacturer Art Fibre Endo.

I hope to have much more Work In Progress to show next Wednesday.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Let the Needle Do the Work

Free form embroidery, or 'Let the Needle Do the Work' is a wonderful activity. You don't need to plan anything, follow any pattern, rip out any stitches or feel frustrated. It is the ultimate relaxation!

Last year I took Sharon Boggon's Sumptuous Surface Embroidery online class and enjoyed it immensely. It was the season of cherry blossoming and the petals 'fell onto the fabric':
Now while I went 'off-line' and had to leave TAST and WIPW projects at home, I packed a small bag of even weave fabric, a set of Oliver Twist pink and green various threads, a skein of Silky from  De Haviland Embroidery and a variegated #5 perle from Steff Francis, and decided to just play.
The result was this piece of abstract art, and I just HAD to add a few dancing cherry petals!
I had no TAST, or other stitch dictionary, just the list in my head and I simply piled the stitches on, layer after layer - a tonic for the mind!

Friday, 4 April 2014

In a Whirlwind ...

Dear Friends,

I return to the land of online connection and blogging in a whirlwind of cherry flower petals.
 Among the back streets of Tokyo there are quiet temples,

 mature trees with impressively healthy growth of new flowers, directly from the trunk.

Some petals 'fell' on a piece of embroidery I did while away.

This is now being damp-stretched and I will blog about it when it has been mounted and is fit to face the camera.
I am lagging behind TAST and need to get those WIPW projects out of the closet...

Hope to be in touch again soon.