30 May 2012

More V Stitch Explorations

Working with V stitch formations as part of a challenge on the Tuesday Stitchers group
I have been exploring the use of 'V's in combination with other stitches as seam treatments for my current CQJP blocks and for future projects.

Take one row of individual, evenly spaced, V's

Make three more rows inverting the V's as required, and add a running stitch along the two outer edges to create a 'BAND' with a semi-sawtooth edge. 

More embroidery could be added within the band, and beads would look great here too.

This next one in three colours is plain V's but could be enhanced with wrapping or whipping stitches. The V's are overlapping at the top by just one thread hole on the canvas. Another variation would be to overlap more at the tops of the V's.
This stitch process used three needles at the same time a bit like plaiting.

Next I stitched this row of Double Tick V's.

And added buttonhole stitch in various lengths underneath it.
Reminds me of beach huts at Bournemouth.

As an experiment on my May block CQ I added this row of white 'eyelash' fibre to the row of tiny bullions.
Couched down in a plain V formation.
Haha! Looks like I have a 'thing' about beach huts at the moment.

Here is another seam treatment on my May CQ block. 
I have two rows of V's with their horizontal points touching to make squares, and the running stitch straight lines added to the negative spaces make the outside V's an integral part of the design. 
I love negative spaces.

So many more variations are in my head and are just so eager to get onto fabric, but I have to stop to eat or sleep sometime.

That's all for now.

Happy Stitching

28 May 2012

TAST week 21 - AND.......

TAST Butterfly Chain

The yellow and orange colours seem to be a popular choice with many this week. 
I was going for a rustic look while using this stitch, hence the patches. I think it works good as an applique stitch like this.

And then I used it on ribbon with a variegated thread.


A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do....

My 'other' stitched project for this week was - a Cross Stitch Biscornu pin cushion. Just because I want one (and I have been secretly envious of Angela's Biscornu since she showed us a pic of her workdesk).

The aida is 28ct.
I adapted a basic one-colour chart, and added extra 'bits' to it here and there for this cross stitch piece and made it 'mine'.
I wanted a jewel-like colour scheme to brighten the coffee table next to where I sit and stitch.

At the last local quilt group meeting, we had a chap called Milton, from near Hamilton, come and show us his fabrics. My main focus was on teals and blues for the next part of my CQ project, but I fell in love with this fabric and had to have it too.

Here is a tip to choosing which colours to use for your projects.

Find a fabric in the colours that you like or want, then match your threads (or any embellishments) with the colours in the fabric, and voila, you have a perfect colour scheme for your project.
I use that technique in many of my projects and often the item doesn't actually need the original fabric to be used in the make-up of it, just use the colour scheme. The hard work has already been done for you by the fabric manufacturing companies, haha, I like that.

You can see here that I did use the fabric for the bottom of the Biscornu, but I could easily have used a plain fabric or more of the aida instead.

I shall enjoy using this.

Would you like to see my latest stash purchases, as stated in the above mentioned local quilt group meeting with Milton bringing his mobile shop to us.

(Gotta love the batiks)

The three yellowy fabrics in the middle of the bottom row are for another project, not the current CQ.
The bottom row here is what I bought at the group meeting, and the top row is what I bought the next day from my local quilt shop when I felt guilty that I had purchased all the other stuff from someone else. Go figure the ethics of that one!

So that was MY WEEK.

Happy Stitching

21 May 2012

TAST Week 20 - CQJP May WIP

TAST Week 20 - Bullion Knot

I was dreading the appearance of this stitch in TAST. I have never managed to get it anything near right in the past. I just had too many fingers and thumbs getting in the way of my wraps, and no amount of adjusting would get the knot to stay in place without unraveling itself.

So, good old Percy (perseverance) stepped in to help me overcome my fear of this stitch.

The light brown thread of the bullion knots in this 1st pic was a very stupid choice for me to trial the stitch.
Not only is it one of the thinnest threads I've got, making it very difficult to hold and wrap etc., it is also the wrong colour to show up on that seam, and it has ended up rather insignificant.
After all the struggle and effort of learning the bullion I wanted it to have a bit more 'umph' than that. It is so tiny even the camera had trouble finding it.

After that mis-adventure I picked up cotton floss and used all 6 strands to make a repeating pattern. It could be clamshells, bow-tie or duck feet (haha) take your pick.
I'm still not happy with the evenness of the knots, but hey, at least it's not unwrapping now.

And just when I thought I was done with the bullion knot stitch, up pops a thought that I could add big textured flowers to the bright cushion I'm making for my mum.
Now this is more like it. It's a lot easier with wool.
Two and a half big pink bullion knot flowers.

So it looks like I might have finally managed a half-decent bullion knot at last.


This is the naked block I have made for May, and I have started on some seams with the bullion knot (above) on it this week.

14 May 2012

My CQJP Block for April

My CQJP Block for April

I am so pleased that I have now finished my April CQJP block.

And because I know you all love close up pics of the seam stitching here follows the seam treatment close-up photos each with a note about the stitching.

TAST week 19 - The Half Chevron stitched in two rows with a 'lozenge' shape back stitch in darker blue and a metallic thread Star cross stitched in the middle of each lozenge.

The Basque stitch is a chain stitch variation and was done last week. This week I added the Ribbon Embroidery blue flowers (possibly tulips?), the Fly Stitch 'stalks' and the beaded tops.

Three different techniques combined on this seam.
Bottom black line is back stitch. Lilac middle bit is Raised Buttonhole. Then silver and turquoise beaded semi-circles added to the top.

Mexican Wave stitch and a beaded edge.

The beaded zig-zag added to last weeks ribbon seam.

White beads added to last weeks Crossed Buttonhole (Blanket stitch)

Not sure whether to call these beads or buttons, but whatever they are it is lovely.
They are acrylic and see-thru with a 'glass millefiori' (sp?) look to the flower in the middle.

I added a row of silver (metal) chain to either side of my wrapped chevron for something a little different and unique.

The sage green braided chain from last week also got some more stitching added to it.
The purple thread is a wrapped back stitch with a pale lilac back stitch outside of that.
The irregular turquoise beads are held down with lengths of crystal seed beads.

I love how this Mandala just grew itself here.
The variegated green is raised buttonhole on a spider wheel.
Lime green is French Knots.
Pale blue variegated is two rounds offset Half Chevrons
Aqua bugle beads and silver seed beads
I was rather surprised that the round of beads fitted the mandala perfectly without having to 'jiggle' the spacing at all. Sometimes things are just meant to be.

And here is my butterfly for this block.
I hope I can carry on inventing "new species" of butterflies to complete my 12 blocks by the end of this year.

I give you an angled shot of the block here so you can see the textures of the beads and stitches, and also see the crocheted ruffle better.

Well that was a fun stitching week for me.

TAST Week 19 - The Half Chevron

TAST Week 19 - The Half Chevron

I thoroughly enjoyed this stitch.
Definitely one to add to my list of "go to" stitches. I shall be coming back to this stitch again in the future as there is plenty of scope for experimentation with it.

Here are my experiments with Half Chevron stitching I have completed this week.

A seam treatment double row of Half Chevrons with 'lozenge' shape additions in the middle, and metallic thread stars in the centre's of those.

A Mandala motif on my CQJP 
(It just grew)
Variegated green is Raised Buttonhole on Spider Wheel
Lime green is French Knots
Pale blue variegated is two rounds offset Half Chevrons
Aqua bugle beads and silver seed beads
I was rather surprised that the round of beads fitted the mandala perfectly without having to 'jiggle' the spacing at all. Sometimes things are just meant to be.

Shisha & Half Chevron FUN

An extra little challenge was suggested on the Tuesday Stitchers group as a few members wanted to have a go at Shisha stitching.
It has been quite a while since I have done any Shisha work (years in fact) so I thought I would join in on this stitching adventure too.
I have a bag or two of the small round Shisha mirrors that are the usual item to stitch onto fabric, but I know my supply of mirrors is in the shipping container that I call my "Craft Box" which is outside next to the 'man-cave'. I was too impatient to go and search for it so I used what I could find on hand in the house.

So this is the Half Chevron addition to a fun 'experimental' Shisha piece.
The 'mirror' is actually a metal, screw bottle top (no, really!!) from a bottle of Martini Bianco that I just happened to polish off the night before. (Again - some things are just meant to be).
I had to get the hammer out and smash the poor bottle top flat so that it could be stitched in place, but hey, "all is fair in love and stitching".

And a slight angle photo to see the texture of the shisha stitches and the height of the hammered bottle top.

Oh yes, all for the sake of my craft.
I had fun.

07 May 2012

TAST Week 18 - Crossed Buttonhole Stitch

TAST Week 18 - Crossed Buttonhole Stitch

First of all I wanted to find out if I could control this stitch going around corners.

(same stitching, a different angle)

Yes, that worked out ok, and I like the different looks you get depending on which way the stitching goes 'around the bend' lol. 

Then I tried a 'stepped' crossed buttonhole row with the long stitch getting longer and the bottom bit of the stitch going diagonally.
I think I might be able to get this this variation of the stitch neater with a bit more practice, and I actually drew guidelines on my fabric for this one, which is something I haven't had to do before.

And then I stitched two straight rows back to back on my crazy quilt block and I really like this formal look. 
I made sure when stitching the second row that I perfectly (or almost perfectly) mirrored the first row.

I think you can tell I enjoyed this stitch. 
I did have some apprehension about the crossed buttonhole when Sharon B first announced it last Tuesday, but I found that inspiration came quickly once I started talking about it to the Tuesday Stitchers.
Actually I rather surprised myself just how fast the inspiration hit me.
Lack of time is the only thing holding me back from experimenting some more, but I shall definitely be using this stitch more often.

CQJP - April - WIP

CQJP - April - WIP

I've had a busy and enjoyable week of stitching.
Here is what I have been up to.

My April Crazy Quilt Block - the Naked block

And here are some seam treatments close up photos.

Back to back Crossed Buttonhole stitch (TAST stitch week 18) in pale green perle cotton.

A couched blue satin ribbon and green cotton floss detached daisy's forming a 'V'. This seam treatment will have more added to it later. Probably beads.

This next seam started out as a double herringbone using two colours.

It may look alright in the photo, but on the block the colours were all wrong, so I went over it with a wrapping stitch.

And this is a chain variation whose name I have forgotten.

As I completely forgot to add a crochet piece on last months block, I thought I had better get one made early on for this block, just in case I forget again.
This time I made a crochet ruffle.

So that is my April block WIP so far.

A Thousand Teardrops Fall - BJP March

Another Teardrop pendant completed for the Bead Journal Project 2012.
This is pendant #3.

I've called this one "A Thousand Teardrops Fall" in memory of my faithful old Yellow Labrador who passed away at Easter aged nearly 15yrs.

The ground fabric is like angel fibre but made of red and purple strawgrass fibres.
The beaded "tears" are made up of about 18 beads each and the overall effect has the "tears" just hanging loose.
The pendant is threaded onto a black satin ribbon which is tied in a bow at whatever length is required.