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  09:47:00 pm, by Airycat   , 391 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Blessings Stitched Fabric Book

Blessing 14, Trees

Blessing 14, Trees
Position: page 2, blocks 11, 12, 15 & 16


Food, shade from the sun, beauty, clean air, paper, homes and other manufactured items... What more could one ask from these mighty plants? There are other things. I can't think of all of them, specifically, at the moment, but fragrance, healing, and helping the earth by holding water, are some more.

I have always loved trees. Even when some of them have nuisance seeds and evergreen/ever falling leaves, I still appreciate them as a whole. As a child, I used to sit in a tree to read, sometimes. I'd do that again, in an eye blink, if I had the right tree to do it. (Kinda hard in small trees or straight-up-20-feet-before-branches trees.) Although I would love more sunlight in my den, I would never cut the gorgeous maple that is my view.

This block took me a long time to stitch, in part because I was trying to do so many other things and in part because I used a slightly complicated stitch that I discovered I wasn't doing quite right. I didn't redo it. I think it works OK for the tree trunk. But, I need to practice doing it right, or I will always do it this way.

The stitch is the magic chain stitch. It uses two colors of thread. I used a grayish brown and a reddish brown. The links of the chain come out in alternate colors. I thought this would reflect the variegation of a tree trunk better than a plain brown. (I don't have a variegated brown floss.) I also did the leaves is two different (of three) strands of floss in a detached chain stitch. Again, because I don't see one color when I look at leaves. I think I need to add more leaves, here and there.

Three of the blocks (12, 15 & 16) will have an additional blessing in them when I get to them.

Chain stitch is far from one of my strong stitches. I have a very difficult time keeping the tension even on them. It seems that most of them are either too thin (looking like a split stitch) or too open. A few came out just right. What I was doing wrong was ending every stitch like a detached chain stitch. A small difference, but I imagine it makes a big difference.


  04:56:00 pm, by Airycat   , 139 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Knitting, Blessings Stitched Fabric Book

Update, sort of

I have ADD. I get distracted very easily. I have not forgotten this project though. I have worked on it a little bit throughout July. I'm doing a two color stitch which goes rather slowly for me. I have to be very careful or I get the threads twisted too much and it looks knotty.

I have also been working on projects (some of the distraction) I've posted about at my NeedleArts blog. (EDIT of 09/15/11That blog, along with the separate Blessings blog, is integrated into this blog.)

In addition to that, I've been taking the e-course GIMP For Textile Designers with Sharon Boggin. I'm having enormous fun with it and it takes time.

Add to that the things happening in and around my life (mostly ordinary) and I'm behind. But that's OK with me. I am/will be working on it.

  04:47:00 pm, by Airycat   , 356 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery

Another New WIP!

Does anyone else do this or is it an ADD thing? I have plenty of projects that I really should finish, but I started another one! Oh, well....

I'm taking GIMP For Textile Designers with Sharon Boggin and thoroughly enjoying it. Finally I am learning how to use this program and thinking of it in terms of fabric, rather than simply computer graphics. (You can see what I've done/will be doing here.)

Before I got to the end of lesson 3, I was inspired. I was using a photo of a poppy from my garden for the lesson and between working on that and looking at photos on stitchin fingers, I was just itching to do something with thread and fabric.

I printed the photo out on transfer paper, but I don't care for the feel of it, particularly for embroidering. Then I printed it directly on muslin. I don't remember why, but I decided to wash it. Printer ink washes out quite well. That's nice to know if you get it on your clothes accidentally, but not so good when you want to keep it. Now I know to get some Bubble Jet Set.

But I was impatient, so I printed another poppy directly onto the muslin. What I'm making won't be washed. Anyway, without further ado and chatter...

The background fabric is from a sample book my mom got at a yard sale or antique shop. The way the light hits the photo, it doesn't show how well it blends, color wise. That is pink, but has a strong peachy aspect to it, as well. I love how the buttonhole wheel reflects the pattern from the inside of the flower. I matched my DMC for it to that. The leaf on the left is traced from a photo of an actual leaf. I plan to add more seed stitches to show the color variation. I know there will be a spider web, but so far, that's all I've figured out. I did collect threads and beads that might work with it. I just don't know how, yet. Figuring it out is half the fun, though.

  04:19:00 pm, by Airycat   , 255 words  
Categories: Projects, Machine Embroidery

Meme Project #2

This is the other notebook cover that I did. It was another learning experience. (Maybe when I have done five, I will know what I'm doing.)

This is the machine embroidering the iris on the front cover.

And this is where the machine started to misbehave.

The whole cover pieced and embroidered and attached to the backing and batting.

It still need binding.

Making sure it fits the notebook.

With its binding, beads and sequins added. Front



Ribbon and bead bookmarks, and closure added.

Closeup of closure.

Inside front cover with bookmark

I had originally thought to put a photo of the recipient on the back cover, but the fabric I chose made her look like a tattooed lady. I realized any of the fabric I had chosen would do that, so I opted for her LJ icon. It was small and looks really unclear close up. (I assume because the embroidery program had to enlarge it to create it.) However, it looks pretty good from a distance. I debated what to do with the picture and finally decided to put it on the inside front with a ribbon frame. I did not sew it, in case she didn't like it. It's attached with 505.

Because of the machine problems happening after I started the embroidery, it was a little off. I simply redid it freehand in those spots.

Over all, I think both covers came out well and I'd gladly have kept and used them myself if I hadn't promised and personalized them.


  03:09:00 am, by Airycat   , 226 words  
Categories: Needlework, Projects, Machine Embroidery

Meme Project #1

Last spring on Live Journal I did a meme in which I offered something made by me to the first 5 people who commented. Two people commented. I think I changed my mind about three times before I finally settled on what I would do. By then it was January of this year!

I asked each of them what they liked and tried to do something to make each personal to the recipient. I had no idea what I was doing, really. I pretty much made it up as I went along.

This is the first one I made. (Click for full size photos)

Here are progress and detail photos. Not all are good. Some are very blurry. Clicking will take you to full size photos (and won't improve blurriness).

I learned a few things buy doing this (and the one I'll post about tomorrow). Although I really like some of the stitches on the sewing machine, they do not make good CQ seam stitches. Of course, part of the problem here is that I didn't choose a contrasting thread, but they still don't quite work. They are too lightweight for the most part. I think too many of them are too small, too. Maybe they would work on tiny quilts. Anyway, in the future, if I use them, I will augment them with hand stitching, too.

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