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  11:39:00 pm, by Airycat   , 369 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Blessings Stitched Fabric Book

Blessing 15 -- Rocks

I have not given up on this project, but it's priority will go up and down, depending on what's going on in my life. Recently I have been spending more time on Sharon B's GIMP for Textile Designers class.

Blessing 15, Rocks
Position: page 2, block 16

I suppose this sounds like a funny blessing, but rocks are important to our lives in many ways. For starters, I wouldn't be writing this (wouldn't have learned about the SAL and a whole LOT more) without the rock called silicon. (Wikipedia calls it a metalloid, but metals come in rocks and raw, it looks like a rock to me.) Many buildings are, or depend on rock (cement contains forms of rock). Think of the lovely marble and granite counter tops we all admire. Rock! What about diamonds and other gems? Rocks! I just like any rocks and have a collection of polished stones --- one of which is in this square -- and some interesting looking unpolished stones/rocks. And look at the majesty of the mountains. They are rock and without them, many areas would not have water. The slow melt of mountain snow provides water to the lowland of a lot of western US areas, including my own area. I'm sure there is more than I'm specifically aware of. Really, where would we be without rock? The Earth is just a living rock. (Places like the moon are dead rocks, and, from here, that's a pretty nice thing, too.) I am truly grateful for rocks, their versatility and their beauty.


This is in the last square on the page, under the tree of the last blessing. Mountains in the back are a somewhat random satin stitch in two shades of lavender (together) and white for the snow. I used a different shisha stitch for this than I used for the shell. I'm not sure if it's the stitch or just the smoothness and/or simple shape of the stone, but it doesn't want to stay, so I will need to add some kind of stitch to hold it better. My mom (who is not a stitcher) says glue it, but I don't want to do that. I don't know exactly how I will fix it, yet.


  03:01:00 am, by Airycat   , 703 words  
Categories: Needlework, GIMP, Quilting

Virtual Needlework

That sounds like an excuse for not doing the real thing, but, in fact, it's a great way to plan out a real project. I have been enjoying my class GIMP For Textile Designers taught by Sharon Boggon. I have learned oh-so-much about GIMP and also how to apply it to needlework and fabric. To see a lot of what I've done, sometimes with explanation, you can check out my GIMP For textile Designers with Sharon Boggon folder at Photobucket. Earlier in the course, I tried to plan my Fairy Quilt with GIMP. I couldn't do it then, but maybe now I can. To be honest, though, I don't think it will be any better than my crayon scribbled papers, so I'm not going to. I may do future quilt projects that way though. I did figure out a way to do it that worked great on these samples.

Virtual Quilt with GIMP
  1. Take photos of your fabric. - Try to get them all at the same scale. Have your camera stationary and the fabric all at the same spot. Upload to computer, but keep at full size the camera makes them.
  2. Open a new image in GIMP. - Make it the size you want the final image to be, unless you need to adjust your pattern.
  3. Draw or 'open as layer' the pattern you want. - Any adjustments to the pattern should be made at this stage. You should end with your final working size. The final pattern should be fine lines on a transparent layer. I chose the smallest dot and scaled it to .30 and used the pencil tool.
  4. Add all fabric photos as separate layers. - This is an option under File.
  5. Scale each layer to size. - This is done under Layer, 3rd from bottom option. This will keep your fabric pattern size in scale with each other, if the photos were in kept in the same scale.
  6. Move all fabric layers below your outline layer.
  7. Keep all but your working fabric invisible. - Otherwise only the top fabric will show.
  8. Choose section of pattern to fill with fabric. - Use the fuzzy select.
  9. Leaving selection on, go to fabric layer and copy. - The selection will work on this layer even though it was chosen on the pattern layer. You can move the fabric around before you copy to get what you want in the selected area, but don't rescale to make something fit. Also make sure the fabric fills the selection.
  10. Go to new layer and paste. - Be sure to anchor the pasted image to the new layer. Remember to make that fabric invisible until you use it again.
  11. Repeat steps 8, 9 & 10 for all pattern sections. -

(Please let me know if these instructions are not clear enough and I will adjust them.) Anyone who knows how to use GIMP (and probably Photoshop, too) should be able to do this.

Something that has turned out to be a bonus for me, is creating graphics that inspire needlework projects. I created this images as part of the class.

I pretty much made this up as I went along and had no thought for it other than to learn the lesson (about brushes and erasers in GIMP). I did fiddle with it to try and make it pleasing to my eye. I think I changed things several times until I decided it was done. Then I made a frame for it and posted it to the class. By that time I'd been looking at it full size quite a bit and since the class is for textile designers, I kept thinking of how this applied. The answer is that I can see making something like this in fabric and embroidery. I could even print out some of the pictures I have behind the grid and use them the same way... Or I could quilt them... or embroider them. There are really lots of options, The other picture I did for that lesson inspired me much the same way. Although I wouldn't make it look like the picture, I can see using fabric and embroidery to create something like it. Crochet, lace making and tatting would also work with that one, but I suppose I could use pre-made items.


  10:15:00 pm, by Airycat   , 123 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Blessings Stitched Fabric Book

Block 14, Page 2

I didn't realize I hadn't shown this block. I finished it sometime in June, just before or after I finished Alex's portrait. I didn't plan it as a blessing, although I certainly can thank God for providing these "free jewels" as He does.

The is a bit of seashell attached using crossed threads on which I did buttonhole stitch for two or three rows. Only the crossed straight stitches go through the fabric... um, no, I did sew some of the buttonhole stitch through the fabric. I tried to follow the shisha attachment, but the odd shape of the shell caused it to be less secure than I was comfortable with. For this I used a single ply of my bamboo sock yarn.


  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.

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