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  01:11:00 am, by Airycat   , 275 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Blessings Stitched Fabric Book


I managed to stitch five squares in my blessings book, this evening. Three of them are practice stitches and two are blessings.


(Click image for larger view.)

My first blessing is my faith. While I am no longer a particularly religious person, I cannot even imagine not having faith, which really is that knowledge that passes understanding. I made the Bible with satin stitches and added straight stitches on top to create the illusion of writing. The cross is satin stitch in three sections. The bible cover is back stitch with a few satin stitches in the corner.

The second blessing (not necessarily second in importance) is my sewing glasses. I call them that because I don't need them for reading, except the very fine print, but I do need them for sewing and needlework. Since I enjoy the needlework, I'm very grateful for the glasses. Glasses and needle are back stitch, with the thread as a running stitch (tacked in at the needle eye).

The third box is the fly stitch on a diagonal. I used the diamond weave of the fabric as my lines.

Fifth box is a messy herringbone stitch. I need to practice this one more.

Twelfth box is Cretan stitch leaves. I like this stitch, but I need to work on making it more evenly spaced.

Box fourteen is fly stitch. This one makes me think of dandelions and snowflakes.

All the stitching is DMC, but I chose the threads color and didn't write down the numbers.

I learned the v (Edit 09/15/11: I'm not sure what happened to the rest of this post, nor do I remember what is missing.)


  03:33:00 pm, by Airycat   , 103 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Stitches

Herringbone Stitch

I'm not exactly doing the TAST Challenge, but I chose that to determine which stitch to use in the various stitch blocks in my Blessings book. As I get better at doing them, I will embrace more the spirit of TAST and see what else I can do with them. For now, however, this is more about learning the stitches.


Because of the close up, the threads of the fabric look a lot easier to count than they actually are. If I could see them this well, the stitches would be a lot more even. Otherwise, I think I did this OK.


  02:20:00 am, by Airycat   , 257 words  
Categories: Needlework, Machine Embroidery, Fabric Art

Machines Revolt!

In my typical ADD fashion, I started another project I was thinking about. This one is the sewing machine cover.


felting machine


embroidery machine

Debie's machines have covers to keep put the dust and cat & dog hair, but mine doesn't.


g machine

So I figured I whip something up. Nothing ever whips up for me. I wish I'd remember that everything takes more time than I think it should. The idea of what I wanted it to look like has been in my head for a while, but the execution is not as simple as I thought -- especially when the machines are uprising (or staging sit-ins).

So, I'm zipping along and I managed to get this far:

This is how far I got before I discovered the tension had gone out.

And then I discovered this:

no tension

The back of the 'hand' embroidery has no tension

I tried to figure out what went flooey with the tension and couldn't. (I did finally figure out how the button holer works -- I think.) Then, when I tried to raise the feed do to see if regular sewing was off, too, that didn't work either. Well, it is past due for routine maintenance. Hopefully that won't take forever and cost an arm and a leg.

I came up and did some sample stitches on my Blessings sampler book.

Now I'm going to bed because I have to take the quilting machine class with Debie all day tomorrow. I'll have more about that machine at a later date.

  12:10:00 am, by Airycat   , 120 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Blessings Stitched Fabric Book

More Starting

I started with a stitch square rather than a blessing square. I will probably do a few more of these randomly before I do my first square. My first herringbone is not too great because I didn't mark my lines, so it's a little wonky. It makes me think of a lopsided cross stitch. I'm using two strands of DMC floss, since that's what I have an abundance of.


(Click for a larger view.)

You can see the fabric threads a lot better in the full sized photo than I can when I'm stitching!! I wish I could see them this clearly. I'd have a much neater stitch if I could count. I wonder if a super magnifier would help.


  11:30:00 pm, by Airycat   , 738 words  
Categories: Chitchat

Blahs, List, Ideas

It seems that my trip to Mexico derailed me and I'm finding it hard to get back on track for some unknown reason. The ideas are there, but the get-up-and-go has got up and gone. I don't know why. I quite enjoyed the trip and was well rested... at least until I got back. It might be the sunshine. I thrive on sunshine and next to Mexico, ours is paltry and wan. It's been around, which is very good for Oregon in May, but, oh, I loved the bright heat of Mexico.

Another thing is that I probably have too many projects going at once. I don't know if it's me or the ADD, but some part of me seems to think that if I think of something, it should be done. (Yikes! That sounds awfully like a god complex!)

  1. Cherubs cross stitch to finish -- about 2/3s done.
  2. Kitchen curtains/shades --way past due.
  3. Fairy Quilt -- long term project. I should make a notebook for it to keep all my ever changing ideas. Trouble is I get them as I'm falling asleep or waking up, neither of which is a good time for me to try to write.
  4. Blessings sampler book -- this is probably going to be long term, also. Calculation errors turned it from 100 to 320 squares!! I will do at least 100 blessings, maybe more. The rest will be stitch samples and experimenting.
  5. Purse -- nothing concrete yet, but I found some soft faux leather that would look lovely embroidered (probably machine embroidery for this -- gotta test it first).
  6. Gnome dolls -- these are a fabric panel, but I thought I'd make one for the grandbabe, and one for me and there are some mini prints of the front, too. I want to embellish it, though, not just sew and stuff.
  7. Pin Keep -- after seeing all those on stitchin fingers, I want my own. No plans yet, however.
  8. Sewing machine cover -- just thought of this today, although it's been in the back of my mind for ages. An idea came to me as I was surfing the needlework blogs, today.

There are probably others, but this is all I can think of at the moment. I'm also tracking down various things I've made and photographing them for the needlework photoblog (above link).

I have seen several references to art and/or needlework journals. I want to look into these. I'm not an artist in the sense of drawing. I have, on occasion, drawn something that passes for good, but mostly my drawing is not even close to art. My sketches for things, when I manage to do any, are stiff and mechanical looking. I remember my 8th grade art teacher trying to get me to see things artistically. I learned a little, but I still don't really see things the way I want to interpret them.

I'm a little better three dimensionally. That art teacher actually kept my balsa sculpture (with my permission). I think it's the dimensional aspect of needlework that is part of its attraction for me. Even traditional quilting and "flat" embroideries are more 3D than drawing. It's the texture. And my favorite needlework is the more 3D and textured kind -- crazy quilting and stump work and ??? (new, creative stuff?).

I was looking at a piece of crazy quilting recently (probably Sharon b's sampler or "I Dropped the Button Box" quilt, or Susan's Alice quilt) and it came to me that I love them, in part, because I love the texture, the busyness of them, the "clutter," if you will. I can appreciate spare, clean lines and sometimes even love them, but if you show me two quilts, for example -- one simple, even in bright bold colors (my faves), the other a CQ with plenty of lace, ribbons, embroidery, and buttons & trinkets, I will choose the one with the more to see -- the CQ -- even though it may be the color that initially draws me. This makes total sense, when I think about it. I've always liked the cluttered look in decorating (though not the over cluttered mess things are in around here right now). I like to have my pretties (and "interesting-ies") around me. So it's no surprise that I want to do art quilts with a strong 3D and CQ effect, stitched books, and dolls. (Can't forget the dolls!)

OK, I've psyched myself. Now I need to clear off my work table and work on something!!!

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