Tuesday, August 25, 2009

100 Stitches - Stem Stitch

The next stitch I have been working on is the stem stitch (stitch #1). This is actually the first stitch that the book 100 Stitches profiles but it isn't a stitch I have had a lot of experience with. In fact, I wasn't exactly sure how to do it before I read this book! It is very easy and a really quick stitch to do.
The floss I used for this stitch is perle cotton - this is DMC color number 3325.

I am going to draw a straight stitching line to practice the stitch along:

This stitch will be worked from left to right along this line:

 The first step is to come up through the fabric at the left end of the stitching line:

Pull the thread all the way through:

Go back into the fabric right alongside but below the stitching line at a slight angle to the line, just a small distance to the right of where the floss first emerged.  Bring the tip of the needle back out of the fabric right alongside and above the stitching line:

Pull all the way through:

Repeat for the next stitch - into and out of the fabric:

pulling all the way through:

until you have stitched along the entire line.  To end the stitch, I just went back into the fabric:

 and secured my floss underneath:

A beautiful and simple stitch:

This is stitch number one on the list of 100 Stitches and is from the Flat Stitches category.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

butterfly work-in-progress update

Finally all the stitching is done on my butterfly wip. To fix the mistake I made on his eye, I tried to use a small silver sequin. It didn't look right so I ended up using a french knot! It looks a little odd but not bad enough to start over :)

I love the "butterfly" lettering and it was very easy to do. I like the way the letters look outlined but I may try a fill stitch and see if I like the look better. I have cut the denim fabric into an 8" x 8" square piece ready to be a patch for my denim tote bag or a journal cover.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

100 stitches - threaded backstitch

The next stitch I have just learned from the 100 stitches book is the "threaded backstitch" (stitch #7 - includes both backstitch and threaded backstitch). It looks much more complicated than it actually is to do! First you do a simple backstitch - shown in the aqua color. Then you start a new thread, - shown in pink - coming up through the fabric right next to one side of the start of the backstitch line. You simply weave this thread under the backstitch stitches without picking up any fabric. It just lays on the surface of the fabric but under the backstitch stitches. The third thread -shown in brown - comes up on the opposite side of the backstitch line and weaves under the other two threads!
Here is a little closer look: it is really fun to do and very easy after you practice a bit.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

butterfly wip continues!

I have started stitching on the butterfly wip. I decided after trying out several colors that I really love this satiny white floss and bright red floss together.

There was an unfortunate incident when I was finishing the butterfly's eye. I didn't like the way the floss was looking - I had used too many strands - and I decided to take it out. Instead of patiently and carefully pulling the stitching out, I used scissors and of course - I snipped through the fabric - sooooo I don't exactly know how I will fix this...maybe a button?

The word butterfly is almost done and I love the way the white french knots look!

Now to choose the perfect trim!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

100 stitches - french knot

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am working my way through an embroidery book called 100 Embroidery Stitches. Stitch number one was the back stitch . The second stitch I am going to show is found in the knotted stitches section of the book and is: the French knot (stitch #52).

To demonstrate my learning of this stitch, I am using a beautiful orange floss.  This is DMC color variations number 3840.

The first step is to bring the needle up through the fabric:

Pull the floss all the way through:

Now bring the needle around close to where the floss first emerged:

Wind the floss around the needle -  over, under

Over, under.  This makes two wraps around the needle:

Carefully tighten the wraps so they are snug but can still slide against the needle.  Do this by holding the needle and carefully pulling on the floss:

As the floss is tightening, carefully move the needle point into position to go back into the fabric right alongside where the floss first emerged.  As you are doing this, keep pulling on the floss and the wraps will naturally slide to the bottom of the needle:

Push the needle right through to the underside and as you draw the needle through, keep pulling on the floss - you can see in this picture I am keeping the floss taut - this keeps the wraps in place while the knot is forming:  

Keep pulling and drawing the floss through:

all the way....

et voilĂ  a French Knot is formed:

This is a look at the underside of the line of French Knots:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Work In Progress

I am starting a new embroidery project on this very light-weight denim fabric. I am not sure what I am going to do with this - perhaps make a little pillow or use it as a patch on a tote bag. I think it would also look good framed or even as part of a journal book cover.
The patterns I am going to embroider are embellishment patterns from the "Butterfly" pattern packet. I am using the butterfly and the word butterfly. I used my copier to increase the size of the butterfly by 130%.
Here they both are ready to be traced onto my fabric using carbon transfer paper. In a previous post I detailed this process.
The transfer came through really well on this light colored fabric!Now I am ready to stitch! I think I will use these bright colors.
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

100 Stitches

I am attempting to work my way through a book titled "One Hundred Embroidery Stitches".  I will post my progress as I learn each stitch.

* Update - I completed the book, learning all 100 Stitches.  
Since I would like to continue improving my skills and expanding my stitch repertoire, I have compiled a new list of stitches to add to the original 100.  
The new list is made up of stitches from several embroidery books and online sources.  As before, I will post my progress.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tea Embroidery Pattern Packet

Here is what the pattern packet for the
"Tea" embroidery pattern looks like.
This packet turned out to be eight pages! There
is the introduction page, the main pattern and
then six pages of embellishment patterns. There are so many fun ways to draw teapots, cups and
all the tea accessories.

This is what the main pattern looks like all stitched up. I used the silver metallic floss for the tea tray to make it look like a silver tray. Metallic floss is SO difficult to stitch with but it just looks so beautiful when you are finished!
The covered sugar bowl and creamer were really fun to stitch. In the embellishment patterns, there is a sugar bowl with the lid removed and you can see all the sugar cubes.

So far, I have made two tea towels - one with the main pattern and one with this yellow diamond patterned teapot.
I just love the color combination on this tea towel -
here is a close up of the word Tea at the bottom of the towel.

And I am making this tea tray doily. I really love the way it is turning out!
I do think however that it needs some sort of finishing trim around the edge.