Tuesday, May 25, 2010

100 stitches - Coral Stitch

The next stitch I have learned on my 100 Stitches saga is the coral stitch. I used three strands of dmc floss - color number 995 - a beautiful electric blue! I stitched this with a #24 chenille needle on 100% cotton. This stitch is worked from right to left. First come up through the fabric and pull your floss to the left. Make sure it stays there! 100 Stitches suggests holding it down in place with your thumb.

The coral stitch is essentially a line of floss held down with tiny stitched knots. You can determine how far apart you want the knots for your decorative purposes. To make the first knot, go into the fabric and take a very small stitch by coming up under the laying down floss

Here is a larger view of what the position of everything should look like:

Now you pull your floss all the way through making sure the needle goes above the lower line of the floss "loop"
now pull the needle all the way through...
now pull to the left to form a knot!
Next, determine how far away you want the next knot and do the same setup again. Under:

through, over, and pull to the left!
keep going and to finish simply take your needle back down through the fabric right at the final knot.
Here is what my coral stitching looks like - heehee...I need a bit more practice before I use this in an actual project!
For me, this stitch is a hard one to make look even and neat. For some reason, I have trouble with the knotted stitches - it seems like right at the critical "knot forming" second when I am pulling the floss and seeing the knot form, something either in my pulling tension, pulling direction or needle position goes wrong and I come up with an uneven knot. I know it will get better with practice - it did with the bullion stitch :) This stitch is #54 and is in the knotted stitches section of 100 Stitches.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rainbow of Stitches contest - green entry

Here is my green entry for the Feeling Stitchy Rainbow of Stitches contest! This little image is of a pea pod, like the ones I am growing in my vegetable garden this year:
They are doing really well and the plants are already about 3-1/2' high - no blossoms yet. I really like the way pea vines use their curly spirals to hold onto the support strings:
It makes for a perfect picture to stitch!
I used the back stitch, threaded back stitch (for the border), and the split stitch on one side of the pod. I used three different shades of green floss. The lightest shade is dmc #907. The other two are shades were already in my stash all wound up on their bobbins so unfortunately I don't have their color numbers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rainbow of Stitches pink entry

This is my latest entry to the Feeling Stitchy Rainbow of Stitches contest - for the color pink! This is a pillowcase edge pattern from the flowers embroidery pattern packet.
I stitched this using my new variegated dmc #4180 perle cotton floss - I love the color effects! I also love stitching french knots - I used them around the flower center:
For my next color, I am going to use green - I have just finished a sweet little design and am stitching it up! I will post a picture as soon as it is done.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

perle cotton

I bought new floss at Joanns today. I wanted something violet and maybe to try a variegated floss - I found this "cotton perle" floss. It is variegated and they definitely had violet - both dark violet:
and light violety-blue:
and pink!

I obviously bought all three! I also bought these regular dmc flosses in a range of pinks and a variegated pink and white:
I have never used perle cotton and wasn't sure exactly how to use it - it comes in twisted strands. I was wondering - are you supposed to use more than one strand? I checked on the dmc website . They have a lot of helpful infomation. Apparently, you take the papers off the ends like this: Once it is free, the skein is in a big oval - one end has a tie around the end like this: Leave the tie intact. Snip through the other end like this:
and use a single strand of twisted floss - like this:
This strand will be long - about 38-39" The website suggests that beginners cut this strand in half for a more manageable length. Here is what it looks like in comparison with the six strand dmc embroidery floss:
You can see the twisted perle cotton strand is much different - the website suggests using a #22 chenille needle with this, however I have been using my #24 and it is working great! I really love this cotton perle - it will be a nice cotton-y not so silky alternative to the six strand floss. I have already completed a little project with the pink variegated cotton perle and I will be posting a picture of that in a bit!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

little blue fish

This little blue fish is my blue entry into the Feeling Stitchy Rainbow of Stitches contest. I love the way he turned out! He was very easy and quick to stitch, since I only used the back stitch :)

But look carefully at this close up:
I also used metallic floss! You can see it on the tail and a few selected scales. It is always a challenge to use but this is the first time I have ever stitched with it using my new #24 chenille needles! What a difference - so much easier to thread - I even used all six strands on the floss. Plus I think the sharpness of the needle must cut down on the drag through the fabric making it easier for the floss to pass through. I still had a hard time with it...just not as difficult as usual! Now onto my violet colored entry!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

100 Stitches - long and short stitch

This sunflower features the new stitch I have just learned on the 100 Stitches project. The stitch is called the long and short stitch. This is such an easy stitch! To demonstrate I am using six strands of dmc #907 floss, a #24 chenille needle, and 100% cotton quilting weight fabric. I transferred this little sunflower embellishment from the Peep-Peep-Peep Embroidery Pattern Packet:
To start, you bring your needle up through the fabric
and then back down, forming a simple stitch. I made this stitch a little long so it is the long stitch of "long and short" stitch:
Now come back up through the fabric next to your long stitch
and take a smaller "short" stitch!
Now come back up
and make another long stitch
You just continue doing this in stitches of varying lengths
until you fill in the shape! According to 100 Stitches, this is an excellent filling stitch and is sometimes referred to as a form of the satin stitch.
100 Stitches also mentioned that this is a good stitch to use to achieve a shaded effect which is what I have done on the sunflower petals:
Really a fun stitch to do and so quick to learn! This stitch is #9 and is in the flat stitches section of 100 Stitches.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Feeling Stitchy Rainbow of Stitches Contest

I am planning on entering the Rainbow of Stitching contest on the Feeling Stitchy blog! Is anyone else planning on entering? I would love to hear what you are going to submit! What an exciting theme for a contest and they are giving away nice prizes too. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun. I have two different patterns I am going to use. One is a flower border and one is a fish. According to the rules of the contest, I need to pick a color and stitch the pattern using that color for the majority of the picture. For the flower border I am trying to decide between violet:
and pink. I am planning on using the fill stitch and satin stitch so I will be able to incorporate a lot of different shades of which ever color I choose. For the fish pattern, I am going with blue! This little picture also features bubbles and waves so blue will definitely work for the whole thing!