Thursday, September 30, 2010

100 Stitches - knotted buttonhole stitch

This stitch is the next stitch from my 100 Stitches project:I actually should have titled this blog post "the most frustrating stitch to learn so far!" I have realized that this stitch features many of the things I find hard to do - keeping my spacing even, maintaining accurate tension of my floss, and forming consistent sized knots. You can see what I mean with one of my first attempts:But what makes this stitch so frustrating for me is that I don't really "get" the way you form the stitch. I read and re-read the instructions from 100 Stitches, but at every step I found myself stopping to arrange and re-arrange my floss. I had to keep looking back at the pictures to see if my needle was in the correct position, if it should be over or under the floss...ugh! I will try to explain how I think you are supposed to do this stitch in the following pictures and hopefully it will make sense! First draw some guidelines. On my first attempt, my guidelines were 1/2" apart. This proved to be too wide and only magnified my loose, uneven stitching. I would suggest 1/4". To start, come up through the fabric on the left edge of the bottom guideline:Form a loop from right to left. (100 stitches suggests that you do this over your left thumb) Bring your needle up into the loop: Slip the loop onto the needle - however not this tightly - this is just to show that the loop is supposed to be on the needle:And now bring the needle to the top guide line and into the fabric. This is where it all falls apart for me, I really had a difficult time bringing the needle into position and figuring out how the floss is supposed to be aligned. I finally resorted to "fixing" it every time in this position to look like the picture in 100 stitches : Now set up the stitch with the needle coming up through the fabric on the bottom guideline. The needle tip emerges above and over the floss: Pull the working floss to the right to tighten the knot. Do this BEFORE you pull the needle all the way through! This is a bit like making a french knot :
and complete your stitch: Now set-up for your second stitch in the same way that you did the first stitch. Make a loop from right to left:Now somehow ;) end up in this position: tighten the loop with the working floss and take your stitch:A whole line of these: will become this!This stitch is beautiful but I am going to need more practice and maybe even some different instructions to perfect this stitch!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gingerbread Townhouse...

I just finished stitching another gingerbread house. This one happens to be a gingerbread townhouse!
I used a lot of french knots for the lollipop trees and roof details:
and I also used a lot of red floss!
I love this little house! Now I am off to finish stitching my gingerbread border.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

100 Stitches - Chained feather stitch

I love this new stitch! It is called the chained feather stitch and it is the latest stitch I have learned from 100 Stitches: This stitch looks beautiful from any angle and I am already thinking up ideas of where to use this stitch on my various projects.
This is an extremely easy stitch to actually stitch but it takes a little extra thinking and planning to insure that the stitching line will come out evenly spaced and symmetrical.So with that in mind, I would recommend drawing some parallel guidelines. After some experimenting, I drew my lines 1/2" apart. This wide of a space really shows off the beauty of this stitch and makes it a little easier to form the diagonal zig-zag shape of the stitch.
The first step is to come up through your fabric on one of the parallel lines.Pull your floss all the way through and then go back into the fabric right where your floss emergedand then come back up through the fabric at a diagonal slant about half-way between the parallel lines. Keep your floss under your needle tip - you are actually just making a single chain stitch here:now pull the floss through to make the chain stitch loop:

tie down the chain stitch loop with a slanting stitch:That completes the first stitch, now come back up through the fabric at the opposite parallel guideline. Bring your needle up about even with the tie down stitch on your first chain stitch:
Pull the floss through:
Form another chain stitch, slanting toward the center of the two parallel lines:
Make your tie down stitch:Head to the opposite parallel line for the next stitch:
Make the next slanting chain stitch:That is all there is to this beautiful stitch!
This stitch is #31 and is listed in the looped stitches section of 100 Stitches.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Two projects and tomatoes

I am working on more gingerbread projects! I am currently stitching up this gingerbread house and this gingerbread border. First, notice that I am actually using the couching stitch and the satin stitch! The couching stitch is the stitch I used for the sides of the house. The satin stitch is used on the hearts on the shutters and the door. Now, notice the colors of the grass in front of the house and the lollipop on the left side of the door:I am mixing individual floss strands to create a swirly color effect. On one of my last posts, I was asking about color suggestions and Annie commented that I should try mixing floss together to come up with the right look. I took her suggestion and I mixed red (dmc #349) with white (dmc BLANC). I used three strands of each color:For the grass, I mixed green (dmc 910) and my favorite bright green (dmc #907) I also have a garden wip to share - my tomatoes are finally ripening!
I have been picking them as they turned color but now I am picking the green ones and bringing them indoors to ripen. Here is my harvest so far. Yum!

Friday, September 10, 2010

100 Stitches - straight stitch

The petals of these free form flowers are made using the straight stitch. The straight stitch is the easiest embroidery stitch I have learned so far from 100 Stitches! For this demonstration, I am using 100% cotton medium weight fabric, a #24 chenille needle and pearl cotton thread (dmc color variations # 4240) and of course, my 7" plastic hoop!
To start this easy stitch, you bring your needle up through your fabric: then go back down through your fabric at your preferred stitch length:
Then pull the floss all the way through and you have just completed the straight stitch!
Now you are free to do the next straight stitch by coming back up through the fabric:
then back down through the fabric:
and you have two straight stitches completed:
That is all there is to it. I think you could use this stitch for free form flowers or any other design you like.
So quick and easy. These flowers were a little plain so I added french knots to the centers. I think they give a nice finishing touch!
The straight stitch is stitch #8 and is in the flat stitches section of 100 Stitches.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Little lion with his new colors

Thank you everyone for your color suggestions for this lion!
I finished stitching him up and I am so happy with these new colors!
For the mane and tail I used the cotton pearl color variations orange variegated -dmc #4124.
For the body I used the cotton pearl color variations tan variegated - dmc #4128 and for the text I used regular floss - dmc #976
Here is a close up view of the lion's nose. Notice the stitching? This is another way to do the satin stitch. When I was learning this stitch, 100 Stitches mentioned that you could just do straight stitches across your shape instead of outlining the shape first. I tried it on the lion's nose and I am very happy with how it looks!