Tuesday, November 29, 2011

100 Stitches - Portuguese Border Stitch

Bom Dia! This beautiful stitch is the Portuguese Border Stitch:

This stitch is the latest stitch I have learned from 100 Stitches.  It is my favorite type of stitch: complex looking but fairly easy to learn and fun to do!

First you need some "foundation bars", which are just a row of horizontal straight stitches

I spaced mine about 3/8" apart:

The foundation bars run horizontally and this stitch is done from the bottom to the top.  Come up through the fabric centered below the first foundation bar.

Pull the working thread all the way through and up and over the first two foundation bars.  Now the needle is going to slip under the first two foundation bars.  It won't be piercing any fabric, just sliding under the foundation bars.  Notice the needle position here - the working floss is always staying to the left of the needle. 

Slide under both bars:

and gently pull all the way:

Then take the working floss up and over the bars again.  Keeping the floss to the left of the needle still, the needle now slides under JUST the second foundation bar this time:

and OVER the first foundation bar:

Gently pull all the way through.  That is the stitch!  To continue, take the working floss back up and over the second and third foundation bar and slide back under the third and second foundation bars.  Just like before, not piercing the fabric, just sliding under the bars.  The working floss is staying to the left of the needle:

Slide under the third and second bars only and pull gently all the way through.  Bring the working floss up and over the second and third foundation bars and then slide the needle under the third foundation bar only and over the second foundation bar:

Pull all the way through and then up and over the third and fourth foundation bar and slide under the fourth and third...

Same as before until...

You finish stitching around the top foundation bar.  100 Stitches didn't specify how to finish when you were at the top bar so when I slid my needle under the top foundation bar for the last time

I just went back into the fabric and brought my needle to the bottom of the first foundation bar.  Now the stitching starts over.  Come up through the fabric below the first foundation bar and to the left of your previous stitching:

You do everything exactly the same on this side, only this time the working floss always stays to the RIGHT of the needle:

Stitch all the way to the top:

Here is what the underside of my stitch looks like:

Isn't this such a beautiful stitch?!

For the floss, I used DMC pearl cotton color variations #4025.  The Portuguese Border Stitch is #63 and is in the Composite Stitches section of 100 Stitches.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Progress report - autumn stitching

These gorgeous autumn colors

from my back yard have reminded me

that I need to share a progress report on one of my many works in progress! Do you remember this project?  I am really pleased with the progress I have made so far!

A closer look will show the different stitches I am using.  For the sunflower, I used the split stitch for the petals and stem stitch for the center.  I still want to add some sort of filling stitch for the sunflower center.  Perhaps french knots?  The zinnia (on the bottom left) is being done in satin stitch with two different floss colors for the petals.  The chrysanthemum (bottom right) is done in back stitch in two rows with two different colors.  I am not sure if I am done with that yet either! I may fill it in with more stitching.  The little acorn needs to be filled in still, I am not sure how I am going to finish it.  I am thrilled with how the pumpkin is turning out!  I did the stem in back stitch and the ribs in split stitch:

I am filling the pumpkin using the long and short stitch.  The unique color comes from combining three strands each of two different colors of floss. I love the effect!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Organization - pattern storage

I love to organize my floss, supplies, fabric and all the other items in my craft room. Some of those other items are my embroidery patterns - I have a lot of embroidery patterns.  With the recent addition of Victorian Christmas, I have 21 big B embroidery pattern packets!

Each of these packets has numerous pattern pages and that works out to a lot of individual motifs - I did a count recently, and from 21 different packets, I have 802 individual motifs!  Most of the time, when I am getting ready to start a new embroidery project, I bring up the pdf file on my computer, look through the pages and then print the page, cut out what I want and transfer it to my project.  But I also like to have all of the motifs cut out and ready to use.  So with each pattern, I print all the pages and cut each motif out:

Then I put the indivdual motifs in this big scrapbook folder:

This has worked really well but now I have a much better solution!  I recently received two very nice birthday presents, this fantastic Brother P-Touch labeler that I Love!:

And a nice clear view binder.  I really enjoy using these clear-view binders and I have several of them already - I like to customize them with pretty paper and use them as garden journals and to organize my recipes.  I think this new one will work really well for organizing embroidery patterns too!

I printed out labels for all my pattern packets:

and attached the labels to sheet protectors.  Sheet protectors are just clear envelopes with an open top and three punched holes so that you can put them in your binder.  I am going to have one for each pattern packet:

And then store them in the binder!

I will be able to easily see which motifs I want to use and that makes it so easy to lay out the pattern pieces when planning a project!

I will update you as soon as I get some nice artwork for the outside of the notebook!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

100 Stitches - Leaf Stitch

It's time for another stitch from my 100 Stitches journey!  This beautiful stitch is appropriately named the leaf stitch:

How perfect for a couple of autumn leaves! You also might notice some french knots :

To stitch this, 100 Stitches did their demonstration using a leaf shape, so I used one from my Autumn embroidery pattern packet and transferred it to my fabric.  I didn't transfer the little accent "leaf vein" lines, just the main center line.  That center line is important for this stitch.

For my demonstration I am using this gorgeous green pearl cotton floss.  The DMC number is 988:

This stitch seems to be all about sloping stitches criss-crossing over a center area.  I just have a single center line, but 100 Stitches had double lines spaced a bit apart to indicate that you are not stitching on a center line, but to either side of it.  The first step is to bring the floss up through the fabric on the left hand side of your center line:

pull the foss all the way through and take a sloping stitch to the opposite side of your leaf. 

Pull the floss all the way through:

Next, come back up through the fabric on the right hand side of your center line:

Take a sloping stitch to the opposite side of the leaf.  Notice, the floss is going over the first stitch:

Pull all the way through and this will form an x:

Come back up through the fabric just like your first stitch,  on the left hand side of the center line :

and make a sloping stitch across to the opposite side of the leaf.  Notice, this stitch is going over the second sloping stitch:

Pull all the way through and then come back up through the fabric on the right hand side of the center line:

Make your sloping stitch and then come back up through the fabric on the left hand side of the center line.  You are just alternating stitches on each side:

stitch back and forth until you are at the leaf tip:

This is an easy stitch to do

and leaves ;) a  nice, neat underside:

Now to finish this stitch, 100 Stitches suggested that you outline your leaf with either the stem stitch or the chain stitch.  I chose the stem stitch:

I used the back stitch for the stem.  I think it gives this leaf a beautiful finish!

This stitch is #13 and is in the flat stitches category of 100 Stitches.