Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter Motifs - Part Three

I have a little more progress to show on one of my Easter motifs.  I have finished the three flowers, I filled them in with seed stitch in two different pink colors.  I like the effect the two colors give. 

I have also finished the flower stems.  Now onto all the leaves and grass and of course the eggs:

I am trying to choose the right colors for the leaves and grass.  So far, I have tried stitching some in the same green as the stems but I thought was just too much of the same shade without enough definition of where the leaves and stems meet and cross.  I also tried a darker shade that ultimately didn't work either.  You can probably see all the stitching marks along the leaves! 

I have been working with these colors and now I think I may try a combination of a few of these:

I will be sure to post some pictures of the finished piece with whichever greens I choose!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

100 Stitches - Four Sided Stitch

Time for another 100 Stitches post! 

This nice stitch is the Four Sided Stitch.

This stitch is from the Drawn Fabric Embroidery category of stitches.  The stitches in this category create an open pattern on the fabric by pulling groups of threads together.  Since I need to count the warp and weft threads for these stitches, I used this medium-to-loose weave linen for easier thread counting. 
For my floss, I am using a perle cotton.  This one is DMC Color Variations #4230.

The stitch is worked from right to left. 
The first step is to bring the needle up through the fabric on the bottom right hand side of the stitching area:

Pull all the way through.  Count up four threads and go back into the fabric:

Pull through.  Count four threads to the left and four threads down and then come back up through the fabric:

Pull through.  Count four threads to the right and go back into the fabric.  Notice I am going back into the same hole I used on the first part of this stitch:

Pull all the way through.  Count four threads up and four threads to the left and come back up through the fabric:

Pull through.  Count four threads to the right and go back into the fabric - again going into a previously used hole:

Pull through.  Count four threads down and four threads to the left and come back up through the fabric and you are at the first step of this stitch.  You can just repeat the steps.
When I learned this stitch, I went in and out of the fabric and pulled my thread through each time {this is called the stab method}.   

However, the instructions in 100 Stitches show the needle emerging from and going into the fabric in one step {this is called the sewing method}.  You can see how it works in the picture below.  Notice where the thread emerges and now the needle is going into the fabric four threads to the right and coming out four threads down and four threads to the left. 
It really is a much quicker and easier way to do this stitch.

This is what the final stitching line looks like:

This is the underside of the stitching:

This stitch is #97 on the 100 Stitches list and is from the Drawn Fabric Embroidery category.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Motifs Part Two

You might remember the three Easter motifs I am working on.  I posted about them here.  This is my progress so far on the first one.  It is a sweet little scene with flowers, grass and decorated eggs.  I used the double knot stitch on the edge of the petals and the seed stitch for the inside.  I am using double rows of stem stitch for the flower stems:

I also have some exciting sewing machine news!  Remember when I bought this machine?  I have loved using it so much except for one thing, I have never had a sewing table for it.  I have been using this on my big work table, and I have been standing up to sew! 

Last weekend, my sister gave me a table she had that she wasn't using anymore.  It just needed a fresh coat of paint:

We had a beautiful warm weekend so I was able to get the table painted.  Here is the before...the table has two drop down leaves so that it can sit flat against the wall:

And this is what it looks like with both sides up and the gate legs extended.  It makes a large circular top.  I think I will always be using it with just one side extended, my machine fits perfectly on it and it is very secure and stable feeling even when I am sewing.  I am so excited about this, I will post the after pictures with the new paint job soon! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Easter Project - Part Three


I finished the stitching on my first Easter wip and I wanted to share this helpful tip.   

When I take the finished stitching out of the hoop, I immerse it in water to remove the water soluble ink pattern lines.  I make sure to immerse it because sometimes, if you just dab the lines with water, a blue spot will appear where the ink wasn't completely washed out.  I have learned the hard way to always immerse my project! 

Next, I carefully squeeze out the excess water. I have noticed that since the heavily embroidered areas dry much slower than the unstitched base fabric, often the fabric dries with a lot of wrinkles.  I always iron my projects but I don't like to iron over the heavily embroidered areas in case I flatten out the floss too much.  So to solve these problems, I try to dry it without letting it wrinkle up too much.  The best way I have tried so far is to use a big absorbent towel and some straight pins: 

I place the wet project on the towel and using the straight pins I pin it into place on the towel.  The pins hold it taut and in place while it dries.  Sort of like blocking wool projects.  I usually keep smoothing the fabric and adjusting the straight pins as it dries.

This has worked really well for me.  When it is all dry, I remove all the pins and you can see it dries without too many wrinkles or the hoop marks:

Then I carefully iron it to remove any wrinkles that did form and here is the result:

I used quite a few different stitches on this project.  Lazy Daisy Stitch for the pink flowers, Roumanian Stitch for the purple flowers,  French Knots for all the yellow and pink dots, Long and Short Stitch for the pale purple flowers, Back Stitch for the flower stems and most of the text - the E is done in Chain Stitch, and Fishbone Stitch for all the leaves:


Here are the floss colors and their numbers I used in this project.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Vintage Resources

As I mentioned before, I am learning how to knit and how to crochet.

Recently, I found some really interesting vintage resources.  First is this McCall's crochet book. 

 This edition was published in 1968.  There are easy to follow demonstrations for all sorts of stitches and techniques. 

And plenty of patterns for dresses and sweaters...

Second is this Vogue knitting magazine.  This is the Fall/Winter 1986 issue. 

it is full of great knitting information and plenty of patterns:

Both of these resources are so helpful and are really fun to read!