Thursday, January 29, 2015

Organizing - Quilting Journal

I absolutely love using my Sewing Journal and it is keeping me so organized! I got to thinking that I wanted to keep a separate set of records for my quilting projects. 
So, I made a nice set of pages that I can use to record everything quilt and quilting related!  It is a Quilting Journal.

There are pages for just about everything. I thought that it would need to cover three categories:

1. Documenting a finished quilt
2. Planning a quilting project
3. Recording inventory/resources/supplies

That is a lot of information.  It turned out to be 30 pages! 

I added an editable feature, I can type any title I want on this page - completely customizable.  Same with the binder tabs.  The nice thing is being able to make as many different section dividers as I want:

I really like the layout and I am having a great time filling mine in. 

Now I need to finish this quilt top so I can document it.  There is still much embroidering left to do! {that is the open cretan stitch I am doing on the borders} 

I listed an instant download version of the Quilting Journal in my Etsy shop:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Autumn Projects - Part Four

I have another finish to share.  Remember this owl from my autumn projects list?  He is all finished!

I took a few close ups to show all the stitches I used.  I finished all the leaves using the blanket stitch.  The vine is stem stitch and the berries are French knots.  His feet were done with satin stitch:

 For his wings, I used my {current} favorite stitch, the double knot stitch.  Speaking of knots, notice the difference in the size of the berries and the size of the little accent knots along his forehead?  For the berries, I used all six strands of cotton floss, the accent knots are three strands.  

 I did his neck detail with stem stitch:

And the feathers on his body are the fly stitch.  I used straight stitch to fill in his wings:

I love the color palette I used for this project, especially the coral color of the berries.  Here are the floss colors I used:

Next up for owl stitching: both of these, not sure yet which one is first!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

100 Stitches - Double Cross Stitch

Time for another 100 Stitches post.  You may have noticed that I haven't done one of these for quite a while. 
The reason for that is that I haven't been able to find the right fabric for the last six stitches on my list.  

All six stitches are in the Canvas Embroidery section of 100 Stitches.  The description for that section says that there are single thread canvases, double thread, fine and coarse. The type of canvas to use depends upon the design and the thickness of the embroidery thread.    The important point is that the thread must completely cover the spaces and thread of the canvas.
The stitch diagrams show three different styles: a single thread canvas - vertical and horizontal thread with a large space between them{it looks like graph paper} a double thread canvas with the vertical and horizontal threads woven together; and a single tightly woven canvas with no space between the vertical and horizontal threads. 

I didn't find any canvas that fit the above descriptions so I decided to try this cross stitch fabric.  It is an 11 count aida.  It has quite a few vertical and horizontal threads meshed together creating a small grid.   It is really stiff and inflexible -  I thought maybe it could work for the double canvas? 

For the single, I bought this grid     {I don't know what I was thinking - look at the size of the holes!!}
It is made of a flexible plastic but it is really thick and cannot be put into a hoop.  Plus the floss just slips and slides around and you cannot get any tension so...

I shopped around some more and recently found this needlepoint canvas. I thought it would be perfect for the single.  It is stiff but fairly flexible

It was a bit difficult, but I did manage to get it into my hoop:

But you can see that the holes are still too big.  The perle cotton floss I used didn't even begin to cover them.  I think this could work if I used a wool needlepoint yarn {I tried regular yarn but my yarn needle was too big to fit through the holes}.

So, even though it isn't perfect, I used the cross stitch fabric to learn my first stitch in this category.   

I didn't even use a hoop for this!  The first step is to come up through the fabric:

Pull all the way through and then go back into the fabric two rows to the left and two rows above where the floss first emerged. 

Pull all the way through:

Come back up through the fabric two rows down from where you first went into the fabric:

Pull all the way through, bring the needle to the right and go back into the fabric two rows above where the floss very first emerged:

and come out one row to the left and two rows below:

Pull all the way through:

Now go into the fabric two rows above where the floss just emerged and come out one row to the left and one row below:

Pull all the way through:

Go back into the fabric two rows to the right:

and come out of the fabric one row down and two to the left:

Pull all the way through and you are ready to start the next stitch:

I think this fabric worked out fairly well for this stitch.  I would love to hear any thoughts, suggestions or any experience you have had with canvas stitching!

This was stitch number 85 on the 100 Stitches list.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Embroidered Pillowcases - Part Two

You may remember my earlier post about my white on white pillowcase stitching project. 

Based on some helpful advice I received in the comments of that post, I decided to run a test before I started.  I needed to make sure that I would be able to see the white stitching against the white fabric and that I would like the white on white look.   

So, I did a bit of testing on the fabric.  I wanted to try both six strand cotton floss and cotton perle floss:

First is the six strand cotton floss - stem stitching:

Next will be the perle cotton:

Here they are side by side for comparison:

And a little closer look. 

I like them both and think either would be fine to use, but for this particular application, I prefer the flatter, smoother and silkier look of the six strand cotton floss.

I also tested the six strand floss using the satin stitch.  I am very pleased with the result:

Now for the border motif.  I have narrowed my choices down from these :

To these two.  I am about 99% sure I will choose the flowers!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Candy & Sweets

I have a new embroidery pattern set to introduce.  It is called Candy & Sweets. 
I have already started stitching this delicious looking cupcake and candy motif. 

I am doing the banner in a dark pink and using parallel lines of split stitch to fill it in. 
I am using three strands of floss for this.

For the cupcake frosting, I have started with this lighter pink floss and I am doing the stem stitch
For a fluffier frosting look I am using all six strands of floss.  The cupcake will be in this nice chocolate looking brown:

Those three are the colors I have used so far...I am thinking some nice purples and minty greens will be added.  Oh and of course red for the cherry on the cupcake:

Here is a look at the pattern set.  It is available here.