I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lovebirds - Lessons 2 and 3

Hey Blog Buddies,

What have you been up to recently?  I've been spending a lot of time working on my blackwork lovebirds in order to keep up with the cyberclass I'm taking from Tanja Berlin.  It's a good thing the overall size of the piece is not terribly large, is all I can say.

In case you missed my first post about them, here is where I left off...

This was Lesson 1.
And here is Lesson 2.
It's kind of hard to see in this photo,
but there are a couple of small stitched areas
toward the top of each bird
that look a little lighter than the rest of the body.
That's because most of the body
was stitched with DMC 310,
but the lighter areas were stitched with
YLI silk which is noticeably thinner than DMC!
How thin was it?
It was so thin that I had to tie it on to my needle!
And here I thought that silk floss
was always thicker than DMC floss.
Gloriana is.
You learn something new every day!

I thought that Lesson 3 was rather ambitious,
but I managed to finish it.
I'm all caught up to where I'm supposed to be,
waiting for Lesson 4 to be published.
The colors in the body are
four different shades of metallic thread,
and the beaks were stitched with Au Ver a Soie silk,
which is a bit thicker than DMC 310.

Here's a close-up.
As you can see, some of the octagons
contain a two-color metallic square.
It all depended on whether
they straddled the basting lines,
which are thankfully gone now.
They annoyed me.
Put them on my long list!
This is a fun class,
and I like how the birds are turning out.
Lesson 4 (coming this Friday): the heads!

Hope you're stitching something fun.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 10, 2014

October Turtle Trot

Hey Blog Buddies,

It's the tenth of the month, so it's time to post our progress for the Turtle Trot SAL.  

Each month we post progress updates on the ten WIPs we chose at the beginning of the year.  Claudette of BAP Attack is our Head Turtle/ringleader.

This month, I'm afraid there's not too much to show.  I did make some progress on Ink Circles' 99:

This is where I left off last month...

...and this is where I'm at now.
I was hoping to get the entire 4th row done,
but the best laid plans, etc.

And last (already?!) but never least,
we have Perseverance Mates:

...last month...

...and this month...
The casual observer might think
that this piece is almost done.
Would that it were.
I estimate at least 2 to 3 more months of
stitching on it a little every day.
Not my definition of "almost done."

That's it for this month--short and sweet.
Visit Claudette's blog to check out her progress
and that of the other Trotters.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Jo's 500 Followers Blog Hop

Hey Blog Buddies,

Jo of Serendipitous Stitching is celebrating her blog reaching 500+ followers with a blog hop geared to celebrate the friendships found in blogging.  Each blogger who joined was given the name of another blogger who is participating.  Then on October 7th (that would be today) we are to dedicate a post to that blogger.

"My" blogger is Kim from Wisdom with Needle and Thread.  I'm glad that I received Kim's name because I wasn't familiar with her blog until yesterday.  As I discovered while reading her blog, Kim is all about reaching out and forming friendships with others.  She participates in numerous round robins, exchanges and stitch-alongs.  She also thinks outside the box and has come up with some very clever and fun ideas to interface with other stitchers such as Swapaway and The Traveling Treasure Chest.

Kim and I seem to have quite a few things in common.  We are both:  from the Midwest United States, retired, living with a husband and one or more dogs, only children, and like to do a variety of needlework including cross stitch, canvaswork and quilting!

Jo suggested that each blog hop participant pick one of our stitched projects that we think our featured blogger would like.  I noticed that Kim is doing a canvaswork piece on a Tudor lady named Catherine Parr.  I also did a canvaswork "lady," perhaps not as regal as Catherine, but her attitude makes up for any lack of royal bloodlines:

This is Libby Sturdy's Uptown Stitcher.
I named her Betty.
I think Betty and Catherine Parr would get along famously
if they ever happened to meet, don't you?

So go check out Kim's blog, Wisdom with Needle and Thread, and Jo's Serendipitous Stitching to see all the blogs participating in this fun blog hop.

Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lovebirds: Class 1

Hey Blog Buddies,

How's your day going?  Just thought I'd pop in to give you a peek at the blackwork class I'm taking.  It's my first ever cyberclass, and I'm enjoying it very much.  There are two weeks between each class, and if the first class is any indication, the lesson can easily be completed within that time frame.  The piece is designed and taught by Tanja Berlin.  There is a class forum for questions, and students are encouraged to post WIP photos to get feedback from Tanja and perhaps even other students.

The first thing she had us do was to transfer the outline of the birds onto our linen.  The way we did this was to trace the outline found in our instructions onto tissue paper, pin the paper onto our fabric, and then baste over the traced lines, using long stitches on the right side of the fabric and short on the back.

After all the basting lines were stitched, the next step was to tear the tissue paper away, leaving just the red basting stitches.  The tissue paper within the lines didn't want to come off, so tweezers were used to get every last little piece of paper off.  Of course, this procedure stretched out some of the basting lines, which needed to be tightened up from the back.  I found the whole process to be quite challenging, but I guess I did OK because Tanja said it looked good.  I was glad to be able to start the actual blackwork.

Tanja's instructions are very detailed with lots of photos, and she leaves virtually nothing to the imagination.  She suggested that we mount our linen on wooden stretcher bars like those normally used for needlepoint projects.  The wooden stretcher bars are much lighter (in weight) than plastic Q-Snaps so I think I'll be using them from now on for my larger, but not ginormous, linen projects.  As a matter of fact, my previously mentioned wolves are on wooden stretcher bars.  I thought it was a weird way of mounting linen at the time, but they have been working well for that project.  You shouldn't be afraid to think outside the box!

Stitching the branch was the last thing
to be done in Lesson 1.
Tanja helped several of us out 
with the placement of the shading stitches
to give the branch a more rounded look.

Here's a close-up of part of the branch.
I am taking out the basting lines
as I stitch each area of the project.

We have just received the PDF
for Lesson 2 this morning,
and I'm looking forward to starting it. 

That's it for now.
Have a stitchy weekend and
thanks for visiting!