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

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!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Seven Small Finishes

Hey Blog Buddies,

How's your weekend been going?  I've been dabbling with a blackwork cyber-class that's just gotten underway, but more on that in another post.

I've also been doing some small projects, partly to take a needed break from all of the BAPs that are currently in progress, and partly to make a couple of small things to sell at my quilt guild's boutique coming up in early November--yes, it's just around the corner!

First up, we have BBD's Bird in Hand:
I switched the red floss in the model
for Gloriana's Holiday Blue.
I put my initials on it, so I'm keeping this one.

It was such an easy stitch
(I so appreciate monochrome projects after working on
 my 50-shades-of-gray-and-tan wolves every day)
that I decided to make one for the Boutique...
This was stitched with WDW's Merlot.
The colors are less bright in real life.

Next is the little hardanger piece
that Roz (former owner of Nordic Needle)
designed exclusively for retreat attendees this year.
It came with the cute, coordinating metal
heart-shaped box, which makes it more useful.
 I stitched this because I originally intended
to sell it at the Boutique.
But it turned out so nice,
and I can't buy another one because it's a Retreat exclusive,
that I decided to keep it for myself.  (My bad!)

 Here's the fourth strawberry that I've stitched this year.
They're all from Prairie Schooler.
Doesn't look much like a strawberry, does it?

Here is it, all finished up.
Now it looks like a strawberry!
I had three other stitched strawberries
that had been sitting around most of the year,
waiting to be finish-finished.

 After finishing the first one,

...they each got easier...

...and easier to do!

I won't lie, they were very fiddly,
but the cuteness factor makes up for it, I think.
Everyone from Eva at Stitching the Night Away in Illinois 
  to Cathy of Inspired Needle
kept telling me that I could finish these ornies myself,
so thanks for the encouragement, guys!

The "holly" strawberry is going to the Boutique.
Depending on my mood,
I may take another one there to sell, too.
Still hoping to make a few more small things
for the Boutique, so stay tuned.

That's it from here.
Stay stitchy, my friends.
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September Turtle Trot

Hey Blog Buddies,
It's time once again for the Turtle Trot update.  Claudette over at BAP Attack hosts this SAL.  We chose ten WIPs to work on at the beginning of the year, and post before and after photos of our progress each month.  This update will be short, since I worked on only two pieces since last month.

First up, we have Ink Circles' 99.
Here's my progress as of last month:

And here's where I'm at now:
As I was working on "The Bottles" this month, I couldn't help but think of SoCal Debbie, who was working on this piece for Turtle Trot, too.  For those of you who don't know her, Debbie was a stitcher and blogger who passed away suddenly at a very young age last month.  We all miss her bubbly personality and cyber-friendship.

And the other piece that I worked on this month?
Of course, it's Cross My Heart's Mates.
Here's where I was last month.

Here's the latest.
I feel like I've just been trudging along
on this piece this month,
but progress is progress.

The rest of my stitching time
has been taken up with some small pieces.
More on those in another post.

And as if I don't have enough to stitch,
I've enrolled in Tanja Berlin's
which starts this Friday.
This should be fun--I'll keep you posted
on my progress.
By the way, Tanja's blackwork elephant 
is to die for!

That's all from here.
Hope you are enjoying your September.
Thanks, as always, for visiting!