Happy Halloween and an another stitched witch… but not finished

I knew when I started stitching her she would not be complete until next year, but14-10-30 Witch 4 then since I’ve had her for years another year won’t matter much. I want to make a broom for her to have as a base to sit upon.

14-10-30 Witch 1I wanted to share now because of the background stitch… I found it really interesting. I decided to do a darning pattern pumpkin face for the background; but when I turned the canvas over on the back I saw a cat head. And then if you look at the front again in the negative spa14-10-30 Witch 3ce you can see the cat there too. Can you see it too? Now I wish I had done this background stitch in a glow in the dark thread, I think it would have enhanced the optical illusion. Oh well there is always the next piece.


14-10-30 Witch 2

Have a safe and happy Halloween. Don’t forget Nov 1, All Saints Day, to remember family and friends and all the stitchers who have gone before us.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue


Mom and Me: Bunny stitching

I worked all last week on the bunnies. I knew I wanted the stitches to be related but I also knew I wanted them to stitch quickly. I also knew that I wanted a stitch that I could offset and yet by offsetting would not draw attention to the offset areas nor create compensating areas that would draw attention away from the piece.

First I stitched the outlines of both the bunnies in a gray continental stitch and I filled in the eyes; then I started on the bunnies. I started with the baby bunny. I knew I wanted to use related stitches and the baby bunny should be the smaller of the two stitch choices.

14-03-12 bunny line draw If you look at the line drawing I have divided the areas up into offsetting areas. The lightest pink of the baby bunny was stitched first to establish the stitch. I started immediately above the gray outline for the back leg & foot so I could establish a base line across the widest portion of this area. Then I stitched up to but not across the gray outlines; I compensated as I stitched but sometimes if it is difficult to see you can wait and compensate after all the full stitches are placed. I finished stitching one area before I began another.  I also left the bottom 4 to 5 rows unstitched until I establish the flowers on the bottom.

14-03-12 stitch diagramsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love the Nobuko stitch and it does work up fast so I used this for the baby bunny. And I decided that a Double Nobuko would work for Mom bunny. The diagrams of the  shows the plan for offsetting both the Nobuko and the Double Nobuko, but like I said I tried to figure out where to place the stitches so I had theOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA least compensation so this may not be the exact placement I used.

When I moved to another area (let’s say the med pink of the face) I offset the stitch by one thread and stitched a full row across the area and then filled in as necessary above and below this base line I established. I continued in this manner for the nose/upper head and ear areas of the baby bunny. In the smaller areas I tried to figure out where I could place the most whole stitches so that compensation was kept to a minimum.

14-03-12 small & lg stitchesI could have used any number of stitches and I have shown you a few in the diagrams here. Not only can you expand a stitch but you can also create similar pattern stitches to use in your needlepoint. Ann Strite-Kurz has written some excellent books (any of her books are good)  on this subject: Potpourri of Pattern; The Science of Canvas Embroidery; and Stitch Variations and Mutations; Diaper Patterns. You can see her books and kits here (http://www.needleartworks.com/dsgnr/ask/askimages.htm), but I think you order directly from her. She also writes a column in Needlepoint Now (http://www.needlepointnow.com/), Using Common Stitches in Uncommon Ways.” You will get more ideas for stitch patterns to use here too.

But back to Mom & Me… I finished stitching Mom and baby bunny but left the bottom several rows unstitched until I figure out the flower design which I am working out on the computer first. I know the width I have to work with and I also have an approximate height so I am hoping this won’t be a big deal. I have an idea in my head and I hope it works out. I am stitching the pink of the bunnies ears in padded Gobelin…baby is Straight Gobelin Mom will be Diagonal Gobelin. Noses for both are Basketweave.

Again, this week the weather is spring like but by Wednesday the killjoy weather people are predicting white stuff…I’m hoping they are off their rockers. But whatever the day brings I know that spring is coming and I can hardly wait!

Thank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch everyday! ttfn…sue

Books to start the new year

My DH is getting good at using my Amazon Wish List and I am grateful. This year I was getting ready to order my usual Christmas book for myself when two packages arrive from Amazon. Since I hadn’t ordered anything I asked DH and low and behold they were for me…lucky me getting the perfect gift something from my want list and a Christmas read too. 😉
My 2012 Christmas books are:

Granny Square Book
Granny Square Book

The Granny Square Book by Margaret Hubert. I can’t knit one stitch but crochet is up my alley and Granny squares are a three generation favorite in my family. And January is yarn sale month at Joann’s and local knit shop so I think I see a Granny Square something in my future. As I looked through this book all I could think about was Carrie Hall who had wanted to make a quilt of each pattern available, but soon decided that was an impossible task and so settled on trying to making one of every quilt block she knew. This quilt block collection is part of Spencer Gallery of Art at KU (http://www.spencerart.ku.edu/ ) Lawrence Kansas and the subject of the book, The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall and Rose Kretsinger. The different granny squares remind me of those quilt blocks. Maybe I’ll make a quilt with different crocheted blocks.

The Pattern Book
The Pattern Book

The next book is The Pattern Library Needlepoint, edited by Amy Carrol. I have a friend who has this book; I have always liked it and have had it on my want list even when it wasn’t always available. This 96 page book has many of the typical stitches with stitch diagrams and uses (i.e. Gobelin, knitting stitch, diagonal mosaic…) but each of these stitches is shown stitched using different color threads to make a pattern within the stitch. There are 15 pages of bargello patterns, and a section on borders, stripes and corners. It’s a great little reference book for any needlepoint library. Note: I think I noticed in Amy Bunger’s January newsletter (http://www.amybunger.com/home.html), she has one for sale too.

Embroidered Portraits
Embroidered Portraits

My final gift book is: Embroidered Portraits by Jan Messent. Jan writes great how to books that are full of good advice and inspiration. She shows faces in full, profile and three-quarter, some are stitched and some are painted. She layers the areas and gives hints on stitching. I had forgotten from my art class days that woman’s necks appear longer than men’s necks…it’s one of those things you know but the reminder is refreshing. I really liked this book and I am even contemplating making a portrait of my grandmother in needlepoint.

Three heads
Three heads

When you have three good books to start the new year, the year is off to a good start! Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to stitch today!

Next finishing project

Day before yesterday, while in the workroom I noticed this snowman that needs to be finished. There are really two but this one spoke to me.  The other needs a large (2 inch) white (silver would work) sleigh bell that I have not been able to locate this holiday season. Someone must have had a serious sleigh bell craving in the Midwest, all my craft shops did not have any. One will show up I’m sure maybe after the stores take inventory. I stitched both of these during the holidays,  I try to remain festive in all the chaos  ;-)… Anyway, this year I decided not to put out the snow-people decorations until after the Santa’s and Nativities go back in their boxes. I really have too many collections and need to spend so serious time this year parring them down to a manageable amount. Hard to do, when I love them all…oh well I’ll just keep them all and then let someone else worry about them.


Like I said this one spoke to me and said I need something white behind me otherwise I am going to look really dirty. This is an Under the Rainbow (http://www.undertherainbowdesigns.com/) canvas #259 Snowman with stocking. I think these canvas come  with stitch/thread guide suggestions but I have had my canvas so long that the guide was lost. I usually read these guides if I have them, but usually do my own thing anyway.  






The snow man was stitched in skip tent using Caron’s snow and then I outlined the areas with a wrapped back stitch in snow also. Scarf is alternating rows of overlapping oblong crosses using 1 ply of Rainbow Tweeds red (RT33) and white (RT01). His stocking is the Rainbow Tweed threads red (RT33) and dk red ( RT06): bottom stitched in Encroaching Gobelin and the cuff is a Diagonal Gobelin with a row of tent. Mittens are directional mosaic stitched with Rainbow Tweed green (RT10), then I over-stitched the cuffs with 1 ply dk green Rainbow Tweed (RT10). His hat is Ribbon Floss or Rainbow Gallery Neon Rays Black . I stitched the body in a brick pattern over 4 threads. His brim was first padded using the satin stitch method with DMC #5 perle cotton, then free-form Satin stitches were laid over padding. I finished the edges to make them appear smoother with Stem or Outline Stitch using the Ribbon Floss (and no I did not lay this). Hat band is green ribbon floss in horizontal satin stitch and the snowflake is a sequin from my stash that I cut off one or two legs to fit…could not find the holly berry button in my stash. His nose is a wrapped padded Satin Stitch. His eyes are two colors (opps) #6 beads and mouth are seed beads. His buttons baby buttons. Packages are stitched with Kreinik threads in Gobelin stitches. The background is DMC #8 perle cotton stitched in a snowflake pattern and the ground is a combination pattern stitched with snow and DMC #8 perle cotton.So you can tell this is a very open stitched snowman and background. The shading from the painted canvas shows through the stitching and so I did not have to shade him.   


So yesterday I gave Mr Snowman a white backing before I blocked him. I can finish simple stand ups…another thing for my around-to-it  list. I thought maybe someone would be interested in this so I am posing the pictures of his backing. It is just a piece of white felt cut to fit and tacked in place using the stitches on the back to secure. Now he’s on the blocking board and will be finished another day.

I have almost decided I need to make a list of things to do but I do so dislike lists, they seem so calculating and confining. Lists overwhelm me then I sometimes get noting done, bu then again without a list I forget what I need to be doing…Oh the quandary..to list or not to list…