More of the Butterfly

Had to take a small break to finish some instructions for a teacher but now I am back to stitching  along.  I decided a few things about the butterfly:

2015-07-17 MS Butterfly unstitchedI am doing the same stitch throughout. Nobuko and I would compensate as needed. The aqua and red dots will be Rhodes stitches to fit area. Butterfly body is going to be Gobelins, his topknot will be couched gold, and the antennas will be left for couching too (Rhodes stitches for the ends of antennas too).

Color choices are dark values for back wing and light values for front wing. These are also the colors used in the kids clothes.

I also decided to take a close up picture and I would later go back and couch the gold and red outlines. Then I realized I will have to stitch the cloud and sky before I couch the butterfly.

Since this is going to be a HOT week-end (I think summer has finally arrived in the Midwest USA…but gratefully it has stopped raining); it will be a great week-end to stitch.

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

Bunny two and ditto snow

Tangent 1…The last two sentences about snow at the end of the last blog are being repeated here; I really should just say “ditto.” … “2-4 inches as of noon weather report. I have enough snow on the ground …this is getting old and cold!”  Last night 2 more inches and so it is getting really OLD and is really COLD. Enough already! For an area that was supposed to get only 13 inches of snow, we are already well above 26 inches. I heard the weatherman (same one that predicted 13 inches for the season) say this was the last significant snowfall of the season…don’t think I’ll be putting the snow shovel away too soon on his forecasting abilities.

Tangent 2…Last November I won the drawing from Jane at Chilly Hollow for the Brenda Hart book Stitches for the Millennium. (http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2010/11/and-winner-is.html ). I set it aside during the holidays and between Christmas and New Year I spent some quality time with, hot tea or chocolate and my new book acquisitions (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/naughty-or-nice-must-have-been-really-good/ ).  I really like this book and will use it often. Thank you Jane for picking my name. I made a few mental notes about canvases in my stash where certain stitches might work well… BUT I have a question about drawings and contests: Do you enter contests just to be entering a contest or does the contest have to be something you want; would like to try; or would use? If you have won a contest, do you use what you won, how?  I try not to enter contest just for the sake of wining something. I hope the people who enter and win contests/drawings intend to use what they win or really love what they win if it is something already completed.

Meat of the blog…

I thought I’d look in The Brenda Hart book for stitches. So with book in hand, a cup of hot chocolate and my canvas I set down and picked stitches I though could be used for the bunny: Nobuko, Mosaic variation, Slanted Brick, Scotch variations, Hungarian with tent, Scalloped Diamonds, Double Brick, Ming variation, and Slanting Rhodes. I felt like I really only needed 6 stitches at the most for the larger areas. I thought the white areas needed straight stitches and the black areas slanting stitches, slanted in different directions. I am using 1 strand of Appleton wool for the white and black and my old Orchidee for the gray outlines.

The white areas were easy; I decided that the Double Brick over 4 would work for the front and back body of the bunny. The front will have more compensation than the back but I am going to stitch over the green carrot tops as I am going to stitch them later. His head needed to be a simple stitch that would fit into the narrow area without compensation (see red stitches in picture); a simple Parisian stitch would work best here.  I have already started the white areas and about done…what can I say but “cold & snow make for great stitching time!”

His eyes are tent stitches stitched with floss, his mouth a Horizontal Gobelin stitches with floss and I think I will try plaited stitches in floss for his nose but if all else fails a padded Gobelin will work too.

The head did not have a good place to reverse diagonal stitches and so I decided a simple Mosaic stitch would work for both the front and back of the head. It will give the slant of the other black stitches; but is small enough that the one directional slant will not detract from the reversing slants of the other areas. I started this area on the front to make sure I liked it and to fit the Mosaic stitch (see purple stitch) around the Parisian stitch without a lot of compensation. The purple stitch was the first Mosaic stitched I placed and then stitched the remaining stitches using the diagonal method of placement. This will help minimize the distortion caused by the straight stitches. If I had stitched the Mosaic stitch in either horizontal of vertical rows there would have been even more distortion. I always try to stitch on the diagonal when possible.

The bottom of his feet I would like to do in directional Slanted Bick stitches and compensate stitches for color changes, keeping compensation to a minimum if possible. His front paws, and the areas on the back bunny piece (excluding the head) will also be Nobuko. The carrot I plan to slightly pad and use Epic wool in oranges for the body. The tops are going to be Cast-on Bullions using overdyed green perle cotton. And of course his tail is going to be uncut Turkey Work, but I may do this without the tinker toy and allow random lengths. I have not given much thought to his ears yet but I’m sure something will click.

I think that’s about it for now and until the thaw I will be stitching…this year appears to be making significant dents in my “round toit” canvas stash…another good thing…room for more shopping.

Stay warm and safe… AND I hope everyone will have time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

Cat & Bunny

My cat does not play with my threads and usually never bothers any of my needlework. (I have a friend with a cat that steals her threads and hides them.) My cat is very polite most of the time, BUT when she decides she needs to be loved nothing stops her! Usually when I’m stitching she will just sit on the arm of the chair and stare at me until I am guilted into loving her. But this week she plopped on my lap; I think she thought I was petting her as I pulled my threads through the canvas. I let her sit there until she finally decided the window had ample sun to warm her and off she went.

Back to bunny…I know this canvas is no longer available but it is fun to stitch. 10 mesh is so fast to stitch, don’t need magnification or extra light and I am not striping or laying most of the threads. Keep in mind this canvas 15 inch x 11.5 inch would only be about 8 inches x 6.5 inches on an 18 mesh canvas. And so even though this canvas is no longer available, I can experiment with stitches and techniques.

I’ve finished the background and marked where the carrot tops were painted. I’ve started the bunny and am using the Nobuko stitch for him. I am reversing the direction of the stitches and trying to limit the compensation stitches because of change in color. Since I am using 4 ply wool knitting yarn I am keeping my thread length short about 15 to 18 inches. The thread does not seem to be wearing as I stitch but I have noticed it untwists more than say Appleton or another non stranded thread. I really like the color and it is easy to use.  The dark gray is from my stash, it is an old Orchidee yarn; since I only need a bit of this dark gray and I decided to use it.  If I had not had this color I would have bought the darker value of the same knitting wool I am using.

Before I began stitching I used a picture to play with stitches on the canvas; I do love that I can do this. I printed off the head area and even though I may change the placement of stitches as I stitch at least I had an idea the effect I wanted. Even if you do not have a computer program that allows you to play with stitches on the picture you can do this too. You can either take a picture of your canvas with a digital canvas and print it or make a copy using a flatbed desktop printer. You can print in gray scale using either method, consult you printer, and if not just use a color copy. Many copy machines will allow you to enlarge the area and also to set the grayscale desired. Then you can use colored pens or pencils to draw the stitches directly on the copy.

I’ve been watching the news this morning about all the snow on the east coast…I hope everyone is staying warm and safe. And I hope all those of you who stitch stay warm, safe and stitch!

Hope everyone has time to stitch today. ttfn…sue

A heart for all

You all are so sweet to read my blog, I want to share a Valentine with you.

I have been reading about Stumpwork: A Beginner’s guide to Stumpwork by Kay Dennis (http://www.amazon.com/Beginners-Guide-Stumpwork-Kay-Dennis/dp/0855328703/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266015043&sr=8-3 )  and A-Z of Stumpwork from Country Bumpkin Publications (http://www.countrybumpkin.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=40&products_id=432817) … Both stumpwork books available at Nordic Needle ( http://www.nordicneedle.com/ ) I am also reading Ann Strite-Kurz  (http://www.needleartworks.com/dsgnr/ask/askimages.htm)  book Stitch Variations and Mutations. I decided to play around with these for Valentines Day and this is one of my results.

 

I made the heart outline on the computer and then stitched it on a 10 inch square canvas, eyeball centering it. I stitched the red and white band down the center using 1 strand DMC #5 Perle Cotton: red (321) and white (blanc) in a Scotch Stitch variation (later will fill some centers with red bead). Then I stitched the left red and white band using the same threads and Scotch stitch in a different variation. I repeated the threads on the right band with still a different Scotch stitch variation with a French knot in the center of four areas.

Next I did the cherries using DMC Floss red (321). First I used a red pilot pen and marked the placement on the canvas, I free-handed mine but you can use the dots on the canvas graph as a guide. I stitched the cherries in the following order: felt padded, thread padded, and basketweave.

Felt Cherry: I attached three layers of felt to the canvas with 1 ply of DMC floss red (321), starting with the smallest and ending with the largest. Over this I placed a layer of stitches going the opposite direction of the last stitches using 6 ply red floss. Then I placed the last layer of stitches over everything. And finally using 3 ply of red (321) floss made the Jessica around the cherry. Remember some Jessica stitches slip under other Jessica stitches.

Thread Padded Cherry: Using 6 ply red (321) DMC floss I stitched the padding stitches going the opposite direction of the final stitches. I stitched the padding stitches twice. Over the padding stitches I stitched the final satin stitches using 6 ply red (321) floss, carefully laying the threads. Around this cherry is another complete Jessica using 3 ply red floss.

Basketweave Cherry: I used 4 ply (You may need 6 ply depending on you tension.) to basketweave a partial cherry behind the thread padded cherry. I also did a partial Jessica around this cherry using 3 ply red floss.

I made the leaves off to the side using a method I found in the Stumpwork books for making wire leaves. I also learned that when you do Stumpwork you incorporate needlelace techniques too. I was too excited to see how the cherries would look, I added the leaves and stems. DO NOT DO THIS…patience is a virtue and it sure makes stitching the background easier if you wait.

All the backgrounds are stitched using 1 strand DMC Flouch .

Upper Left Background: Stitch the background of the cherry area using 1 strand white (blanc) DMC Flouch. This is a Woven stitch stitches in rows from left to right and right to left. I started I the corner where the red and white bands meet.

Upper Right Background: With 1 strand white Flouch I stitched this area with a backstitch starting again in the corner where the red and white band meet. Stitch all the rows in one direction before beginning the rows that are perpendicular to first rows.

Lower Left Background: Traditional Nubuko stitched with 1 strand flouch. My long stitch (over 3) meets the red and white bands in the corner.

Lower Right Band: Decided I need to repeat the green and brown and so in this small area I stitched a reverse Nubuko using 1 strand white flouch for all the long stitches (over 3). The small over 1 stitches are alternating rows of either 2 ply green (890) DMC Floss or 2 ply brown (840) DMC Floss. I started with a green/white row.

Now I would make the leaves…I used two 12 inch pieces of 28 gauge green wire. The center vein is 2 ply green (890) DMC floss wrapped over the 2 wires at the end to make 4ply vein. This 2 ply vein thread should be at least 24 inches long to begin. Do not cut off it will be used later to attach leaves to back of canvas. Over the two wires and the 4 ply vein I wove 3 ply of green floss back and forth from the tip of the leaf to the open ends of the wire. Use a lon-n-ng 3 ply thread and weave snuggly…do not end thread, it will also be used to attach leaves to back of canvas. My leaves are about 1¼ inch long.

Before apply the leaves I made the wrapped back stitches stems using 3 ply brown (840) floss.

I attached the leaves to the canvas by slipping the wires through the front of the canvas to the back. I also placed the extra 4 ply vein thread and the remaining 3 ply weaving to the back side of the canvas.  I secured the wires to the canvas along the stem stitch lines with the 4 and 3 plies of remaining floss.

I was going to place this heart in a red tray, but that won’t work stumpwork does not work well under glass. So now my thought is a box, I would love to find a shinny red one or a picture frame. I can picture both so I will wait and maybe next year it will be finished finished.

Hope these instructions, picture and graph are clear to you should you decide to try my project. I am going to write up the instructions and use pictures and hope to publish on a website that my DH is going to attempt to build for me soon…I hope.

We are expecting more of the white glitter that falls from the sky, BUT I am not going to complain. My best friend’s daughter lives in Alexandria Virginia and she can complain. I talked with her this week and she has 30 plus inches of snow in her yard. She has 2 young sons who no more get outside than they need to come in…”I’m cold…I’m done playing now…I need to get…I gotta go.”  Been there, bought that snowsuit.

But if you are lucky enough to be able to stitch this week-end you might also want to listen to the Gone Stitching blog. I have no monetary interest in this website but I think it is so interesting and such a great addition to the needlepoint community. I found a couple months back and have downloaded 10 episodes to my I-touch but haven’t figured out how I did it so I still have to download the rest. BUT I have listened to every episode and found them all very entertaining and informative. Go to their new website (http://www.gonestitching.net/index.php/?SID=a4vhk4v2dn9541e1pdhhfro1e1 ) and you will see the blog link. There is also a great contest beginning there too. Check it out!

I am not thinking about the snow anymore…I’m just wishing you the warmest of week-ends, great stitching and

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

ttfn…sue