Back to Mom & Me

I finished stitching the flowers and leaves and filled in the green leaf areas. I used an overdye for the leaf area and stitched one area at a time. I thought I would go from side to side across the entire piece but I did not like the look and so I frog stitched it out and tried one area at a time. I tried to get each area alike but when I was finished I think the two left are similar and the two right are similar…oh well, it is stitched.

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Up close I am not impressed with the flower area but as you get some distance to the piece I do like the look and since I have a finishing idea in mind (more about this later) I think it will be fine. And anyway as my friend says, “If your close enough to my piece to see my mistakes; you are too close.” So if you are going to be this close to the piece you are too close.

After I finished the flowers I went back and filled in the bunnies and since I had the white thread out I got carried away and stitched the bunny tails in Turkey work. Mom’s tail has longer loops than baby bunny. I thought at first I would trim and brush Mom’s tail but I like the different lengths and think I will leave them both loopy. I probably should have waited until I finished the back ground but, oh well…

I have started the background and am using ThreadworX’s floss. I am puddling the stitches, I really like this technique for overdyes. Puddling keeps thread from developing a striped effect like you can get when you stitch horizontally, vertically or diagonally. The only thing I have found that I have to watch is making sure I don’t develop huge areas of one color. Some overdyes have a tendency to have larger areas of one color than another and if not careful you can develop large areas of one color. Helpful hint: cut out large areas of one color.

Last fall I showed you how to stitch the puddle method with a continuous uncut overdyed thread, like Watercolours (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/overdye-puddle-stitching/). With ThreadworX it is a slightly bit different because these threads are cut into given OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAlengths of thread. When you open a skein of ThreadworX’s and lay it out there will be an “A” end and a  “B” end and it may appear the same as an overdye that has been cut from an uncut overdyed thread (like Watercolours). The difference is that ThreadworX’s threads are consistently similar where Watercolours may vary a bit as the skein is used because of the dying method.

14-04-25 Mom & Me background stitch aWhen I puddle stitch I randomly pull ply and stitch. I do keep “A” ends together and “B” Ends together; if you don’t then you will get a blended effect and that is another way to stitch with overdyes. For my purposes in this design I am keeping the “A”  ends and “B”  ends together in the needle…BUT I am randomly deciding which ends (“A”  or “B” ) goes into the needle.

14-04-25 Mom & Me background stitch cExample: With one strand of thread, using 2 ply in the needle to stitch, there are three stitching lengths in a thread  per strand: 2 ply A-B, 2 ply A-B, 2 ply A-B (Oh I knew those math classes in school were for something…remember those teachers that said you would use these principles in life?). I divide these threads and place them in three needles 2 ply A-B, 2 ply A-B AND 2 ply B-A. (it could have been any combination…remember that math week on variables…this is an applied use and for all you math geeks out there…it is 5 choices.)  Then I pick a needle stitch with this needle, then I randomly pick another needle and last the final needle (and this variable greatly increases but I missed that day in math class.). I have no idea which is which (well I do but I don’t pay any attention and just stitch). I continue to do this throughout the piece. And I also vary the placement of the stitches so a pattern does not develop.

14-04-25 Mom & Me background stitch bOkay, Math class is over and I need to get back to stitching the background. For this background I chose a four way continental stitched over 2 threads…I wanted an open background that would allow the painted background to interact with the thread. I didn’t want to lay every thread and so I borrowed a technique from Cross Stitcher’s, “Railroading.” Railroading is where you place the needle between two plies as you return the needle to the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAback of the canvas. I have Cross Stitch friends who can do this with any amount of even plies (2-4-6) but I can only do it successfully with two ply and usually on longer stitches. You can see the technique in the picture.

Hopefully next week will have it finished and then need to decide if I am tackling the finishing or sending it to my trusty finisher…Part of me wants to learn to do this and another part of me says you traded that sewing machine for a laptop and stitching. How many of you tackle your own finishing?

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

Quick point

Does anyone do Quick Point anymore? I do, only when my niece asked me to stitch a stocking for her new daughter-in-law. (Keep in mind, I seldom do quick-point and even less often do I do Christmas stockings. But this was a tradition stared by her mother-in –law and I do do traditions…plus I’m a pushover when a niece asks for something…remember me, only child Mother of three sons and six grandsons…I live in a male world. Okay, I have three lovely daughter-in-laws and three granddaughters but we are still a minority! I digress…)

My niece and I decided that all the in-laws would have the same sex appropriate stocking with their names…boy or girl snow people. We had a boy, left over from 12-6-12 balletthe 1st set…I just could not bring myself to stitch a snowman for my niece and so I had a ballerina with red hair painted for her. But of course we needed a girl snowperson, and as my luck would have it, none had been painted, but it was a good idea and one could be done. Great! So late last spring our new girl arrived… only now Paternayan yarns were out of production and it was unknown if they would ever produce again. Even the tapestry yarn was limited and I tried to stitch with other threads but did not like the look. I finally decided to bite the bullet and head for a yarn shop, but that did not seem to work either. The thick yarns seemed to fray easily or they did not have the bright colors to blend with the other stockings. Dismayed I fretted through the summer and had about decided a trip to Lawrence Kansas and the Yarn Barn (www.yarnbarnks.com/) was in order…maybe they could $pin and dye the color$ I needed. I figured I would have to get enough to do at least the background color for all five possible future stockings. Before I headed to Lawrence I happen to stop by JoAnn’s Fabric and craft and came across a couple yarns I thought might work if they would hold up and not fray. Their Chenille (http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/newchenille.html) would have been great for the snow people but it did not stitch well, frayed. Hometown USA

yarn

yarn

(http://www.lionbrand.com/yarns/hometownUSA.html?categoryKey=1694622&start=0&pageLength=15) seemed the best choice for my needs. The colors were mostly clear and crisp, it did not fray or pill while stitching. The white stitched well but would the dark blue do as well without painting? Quick try of the dark blue and I was off to buy yarns.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wanted to do some decorative stitches and so I experimented in the margins. I always like to have extra space around the canvas to play…a doodle place of sorts. I tried plying the strand; there are 4 ply to each strand. I stitched with 2 ply successfully and used this method on the apron and hat.  The top of the hat is stitched using 2 ply light blue in a reversing continental, the bottom is 1 strand light blue in an

Hat and eyes

Hat and eyes

Encroaching Gobelin. The area is separated with 2 ply green stitched in an outline stitch.

The eyes are 2 ply black Rice Stitches and the mouth is 2 ply French knots

The Apron is three colors of yarn: light blue, green and bright blue. The edgings are

Apron

Apron

overlapping cross stitches and the plaid at the bottem is filled with cross stitches in green and light blue . All used a full strand except cross stitches, they were 2 ply.

The arms are wrapped fly stitches using a full strand of yarn and pulled snugly.  The candy cane is a full strand of yarn stitched over a padding thread used to raise the candy cane to appear as high as the arms. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The wreath was going to be 2 stands of green French Knots filled with a strand of the yellow French Knots but it looked skimpy so I redid using a full strand of the green yarn. The bow was tied on after all French knots are in place and I anchored the knot wit two over stitches and also anchored the ends with French knots.

wreath

wreath

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Snow girls is embellished with a store bought button for the hat and twisted DMC Memory Thread for her nose.

Finished and hanging by Christmas is not going to happen but it is stitched. I safety pined it to a bag so it can hang and have a present added…after Christmas will send to finisher. I have a friend who stitches pieces and gives to someone for one occasion and then has it finished for another occasion…pretty smart idea considering the cost of some needlepoint…maybe she could stretch it to three occasion gift by giving canvas and threads first, then stitched, then finished…Humm, I wonder if I could try that?

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This is the end of my Christmas stitching for this year with one exception, I’ll show you that Christmas day. It’s a surprise! I hope this little project helps anyone with a quick point piece in their stash to find the yarn to stitch their piece. My biggest hope is that the company that has purchased the Paternayan rights will also produce Quick point yarn too. I can dream, but if not I hope Lion brand does not discontinue their bulky line.

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

Bunny Progress

Good thing our streets are clean and my DH could get out this morning, otherwise we might have had to put sleeping pills in his coffee. I think he was beginning suffering from Cabin Fever, Brain Freeze or Snow Stupor, and maybe a combination of all. Yesterday, out of the clear blue he asked me if I was stitching the bunny because it was the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. I simple answered that I obviously needed to do more shopping, since my 100 or so rabbits with blue coats and carrots collection was too small for him to notice. That sent him to his computer and I did not hear from him until lunch.  

The then news media announced the Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney Pa didn’t see his shadow and they would have an early spring. Well congratulations to the Pennsylvania folks; I am very happy for them and envious too. Because here in the Midwest, the rodent would have to have been blind not to see his shadow and so I’m guessing with out -10 degree temperatures with a wind chill of -15 it will be at least 6 more weeks until we see crocus and jonquils popping up through this snow. 

And with this bone chilling weather I am so-o-o-o very happy that I can stitch, compute and read. With my blanket (camouflage army liner for sleeping bag supplied by 2nd son from his army days, too warm) shared by Lucy and hot chocolate, I’m as snug as a bug in a rug! I can zone out and only have to face the harsh reality of the snow and cold when either Lucy needs to go out (and that is only when her eyes turn green and she’s walking with all four legs crossed) or I need more hot chocolate, nature or food calls me.  

The bunny is progressing nicely his coat and tail are completed and I have cut the felt for the tulips. Hopefully,  by the end of the today I should be finished with him and he should be heading to the finisher on Friday or Saturday. I do have a problem but it is not with the stitching, it is the materials I am planning on using. I decided the tulips should be appliqued and I am using felt. I had all but the one pink and so last week I headed out to find a pink that I could use. I was open to the possibility that my pink could be the lightest or the middle value. I went to two local national craft stores and then to the national fabric store. The felt is awful compared to what I bought just last year. I purchased one but it is almost paper-thin as you can see in the picture. Since I was at the fabric store I checked both in the craft area and the cut fabrics; most of the felts were thinner than ever, some were thicker but you could tell these colors were not the most popular colors and were probably older. When I got home I noticed that felt I purchased last year (yellow) was better than the felt I just purchased but was also a bit lighter than the stuff I’ve had for several years. I took a picture, hope you can see the differences…the top row are felts I have had, yellow is felt I purchased I last two years and pink is the newest. Since I seldom use felt and I have a nice stash of the older felt for my purposes I will have time to research and study other alternatives, but I sure feel sorry for those felt artists that love to work with this media, I thought the felt I saw was of poor quality. If you are a felt designer or artist out there, where do you get your felt and have you seen a difference in the quality of felt?

Okay, enough of the felt box stand, back to my stitching plan. I am planning to stitch the carrots with 2 colors of Epic wool (persimmon and sienna) in padded satin stitches. I’m going to pad the carrots with orange #3 DMC perle cotton. I will slant the stitches on three of the carrots to match the slant they are painted. I am planning on doing the leaves with a Radial Satin stitch using all 3 ply of the Emerald Watercolours as it comes out of the skein (I am NOT stripping this thread). I will then use #3 DMC perle cotton very dark green (890) to place the veins on the leaves in an Outline/Stem stitch when the leaves are completed. I’m going to stitch the center portion of the tulips in a Diagonal Mosaic with a dark value pink, medium value yellow and light value purple #3 DMC perle cotton to blend with my felts. Then I am going to stitch the petals of the tulips using felt and padding. I made one master petal pattern and then adjusted it according to the tulips on the canvas. I have also cut the appropriate padding from quilt batting that I keep for finishing ornaments and padding appliques. After all the flowers and carrots are complete I plan on stitching the carrot tops in a Fly stitch using 4mm overdyed green silk ribbon; and I will stitch the tulip stems in a Wrapped Chain Stitch using #3 DMC perle cotton very dark green. The basket will be stitched with #3 DMC perle cotton very dark brown (838) and Walnut Watercolours (NOT striped). I’m going to pad the very top with dark brown perle cotton 3 or 4 times and cover with an Overlapping Cross Stitch so it will look like a lip to the basket. Directly below this I am going to pad again with perle cotton 2-3 times and stitch a Diagonal Gobelin over this using the dark brown perle cotton very forth stitch and filling in with Watercolours. The body of the basket will be stitched in rows: #3 DMC perle cotton very dark brown (838) used for the Continental Stitch outlines filed with a giant rectangular Flat Stitch using the unstripped Watercolours.

Okay enough with the planning, off to get more hot chocolate, and then to some serious stitching today. Can’t believe I might have three posts in the same week…see there are some good things to come from cold and snow.

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