Blue Bird Flowers: Rest of the Flowers

Please keep France in your thoughts and  prayers. Our world needs more peacemakers and less hate mongers.

I’m running a few weeks maybe a month behind in my postings verses my stitching. Most of these flowers were stitched during Major League playoffs and World Series but I can’t write that fast. I don’t know how some of the needlepoint ladies post almost every day…I’m lucky to do one a week. But that’s a whole other story.

2015-18-12 BB o stitch guide

2015-18-12 BB j green flower 1I started the green flowers (#7 Stitch guide above) by stitching all centers first in French Knots with yellow floss. Then around the French Knots I used blue #12 perle to make Cast on Bullion Knots. If you all have been following me for any time you will remember back in February I told you about the new needles I bought

(https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/hari-kuyo-broken-needle-celebration/). They have been lying around my stitching nests

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

waiting to be tried. So I decided this was a good area to experiment with these not so new needles. I used the Chenille needles to make these Cast-on Bullions in the green flowers. Cast-on Bullions are different from Bullions Knots: Bullion Knots you just wrap the thread around the needle; with Cast-on Bullions you twist the thread like you were casting on stitches for knitting. Depending on how you do this casting on decides how the Cast-on 2015-18-12 BB d Cast onBullion will look. Casting on the same turn every stitch will make the bullion twist in a corkscrew like manner. Casting on every other turn will give you a more jagged turns. These knots were fun to do but time consuming. Then I filled in the green areas with Woven Plaited Stitch and then more Bullions in white perle. I think these flowers took me the four American 2015-18-12 BB e BullionLeague Games to stitch.

 

 

 

2015-18-12 BB f Cast on 1 2015-18-12 BB g Cast on 2 2015-18-12 BB h Cast on 3 2015-18-12 BB i Cast on 4

 

 

 

 

 

2015-18-12 BB k green flower 2The other green flower on the wing was French Knots and the Woven Plait …the Bullions had done me in by then. This flower was stitched with Kreinik green and Confetti pink, perle cotton and floss.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another night I stitched the large yellow flowers on a wing and small side piece. I used yellow silk ribbon again to stitch French knots on stick for the petals and then filled these in with either White perle (small side) or Confetti pink French knots and embellished both with pink beads on the white and green beds on the pink.

 

2015-18-12 BB m spider webAnd then I was down to the three small yellow flowers. I had cut too long a yellow ribbon and so I decided to make spider web flowers with
yellow and pink silk ribbon. I made the base out of perle. These were fun to stitch while
watching the Word Series.
Finally I was done with the flowers but still needed to go back and fill in blue areas around flowers with more basketweave. Next week is Thanksgiving and we will finish up the Melissa Shirley Blue Stitching Bird…

Thank you for stopping by… I hope you find time to stitch today

ttfn…sue

Henny Penny

Henny Penny is one of my take-a-long projects; a some small project I can grab if going in the car, to meeting, to doctor appointment. I got her after a friend in the guild passed away and her family had an estate sale. I know I am kind of slow sometimes but when I first got her I was not sure what I was going to do with her, I didn’t see her as an eyeglass case…was thinking picture / pillow insert. But then while stitching her I lost my sunglass eye case and voila here was my new one…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI stitched the background using four shades of ThreadworX blues and “puddled” the stitches. I believe the term “puddle, puddling” was originated by John Waddell (http://johnwaddellneedlepoint.com/index.html) referring to using an overdye and placing a random block of color in one area by placing all the stitching of one color in the same area rather than just stitching in rows (horizontal, vertical or diagonally). I am showing you the back so you can see OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhere I carried the threads from one area to the next (some marked with black ovals) My puddling was not bad but then I also tried Anne Stradal’s (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) method of blending one color into the next with a few random stitches places in the next areas. This was not as successful especially at the top around the head. Sometimes one technique is enough…the KISS principle Kept It Simple Sue.

 
But it is an eyeglass case and unless the Smithsonian contacts me soon that they would like this piece of stitching memorabilia it probably will not be in use in 5 years. Yes, some stitching does have a shelve life and some that should not have a shelf life do too…I have a thing about seeing finished needlework at Estate Sales, flea markets, and thrift stores (my blog: https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2010/12/23/rescued/). I try to avoid these encounters as much as possible. I know our families probably will not want all out addictions but they could offer them to our friends, their friends, and just give them away at the next garage sale before sending them to the thrift store. The thrift store seems so homeless and that tugs at my heart…I don’t visit animal shelters either. But I digress (yet again) this is a whole other blog.

 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnyway I did the background first and then stitched Henny Penny. Notice how I made sure Henny covered the background. Henny was a fun quick stitching piece; but then I got a bee in my bonnet as how to finish. My bank gives away these lovely OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAeyeglass cleaner towelss and they are pretty big (5×8 inches). So I headed to the bank office and of course they were out…so I just kept asking until in sheer frustration they ordered them and I got a few…let’s just say I can do a couple more eyeglass cases should I so desire…And I intend to stockpile a few more, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnever know when they might decide this is too good a deal to continue.  I finished the eyeglass case by lining it with the eyeglass cleaners from the bank and so every time I put my glasses away they at least get the fronts wiped off. And I can pull out the lining and clean glasses, computer screens, tablets…you get the idea. Someone asked me about washing I guess you could hand wash and then when it is dry spray with cleaner stuff and let re-dry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Anyway that’s one of the many irons in my fire that can be removed…a finally finished project. I wish I had more FFPs than Works in Progress (WiP)…because some days I feel really overwhelmed. But today I am off to work on the Value of Gray, sit outside on this beautiful fall day and read some of my favorite blogs.
Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to enjoy this beautiful fall day and stitch today!
ttfn…sue

Shamrock Stitching

Since my last posting, I have been to the eye doctor and she told me my eyes are the same as last year and I am good for another year. That is good news since my eyes are as important to me for stitching and computing too.
I have been stitching in my spare time, of which sometimes I think I have precious little. But every day I try to do a little bit, it keeps my sanity.
I am working on several things, some are further along than others and some are still in the “mulling over in my mind” stage.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne is a small piece, shamrocks with a pink bow, my friend Joan Lewis painted for me several years ago. Joan and I worked together at Two the Point for years and now she has a website with many of her original designs (http://www.joansneedlepoint.com/index.htm ) She’s another one of the talented inspirations in my life.
13-01-25 wovenI started the background with one of my favorite stitches, the Woven or T-stitch (just depends on whose book you are using.) I like this stitch as a background stitch; it seems to recede and remain in the background when with a thread that is the same color and the size of the thread is smaller or equal to the canvas thread size. This stitch can be worked two ways: diagonally, which I prefer, but then I like any stitch that can be stitched diagonally…I think it helps reduce the distortion of the canvas, or the stitch may be executed in rows. Notice the pink and blue on the diagrams…these are the stitch on the back of the canvas and they influence the look of the stitch on the front of the canvas. The difference is not noticeable when using a thread that is the same or similar to the painted portion of the canvas or the canvas color. 13-01-25 woven 2Where it would make a difference is when the stitch is executed in rows and the thread is a contrasting color or even a different value of color; remember color effects color! The diagonal method of stitching seems to hide the back part of the thread behind the canvas threads more but a contrast of color or value change will affect the stitch appearance, but maybe not as dramatically as the row method of stitching.
I soon realized I was going to need a place other than the outside border to begin, end threads and turn for new row; so I stopped the Woven stitch and stitched the shamrocks.

13-01-25 rhodes variation shamrock 1Each shamrock petal is stitched in a Rhodes stitch adapted to fill the petal area. I first decided the outlines of each petal (segments) and the order to stitch (could determine which petal appears to be in front of another petal.) Notice that the petals diagramed here have double stitches (two stitches using the same space); not all petals will have these but some may. When I was deciding the order to stitch each petal, the only rule I made for myself was that the last stitch (top stitch) should be as close to the center stitch as possible. As I was diagraming this stitch I noticed a place where I could stitch differently (petal 1) or were I might need an extra stitch to fill the area (petal 2 & 3). The second diagram 13-01-25 rhodes variation shamrock 2shows how these would look if I made these changes (I didn’t think petal 2 would looked better or worse.) Each shamrock was stitched using this method and so no two shamrocks are alike ( oh just like nature).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am also showing you the back of my canvas so you can see how I used the shamrocks as turn around and places to bury background thread. I have a friend who says that if you are close enough to her work to see her mistakes you are too close. And you should never look at the back of a stitchers work unless she offers to let you see it and never ever make a comment about the condition of the back…this stitcher has allowed you a glimpse into her most sacred self… Please be kind.

Now I am back to the contemplating and research stage again for the bow. I can visualize how I want the bow to look and I think I have seen this technique for the bow in one of Helen Stevens’ books I read last year and maybe an Inspirations magazine. Off to my library to look…

Never fear I have something else to stitch while I do this!

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

Snow & Bunny

It’s snowed again in the Midwest; we got 6 ½ inches in my yard. Today it is suppose to give another dusting and Sunday another accumulation. Don’t know why this is such a big deal to everyone (especially the news media…must have nothing else to report)…But here’s a newsflash for everyone…

It is January in the Midwest!

Kids love snow and snowdays, parents hate snow and snowdays, and we stitchers don’t care as long as we have something to stitch. 

This week I spent some time looking though my stash, I was looking to see if there were any canvases I wanted to reconsider as my favorites. My local needlework shop is sponsoring a sell your stash. You pay $5 per item (2.50 goes to the American Heart Association), register each needlepoint canvas, set a price and if and when it sells you will receive a store credit to purchase whatever you like. If you purchase someone else’s canvas you can also purchase threads at a discount. So I headed to my canvas stash box to make some choices and soon realized I will not be parting with my stash. As I was perusing the canvases, so many memories came flooding back…oh I bought that canvas when…and this canvas always reminds me of…

So after about and hour tripping down memory lane I realized I have this thing about painted canvases (I am really a geometric person or a chart stitcher; so when I purchase a painted canvas it really has spoken to my heart.  I seldom stop to think about threads and stitches at the time I purchase the canvas. I think you have to live with a canvas to decide what it will become. Ornaments can become pillow inserts; some canvases need to have a portion omitted or changed; and colors are not written in stone. But one thing is common among all my painted canvases…I love them!

I found an old Sharon G canvas that I know I will never stitch BUT I love the canvas; All Eyes-Keyhole. I know stitching this canvas would never do it justice it is a work of art as is, so I’m taking it to the framer to have a mat cut and I am just going to frame it. I do have a question if anyone would like to weight in on this. The left picture was taken on a black background, the right on a white background. I’m going to use a black mat and frame but which background do you prefer or will it matter?

 

Periodically when I look through this stash box a canvas will jump out at me and say, “It’s my turn!” That happened when I found the bunny with a basket; the canvas was panted by Barbara & Charlotte and has the #bss 4. I don’t know if they still paint canvases or not but this one is sure cute. I collect Peter Rabbits (my Peter Rabbit has to have a blue coat and carrots to be in my collection), so this one will fill the bill if I stitch his coat predominately blue. In my minds eye I could actually see the canvas stitched and finished. I measured it, pulled the stretcher bars, and started to pull the threads…All of a sudden I noticed this canvas was unusual…What size is this canvas mesh? I was thinking 14 but my mind was telling me ???…it is 10 mesh! Oh my gosh I would have never guessed, I’m not sure I have threads to stitch this canvas…Oh good, a justified trip to the LNS (not that I need an excuse or justification)! Off I went, and then I hit a roadblock. I had decided on threads for everything but the rabbit and he was proving to be a real challenge. The gray threads available at my LNS were either to blue gray or too brown gray…not a neutral gray in the bunch.  Someone suggested trying knitting wool and so off I headed to a knit shop. I even took a needle to check that the yarn would cover well… I found a gray that will be great.

So now I have the threads and I have begun to stitch… I’m stitching this canvas front the back to the front. So even though this canvas may not still be available I will keep you posted on the stitches and techniques as I move along.

The background stitch is a woven stitch using #3 DMC pearl cotton. In one book it is called a T-Stitch another Woven Stitch. I stitch it diagonally so I guess the T-stitch would be the name using these two references: T Stitch from June McKnight; Decorative Backgrounds  For Needlepoint; Self Published; 1992. Woven Stitch from Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson; Stitches for Effect; Self Published; 1996. As soon as I get the background and I’m going to cover the green carrot tops, I am going to baste the carrot tops placement on the background for later stitching.

Hope everyone stays warm and has time to stitch everyday. 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