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.


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 ( 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


Overdye: Puddle Stitching

Anne Stradal’s ( wrote me last Friday and asked if I cut the overdyed thread to puddle stitch (see comments: So I decided that if Anne didn’t understand what I was trying to write I’m sure there are others too, so let’s talk about overdyes and puddle stitching.

13-09-30 overdye thread

I do not cut the overdye thread in this instance. Here is a graphic of a length of an overdye thread; I have numbered each segment with an arbitrary number of stitiches (10-8-12-6-etc…). Notice that there are three circled 10’s; these are the beginning of the repeat. The numbering has no significance in puddle stitching other than to show the repeat and the number of stitches I arbitrarily assigned to each area.
13-09-30 overdye stitchesThe next graphic shows this overdye thread stitched in Continental Horizontal rows (top left), Basketweave (bottom left) and then puddle stitching on the right. I attached the sequence numbering to all these so you could compare to the first graphic and follow he sequence of stitching. The puddle stitching is a bit hard to follow but you can and there is no method to this it is just a random thing.
Puddle stitching is nothing but a group of stitches randomly placed together to form a puddle of color. You could call this method a glob, blob, whatever you choose to call it…but then it would have to be glob stitching, blob stitching and I like puddle stitching best. Remember this is not my technique I learned it from John Waddell (  in his Fun with Overdye class.
If this has confused you more I am sorry but just drop me note and I’ll see if I can do better or take a class from John, he’s really good.
Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today!

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 ( 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 ( 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: 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.

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!