Fini…Bunnies coming and going

 

This bunny is back from the finisher and looking just exactly as I envisioned. I love it! This was such a fun piece to stitch but then why wouldn’t it be… 10 count canvas. I can’t tell you the last time I stitched on 10 count canvas but it had to have been some years ago. I always think 14 count canvas is a pleasure and theolder I get so do my eyes.

I couldn’t wait to share with everyone and even though we are not thru St. Patrick’s Day yet I’m going to leave him sitting out. He’s great eye candy and maybe he will inspire me to put my bunnies out before the week of Easter.

 

 

This bunny is going to the finisher this week.  I thought I’d never get the Turkey Work tail stitched and I have sore fingers to prove it. The ear stitch did not come to me until I completed the tail. Funny how stitches will just pop into you head…this is an extended diagonal cashmere variation; I added 1 more over 2 stitch to each unit and I reversed it for each ear.

Now I am taking a day or two to let my fingers stop throbbing and then I am going to start on eggs. Also have a couple St. Pat designs that could get finished if I hurry.

Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

Bunny & Snow

I’ve decided that February and March are Pneumonia Months…sunny & 70 degrees one day; 7 degrees and snowy the next. Mother Nature is a fickle lady!

I should be computing because I am so far behind I look like I am winning again…or as my sons’ would say, “Mom, we’re getting ready to lap you.”

But this cold weather gives me time to stitch too. GayAnn Rogers http://www.gayannrogers.com/site_2/Home_Page.html  has a 12 stitches a day program going on with stitchers…I’m trying 6 stitching lengths of thread a day, but my fingers are getting calloused doing this Turkey Work. It is also getting very tight in this area. I may have to switch to stitching every other stitch for a couple rows to loosen up the space. I would like to have the bunny finished in time for Easter.

 Okay, sorry this is such a short blog but I need to do some computer work for others and than I would like to stitch today too. Maybe even a nap since it is so fridgen cold!

Hope everyone has time to stitch today!  ttfn…sue

What a week!

The old saying, “Time passes quickly when you’re having fun.” is apropos for this week.  This was the week that was…and truly it went by much too quickly…I’d like another, thank you very much. If nothing else was going on this week the weather was beautiful…and I caught a sever case of Spring Fever!

I could barely keep myself inside this week and had the doors open on several occasions…in February! Lucy sniffed every blade of grass in the yard and even wanted to play soccer. From 2 feet of snow on the ground to 70 degrees, love that Mother Nature!…but Jack Frost will be heard from again and not in the too distant future I’m sure.

It was also Valentine’s Day this week. My valentine bought us a picture I have wanted for a long time…Thomas Jefferson painted by Bob Holloway a local artist. I have several of his pictures and love them all. http://www.bobholloway.com/

I also purchased supplies to try needle felting. It looks like fun and something that could be applied to needlepoint as embellishments. I made a ladybug just to see if I could. Since I am not sure yet…was searching the internet last week and bookmarked several stops but haven’t gotten back to them yet. There will be more to come about needle felting I’m sure.

I also picked up a couple packages of rick rack to make rick-rack flowers. Kathy’s blog Shakl http://www.shawkl.com/search?updated-max=2011-02-11T09%3A21%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=10 told how to do them and I thought they looked like fun and something else that could embellish a needlepoint. When I was a the store picking up needle felting supplies I also picked up two packages of rick rack, I didn’t read the blog close before I left home to know which size to buy. I also bought a rick rack that was one sided (painted). I just had to cut my rick rack and make a couple adjustments. It would have been easier with one color but these turned out just fine for my first try.

Also made a large temari ball. I thought I might participate in Barbra Suess challenge but I may not have enough time since I played this week. You can read all about it and see Barb’s beautiful temari on her blog http://temaribarb.blogspot.com/  or her website  http://www.japanesetemari.com/ . But at least now I have one very large temari ball…unstitched

And poor bunny…well, he is still on the stretcher bars. All the black (except ears) is stitched. Started working on the turkey tuff tail but between the nice weather; trying my new projects; and oh yes I am suppose to be doing computer graphics for a teacher (sh-h-h, maybe she won’t notice it is taking me forever) I haven’t made much progress. I tried to stitch six thread lengths a day but I am about 24 threads behind this week…but who’s counting.

And that’s the week that was in the Midwest…and now I’m off to enjoy the rest of this beautiful day. Lucy and I are taking a walk and then we are cooking on the grill tonight. If Mother Nature wants to tease us, we are going to enjoy every moment!

 I hope everyone has beautiful weather too and if you can squeeze it in…time to stitch!  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

Bunny one, bunny two

I finished the Bunny with the basket of tulips and carrots over the week end. I stitched it just like I said I was going to do last week. Started with the carrots, did the leaves second and then the tulips. I first stitched each tulip with a diagonal mosaic stitch and then placed the padding over the areas. All the tulip petals and padding were cut from the same pattern. I secured the padding and then was going to blind stitch the felt tulip petals onto the canvas. Lucky I started with the pink one…remember I said the felt was poor quality…the invisible stitching was not holding and so I reverted to an improvised decorative stitch using clear thread. If I had known I was going to use a decorative stitch on the petals I would have made sure the thread I used for the centers was available in DMC #12 or 8 perle and then used the #12 or 8 perle to stitch the petals. But this worked out and I didn’t have to frog stitch. Then I did the leaves, followed by the veins on leaves, the stems and the carot tops. Finally I stitched the basket and viola! he is completed.

Bunny with Basket will head for the finisher tomorrow. Hope they can finish him in a thick (3 inch or more) box pillow. He will need a piece of black lining behind the piece since the background stitched with an open background. I had fun stitching this piece and it turned out as I pictured it; hope the finisher will finish like I see it too.

I also make a stitch record for the pieces I stitch and if it will fit on a page front and back I also try to diagram the stitches. This way I have a record of what I do. Should I every have to claim a piece for insurances purposes (Heaven forbid) I have a list of the supplies. And should I want to replicate the piece I also have a record of the stitches and threads I used. If you want to see how I keep records here are two PDF files of this piece: Stitch guide side a  and Stitch guide side B

I usually try and contact the designer of the painted canvas I am using on my blog to get permission to use. Painted canvases are copyrighted designs; but in the case of the Bunny with the basket of tulips and carrots I understand from my local shop both these ladies no longer paint canvases. This is too bad because if I remember correctly they had some really cute canvases and most were painted on larger mesh sizes.

I finished the bunny Saturday but was gone all day to a guild stitch-in (aka to DH as Stitch & _itch.) and yesterday of course was Super Bowl. Didn’t care who won the game just cared that it was a good game and not one sided. It was a good game and the “Darth Vader” commercial was too cute. My two young grandsons are into Star Wars right now so they loved it. One said to the other… “Did you see that kid, he levitated his dad’s car.”

I did manage to start a new bunny. This one is another old one of mine but I did contact Brenda Stofft (http://www.brendastofftdesigns.com/) and she gave permission to use on my blog. Brenda also said she has this canvas in her line but the bunny is now painted brown & white but will paint as black and white if requested. My bunny has the number A 113 on it and is two pieces (bunny and ears). I have started him and will blog more this week about the stitches and threads I’m using.

I just looked out my window and the sun in shining (looks like it could be warm…) NOT because there are white flakes falling and glistening in the sunlight. Yes, it is snow flurries…tomorrow expecting 2-4 inches as of noon weather report. I have enough snow on the ground …this is getting old and cold!

Stay warm and safe… AND I hope everyone will 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

Snow Bunny

This post can give a whole new meaning to snow and bunny used in the same text. Today I am hunkering down in a blanket, hot chocolate and my stitching and hoping the power says on. We are expecting a blizzard that started at 5:00AM this morning and is supposed to continue until tomorrow morning. The forecast is calling for 12 inches at my house and 35 mile an hour winds and bone chilling cold.

This was my patio about 7:30Am this morning

And this was the patio at lunch time.

We had about 4-6 inches by noon and it is not letting up. I am not complaining because just a few miles to the east of me they are getting the brunt of this storm and are suppose to have 24-30 inches

The bunny reminds me of spring and so I will just continue my stitching, watch the news and drink my hot chocolate.

I am doing a Turkey Work stitch using Appleton wool for the bunny tail. I am not going to cut these loops, so I want them all uniform in size and used a toy (think it is an old Tinker Toy) to keep the loops uniform in size. I stitch a row at a time around the toy and then remove. If you look at the picture I have diagramed the stitch to show how I do it. It is different than most books show it. Any of us in the Midwest that do this method refer to it as the Joan Lewis method of Turkey Work as Joan is the one who taught us this method. She claimed she found it in a needlepoint book but I have yet to find it and I do own a couple booksJ.

The jacket will be a combination of the VanDyke stitch stitched with blue #3 DMC perle cotton and an Encroaching Gobelin stitched with gold #3 DMC perle cotton.

After this I will start the flowers and carrots…if this snow continues and I have power I may post again later in the week.

I hope everyone in the path of this storm is staying warm and safe. And I hope all those of you who stitch stay warm, safe and stitch!  ttfn…sue