Sky and Cloud

Oh what a week end, hot,  rain and stitching. Wish I could say the only cloud in the sky was on this piece of needlepoint, but it wasn’t. Really been a strange summer, not too hot (good thing) but way too much of the wet stuff (not good for the crops and fresh produce we all love to eat.)  But,  I managed to stitch away the week-end…(although I probably should have spent some time on this computer…I have so many half started projects that it would probably take me the rest of the year to just put a dent in these projects. Anna Stradal (blog: http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) of ABS Designs (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/) calls it “Creative avoidance”, but that is another post for another day.)

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Clouds: Smyrna Cross

I decided to do the cloud in a traditional Smyrna Cross using #12 White perle Cotton. I wanted the clouds to have a little puff but not enough that the butterfly would sink into the cloud.

The sky is easy. I had seen this stitch somewhere and though it would make a great sky or background (sorry I do not remember where)  I also knew I could use it without much

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Sky 

compensation (although I think I forgot and did compensate in a few places (BUT if you are close enough to see these, you are too close to the needlework…please back away.) I have to finish the sky and especially around the butterfly. So I think I’ll stitch behind the kids first and then I won’t be tempted to stop and play with couching on the butterfly.

2015-07-23 MS JapButterfly  sky

Hopefully by the end of the week I can have this piece ready to be blocked. And next week is when I hide out at my niece’s house…my big job is to let the dogs out three times a day and watch the wildlife in her back yard.  I spend the rest of my time watching old movies and stitching…no work just relax and watch the wildlife and dogs.

And I have several other pieces in the works I want to get to stitch this summer too, so I am taking one of these with me.

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

ttfn…sue

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

Why do you stitch canvases?

When you buy a canvas do you think what the finished product will be? You should but few of us do. We are impulse buyers and this is good for shop owners but not always wise for us. There is just so much wall space that pictures can occupy. And even though I love my dog to bits, I do not like her using my needlework pillows as her lounging chair. And when are stand-ups & ornaments too many, not to mention where you store them all? So next time you go to buy that canvas, please think about the finished product; what will it be, where will it go, where will you store it if you need to do this and who will get it (if it is a gift)? All good questions and if you can’t answer them, then you might think about another canvas…because we all know that we have to purchase a canvas to maintain our mental stability. And visiting a shrink is more expensive and it will take you too long to get an appointment, so find a canvas you can see finished (someday), you can live with and then by all means… purchase it.

Do you ever buy previously owned canvas? Sometimes these canvases come with threads and stitch guides too. They can be from Susie Stitcher who is no longer as excited to stitch the canvas as she was when she purchased it; it can be from a guide member who is downsizing; or an estate sale of a former member. While I have purchased a canvas or two (less than 6) from an online auction company; I like to buy directly from the original owner, I like the connection to the stitcher.  I prefer to purchase something from a guide member at an estate sale for a couple reasons: 1. It gives that person a portion of her investment back or 2. It reminds me of that guild member who is no longer with us.

I have several of these and each time I stitch one I remember this lovely stitcher and how much I enjoy(ed) her company. This is one of those canvases, and when I got it out to stitch it I wondered how she had meant to finish it. I’m guessing a picture, but I do not know for sure. I asked on Facebook: Needlepoint Nation Group how I should finish this piece (https://www.facebook.com/groups/NeedlepointNation/search/?query=sue%20dulle) and received many responses: bolster pillow, box, black lacquer box, top for a new stitching bag; basket band, top of a chair back, door draft stopper, hat band, eyeglass case, table runner, top of a mirror, tray insert, coat rack inset and a stand up. At first I thought I would learn to make a box, then I thought top of a tote bag or a bolster pillow, but after stitching on it I’m not sure.

The canvas is an older canvas from Melissa Shirley Designs. I think it has been retired; but when I contacted Melissa Shirley Designs (http://melissashirleydesigns.com/)for permission to use photos, she had some great advice for those of us looking for an older canvas. She suggested you contact your local shop and have them check with the designer; they sometimes have a back stock or will be willing to paint a special order. There were at least two others if memory serves me well; one was with a fish and the other I do not 2015-07-06 Barbara pictremember. Thank you Barbara Cohen for sharing one of the other pieces that are in this series. The piece is lovely and I do like the framing too. .  Does anyone remember the other design canvases in this series? Maybe I should check and see if the others in this series are still available… Oh my gosh, I am enabling myself!

This canvas I purchased from a guild members estate was kitted with silks and so I decided to use these…there were some stitch suggestions from the shop that chose the threads but I decided to wing it on my own. First I took a picture of the unstitched canvas. I always try to do this as a reference to the canvas; I print this as a reference only. AND I do not keep them 2015-07-06 MS JB unstitchedafter I am finished stitching and shred these pictures as they are not my designs.

I try to remember to ask permission of the designer to use pictures of the design in my blog too. I’m not always good at this; I guess I think all of you who needlepoint and read my blog are honest. I did contact Melissa Shirley Designs and obtained permission for two of her canvases. And then feeling guilty, I contacted some other designers I plan on stitching and received their permission too.

I Basketweaved all the children’s skin and most of their outfits; the exceptions were the small decorative stitches and they were either Reverse Basketweave, Cross over 2 threads one direction, Cross stitch over 1…whatever fit the area. Their backpacks or ribbons were mostly Diagonal Goblins to fit. I decided to have some fun with the hair and so three of the children have padded, hair, I think they call this Shimada hairstyle [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shimada_(hairstyle)]. The second child from the left just had wild hair… Random Straight stitches; while the second child from the right had a more controlled hairdo using Straight stitches in a more controlled method.

2015-07-06 MS-JB shoesThe shoes of the children were a combination of Cross stitches to fit; the heels and straps were Elongated Cross stitches to fit.2015-07-06 MS JB feet & grass

I spent 2015-07-06 bookan evening perusing for a grass stitch I liked. I chose #Grass 27 from Stitch Landscape from Little Shoppe Canvas Company (http://littleshoppecanvascompany.com/books); your local shop should be able to get this helpful little book for you.

Next I am going to stitch the butterfly…and then the background.

I still am undecided about how to finish this but maybe it will come to me as I stitch.

Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July! Enjoy the rest of your summer…

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

ttfn…sue

Who would you like to stitch with?

Last week or maybe two weeks ago, Jane at Chilly Hollow posted this link: http://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/2014/10/a-profile-of-brigid-berlin-straight.html.

… What a fascinating lady…wouldn’t it be fun to have a stitch-in with her for the day. My favorite quote is: “…I don’t want one of anything. I don’t know what the word ‘one’ means.”  Brigid Berlin

I relate to this but don’t we all!

It got me to thinking, who would you like have over for a stitch-in (living or dead) and why? Barbara Bush? Cameron Diaz ? Julia Roberts? Drew Barrymore? Mary Tyler Moore? Loretta Swit? Kaffe Fasset? Rosie Greer? Julie Eisenhower? Mary, Queen of Scots?  Marie Antoinette? Queen Elizabeth I?  Martha Washington? Grace Kelly? Betty Ford? Erica Wilson? Mary Martin? Ann B. Davis (Alice the housekeeper on The Brady Bunch? Janet Leigh? Joan Rivers? Or just the friends down the street?

Notice that many on this list are no longer with us and that is what will happen to our art if we do not share it with others. I know that it is not an inexpensive art…but you can keep the costs low by using floss and perle cotton. Do you think your friend, daughter, son, granddaughter, grandson, niece or nephew will care if you use cotton floss or silk? You can buy small frames or make one out of foam core…or just stitch it in your hand.

Do you have a piece of needlepoint that you can carry around and stitch while waiting in a doctor’s office, waiting for an airplane flight, on an airplane flight, watching a game (kids, grandkids or professional). Instead of reaching for the phone to access the internet, try reaching for a small needlepoint piece. People will ask you what you are doing. Educate them.

basketweave sd2014Offer to teach someone to needlepoint. I am including a basketweave documents that you can print and share with a new needlepointer (If you would like a PDF version just email me (email address to the right). Please teach someone to basketweave, because when they do become addicted (and most will) they will want to take those fabulous classes that use those fabulous threads and stitches. BUT the basketweave handout O&Uteacher teaching the class will assume that the students know how to basketweave.

Think of basketweave as the foundation of the needlepoint house you are building…with a good foundation a needlepoint will stand for years. I always think of basketweave as learning to walk before you can run.

It fall in the Midwest and beautiful and still baseball season, Go Royals (stitching my second baseball and will probably start third and maybe forth before “The Boys in Blue” win the World Series.)  I hope you are enjoying the season no matter where you are, but think seriously about teaching someone to needlepoint.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Roll up finishing has begun

My fingers hurt…first I pulled needlework then I stuck myself with pins and needles…I know two thing for sure:

#1. I will never be a professional finisher! I will be able to talk somewhat intelligently about it but I will not get better with practice. I do not enjoy it that much and I am a true believer of if you do it you should enjoy it. But I will have the feeling of accomplishment when summer is over; I will have Christmas ornaments for sons and grandchildren, and I get to share all my stuff at a guild meeting, an added bonus.

#2. I will never be a junkie that requires sharp objects….I knew there was a reason we use blunt needles!
14-07-16 RU-a TG trimBUT, I am progressing nicely…I have eight roll-ups I am finishing…so you may see different roll-ups for different stages. I am doing all the roll-up at the same
time so when I cut the canvas to within 1/2 inch of stitching, I cut all of them. My problem seems to be I can’t remember to take a picture of the same needlepoint.

14-07-16 RU-b TG fold & pinThen with my fabric creaser (saves the fingers and the nails) I mitered all the corners and then I turned the sides in and pined all.

Then the stitching began…I used a long (about the only good thing I can say is 18 inches is NOT the required length of thread for finishing), as long a thread as you can comfortably manage is a good length…and I have long arms. I used regular sewing thread that I doubled in the needle and ran several times through beeswax.

14-07-16 RU-e beeswaxBeeswax may be purchased at the notions counter of your local sewing center, You can purchase either just the beeswax or beeswax in a cute little holder. I have both, not because I needed a cute little container but because since I am a stitching collector, I needed one. I usual thread and knot (yes knots are acceptable in finishing) the doubled thread and then run it through the beeswax a couple times. I think beeswax keeps the thread from tangling as much and it adds strength to the thread.

14-07-16 RU-c sew sidesI start stitching in the middle of one side, using a running stitch to secure the turn back to the backside of the stitching. A running stitch catches a few of the needlework stitches, then comes up through the unstitched border, see picture.  I make sure I do 14-07-16 RU-d sew miternot go through to the front and only catch a few threads. I did not do this but you could cut a lightweight piece of pelon or muslin (white or natural) to fit the design area and then turned and pinned the extra canvas to the muslin; tacking stitches will then be secured to the muslin. I will do this to ornaments that have open stitching and need lining later. It is a good idea to line pieces with muslin if you are afraid you will disturb stitching on the front.

I stitch to a corner and then secure the corner together, making sure I have a flat turned corner and then continue around the roll-up securing the mitered corners as I go. End this thread.

14-07-16 RU-f rollup pinNext came the pining of the roll-ups. Ouch, I stuck myself several times…Okay I am klutzy but I don’t do this often. After I got them all pinned then with another waxed double thread to match the stitching (i.e. black for black; but if the design is mufti colored just picked a color that blended…if this stitch is done correctly you won’t see it anyway.) I probably used white for both of these.

I stitched the roll ups from the top down. There should have been no problem with one side being longer than another but should that problem arise make sure the top and bottom are even and then the excess should be fudged in the lower half of the design. If you are more than three or four threads off you may want to figure out why.

I just had a friend who forgot to put the border around one piece of a purse and this didn’t get noticed until the finisher was ready to put the purse together. Lucky, the finisher had left about 5/8 inch canvas around the piece because my friend has three rows of stitching to put around the piece. Opps…

14-07-16 RU-e beeswaxWith a waxed double thread (does not have to be that long, but long enough not to run out; I stitch the sides together with  a Ladder Stitch (because that is what the lady who taught me called it). I have also heard it called the Hidden 14-07-16 RU-g ladder stitch graphicApplique Stitch. I catch 2 or three canvas threads on one side and then 2-3 canvas 14-07-16 RU-g stitchthreads on the other side. About every 4-6 stitches I give the thread an extra tug to pull the sides and thread tightly together. I use this stitch to stitch the ends on also and anytime I am stitching a piece of needlework together or to a backing.

14-07-16 RU-h spoolBefore I go this time want to share this little tip I learned at the sewing store last week…If you have thread spools that still have that little cut in one side to secure the thread, mark the slit with a waterproof pen and you won’t be looking for it. I know the new spools have Kreinik type secure spools and I love them but I have old spools and some of the store brand threads have not gotten the updated spools.

After I get all these stitched up I’ll start the tops and bottoms and stuffing.

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

Summer Projects & Betsy Ross

I am stitching but have decided my big project for summer is finishing…And I have a million things that could fall under this heading. I could finish about seven or eight original stitching designs in my computer (many in various stages of completion); or I could finish one of those class projects that I plan on getting back to someday; or I could finish the 25 Temari balls I have made; I could learn needlefelting that I played with at Christmas last year and I have a thousand ideas running around my head (oops that is not technically a finish)…Okay you get the idea more things to do than the hours in a day.

But I have decided to finish some of the needlepoint I have on blocking boards and in a UFBS box (Unfinished but stitched). I will take pictures as I muddle through this process and share with everyone. I’m guessing by Sept 1 I will really love my finisher and whatever she charges will look good to me.

Since I am carrying my cell phone everywhere these days I’ll have a camera at hand. I am carrying my phone because I have a step counter app installed…it is supposed to remind me to get off my *** humm and walk a certain amount of steps a day. I have a goal (haven’t met yet but have come close)…I really think this is a hopeless cause unless the app can figure out a way to jar me loose from the project at hand…I just keep saying latter.

But I digress…so finishing is the project of summer…Maybe I’ll have some of those gifts for family and friends finished by the start of the holiday season instead of being last minute Nelly.

But today I do want to show you my current stitching project. I love these small projects that I can take anywhere…Anne Stradal, ABS Designs has the cutes roll-ups, I’ve stitched several over the years and her lighthouses are to die for and I love the way she needle blends her floss for skies and seas. If you are not familiar with her blog (http://thecapestitcher.blogspot.com/) and website (http://www.absdesignsonline.com/ ), grab a cuppa and spend awhile with Anne, her designs are fun and her stitching is wonderful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am stitching Betsy Ross…I have stitched Thomas Jefferson (he’s in the UFBS box) Betsy’s dress is stitched with Rainbow Tweed and I have three card of the same color. And I am guessing that by the printed number on the bottom I have at least two different dye lots, but when I look at the cards side by side there could be three dye lots. So rather than take the chance of stitching and mixing up the three dye lots, I am mixing them up in the needle and stitching with all three.

We all know what happens if you assume a dye lot is the same…that nasty stitch ghost comes to visit and you have a mess. After you are done stitching you can see the difference in the dye lots and you are haunted by the mess until you frog stitch it out. Then of course you don’t have enough thread to redo so you have to head over to LNS for a replacement and more (never can go for just one thing). And then you have more dye lot differenced (unless of course you just bought this thread from LNS and then maybe you’ll be lucky and she will have same dye lot…but if you’re not sure then mix them up in the needle and avoid the hassle.

ED Note: everyone has a definition for ply-strand-fiber-thread. Mine is: fibers make plies, plies make strands, and strands and threads are the same. Some strands/threads have divisible plies (i.e.: cotton floss, Rainbow tweed and others) and some strands/threads are supposed to be stitched as non-divisible plies (i.e. perle cotton, ribbon threads, metallic threads.) Notice I said supposed
14-06-04 ruchingto be stitched; there is always the exception to this rule…ruching is where one ply of a thread is pulled to gather the thread. Ribbons are ruched and then the ribbon is couched into place for an effect. Almost any thread may be ruched.

14-06-04 cardsRainbow Tweed is a divisible thread; there are 4 plies to one strand of thread. So I pulled the same working length off each of the three cards and I am stitching with 2 ply of this thread so I mixed one strand/4 ply (Card A1-4, B1-4, C1-4) as follows,: A1&B1, A2&B2, A3&C1, A4&C2, B3&C3, B4&C4. I paid no attention about the ends I put together but I did knot one end just to keep the two plies together not as a stitching 14-06-04 pliesdirection. I dropped these in my stitching bag and randomly pulled a thread as I needed. You can see the results, no ghostly dye lot changes.

Then I stitched her shawl and didn’t like the way the bottom was looking so decided to fill scallop with tent and then to give it some texture I would subject myself to Bullions. Bullions are not 14-06-04 BR stitch graymy favorite stitch but I think it is just because I don’t do them often enough. Practice makes better…with bullions there is never perfect. Normally I would wait to do the Bullions last but I got carried away and so they are in.

14-06-04 BR stitch shawl

14-06-04 BR stitch bullionThe flag is over one cross stitches with 3 ply floss.

Thank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch every day;  I’m off to find some UFBSs and decide which to finish first! ttfn…sue

Mom & Me: More Flowers

I can hardly wait for the REAL flowers to bloom. I know they bloom quicker and with more ease than this border has blossomed! Yes, you can hear I am a wee bit frustrated but I think I have the hybrid in the pot now. It took me the better part of the week-end to get these flowers to the place I want them but I think I have it now and all that’s left to do is stitch them. 14-03-26 Mom&Me Mst flower centerIf you notice in the center diagram all the stitches are over 4 threads. And most of the purple threads (purple lines) are stepped 2 threads up or down. The exception are the red parallel boxes where I made a mistake on the far outer purple stitch on the top left and only stepped up 1 thread so on the right I did the same (that makes it not a mistake but a planned stitch 😉 ) Then when I stitched the dk purple stitches (black lines) I decided that stepping up or down by one should be continued (this is called artistic planned mistakes) and so all the red parallel boxes are only stepped up or down 1 thread. I also do not straight stitches over a single thread and so the red ovals are stitches I make 1 thread longer over 5 threads (an artistic planned moment). 14-03-26 M&Mst flower all

I had thought the couter stitches should be over 2 but then decided that over four would be quicker. NOT, I tried stitching them over 4 threads and did not like …so-o-o-o I frog stitched them and went back to the over 2 threads. I liked this better and so after I stitched the left side I computed the stitches and then stitched the right side. Sould not listen to that left brain while designing! The black ovals are the compensating stitches I made to avoid the dreaded over 1 compensating stitch.

If my sample is any indication and I make no other creative stitches I think the flowers are 14-03-26 M&Mst flower 2going to work. I have started at the center and am stitching one flower and then I will work either to right or left and the far outside flowers will fall where they may…I think if my counting is correct and I have no creative moments I could be very close to having half flower units on either side…

14-03-26 M&M tulips allThank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch every day! ttfn…sue

Mom & Me: flowers

Who knew the hardest part of this redo would be the flowers… My right brain had this great vision in my head and would not allow my left brain to work. I never was a math major and every time I have to do algebra/geometry things I hear my high school math teacher telling me if I would just take the book home I could make A’s & B’s. Sorry I should have listened.

14-03-21 M&Mst fig flowerI began by counting the threads in the width of the area between the borders (105 canvas threads) and I counted the height threads from bottom border to bottom of bunnies (37canvas threads). I wanted to symmetrically place the flowers across the bottom, and I knew there probably should be an odd number of flowers since that was what had been painted in the original…don’t want to mess with the aesthetics of the design. I decided to divide the width by three and start with this…but that did not compute, my flowers would have been as wide as they were high. Then I decided on five across, this would work the flowers would be 21 threads wide. Finally I decided that if I charted the flower as my mind was seeing them then I could tweak the design to fit. Then I also thought about counting the width of the flowers that were already there, but I had painted over them and that was going to be difficult. But as luck would have it, at 2 AM I woke up with the thought that I could count these flowers from a picture I had taken before I painted the canvas white. These 2AM wake up calls are not very welcome but they usually are the easy answer to a nagging question., I have been known to get up and see if the 2 AM idea would work; lucky for me this time I could go back to sleep.

14-03-21 BGM&M original canvas flowersThe next morning  I counted the flowers and  I realized the original design had three full flowers and two partial flowers on the ends. So I figured I had 4 flowers across (3 fulls + 2 halves= 4 flowers…105 threads/4 flowers = 26threads per flower. So I am using my computer to develop a pattern for a flower about 26 threads wide by 36 threads high.  Since I know I wanted the center to be over 4 canvas threads this was a no brainer…I would have nine stitches over 4 threads, a place to start.

14-03-21 M&Mst flower centerFiguring out the flowers is not as easy as I thought it would be. I think I have figured out the center and am going to work on the outside petals. I think I want the outside petals to be over 2 threads but I need to chart the sides and begin stitching a flower to be sure it is going to work and how it looks.

I know I will need three full flowers and two half flowers. If I get the three full flowers in and have at least the better part of a half flower on each end I will be happy. I’m off to compute the rest of the flower and try stitching one to see how it looks. Hope this doesn’t turn into a brain blocker for me.

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

Shamrock Bows

I am on a roll… Oh I just love it when I have a feeling of accomplishment, but I am ahead of myself… I had researched the technique, gathered the supplies (floss for padding and chenille needles for stitching) but was still not stitching the bow. I knew how I expected it to look but just wasn’t in the mood to tackle it. Have you ever been here? I knew it wasn’t because I felt  incapable of this technique; I just wasn’t in the mood. And I do think that you have to be in the mood to tackle certain projects.

I know I’ve heard that you can tell the mood of a stitcher by looking at her basketweave stitching…I believe this. I think anytime your mood changes, or your mind is someplace other than what you are doing. Example – Driving and daydreaming: Have you ever been driving and all of a sudden you realize you are further down the road than you thought, or already to your destination. Scary isn’t it? Or you have all the stuff to make meatloaf but it’s just not sounding like a meatloaf night to your taste buds?

Well, that’s where I was with the bow…I just wasn’t feeling it. Obviously wasn’t feeling it since I started the piece in January (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/shamrock-stitching/ ) and have stitched several things in between. I don’t like to think of it as procrastination because I knew it was in the stitching pile, I really was just not ready to tackle the project.  Last week I picked it up; I finally felt like I could tackle the project. I was still a bit leery that my stitching would not match what my eye was seeing, but I decided that I needed to attempt a start. I knew that if it went poorly I could cut it out; but I also knew I was going to be piercing canvas threads with my chenille needle and would be weakening the canvas. With a bit of trepidation I started. I did one side first and spent the day looking at it. While it did not quite match my mind’s eye it was not overly offensive to me either; I just had to give my mind eye time to adjust to the reality of the stitching. And of course, I think we are always overly critical of our own stitching.

I set it up on the shelf and walked away from it and did something completely unstitching related…reading my second love. And low and behold the affirmation moment happened…I was reading about art (okay so it is creatively related to stitching) but this artist was saying that we need to allow the right brain to see the beauty that the left brain is trying to tell us is not there. I immediately looked at the bow and knew it was going to be okay…not perfect but acceptable to me if I allowed it to be so. I finished stitching the bow the next day.

This is how I stitched the bow: I used a 7 ply silk to stich the bows. I outlined, padded and satin stitched the loops of the bow. The tails of the bow were horizontal Satin stitch without padding or outline stitches.

13-03-12 Outline of bowThe first picture is an outline of one bow loop.

Step 1: I used 2 ply to outline the loops of the bow.  I outlined both the outside and insid13-03-12 Padded satin Step1e of the loops.

Step 2: I used a cotton floss close in silk color to pad the loops. I tried not striping the floss but I knew even before 13-03-12 Padded satin Step2I began stitching this was not going to work so I striped the floss and used all 6 ply.  I laid the floss along the area and adjusted angles as I stitched the satin stitches.

Step 3: Stitched stain stitches with 5 ply silk.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Pierced canvas threads and changed direction as I moved around the bow.

The tails of the bow were stitched with 5 ply silk in a horizontal Satin stitch starting at the bottom and worked toward the bow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo the bow is stitched and I have learned to silence the left side of my brain and allow the right side to shine through. I like my stitching better…at least for this piece; but I know the left brain can’t stay quiet for long.

But this week-end I finished stitching my bow, maybe I will get it finished finish this week… and maybe two posts in one week. What is the world coming to?

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

Laissez les bons temps roule!

Today is Mardi Gras…

I’m still researching bows for the shamrock piece. Not really, I have researched and have three books marked…just not in the mood to start. Another not really, but I have in my mind how I want the bow to look but don’t know if I can stitch it the same way. In short, I am procrastinating. I have to be in the right mood to tackle some projects, especially those I have a vision of how the finished stitching should look. I want the bow to be realistic looking and the stitching to be very smooth, and full. Do you envision how a canvas should look? They say that this is why we do not like some of our work; we have envisioned how we think the canvas should look and yet we do not stitch it the same way. I have another month until St Pat’s Day, hope inspiration hits me before then.

Bones, the Guild piece from a few posts ago has been passed on.

I needed a canvas for Super Bowl…one that was fairly simple and would not require my undivided attention…I think because Super Bowl was in New Orleans I was more attracted to all the activities. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities…but I think it is a young person town. You have to be young to eat, drink and be merry 24/7 for days on end and let’s face it New Orleans is a eat, drink and be merry town! And in my younger days, I could eat, drink and be merry with the best of them, but today I am a little more reserved. I still love the food and I don’t know how you can be unhappy in a town that is always partying, but I have my limits and so fix’n some Cajun food and watching from my “easy” chair was the best “big easy” do this year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd what a better canvas to stitch than Nick, my Mardi Gras man. On her website Kathy Meyer (http://kathymeyer1.tripod.com/kmdesigns/index.html) calls him a Beatnik, but he is definitely my Mardi Gras man. I’ve had Nick for a few years and he’s always been my Mardi Gras guy. For those of you who do not know Mardi Gras is only on Fat (gras) Tuesday (Mardi) before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. BUT carnival started in January on the 12th night and was only set aside last week for Super Bowl. And by last Tuesday after SuperBowl, the krews were readying themselves with costumes, throws (beads, cups, doubloons and all sorts of goodies) for the parades that happen almost non-stop through Mardi Gras. Oh, to be young again…”throw me somethi’n Mister!”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANick was the canvas of choice for Super Bowl and he was fun to stitch. Basketweaved top part of his face with a light green silk floss (remember the colors for Mardi Gras are green, gold and purple). His beard is a loosely stitched basketweave with green and gray silk floss and them I took a needle and ‘fluffed” or picked at the stitches to give him that 5 o’clock shadow look. All of his OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhair, eyebrows, beard and mustache are Petite Peluche stitched freely in slanted Gobelins. His eyes are padded Satin with an outline stitch and Turkey Tufted eyelashes. I was going to clip the Turkey Tufting but thought it was cute left loopy. He was topped off with a purple beret OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstitched in a stitch using perle cotton and #12 Kreinik braid: #070: Mardi Gras (http://www.kreinik.com/).

I opened up his body to add a wire frame to give him a spine (you have to have a spine to play at Mardi Gras) so he can play with his beads and doubloons…after all you can never have too much fun at carnival/Mardi Gras.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIsn’t he cute? I just love him. He’s been finished and swimming in my from my Carnival/ Mardi Gras days on my desk this past week.

He has a buddy I stitched a long time ago for Halloween. I’m not sure what his real name was (and I don’t see him on the website) but I called him OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWalter, the wizard witch. I love the doll eyes and I think I added the moon to the hat…But his nose is his crowning glory! It is needleweaving (buttonhole stitch) over padding using glow in the dark Kreinik braid (http://www.kreinik.com/). And then I made warts using pony beads and Peluche from Fabulous Fibers (http://www.fabulousfibers.com/Default.asp). He also has wire added to him and he usually sits with my other witches at Halloween holding a tiny beanie baby toy from a McDonalds Happy Meal.

I would really like the heart one shown on Kathy’s website too but I don’t see it listed…Oh I hear my credit card squaking…”Use me, use me.”

Today is Mardi Gras so: “Laissez les bons temps roule!” (Let the good times roll!)

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have time to eat, party and stitch today!

ttfn…sue
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P.S. This is the rest of my Mardi Gras display. Bought the masks in New Orleans years ago and I love them, some of my throws, my hat and my Mardi Gras Throw bag (partially seen on far right with pom-poms). I even have a No Parking sign that the police chief of Meterie in Jefferson Parrish sent me, it hangs in my hallway year round.

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