Thursday, December 13, 2007

Week 5 over!

I can't believe that we have done 5 weeks worth of lessons - the time has disappeared in a flash. There has been so much to digest in those 5 lessons and now number 6 has arrived and once again it is full of information - lovely stuff on textured stitches - some of the most beautiful. It was a textured piece of Sharon's that enticed me to attempt these classes - the seahorse piece she uses to advertise the Sumptuous Surfaces class. Now if only I can hope to do something as beautiful as that one day!

This last week was very interesting with its emphasis on shape and direction. This sampler is a combination of that plus an attempt to cover some of the new stitches that Sharon has provided for us. I love the 'pine tree' on the left -unfortunately I had trouble in keeping the cable chain foundation row even, both in tension and in stitch length. Definitely needs more practice. Maybe I need to go back to stitching on Aida.

Stacking rows of stitches produces some negative spaces just crying out for a contrasting stitch pattern. Again, unfortunately my 'lazy daisy' leaves much to be desired! At least I should not be at a loose end for quite some time.

I should have done more work but ran out of time - it is definitely the wrong time of the year for this. However I move on to Lesson 6 and hopefully will manage to do some work in the next week.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


At this time of the year I need to curtail my stitching - however I do want to keep up for these last two lessons. It would appear that I need to do fewer samples.
This week two of the design tools we were to examine were what happened to stitches when we applied assymetry and and what happened when we stacked stitches. I still had not completed my herringbone sampler from the last lesson and it seemed to me that this stitch could be a good candidate for testing assymetry. The band on the left uses two rows of stitches worked assymetrically but mirrored around a symmetric row. I then added assymetric fly stitches in spaces and knots in the centre of the normal rows.
The band on the right consists of 4 rows , mirroring each other, again forming interesting spaces. I left one section untouched and used stretched cross stitch in the spaces formed on either side. I had not previously considered the implications of changing the shape of stitches this way and was delighted to see how neat it can be.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Lesson 5

This is my first sampler for Lesson 5 - unfortunately although I transferred good circles to the felt it refused to stay in shape - so I can pull it around and it looks good on one motif but another then goes askew!

Two of the motifs were inspired by the Ikea inset in yesterday's Courier Mail -I thought this might be nice and Christmasy. I think that next year I might try to make some decorations using this idea.

The top motif is detached chain with threaded back stitch.

The middle one is stitched in cretan stitch and long legged detached chain plus some extra detached chain to hold the legs in place!

The bottom motif has a buttonhole wheel centre, then two backing rows of half chevron with knots in the centre and is surrounded by crested chain.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Marbled fabric

This looks less lurid in the scan than in real life!
Maybe I will use the right side and see what I can design!
The marbling workshop was lots of fun but I tended to use only the primary colours - not a great idea!

Just finished in time for Lesson 5

No, I haven't embroidered this in one day! It is a piece that I began in Lesson 2, when we were studying design, in particular point, and have been working on slowly in the meantime.
The threads are all cotton, some of the 2/20 yarns are handdyed - variegated thread does work quite nicely in a piece such as this.
The fabric is of interesting origin. About 20 ? years ago I did a workshop on marbling and kept all of the pieces I did , despite the fact I found them all rather lurid. I do find it difficult to throw anything away! I couldn't see the front of this fabric being of any use at all - however the back provided the background Iwanted for this stitching. I will scan the fabric and it will be obvious why I needed to reverse it!

Another felt experiment

This is an attempt to change the density of stitches by layering. I have attempted to depict some grasses inspired by a painting in a 'how to paint' book - copyright could never be contravened as any resemblance is purely coincidental!!! However I added some net over the bottom layer of stitches - black and white were the only colours in net I had available and white didn't produce the effect I wanted on the grey felt. (The same felt I used for the cretan stitching in lesson 1)
After adding another layer of stitches I tried some silk chiffon to produce a shadow effect at the bottom - it was too dark - practically nothing showed through. However more of the black net did do what I wanted. So then I added a third layer for the dark shadow.
The threads used are 2/20, 2/22 and 2/24 woollen weaving yarn that was in the cupboard - fortunate that I had such good grass colours.
I intend to acquire some different coloured nets and also net of different density as this was quit coarse.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Herringbone Play!

Definitely a "Work in Progress"!
This is still part of lesson 4 . However,j I have decided to leave this sampler for the moment and move on to a more freestyle piece investigating density, using scale and tone. Aida, the fabric I have used for this sampler, is much too rigid for the experimentation I would like to try before Lesson 5 arrives. It is difficult to believe that the class is two-thirds over!
Only DMC cotton floss was used for this sampler, with the exception of one row of lurex knitting yarn used in the heavy band - I am not sure it shows in the scan very well but it peeps through the stitching giving an effect that I will certainly repeat.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Lesson 4

The weeks move on, inexorably! Here we are more than half way through the lessons (and one week closer to Christmas - my preparations really need to get under way!).

This is my first sampler for Lesson 4 - the key is beginning at the top - Half Chevron stitch

1. Variegated sewing machine cotton
2. 2 threads of 2/60 mercerised cotton
3. Perle #12
4. Fine weaving silk
5. Semco coton a broder
6. Linen weaving thread
7. Handdyed 2/20 wool
8. 12/2 cotton
9. Lurex knitting yarn
10. Perle #3
11."FunkyFibre" - polyester knitting yarn

I am not sure I would have the patience to use the last thread very often!