Thursday, February 26, 2009

A second attempt!

I deleted the previous post because for a reason completely beyond my comprehension Blogger refused to upload this picture. I copied it to a new folder and gave it a new name and hey presto!

Sorry for the confusion.

So here is a (crooked) photograph of the current state of this sampler. The reverse diagonal faggotting is finished. The mitred corners could be better but, this is a first attempt and I do like to leave room for improvement! Now it is time to cut threads and needleweave and I certainly need fantastic light for that exercise. Tomorrow is busy so it will probably have to wait until Saturday.

There was very little stitching done today. I spent quite a deal of time working on some designs of my own. I feel the time has come to try for some originality - not sure that is the right word as most of what I do is inspired and derived from many sources - perhaps personal slant might be better. the only personal slant in most of my work this year has been the mistakes!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I am on a roll!

The eyelets and twisted lattice band are finished. I like my eyelets open and was delighted to read this post by Yvette Stanton - the Hardanger guru". I was doing them the correct way - quite a surprise as I almost always manage to work back to front. I am not sure mine are quite as open as Yvette's. Eyelets make great background with surface stitching , especially combined with pulled satin.

I began the reverse diagonal faggotting today and after that is finished comes the scary stuff! It will be time to cut threads and needleweave. I think I am getting hooked on Hardanger - although it is annoying that I need a magnifying lens to work accurately. I would like to try some on 32 count linen - this is 26 or 28. Hopefully that is possible.
I have found that using marking lines every 10 threads has meant I have not needed to unpick. The big challenge will be to remove those threads when the stitching is complete.

Today a visit to the library produced some interesting embroidery books . The one that has been most inspiring so far is about a Brisbane embroiderer, The Life and Embroidery of Mabel McAlister. She was one of the cofounders of the Queensland Embroiderers' Guild. Her life is interesting (I realise she went to school with my mother, probably the same year) but her embroideries are wonderful and, as I said, so inspiring.
Another, Jill Carter's Special Occasions in Embroidery, has some interesting designs from which I can also acquire some ideas. Then there is one on beaded dimensional embroidery that I have barely skimmed. How am I going to find time to stitch?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kloster Blocks finished.

I have finished the kloster blocks and started the twisted lattice band - then after that are the 8 eyelets. I can't wait for them as I am then moving onto #12 perle cotton. Up to that stage the kloster blocks and twisted lattice have been in #8 cotton. I am enjoying using this colour thread - maybe the next piece might have to be with a variegated cotton. I think that might offer some challenges in the direction the kloster blocks need to be stitched.

Also here is a much better photograph of my last drawn thread sample. I wish my stitching could improve as much as my camera skills.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More Hardanger

I have not finished stitching anything but feel I need to make another blog entry. Since I adding a bloglist including most of the blogs that I regularly follow I have been calling up Maggies Textiles each time I check to see what everybody else has been doing. I am thoroughly tired of looking at that piece of drawn thread work of mine. So here is some progress, slight that it might be, on the second hardanger sampler. I think there is some improvement in the kloster block stitching (maybe!).

I have changed colour for this one. I am not sure exactly what I will do with these when I am finished. This is the end of my supply of natural linen of this count - 26. However I do have a fat quarter of bright white so I am not totally bereft. I have difficulty working with white-white.
My great news of the week! I found a copy of Yvette Stanton's fantastic Elegant Hardanger Embroidery in an opshop - a real bonus! This has been on my wishlist for some time and I haven't bought before now because it has been fairly readily available in the local library.

Last week we spent a few days back on Mt Tamborine where we lived for nearly 13 wonderful years. It rained most of the time but, nonetheless the mountain was so beautiful. When we left a few years ago it was very dry and not nearly as green as it is at the moment.

This was the view when we opened our eyes each morning. Absolutely wondrous! Who can complain if the towels would not dry overnight?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Drawn Thread - second try!

This time I used the centre of a piece from Effie Mitrofanis' Needleweaving and Embroidery: Embellished Treasures. The surface embroidery is slightly different. I really like the way she uses surface embroidery with needleweaving.
I have been having lots of trouble getting a half decent photograph of this and I am certainly still not happy with my camera work.

I finished the stitching nearly a week ago. I enjoyed the process very much and felt the needleweaving improved as I went along but as you can see there is a massive amount of room for improvement. Still, perhaps I only need about another dozen practice pieces before I might be happy! For the moment I am content to go back to Hardanger and sampler 2. Amazon sent me details of a new-to-me Hardanger book Hardanger Embroidery by Donatella Ciotti - I like the few illustrations given on the site and have added it to my wishlist.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Don't you just love teacosies?

I do, nearly as much as I love teapots! Fortunately I don't really have the soul, the space (or cash) to be a real collector so I only own a few of both.
This cosy was made a few years ago . Double weave is a great structure for this purpose as you can stuff while you weave. I didn't make it reversible - it seemed easier to add a simple cotton lining. To add the flowers in some of the blocks all 16 shafts of the loom were needed for the draft.
I always intended to weave more teacosies in this style but sadly never did. The only other double weave stuff-as-you-go were my sudoku coffee cosies and I don't own them any more.

There is no stitching to show as the drawn thread piece I am stitching at the moment is taking forever to finish. I am quite enjoying the process but, since it is basically an Effie Mitrofanis design from her book on needleweaving, I want to complete it and start a design of my own. Even if it does turn out to be the same old, same old - french knots with some pulled thread stitches and buttonhole circles and maybe some bullion if I really feel adventurous!!!!!! What about an embroidered teacosy?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Making my day bright.

Two weeks ago I ventured into a Vinnies store to check out the fiction books - if I can't get them at the library I can sometimes find what I like there. However this time I came home with no books but, instead I uncovered two linen teatowels, a gold one and a blue, almost turquoise, one. They just flew into my bag , especially at 50c each. I threw both into the washing machine and fortunately added two colour catchers to the load- bright green pieces resulted.

This is the gold one plus an array of toning perle cottons from my collection - inspiring , don't you think?

While I am doing some stitching there is nothing original in what my work this year. I really miss the challenge of last year's TIF. I tried to produce a series of embroideries using the skills I had learnt in Sharon's Sumptuous Surfaces class. Not all 12 satisfied me but nonetheless I gained so much from the year's work. Maybe the time has come to start another one with a theme of my own choice.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A paperweight to be treasured

I am the very proud owner of one of Paula's exquisitely embroidered paperweights. Paula and Moo gave this to me for my birthday. It is so beautiful but unfortunately the photos do it justice - however I have taken them from a couple of different angles to try to show it off as best I can.

This is an embroidery that one wants to hold and examine closely for ages - it is covered in stitches -from the tiniest french knots and whipped spiders to the lovely encrusted whipped 'shells'. Neutral textured embroidery is so interesting - one is not distracted by colour, I guess. Paula gives a really good description of how she makes these on her blog.
We had a good catch-up on Friday morning - always lots of fun - lots of talk and show and tell!