Sunday, January 29, 2012

On a Roll!

Well, this is almost the end of my insertion investigation - I have one more buttonhole and one more cretan to try and then I am ready for whatever comes on Tuesday.As I said in a previous post this has been fun and I hope whatever the enw stitch is it will offer just as much joy.

My cretan explorations to date

Cretan Insertion or Open Cretan Insertion

Knotted Cretan Insertion

Twisted Cretan insertion

Half Cretan Insertion

 This was the order in which I tried the various techniques.  Amazingly the twisted was the most difficult in which to maintain the right tension.
I also had some trouble in keeping the distance from the edge even - however it is not impossible for me

When the experts differ!

Anyone out there help me?  I have done what I thought was some Open Cretan Insertion but then Betty Barnden calls it Herringbone Insertion    What do you think?  Definitely the cretan stitch and is herringbone all that different?

I hemmed some linen scraps for the trial and have used DMC Perle #8 - it is a variegated thread - not at all obvious in this photo.

Laced Knotted Buttonhole

Another interesting buttonhole insertion and definitely one I will use again. Yes, the end of the week is fast approaching and I haven't even stitched the basic cretan stitch for TAST for this week but that is on the agenda for today.  These TASTers are not the only handwork I try to get through each day
However I am building up quite a nice collection of ideas.

Well, I used my fancy spacer for this one but it might have been easier to have done the buttonhole stitches on each edge before attaching to the paper - next time! 

 The stitch is well illustrated in Effie Mitrofanis' book on  Casalguidi but the original inspiration came from Barbara Snook. Her Embroidery Stitches is worth a look if you can find one.(Second hand shops as well as the internet  have produced some real treasures). 

I used Finca Perle #8 for both threads - and the option to use a different coloured thread and, possibly, a different thickness thread for the lacing is available.

Knotted buttonhole was a new version for me. Knowing the correct tension was difficult in the beginning. However I really enjoyed this one.

  I have one more buttonhole insertion that to try and then comes Cretan. I am  sure that a week between stitches is not enough but is it just a case of  "How long is a piece of string?"

Friday, January 27, 2012

I think Buttonhole Stitch has got me in!

Previously buttonhole stitch was a stitch that I could take or leave (and mostly leave)- all of a sudden there just seem to be so many interesting versions to try.

 The latest  -  Italian Buttonhole Insertion

#12 Finca perle cotton and two scraps of lugano were all I needed tosample this one. The spacing is 1/4 of an inch.  The specially designed "insertion papers" help and hinder the stitching.  Hopefully I will manage to do without eventually.

 I love this insertion stitch but then I think any insertion is magical.  I have a pair of satin pyjamas from my mother's trousseau , circa 1936, with the lovliest peter pan collar with its rouleau edge applied with faggoting, I think.  Amazing handwork!

Yes I know that  this week's stitch is Cretan and I do intend to try it.  However there is another buttonhole version to try first.  Only one?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pulled Thread - more Buttonhole also.

I mentioned yesterday  that I am doing a series of runners.  The first one, a Christmas gift  for myself, was, strictly speaking, not a runner but a table centre.  The only stitch used was foursided .  This piece was really a test to decide whether or not I would like to make something bigger using the 4 sided stitch hem.   Probably not!

The centre is approximately 20 inches square.  The first 3 rows of the hem are through double thickness  - this took me forever and, at times tried my patience.  Nonetheless I am pleased that I persevered as I love the result.  The design evolved as it went along - not very complicated but I do like the minimalist look for my table linen.  The single fabric thickness stitches were wonderful to stitch after the hem.  I like to do the hem first, if at all possible.  This can cause problems but usually ensures the speedy completion of a piece of stitching - especially where there are mitred corners to be negotiated. 

 The table is of Queensland maple and was made by my father more than 50 years ago and has been recently refinished .

Yesterday I tried two new  pulled thread stitches - Diagonal Buttonhole, from Mary Thomas' book as well as Up and Down Buttonhole, as suggested by Edith John. 

The Diagonal Buttonhole was very successful however I reached the point of diminishing returns with the Up and Down Buttonhole after struggling some time  Perhaps a smaller count (I used my doodle cloth - 26 count Permin linen) might have helped..  There are so many wonderful pulled thread stitches so I am not sure I need the ones I find too difficult. 

The great thing about TAST is  trying versions of stitches that  might otherwise be ignored.   Knowing what I don't want to stitch again is .as important as recognising the ones that will be useful.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Closed Feather edging

My feather stitch offering for the week is closed feather used in a drawn thread hem.  This came from one of my much quoted authors, Edith John.  I am so pleased that I found this as I have started a series of table runners and love the idea of using different edges.  I would use the ecru for an edge but did  a little in dark pink in order for it to be more obvious.  Antique hemstitching  joins the hem to the piece.

My doodle cloth certainly gets more interesting and I have some pulled thread I want to try.

Earlier this week I also added a little more to my free wheeling buttonhole. This is probably as far as I shall go but I can see the possibilities should I decide to use something similar in the future.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Great Two Days

This week the Embroiderers' Guild had a children's class with a beautiful Cat Sampler as the project. This class was part of  our ten year old granddaughters' Christmas gift. 

Here are the results of  two days work - hot off the hoops, as you can see,

  Ella's and Sophie's

  I was very impressed with the end results - a beautifully executed pair of cats.        

TJust a postscript - the lovely even stitches could be part of Sharon's TAST challenge.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Seduced by colour!

Do you ever buy thread because the colours call you?  I am a sucker for jewel colours hence the ball of Anchor  perle #8.  Not a good idea!  I like to use variegated thread occasionally but this is the most variegated of variegated.

Anyway that is an introduction to my TAST exercise on buttonhole. First I want to show my Fly Stitch efforts for week 1.

More variegated thread - sometimes one just has to use it - actually I really like it for the spiral.
Then I tried fly stitch as a pulled thread and was  unhappy with what I got  - so we won't count that.

Moving onto Week 2 and Buttonhole Stitch - I have used this stitch in many applications.

I tried Up and Down Buttonhole - it always seems an odd name for a stitch that looks as though it is in one direction only. I have been roaming through my collection of Edith Johns' books and she suggested using buttonhole as an edging - firstly Up and Down

Here it is sitting on a bag using Italian buttonhole insertion in 2010.

Then I tried Edith's 3 sided stitch edge with buttonhole in the loops - definitely needs more practice

Now for the fun bit - Edith's Experimental Embroidery has some wonderful buttonhole haloes.  Some time ago I tried my multicoloured thread

And here is the start of my current effort

I have done a little more to it but no photos.  Also I enjoyed trying  Mary Thomas' Drawn Buttonhole
however they are for another post.