Sunday, January 29, 2012

TAST Cretan Stitch

This week's  TAST is the Cretan Stitch. This one was a bit hard for me to master. I couldn't figure out if the thread went over or under the needle, but eventually I got into a rhythm. I like the little fence that stacking rows of Cretan Stitch created.

Chicken wire and pine cones? Boy, it's hard to stitch everything the same size! Easier to do one isolated motif and make that look pretty good than to make a row where everything is identical.

Avril! This was the little kit I worked on last week. It came from Mary Corbet of Needle n' Thread. This was one of the kits that I won during the 12 Days of Christmas event. So sweet! The forget-me-nots are made with two different blue threads. You stitch a small lazy daisy stitch on all the flowers in a light blue then go around that with a darker blue thread. Yellow French knot in the center. How do you like that alternating chain stitch to make the heart! You thread the two different colors on one needle and alternate which one makes the chain. Sound easy? No, it's not! Well, I managed it, but I wouldn't want to do too much more of it than this.

I don't much enjoy satin stitch. The little pink heart is satin stitch and I am happy with that, but the forget-me-not leaves were supposed to be in satin stitch and they looked more like green worms than lovely leaves! I did chain stitch for these instead and I like the result. So much fun!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Look what I won! 

 Mary Corbet of Needle ' N Thread had a fun "12 Days of Christmas" contest on her fabulous website. I won these little embroidery kits, pincushions, and bird thread holders.

Mary sent me a little something extra, too. "Avril" is a dainty design done in blues and yellows, purple and greens, the colors of spring. I have been stitching all weekend and it is now done, but I will have to take more photos because the ones I took look awful. 

Embroidery is so much fun! I did not think I could ever stitch anything so fine and dainty, but I can! These little kits are from Rouge du Rhin, a French company so the instructions are in French. Now, I don't know French, but it was quite simple to figure out the stitches and which thread to use. In fact, that part was rather fun. 

 Last week's TAST was the Blanket or Buttonhole stitch. After working on the Rouge du Rhin "Avril" kit, I tried these tiny one thread buttonhole flowers. Little fly stitch greenery. So sweet.

Week 3 of TAST is the feather stitch. On the far left is my first attempt, not so good. I like the one beside it, and then to the right of that is a staggered feather stitch. The dark green is done in 4mm silk ribbon. Ooo la la. On the far right is some seaweed, perhaps? Shrubbery? Done in green perl cotton in two sizes with delicata beads for accents. I stitched the light green first and then the dark on top. I think it might be better with the dark underneath, but I still like it as is. Enjoy!

Introducing "Ann"

Remember this? On December 29 I wrote: Here is a quilt I designed in EQ7. The block comes from the Quilters Cache and is called Octagon and Twist. It is a 12 inch block which is made up of four 6 inch blocks, really two different blocks. I also wrote: I'm not sure that this quilt will ever get made, but I had fun designing it and wanted to share it with you.

Well, as you can see, I did make it! It's no longer called the chocolate and pink quilt, she now has her own name. I call her "Ann". 

Last spring my quilt group had an auction and I won a stack of fabric from one of our co-presidents. Ann donated this lovely brown fabric and there were yards of it! I just love it and decided to make a quilt that would really show off this print.

Brown and pink has been a popular color combination for some time now. Maybe I'm late to the party on this, but I do really like it. When I was little my mother would often dress me in brown and pink, so this is a nostalgic look for me.

The binding is a little different on this quilt. I always make a mitered binding using 2 1/4 inch strips folded in half. Always. Something prompted me to look in my Fons and Porter quilt book this time and I used their method of attaching binding to two sides, hand sewing to the back, then applying binding to the other two sides with 1/2 inch tails on the ends which are folded over and hand stitched to cover the raw edges of the first two sides.

I also added the little pink strip under the binding. I cut 1 inch wide fabric, folded it in half and sewed it to the edge before applying the binding. Also a Fons and Porter suggestion. I really like the result. I wasn't sure if it would really show in the end, but it does add a very nice touch. I will have to remember to do this again.

Thank you Ann!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Take a Stitch Tuesday=TAST

You may remember in a previous post I mentioned that I was going to take part in "Take a Stitch Tuesday" hosted by Sharon B. AKA Pin Tangle.  Sharon's blog showcases her beautiful crazy quilt and her embroidery band sampler. The sampler is 8 inches wide and 72 feet long! 

Sharon teaches embroidery and crazy quilting. There is a free stitch dictionary on her blog as well as tutorials and freebies. You are in for a treat when you look at her lovely work. Sharon also started "Stitchin Fingers", a forum for people interested in textiles, a real visual candy store! 

Those of us who signed up for TAST will post on our blogs, on Flickr, or on Stitchin Fingers. This is a no pressure event, you can join in when you can, choose which stitches you want to do, skip a week when life gets too hectic. I like that. 

 The first week we learned the Fly Stitch. It is very easy to do. I stitched it with perl cotton, Caron's Wildflower thread, and cotton floss. The green stitches in the center would make a nice bush. The slanted line was my attempt to make bird tracks but it didn't quite work on on the Aida cloth. The little row of flowers in the top right has beads for the flower heads.

Week 2 featured our old friend the Blanket Stitch or Buttonhole Stitch. I remember learning that when I was a little girl. Blanket Stitch and Cross Stitch were the first two stitches I ever learned. The pink posie on the right is an appliqued silky fabric with Fly Stitch radiating out and French Knots in the center. Stitched on linen.

The green leaf on the left is appliqued green satin fabric with Fly Stitch down the center in #8 perl cotton. Same thread goes around the leaf in blanket stitch. 

At the top are two circles with blanket stitch pointed inwards on both and with another row pointing out in the yellow thread. Just some little filling stitches in the center of the one on the left.  

Care to join in?

Bonnie McCaffrey

Inventive, adventurous, imaginative, unusual, inspiring!