Monday, February 20, 2012

TAST 7 Lazy Daisy

Just a quick update today. TAST Week 7 Lazy Daisy Stitch or Detached Chain Stitch. I used Caron's Wildflower thread in two different colorways on my handpainted fabric. 
Take a look at what others are stitching at

A little herringbone in the center. 

I'm off to the quilt shop for background fabric for my spool project. I designed a little wallhanging in EQ7 this morning. The hanging will only use 13 spool blocks. Since I have 38 or so blocks, I will have more for other projects, perhaps a totebag would be nice. More on this later....
Enjoy your day, it's a holiday for me!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Leafy Sea Dragons and such

My DH and I drove to Boston today to the New England Aquarium. I especially wanted to see the leafy sea dragon and the weedy sea dragon. The leafy looks like a floating piece of lettuce. Both the weedy and the leafy have extremely delicate fins on their necks and backs that help propel them through the water. They are utterly fascinating. Next to them are several sea anemone displays in all their pink and green glory. If you aren't inspired to sew, embroider, or bead after seeing these, then I don't know what will!

After that long trip and the hustle and bustle of Boston, I came home to work on my TAST stitch for this week which is the Chevron Stitch. Last week I noticed one of the TAST participants had used gingham to good effect, so I tried a checkered green cloth for the basis of my chevrons.

The basic stitch is on the bottom row, then a double row which looks like smocking, then some detached chain embelishment. The top row is a rather larger pink chevron with blanket stitch additions.

My quilt group did a strip swap for the Edyta Sitar spools blocks. The strips are one inch wide and the finished thread section of the spool measures 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches. They are just darling.

Edyta favors mixing batiks and reproduction fabrics. I never thought that I would like that combination, but I do really like these. We will be swapping spools at our next meeting. I can't wait to add a little bit of something from all my friends to my quilt. I don't think I will make a whole quilt, maybe a wall hanging with some embroidery.

Brr, it is cold today! In southern Maine we have hardly any snow and it has been mild lately, but not today. The days are getting longer which is very heartening. My mother always said in January: When the days begin to lengthen the cold begins to strengthen. An apt saying for today; day length today is 10 hours 18 minutes and the temperature right now at 6:30 PM is 9F. Hope you are keeping warm!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

TAST Herringbone

This week's stitch is the herringbone stitch. When was the last time you saw a herring bone? Herring are similar to smelts, which we in Maine are very familiar with. So do these stitches look like herring bones? Sometimes I think we use words and don't even think about other associations. If someone said herringbone I would think of embroidery, certainly not a fish! I used green size 8 perl cotton for most of these stitches. The red detached chain stitch is made with two strands of embroidery floss.

Herringbone stitch with red straight stitches at the cross. 

I really like these herringbone leaves! I watched a YouTube video tutorial for this one. I added a stem stitch outline. The bottom two leaves had the stem stitch added after the leaf was made. The top two leaves were outlined with stem stitch before making the herringbone stitches. 

Here is a wreath made with one circle of green herringbone stitches, then another round with the red perl cotton. These perl cotton threads are hand dyed for a variegated effect. I used a plastic drinking cup with flared sides to make the outer and inner circles. I used a blue washable pen from my quilting supplies to mark the circles.

Couching with herringbone. The bottom example uses yellow embroidery floss and the green silk ribbon was inserted after the stitches were made. Tiny green delicata beads anchor the ribbon. The couched ribbon above that is a velour ribbon which I held down as I stitched, much easier than trying to thread the ribbon. 

Here's the entire group. If you want to see the TAST home page, click here.  Hope you enjoyed my stitching!