SAL Update

It’s that time again! The time I get to share my progress on the Christmas Stocking I have been working on for a long time. This is where I was last time:

SAL update as of 6/5/2022

I had finished the back stitching and was ready to move the hoop to the next section to start the cross stitching there. This is where I am now:

SAL Update as of 6/26/2022.

All of the cross stitching in this section is done. Yay!! The plan now is to do all the back stitching in this section and then move onto the toe portion. I can really see the light at the end of the tunnel!

This SAL (stitch-a-long) is run by Avis and is unique in that the participants choose any project they wish to work on and post on regularly. Please take a look at all the other stitchers participating in this SAL:


EDITED to add the kit this is stitched from: Checking His List Stocking designed by Donna Race from Dimensions.

Fabric Bowl

This was a super fun and quick make:

I used cotton clothesline and ripped my fabric into one inch strips. Wrapped the fabric around the clothesline and used the zig zag stitch to sew everything together. I love doing this!! I think coasters are next!

June SAL Update

I managed to get some good work done this month!! This is where I was at the last check in:

SAL Update as of 5/15/2022.

And now:

SAL update as of 6/5/2022

I finished all the backstitching on the upper portion of the stocking. I have now moved my hoop and will start working on the lower part. I always love how the back stitching makes a piece pop.

If you’d like to see what the other talented stitchers in our group are working on, please click the links below:


SAL Update!

I’m so lucky that Avis accepted me back into the SAL (stitch-a-long)! I’m still working on the Christmas stocking for my daughter. This is where I was at the last update:

… well … I can’t find a photo of the stocking from when I started … This is where I am now:

SAL Update as of 5/15/2022.

I’m going to finish the lower right side and then work on all the back stitching for this top portion of the stocking. Then I’ll move it down. I’m loving working with this sit on stand. I’ve been practicing using two hands to do my stitching and I think that is giving me a more even tension. I might be a bit faster as well.

This SAL is hosted by Avis and is different than most SALs in that each participant chooses their own project and works on it, then posts their progress. I had dropped out of the SAL because life got busy and complicated, but now I feel as if I can participate again. There are a whole group of us and each is working on something different. Please take a look at all the other talented stitchers and their work:


More Bobbin Lace

My intro bobbin lace class has come to an end. Next week I am taking Beyond the Basics in Bobbin Lace – a two class lesson. Meanwhile this is what I have been working on in bobbin lace:

Spiders and Fans

This one we did in class with DMC #8 thread.

Spiders and Fans – Lizbeth #80 thread

It is recommended that we practice the same skills we learned in class to reinforce them in our minds.

Spiders and Fans – size 8 thread on the right and size 80 thread on the left.

It is interesting to see the difference with the two different sized threads.

Internet design

This was a fun little make from the internet. It uses only the whole stitch.

Close up.

I really enjoyed this design especially since I worked through it on my own. There was a lot of ripping back and re doing!!

Dorset Buttons

Awhile back my chapter of the EGA ran a program on dorset buttons. A friend of mine had her 60th birthday this past weekend and I thought I would dabble and make something for her.

Shawl Pin

I’ve known this friend for over 20 years. We met when our kids were 5 and in preschool together. She is an avid knitter and loves shawls so I decided to try to make her a shawl pin. Blue is her favorite color so I chose two different blues to go around the edge.

Close up.

It was so fun and easy to make. Casting the edge in two different colors was a little fiddly, but overall very fun.

Spring Flower

I took a class for the above button from the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale (over zoom). Super fun and easy to make!

Glass beads

Every Friday, a friend and I go to the local glass studio, BAGI, and make beads together. It’s a really fun way to spend the morning.

The beads here are made with two different size mandrels. I am experimenting in making super small beads that I can use in my tambour embroidery homework.

These are made with a 1/16″ mandrill. They are much smaller than the regular beads. I’ll use them for the tambour homework, but they are not small enough for traditional embroidery.

These were made on the larger mandrils. Right now I’m just experimenting with color and technique.

These two were super fun. The top one has a flower on top of encasing. The bottom one I used glass scissors to cut the hot class in order to attempt flower petals. It doesn’t really look like a flower, but it was fun to use the scissors and experiment. I’ll be using the glass scissors more often to try for different looks.

Bobbin Lace

The chapter of the EGA that I belong to sends out a monthly newsletter. There is always a link to the Lace Museum included so last month I clicked on the link. Now I have another hobby!

These are the first two. The one on the left was done “in” (zoom) class and uses size #8 DMC thread. The one on the right I did as homework with #12 DMC thread. What a big difference! I can see that I need to work more on getting the right tension on the threads as they are not straight.

This is from our second class and uses #8 DMC thread. There are two moves that we have learned: “cross” and “twist”. The different combinations of these are what makes up the pattern. Super cool.

Glass Beads

Myself and a friend have been renting space at the glass workshop to make beads about once a week. We are having a great time!

None of the beads come out looking like I think they will, but I like them anyway.

This one was fun. I had a bead that exploded into pieces in the annealer. I really liked the color of that bead so I decided to try to add it to the bead I was currently making. I added new glass go the mandril, and while the glass was molten, I pressed the pieces of the broken bead into it. Then I heated everything up and reformed the glass into a bead shape. This might be my favorite bead so far.

I’d like to try to make smaller, thinner beads that I can use in my tambour embroidery.

Tambour Embroidery

Last week I took a week long, all day class at the San Francisco School of Needlework and Design. The class was taught by Bob Haven. He is such a fantastic teacher!! I have dabbled in tambour and took not one but two classes. I have always fought with the hook – I’ve not been able to get it out of the fabric with out tearing threads or ripping the fabric. My only goal in taking this class was to master the hook! Well, I have done that!!! I can get it out of the fabric easily (it still gets stuck once in awhile, but I can fix it without damaging the fabric) and add beads, sequins, etc.

Chain stitch

We first practiced the chain stitch in straight lines, curved lines and around corners. We used sewing thread, cotton embroidery floss and rayon – the rayon was a bear and kept fraying, but eventually I got the hang of it.

Vermicelli, beading and applique

This little practice area covered quite a bit of information. The gold “squiggly” lines you see underneath the fabric is chain work done in vermicelli (every stitch goes a different direction), the middle is beadwork done in vermicelli and then we chose fabric to overlay over all that. The stitching you see is first a chain stitch around the shape, then a zig zag stitch (to prevent fraying), then we cut off the extra fabric.

Stem stitch

Once the appliqué fabric was attached and secure, we added beads. We could add them any way we wanted, but since Bob had just demonstrated adding beads using the stem stitch, I had to try that. The beads you see close to the bottom just look like jumbled beads – Bob said to add more beads to each stitch – once I did that, it worked out much better. You can see how the beaded stem stitch looks much better on the right side of the circle.

Basket weave

Basket weave stitch. I really have to work on getting my stitches to end (and start) at the same place. Those little indents you see are supposed to be vertical lines not kind of wobbly lines.


We worked on shading, not great but I’m happy with my first try.

Stem stitch with two colors of beads

Bob showed us the stem stitch using two colors of beads. Of course I had to try it. Two spools of thread each with their own color of beads, have to be used. It’s a little fiddly but I really like the effect. This tiny little line of two color, beaded stem stitch took me all morning (like 2.5 hours!). The student next to me went on to make a line of three color, beaded stem stitch which I will try at some point.

Sequins in a circle

Then it was on to sequins. The fun thing about this is that we learned how to end the circle in such a way that no one can see it. All the sequins are laying next to each other and the end is not visible. Magic!

Sequins around a corner and bugle beads

Next up was applying sequins around a corner, making a “sharp” corner. I still need to work on this technique, but you can definitely see that there is a corner there. Then came bugle beads. These are a bit tricky because the ends are sharp and can cut the thread if not applied carefully. This is my attempt at a straight line and a corner in bugle beads.

Bugle beads standing up.

And last, but not least was stitching the bugle beads down in such a way as to make them stand up. It’s not hard and now the ideas running through my head are non-stop.

I have a ton of homework to finish and am really looking forward to practicing. This was Level 1 of Tambour and I have already signed up for Level 2. I can’t wait!