Whitework Embroidery

I’ve been trying my hand at different types of embroidery. The San Francisco School of Needlework and Design has been offering classes and stitch ins during SIP and I have been really enjoying myself. Hopefully, they will continue some classes online once everything opens up again. My most current finished piece is in whitework.

Whitework (class from San Francisco School of Needlework & Design)

I love the simplicity of white thread on white fabric. My very favorite part of this piece is the center. It’s a pulled stitch called Diagonal Cross Filling. The stitch is very easy to do and the effect is lovely.

I’m not in love with my eyelets. I had a really tough time with these. I drew a circle where the eyelet was to be, cut an “x” in the middle, and then whip stitched the edge with one strand of floss. We were told to come up only once in each hole around the outside and then down in the middle of the eyelet. I found that if I did that, I did not get full coverage so I came up more than once in many holes which then left it’s own little gap.

I did really enjoy the couching on the trailing stitch (the stems). That took forever. The longest stem (to the flower) I did as instructed with only one strand of floss. The second stem (the one to the leaf) I stitched with two threads – more to see how it would look than anything else. I like it, but I was surprised to see that there is definitely an obvious difference between couching with one thread and two. Not bad, but different. It was also much quicker to stitch and I was able to use only one hole per pass.

Another thing that is bugging me. Both the floss and the perle are white; however, on my project they look quite different in color. My hands were squeaky clean, but maybe I had some oils left on them anyway? Also I’m wondering if using a pencil may not have been the right way to mark my fabric – the graphite could have colored the thread as well.

Back of work where the threads that were couched have been pulled through.

This is the back where the threads that I used (4) were couched and then the ends – both top and bottom of stem – were pulled through to the back. Our instructor told us to cut them off even with the fabric. I am scared to do this!!! What will keep them from popping through to the top of the work? I’m going to email my teacher with both pictures to see if I can get come clarification.

Today I’m linking up with Kathy over at Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitch Sunday.

September HQAL Update

This HQAL (Hand Quilt-A-Long) update is not going to be about the project I chose for the HQAL – The Grandmother’s Garden. Grandmother’s Garden is laying dormant on the table behind the couch and although it has been calling to me, I have been ignoring it. She is in the same state as she was at the last update:

Still in this stacked form.

I have been working on the plan for the embroidery for each flower and will show that on a later update. I have seriously gotten the embroidery bug:

Heirloom Family Sampler for our summer EGA project.
Embroidery class project – San Francisco School of Needlework and Design (online classes)
Stitches learned – Raised Stem, Coral Knot, Wheat.
Embroidery class project – San Francisco School of Needlework and Design (online classes)
This is the wing for the bird above. The class was on stumpwork. I learned the Long and Short stitch
Pulled thread class at my EGA. This coming week we will be learning different kinds of hem stitching to do over the pulled thread part.
Something I saw on FB and wanted to recreate. It was a video showing different fun stitches – I will be putting rosebuds on the stems of the vine.
3-D hair. My grand uncle used to bring my sister and I postcards with 3-D images on them. This is nothing like those, but it reminded me of them.

So this is what I have been working on. I will get to my Grandmother’s Flower Garden soon, I have just been floating to whatever project, media and skill that calls me at any given moment. It just seems to be what I need to do right now.

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyMargaretTracyDebSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrinGretchenDaisyConnieMonica and Sherrie

I’m also linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitch Sunday.

September SAL Update

This is the first time using WordPress’ new look and I am NOT one for changes. The other way was so much easier!!

Oh, well, I guess I better get used to it!! This is where I was the last time we updated in August.

August SAL Update

This is where I am now.

September SAL Update

I have been working on the toe area a little bit each day. I have worked on other areas, but not a lot. Just when I have a bit of thread left over from a toe area and an easily accessible area somewhere else that calls for the same color thread.

I am so grateful to take part in this SAL. The members of the SAL all work on their own project and post progress each month. I love being a part of this talented and supportive group of stitchers. If you’d like to join us, please contact AVIS – her link is below. And please take a look at the other stitchers taking part in this SAL.

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJJennyLauraCathieLindaHelen

August HQAL Update

I have been busy this month!!  Deconstructing the Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt

These flowers were previously attached to green hexi “leaves” and then attached to each other.  There are 18 separate flowers now.img_0209

These are all the green hexis that were used for the leaves and vines.  I did not count them, but there are lots!

I am so glad I finally made the decision to take this apart.  I was not feeling good about the project and now I’m feeling great.  I can’t wait to lay them out and organize them and start putting them together again.

I did finish a new flower and get part of the way done with another

I just love the little monsters!

Once again, I am excited to work on this project now that I can see a new path with it.

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyMargaretTracyDebSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrinGretchenDaisyMonica and Sherrie

I am also sharing over at Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitching Sunday.

August SAL Update

Whew!  Another three weeks has gone by!  Where does the time get to?  We are doing lots of gardening, organizing, cooking and baking.  We are getting into the rhythm of social distancing.  A couple of the kids are “back” at school – zooming.  And I have my regularly scheduled zooms several times a week.  It doesn’t replace the face-to-face interactions but it’s great to remain in contact with friends.

Without further ado, here is where I was at the last update:img_9776

And this is where I am now:img_0183

The patch is working just fine.   There is a section where you can see the threads from the upper fabric – I have a “snag-it” tool (given to me by a friend in my local EGA) that I will use to try to tease them to the back side, but I really am thinking about adding a thin piece of gold ribbon vertically to that area to hide it.  We will see how it looks when I’m done stitching.

I am enjoying this SAL as it is a place to work on a project of my choice and post about it specifically every three weeks.  Please take a look at the links below to see all the other talented stitchers taking part in this SAL:

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneAJJennyLauraCathieLindaHelen

August HQAL Update

It’s time for the three week updater on our HQAL.  I’ve gotten a little bit done on the Grandmother’s Flower Garden.img_0131img_0132

There was a little bit of sewing.

And prepping of new hexis.

More hexis.

And more hexis prepped.

I have decided to take the whole thing apart.  Not the individual flowers, but all the green.  The way it is attached is a bit wonky and will never fit the table.  Hopefully by next time I’ll be ready to start stitching them together again.

It seems like every project I have going has some major fixes that need doing – this one, my big cross stitch (fixed, YAY!), a pair of socks that had been almost finished (completely ripped and restarted), and my garden is being devoured by the neighborhood rats.  We don’t poison the rats because there are so many cats around so we are building cages for the raised garden beds.  That is a huge chore!!

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyMargaretTracyDebSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrinGretchenKathiDaisyMonica and Sherrie

SAL Update

I have not stitched on my SAL project for this update.  I am still excited that I found a solution to the challenge of placement on the fabric and I will be stitching again this week.  Here is the picture from last week:img_9870

What I had been doing instead was getting ready for our yearly family backpacking trip.  We gathered all our packs and gear, inspected them (some repairs were necessary – good hand sewing skills come in handy!) and then purchasing the rest that we needed.

We backpacked in the back country of Yosemite and it was gorgeous!  There was really no one else there – we did encounter one family on the way out and one on the way back, but it was super easy to distance.  Here are a couple of photos from our trip:img_1698

This picture is actually at then end.  We went int and out of this trail head.  I couldn’t find the picture from the start of the trip where our smiles were much bigger and we didn’t look quite so tired!img_1704

This year I used hiking poles for the very first time and they made such a huge positive difference!img_1754

Chain Lakes on our first night.  Such a gorgeous place!img_1757

Morning time on the second day!  Right after this photo was taken, two of the kids jumped into the lake and swam out to the island in the middle.  Such a fun time!

I should have more to show at our next update.  This is such a fun group of stitchers to be working with.  We are from all over the world and touch base once (or more!) every three weeks to show progress on one of our projects.  I am so grateful to everyone!  Please take a look at the other talented stitchers participating and if you’d like to join us, please contact Avis at the link below.

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneConnieAJJennyLauraCathieLindaHelen

July SAL Update

It’s time for an update on the Christmas Stocking I am stitching for my son.  I had discovered a pretty significant error when I started the second set of “windows” and started looking ahead to the toe part of the stocking.img_9761

That looks pretty good, right?  Well… when I started this project, I wanted to start in the top left hand corner instead of the center.  I like to go from left to right, top to bottom and lots of the color was the same in the beginning – to me it just made sense.  I counted, recounted, counted again.  Did some math.  Counted, recounted and did more math and was pretty certain everything was good to go.  Then I started the stitching.  Those of you who have been part of this SAL know this has been a very long term project for me.  I am not a quick stitcher, I am quite slow.  That does not bother me – I love stitching.  This project has gone on timeout and come out of timeout more times than I can count.  I have stitched and un-stitched.

Well…  this error is not something I can unstitch without scrapping the whole stocking and starting over.  The toe of the stocking is on the left of the stitching.  In other words, I am too close to the edge of the fabric on the left – WAY too close, 3 inches too close in fact.

Once I realized that, my stomach sank and I sat there looking at the stitching for awhile (probably longer than I want to admit) and then had a really, really good cry.  Then I set it on the table (not back in the bag where I keep it to be safe) and walked away.  I went out to garden, took a shower and made dinner.  All with that piece of stitching on the table.  My kids and husband knew something was wrong.  My youngest son (15), kept coming up to me and giving me a hug telling me that it would be ok and I would figure it out.

I left that stitching out all night on the table which is unheard of.  We have three cats and a dog.  I did not sleep well at all.  Then, I did have an idea.  Because I started close to the left hand side, I had quite a bit of “empty” fabric on the right side.  I decided to try something out (something I still don’t know if it will work right).  I measured, counted, did some math (we all know how that works for me).img_9762

And cut my fabric at the top right of the project.  A big enough piece to overlap on the left with enough to stitch the toe and have a margin.img_9763

Then I pinned it to the right section.  Pinning was not enough so…img_9776

I added basting stitches to hold everything in place all lined up.  That looks pretty easy, but it was really a bear and took HOURS.  Originally, the holes didn’t want to match so when I put the needle down from the top, I had to flip the fabric and make sure the needle went into the correct hole on the bottom.  And then I had to repeat the process again from back to front.  All in all, it seems to be working ok now.img_9870

Stitching on the double piece is still a little fiddly.  Even though it’s all lined up and held together with those basting stitches, I still have to flip and check to make sure I’m on target for almost every stitch.  It’s really SLOW going.  I am hopeful that this “patch” will work and wont’ look too wonky when it’s complete.  Only time will tell.

There are lots of more talented and creative stitchers who are a part of this group.  Please take a look at their projects if you get a chance:
AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeCarmelaSharonDaisyAnneConnieAJJennyLauraCathieLindaHelen

June HQAL Update

It’s that time!  Time to update on how I’ve been doing on the project that I’ve chosen for my hand-quilt-a-long.  The project I’m working on is called Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  I have a few more “flowers” complete and at the end a question (I need some advice).img_9777

Number one flower.  I love these little cats and I’ve now used that fabric to patch a pair of my favorite gardening pants.img_9781

Number two flower.  As you can tell, I’ve deviated from flower fabrics.  I’m just sewing whatever makes me happy at the time.img_9779

Flower number three.  I love these bunnies so much!  I also used this one as a patch on the same pair of gardening pants even though there wasn’t a hole to mend.img_9783

Flower number four.img_9785

Flower number five almost complete.  I’m having a bit of a challenge with sewing the white fabric – it’s a little thicker than all the rest and my fingers hurt.  I’m sure they will toughen up as I keep sewing!

I couldn’t help but do a close up of these hexis!!  Now onto my question:img_9786

That configuration of flowers looks a little odd.  Have I attached them strangely or do I just need to add another one in the middle right over the orange and purple flowers?

It would be good for you to know also that this will no longer be a quilt for the bed.  I knitted one right after my husband and I were married and that one is on our bed right now (almost 29 years later).  My husband is quite attached to it and does not want another one, he very much likes the one that is there.

I have decided that this will be a table covering (I’m open to someone telling me this isn’t a good idea)

And now the details of this HQAL:

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyMargaretTracyDebSusan,  Nanette,  EdithSharonKarrinGretchenKathiDaisyMonica and Sherrie

I’m also linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Stitch Sunday.

June SAL Update

It’s time for my SAL Update.  I belong to a group of stitchers online and participate in a stitch-a-long.  This stitch-a-long is different from most in that each member chooses their own project to work and posts updates every three weeks.  I’m working on a Christmas Stocking for one of my sons.  Here is where I was at the last update:

img_9594

5/31/20 – SAL Update.

And this is where I am now:

img_9751

6/21/20-SAL Update

I have been finding a little bit more time here and there to work on this and I’m quite pleased with my progress.  With a little bit of stitching time each day, I’m hoping to be done with this window pane by the next update.

If you have time, please take a look at the other stitch-a-long members and their progress (list below).

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborah, Mary MargaretRenee, CarmelaJocelynSharonDaisyAnne,  AJJennyLauraCathie, SherrieHelen