Nut House #1 by Laura Wasilowski
I love teaching locally. No flights to catch, no planes to board, no stress. Just a calm ride through the countryside to visit with a local guild like the Racine Lighthouse Quilters Guild in Wisconsin.
You’ll find me there next week where I’m teaching Another Nut House (designs based upon actual experience.)
Nut House #3 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski
In this fun workshop students begin with a basic acorn pattern and end up improvising their own house designs. You never know where their imaginations will lead!
Nut House #4 by Laura Wasilowski
Would you like to see what this class is all about? Here’s a link to a video so you can preview the class offering: click Another Nut House.
Spring Blooms #10 by Laura Wasilowski
OK, a quick interruption of the improv on wool project I’ve been showing you. Why? Because my progress is being interrupted by that four letter word- WORK.
Spring Blooms #11 by Laura Wasilowski
Yes, I’m off to teach my Woven Flower Basket Quilts class in several locations and I’ve discovered that I don’t have any examples to show my students. Well, I have the step-outs, examples of the process for making the quilts. But I don’t have any finished pieces to show. (Happily all the finished work has been sold!)
So we interrupt our previous wool stitch project to create more flower basket quilts. These two are hot off the press and I must admit I enjoyed making each one.
Here’s what to love about hand embroidery- you can take it with you. You only need these basic items: fabric, needle, thread, thimble, and a pair of scissors. Hand embroidery is a great vacation pass time!
Which is what I’ve been doing the last few weeks. Relaxing with family, getting sun burned, and stitching. Well, maybe not stitching a lot. As you can see my garden didn’t grow very much while I was on vacation. Vacationing is great but it is also very exhausting so it’s good to be back in my shady studio again.
Flower Vase Stitch Along by Laura Wasilowski
Do you need a vacation project? Then please check out my free project on wool on the C&T Blog the Flower Vase Stitch Along. Or if you need a few months to think about your next stitch project, check out my IQF classes this fall in Houston. I’ll be teaching several classes including Felt Like Gardening in the morning on October 30. See you there!
The blue flowers are very sweet on this improvisational stitchery. But something big and bold is needed for the focal point. Enter the Chain Stitch. Stitched in a size 8 pearl cotton, it curves down the center of the piece. Add a few straight stitches spiking from the chain and we’re in business. Could this be a future big and bold flower stem?
While thinking this through, I’ve added lots of Ermine Stitches in size 8 thread across the base of the garden. Don’t you love how the yellow pops on that rich red background?
Sometimes its a challenge to choose thread colors for an unexpected background color like this. But if you think in terms of contrast in value or hue, it opens up your thread color choices a great deal. Can’t wait to see what the fabric tells me to do next!
The red wool I’m using for my improvised embroidery is a boiled wool. It is fairly thick, a little fuzzy, and ever so easy to stitch. In it’s previous life it was a jacket. Also, in a previous life, I demonstrated how to make these blue Fishbone Stitches on the wool to a student. I think I did it right.
To me the Fishbone Stitches look like something growing which triggers my theme for this improvised piece- a garden. And what does a garden need? Soil of course! The horizon line made with a Couched size 3 pearl cotton indicates the rich loamy soil of Illinois. Add Stem Stitches with a few Lazy Daisy Stitches and the plants are anchored into place. Now its time to improvise even more plants in my imaginary garden.
Today I unearthed this swatch of red wool fabric. The few stitches you see represent my attempt to teach a student how to make the Fern and Stem Stitches. The blue thread shows my attempts at the Fishbone Stitch.
My first thought upon seeing this red wool was “Ouch!, I left a needle in the fabric.” The second was, “Can I make something from this?”
Improvisational or free-form embroidery challenges your brain and tests your ability to surrender to needle and thread. So, for the next few weeks, I’m going to give my brain a work out and try to improvise a design beginning with these few random acts of stitching. I’ll show you the results as I progress and we can lament my lack of brain power together.
Now, where did I put that needle?