The End: Gardening #4

feltlikegardening2And now for the fun part in making this Felt Like Gardening composition. Connecting the flowers with Chain Stitches that curl and loop to the ground adds motion and liveliness to the design. It’s always good to give a composition as little activity.

fabricscraps2As I  set this aside for a new project, I’m reminded that we all have so many ideas in our head there’s not enough time to finish them all. You have to pick and choose. And sometimes we must give ourselves permission to choose the fun project over the obligatory project. Think we should all go play play with our fabric now!

The Girdle and Gardening #3

feltgarden7Thank heavens for my skills of disorganization. As this embroidery evolves (without a plan), I am forced to discover new ways of using stitches and thread colors to enhance the felt. When in doubt, go with old Chain StitchesThey hold  down the little yellow leafy things and Straight Stitches make the veins.

feltgarden8Next up: have Blanket Stitches girdle the flower lobes in place. (Girdle, haven’t used that word on years!) Add a few Bullion Knots to top off the flower and a Stem Stitch to outline the bud.

This strategy of not planning too far ahead for a project started years ago. I had a specific look I wanted to achieve for a piece of artwork. That look never approached what I saw in my minds eye. It was so disappointing that I did not live up to my own standards. And so I gave up and chucked my standards. And feel much better now, thank you. Give it a try. Chuck your standards today!

Felt Like Gardening #2

feltgarden3Time to tack down the rest of this grass (or whatever it’s called) on the felt garden project. The bottom of the edge of the felt has been trimmed with a pinking blade so I’ll use the size 8 thread to outline those edges. The ideal outline stitch on a pinked edge is the Fly Stitch. But lets change it up.

feltgarden4Instead of completing the Fly Stitch with a stitch to make the peak of the Fly, turn that stitch into a Lazy Daisy Stitch at the top of the peak.

feltgarden5And instead of completing the Lazy Daisy with a stitch over the top of the loop, add a French Knot to secure the loop.

feltgarden6Next, add a Straight Stitch inside each loop of the Lazy Daisy using a contrasting thread color. That was fun! I love it when I can combine stitches to make new marks. Hurray for embroidery!

A Yellow Chair Stitch Along

germanmagazinecover

For those of you touring Germany this Fall, please stop in to your local quilt store for a copy of Quilt & Textilkunst Patchwork Professional.

You’ll know which magazine to pick up by the sight of my blue chair, Arm Chair Gardener, featured on the cover.

There is also a gift inside for you.

 

yellowchair1bA free tutorial shows you how to make this free-form Yellow Chair embroidery on wool. Step-by-step directions and images lead you through the process.

Not in Germany? Unable to read the German directions? Ah, then I have a solution for you. Check out the  Yellow Chair Tutorial on my website. And here is a Yellow Chair Stitch Kit to get you started.

Glückliche Stickerei!

How Long It Takes

housestitching2Do people ask you how long it takes to make something? I get this often, but never keep track of my time.  But I have finally come up with an answer.

housestitching1To do this much hand embroidery on this little house quilt took about 6 hours. How do I know? Because that’s how much time it takes to drive from Chicago to Akron, OH. So from now on, that’s my answer. You may use it as well.

Teach a Kid to Stitch

dishtowel Like many of you I began as a child. My mom taught me the basic hand stitches for that time honored craft of embroidery on dish towels. I took to it like a dancing tomato.

kidstitchingNow it’s time to teach our children (or grandchildren) to stitch. Hand embroidery is an art form that deals with color, texture, pattern, and the joy of making something by hand. Instead of a video game, give them a needle and thread.

handoffortunemaxSo here’s an idea. Trace your child’s hand onto cotton or silk fabric. Put it in a hoop or fuse it to batting for stability (this is how the Hand of Fortune embroidery is done). Basic stitches like the Running Stitch, Stem Stitches, and Cross Stitches are easy to learn. Older children can learn Lazy Daisy Stitches and French Knots.

That’s all you need to have fun. Teach a kid to stitch.