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!

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.

Traveling? Some Stitch Tips

silkstitching1Believe it or not, I’m looking forward to a long, long car ride next week. Why? It’s an opportunity to stitch for extended stretches of time without those bothersome interruptions like fabric dyeing, thread washing, and being chased around the garden by mosquitoes.

etuiSo as I pack up my etui, threads, and stitch projects I have a few tips for your next stitching adventure on the road:

  • Safety first. Have someone else drive the car.
  • Only stitch in the daylight. Unless you are wearing a head lamp, stitching at night can be dangerous.
  • Bring all your supplies with you (needles, thread, scissors, thimble). Most roadside convenience stores do not carry embroidery thread.
  • Find a safe place to stick the needle when it’s not being used. I can not stress this enough. You may think you are just popping out of the car for a quick coffee run but you are really losing the needle in the seat of the car only to be discovered by a disgruntled spouse when it’s your turn to drive.
  • Expect attention from passing semi-truck drivers. Truck drivers are very nosy and like to look over your shoulder when you stitch.
  • Do not listen to politics on the car radio. Reactions to stupid remarks by candidates can cause you to lose control of the needle resulting in finger stabs.
  • Do not give driving directions when stitching. The driver does not appreciate seeing a needle waving “go left” out of the corner of his eye.

Wool Winner Announced

sarahwool

Free-Form embroidery on wool by Sarah.

Thank you all for leaving comments for the wool scraps give-away. It’s always fun to hear about you’re creative plans. We all have such active imaginations that must be nourished with art making! And speaking of creativity, isn’t this embroidery by one of my students beautiful? Thank you Sarah for sharing your artwork with us.

joyfulstitchingfrontcoverI must admit, I owe my love of wool stitchery to my new book, Joyful Stitching. Writing the book taught me so much about the joy of free-form embroidery. (You can read a recent review of the book here.)

And now for the lucky winner of the package of wool scraps. I’ll be sending it out to: Jackie of Colorado.

Thank you all and keep on stitching!