How to Stitch and Drive


Weezie’s Wildflowers #23 (detail) by Laura Wasilowski

Going on a road trip this summer? Next time you take a long car ride, bring your stitching project along. I do this all the time. Above you see some of the stitching completed during a really, really long ride to the lovely city of Buffalo, NY. It is far away.

Here are some helpful tops for stitching on your next road trip:

  • 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.

Playing with Left Overs #5

woventree8The best part about hand embroidery to a fused art quilt is that you can make it up as you go along. And if you don’t like a stitch? Just clip the thread and start over. I’m not sure what those red triangle are on the grass below the tree but with hand stitching, who cares!  The flowers on the horizon are made with Bullion Stitches, Lazy Daisy for leaves, and a few Stem Stitches. All the grassy knolls will have Blanket Stitches to outline them. I’m using the Thinest thread I dye, the Size 12 for these fine stitches. Easy to work with and full of color.

Playing with Left Overs #4

woventree6After my fused composition is complete, I steam set the quilt top to the non-scrim side of the batting. Steaming for 10 seconds in each spot sets the glue and makes it easier to add hand stitchery. Here you see a few Lazy Daisy stitches and a Running Stitch on the tree top using a Size 8 thread in the Oranges colorway. I’m just getting started!

woventree7Next, the Blanket Stitch is used to outline the tree trunk and give it definition. Jaunty French Knots trim the tree top to make it look….jaunty. Can’t wait to work on the next part of the design, the ground.

Playing with Left Overs #3

woventree4It’s a tree! With a little trimming, my left over woven collage is clipped into the shape of a plaid tree. (These are only indigenous to my neighborhood.)

woventree5Add a tree top, a sky, some lawn features, a border, and the design is complete. (Please note that the lighting in this photo is a little off. Maybe my camera is especially attracted to yellow?) Next up? Stitching!