TAST Week 7

Back in the fall, I took Sharon B’s Encrusted Crazy Quilting class. I loved it. You may remember me blogging about it. In fact, I don’t think I shut up about it for the entire 6 weeks of the class, and a good few weeks after that. Right before I took that class, I had started working on a Christmas wall hanging that is pieced together out of different coloured felts and embellished with a tiny bit of embroidery and a whole lot of sequins. Before Sharon’s class, I thought it was charming and fun and lovely, and it would be a great thing to hang on the wall in December. About three weeks into the class, I took one look at the stitching in progress and ripped it all out, only to replace it with the new sorts of stitching and embellishing I was learning.

It was great fun.

Of course, when you are talking about covering a piece that is about 18″ wide by 24″ long with tiny little embroidery stitches, buttons, beads, and more… well, it takes a while. I’ve been working away at it, but as is usual for me, it is not the only project on the go, and so it gets an hour or two here and there and slowly becomes more detailed, and much heavier, too. That much embroidery thread weighs a piece down.

Why am I telling you about this? Because all over the piece, there are detached chain stitches, which I first learned at my grandmother’s knee as lazy daisies. I love lazy daisy stitches. They are so darn cute! And they can be used in so many different ways. I used them in sets of three along the left-hand edge of the light blue felt, since I felt the border needed a little something extra along that side. I also used them in the letters of the word JOY.

There are large gold daisies formed with lazy daisy stitches, of course, but there are tiny lazy daisies scattered throughout as well, and random single lazy daisy stitches, too. You can also see the trio of stitches with a bead at the base in these photos.

I’ve started embellishing the snowflake, too, and like the letters, it will be getting its fair share of lazy daisy stitches. I’ve started already.

According to the pattern, I was supposed to put white sequins everywhere there is a dot. It looks cute enough in the picture on the package, but I like this way better. But all of these stitches were started before Sharon B’s TAST Week 7 challenge, and to be honest, they are all very traditional uses of the lazy daisy stitch. So, I thought I would experiment a little, and try out a new way of stitching one of my favourite stitches.

Now, I am the first to admit that I am not a very accomplished embroiderer. I like to embroider, especially on felt, but I definitely fall into the category of “beginner”, and maybe (if you are feeling generous) “intermediate.” My stitches aren’t that even, I hardly ever know what it is going to look like before I try it, and I spend a lot of time thinking a very great many bad words as things just don’t turn out the way I had hoped.

My brilliant plan for lazy daisy awesomeness falls into that last category. The idea had potential, but it just didn’t work out.

I wanted to give the feel of feathers, overlapping each other in layers and giving shape to the bird’s wings. I had visions of the wing edge looking like a cluster of individual feathers spread out to catch the wind. You know, something like this amazingly talented stitcher did with her owl. (Go check it out. Seriously. Then you’ll know why I don’t consider myself particularly talented at embroidery.)

It didn’t quite work, but I’m not terribly unhappy with it either. I think I’m going to need to work it in a finer thread than I used here, and with several shades to give the bird dimension, and with feathers at the end.

(Anyone have any white feathers I could have? Mine are mostly browns and dark greys. Hmm, maybe that’s what I should use my Michael’s gift certificate for… can’t you just picture that conversation? “Honey? You remember that gift certificate you got me for Valentine’s Day? I bought feathers! Lots and lots of feathers!”)

At any rate, it needs a little more pondering and a lot more stitching. I think I’ll go ponder some more over a slice of cake.

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