I love you to the moon…

A little while ago, I took Sharon Boggon’s Sumptuous Surface Embroidery class. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I learned a ton in that class, and had a lot of fun working on my class projects, even if the umbrella girl didn’t turn out quite as I imagined she was going to. I chalk it up to learning, and there is very little that I like better than learning something new.

One of the few things I like better than learning something new is getting to apply that learning to a project you had in mind. Like this one:

It doesn’t look like much here, fresh off the hoop and sort of naked. But framed in a little frame painted in a coordinating colour?

I think it’s just lovely.

There’s just one problem… Now that I’ve finished it, I don’t want to give it away. I want it for myself.

I guess I’ll just have to make another one. Right after I finish the rest of my new baby gift making. But then there’s Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas craft making and gingerbread house making and gift wrapping and cookie eating…

I think I can pencil it in for sometime in June of 2018.


TAST goes crazy again

I have been catching up on my stitching for the Take A Stitch Tuesday challenge, and it has been a lot of fun. Most of the stitches have been completely new to me and so I have merely tried my hand at working them without doing anything too fancy. This past week, I tried my hand at Wheat Ear stitch and crossed buttonhole, and I enjoyed them both.

I thought the crossed buttonhole looked a little like flower stems waving in the wind, so I added some flowers using a beautiful pink silk thread that was part of the wonderful gift of threads my grandmother gave me at Christmas.

Wasn’t that just the most beautiful gift to give a stitcher? It makes me smile every time I see it when I think of how I am carrying on a tradition of embroidery. I smile harder every time I touch it and think of all the times this roll must have been touched the very same way in anticipation of the pleasure of stitching that is to come. And I smile hardest of all when I stitch something beautiful with my beautiful gift of thread and think of it spending long years in a lighthouse before eventually making its way to me, and how something as innocent looking as thread can be manipulated in so many ways to create such beautiful things.

My new crazy quilt block is not beautiful, not yet. But with a little more thread and a whole lot of time, it will be. How can it be otherwise, when its threads have such a rich history?



Mama’s TAST progress

B isn’t the only one who has been working at learning TAST stitches lately. I’m still working away on the Christmas wall hanging and little by little, it is filling in. I’m a little behind in posting, so I’ll update you on a whole bunch of stitches all at once.

Week 14 was the satin stitch, and while B was busy with her bonnet girl, I was busy making trees. On the wall hanging, there is a little row of trees, tiny and sweet. While the pattern called for simple green felt triangles to make the foliage, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to do something a little more special. When Sharon B’s TAST challenge called for the satin stitch, I promptly stitched up two the the trees in an angled satin stitch.

The two outermost trees were filled in with chain stitch, mostly because I hadn’t done a lot of chain stitch before the TAST challenge and I liked how it looked and thought it would make lovely trees. The centre tree sat for a while, until TAST challenged us to make French knots, and I realized I really, really wanted a tree that looked rather like a fussy little boxwood topiary and French knots fit that bill perfectly.

An old mentor/boss from years ago when I worked at the science museum moved to Japan some years ago and has been posting pictures of cherry blossoms all over her blog, and so — being far from finished having a love affair with French knots — I made some cherry blossoms in stitches too.

I rather like how they turned out, and B announced they were her favourite letters ever. The PEACE letters acquired a few other stitches, too. A whipped wheel, some straight stitches, some chevron stitches, feather stitches, fly stitches, lazy daisy stitches, and a fun variation on barred chain stitch — a stitch I had never tried before and took several tries to get right.

I knew that TAST would teach me new stitches, but I never imagined that the combination of having taken Sharon B’s crazy quilting class last fall combined with seeing what everyone else is producing for TAST would create such a profound change in my own stitching.

I used to be a follow-the-pattern stitcher. Oh, I would vary things a little here and there, usually by omitting sequins in favour of much more interesting beads, but I never strayed far from the aesthetic of the original pattern and I relied on my favourite half-dozen stitches. Now… now I feel that there is an infinite amount of room for variation, and I can’t wait to learn more stitches!

(Now I just have to catch up on the last 3 weeks of TAST stitching! Wheat-ear stitch, here I come!)

The Bonnet Girl and TAST progress

About a month ago, when my computer crashed and I was unable to upload pictures from the camera, I promised to post pictures of B’s bonnet girl with her satin stitch hem. The satin stitch hem has been joined by a stem stitch outline and, little by little, progress is being made.

It may not seem like much progress, but this represents several days of stitching for Miss B. First, she had to learn the stitches, you see, and then try them, and then despair at ever getting them even, and then rejoice in a small success, and then get bored with stitching and run off to play for a while.

Satin stitch takes a very long time to stitch, you see. Especially when you keep getting interrupted by friends wanting to play and homework that needs doing and bicycles just begging to be ridden all around the neighbourhood and hammocks that need swinging in.

Nice weather is such a distraction.


TAST Satin Stitch

I happened across an adorable embroidery pattern – a set of vintage-styled bonnet girls doing housework the other day. There is one for each day of the week, with captions such as “Laundry on Monday” and “Ironing on Tuesday” and so on. They are terribly cute, and Miss B agrees.

She agrees so much, in fact, that immediately after downloading the pattern, we carefully traced the pattern for the ironing girl onto a piece of white evenweave fabric and she has started stitching it.

Since the TAST stitch for the week is the satin stitch, after a quick lesson, she set to work filling in the hem of the bonnet girl’s dress with satin stitches in pink. (I would love to show you a photo but with my recent computer troubles, I still have not gotten the card reader working to be able to download photos from the camera).

You may recall that Miss B declared pink to no longer be her favourite colour a while back. So much so that we had to replace her pink bedding with a turquoise quilt, and repaint her pink walls with a pale blue. It seems that while pink is no longer a favourite colour, it still has a place in her heart.

(And on the hem of a bonnet girl’s dress.)


Somehow, in the midst of the usual busy-ness around here, posting about our Take A Stitch Tuesday progress completely slipped my mind last week. We admittedly missed a week, but then Sharon very kindly gave us a catch-up week, and catch up I did.

I stitched the barred chain stitch on a scrap of fabric, and in trying to figure out how to do it, I stumbled across an open variation of the stitch that I like rather better than the stitch itself. I promptly used it on the Christmas wall hanging I am working on, and was most satisfied with how it turned out.

B said it was super great, and the letters that have been embellished with french knot cherry blossoms and other stitches in a slightly less than encrusted fashion have been declared to be her very best favourite letters out of all the letters on the piece. Of course, up until now that only included J, O, and Y, so there wasn’t all that much competition, but I do have to admit that I like how they turned out, too.

I wish I could show you a picture, but with my main computer dead and me working off the netbook which does not have a card reader and it not compatible with the external card reader thing (which, I must admit, is practically an antique to begin with), I am unable to post photos at the moment. I will, later, I promise! Once I get this whole computer thing sorted out. For now, you’ll have to trust me when I say it is very, very pretty. And you don’t have to take my word for it… even B says it is ‘super great’!

TAST: Whipped Wheels

Just a quick post to show you how much fun we had this week working our TAST stitches. B declared the whipped wheel to be hard to stitch, but sort of fun and annoying, all at the same time. But didn’t she do a beautiful job on her bird with a whipped wheel accent on her wing? (I’ve been told the bird is female.)

On the other wing, she made a lazy-daisy flower.

I continued working on the Christmas wall hanging I’ve been slowly filling with stitches, and the star got a whipped wheel, while the Christmas tree was treated to couched silver threads for garland and a chain-stitch tree stand.