Archive for January, 2012

TAST 2012 – Cretan Stitch

January 29, 2012

This week’s stitch sample is the Cretan stitch.  A couple of years ago, I was making an art quilt and attaching various types of quilt techniques to the main piece with copper wire.  It didn’t work out the way I envisioned, so I removed all the little quilts.  One was a crazy quilt example and it has some Cretan stitching on it on the upper left seam:


It was stitched with a variegated Sulky 12wt cotton thread which is hard to see in the photo.  There are also little bead cluster added to the point of every other stitch. 

To put the piece in perspective, it measures 2.75″ x 3.75″.  You can see the little copper wire loops at the top if you look at the picture closely.  Now to decide what to do with this little gem.  I do like how it came out, but can’t decide what to do with it.  Maybe this should be my crazy quilt journal project – 12 months of little crazy quilted gems.  Hmm, I’m liking that idea quite a bit.  Stayed tuned for further developments.  LOL



TAST 2012 – Feather Stitch

January 23, 2012

I’ve been thining and thinking and thinking about what to do with this week’s stitch and finally realized, I was over thinking.  😉  Tonight I got down to business and started embroidering.  I dug through my thread collection looking for a wool thread and realized, nope, that wouldn’t work.  Then I got some YLI Candlelight and realized it was too thick for my idea.  Then I tried some sewing thread – yes, sewing thread – YLI metallic copper thread.

You see my idea was to embellish a beautiful embossed cotton fabric to add another layer of interest to the fabric.  And this is the result:

I’m really pleased with the effect.  I wouldn’t want to do this for yards and yards of fabric, but it would be lovely for a patch in a crazy quilt block, and I think it would be wonderful on a jacket band.  Not the entire length.  I’d scatter a bit towards the bottom on one side and up by the face on the other side.  A few inches of metallic thread embellishment would serve to draw attention to the areas on the jacket you desire.

So no fabulous art piece was created, but I did experiment with different fabric, different threads, and learned what worked and what wouldn’t for this idea, and I had fun doing it.  In my book, that makes for a successful TAST experience.


TAST 2012 – Buttonhole Stitch

January 14, 2012

I’m so proud of myself.  I experimented with week two’s TAST stitch – the buttonhole stitch earlier this week.  In fact, the only reason I didn’t post earlier was because my pictures came out too dark.  We had a snow storm yesterday and it was hard to get a decent photo.

Here is this week’s sample:

For some reason, I was thinking about spirals, so decided to draw one on my fabric and follow around the line with the buttonhole stitch.  I wanted the spiral drawn line to stand out, so added dimension and strength to the line by adding glass seed beads (Mill Hill Color # 330).

And for those of you who would like to see how I added them, I took some additional photos of the stitching in progress.

Even though this is in the middle of my stitching, imagine this first picture is the start of your buttonhole stitch.  The needle thread is coming up from the back – on the drawn line – and this is the time to add a bead to the needle:

Slide the bead down the thread:

Make a the buttonhole stitch with the needle, and nestle the bead into place with the needle tip:

If you like, you can hold the bead in place with your thumb:

Pull the needle through the fabric, and that’s all there is to it.  Add another bead on the needle, slide it into place, take another stitch and before you know it, you have a beautifully embroidered spiral design. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I did with the buttonhole stitch, and my little mini tutorial is helpful.


TAST 2012 – The Fly Stitch

January 12, 2012

Nothing like being a week late, but here is my example of the first week for the TAST 2012 sample:

This was my take on the classic fly stitch.  I elongated the stitch and made a very short tail on it – much like a stab stitch, so that it disappears in the embroidery.  I worked one row, turned the hoop, and sewed in the opposite direction for the second row, making sure the needle went in the same holes at the top of the stitch as the previous row.

There are lots of variations for this.  If I had made the stitch the same width, but halved the length, I would have ended up with a squatter, rounder effect.  I like this diamond effect though, and plan on adding at least 2 more layers of stitching to this piece.  Something will be added to the middle of each diamond, and where the little stab stitch is will have either a bead or a rounded stitch sewed with metallic thread.

What I learned:

I don’t like using a hoop.  That stitch lay beautifully in the hoop.  The thread tension was perfect, and the stitches were nice and even.  The minute I released the fabric from the hoop, the threads loosened and it wasn’t perfectly straight anymore.  Obviously, I had the fabric stretched too tightly in the hoop.  It was a spring hoop, so there wasn’t much I could do to loosen the tension.

It was awkward for me to hold the hoop and sew at the same time too, but saying that, I will try a different hoop for this week’s stitch.  This time I’ll try a hoop where I can adjust the fabric tension – a screw hoop.  And I’ll make two samples – one with a hoop, and one without so I can compare results.

Thanks so much to Sharon Boggins for offering this challenge again.  I’m experimenting with lots of different ideas and the “what if I try this” concept will help me learn a lot more about embroidery.


Happy New Year

January 1, 2012

One of the things I do annually on New Year’s Day is to try and remember what I accomplished in the previous year, but today,  found myself looking forward to what the new year will bring instead.

Two major creative challenges I’m participating in  during 2012 are the  Crazy Quilt Journal Project and Take a Stitch Tuesday.   I enjoy hand stitching and am looking forward to both these activities.

I’ve also signed up for a World Wide Crazy Quilt Round Robin – Build a Seam.

Ricky Tims, Alex Anderson and Libby Lehman are coming to town this summer, and I sent in my registration for that.  I’m going just for the experience of being part of one of their seminars.  I’ve been a member of The Quilt Show since the beginning and would love to meet Ricky and Alex in person, plus I love Libby Lehman’s thread work.

Another art quilt is in progress, and last but not least, my destashing is slowly but surely progressing.

Regular blog readers know that I have a lot of “stuff” in my house.  In my defense, I still have a business, and half of my “stuff” is my inventory.  The thing is, I have a LOT of everything.  I’ve been trying to lighten the load since 2005 and am proud to say another 229 pounds of my treasures have left the building.  That makes for a grand total of  2,733 pounds out of here.

This slow but steady progress isn’t very visible in my home.  The shelves are still full and the closets too, but I’m going in the right direction.  I honestly think it’ll take me another few years to make a serious dent in this endeavor, but who knows?  I just might reach my goal of 5,000 pounds out of here before 2020.  😉

I wish a very Happy and Healthy New Year to all of you.