Sunday, December 2, 2012

TAST - Week 48

Arrowhead or Arrow stitch
Finally a very simple embroidery stitch - Arrowhead Stitch.  Can create snowflakes (if worked in a circle), decorative border work, etc.  

Not my greatest work - in a hurry to catch up - now that I look at the picture of my work, I can see that I cannot count as they are quite uneven!  

You can view many more samples ( all of which have even stitches - they obviously know how to count better than me...) at TAST.

TAST - Week 47

Portuguese Border Stitch
The Portuguese Border Stitch forms a textured braid like stitch - good for strong lines or stacked side by side to produce textured areas.

I used 3 strands of floss for the green sample; pearl cotton size 5 for the middle and size 12 for the end.  I did learn a few things:  do not pull the stitches, width of 'ladder' matters for the size of thread (to wide for the first sample and too narrow for the middle); not easy to go around curves.  

But I did enjoy the stitch and Sharon at TAST as well as 'The Embroidery Stitch Bible' were both a great help. You can view many excellent samples at TAST.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stain Glass

When I retired one of the things I wanted to try was stain glass, but I was so busy with painting classes, photography, quilting and embroidery - plus all the lunch and physical activities.  Plus I really did not feel like driving back and forth to the city.  Then a local stain glass person, Carol Hiebert at Catch Yer Eye offered to instruct me - she had me come for four - 3 hour classes.  I really enjoyed the experience - probably as it is so close to quilting.  This is also very unfortunate as I discovered that this new 'hobby' is also very expensive!!  So this one hanging is worth a lot unless I get back there in 2013 and create more pieces - by the time you buy the cutters, pliers, solutions, etc., etc.

Right now it proudly hangs in my window and looks wonderful when the sun shines through it!

TAST - week 46

Checkered or Majic Chain
This week's stitch was fun to complete, after I was able to coordinate my fingers - it required the use of two threads in the needle and it is the Checkered or Majic Chain stitch.  I used pearl cotton #5 as trying to use floss would have been a mess....

More samples and wonderful creations with this stitch can be viewed at TAST.

I would like to thank the wonderful people who have been so kind and leave encouraging comments - one day I will take the time to see how to set my blog up to reply to comments - will need to add this item to my to-do list.

TAST - week 45

Open Base Needlewoven Picot
The Open Base Needlewoven Picot was the chosen stitch of the week.  I had (mistakenly) stitched a few of them in week 44, Closed Base Needlewoven Picot - now I do know the difference and I was able to stitch them much better.  I used 4 strands of floss for the first three, #5 for the next two and #12 for the last two.  I even tried to do a long one at the end - some of you must have used really long needles to wrap around or your sample was really small.

Sharon B at says it is a great stitch for lichen type textures on motifs of trees and bark; stacked in semi circles for great pinecones or worked in circles to form petals for flower like motifs - the leaves stand free from fabric in a 3D manner.  You can see many more samples of this stitch and some really great creations - corn, bananas, water creations, etc at TAST.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

TAST - Week 44

Closed Base Needlework Picot
The Closed Base Needlewoven Picot or Needlewoven Picot Leaf stitch is known as leaf like to be used in floral motifs.  Another very nice raised & detailed stitch.

I think I made a few that were just Woven Picots (re Mary Thomas's Dictionary) - base was spread further apart and therefore much easier to find the outer and middle thread to weave through.  It is also easier to complete with Pearl cotton #5 thread than the #12 or 2-strands of floss!  But I could not get the final product to look as detailed (and as cob on the corn appearance...) as Sharon B at TAST (check here for instruction) or The Embroidery Handbook - practice, practice, practice.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

TAST - Week 43

Week 43 - Buttonhole Wheel Cup Stitch
Buttonhole Wheel Cup was the stitch of the week.  This makes a great textured embroidery and is based on the buttonhole wheel stitch and then combined with detached buttonhole.  One row of detached buttonhole produces a ridge, two rows a small cup and three a deeper cup, etc. according to Sharon B at TAST.  I again used a variety of floss and pearl cotton 5 & 12.  Definitely a sweet stitch!

Monday, October 22, 2012

TAST - Week 42

Week 42 - Italian Border Stitch

The Italian Border stitch is great for borders and edges.  It can also be worked in a line, arranged in a line or worked in a circle.

I used a combination of threads - 2 and 3-ply floss, pearl cotton 5 & 12.  I found the stitch easy - more stitches by other wonderful artists can be seen here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

TAST Week 41

Week 41 - Knotted Loop Stitch
This week Sharon gave instructions for the Knotted Loop stitch.  It is described as being ideal for borders and ideal for crazy quilting.  The arms can be spaced differently and extended or contracted easily to form many shapes.  You can view the work of many others at TAST

I used 2 strands of floss, pearl cotton 5 and 12.   Each gave a much different texture to the shapes.  My fish definitely needs work (more practice....).

TAST - Week 40

Week 40 - Beaded Hedebo Edge
This is the Beaded Hedebo Edge stitch for Week 40.  It is described as decorative and is to be used as an edging stitch.  I used 2 strands of floss for the one on the left and pearl cotton 12 for the one on the right.  You can see more at TAST.

Friday, September 28, 2012

TAST - Weeks 38 & 39

Week 38 - Drizzle Stitch
Week 39- Knotted Buttonhole Stitch
Drizzle Stitch was the chosen stitch of Week 38 at TAST.  A funny stitch that is said to be used in Brazilian embroidery.  It involves retreading the thread while the needle is still in the fabric holding onto MANY cast on loops - the retreading part was frustrating, tricky and tedious, so I don't see myself doing a lot of them.  But they do make really interesting textures, so when I get better and want to do more of them, I will have to invest in a really good needle threader.  The three drizzles on the left were completed with 2 strands of floss, middle was with pearl cotton size 12 and the right arrangement was with cotton pearl size 5 - size 5 was much better.  One day I have to invest in some ribbon and try it.

Knotted Buttonhole was introduced as the stitch for Week 39 of TAST.  This stitch I liked.  I only used two strands of floss for this sample.  I am able to see many uses for this stitch as it handles nicely on curves, straight lines, and circles.

Monday, September 17, 2012

TAST - Week 37

Week 37 - Pistil Stitch
Sharon described the Pistil Stitch as a french knot with a tail and that it is ideal for the centre of flowers or arranged in a circle as a flower motif.

I enjoyed this stitch - simple, but expressive - one that I can seeing using in the future successfully.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

TAST Week 35

Week 35 - Sheaf Stitch
Sheaf Stitch was the challenge for Week 35.  Another stitch I was familiar with and that was easy for me to complete (either that or I am getting better...).  Mary Thomas's Dictionary said it was a handsome and unusual border stitch used in straight lines on both plain- and even-weave fabric, but presented a different way of completing than Sharon at TAST 2012 - so I tried both using 2 strands of floss.

Well, I am finally caught up (to last week) - Week 36 is a catch up week and Sharon has challenged us to create a visual piece of 3 - 6 past stitches - which will be a real challenge for me!

TAST Week 34

Week 34 - Linked Double
Linked Double stitch was the stitch challenge for Week 34.  There were not a lot of resources out there to help with this particular one as it is a combination of a chain and twisted chain stitch - so I am not even sure I was able to complete this stitch completely - but it "looks" similar to others. . .

Sharon at TAST 2012 states "this is a marvellous stitch as it will follow a curve well and lends itself to all sorts of interesting experimentation.  You can widen the chain stitches and play with spacing.  It looks particularly effective if you use a thread with a firm twist.  Silk ribbon also works well with this stitch. It lends itself to being embellished with beads too".

I only used 2 strands of floss for this stitch.

TAST Week 33

Week 33 - Pekinese Stitch
TAST 2012 presented the Pekinese stitch for Week 33.  A stitch I had never seen or heard about before!  Sharon B said "it is also a great finishing stitch around the edge of items like fabric postcards, ATC (Artist Trading Cards)  bags, purses, needle books or pin cushions. Anything small that requires a tidy edge".  Mary Tomas's Dictionary said it is also known as Chinese, blind or forbidden stitch.

Took quite some time for me to "try" and get my loops the same size throughout - but I did try and I am not too sure this stitch will be tried by me again - but one never knows!

TAST Week 32

Week 31 - Cast On Stitch

Week 32 at TAST 2012 gave us the Cast On Stitch.  Now I know how to make those pretty raised flowers!  I even tried different threads than my usual 2 strand floss - the grey is pearle cotton 5 and the yellow on the right is pearle 12.

"Crazy Quilting" has it in the Bullion Stitch category and I could see the similarities.  Definitely one I will use when I finally get around to starting (& hopefully finishing) a crazy quilt!

TAST Week 31

Week 31 - Algerian Eye
Sharon at TAST 2012 presented Algerian Eye Stitch for Week 31.  I have seen this stitch many times, especially in the Ukrainian costumes, just never knew the name for it.  Mary Thomas' Dictionary says it is also known as star or star eyelet stitch.

This stitch I was able to complete without any snags or body/hand/finger contortions!

TAST Week 30

Week 30 - Oyster Stitch
I had been spending too much time outside biking, golfing and just generally enjoying our beautiful summer and got behind on my stitches.  I was able to do most of them earlier, but just never got around to photographing them and posting them to the blog - but I am finally caught up and hope to stay caught up for the rest of this TAST year!

TAST had the Oyster Stitch for Week 30.  Sharon described it as being "very useful in floral motifs as like chain stitch, it works well on a curved line or worked as a disk".  I agree with the flower part and I worked it all with 2 strands of floss.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

TAST Weeks 28 & 29

Weeks 28 & 29
Hope this does not become a habit - doing two weeks at the same time.

The challenge on week 28 on TAST was the Up and Down Buttonhole.  Sharon described it as the loop that ties the two stitches that allows for all sorts of interesting things to happen. Like buttonhole it can be arranged in a number of ways, layered and is effective worked on a curve, in a circle with spines or along a curve.  I only used 2 strands of floss for the Up and Down Buttonhole stitches.

Basque Stitch was the TAST challenge for week 29 - or twisted daisy border stitch according to Mary Thomas's Dictionary.  I mostly used 2 strands of floss, but I also used 5 perle for the Basque stitches on the right.

Most enjoyable stitches - once I was able to coordinate my fingers and arms!  Hopefully one day I can take a look at these stitches and create some of the beautiful works of embroidery art that others seem to be able to do - one day!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

TAST Weeks 26 & 27

Weeks 26 & 27
I am combining two weeks worth of challenges as I had to run to the city to buy some more embroidery cloth as I was out.

Week 26 was the Palestrina Stitch, or also known as double knot or old English knot stitch.  I used floss and some perle #5 and all six strands of floss.

Week 27 was the Bonnet Stitch.  This one took some brain work on my part as you had to work from right to left.  For the most part I used three strands of floss.

I referred to Sharon at TAST and also Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches for help - both were very good resources.  I really need to work on getting the proper spacing - comes with more practice and time.

Monday, June 25, 2012

TAST Week 25

Week 25 - Cable Chain Stitch
Cable Chain Stitch, or Cable Stitch, is TAST's stitch challenge for this week.  It is a variation of the chain stitch, but with an added step of twisting the thread round the needle after each chain loop - it follows curves well and is used for working lines and borders.  You can also fill a shape by working evenly spaced.

It took a while to get used to this stitch and not sew to my clothes anymore.  I do need to work on regulating the stitch length.  I actually used something besides floss - found some beautiful hand dyed perle 12 at a quilt show and finally decided to use some of it - although I really hated to disturb the wonderful arrangement of colours in the package!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

TAST Week 24

Week 24 - Buttonhole Wheel Stitch
This week's challenge stitch on Pintangle is Buttonhole Wheel.  Also known as wheel stitch and buttonhole rings.  It is made by making buttonhole stitches in a circle, passing each vertical stitch through the same space in the centre.  I had fun working this stitch - might be a useful one for the next challenge using past stitches....

I have not yet completed last week's challenge, as noted by the absence of TAST Week 23 posting - will get to it yet.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

TAST Week 22

Week 22 - Knotted Cretan Stitch
Knotted Cretan is the stitch this week at Pintangle.  It is simply the Cretan stitch but with a knot made after each slanting stitch is completed - creates a more textured look.  I used just 2 stands of floss - I can see from other samples that the knots look much better with thicker fibers.  Took me while before I was not having to contort my body to manipulate the stitches!  Still not too sure I got them completely correctly, but had fun trying.

Monday, May 28, 2012

TAST Week 21

Week 21 - Butterfly Chain Stitch
According to Pintangle, Butterfly chain is what is referred to as a composite stitch used for decorative purposes on many types of fabrics. You are not restricted to even weave fabric as your foundation. This stitch can also be worked on the curve and in contrasting threads as it is worked in two journeys. You can use the same thread for both journeys, or you can incorporate threads of two contrasting weights or colours.

Friday, May 18, 2012

TAST Week 20

Week 20 - Bullion Knot
This week's stitch at Pintangle was the Bullion Knot - also called caterpillar, worm, coil, post, roll, grub and porto rico rose.  It took me awhile to quit fighting with the thread when I finally realized not to wind the thread so tightly around the needle - much easier to pull the needle through after I caught on!  I had always admired this stitch whenever I saw it on someone's work - now I will appreciate it even more.

40th Anniversary Gift

Reversible Quilt
My husband's brother & his wife are celebrating their 40th anniversary this weekend and I decided to make them a reversible lap quilt.  Her favourite colours are oranges and greens and his are blues and blacks (typical male).  It is about 54" x 40".  

TAST Week 19

Week 19 - Half Chevron Stitch
Week 19 Sharon at Pintangle gave us the Half Chevron Stitch as the stitch to do.  It is a member of the Herringbone stitch family.  One takes a small stitch on the line to be followed and the needle is brought out again halfway, then insert the needle the desired height and out again halfway down.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

TAST Week 18

Week 18 - Crossed Buttonhole Stitch
This week the stitch is crossed buttonhole stitch.  Sharon at Pintangle describes it as consisting of pairs of buttonhole stitches worked at an angle and crossed.  Variations can be achieved by narrowing the distance at the base of the stitch or lengthening the height of the stitch.  It can also be used for couching textured threads.

Monday, April 23, 2012

TAST week 17

Week 17 - Wheatear Stitch

This is the first time since I started TAST 2012 that I have not heard of the chosen stitch!

Sharon at Pintangle says it consists of two straight stitches worked on the diagonal with a chain looped through the base.

I knew I would be really busy this coming week - so I made sure I took the time to complete the stitch and the stitch from the week before.  Now I can relax and enjoy the wonderful creations that all the others will create with this stitch - wonder when I will get as creative as them??

TAST Week 16

Week 16 - French Knot Stitch

Sharon had us do the French Knot stitch as the challenge for the week.   I have not only heard of this stitch, but I have also used it many times!  I am working on Redwork Snow People and lots of french knots are included.

I was using pink floss and all I could think of to illustrate this stitch was "pink eye" - I'm not a great drawer - sorry!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

TAST Week 15

Week 15 - Stem Stitch
This week was the Stem Stitch on TAST - one that I actually knew and I used last week with the satin stitch!  We have been warned that from now on they will become more complex and less well known...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

TAST Week 14

Week 14 - Satin Stitch
This weeks Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge stitch is the Satin stitch!

I worked it with 3 strands - not my usual 2 as I do not have any thicker yarns.  I will definitely have to stock up next time I am in a shop.  I know my cloth had holes too large for doing a proper satin stitch, but practice was good - so I stitched the flower (sorry the picture is not straight) on some cotton I had so I could know that I could do the stitch properly (just do not look too closely as I need lots more practice to get the edges straight).  My aunt is turning 91 this month - will make it into a card for her.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

TAST Week 13

Week 13 - Challenge 1
Week 13 at Take a Stitch Tuesday was a catch-up week and we were given a mini challenge to take 3-6 of the 12 stitches taken so far this year and create an interesting visual piece. It was an excellent exercise for me as a beginner - had to really work on the barred chain.

 I used the chain, detached chain, couching, fly, barred, running and whipped wheel, I also added some french knots.  I plan to make it into a birthday card for my sister this month.

Fish Hanging

I had taken a Painting-Quilting 2-day workshop with Heather Lair in February 2012.  During this time we painted white cotton with acrylic paints, then freestyle rotary cut and created a 'fun, fantasy' wall hanging.  Then did free motion quilting all over.  It measures 14" x 17".  I finally got around to painting the sashing & finishing the wall hanging this week.  The pieces of glass that I attached to the bottom were gathered on the shores of our lake last summer.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Darned Quilt

Just finished this wall hanging this afternoon - called Debbie's Bubbles.  I had taken a course at Quilt University with Dena Crain.  It measures 19" x 25".  It was working with gradated fabrics and adding various embellishments.  


Pansy quilt that I completed in February of this year - it was designed from one of the pansies that decided to grow beside my walkway last summer.  It measures 20" x 24" - definitely a MUCH larger version.  I will have to take a new picture one day as this one is slightly tilted...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

TAST Week 12

Week 12 - Barred Chain & Alternating Barred Chain
This week on Take A Stitch Tuesday, the challenge was the Barred Chain and Alternating Barred Chain.  Bit tricky, having to remember to make sure the thread was facing the correct direction - one day I will get used to the hoop.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

P52 - Week 11 - "Eyes" of March

Today is St. Patrick's Day and I am in a curling bonspiel.  For the game this morning we wore these shamrocks and the colour green - and we won that game - must be lucky shamrocks!  It is a beautiful day outside and the snow is almost gone.  This is my photo for this week's challenge.
Week 11 - Eyes of March
This is my first entry into this challenge - still trying to catch up on the other weeks.

P52 - Week 10 - Be Still

A few Sundays ago I was out walking on the frozen lake near my home - it was a beautiful still day out, no wind,  and I just walked for a few hours admiring the size and colour of the ice ridges that had formed.  It is too bad that I did not have someone with me to photograph to see the size.  Warm weather has arrived and these ridges are no longer still - but moving and shifting as the lake starts to thaw.
Week 10 - Be Still

P52 - Week 7 - True Love

I made this fabric postcard for my husband and mailed it to his business postbox.  So that when he went to get his business mail - among all those flyers and bills he found this to show him that he was still well loved and thought of.  It brightened up his day...
Week 7 - True Love

P52 - Week 5 - Shadows

Walking one beautiful Sunday along the frozen lake near where I live.  I walked for a few hours admiring the size and colours of the ice ridges.  This could also have been my Self-Portrait.

Week 5 - Shadows

P52 - Week 1 - Resolution

Now that I am retired - I can find the time to pursue activities that I did not have time for when I was working.  This year I want to get back into photography and my objective is to use my lens more - especially the macro lens I bought just before life got in the way.
I also want to improve my embroidery skills so that I can complete a crazy quilt.
Week 1 - Resolution

Friday, March 16, 2012

TAST Week 11

This is my Whipped Wheel Stitch - I obviously need a lot of practice. I felt fairly comfortable with the first 10 stitches. This is my first time posting to TAST. I am very excited to be a part of this group and I hope to learn LOTS!

Week 11 - Whipped Wheel stitch

Friday, March 16, 2012

This site is still under construction - it will be changing as I learn how to maintain a blog. I have recently noticed that there are groups out there that share the same interests as I do and that they have offered challenges.

I became interested in one called TAST 2012 - Take a Stitch Tuesday. Here a different embroidery stitch is featured each week with samples and the object is to complete either the basic stitch or push it further in a creative manner and submit a photo of their work.

Another challenge is called Project 52 - a photo challenge. Here a different theme is posted each week and challengers post their photo.

I also want to publish photos of other work that I am doing - quilting or art.

I will start with these two and see how they fit into my schedule - as well as learning how to complete and maintain this blog.

TAST 2012

Here is the link to see the first 10 weeks of Take a Stitch Tuesday. Weeks 1 to 10.