Thursday, May 31, 2012

Living dangerously


After finishing the lilac tatted triangle I thought: "how should it look in the corner of the May block? The color could be just right". And yes, the color is just right, although my camera has still the habit of changing purple colors. The triangle covers a seam and two corners. You might have noticed that I am not very fond of straight seam treatments. I rather like to incorporate them in the whole picture.
The next job was to sew the triangle down. A big advantage is that you can hide inaccuracies.


Now here is danger number one. I want to embroider a large pansy flower spray starting in the centre flowing in different directions. The background of the center is just plain yellow. I feel the pansies need a better background, so I came up with this lovely dyed medallion (I didn't dye it myself). Only the color isn't right, it is too light, a bit lemon. And my camera makes it even worse. Now I have to be very brave and dye the medallion. It should be more orange colored. I have dyed lace before and I didn't like the dying part. I am not a person for painting  or gluing.
Then comes danger number two. Suppose I succeed in dying the medallion, will there not be too much lace in one block? The flower spray in the centre partly over the medallion is the focus point. That means that I can not embellish the triangle too much. Can I fix all these problems???
I must say that this is one of the things I like in crazy quilting: first you create a "problem", next you try to solve it;)

Monday, May 28, 2012

More tatting exercising


I found this triangular medallion here. For some reason I can't find the picture anymore.
I tried to make the rings in the centre as even as possible. I still have trouble with "how firm do I pull the thread through the double stitches". I suppose it is like knitting and crochet, in the long term you get a steady hand.
The thread is DMC perlé 12.


This is a pattern by Mark Myers. Here is the link
It is supposed to look like a hat. With flowers on it (as in the pattern), it is a perfect hat for Ascot ;)
I liked the shape and I had to try it. The thread I used is: DMC perlé 8
Here and there it is a bit wobbly, I keep practising.

Both shapes will probably find a place on the Crazy Violets quilt.
When they are sewn on, they will look OK.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

The cushion: a little progress


This picture shows the backside. The front fabric was too heavy to trace the design on. I decided to trace the mirror image on the thinner backing fabric. I made little running stitches with machine thread on the tracing, so the design became visible at the front. Next I could draw the shapes on the front fabric and stitch them.


The orange running stitches form the central vein of the leaf. First I made split stitches on the edge of the leaf. Next long and short stitches, coming up inside the leaf and going down just behind the edge.


The remaining part of the leaf is stitched in long and short stitch, coming up at an angle through the finished stitches and going down in the unstitched area. You can see that I made too much stitches at the left. That results in a deformed fabric. I hope it will decrease as I go on. Otherwise......unpick.


The leaf lies nicely on the fabric. This thread (Gumnut Blossoms) is lovely to stitch with, it blends and fills the area nicely.



Sunday, May 20, 2012

April block finished


The finished CQJP April block. I mean finished for this moment. I'm not sure if the orange patch needs more embellishing. We will see about that later.


First I sewed on the beads for the twig.


I started the leaves with detached chain stitch for the central vein. Than straight stitches for the padding. Long and short buttonhole stitch for the leaves, followed by long and short stitch. This leaves could be stitched with only buttonhole stitch. I feel that the stitches get too long that way.


Three pansy buds stitched with long and short buttonhole stitch and straight stitch. The sepals are stitched with three detached chain stitches.


The stems are embroidered with whipped detached chain stitch.
Finally the stumpwork pansy was attached. There are a few tiny white threads peeping out. They will be cut...very carefully.
A tutorial how to make a stumpwork pansy can be found here: part I and part II.


The completed pansy.


Friday, May 18, 2012

TAST week 20: bullion knot


The TAST stitch of this week is the bullion knot. No one will be surprised that I stitched bullion pansies. These four little flowers are the start of a spray on the CQJP May block.
I had figured out where the bullions should be stitched, but to get these five bullions look like a pansy, was harder than I thought. I secured each bullion with one little stitch because some of the bullions wanted to twist.
The thread I used is Stef Francis fine silk, a dream to stitch with!
The top two pansies have four petals made of bullions with ten wraps and the bottom petal is made of made of one bullion with fifteen wraps.
The lower two pansies have twelve and eighteen wraps.
In the centre is a french knot, two strands of DMC cotton, two wraps.


I have made a drawing that shows where I have stitched the five bullions. I am not completely happy with how they turned out. The petals are small and the bullions won't lie flat where I want them. I'm sure they will get better as I go.
The petals can best be stitched in this order.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Seam treatments


I wanted to extend the purple flower spray to the yellow patch to make it less heavy.
First I laid the components of the pansy on their possible places. Then I decided how the curls looked best.
 I embroidered the curls with detached chain stitch.


A simple seam treatment: a looped stitch is kept in its place by a detached chain stitch.
Later on I might add beads.


Next comes a beaded twig from lilac beads. This twig extends the purple spray and makes a sort of connection  with the lilac patch on the left. I made a lay-out first. The white pieces of paper are the leaves of the pansy.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Stumpwork pansy


This stumpwork pansy is larger then the one I made earlier. However the way it is made is the same.
Here you can find the tutorials: part I, part II.


Here is the pansy laid down on the centre patch. I will embroider buds and leaves to fill that area further.
I have considered to make one or two more stumpwork pansies. Since each petal takes at least one hour to make, you can understand that I will only make more if there are no other options.
First I'm going to think about where the leaves and buds will grow. The purple flower spray will be continued on the orange patch to blend more with the rest of the block.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The story of the tatted leaf

The story starts here.


I was stuck with the upper leaf and changed a few things, but wasn't pleased with the result.
The chains 1, 4 and 5 bothered me and the same goes for the rings 2 and 3.


Chain 1 (no join) and 4 (more joins) are better. Rings 2 (less DS) and 3 (less DS) have improved but the leaf is too tapered now.


I completely changed chain 5, therefore I had to change the first ring from the right into a split ring.
So first the split ring, then the chain, then the second ring from the right....oops. Problem....how do I connect this ring to the split ring. I cheated and made a join, but not in a picot. Does that matter??

Chain 5 has only one picot anymore, that looks much better.


I decided to change chain 5 into 6 DS, picot, 6 DS, hoping that would be enough to lessen the tapering.
And yes...it is better, only the chain is not neat, is twists a little because it is too long.


I have shortened the chain to 5DS, picot, 5DS.
All chains and rings lie flat but the leaf is too tapered and the third ring from the left is too prominent.
I am pretty sure that the leaf will lie flat when it is sewed down.

I will have another look at it and post the results. When I am completely happy with the leaf I want to draw the pattern and post it here.

You might think I am not easy satisfied, mostly I am. However in my needlework I am very scrupulous and want to explore everything to improve it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Purple flower spray


The completed purple flower spray. How it is created is shown below. I didn't make a design, I started to look for stuff in the "right" colors and listened to my Muse.


I started with this light purple ribbon. I couched it down with zig zag stitches using two strands of purple DMC cotton mixed with a DMC metallic thread.


I never knew what to do with that strange hairy ribbon thing with little felt balls, now I do.....it will be a nice soft bed for two very large flower beads, made of clay (I think).


Left of the top couched ribbon I stitched a silk ribbon in plume stitch.


More flower beads and hairy ribbon. It is not clear from this picture, but the hairy ribbon is three to four mm thick. In the centre between the two large flowers I made some ghiordes knots with six strands of purple/orange/lilac DMC cotton.


With a very nice orange ribbon with a touch of gold I stitched colonial and french knots. They draw away the attention from the heavy centre of the spray. The orange makes also a connection with the rest of the block. More beads and two sheer orange butterflies were added.

Friday, May 4, 2012

TAST week 18: crossed buttonhole


The stitch for TAST week 18 was the crossed buttonhole stitch. I had no idea what to do with this stitch. What I finally came up with is not exactly a crossed buttonhole stitch, which means it is not crossed.


The first part (the veins) is done rightly. The second part though (the small prickles at the outline) is stitched on the opposite site of where is should be. This is the fun part of TAST, you come to unexpected nice results.
The thread is a variegated DMC, two strands.


The idea for a flower stalk started when I was thinking about how to treat that ugly corner in the black circle. I wanted something not too heavy to cover the corner.
Fortunately I found a semi-transparent orange ribbon in my stash.


I made three gathered ribbon flowers with a teardrop bead in the centre.
Below is how I did it. 


The edge was folded to the back and a running stitch secured it.


Running stitches along the side till the folded end.


Time to pull.


It looks messy on the picture ;) The two short edge were sewed together.


The overall picture of the border area between the two blocks.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bee tutorial


 This is the finished block for March.
I wanted to make some bees to fill the purple patch on the right and the center patch. My first thought was to make a stumpwork bumblebee, that would be a nice item to fill the empty space. On second thought it would be a little too heavy for the violets. So I decided to make some small bees.
Below is how I did it.


I started with the padding: seven satin stitches with one strand black DMC cotton in the same two holes about 0,5 cm long.


Satin stitches worked over the body. Three black stripes and two yellow (DMC 783), each two to three stitches. Then a french knot for the head. One black strand, two wraps.


Two detached chain stitches for the wings with DMC silver metallic. This metallic thread is not my favorite thread. It is very easy damaged.


Two more bees.
Looking at the whole picture I suppose there is still room for a stumpwork bumble bee. He doesn't have to be heading to a little violet, doesn't he? There are enough other flowers he can choose from.

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