Monday, 4 January 2010

TAST 2007 - cable chain, thorn, pekinese, pistil, seeding

Still catching up!

I saw this Icicle Doll Swap and of course I immediately wanted to make one, but I wanted to catch up with TAST too. The answer was obvious, icicle dolls embellished with TAST stitches.

I haven't joined the swap, but I've started on these three:

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The green one with the head on has knotted cable chain, thorn, pekinese and pistil stitches along with some seeding for texture. The white ones have pekinese and pistil stitches and seeding.

I feel much better now! It was so nice to sit and do some hand sewing just because I felt like it!

I've finished two of them now:

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I keep forgetting to give sizes. The 'bodies' of these measure about 7 inches or 17.5cm.

TAST 2007 - knotted buttonhole band, reversed buttonhole bar

Knot and bar the buttonhole!

Here's my combined sample for knotted buttonhole band and reversed buttonhole bar.

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Worked mostly in knitting yarns on a coarse evenweave fabric with a sprinkling of french knots, a little laid work and some simple counted stitches.

I worked the two rows at the top in zigzag fashion, over two rows of alternate straight stitches. I also used the straight stitches to work reversed buttonhole bar in green, instead of the foundation buttonhole row.

I went back to the first, rejected sampler I started for knotted buttonhole bar, reverse buttonhole and rice stitch.

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I'm not at all pleased with it, but I couldn't waste the fabric and all those empty spaces! I do like the circle with the laid work inside it, it's almost crewel! And I like the ribbon threaded through the knotted buttonhole bar.

TAST 2007 Still Catching Up.......cable chain, rice stitch

I'm still catching up. This is cable chain, I thought it looked plain, so true to form I added some french knots!

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Then I added some shapes in rice stitch. Some in thick threads, some much lighter. Not sure where I'm going with this now, but you can bet there won't be much empty space left when I've finished it!

Here's an example of where I have used rice stitch before:

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This is a bluebottle. The back is made from canvas with rice stitch in black and blue/grey.

TASTY rice dish

Here's my finished sample for cable chain and rice stitch. Its not really a tasty dish, more of a pig's breakfast! I had fun playing around with the rice stitch, but this might well be one for running under the embellisher and adding some more on top.

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TAST 2007 buttonhole wheels, portuguese knotted stem, crested chain

I'm catching up with the TAST challenge, starting with Portuguese Knotted Stem. I love this stitch. Mostly I use it to divide rows of stacked stitches, like this sample I did for Sharon Boggon's Personal Library of Stitches course:

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Here, I've started a new sample, using portuguese knotted stem worked in variegated stranded cotton and knitting yarn to make curving lines.

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Crested chain and buttonhole wheels.

I've added some more stitches to my portuguese knotted stem sample:

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There are some lines in crested chain and some buttonhole wheels. I have started to fill in the gaps with simple counted work stitches. I've used a variety of weights of thread, some matt and some shiny.

I think it looks a bit 1970s psychedelic!

I think this is done for now - I like the few empty 'negative' spaces that are left -although I feel I will probably come back and do something else to it later.

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TAST 2007 - bullion stitch

This weeks' stitch for Take a Stitch Tuesday is bullion stitch. I think I got all bullioned out when I made this fly.

Here are some close-ups of the stitches:

TAST 2007 - half chevron stitch

Here we are at week 26, halfway through. This week's stitch is half chevron. I have added it to my butterfly chain sample.

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I've used thicker threads here. The red is linen unravelled from a piece of fabric. The green is crepe knitting yarn and I've also used a length of multi-coloured knitting ribbon. I've worked the stitch in lines, stacked and back to back. I've also used single half chevrons as spot motifs in the spaces between some of the stitches.

TAST 2007 - french knot

Wouldn't you know it? I found some spaces on my butterfly chain sample. So I filled them with french knots, long legged french knots and a few running stitches.

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TAST 2007 - wheatear stitch

I put my crossed buttonhole sample through the needlepunch machine and used it again for this week's stitch, Wheatear.

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I worked lines of wheatear stitch in 2 strands of crewel wool, and some single wheatear stitches, with an extra pair of 'ears', in a single strand. Then I added a few french knots.

I put the crossed buttonhole/wheatear sample through the needlepunch machine again.
Then I added a few more stitches.

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I was planning to cut this up to make a mini padfolio cover, but I've decided to keep it until I find something else I can use it on without losing too much becuase I like it now!


Elizabeth at Quieter Moments gave SMockery SmArt a mention. Thank you Elizabeth. If you like counted thread work, you'll love Quieter Moments But I warn you, get yourself a drink or a cup of coffee and make sure you are sitting comfortably first, because you will be there for quite a while. Elizabeth is a mistress of stitch variations and her blog is thoughtfully arranged so that the 'TASTers' among us can go there and find exactly the stitch we want to review.

What is TAST? It's the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge run by Sharon B.
Take a look at the Take a Stitch Tuesday Flickr Group you'll find a variety of stitch techniques and styles and some amazing pieces of art!

TAST 2007 - satin stitch

The stitch for week 22 of Take a Stitch Tuesday is Satin Stitch. It's a stitch you can do so much with. I've just done a little.

Worked on canvas, varying the length of the stitch and the colour to make a pattern.

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Adding a different type of thread, in this case variegated knitting ribbon, for added texture and interest.

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Worked on evenweave fabric satin stitch is one of the main components of Hardanger embroidery, grouped into kloster blocks.

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Or used as design motifs.

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And satin stitch can be used to make a really nice edging.

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TAST 2007 - crossed buttonhole stitch

Crossed buttonhole stitch in variegated stranded cotton used to couch down wool and knitting ribbon.

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The background fabric is scraps of silk and bits of fleece needlepunched onto a piece of black muslin. Then I 'quilted' it with a programmed machine stitch in alternate rows of black cotton and metallic thread, to give it some texture and sparkle. The shiny knitting ribbon is couched down with toning variegated stranded cotton.

TAST 2007 - butterfly chain stitch

after an uneventful hefty course of antibiotics, the GP has announced that the vengeful bacteria is in fact a vengeful virus. He told me to rest - I told him that if I rested any more I would start to get younger!!!** So, 'symptomatic treatment' and patience are his order of the day. My order of the day is 'it's a virus, you can't do anything about it, so ignore it and catch up on TAST.

Here is my butterfly chain sample. It isn't very exciting, and at first I forgot to twist the chain, but it was very relaxing to sit and stitch it, so I am sure it did me some good!

TAST 2007 - basque stitch

What a nice stitch this is!

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Sometimes it's nice to just sit quietly and do some 'traditional' stitching. And that is how this stitch made me feel, although I can see possibilities for using it more creatively. The stitch was new to me, so I started with a simple line to get the feel of it, then I couldn't resist adding a small straight stitch in each loop. That set me off investigating filling in gaps and lacing rows of the stitch together. This is worked in crochet cotton on coarse aida.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

TAST 2007 - woven wheels

I've turned last week's textile vessel running stitch sample inside out and started to cover the higher back part that shows when you look at it straight on with this week's Take a Stitch Tuesday, woven wheel and variations thereof:

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I've mostly used dyed crochet cotton and woven on wheels and in lines. I'm adding beads for a 'crustier' look.
Here's a close-up.

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Here is the finished vessel, complete with firm base stitched in.

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and here is a close-up of the stitching inside

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TAST 2007 - running stitch

I wish it was more exciting...........:(

I started with this scrap of dyed and discharged linen/viscose fabric.

I outlined the shapes in running stitch in variegated perle and stranded cotton. Then I thought it needed more and I decided to stuff the lines with yarn and some of the other areas with wadding, trapunto style.

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I didn't think ahead, and I stitched right up to the edge, not leaving myself a margin so that I could use this sample later on.

I wish I hadn't bothered!! Never mind, you can't win 'em all....

Well, I couldn't leave it like that!

I had to do something with it:

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I'd stitched right to the edges of the piece, so I wondered if I could add an extra strip by applying it to a piece of felt with the needlepunch machine. That worked OK, although I broke my first needle in the process. Then I wondered if I could recreate the stitched and stuffed effect with needlepunching, so I added a bit more on one end using felt, wool tops (roving) and some scraps of silk and tried to harmonise it. That worked quite well too. (bottom picture)

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To help the new bit to blend in better, I needle punched some of the unstuffed areas of the original piece and added more running stitches. (middle picture)

Then I decided to make it into something - that turned out to be a textile vessel. There is no back seam, because I needle punched the pieces together before I had finished decorating it. I needle punched wool tops (roving) onto a piece of muslin (scrim), cut it to shape and stitched it in as a lining.

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I was about to stitch in a covered cardboard circle for the base, when I read the Week 18 TAST stitch. Now I am tempted to turn it inside out first and add embellishment to the lining with woven wheels.

TAST 2007 - double knot, palestrina stitch

Still carrying on with the same piece of 'embellisher' fabric from Week 15, I have added palestrina stitch (double knot) to last week's oyster stitch sample.

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I added a sparkly blue bead to the centre of the yellow flower, just to finish it off.

TAST 2007 - oyster stitch

I had a real struggle with this stitch at first. I have used a piece of 'embellisher' fabric. I outlined a design based on curves and circles in back stitch in variegated perle cotton.

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Oyster stitch is a rosette chain stitch, surrounded by a simple chain stitch. Both rosette chain and oyster stitch were new to me, so I started with a couple of rows of rosette chain in wool. Then I filled in the gaps with single oyster stitches in perle cotton.

TAST 2007 - bonnet stitch

Another new stitch for me. First, I played around with the stitch a little to get to know it:

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Then I reached for a piece of 'embellisher' fabric and started work on this sample:

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This was a piece of felted and dyed wool blanket, needlepunched with scraps of silk cut from sari remnants. I added random blocks of bonnet stitch in a mixture of variegated perle cotton and crewel wool.

This is now ready for further 'treatment'. I'm going to machine stitch all over it to blend in the stitching a little, then I may hand stitch over the top again.

and that is exactly what I did! Rows of bonnet stitch in perle cotton and crewel wool, with some french knots added.

TAST 2007 - knotted cretan stitch

Here is my sample for this week's Take a Stitch Tuesday. Knotted cretan, buttonhole and a little bit of backstitch. There's room for lots more, but its so late, I thought I would post it as it is.

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Knotted cretan done to death!

I couldn't leave all that space, could I?

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Jowynn put a comment on the last post asking if I designed this piece. OK, I guess its confession time! I put a piece of mucky old drip cloth from a thread dying session in the hoop because I wasn't sure about this stitch. It was new to me and fiddly! Then I just drew a few wiggly lines and a circle in freehand in what I thought was a fade-out pen, but it wasn't. So I buttonhole stitched along the lines to hide the marks. Then I just started filling it in, playing with the stitch and using different spacings and threads. To fill up the hoop ( I do like to do that!) I got out the correct pen, the fade-out one, and just drew guide lines to keep the stitches in check as I went. By design or by accident? BOTH!

TAST 2007 - couching

Just in at the last minute! This week's TAST stitch is couching....

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The background fabric is dyed linen (not evenweave). Knitting yarns and torn strips of muslin are couched down with knitting yarn, perle cotton, crochet cotton and stranded cotton. I have used ten of the eleven TAST stitches featured so far.

TAST 2007 - up and down buttonhole stitch

This week's TAST challenge stitch is up and down buttonhole.

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The background is made by needlepunching scraps of silk onto a piece of felt. One of the silk scraps was sheer with silver threads through it and this did not needlepunch at all well. To help with this, and to blend the colours together, I added a very fine layer of cotton and silk cocoon waste on the top. To increase the sparkle, I then needlepunched some short lengths of silver and pink metallic yarn. Finally, I 'quilted' the piece with alternate rows of programmed machine stitching in light pink and a light copper coloured thread. The buttonhole stitching is done in variegated stranded and perle cotton. At the last minute, I added the sequins and beads just for fun! It's pale, but pretty. It's about A5 size.

More ups and downs...

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I like this stitch. It goes beautifully around curves. You can make it neat or stitch it very freely. The stitching here is done in variegated perle and stranded cotton. I had a go at three-pronged up and down buttonhole, but I just couldn't get it right. I wish I had seen Elizabeth's tutorial first - it's easy when you know how! See it here:

For the background fabric I used bit of painted cotton from the reject bin. I put a piece of turquoise felt behind it and needlepunched it from both sides. The fibres from the felt came through the copper coloured fabric and gave it a nice verdigris look. I cut circles from a piece of dyed wool and needlepunched on - then I was sorry, but it was too late to do anything about it. To try and blend the circles in I machine 'quilted' over the whole lot in a copper coloured thread.

The final piece of fabric looked quite dull, so I tried using complementary thread colours to pep it up a bit. It wasn't really a success, I wish I had stayed with the copper and greenish blue colour scheme, but never mind, it was only a sample! Having decided I didn't really like it much, I carried on with gay abandon and added beads for good measure.

TAST 2007 - barred chain stitch

Here's my sample for TAST Barred Chain.

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I did the hand stitching in variegated perle and stranded cotton, and crochet cotton.

The fabric was scraps of organza and chiffon needlepunched to a washing up cloth. Then I straight stitch 'quilted' it on the sewing machine and finished off with lengths of fancy knitting yarn needlepunched on top. I've backed it with a piece of gold coloured satin and neatened the edges with a programmed machine stitch. I'll probably fold and stitch it into a little box.

I did, here it is:

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As for barred chain stitch. This was a new stitch for me. I think it will have to go into the 'tried it once and didn't like it' category. I don't know why, it just seems to me to be a very untidy stitch, although I do like the way it goes round in a circle. I think the CQers will like this stitch a lot more than I do!

TAST 2007 - cross stitch

This week's stitch is Cross Stitch. Here is my first interpretation:

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The background fabric was one of those experiments that go wrong, so you try and save it, and it goes on.....and on......and on..... This is scraps of silk, organza and tops (roving) free machined onto a washing up cloth and then needlepunched. I overdid the needlepunching and it just looked a mess - so I put a layer of animal print chiffon over the top and needlepunched that. It still looked a mess, so I further insulted it by zapping it with a heat gun. It still looked a mess. In desperation, I used it for this week's sample. The cross stitch is worked in variegated stranded and perle cotton. The sample is postcard size.

Another postcard sized sample:

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This is done on dyed curtain interlining with scraps of silk and washingup cloths needle punched on. The cross stitch is in variegated stranded and perle cotton

TAST 2007 - fly stitch

This week's stitch is fly stitch. I used it on this postcard:

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This is snippings of perle cotton that I unpicked from a previous disaster, needle punched to a piece of commercial felt. Then I added accents of fly stitch in the same thread.

Fire and Ice - a typical English February!

Fly blown!

This is a postcard based on an Egyptian theme from an old research project. During the Develop a Personal Library of Stitches course, I did lots of fly stitch and fly stitch variations - but when I saw this week's Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge my mind leapt to the winged instead of the fibre variety.

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The background fabric is a piece of dyed wool curtain interlining. The motif is a string print on suit weight polyester. The fly stitch is worked in variegated stranded cotton, the buttonhole stitch is in crochet cotton and the running stitch is in perle cotton.

Green fly

I've definitely got flies on the brain this week. While I was digging around in my bits and pieces of samplers, looking for likely victims for needle punching, I found this rejected fly body from an old project.

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This was to be a green fly, but at the time I decided on a blue-bottle and used an alternative body. The top is synthetic dark blue velvet printed with sequins and applied plastic coated fabric in silver with couched metallic threads.
This week's TAST is Fly Stitch. It seemed appropriate, and I fear Sharon has steered me back to the bugs for a bit, so I have just added fly stitch in green and blue perle cotton for texture. Now I've started, I'll have to finish!

(The completed fly is here.)