Holiday Project Progress

I started with two squares, a blue one, and the yellow one bottom left, of the same design, then the pink one, and all went well.  Then came the orange one, and I was fighting with metallic thread again.  I was not happy with it at all, and the coverage was not good, so out it came.

I had to have a quick rethink of the colour scheme before continuing.  Next was the green square, and another metallic thread.  This time it was a Kreinik blending thread with two strand of green floss.  This behaved much better, but I am still not happy – with the design of this square.

You may have noticed that only one of the squares started is actually finished. 

 There are three reasons for this.  The blue and yellow squares, and the two at bottom right are to have a Norwich stitch centre.  I have never tried this stitch, and didn’t take instructions with me.  The orange one which had the metallic thread taken out is waiting for another colour to be decided.The others were planned to have buttons , but when I saw the pretty buttons, and bought them,  I did not appreciate that they are much too large. 


So another rethink is required, and the project needs a good overhaul before a holiday later in the year, when I hope it will be completed

June 29, 2011. Tags: , . Embroidery. Leave a comment.

The problem with going on holiday…

Well, as this post is a tale of woe, and Wimbledon is on, I thought I would put a nice photo in at the top. I have just picked these from the garden.

As I was saying, the problem with going on holiday is that I put things away, and what happens when we do that? – we can’t find them when we come back.

I finished a blackwork pincushion before we went on holiday.  It needed the cord sewn round the edge.  I had tried to do this twice before, and it did not work out.  This time, is adopted the K.I.S.S. principle, and set to stitching it without pinning or tacking it first. and it was so easy!

Here it is.  I am quite pleased with it. I am not too sure about the bow, but I have dabbed the ends with Fraycheck, so it should be ok.

But now for the unfortunate bit – the cushion.  I attached to cord to the right side of the front of the cushion,  then cut out the fabric for the back.  Next I wanted to attach the zip.  But it was nowhere to be found.   Presumably it is in a ‘safe place’, but it is not with all my other zips.  So the bottom line is, I will have to buy another when I go shopping this afternoon, and you will have to wait a day or two before I get to it, as I hope to be watching my son play in a cricket match tomorrow. It is forecast to be hot and sunny, so I am really looking forward to it.

June 25, 2011. Blackwork, Embroidery, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Stuck in the Doldrums

Now that I am back from the holiday, and the washing is done, the fridge filled, and most things are back to ‘normal’, I am finding it difficult to get back to embroidery.  The problem is that I don’t know where to start! 

I have spent some time trying to source the materials to make a hardanger table runner – not so easy.  It uses a 25 count evenweave, and a half metre would really be skimping.  When I finally found one place that could supply fabric in the intended shade, threads and a pair of hardanger scissors, and totted up the total, I was a little shocked.  Almost £50!

If I try to use a fabric of a different count, it might be cheaper, but I would have to adjust the pattern, because the size will be wrong.  Obviously there could be extra problems here.  Then I realised that, as I have never attempted Hardanger before, it might be an idea to try a small project first.  Think of the consequences of snipping out the wrong threads.

So I went upstairs to root out all my evenweave fabric, and I do have some of the same count.  The piece I have selected will do two mats, and these involve using most of the stitches used in the runner.

Over the next day or two I will prepare the fabric, and decide on what colours of thread I will use.  I will also obtain a pair of hardanger scissors, so that I can do the job properly.  But before I do that I will probably get out a small piece of Hardanger fabric (Oslo) and go through the Anchor Book of Hardanger Embroidery, trying out all the stitches.

In case you were wondering about the unfinished projects – I will probably finish another , and post some photos. And then I will probably do a post about the holiday project.

But (is anyone surprised?), I also have another project I need to add to my list.

Does anyone have useful tips for Hardanger?

June 22, 2011. Tags: , , . Embroidery, Hardanger. Leave a comment.

Variegated threads

Once again I am finding things about threads which I kave either not used much, or have not used before.  This time its variegated threads.  I was going to use quite a few of them on my 15-sided biscornu (my holiday project).  But I have realised that the repeat on the colour is quite long, and the amounts of thread are quite small.  It is Just Not Going to Work!

So it is think again time!

And, having bought a lot of variegated threads (probably none of them at full price), I am wondering how to make use of them. Any ideas out there?

Please feel free to comment or suggest.

June 13, 2011. Tags: . Embroidery. Leave a comment.

Biscornu assembled

Side 2
The sides were stitched with some matching silk thread which I had from a previous project using the silk taffeta.  I am not sure whether this is it, or if I will decorate the edges.  One of my projects to finish off is another pincushion which needs a cord sen round the edge.  This is not as easy as it sounds, which is why it has been shelved for a couple of years
Side 2 has a larger button because I did not have two of the smaller size, and it has a larger area in the middle.  I did think about making dorset buttons, so if I get inspired to do that ata future time, that is also an option.
I did have problems seing the buttons on.  I had put mu silk thread away and some cotton was still out from my mending jobs, so I used that.  when i tried to pull the thread tight, it snapped (both strands.  So it was back to the workbox.  The strongest thread i could find was some very ols silk thread, which I think was probably used for button holes.  That did the job beautifully.
I hope that people viewing this post will feel inspired to have a go themselves, and learn from my mistakes

June 3, 2011. Tags: , , . Embroidery. Leave a comment.

Orts and Buttons

Sewing the sides was not as difficult as I had anticipated – there is a bit of leeway at the middle of each side to take a little bit out of the corner being sewn if you need to. I had wondered if not using an evenweave or canvas was a mistake, as the method I found for sewing the sides involved backstitching round the edges, then stitching theough the backstitches to assemble the biscornu.
I stuffed using orts.  These are pieces of thread which I collect.  When I straighten fabric edges, the drawn threads go in my tin. When I am sewing or embroidering, the ends of thread which are not long enough for anything else go in.  Tacking stitch threads, and bits from taking out unsatisfactory work also go in.  The only threads which don’t go in are metallic ones.  So the resulting mixture is ideal for stuffing an item such as this.  When I had finished, my tin was empty.  However it now has a few bit in it to  start me off again, as I have just done some mending  jobs.
The buttons came from my box, which is fairly well organised.  The tubes are what some of my husband’s cigars are packed in.
Stuffing process

June 3, 2011. Tags: , , . Embroidery. Leave a comment.

Little progress

At last I am ready to assemble the Biscornu pincushion.  I spent all last night struggling with the outlining in stem stitch which I’d thought would have looked nice.   Well, it would have , but I had such problems with the metallic threads.  They kept shedding the metallic bit as I pulled the thread through the fabric.  I tried using beeswax, but that didn’t help.   I tried three differnt threads.  So having pulled out the debris three times, I tried outlining with stranded cotton, and it did not look good, so that came out as well.

It has taken ages to mitre the corners and get both parts into a 4″ square.  I am now thinking that it may not be that easy to get the spacing right, so a lot if tacking stiches will be needed before I stitch ‘for real’.

I can’t account for the little dome in the middle of the right hand one, as I used a hoop throughout.  However it will not matter at all as the two centres will be pulled together with a button or somehing on either side.  It might even look better!

June 1, 2011. Tags: , , , . Embroidery. Leave a comment.