SAL Update: Finally, a Finish!

November 27, 2016 at 9:58 am | Posted in Embroidery | 14 Comments
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I made a firm plan at the last update to finish my Paisley Pillow this time round, since there was so little work left to do. And yes, it actually happened! I finished the stitching a week ago, and this morning I managed to iron it (was a bit apprehensive about ironing silk, but managed) and to take some pictures for you.

Last time we were here:

indian_pillow_20161106

And here’s the finished and ironed pillow cover:

indian_pillow_finished

A detail shot of the embroidery:

indian_pillow_finished_detail

And here it is, with a pillow inside in pride of place at the back of my couch:

indian_pillow_stuffed

I love the shine of the silk!

So, now I’m out of excuses to start with that goldwork project … maybe I can get it at least set up till next time in spite of crazy Christmas season being here already?

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy, Margaret and Cindy. Helen is joining us for the first time, welcome!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

 

A Year of Quilting

November 12, 2016 at 10:03 am | Posted in Patchwork | 4 Comments

Last weekend saw the yearly exhibition of my quilt group, where we show off everything we’ve created over the past year. Seeing everything hanging together, I’m always impressed by what everybody manages to do over the space of a year.

So I think this is a good time to look at my contribution for this year’s exhibition. Turns out, even though it doesn’t feel like that much, I did get things done.

First, the group projects. Every year, we make a quilt to raffle away for charity at the show. For quite a few years now, we decide on next year’s quilt during this year’s show, and then get together on the 6th of January to sew the top. It generally takes the rest of the year to add the borders, get the quilt professionally long-arm-quilted and add the binding. Here’s the result a lucky visitor won last weekend:

ausstellung2016_gemeinschaftsquilt

When the top was finished, we had one left-over block, which I used to make a pillow cover to go with the quilt:

ausstellung2016_gemeinschaftsquilt_kissen

Then there’s the yearly challenge project, where everybody gets the same constraints to make a 40*40 cm quilt. I already wrote about my contribution, and here’s the whole panel with everybody’s quilts:

ausstellung2016_challenge

And of course, I had my own quilts at the show.

Rainbow: Gravity

ausstellung2016_rainbowgravity

Looks like I haven’t posted a picture of the finished quilt yet, but there are a couple of relevant posts here and here.

Mexican Bird

ausstellung2016_mexicanbird

There’s a whole pile of previous posts regarding this project:

  1. Getting started
  2. Paint by Numbers
  3. Adding hand embroidery
  4. Some decision making
  5. Documenting the Project

Looks like I’ve also been a better blogger than I thought! I think it’s good to occasionally look back at the things that did get done, especially with a hobby where things generally proceed at a glacial pace. Hope you enjoyed the little visit to our show!

 

SAL Update: A tiny bit of Progress

November 6, 2016 at 8:29 am | Posted in Embroidery | 11 Comments
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Somehow the last few stitches in my project don’t happen, but this time I have made at least a little bit of progress. Here’s where I was <cough> six weeks ago:

indian_pillow_20160925

And this is where I am today:

indian_pillow_20161106

I at least managed to get a start on that last motif, and actually finished all the yellow stitching. It doesn’t stand out, since all the red is still missing. Here’s a detail shot:

indian_pillow_20161106_detail

Maybe I can manage the red next time? I sure hope so!

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Wendy, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP, Kathy and Margaret. Cindy is joining us for the first time, welcome!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

SAL-Update: Sneak Preview

October 16, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Posted in Embroidery | 7 Comments
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Sorry, can’t show you the promised finish because it didn’t happen. I’ve been traveling, and while I had the paisley pillow with me, I didn’t find any time to stitch. So, instead I’m going to show you a sneak preview of the project I’m hoping to tackle next:

seashell_preview

The project is called “Seashells”, and it’s supposed to be a goldwork project suitable for beginners, which is the reason I bought it at a Festival of Quilts back in the mists of time. Working with gold and silk threads is said to be finicky, and so I thought there would be extensive instructions coming with the project. Looking inside, I wasn’t impressed. In fact, I didn’t dare start the project just going on those instructions. So, back in Birmingham at another Festival of Quilts two years later, I bought the book on the right, which is part of a series of embroidery books published by the Royal School of Needlework. Those have a tendency to be very careful and thorough in their instructions.

Back home, somehow the book went onto the bookshelf, and the project stayed in the drawer. I found it in my quest to figure  out which of the things in that drawer are worth keeping and finishing. Now, it’s next on the list, and I’m still a bit scared!

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Wendy, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP and Kathy. Margaret is joining us for the first time, welcome!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

So close! – SAL Update

September 25, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Posted in Embroidery | 14 Comments
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The Afghanistan project is still eating my time, but at least I got two of the three remaining motifs done. Before:

indian_pillow_20160904

Today:

indian_pillow_20160925

That should be doable till next time, I think.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Wendy, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP and Kathy.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

After the Finish – Documenting the Project

September 18, 2016 at 7:19 am | Posted in Patchwork, Quilting | 3 Comments
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So, once a quilt is finished, in this case my Mexican Bird, the work tends to be almost, but not quite completely done. At that point of time my worktable tends to be a mess: left-over fabric, design sketches, photographs I’ve been working from, and samples all lying around. There’s way too much work in there to throw it all away, and those are the physical artefacts of making this particular quilt. So, what do I do with all that stuff?

First, the samples:

mexican_bird_samples

They still have raw edges that need to be cleaned up, which I take care of with zig-zagging around the whole thing. To put them away in a folder, I take a strip of strong cardboard, fold it in half and catch the sample beween the layers, attaching the cardboard to the fabric with enough space to punch a couple of holes in the cardboard:

mexican_bird_samples_finished

Now I collect all the paper, sorting out what I want to keep:

mexican_bird_papers

There’s the photograph I took, the original tracing on transparent paper, and the smaller copies of that I used for working out the colours and other details.

All of this goes into an A3 folder, where it lives happily ever after together with all the other finished projects.

mexican_bird_documentation

I’m now free to clean everything else away and start with whatever’s next!

SAL Update – Paisley Pillow

September 4, 2016 at 8:54 am | Posted in Embroidery | 9 Comments
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I didn’t get terribly much done since the Olympics finished, since I am primarily working on the Afghan embroidery project that also includes a lot of handwork.

Before:

indian_pillow_20160815

Now:

indian_pillow_20160904

Let’s see if I can finish those last three motifs till next time!

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Wendy, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP and Kathy.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

Mirror Images the First

August 27, 2016 at 8:01 am | Posted in Lace | 6 Comments
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Remember the Afghan Embroideries I was so excited about a few months back? I’ve been sorting out ideas for what to do with them for a while, and have already finished a part. The challenge I want to submit the hopefully resulting quilt to is to create a “tablecloth” using at least three of the embroidered motifs.

My mind immediately jumped to the classic white damask tablecloths my mom still has and uses occasionally. They’re white, and if they’re very fancy, decorated with whitework embroidery of some kind. So I wanted to contrast the colourful embroidered triangles with different kinds of whitework motifs, mirroring the embroidery with something similar but different.

Here’s one possible layout I came up with, having paper copies as stand-in for the whitework, and my white table surface pretending to be a white damask tablecloth:

Afghan Tablecloth - Possible LayoutBy now, I’ve finished the first motif. I made it in needlepoint lace, an old favourite of mine. You can find a tutorial how to make this kind of lace right here on my blog.

Here’s the finished lace motif:

Afghan Tablecloth - Needlelace Motif

I want to keep the sense of playfulness that I get from the embroidered motifs, which I’m finding quite difficult. The needlelace may have given me more freedom than other techniques I’m currently tackling.

And here’s the needlelace again together with its inspiration:

Afghan Embroidery and Needlelace Motifs

I’m currently trying to figure out what exactly to do with the other motifs, which isn’t easy, and since there’s a deadline involved, I’m trying to make progress.

Flowers – and an Eye

August 20, 2016 at 8:08 am | Posted in Embroidery, Patchwork | 5 Comments

I have finished embroidering the French knots on my Mexican Bird project, and was wondering if the flowers need a little extra as well. In the original painting, the pink flowers have a white highlight in each petal:

Mexican_Bird_web

Since I painted the petals with a flat pink, maybe I should try to recreate this in embroidery? So I took my sample and started to experiment:

Mexican Bird - Test embroidered flower

From left to right:

  1. Nested chain stitches – doesn’t scale large enough
  2. Outlined in backstitch, then worked over with a horizontal satin stitch. Visually the right effect, but too heavy and way too slow to stitch.
  3. A bunch of straight stitches – not strong enough for me
  4. A dense herringbone stitch – going in the right direction
  5. Back to chain stitch, working them close and opening them up, I think this looks best visually.
  6. Another try for something similar with a feather stitch variation, not dense enough I think.

So, if I’m doing anything, it would have to be with number 5. Since the colouring is a bit different on the real quilt, I decided to try this out on one flower:

Mexican Bird - tryout for flower

I saw that it’s very hard to get a consistent form out of this, and looking from a distance, the effect just isn’t there against that pretty light pink background. In conclusion, I decided that putting in all the work needed to fill all the flowers wouldn’t make enough of a difference to the impact of the quilt to be worth it. I took the sample stitches out and called the quilt finished.

Oh, not quite finished! My bird’s still missing an eye! I had decided very early on that the eye is the perfect size for a spangle and bead solution, so now I just had to figure out the colour. Diving into my bead stash, I tried out different possibilities:

I’ve made my choice – which one would you choose?

SAL Update – Progress!

August 15, 2016 at 9:05 am | Posted in Embroidery | 8 Comments
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I returned a bit late from vacation last night, so I may be a bit late in showing you my progress. But I think it may still be yesterday somewhere next to the date line.😉

Vacation and the Olympics in combination mean that there’s plenty of stitching time, though. So here’s my progress on the Indian pillow:

Three weeks ago:

indian_pillow_20160724

Today:

indian_pillow_20160815

I managed to finish the border and started in on the paisley motifs in the center. Given that there’s a week of Olympics on TV left, let’s see how far I can get next time!

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Wendy, Lucy, Jess, Sue, Kate, Debbie Rose, Christina, SusanP and Kathy.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

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