Saturday, September 26, 2015

Feeling the crisp autumn air

Today I'm feeling autumn in the air. Temperatures were cool and comfy this morning and leaves are beginning to turn red and gold. In honor of the season,  I'm stitching a branch with Artiste HL607 Canyon.  It will soon be covered in leaves stitched with Artiste HL609 Spice Market.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Week 14 - Partly Cloudy

This week brings a brilliant sun partially obscured by swirling shiny clouds.  The clouds are stitched with a stem stitch using a strand of DMC E135 (multi-colored metallic) with a nice light gray. 

The sun is a combination of stitches all including one strand of Madeira Supertwist metallic copper.  At the center is a French knot in a dark red.  From there, straight stitches radiate outwards in bright red.  You can't see the red backstitch and orange backstitch that form the foundation of the herringbone ladder stitch in mixed orange and yellow threads the makes the bulk of the sun (it's just weaving with a twist between top and bottom backstitches).  The outer rim of the sun is made of two rows of yellow chain stitches.  The sunbeams are done with a flystitch.  

I was given a sample box of Madeira Supertwist by a quilter who didn't care for metallics.  While it's designed for machine stitching, I've found that it is excellent for handwork.  It didn't tangle or knot nearly as badly as the DMC metallics that I use. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Week 13 - Meandering Metallics

This stitch looks like a set of lovely metallic braids lying on top of my fabric, but it's really a whipped backstitch

First I laid down a wavy backstitch in blue, then green, then finally yellow.  I used DMC flosses, two strands each (I forget which color numbers).  Then I took two strands of multi-colored metallic DMC E135 and whipped each row of backstitches. 

Overall I like the result.  This will be in the upper left hand corner of the finished quilt.  The finished product will be a 2.5 foot square art quilt. 

As with all great efforts, there comes a point when you've been working on a project for so long, that you're thoroughly sick of it and you just want it to be done.  I'm getting to that point on this project.  When this happens, many projects become UFOs...UnFinished Objects set aside waiting for the day when you feel inspired to work on them again.

But one of my favorite quotes is from Chuck Close, the artist.

"Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work."

I don't know if I'm a professional, but I'm not an amateur anymore and there is something deeply satisfying about pushing through these harder moments in creating something, finishing the project and knowing that you can make something wonderful even when your heart isn't always 100% in it. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Week 12 - A Peregrine Falcon Is After The Bunny!

My son informed me that my project needed a Peregrine Falcon.  I learned to do a two-color chain stitch (sometimes called a magic chain stitch) for this.  I thought it would capture the zigzaggy stripe pattern on a real Peregrine's underside.  I also tried my hand at padding the body with a scrap or two of felt to give it a little more thickness than the wings.

Overall, I'm less than pleased with the result, but it does add some uniqueness to the project.  Most embroidery is full of cute little herbivores, but I really don't see many predators executed in thread.  It looks better from a distance, so I'll let it stay. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Twin Dragons Cross Stitch Pattern

Inspired by medieval heraldry, this pair of rampant dragons face each other with hands raised.  Are they friends? Brothers? Enemies? All of the above? One is blue, its mirror image is green, while both have warm golden eyes. 

They would look smashing in a medieval themed room.  They would also make an excellent gift for the dragon afficianado in your life. 

This pattern could easily be adapted to use different color palettes for each dragon.

At 98x99 stitches, this image would be about 7" square on 14 count Aida.  If you were framing this out at 8x10 inches, you would have room to add your own text underneath.

As usual, I've posted the pattern on Etsy and Craftsy.

Week 11 - A Little Bunny

This week I've added a tiny little bunny.  By tiny I mean he's about 2 inches long! 

The stitches are irregular on purpose to try to capture the effect of fur.  There's a little bit of shading on the back ears and legs.  His tail is made of French Knots and I stitched a black bead in the field of black thread to make his eye. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Week 10 - Modified Chevron Stitch and Beads

This week is modified version of a chevron stitch.  I aimed to alternate larger Chevrons with smaller diamonds, then stitched beads in red and orange in the centers.