Monday, December 27, 2010

Under the tree...

For Christmas this year, I was so pleased to receive these:
these:and my mom made me this:
This is a little stitch sampler book made from felt. Look at the beautiful stitching and little seed beads on the cover. I love the colors!
This book has blank felt pages. I am going to stitch my favorite stitches sampler style on these pages!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I made some embroidered Christmas presents...

I have some Christmas presents to show that I have just finished embroidering. (Kathy & Mark and Karen do not read any further and definitely don't look at the pictures!!!) I just completed these three linen tea towels:This red towel is for my sister Karen who has a beautiful red kitchen. I used some of the flower patterns from the Tea embroidery pattern packet. I used the chain stitch for the border and flower center, french knots and back stitch for the petals:For my sister Kathy, I made this black towel with the green and lavender border. This pattern is one of the border patterns from the strawberries pattern packet. I love the way this looks - I know Kathy will too!
For my brother-in-law Mark I made this tea towel:
You might recognize the chevron stitch that I used to make a nice looking border:
Mark makes the absolute best espresso! He always makes me a latte :)
I made all of these towels from linen fabric. Karen and Mark's are 100% linen and Kathy's is a linen/cotton blend. It was a new experience for me to stitch on these because they were a much looser weave than I am used to! I had so much fun with these and now I can wrap them up!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

finishing up some stitching...

Remember this wip border I have been working on?I finally finished the stitching. It has been sitting in my hoop for weeks with everything stitched except one candy cane and some french knots! Now it's complete:Next up is this little gingerbread house:Lots of stitching left to do :)I'm not totally sold on the colors I've used so far. Mainly, I am not sure about having each window a different color:
I am stitching the roof with the interlaced band stitch from 100 Stitches! I want to use this stitch here because it looks like gingerbread frosting:
I wasn't sure it was going to work but now I love it and can't wait to finish it:
Speaking of finishing, I am done stitching the little crab... in his underwater scene: Now I just need to finish some last minute Christmas decorating!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

100 stitches - overcast stitch

Time for 100 stitches, but this time in 3-D! No special glasses required ;)See this rounded, puffy, 3-d looking stitch making up the center line of this blade of "sea grass"? This is the overcast stitch. 100 stitches also calls this Trailing: This stitch isn't as easy as it may is how I did it. Basically, this stitch is made up of two different threads. A laid thread, which just lays on the pattern line, and a working thread which actually stitches the laid thread into place. Sort of like the couching stitch. The laid thread is going to be completely covered up by the working thread so it doesn't matter what color you use for the laid thread. I am using two different colors of the pearl cotton floss so it will be easier to follow my demonstration. I first drew a line to be the stitching line:I am going to have the white floss be the laid thread and the lavender floss be the working thread. Thread each color on its own needle: Bring the laid thread up through the fabric at the start of the stitching line. Smooth it down along the stitching line. 100 Stitches suggests holding it in place with your thumb, but it was too difficult for me to hold in place, stitch and take a picture! Now bring the working thread up right at the start of the stitching line: With the working thread, go back into the fabric on one side of the stitching line: and come back up through the fabric on the opposite side of the stitching line: Pull all the way through and go back into the fabric on the opposite side of the stitching line. The laid thread is being encased by these stitches: Come up through the fabric on the opposite side of the stitching line: Just keep stitching: and stitching: Until you are at the end of the stitching line. Bring the working thread through the fabric to the back and secure it. Now bring the laid thread back into the fabric and secure it to the underside: That will finish off the stitch. The result is a beautiful line of stitching!Here is a picture of the underside of the stitch. It looks neat and clean but sort of lumpy :( Like I said earlier, this stitch looks easy to do but I had a little bit of trouble keeping all my stitches a consistent tension. I am getting better at it with practice.This stitch was really fun to do and I love the three dimensional look it gives. 100 Stitches suggest that you use this stitch for delicate stems and outlines. I plan on using it a lot! This stitch is #18 and is in the flat stitches section of 100 Stitches.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

working on...

I am just getting started on this project featuring a crab, some coral and seagrasses:I am using chain stitch, back stitch and satin stitch for the crab. I am also using chain stitch for the waves and the sand line. You can just see the sand line next to the crab's leg. For the sand line, I used a color variations pearl cotton floss. It is dmc floss #4145. I just finished stitching up this little seashell:
I used more of the color variations floss: This is dmc #4180.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

100 Stitches - Step Stitch

Time again for 100 Stitches! This gorgeous stitch is the step stitch: It looks pretty difficult to do doesn't it?! It actually turned out to be easier that I thought it would be. At least my version :)100 Stitches was a little short on some details. I had to just assume what was meant and go with that!The first step is to draw some guidelines. 100 Stitches suggested that you make two parallel lines, approximately 1/2" apart: Now, stitch the two lines with chain stitch. Make sure the stitches are exactly in line with each other.For the next steps, I chose a contrasting colored floss so that everything would be easy to see. Come up through the fabric through the second chain stitch on the left side:And back into the fabric through the second chain stitch on the right side. Work straight stitches across the two rows of chain stitch...
linking every second pair...of chain stitches:Making a nice ladder look:I am only stitching a few lines for my demonstration:
Three should be enough: Now come up through the fabric right below the left side of your first straight stitch:Make sure your floss stays on the left hand side of the needle and that your needle is pointing down. Go under the straight stitch and: whip around the straight stitch about four or five times, until you are at the center of the straight stitch. At this point, insert your needle 1/8" above the straight stitch and bring it back up right below the straight stitch forming a vertical stitch: Now making sure the needle is pointing up, and that your floss stays to the left side of the needle:
start whipping around the straight stitch:
about four or five times until you are at the right end of the straight stitch. 100 Stitches didn't specify how to finish this off so I just made an extra whip around and went back into the fabric and secured my floss:Move down to the next straight stitch and start again:When you reach the center, pass the needle under the middle vertical stitch you made on the straight stitch above you. Just pass your needle under it and pull down:Now start whipping around the straight stitch just like you did before - remembering that this is the second half of the straight stitch so your needle is pointing up:
Finish that and start on the next straight stitch:Just keep going until you have completed all of your straight stitches:I hope that I did this stitch correctly, I would appreciate any advice or critiques! I also included a picture of the back of my stitching:This stitch is #65 and is in the composite stitches section of 100 Stitches.