Peacock Progress


peacock tail

I’ve been stitching along on the Canevas Folies Peacock kit. I finished the wing and moved on to the tail.

The first part of the tail is lots of long and short stitch with one strand of a variegated thread. It’s fun to watch the colors slowly mutate from one to the next. I didn’t do a terribly precise stitch, but kind of fudged it as needed to fill in around the scales.

I also added the beak, eye, and crest, which definitely give the head  a more finished look. When I did the legs, I added bullion stitch claws because any excuse for a bullion knot, really. See below for an extreme claw close up. Now I’m working on filling in all the scales. It’s very satisfying to watch all the blank canvas fill in. I’m very much enjoying working on the bird himself, but I’m also looking forward to all the foliage and flowers.



bullion stitch claws


2016-04-25 12.51.57I have been eyeballing this kit from The French Needle since I saw it on Needle’n’Thread last October. I finally took the plunge and ordered it. I’ve been working on smaller projects–little pincusions, temari balls, that sort of thing–and it’s really satisfying to get back to something a little bigger. The kit  comes with pre-printed linen, some beautiful variegated threads, and a list of DMC threads to finish it out. The instructions so far are clear and easy to follow.

2016-04-25 12.50.02

This is the first time I’ve ever used detached buttonhole stitch, seen here on the peacock’s wing. I was a little apprehensive about it, but I figured it out and I love looking at the texture. So far, most of what I’ve stitched has been long and short stitch, but once I get into the tail and the flowers, there should be plenty of fun texture to explore. Hope you are all having happy stitching!

In Situ and Happy Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving, American readers and everyone else! I’m thankful for many things, but particularly relevant to this blog, I’m thankful to have finally finished this pillow and given it to my mother.

It’s sitting on my mom’s couch, where it was destined to go. I’m hoping to one day catch one of her cats napping next to it, but thus far only the cat hairs let me know that they’re appreciating it too.

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Experimenting with Color

As I mentioned here, a while back I stumbled across the work of Kimika Hara. Her work has me thinking about how I approach color. My approach to animals has mostly been what I would call more naturalistic, tending toward the specific colors one might actually find on said animal. But–why not play with other colors?

So here goes. I started with a base of two strands of floss in fairly tame, natural colors (except on the animals’ faces, where I used a single strand):

baseline foxThen I started adding color.

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On Pins and Needles

So close to finished!

After finishing the stitching on the cats (yay!) I wet-blocked them to get rid of some of the wibbly bits where the stitching had distorted the ground fabric. I washed the piece with Soak no-rinse wash and then rolled it in a towel to get rid of excess moisture. Then, I pinned the heck out of it, making sure that it fit the dimensions of the pillow form (18″ by 18″) and that the edges were more or less straight.

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Glacial progress

…is still progress. Even when life doesn’t seem to want to cooperate to make stitching time, I’m getting a few minutes in here and there. I anticipate finishing the cats during the football game tonight.

so very very closeThat last little bit won’t take too long, so I’ll probably bring a backup project as well. I’ve got a project in mind that’s vast (perhaps insanely so) in scope for which I want to do a few test pieces.

I’ll be happy to get this pinned and blocked so I can assemble the pieces.

As you can see, I had some help photographing this.

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Seed Stitch Variations

catsClosing in on the finish!

I mentioned before that I haven’t used much seed stitch before. I added it to another panel here and it was fun to work. I tried varying the stitch a little just to see what different effects I could get. The results were fun (though I doubt anyone but me is ever going to notice in person!)

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Background stitches

We spent last week in an undisclosed location.


(It was the beach.)

In between swimming and eating remarkably well, I did get a few stitches in.

SAMSUNGAs you can see, I was too lazy to take the hoop out, but when I finish the current green section, I’ll take a better picture. It’s been a lot of fun winging the background of the piece and exploring new-to-me stitches. Cretan stitch, in the purpley-blue section on the right was a blast to work.

I’m looking forward to blocking this and figuring out how to construct the pillow. I’m very pleased with how it’s coming out.

Color and more color

ColorI wondered how many posts I could title Caturday before the internet rose up and strangled me, so I’m focusing on the color aspect of this one instead. More filling stitches!

I’ve taken the opportunity to play around with French knots inside lattice stitch, whipped stem stitch, and seed stitch, which is such a basic filler, but for some reason I’ve always avoided it. Because it’s such a flat filler, it contrasts nicely here with the raised stem stitch swirls.

colorTo the right, you also see feather and fly stitch next to plain old fly stitch in what is thus far the most open of these blocks of filler stitches.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!