Peacock

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 ┬ácomes 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.

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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!

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Ch-ch-ch-Chain Stitch

blue flowers by moonlight

I got started playing with chain stitch pursuant to the revelation of how easy it is to stitch backwards and can’t seem to stop. From the swirly lines of last week, I doodled some flowers and a moon, atop a yin-yang-ish plot of ground. I varied the number of strands of floss, four in the moon and the left-hand vine, to two for the flowers and the right-hand vine, to six for the ground. Six is really too big for this small a design; I’m much happier with how four and two look.

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On Pins and Needles

Well, thumbtacks, anyway.

I finished the needlebook cover last night, and in a strangely timely manner, Mary Corbet featured a post on damp blocking finished embroidery this morning over at Needle ‘n’ Thread. (If I seem to link to her site often, it’s because I find it extremely informative. Like having a friendly and knowledgeable stitcher in my computer.) The back cover of the needlebook came through the stitching process pretty smoothly, but the front, which is more heavily embroidered, got distorted. I used a Q-snap frame for this piece. Perhaps I have a heavy stitching hand, but I found myself having to tighten the fabric pretty often, and that may have contributed.

The quality of this picture is not great (sorry!) but you can see the wibbliness of the embroidery on the right. For stage two, I pinned it without mercy.

Much better! I misted it with water, and am now leaving it alone until it dries. Then it’s on to the assembly, which is going to feature a certain amount of trial and error.

 

Living Dangerously

The end is in sight. Last night I finally decided on the final, palest color for the carnation petals and dug in:

It took me a while to make up my mind. I tried three pale blues, and also a cream, before deciding on This Pale Blue (DMC 504, in case you were curious.)

I have a band of experiments at the bottom of my fabric, where I know it’s going to be cut away when I assemble the finished piece. Here’s a test petal, with cream and blue, along with some other test stitches.

The last bit of petal-filling goes very quickly, and transforms the piece. All of a sudden, it looks finished. But I’ve run into a problem.

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