Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Japanese Embroidery Phase 1 - Wrapping Paper

Since my homework is done, I can finally go back to working on my bouquet. Over the weekend we had a group meeting. It was great to see them as our meetings kept getting cancelled because of weather.

I took my phase 1 piece Bouquet from the Heart of Japan. My goal this time is to put in the final touch on my wrapping paper. The paper is outlined with a thick thread called karayori which can only be couched. I've been putting this off for a while now but I couldn't anymore as all the veins and stems in the piece are stitched using the same threads.

After getting a demonstration, I was able to successfully make my threads and couch it. With my wrapping paper complete, I can go back and finish all the leaf blades and start working on the stems. Not to forget the cords. I'm thinking I should tackle the cords first as I don't want it to be the last thing to do on this piece. I could see it dragging as I avoid it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Japanese Embroidery Phase 2-3 - Homework part 3

Over the weekend, I was determined to finish my peach cloud. I'm a little behind on other projects and made a commitment on a new project that has a deadline. So this became a priority. I didn't have a lot left of space left to cover but it's still at least 3-4 hours of work there.

I had to crack open a second reel of silk to finish, as it really eats up a lot of silk.

This cloud has the same temporary holding stitch as the purple cloud sayagata. It didn't take long to put in as I've already had practice having had to do it twice previously.

Here is my piece as it stands. It's now stowed away in it's case until our class in April. Four weeks left. I've been following another stitcher on Instagram as she finishes her piece, so I'm really looking forward to learning the different elements.

Since my homework is done, I will be splitting my time between finishing phase 1 and my new project. I've already started the new project but haven't had time to write a post. In the meantime you can follow along on my Instagram account here. You can also check out my un-boxing of the kit here. I've been playing around more with videos through Instagram stories. I'm hoping to do more of those in the future.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Golden Snitch

Before I went on vacation I shared a peek of this brooch I made for my trip and shared a reveal on my Instagram.

Here it is. It's a little golden snitch. I spent last week with friends in Orlando visiting the Wizarding World at Universal Studios. We were there to celebrate my friend's 9 3/4 birthday as she was born on February 29. We made t-shirts for the occasion which we wore on February 28. I also wanted to make her a little something special for the trip.

I looked around Pinterest for a nice shape and settled on this one. I liked the mechanical look of it. From there, I re-sized the drawing till I got a size I liked and determined what would have a felt padding.

The snitch itself has a single layer, while the wings have two. I guesstimated the shape of the bottom layer of the wing.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

Since this piece was so small, I decided to use up leftover materials from previous goldwork kits.

First step was outlining the shape in pearl purl.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

It took a while for me to figure out how I wanted to fill the snitch's body. I ended up going with chipping.

I wanted a different texture for the rest of the body and went with cutwork using smooth purl. For the knobs (where the wings met), I changed the direction of the cutwork so they would be more distinct.

The wings were tricky as I liked the lines that were inside. I ended up using two types of purl: wire check and rough purl.

For the finishing, I looked in the fabric shop for suede or leather and the closest I could find were suede elbow patches.

To give it a bit of sturdiness I used a piece of soft cardboard, the kind that comes with tights, that I save for such occasions.

The first step is to cut around the snitch getting close to the edge but not too much so as to accidentally cut the stitching at the back.

I used the cut snitch to create an outline for my cardboard. The cardboard needs to be smaller than the actual finished piece so I did a rough outline and trimmed it.

For this pin, I bought some tie tack pins from Amazon.

When I decided to use tie tack pins, I didn't expect the suede to be so tick. I ended up using an awl to pierce the suede so I can get the tie tack through it.

Once the tie tack is in, I put in the clutch back to keep them in place (and protect my fingers).

The next step involves glue. I spread glue on the back of the embroidery and then placed my snitch on top of the suede making sure it was laying properly over the cardboard. At this point, I left it to dry.

Once it was dry, I cut out the piece. I tried not to have too much of the suede showing on the back but it was very hard to cut it with my embroidery scissors. If I do this often, I might need to invest in a pair of scissors made especially for cutting leather.

From there I whipped stitched the two layers together, going all around. It was very hard to pierce the suede. I was using an embroidery needle with a thimble, but again the right tools would have made this easier. I will be looking for needles made for leather embroidery.

Here it is all done. I really enjoyed stitching this piece. It was a nice quick project to make before my trip and my friend really loved receiving it. I hope I will be able to make more pieces like this in the future.

(click on the post to see the video below)

Thursday, February 28, 2019

February TUSAL

A bit more color in this month's TUSAL. I've been trying to work regularly on my mermaid. Still holding hope I will finish in time for my sister's birthday in June.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Special Weather Report

Over the weekend we had a slew of weather alerts. This meant that my monthly Japanese embroidery meeting was rescheduled due to bad weather. We got a mix of snow and freezing rain on Sunday which made driving a little hazardous. I was disappointed as I hadn't seen my group in a month, but it meant I didn't have to leave my warm house to do some stitching.

I'm still working hard on my cloud. I put in 12 more strands. Another session and it should be all covered.

Here's an overall view of the piece. Not long now.

Another special weather report, it will be sunny and 30 degrees weather for me for the rest of the week. I'm flying down south on Tuesday for a well deserved vacation, so no embroidery updates for this week. I did write my TUSAL post thought so that will be published on Thursday.

I made a little something for my trip, which I finished on Saturday. I will be posting the reveal on Instagram on Tuesday if you want to see what it is. Once I get back, I will publish a post showing you how I made it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Itty Bitty Progress

I had a very busy weekend so I didn't have much time to spend on my pieces. I was determined to at least put in some progress on Hiogi.

In the picture above, the blue line marks where I continued on from. It amounts to 4 strands of twisted thread. It took about an hour to twist the thread and use it. So it will take, maybe, another 4-5 hours to cover the rest of the cloud? I guess we'll see.

This Sunday is my monthly Japanese embroidery meeting, so I'm hoping to catch up the time I missed on the weekend.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Weekend Stitching

This weekend I finished the first mermaid on my Mirabilia piece. I unrolled the frame a little so I can take a picture. She's still missing beads but I'm leaving those till the end. There is a lot of Kreinik in this piece. I'm finding that I'm not having as much difficulty stitching with it as I used to. It might come down to my having more stitching experience now.

On Sunday, I worked on getting my lattice done. I didn't have any trouble undoing it, but I was still having trouble with the measurement. Despite my being careful I still started off measuring 1.8 cm but after wards started measuring 0.8 cm again. Not sure what was wrong with me. I had to undo it again a second time, but it worked on my third attempt. My second cloud is officially done. 

Now I just need to get that third one done. It's the biggest one yet, so it will take some time to finish as I'm limited with how long my twisted strand can be. Since we're incorporating a strand of gold, our silk can only be as long as our gold strand, which is about 18-19 inches long. I can twist 4 strands in about 30 minutes and then use them up in half that time. So very slow going.