Monday, January 16, 2017

Heart and Flowers part 3

Since posting last week, I stitched all the beads on Heart and Flowers and started the finishing process.

However, before I could do that I did have one more thing to do on the needlebook. The instructions for this part were placed in the finishing section so I missed it. I had to stitch a border of four sided stitch AND blanket stitch on top of that, all around the piece.

The kit comes with everything to finish the set into a fob, needlebook and pincushion.

There is a piece of light blue fabric to stitch at the back of the cutwork to kind of hide the inside of the accessory. You don't want stuffing peeking out :P

I like to trim the edges to fit just in case the fabric creates a shadow.

Then it was time to cut out the pieces out. Before cutting, I created a channel half an inch away from the edge so I can make sure to cut straight and in the right spot. I found a half inch a bit too generous. It was hard to fold and maneuver around, but better be safe than sorry.

I started with the pincushion. The kit came with a long piece of quilt batting with instructions to cut squares to fit the inside of the stitched faces. I found the quilt batting a better option than regular stuffing. This way when you stick a needle in, it won't sink all the way in and get lost.

All the pieces are whip stitched together.

Once I had one side fully stitched to the gusset, I layered all the quilt batting in making sure they all sat on top of each other smoothly.

And then just stitch the other side on top of it.

Here's a picture to see how big it comes out. I'll post prettier pictures later.

For the needlebook it was really fast to do. The kit came with a piece of felt that fits exactly inside the stitched area. I simply backstitched it to the center line with a double strand of the white thread used for attaching the beads.

I have a line going down the spine but that's okay.

Here it is all done. Again I'll post better finished pictures later.

The only thing left is the fob. I've already made the cord (you can see it in previous pictures) but I still have to make the tassel. Hopefully I can get that done tonight. I'm not worried, this project will be finished before the end of the week for sure ;)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Heart and Flowers part 2

I wasn't going to share another post on this, but I did enough progress on it this weekend that I think I can :)

I've finished all the bullions and all the cut work areas. Switching between bullions and the cutwork really helped speed things up. All that's left now is to attach the pearl beads, but I think there might be some stitching left to finish the edges of the needle book. I will have to take a closer look at the instructions later. The fabric is really wrinkly since I stitched the bullions in hand.

Scissor Fob
Needle case
Pincushion - front
Pincushion - back
I'm pretty confident I will be done with everything including finishing by next week. In other news, I got my kit for Alison Cole's cyber class. This class won't start until January 27.

There are still a few things I need to gather for the class, luckily I don't have to worry about ordering a pair of goldwork scissors and a mellor. I got those when I ordered the dupioni silks. So that was a good bit of luck :)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hearts and Flowers

You'll notice that while everyone started a new project on new years I didn't. That's because I cheated. I started my new year project a week early. The day after I finished Hana in fact :)

When I went to seminar last year I bought a full kit from Katheryn Drummond called Hearts and Flowers. This design was taught in 2015 at the EAC seminar in Calgary. Watching the posts on Facebook, I was green with envy that I wasn't able to attend. I've been itching to start it since coming home with the kit and I finally allowed myself to take it out last week.

Hearts and Flowers - blue version
I prepped the fabric on the night of the December 25, started stitching and haven't stopped since.

Hearts and Flowers is a sewing set stitched in the punto antico technique. Katheryn chooses the lovelies colors for her designs. The original is pink but it also comes in violet and all white. I decided to change from purple and go with blue and haven't regretted my decision.

In the set, there is a scissor fob, needle case and pin cushion. As you can see below I've already embroidered all the four-sided stitches, satin stitches and whipped stitches.

Scissor Fob
Needle case
Pincushion - front, back and sides
The next step for me was to stitch all the bullions.

However as much as I've learned to like them I got tired of doing so many by the time I got to the pincushion. I'm actually further along than that when I stopped.

All the white squares are covered with 8 bullions each
I decided I would switch between doing the cutwork area and the remaining bullions for a change of pace. Below you can see the various steps involved. Add to that more bullions on each corner of the cutwork area, and repeat that two more times.

I'm very near the end and the rest is pretty much the same across all the faces, so I'm not sure if I will write another post on this project until I'm ready to cut out all the pieces.

On a side note I want to mention this product I bought through an instagrammer a few months back. I only just got the chance to use it for the first time last week.

They're stitch clips, or at least that's the name I found for a similar product. For about 18$ Canadian I got 12 clips total and they are available in many different colors. Each set of 6 comes with a charm. I'm quite partial to the purple, it makes a nice ring every time I move the frame around. They are very easy to use and stretch the fabric very nicely on the sides. I want to try them on a set of scroll frames one day.

Normally a set of stitch clips only comes with 4 clips and cost over 24$ US, so I'm quite happy with this product. If anyone else is interested the instagrammer is Bokowayanatiajka.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

WIPocalypse 2017 – January

This month's theme is: Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year! So here we go:

My name is Dima. I'm a Software Engineer by day and stitcher by night. This is my sixth year blogging and I've been stitching for 7. I started with cross stitch, but have been trying to add in other types of embroidery (hardanger, pulled/drawn thread, punto antico...). You'll notice that most of the embroidery I'm drawn to is whitework, although I love color. I'm still hoping to learn crewel as I have a lot of kits in my stash but looks like it will be replaced by goldwork this year. Better luck next year :P

I also crochet, mostly amigurumis that I give as gifts, and I am learning how to knit (still very bad at it). Last year I added Kumihimo and this year my new addiction is beads. I hope to use lots and lots of them.

I've already posted my goals here. but I will re-iterate them below. I picked easy goals again this year as I will be very busy again this year come spring which means I will be very busy in the coming year finishing projects.

I had finished my goal last year on Bramble and the Rose and I got a head start on this year's goal as well. I always take out this project the last week before the New Year. The goal for this year is to again finish at least one page.

Ink Circles - The Bramble and the Rose

I worked on Tracery Dragons last year which was great. The goal this year is to finish all the stonework.

Teresa Wentzler - Tracery Dragons

I haven't touched Fantasy Lace since the summer. This year I'm hoping at least to have the hemstitch border done. Most likely to happen in the summer as it's a great project to take outside :)

No Update
Satin Stitches - Donna's Fantasy Lace

Officially being added to the roster this year is Katherine Drummond's Romantic Rosebud which was a Creative Festival class in 2015. The goal is to finish it this year.

The second WIP being added that is also to be completed this year is Annie Penin's Fleurs de Sakura.

More projects will likely come and go during the year, but these are my offical WIPocalypse goals for 2017.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Goals

I did better this year on my goals than in 2015 as I tried to keep them small and manageable. So let's see how I did:
  • TUSAL posts will now be wordless unless I post an update of a WIP --- this didn't work out at all :P so I ended up just keeping the posts very small
  • Keep up with WIPocalypse, I'm picking easy goals for this:
    • Finish the beading on Mirabilia's Tree of Hope --- DONE
    • Finish at least one page of Ink Circles' Bramble and the Rose --- DONE
    • Try to put in some sort of stitching on Teresa Wentzler's Tracery Dragons --- DONE
    • Finish all the eyelets on Donna M. Olson's Fantasy Lace --- DONE
  • Stitch up and finish the Creative Festival class kits by Gingerbread Girl Designs --- I finished one but really should work on the second one
  • Start Hazel Blomkamp's Midnight Meander --- I took it out once, then got too nervous and packed it back up :| I really should overcome that and just get started on it
Keeping with the same theme as last year:
  • TUSAL posts same as usual
  • Keep up with WIPocalypse, I'm picking easy goals again for this:
    • Complete at least one page of Ink Circles' Bramble and the Rose
    • Stitch the stonework on Teresa Wentzler's Tracery Dragons
    • Stitch the hemstitch border on Donna M. Olson's Fantasy Lace
    • Finish Katherine Drummond's Romantic Rosebuds
    • Finish Annie Penin's Fleur de Sakura
  • Stitch Gingerbread Girl Designs Hearts and Flowers - Already started
I'm not going to make the mistake of saying which other kit I will pick up from my stash. Let it be spontaneous ;)

I've planned a big year for 2017. I signed up for a goldwork class with Alison Cole. Yes, a goldwork class! I wasn't expecting to learn it so soon. The plan was to do whitework then beadwork and eventually try goldwork. But I really fell in love with the design. That and my sister offered it for me as a birthday present =D. It's called Pearl Butterfly and will start on January 27 and ending March 24. One of my goals for this year will be to keep up with this class.

Right on time for my trip to Washington D.C.. In April (right after my birthday), I'm going down to visit with the ladies I met at the French Needle Paris Tour. This should be great fun :) It will be my first time in D.C., so if anyone has suggestions of places to visit please feel free to comment below. I'm hoping I can convince Lisa to give me a tour of her shop the French Needle.

From D.C. I'm flying out to Atlanta with Carolyn who was part of the tour. We are going to the JEC to take the phase 1 Japanese Bead Embroidery class. Everything was all payed up months ago: classes, hotel, flights. We're picking up our kits there so we don't have to bring anything. I'm going to try and post some stuff on Instagram but I heard cameras are not allowed in class so we'll see.

For phase 1, I decided on the eyeglasses case since I will get more use out of it (if I actually dare use it!)

In May, I'm going to the EAC seminar again. This year it's held in St-John's, Newfoundland.

I could have applied for a grant with EAC (I have to wait 2 years before re-applying for Virtual Thread's seminar grant), but I decided in the end not to. Once of their conditions you'd have to fulfill is to finish the class project within 6 months and I wasn't sure I'd be able to do that with the class I selected. I'm still waiting to get confirmation on what class I'll be getting, so I will share that with you later. This year I had a first and second choice, so we have no way of knowing what will happen.

That's it for the exciting stuff. The rest of the time it will be business as usual, but I hope I can pick up some interesting classes along the way not to mention those tempting projects from Inspirations ;)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Back at 2016

Looking back over this year I managed to finish 8 projects (2 more than last year!).

Many of them were small projects or WIPs from the year before, but two of them were quite big so I'm happy. I also did a lot of kumihimo projects. Mainly bracelets since I don't really like necklaces.

One amigurumi this year. I'm not making as many as I used to. This one I made for my sister.

So here's a final count: I have 6 finishes this year and 7 WIPs left of which 3 are from the year before. Again I'm not including the Creative Festival projects as WIPs.

This year I learned that:

I still love whitework and Seminar is amazing.

Bead! I love beads. I've bought so many is the last few months, I just hope I get the chance to use them all.

I managed to work on all my WIPs, including Tracery Dragon which last year, didn't see any action at all.

I've kept up the tradition of stitching on Bramble and the Rose on the last week of the year. We've been watching all the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies (extended edition) all week so I had lots of time :) I'll post pictures after the new year.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Hana Beaded Fob & Case

We finally got some sunlight and I can now share my finished Hana fob and case. This project was a lovely introduction to the Japanese Bead Embroidery Technique. I can't wait to do more of it next year.

The original project from Inspirations is by Merrilyn Whittle and was only the fob, but I had decided very early on that I wanted to make a scissor case as well. These two are actually my first fob and case. Before this I'd never made one before.

I had to take a picture of Hana and Fandango together. They were two of my favorite and best projects of 2016. I will be taking both of them with me to Seminar for the member's exhibition. My next goal for this piece is to find a lovely pair of gold scissors to display it at Seminar. The ones in the pictures are my first pair of Nogent scissors. They are my favorite for doing the cut work in Hardanger. So I definitely can't take them with me for Seminar.