Friday, March 16, 2018

Japanese Landscape - Part L

The second stem in Japanese Landscape went much better than the first one. The advise I received from Instagram really helped with my tension. This time around I payed more attention to take more pictures of the process so I can share it with you.

The first step is to bend the end of the plate using pliers. The hidden fold will be the start of your folded plate.

Next, I came out with the needle and hooked the thread in the fold. It's a little fiddly, but you can use pliers to close the fold and prevent the thread from coming out. Go down into the fabric, come out on the other side and couch down the plate. Here I made a small anchoring stitch so the thread isn't loose.

I did find I got better results if I folded over the plate keeping my thread taught, before I placed the anchoring stitch to hold it in place.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

To end the plate, another fold is create to hide the cut edge.

Not a hard process, but it does get tedious after the 20th fold. I still have to pay more attention to the edge of the line. It's not a problem when the area is covered on each side of the line of folded plate as you can hide uneven edges, however for the areas that will not be surrounded you can clearly see a jagged edge. I know I'm being picky, but I'm always looking for ways to improve. Something to work on in the next project.

The left and right flowers are now officially done! Next up are the four leaves in the center flower. There will be a lot of plunging in my future. I'll have to do this is stages as otherwise, I will start avoiding this project.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Japanese Landscape - Part K

I didn't get the chance to do any stitching over the weekend. Luckily I did get some done during the week so I do have some progress to share. I was hoping to get both stems (parts K and L) done but was only able to get one stitched.

The stem on the left is stitched in two steps: first with flat plate and then with bright check s-ing.

I got distracted while stitching so I didn't take pictures of how the flat plate is started. I'll do that when I do the second stem. Essentially, the flat plate is couched and then folded over itself, going back and forth till you reach the bottom.

I had some trouble with this stem. It's a little wider at the top and has a curve. It's a little too loose at the top. I got some advise on Instagram, someone recommended making small pin stitches after couching to prevent the thread from loosening. I will try it when I do the other side.

The last part is s-ing with bright check. Here I am cutting my purls so that they're all the same size.

Not a really good picture as I took it late at night. I'm looking at this days after I stitched it and I'm not a 100% happy with the results especially at the top where even the s-ing doesn't look quite right. I wonder if I should undo it all. I guess I will have to see if I have enough materials when I do the other side.

An over all picture of the piece so far. It's not very noticeable from afar is it?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Japanese Landscape - Part J

Slowly but surely I'm starting to get back to my regular stitching schedule. The next bit were the four little petals on the center flower. I did them in 30-minutes stitching sessions when I would get home from work. Anymore than that and it would have tired my eyes even more than they already are after a long day of staring at a computer screen.

The four petals are all stitched with a pearl purl outline and then filling with chipping in gold and copper. Have I mentioned how much I dislike random stitching? I had to make an effort so that it didn't end up looking like a zebra.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

It looks okay. My only annoyance is that the pieces are not all the same size, but that's from cutting the felt.

Here it is so far. Next step are the stems of the flowers on the left and right. Crossing my fingers I'll have some stitching time this weekend.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Japanese Embroidery Progress

After our meeting in January, I was so close to finishing that I decided to put in some more time on the iris to finish the last two petals before we had our next meeting.

Our next meeting was scheduled for February. We decided, for those of us stitching on Phase 1, to make each meet up be about a specific portion of the piece. That way we can prepare ahead of time and if we have questions or need help/feedback we can get it at the next meeting. The next meeting was supposed to be all about chrysanthemums.

Unfortunately, winter got in the way and the meeting was cancelled. We ended up rescheduling to the first weekend of March. Nancy had mentioned that my orange chrysanthemum is not stitched in the right order and might have to be redone. She suggested leaving it for now, starting a new one and then comparing the results. I decided to start the purple flower. I'm glad she mentioned it because now I understand how to correctly stitch the petals.

My pinks didn't fare that well thought. Seems we misunderstood the instructions for this flower so it all had to come out. We had all done our stitches meeting at the same line at the center. The stitches should have been more like long and longer. This link can give you a good idea of what it should look like.

A lot of my wrapping paper had to come out as well. We had stopped our stitches where the cords would be on the wrapping paper. The foundation layer should actually be put in over the entire piece, covering the cord area. Later on the cords are stitched over it. I kept all my threads hoping I can salvage them.

I'm not sad I had to undo some of the areas, it just means I've had some practice and I will do it better next time :) Our next stitching meeting is at the end of April but I will not be able to attend as I will be travelling. The theme of the next meeting will be the wrapping paper so I will miss the discussion, but I still have the homework to do for it. It just means I'll have more time to work on it.

  • Outline the wrapping paper area using couching thread
  • End the brown thread that's sticking out and finish the foundation layer over the entire wrapping paper
  • Start the first layer that goes on top of the foundation layer

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The White Rabbit

I've been very absent this past week as not a lot of stitching has been done. This year I have two amigurumis to create for friends who are expecting their first child. I thought I would have plenty of time since the first baby will not be born until May, but it was decided that we would be presenting them with the gift card on Tuesday.

Luckily I had already started working on my rabbit, but I was still missing a few pieces so those had to be quickly made. I only finished the last piece on Sunday and then it took me the entire day to put it together.

I will admit that I took too long to finish it because I was avoiding finishing the eyes. Since this rabbit's owner will be very young, plastic eyes are a huge no-no. We don't want the chance that the eyes will come off and have the baby swallow it. So they have to be embroidered and eyes were always the hardest for me even back when I used to draw.

In the end I persevered, but by then the day was over. It's okay though, the smile on my friend's face when he saw it was well worth the time I spent on making it :) By the way, I found an excellent tutorial on how to tie the perfect bow. I will have to save it for the future.

If you're interested in the pattern, it's by Lalylala and be found here. It's a modification of her existing patterns, so you will need to purchase one of them to make the head, arms and body. This is the second time I make this rabbit and it's always a great gift for baby showers. There is one more to do this year, but I've decided to try out a different Lalylala design. I will share that later in the spring.

As for embroidery, I have my Japanese embroidery group meetup this Saturday so hopefully I will have an update on that next week. No goldwork though as I will be out on Sunday. I'm hoping to have more time next week.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Japanese Landscape - Part I

I feel like my stitching has really slowed down over the past few weeks. Winter is so tiring. On Sunday, I managed to put in about five hours of stitching on Japanese Landscape.

The petals that surround the leather kid involves cutwork. There is a bit of couching around the felt outline but the bulk of the work is filling in with cut bright check and smooth purl.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

The smooth purl in my first petal were a bit fractured but not too noticeably. By the time I got to the last one I was getting better. Can you guess which petal was my first and which one my last?

The next section is really small, the four triangles between the petals. So if it doesn't take me too long I might do that and the next section which is the stem of the left flower.

Friday, February 16, 2018

February TUSAL

My TUSAL jar this month looks very sad even thought I did a lot of work this month. It's all those sewing threads I've been using.

My teacher emailed me saying she mailed back my lesson 2. It should be coming in today. I can't wait to get it and read her feedback.