Monday, August 31, 2015

Eidelweiss Part 5 - Finished!

Yup! It's finished. The last section was the leaf at the bottom of the design. It starts with removing every fourth thread both vertically and horizontally.

This one was easier as the pattern actually tells you where to remove the first thread. Once all the threads are removed, the area is filled with a wing filling stitch.

The stitch is actually very pretty, but you can't really see it with the bad lighting.

For the first time, I decided to try my hand at washing my finish. Since this is a white on white design, I didn't have to worry about the color running, so it was a good project to try it out on.

Here it is all clean and ironed out. I must admit, washing the piece really helped getting all the hoop marks out. So I think I will be less hesitant in the future about washing my finishes.

My sister is the one who always takes pictures of my finishes. The one below she took with the piece against the window. By the way, this isn't a black and white picture. It just looks like that. I admit it was a very good idea, as you can see all the drawn and pulled thread work that went into it.

And as always, the back of the piece.

I was aiming to finish this piece before the next issue of Inspirations magazine came out and I did! I finished Eidelweiss the same day I got the issue.

It was very hard to leave it closed until I finished. Issue #87 has a few projects I would love to stitch, I've already earmarked one of them as my next small project. But it will have to wait as I've already filled Eidelweiss' spot. I hate winter, but sometime I wish it would come sooner so I'd have more stitching time.

WIPocalypse 2015 – August

This month's topic: Pick one of the WIP pieces you’ve stitched on this month, and tell us about your stitching journey with the piece. This is kind of hard since, except for two projects, most of my WIPs are less than a year old. So I guess I'll talk about the piece that I fell in love with and inspired me to start stitching: Peacock Tapestry.

Once I graduated university and started working, this was in 2008-2009, I found myself with a lot of free time. So much that I had a hard time sleeping (not kidding about this). So I decided look into the things I've always wanted to do but had zero time for while I was a student, which was embroidery. I took a look online for a nice kit to start with and I stumbled on Peacock Tapestry. The kit was obviously discontinued at that time and there was no pattern available. So I put it aside in my mind (this was before Pinterest) and moved on to other projects.

Around 2012, I discovered I could buy stash on eBay. That was the best and worst discovery ever! I spent a lot of money on there before the shipping costs became impossible and I stopped. Anyways, I found a few unopened kits of Peacock Tapestry, but they were going for prices like 79$ and above (I'm crazy but not that crazy). Anyways, one day a seller was offering the pattern from the kit and I jumped on it immediately. 7 months later I found another seller destashing and was offering all the materials for Peacock Tapestry (score!).

I didn't start stitching until 2013, because I was still stitching Castle in the Air and I wanted to do some research on TW designs before I started. So for about 8 months, I was haunting the TW forums reading everything I could find about organizing the project, griding, stitching with metallic and blended thread, what are the best ways to start stitching, the curse of the unfinished borders, going blind reading hand drawn patterns,... Why did I do that? Because Peacock Tapestry was my dream project and I didn't want it to end up on the back burner because I got bored or stuck.

So in the end, this piece also became a learning experience. I learned:

  • I love Teresa Wentzler's designs
  • Always stitch borders first (I know it's boring, but you'll thank me in the end) 
  • I hate backstitching leaves (so long and boring)
  • Flat needle minders are awesome to line up pre-threaded needles
  • Use cardboard bobbins to store blended threads and mark them with the symbol from the pattern
  • When stitching a TW tackle it as modules with specific goals in mind. That doesn't mean set a date (although that could help some people), but divide the pattern in sections that are not so huge you feel overwhelmed and not too small you can finish it in less than a week. That way when you reach you're goal it feels like a finish. 

So onto my WIPocalypse update. Still nothing on Bramble and the Rose (starting to feel guilty about this one).

No Update
Ink Circles - The Bramble and the Rose

Since Tree of Hope is still on my frame, it gets a lot of my attention when I spend my time in doors. The maiden on the left and the tree root is almost done except for the hand dyed thread. I do admit to avoiding them right now, so I started the dress of the other maiden.

I had to take Tree of Hope off my frame for another project, so I took the opportunity to take a full sized picture.

Mirabilia - Tree of Hope

I still haven't touched Tracery Dragons.

No Update
Teresa Wentzler - Tracery Dragons

For the first time in months I didn't put in a single stitch on Fantasy Lace. I could blame it on the weather being too nice but that would be lying. This is what I call my movie night in the basement piece, but we haven't had a movie night in a while so it lays in it's box untouched.

No Update
Satin Stitches - Donna's Fantasy Lace

My schwalm piece Eidelweiss is finished! I completed it this Friday and wanted to take a nice picture before posting it online. Which is why my post is so late. Even better I finished it the same day I received the next issue of Inspirations Magazine.

Deborah Love - Eidelweiss
I've already filled it's spot with another project :P I'll post pictures of it later.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Eidelweiss Part 4

It's been a long time since I've posted any detailed update on Eidelweiss. The last image I posted was this one:

Since my lamp stopped working, I've been stitching outside. This way I got better lighting, but at the same time it wasn't the kind of place I'd want to do cut work in (which is what the leaves required). So I decided to finish stitching everything else and leave the filling stitches for last. And that's what I've been showing when I remembered to post pictures.

Yesterday I finally put in the last detached chain stitch and it was time to cut.

So I went back inside and turned on my "artificial" lamp. Sorry for the color of the lighting, but you can see below I've selected the first thread I want to cut out. By the way the hard part is not the actual cutting, but deciding where to cut.

Also, here is a tip if you're worried about cutting the wrong thread, pass your needle under it until it's over the eye of the needle. Then, if your scissors are pointy enough you can cut the thread thru the eye.

Once that first thread is cut, I just had to skip the next four and cut the fifth. Doing that vertically and horizontally, I end up with this:

The filling stitch for the first leaf is a satin with cross stitch. You first satin stitch all the bars of four threads going up in a staircase pattern, until they are all wrapped. Once that's done, you anchor your thread under those wraps in the back of your fabric and cross stitch the centers. The importance here is consistency, the thread that travels between bars should all be going in the same direction and the x's all crossed in the same way.

Here is what the piece looks like overall (I waited till this morning to get better lighting). One more leaf and then it's done. I'm hoping to do it today. Wish me luck!

By the way, any Canadian stitchers out there who know of a good place that sells frames? I'm looking for something that is oval for this piece and haven't see anything in the shops I went to. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place.

Monday, August 17, 2015

August TUSAL

Very small TUSAL report for this month. I had a very busy month and it was just too nice outside to stay in. I did try to do some stitching outside :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Still Here

I'm still alive and stitching. The past two weeks have been pretty busy. Between work, a baby shower and a wedding, my weekdays and weekends were full. I stitched a little here and there on Eidelweiss when I got the chance to sit outside in the sun (can't get better lighting than the sun), but it's not enough to show progress pictures.

The other WIP I stitched on was Tree of Hope.

Sorry for the weird lighting. I took the picture early this morning and although there was plenty of light it came in on a slant. I decided to stitch on the tree trunk instead of finished the maidens dress, because I didn't feel like stitching in a random pattern. I'll leave that for later.

Now that things have slowed down, I hope to get more stitching time.