Thursday, March 2, 2023

February TUSAL


I've not been very good at keeping my blog up to date, but I did try not to be too late for the TUSAL report. I've been busy with my Japanese embroidery and bead embroidery. One has been more satisfactory than the other. I need to make time to write something on it. However, neither of those will explain all the blue in my ORT jar.

One of the things I've missed is stitching something as simple as a cross stitch design. Something that doesn't require a lot of thinking, where I'm told what colors to put where. I had picked up this mill hill kit a while back and I just loved the colors. It's called Mediterranean Mares, a design by Laurel Burch. I'm thinking once it's done I'll try my hand at finishing it as a box top.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Parisian Patisserie Box - EGA Online Class

Last month, the EGA offered an online class on box making. The class was taught by Sarah de Rousset-Hall and covers the box making method used by the Royal School of Needlework, which is different from the cartonnage method. We were given the option to purchase either a full kit, which included things like a cutting mat, ruler,... or a partial one. I opted for a partial kit as I was already equipped for cutting mount boards, what I was more interested is a sample of mount boards appropriate for box making. This will be useful to help track down more later. The fabric and threads are just a bonus allowing me to start the class sooner.

The class was broken down into three lesson, one dropped every two weeks. In the first lesson, we made the inside of the box. We learned how to accurately measure and cut our mount board.

The mount boards that go on the inside are padded with felt.

They were then covered with our lining fabric. We used the double sided sticky tape method to do this. I fussy cut my fabric. I wanted to have as continuous a look as I could.

In lesson two, we covered how the second method to cover the mound board. This was done through lacing. I watched the demonstration, but found that the lacing method I'd been using so far was more secure, so I stuck to that. The rule is you should always lace the pieces that will be visible on the outside or will have to sustain lots of manipulation.

The pieces are then assembled together around the inner box. There was lots of measuring every step of the way to make sure everything fit together, and it was a very tight squeeze. I wasn't sure until the very end if it would work or not.

As an added bonus, in lesson 3, the class included a whitework monogram on the lid. This was a welcome lesson as I always wanted to learn this technique. I learned how to plan my padding, where it should be thicker and where it should narrow, how to not crowd my stitching so that it would look nice and smooth. I also learned of a better way to join padded string, this would definitely be useful in other embroidery techniques like goldwork.

It looks so pretty. I'm really happy how it came out.

Here's where I made a little oopsy. In order to have my feather chain look as symmetric as possible and end in the middle, I put in a tiny blue dot. Well I found out that this blue dot was not waterproof when I sprayed my piece from the back to iron it. I figured, meh! I'll accept my mistake, take it as a lesson and move on. I completed my lid and slept on it. Then an idea came: beads!

A little pearl and some white beads and voila! It actually looks even nicer with it. Gives it a nice elegant feel, while not only hiding my little blue mistake but also covering where the two ends meet.

This class was well worth the cost of the lesson and kit, I learned so much from all the tips Sarah shared and hope to apply them again in future.

Monday, February 6, 2023

January TUSAL

First TUSAL of the year. My ORT jar matches the weather outside. All the snow we didn't get in December, showed up in January. Last week I was finally able to start making some headway on a few projects, super happy I can finally get back on track. This weekend I also had my first finish of the year, I'll share the details in the next post. For now here's a little something I'd been working on to keep me busy during the month of January.

During COVID, I really made use of my sewing machine for sewing various projects, including masks. I decided to go through my box of scraps to see what I can salvage and trimmed the edges to make them straight. All these scraps were specifically from the covid masks I made for the family. The cream fabric was used for the lining.

One technique I've been wanting to get back to is pojagi (보자기). I really enjoyed it as it's great for keeping your hands busy, while your brain is occupied with something else. To attach pieces together, it's a simple whip stitch and it's really fun figuring out placement.

It's also satisfying to see a little block turn into an even bigger one. I'm going to see how big I can get it with all the scraps I have, but I'm hoping to at least get it to be about the size of my Japanese embroidery frame to make a cover that will protect my embroidery while it's in progress. Right now it's about 13"x16", and all just from scraps!

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Virgin Queen Wallet

I'm not starting the year right with this blog, but at least I can make up for it by striking off an item from this year's goals. My Virgin Queen Wallet is done.

I need to start looking at the finishing. I have some lightweight fusible, but I need to figure out where to find interlining (also called buckram). It's basically what gives the piece stiffness. I also need to find felt, coordinating fabric for the lining and a few other little bits and bobs. The original is lined with a willow green dupion silk, I'm probably going to go with a quilting fabric as it's easier to get locally.

While stitching what will become the needlebook, I realized I don't dislike blackwork after all. I think it was stitching with such a dark contrasting color. You get such a sense of satisfaction watching the pattern unfold. I may do more of it if I can find the right pattern.

Below you can see the stitching for the thread winder and scissor fob.

The next three pictures are what will make up the actual etui.

Slight change from the original, I switched out the vanilla for the cinnamon on the interwoven pattern. It was really hard to see and I was just not enjoying it at all. Plus the cinnamon is really pretty and goes well with the carnations.

Doing the finishing is not at the top of the list right now. The next three months will be very busy with classes. I'll be starting Japanese embroidery classes and revisiting cords technics, I want to make sure this piece gets completed before I got back to Grace. I'll also be getting back to Arabian Nights, the bead embroidery piece I was supposed to start in December. Lots coming, I just need to be patient.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

2023 Goals

Looking at my objectives for 2022, I kind of just let it go... I did start the things I planned to start

  • TUSAL posts on the last day of the month --- Close enough so I'm calling it DONE 
  • Stitch (and complete?) Kurenai-kai special advanced class piece Peach Blossoms and small bird (Japanese embroidery)  --- Not even close
  • Start phase 3 piece Poppy Pouch (Japanese bead embroidery) --- DONE
  • Start phase 5 piece Himotaba (Japanese embroidery) --- DONE
  • Start phase 6 piece Eternal Grace (Japanese embroidery) --- DONE
  • Start Contrast Color wheel by Jen Goodwin (Blackwork) --- DONE and nearly completed
  • Kurenai-kai special advanced class piece Maple leaves and small bird (Japanese embroidery)  --- Not even close (did not sign up for class)
  • Stitch (and complete?) Blackwell Roundel by Jenny Adin-Christie (metal and silk work)  --- Not even close
  • Stitch (and complete?) English Whitework Sampler by Darlene O'Steen (whitework) --- DONE
  • Stitch on Dolcetti by Katherine Drummond (Punto Antico)  --- Not even close
  • Older WIPS. Putting these back in, but I think a few of these will be here for the last time.
    • Complete Hedebo Starburst by Jette Roy Finlay-Heath (Hedebo)  --- Not even close
    • Stitch the hemstitch border on Donna M. Olson's Fantasy Lace  --- Not even close
    • Finish Katherine Drummond's Romantic Rosebuds  --- Not even close
    • Finish Annie Penin's Fleur de Sakura  --- Not even close
This year's goals will be:
  • Start and complete box making EGA class (Cartonnage)
  • Start phase 4 piece Floral Melody (Japanese bead embroidery)
  • Stitch (and complete?) Arabian Nights by Margaret Lee (Japanese bead embroidery)
  • Start (and complete?) Purple Iris by Margaret Lee (Japanese bead embroidery)
  • Stitch (and complete?) phase 5 piece Himotaba (Japanese embroidery)
  • Stitch on phase 6 piece Eternal Grace (Japanese embroidery)
  • Complete Contrast Color wheel by Jen Goodwin (Blackwork)
  • Complete Virgin Queen's Stitching Wallet by Betsy Morgan (Counted work)
  • Stitch Kurenai-kai special advanced class piece Peach Blossoms and small bird (Japanese embroidery)
  • Stitch (and complete?) Blackwell Roundel by Jenny Adin-Christie (metal and silk work)
  • Stitch (and complete?) English Whitework Sampler by Darlene O'Steen (whitework)
  • Start a cross stitch project that will be used for travels, details to come
The focus will still be on Japanese embroidery and bead embroidery this year. I was lucky enough to get added on Margaret Lee's student list and I want to do as much as I can with her. I have an online class starting in January in box making, bead embroidery in January and February and another in May. I'm still waiting on dates for some of the classes. I'm also planning a big trip in the fall of 2023, my first trip overseas in over 5 years!

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Looking Back at 2022

2022 is not as impressive as previous years. Yes I've started quite a few projects but due to the nature of those pieces, I don't have much completed. The pieces I do have completed I'm very proud of, especially my little pouch that I was able to wear to an evening with my guild.

Poppy Pouch


Having said that I do have at least two projects that are very nearly done. I'll look forward to completing them in the new year.

December TUSAL

Last TUSAL of the year! All that thread is actually from the last week. Between work and Christmas parties, I didn't have any stitching time. Once my stitching vacation started, I figured I'd start slow by working on Betsy Morgan's Virgin Queen's Stitching Wallet and just never stopped. I was hoping to finish (and I'm nearly there) before the end of the year but no dice.

I got most of the larger panels completed. 

Right now, I'm trying to complete the last of the big panels, isn't this flower cute! I also still have the embroidery for two little panels left to do. I guess I'll have to leave it for next year.