Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Flower Patch is Back

After over a year of no stitching, Flower Patch is back. The last time I touched it was back in April 2013 and only to put in a few stitches.

One of my goals for this year is to finish this WIP. In order to encourage me to accomplish that goal, I can't start the Hardanger piece until Flower Patch is finished. Let's see how that goes ;)

Over the weekend I also worked on binding my new wooden hoop.

In a previous post I had ordered one hoop, but there are two hoops in this picture. That's because I liked the one I had so much I ended up ordering a bigger one (10") for an upcoming class I'm taking. More on that in the coming month :)

August TUSAL

Late again! Itty bitty TUSAL report this month since I mostly worked on the Hardanger project.

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Hardanger Project!

This weekend I decided that I needed to finish my Hardanger project. I only had one side left to do, so I stopped watching my k-drama (Korean drama for those not familiar with the term) and spent the hour or two to stitch it.

The actual cutting of the fabric took longer and I even made a boo-boo. Right at the end, I got tired and should have stopped but didn't. And anyone would tell you that that is a BIG mistake. While I was cutting away the fabric, one of the top corners slipped between the blades of the scissors and nicked a bit of the buttonhole stitches. I felt like crying at that point, so I stopped everything and decided to come back to it in an hour or so.

I was going to buy some fray-check today to fix it, but my sister told me she had something in her art supplies that would do something similar. So I decided to use that.

So here it is, my first Hardanger!

My first impression when I finished it was that I can see all the places where I stitched it wrong or used the wrong method. It's consistent, but stitched incorrectly (at least according to some of the stitching tips in Janice Love's book). I also realized towards the end that I stitched the buttonholes in the sides (the area that is between the corner edges) incorrectly, and by the time I realized it, I figured it would be okay as long as they were all the same. But I don't really care about the flaws, this was a practice piece and came out great despite the fact that it's my first project.

Second, I did lose steam at the end, but I loved stitching it. I can't wait to start on the kit I bought, but I think I should practice the different stitches I learned by following the instructions in Janice Love's book first. Also, I really should work on my other WIPs lol.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Stash From the US

My co-worker was sent to the US this year again, this means I obviously put in an order for new stash. Can't waste the opportunity.

I've already mentioned that I didn't really like the beginner's Hardanger book I got. I had ordered it before I found out about these amazing books. Both books are by Janice Love and were recommended to me by other stitchers (it's even mentioned as a reference in the pattern I bought in June). By the way, Nordic Needle is the best source to get these two books from.

Hardanger books by Janice Love
I spent the weekend reading the first one "Hardanger Basics and Beyond" and realized that I did a bunch of things wrong. Most of them have to do with how threads are supposed to be anchored or passed beneath existing stitches. Which is okay, I'm almost done with my piece and changing anything would just make it look weird. But I sure wish I had this book before I started stitching. It's Awesome! It shows all the stitches in detail and covers do's and don't's as well as expert advice. I really like the pictures at the end of the book that shows bad stitches and how they went wrong.

I love reading Nordic Needle newsletter which I get by email, especially the ones where long time stitchers share their stories. It's a great way of finding out about patterns :). In one of the articles, the stitcher had embroidered a pattern from the 2005 Award Winning Design booklets that's published every year by Nordic Needle. She had stitched the runner that is second from the right and it looked amazing.

In for a penny, in for a pound. I also ended up getting extension bars for my 17" Q-snaps and ordered one of the Q-snap covers just to try them out.

I wanted to try wooden hoops and heard about these from Mary Corbett's website. They are by Access Commodities and can be found at Hedgehog Handworks. Now when I placed my order, it was before I bought the Elbesee hoop in July (I got too impatient). I'm glad I did though, because I was able to see them side by side.

No offense against the Elbesee hoop, it works great and once it's bound I don't really worry about my stitches, but you can clearly see a difference in workmanship. The Access Commodities hoop feels more solid in my hand and the wood is nicely sanded down.

I worked a little on my WIPs last week. Not as much because I've been spending most of my free time reading. I have a corner and a half of another left on the Hardanger piece, so I think I will try to finish that this week.