Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Mishmash of Updates

Since we had a long weekend, I had more stitching time. I just wish I had the energy to take advantage of it. I mostly spent it lazing around, but did try to put in a tiny bit of stitching everyday.

Foxy came back out for a second attempt at couching the passing thread. With some tips from fellow stitchers on Instagram, I was able to get that first one in properly. The main suggestion was to draw a line on the felt to use as a guide. Once the first row went in the rest were easy to align. I got all the way to the edge of the ear on each side and stopped there. I decided to plunge these ones first before moving on so it would be easier to see where to stitch in the little bits. I got the chance to try out a curved needle for the first time and let me tell you it is AWESOME! I wish I had it when I was trying to frame my pieces in the spring.

Click on post to see animation
My friend Nancy hosts Japanese Embroidery retreats once a month at her house for some stitching. It's a good way to encourage us to put in some progress on our pieces. They all do the traditional Japanese Embroidery. While I worked on my bead embroidery phase 1 piece, Nancy was working on finishing her phase 5 piece (she's already taken all 10 classes) and the other lady was working on a combined phase 2 and 3 piece. I didn't do much since I was low on energy, but I'm very happy that I finished one row of flowers. I've also realized that by stitching a specific pattern instead of just randomly picking colors, I will not have enough garnet and dark and light topaz beads. Luckily I can contact the JEC for more, but I have enough to work on it again when we meet up next month.

While I was there, Nancy lent me her Needlework system 4 floor stand and I must say it's fantastic. It doesn't tire my arm so much as I don't have to raise them to stitch like I do right now with my table stand. I will have to keep it in mind when I start shopping for a floor stand. It's a very light-way, easy to transport and put-away.


Hedebo Enchantment also got some time. I finished the border that goes around the entire center.

Now I really need to start working on the smaller squares. I decided to start easy and finished square #1. This one uses taellesyning and platvaerk. Taellesyning is a form of counted thread work and platvaerk simply means satin stitch.

No stitching for me tonight as I have a cake to finish. It's my sister's birthday and I promised her a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. I baked the two layers yesterday but I have to make the icing today and decorate it. Crossing my fingers it comes out pretty. I will have plenty of stitching time this weekend though as we have another holiday coming up, this time to celebrate Canada Day.

Monday, June 26, 2017


I'm very late for TUSAL this month. We had a long weekend here celebrating St-Jean Baptiste which is a provincial holiday in Quebec. This means I made some progress on a few WIPs :) TUSAL in June was very white mixed in with some orange.

Monday, June 19, 2017


I didn't get much stitching Saturday as we were invited to a friend's wedding. This meant I had a busy morning and then my evening was full. It was a lovely reception. We lost power half-way through which gave a lovely atmosphere for the couple with all the candles.

I woke up the next day ready to tackle Foxy again. The first order of business was ironing on the cotton interfacing Natalie sent me. I really like the quality of it (much better than the other one I previously used for Hana). I will have to find out where I can buy more.

The next step on Foxy was couching the passing on the head.

Unfortunately, my first go was really crooked. It's really important to get that first one right because otherwise the rest of the lines will look wrong.

While I was waiting for advice in Instagram, I decided to take out Hedebo Enchantment and work on setting up the smaller squares. I got so engrossed in getting them all done, I never stopped stitching and completely forgot about Foxy.

This means that I will have to get the head done this week in order to be able to catch up for this weekend.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Introducing Foxy

A while ago I showed this kit by Becky Hogg that my sister brought back for me from the RSN. My friend Natalie from Sew by Hand asked if I would be interested in a stitch along with her and Catherine from Hillview Embroidery. We each had a kit from Becky Hogg's; I have fox and Natalie and Catherine both have the owl. We settled on a June first start but things got in the way.

We decided to start this weekend and to at least take out the pamphlet to read and stitch the felt. The kit comes with everything needed to start stitching.

I only had to provide a hoop, this one is 6", and scissors. You can use the hoop that comes with the kit, but it could get cramped.

I didn't line the back of the fabric for now. Natalie is sending me some cotton interfacing to try out. I will probably put that in before I start on any of the metalwork.

It turns out that the felt included in the kit is polyester and not wool. It's not as bad as the polyester felt I stitched with before but it would be better to switched it out for wool if you have it on hand. I decided not to bother switching it out as the pattern is already printed on the felt and I just wanted to jump into stitching.

Here's an animation of the felt being applied. I really enjoy this process. I enjoy it so much, I tend to put way more stitches on the lower layers :P

click on the post to view the video

Here is my fox all felted. All the different pieces were the right size except the head. I had a hard time covering the markings with the felt. It should be fine though as these will be covered later with the purl pearl.

For this project, I took the opportunity to test out the seat frame my sister got me. I didn't use it as a seat frame, instead I just put it on my desk and placed my puffin from seminar on the base as a frame weight. He's heavy enough for it, so the setup was really great :)

The next step will be starting metalwork embroidery on the head which involve a lot of couching.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Progress So Far

Since coming back from Seminar I've been taking it easy. Not that I'm not stitching, I'm just not doing anything that's too complicated.

My center is finished as I'd decided I won't add the needlelace flower at the center. The center is mainly composed of satin stitch, diagonal half cross stitch and reverse faggot stitch.

I've since moved onto the border. There are four rows of satin stitch going all around the piece. I'm finally at the last one and will be very glad to move onto something else soon :)

I think once I've finished the satin stitching, I will work on getting the smaller diamonds ready for stitching. This actually involves more satin stitching but it has to be done.

Monday, June 5, 2017

EAC Seminar 2017 - Rock, Needle, Scissors - Part 4

Saturday was our third day into our Hedebo class. We all came in very early as usual to catch up on homework.

For this class we concentrated on the needle lace portion of the piece. I don't normally use doodle clothes, but I used one this time to practice as I'm not a 100% sold on having it at the center of Hedebo Enchantment. I'm thinking I want to leave the center area blank and do the needle lace petals on a smaller doily. We'll see. All in all I'm glad I did use a doodle clothe anyways because my buttonholes didn't look that great. They were very loose, I will have to practice some more.

That night we had our banquet. They always hold it on the Saturday as many people end up leaving on Sunday to return home. I missed last year's as I was flying off to Paris, but it was really great to attend. Since we were all dressed up, I took the opportunity to take pictures with my teacher Jette.

with Jette Roy Finlay Heath
Since Alison Cole was also there and she was my teacher this year (although online), I made sure to take one with her as well.

with Alison Cole
During the banquet, the committee for next year's seminar always has a presentation to show off what is planned for the following year. In 2018, Seminar will be hosted by my guild Virtual Threads in Prince Edwards Island. Really excited to go! As favors, we received a parting gift from the hosting guild. It's an adorable puffin (click the link to see the puffin army). He's weighted down so I can use him as a paper weight or even a frame weight. From next year's host we received a needle threader and a booklet containing the list of classes for the coming seminar.

After the banquet, we returned back to the residence to find that there were many stitchers staying up later to finish homework. I was completely out of it and there was no way I was going to do any stitching but I did go around to see what they were all working on and spotted this lovely bargello scissor case and fob. I just loved the colors. 

The morning of day 4 found us in class again catching up on homework. We were supposed to finish cutting and weaving the ends on this square the day before but there was no way we were going to do that after the banquet. It would be stitching suicide! It was very hard to do as well as we were anchoring two fabric threads (that have slugs!!) under a four sided stitch that is tiny. Normally four sided stitches are done over four threads but in this case they're stitched over two.

After this we moved on to some needle weaving demonstrations in the border. I spent most of the rest of the class just watching the demonstrations Jette was giving and stitching easy stuff (we were all very tired). Check out this awesome teaching tool Jette has.

This year's class was really large despite the fact that it was a really big piece. If you'll remember, my class last year was almost cancelled because the amount of pre-work scared people away. This didn't deter the group this year. There was actually a large number of students from Ontario that are part of a whitework group. The reason why they didn't take Fandango last year even though it was so close to home? They were the teacher's, Barbara Kershaw, test students. It does explain a lot doesn't it :)

My certificate with my piece in progress. It has since progressed much more than this as I've been working on it steadily. I will post an updated picture soon.

Our little group from Montreal. There was quite a few of us this year. I hope we will have an even bigger group next year in Prince Edwards Island.

Friday, June 2, 2017

EAC Seminar 2017 - Rock, Needle, Scissors - Part 3

During seminar week, Fridays are always a free day. It's a day to relax and catch up with friends class work, some take a one day class and others take tour around the city we are visiting. Since I'd never been to Newfoundland, I decided to do a half day tour.

It was freezing cold but the view was amazing.

Cape Spear (video)

During the tour we stopped by an old house that was turned into a museum. I spotted this needlepoint firescreen.

We had a surprise waiting for us there: a lady demonstrating bobbin lace. Even bigger surprise, her name is Joyce and she is one of the seminar attendees. We'd all been seeing her around but none of us recognized her in her costume as the lady in the wheelchair always looking for a quiet spot to read.

Here is a video of her working (You need to open the post to play). That's Louise in the background talking about the different types of lace.

After the tour ended we went for lunch and my friend Louise mentioned she wanted to see Bunty's Umbrellas. We were all up for it, so away we went to the Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador. On the way there I noticed a bakery with a funny name: Rocket Bakery. I jokingly told Louise we should stop by there on the way back to pick up some food for supper. So anyways, we finally get to the craft council and start looking around their gallery, they had some really nice pieces.

But no umbrellas! We ask around and it turns out that Bunty's umbrellas were currently being exhibited at a bakery called the Rocket Bakery lol So we turned back around and walked back to the bakery. The umbrellas were really quite pretty. I only took pictures of my favorites, but I really wish we could have gotten a closer look.

We went back to the residence and since we played hooky that day we had a massive amount of homework to finish for next day. Someone forgot to tell the teachers that Friday was a day of rest :P But more on that later...