Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Looking Back at 2019

I was still on a goldwork kick. I completed four small pieces, two of which are original pieces: the pineapple and the golden snitch. These have both been given as birthday gifts to friends.

Looking at the image below, I'm realizing that I never shared my blue bee on this blog. This little bug is from a kit by Georgina Bellamy aka That Embroidery Girl.

Clockwise from top left: goldwork bee by ThatEmbroidery Girl, pineapple by Dima, Tree of Life by Natalie Dupuis and golden snitch by Dima
My other finish is Mermaid of the Deep by Mirabilia that I started at the end of 2018. I'm hoping to get it framed next year to give to my sister.

This one is so small I almost forgot it.

Last and definitely not least, is my phase 1 piece Bouquet from the Heart of Japan. I was so happy when I completed this piece.

Travelling meant that Bramble and the Rose received some attention. I'm so close to reaching the bottom corner. I normally stitch on this piece in the last few hours of the year but I'm not sure if I will do that. I think I'd rather prepare the new pieces I plan on starting on January 1st.

In the last few days, I've been putting in loads of time on two of my WIPs: Hedebo Starburst and Tracery Dragons. There is still a little bit of work to on the weaving in the center of the hedebo piece before I move onto the edge, there is also all the back stitching on tracery dragons left to do. But both pieces are very close to being finished.

December TUSAL Finale

The last TUSAL of the year! I'm ahead of time for once. My jar this month is very colorful because of Tracery Dragons. There are lots of pretty pastel colors in that piece. 

My overall jar is not as full as last year. Work and travel took up so much of my stitching time that I didn't have the energy to get more done. I'll just have to work smarter next year.

Now to write my year in review post and plan out next years goals.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Another Making Weekend

Last weekend I didn't do much embroidery as I was getting more acquainted with my sewing machine. This year I was invited to join my friend's family for Christmas and I bought some things for the little ones. I decided that instead of wrapping the gifts, I should make fabric bags to hold them and then the kids can use them as shoe bags. I'll share pictures once they are gifted. I had three to make, which made for good practice. By the time I got to the third one, it was a breeze. I still need more practice on how to properly cut my fabric. I'm still having a hard time with that.

I did do some cross stitching when I took breaks from my sewing machine. Today I'm looking at past pictures of Tracery Dragons and I was surprised by how much the piece has progressed. Before I pulled it out in November, the last time I had touched it was back in 2016. Three years later, I managed to finish the entire lower half within a month. I don't think it will be finished before end of year, but chances are high I will finish it next year.

December 2016
December 2019

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Best Laid Plans

So things didn't go as planned last weekend. I didn't end up going to my Japanese embroidery meeting because of major highway closures. So I ended up staying at home to stitch on Hiogi. I went ahead and worked on the cherry blossom. The padding went much better than they did during class. So I'm happy about that.

However, it didn't go so well once I moved onto stitching the actual petals. The instructions say to use a strand of #1 gold or silver to stitch the cherry blossoms. Since the cloud already has gold twisted into the thread, I'd rather do it in white. I attempted to stitch one petal and was just not happy with it. I've found I needed to put way too many stitches in order to cover all the padding. They're also too close to each other.

I do admit that I gave up after one petal, but in my defense I was tired after putting in all the padding and was ready to pack it all up. A friend suggested trying 1.5 flat to see if I get better coverage.

I did make loads of progress on my hedebo piece, I have the entire left side done. I plan to work on the right side next.

The end of the year is coming fast, I need to start planning what I want to start next year. I already know I won't be starting a new whitework piece as I'm still working on finishing the hedebo piece. I'd love to finally start one of the Hazel Blomkamp kits I have. There are also some kits I bought when I went to Calgary in the summer...

Friday, December 6, 2019

Japanese Embroidery Phase 2-3 - Fuzzy Effect 1

A little update on my Hiogi fan. I made time last Sunday to stitch down the snowflake in the upper right corner. The reason this was such a high priority element, is that it's made up of long flat silk stitches. There is a danger of them shifting or getting snagged. For them to be secure they needed to be stitched down.

This technique is called fuzzy effect. There is a whole phase piece on it (phase 8) and is a really fun stitch but it requires very good light and eyes. The silk can be couched down either diagonally or vertically, using the same silk color or a different color to give a more blended effect. In my snowflake, we are using the same color silk and couching down diagonally.

This Saturday is my monthly Japanese embroidery class. Looking at my to do list, I have the cords up next but I think I want to give the cherry blossoms another go so I can finish the peach cloud. I'll see how I'm feeling then.

  • finish the snow flake in the upper right corner (high priority)
  • continue cords and finish them
  • finish shippo cloud
  • finish peach cloud
  • start and finish the separated single layer paulownia (low priority)