Monday, April 20, 2020

Midnight Meander - Lattices

Over the weekend, we had good lighting so I was able to complete the needle painting on the three petals in Midnight Meander. I like to mark my stitching area in sections as it gives me a guide on when to switch colors.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

The next step is to cover the area with lattices. You can eyeball it. However, if you're anal like me, you might want perfect equally distant lines perpendicularly cross by more equally distant lines. Below is how I do it in this piece. These are all techniques I learned in Japanese embroidery.

I use the 45 degree angle set square and center it in my shape (see dotted green lines). Using the 45 degree angle side I will bring my needle up at the edge of the shape (see red arrow) and put it back in making sure to maintain my angle.

Once the first line is in, the rest of my stitches are put in 3 mm apart. Why 3 mm? I tried 4 mm and it was too far apart, 3 mm was just perfect. I have a set of lined rulers I use for this but you can also use a regular ruler. It just takes more time. In Japanese embroidery, we are taught to do this with the square set and most lattices are conveniently set 5 mm apart, allowing us to take advantage of the grids on the ruler.

To determine the angle of the second layer, I align one of the vertical lines with the grid and the edge of the ruler where I would like to start (see dotted green lines). Again, I come up at the edge and back in on the other side making sure my angle is maintained.

I can't remember if I did this on the center petal, but I definitely did on the two surrounding it. It gives it a nice symmetrical look.

I have one more leaf to do on this flower and then I can move to the last one. I'm surprised by how fast this piece is going considering I started it one month ago today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Black versus White

Last week was rough. It has been a month since we started social isolation and being stuck at home, it's the rainy season here in Quebec so most days are cloudy (sun is out today). My mood tends to change with the weather, more energy on sunny days, less on cloudy ones. And working on a piece that is on black fabric in all grays, doesn't help. I wanted something light for a change.

Luckily, being a whitework fiend I have some choices in my stash. This kit is a Punto Antico design called Dolcetti by Gingerbread Girl. Even the name makes you think of something fun and delicious. I've been spending a lot of time stitching on it after work.

It's really hard to photograph, there is just a hint of green in the four-sided stitch, from the Caron Wildflower thread, that just doesn't come out in pictures. So far my favorite are those cute little bows with the purple center knot. I love purple!

I'm still working on Midnight Meander, I spent the day working on it yesterday. I just find myself reaching for Dolcetti more often than not at the end of the day for something a little more light and cheerful.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Midnight Meander - Flower 1

I've been steadily working on Midnight Meander, getting a little bit done every session. I try to set a goal for each session so it feels like a finish every time.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

So far, my favorite part is the beading. Still don't like working with the satin and light effects thread, but I'm learning to live with them for now. A needle with a bigger eye helps a lot!

An overview of the piece so far. The next flower to start is the one in the upper right corner. I'm looking at the instructions and it seems like more of the same techniques, just a different configuration. I can't wait to stitch that leaf though, there is lots of beading there.


Monday, April 6, 2020


A little late for my TUSAL report. I actually don't remember where most of the threads come from as I was away for two weeks last month. That and the days are slowly merging into each other and I'm losing track.

I had a busy weekend. Saturday was our monthly Japanese embroidery day. Initially it was cancelled, but one of our members suggested we use Zoom as she had an account. Thanks to her we had a nice day of stitching and chatting. 

Please ignore my messy desk
Because I was on a call all day, no one at home wanted to come near me as they would show up on the webcam. This gave me plenty of uninterrupted time and I was able to finish my foundation. The next step is to anchor it all down to keep it from shifting.

I also worked on Midnight Meander, I will share an update in a separate post...