Thursday, November 26, 2020

Dawn to Dusk - Motif 4-1, 4-2 & 4-3

Still pushing hard on Dawn to Dusk. I completed the last row of eight pointed stars. The first one went by so fast.

This one took a bit longer. I stitched every cross stitch one at a time so I don't get stripes from the variegated thread. You can barely see it.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

The third one is done, but I don't feel like it's done if that make sense. When compared to all the other motifs it feels like it's missing something. After thinking about it, I realized that this is the only motif that didn't use the variegated thread. I'm going to set it aside for now, but I will most likely get back to it later. Maybe fill in the empty corners?

(click on the post to see the animation below)

Here's an overview after finishing the last star. I still have one brocade missing the gold layer that needs to be finished.

I really should have worked on that brocade, but I couldn't stop myself from starting the padded border. Satin stitch is so satisfying to stitch.

By the way, I finally revisited the first motif. The center is supposed to be filled with French knots. I was thinking of filling it with seed beads, but it looked too bulky. I happened to have an extra flower bead in my kit (you get 6 in the kit but only require 5), which worked perfectly in the center.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Dawn to Dusk - Motif 3-1, 3-2 & 3-3

I've been really pushing hard on Dawn to Dusk. I completed the third row of eight pointed stars and the third layer for 2 out of the 4 brocades that are left.

The patterns on this row are really pretty. I enjoyed the rice stitch on this one.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

The second motif looks like a clock.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

I got to practice the buttonhole stitch in the third motif. This one took a little more time to do than the other as there were multiple steps. I did make a few changes, I replaced the French knots with Japanese knots and a copper bead from the kit to hold the charm in place instead of a French knot.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

I'm really close to a finish. I'm going to aim to get the third brocade layer for the last two areas done by Monday. That means, I'll only have the last row, beading and the border left to do.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Bramble and the Rose - Next Step

I set myself a goal last week to start the finishing process of Bramble and the Rose. My mom took a liking to it and said she'd like it as a table center. The only directive I had was to keep it as big as I could. 

After some counting and measuring (with lots of hemming and hawing), I figured out how much I would need to do a proper hem with mitered corners while still getting the overall size my mom wanted. There will be an outer drawn/pulled thread border and a smaller inner border. The space between will have some stitching around the corners.

For the curious, I used Christine Bishop's book on Schwalm Embroidery for the hem instructions.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

I started working on the outer border. I've already drawn the threads and now am doing the first round of pulled thread, making sure to miter the corners.

Once I've completed the first round, I'll be going around the outer border again to pull the threads into the final pattern. I'm still trying to figure out what effect I want, using Luzine Happel's book Fancy Hems. I should be doing that this weekend if all goes well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Shifting Focus

Lately I'd been losing my interest in Hiogi. I still very much want to learn Japanese embroidery, but I'm not as in love with the piece itself. I'm happy to say my interest is back. Small wins are great motivators. 

For this month's session, I shifted my attention to the cords. Here's what they looked like the last time I touched them.

I concentrated on the top cord in dark purple as it needed to be done to work on the cord behind it, and decided to continue onto the tassel.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

I forgot how much I enjoyed stitching the cord in class. The tassel took a bit more thinking as the light and dark purple are blended together. It's not completed yet. I still have to put in some short stitches over the blended area to hide where the two colors share a hole, there are also Japanese knots and some vertical lines to add to define the shape of the head and body of the tassel. It will take another session or two.

Enthusiasm is running high, I'm hoping to work on the blended area on Friday (Hurrah for half days!), and maybe do the other steps on the weekend. We'll see! Once that's done I think I will shift to the handle of the fan as it's on top of the cords. It's made up of couched gold, so I will probably work on it more often than usual. I don't have a goldwork piece in my rotation and kind of miss it.

Monday, November 2, 2020

October TUSAL

Dawn to Dusk took over my ORT jar this month. I spent all weekend on it, really concentrating on the brocade. I was originally going to finish the first layer only and reward myself with filling a star, but it went so well I just kept going to the second layer.

Some stuff came up last week and my goals have shifted as it looks like I will have a few new projects coming in, especially in December and January. These projects will require big frames for the most part and in order to save space, I decided I need to finish Dawn to Dusk by December. Tight schedule I know, but I think I can manage it and finishing the brocade will definitely help. I feel like a fire has been lit in me and I'm excited to start. A big change in attitude from last week.

I'm looking at my other WIPs to see what other pieces I can clear up and realised I never posted an update on Bramble and the Rose. I completed all the cross stitch about three weeks ago, but you haven't seen the end of that piece yet. I've decided not to frame it but to turn it into a table center. I will be adding a drawn thread border and hemming the edges. I know what I need to do, I just need to execute at this point. I think I will make one of my goals for this week to start the process, so I can share pictures.