Saturday, March 30, 2019

BJP for Bee, Myself & I

It's time for a Bee, Myself & I post. This was created by Granny Maud's Girl for the purpose of working on a project strictly to please oneself. I sort of ran out of personal projects recently. However, one of the things that has been on my mind since the new year began was a bead journal project of some kind. The official BJP group has been moved to a Facebook page and there seem to be fewer participants these days. Or they could be like me and just have a hard time remembering to post their progress. Or maybe they're on Instagram - which I'm not. Ya gotta draw the line somewhere!

In any event, I've recently made some decisions about how I'm going to approach my BJP for this year. The general idea is to choose a format and stick with it throughout the year, making one bead embroidered piece each month. They can stand alone or become part of a larger whole down the road. I've made stand-alone pieces in the past.




This year I've decided to do a small block each month and then assemble them into a wall hanging, hopefully early next year (but don't hold me to it!). The plan is to cut a 4.5" square of quilter's cotton, back it with a piece of muslin, and then embroider up to a three inch circle onto it. The other component of the Bead Journal Project is to work intuitively, choosing your beads and bead paths as they occur to you.

I've set up foundations for January, February, and March but have only put the focal elements in place so far. Since I begin each day, and therefore each new year, by journaling in a spiral bound notebook I chose to begin with buttons with text on them for January.

I thought it would be fun to use the other cloth-covered button Tialys sent me for February since I used the first one on an ATC in February.

And for March I'm starting with a pair of lovebirds in honor of the 35th wedding anniversary Hubby and I just had. The foundation fabric is meant to be a coral color, which I'm given to understand is the traditional gift for a 35th wedding anniversary. I tried my jade green prints first - the contemporary gift suggestion - but didn't like the way the birds looked on them.

I have some ideas about what beads I want to use on each piece, I just haven't gotten to that point with any of them yet. As I said, secret stitching. πŸ˜‰

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Stitchin' Mojo

My shoulder still doesn't feel equal to rotary cutting or much piecing but I have been doing quite a bit of embroidery lately. Yes, in addition to the gingerbread house! 😊

I have just finished a dish towel. It began with a border design I ironed on from a booklet of patterns. Mind you, this was begun months ago and progressed very slowly until this past week.

The small flowers on either side of the central motifs were merely line drawings. I'm pretty proud of myself for embellishing them the way I did.

At fist I wasn't sure about those satin stitched centers in the little dark blue flowers. It looked very heavy until I had the idea to add the lazy daisy stitches to create more detail. Then I had to do something to the purple flowers above them to give them an equal amount of detail!

After I had the flowers on each side stitched I was stumped about how to handle the central flower.

Eventually it occurred to me that I'd get a nice heavy line by using four strands of floss and split stitches. All the rest of the work up to that point had been done with three strands of floss.

I added a couple of extra lines of stitching in the flower head to break up all that white space. The leaves were looking pretty nekkid by then too so I put vein lines in the larger ones. I also went back over the heart and whipped the backstitches in the same color I'd used originally. That really smoothed out those curves.

About the only thing I'd consider doing further would be some shading or something to strengthen the blue ribbon. At this point I doubt I'll bother however.

The question now is, what will fall under my needle next?

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Stitching Along in March

I'm probably one of the last to get my SAL post up this month. We were out shopping for a new sofa a couple of days ago and I'm only just now feeling like myself again after the exposures to fumes. The sad part is we didn't find anything we felt would do the job so we'll have to go out again sometime. Shopping used to be fun. Back in the day Hubby and I would have dates that consisted of browsing the Galleria in Houston after a cheap meal and maybe a movie. That was some 35 years ago now!

But back to the topic at hand. I finished up the first gingerbread house in the new series by Joy McDonald and her daughter. Of course I'm primarily using Nancy's hand dyed flosses for my stitching. She currently has a give away going on for a collection of beautiful spring flower colors although you've now missed out on the collection of purples she was giving away. πŸ˜‰

It was fun to incorporate some different stitches. I used a lot of buttonhole stitches...

In this photo for the "gingerbread" along the roofline and that wiggly stripe between the roof and the house proper. The satin stitching to fill in the windows was a last minute addition. I just couldn't bear to have the green background showing through the windows.

The door has some buttonhole stitches for texture too. Those are Celtic cross stitches providing accent to the house front. Appropriate, since today is St. Patrick's Day! The next house in this series is due to be released tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing what we'll be given to work with. 😊

Everyone in this Stitch Along works on their own needlework project, whatever that may be. There's quite a variety of techniques on display. We post our progress every three weeks. That means our next SAL will be 7 April. I hope you find the time to do some blog hopping to see what they're up to!

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Jess, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, 
Margaret, Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Heidi, JackieSunny, Hayley, Megan, 
Catherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon

Friday, March 15, 2019

Scrappy Stitches in March

On the 15th of each month Kate and Gun host Scrap Happy Day. Originally these posts featured patchwork made with scrap fabric. Recently we've had scraps of other types being showcased. I'm going to take my cue from those other crafters this month. My shoulder is healing, but slowly. I'm reluctant to run the risk of a setback by returning to my sewing machine just yet so I'm going to share what I've done with some scraps of embroidery floss.

This is just a tiny section of my current stitch sampler. The petals of the violets were made with some strands of hand dyed floss leftover from another project. The French knot centers were also short lengths I found in my ort jar.

The half-circle  buttonhole scallops were also done with leftover strands. I think the rest of the stitches were put in on purpose with new threads. Nearly all of the floss has been from Nancy Turner. The snowdrops are the exception. I didn't have good colors for them and had to resort to DMC. Nancy is having another give away of a lovely collection of colors. All you have to do to enter is pop over and leave a comment. 😊

These 6.5" blocks are just a place for me to practice new stitches or to doodle with needle and thread. I'll save the other embroidery I've been doing for our Stitch Along post coming up in a few days (on the 17th). In the meantime, here's the list of those who may have done something with their scraps to share with us:

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHelΓ©neEva, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJeanJohanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie and Bekki

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Impatient Patient

That would be me. I've been given to understand that shoulder injuries take a long time to heal. I'm here to testify to the truth of that. I'm doing everything I know to promote healing but it seems to be taking FOREVER!!! I sustained this injury back at the beginning of January. Wasn't able to see the doctor until the end of that month. Then another month went by before my next appointment. There has been improvement since my last visit but it ain't happenin' fast enough to suit me.

I've been taking advantage of the opportunity to read but there's only so much reading I can do in any given day. Daytime television isn't worth talking about. Thank goodness for TCM, the classic movie channel we get via our cable service. Even that has let me down many days however.

I have four quilts waiting to be bound. Bindings have even been made for them. There's another quilt just about ready to come off the long-arm and one that only needs a back made. I might be able to apply a binding or make that quilt back but I don't want to take the chance of slowing down the recovery process. Not yet anyway.

My local quilt shop had a fantastic sale in the clearance department last Saturday: five dollars a yard! Most of her new yardage is selling for twelve to thirteen dollars a yard. Hubby kindly drove me down (driving also exacerbates the injury) and acted as my lackey in the store. He pulled bolts and carried them to the cutting counter. Then he paid for over 18 yards of fabric. Two cuts were four yards each for prospective quilt backs. The rest were colors and prints I simply felt I could put to good use eventually. Hubby picked out a few yards he thought I should add to my stash. The biggest surprise of that lot was this panel print:

He's not particularly a chicken fancier as far as I was aware. What drew him to this, he says, is the deep red in combination with the black and white. And he likes the panel in the lower left corner. It will be fun to play with these panels and see what develops - someday.

In the meantime, about all I've been able to do lately, other than read and watch TV, is embroider. I've even found needlepoint causes more pain than working on a small hooped piece of fabric. So I've started on the fourth "page" of my Year in Stitches sampler.

The light green in the upper left is my first-ever attempt at Chevron stitches. Can't say I enjoyed it but I suspect with more practice my brain will get the hang of it. I had a few false starts with the line of featherstitching across the middle of the block too. The spiderweb was just plain fun (all backstitched).

Of course all of this stitching has been done with Nancy's beautiful hand dyed floss. I have other embroidery projects I could probably work on. I want to be careful not to do too much in any given day however. {big sigh} I just hope all this restraint pays off sooner rather than later!