Sunday, May 31, 2015

More - Flower and Leaves on Enchantment

For any of you who are interested in making the Enchantment wall hanging, I want to remind you that this is a Sue Cody of Dragonfly Studio's pattern available through Material Obsessions quilt shop in Australia.

I've been working on this project so long that it's now driving me crazy.  I have a "probably unreasonable" goal of finishing it in the next 2 weeks.  Unfortunately, the housework and cooking keep interrupting me.

 I only used Silken Pearl #5 in the flower for Colonial Knots in the center surrounding by Cast-On, Pistil Stitch on dark petals with Bullion Knot outline and the red petals are outlined with Chain Stitch which was then Back Stitched.
Painter's Pearl Cotton #8 Feathered Chain down the center of each leaf and Coral Stitch outline, Painter's Shimmer Floss Straight Stitch in the center of each Chain.

I'm determined to finish up another flower and more leaves today.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

It's My Birthday

That's right.  Today is my birthday but I was able to get out of bed, feed & dress myself and add some stitches to Enchantment.  I'm officially a senior citizen but that's OK.

These 3 leaves are grouped together around a flower so I wanted them to be similar in color.  I chose Painter's single loop trip to edge the outside leaf edge and stitched it on using Painter's Metallic Braid in a coral stitch.

Sea Grass color Crush Crush in Back Stitch and Fly Stitch and a variegated Pearl Cotton #8 in Bullions, Trellis Stitch and Woven Spider Web.

I really, really want to get this finished and have set a deadline for 3 weeks.  Next, is a flower to give me a break from many more leaves.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Morning Surprise

 Each morning after breakfast, I have a cup of coffee while reading Mary Corbet's Needle n Thread daily newsletter.  What a surprise to find that she mentioned me in her post today.

Whether your embroidery leans to embellishment like mine, or stitching on fine linen, Mary's web site is a must-read.  Her tutorials are the best with close-up photos and video.  I bought an Ipad just so I could have her in the chair with me!.

Remember, you may want a thicker thread and bigger needle to stitch on wool than those Mary uses on linen.

Thanks Mary for your inspiration and sharing my blog with your readers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mug-Wump Patterns

The Mug-Wump notebook cover was designed as a teaching project for my recent class at the American Quilt Retreat.  100% felted wool was used for the background and applique motifs, with a cotton fabric back cover and binding.  When the applique is completed 14 different embroidery stitches embellish the design.  The pattern includes a diagram for stitch placement and a listing of stitches and threads used.

The pattern is sized to cover a composition-type notebook, 9 3/4" x 7 1/2", which is available at all office supply stores.  I stock up on them at WalMart when all the school supplies are on sale.

If you would like a pattern, they are now available in my Etsy shop by clicking HERE.  The pattern is a download so you can start making it today.


Monday, May 11, 2015


Beginning today my husband has a guest wood carving teacher for a 5-day class at our home.  The teacher is our friend, Chris Hammack, a well known carver who stays in our home with us.  I prepare the lunches each day for the 8 students and have received several requests for their favorite home baked cookies.  In between, I'm sneaking in a few stitches.

When teaching, I'm often asked how I decide on what stitches and which threads to use.  The truth is that I often unpick several times before I find the right combination.  

I only used 2 threads on this flower, Silken Pearl #5, Hummingbirds & Hollyhocks, Painter's Pearl Cotton #8, Grandma Moses.  The flower was outlined with a chain stitch then back-stitched through the center of each chain stitch. 

The petals were adorned first with a feather stitch with a daisy (detached chain) stitch at the ends. Next, I filled in with colonial knots.  

The flower center is surrounded with bullion knots and a hand-dyed button was sewn in place.

A combination of Valdani and Colour Complements #8 pearl cotton were used for the flowers and stems with Silken Pearl #5, Summer Verdigris for the bullion knot outline.

The flowers are daisy stitch with colonial knot centers, top branch is wheat ear stitch which was then back-stitched through the center.  The bottom branch is closed fly stitch, whipped in the center, and the dark pink buds are oyster stitch.

 There are a lot of leaves on this project and I needed some inspiration.  My "go-to" place is Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread web site.  Mary's tutorials are easy to follow and she shares ideas for combining simple stitches for amazing results.

Recently, Mary published an e-book, "Stitch Sampler Alphabet".  If you're not familiar with the term e-book, it just means that you purchase it through Mary's website and then you down-load it to your computer.  Don't worry, Mary gives good instructions on how to download and will even help you out if there are problems.  Once it is on your computer you can print out all the pages or just a few.  I printed the entire book and had the copy store spiral bind it so I'm never without it.

This book isn't just for embroidering the alphabet - I used ideas from the book for the flower and leaf shown above.  It is a great bargain so click Here to get to Mary's site and buy the book.  While you are there sign up for the daily newsletter.

Now, I need to make a confession.  Remember how I was ready to start the Lollipop Trees?  Here's the first block:

 That's right - I changed my mind again and started the Roseville Album instead.  I love the Lollipop Trees but decided that the blocks were too similar and I would get bored.  No boredom here!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Enchantment Stitches

Have you ever made yourself a promise?  I'm  not talking about the one to lose weight.  No, the "I am going to get this project done by such and such date" promise.  If you're like me you really mean it - until something else catches your eye.

My Enchantment quilt is definitely in this category.  I started it about a year ago and my progress is shameful.  But.... there is some progress.

Sometimes the most difficult step for me is deciding what stitch, thread, and color.  Here I outlined the red portion with Silken Pearl "In The Reds" using Coral Stitch.  The center pink section is surrounded with Silken Pearl "Hummingbirds and Hollyhocks" Bullion Knots and Double Pekinese Stitch "Midsummer Vineyard".  A Whipped Spider Web using Valdani M69 adorns the berry.

Four Double Cast-On Stitches in the center of each wool circle using Painter's Pearl Cotton, "Picasso", with 4 Pistil Stitches and a Bullion Knot in Valdani color #12.  Surrounding the wool circle is Cast-On stitch in a Valdani color that unfortunately, has been discontinued.

The dark green leaves are outlined in Bullion Knots using Painter's "Boucher".  Around the cotton center is Chain Stitch using Valdani "P1" and then I whipped the outside edge of the Chain with Valdani "13".

Here you can see the flower, leaves and berries together.  On this section of branch there is 1 more flower, 9 of these leaves, and 6 more berries.

My latest deadline to finish has passed but I'm still determined.

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