Thursday, March 29, 2012

TAST Week 13 Minichallenge

I have been working on small abstract or representative pieces each week during the TAST Challenge.  They are stitched on small pieces of hand dyed cotton fabric in a variety of threads and colors.  Later in the challenge, I plan to combine these pieces into a quilted wall hanging.  The photograph shows the pieces I have completed to date together, in random order.  The images and the pieces of fabric vary in size so I need to complete more of them before I decide how to place them in a larger piece.  All of the designs are original and all were stitched free hand.

I have also been working on two other, more traditional stitch samplers.  Both are on evenweave fabric.  The first one contains 9 sections each of which focuses on variations on a specific stitch.  The first two, arrowhead and back stitch, were completed before this challenge starts.  The rest have been stitched as part of the challenge.  They use a variety of threads, colors and some beads.  Some of the stitch variations have been taken from books or from on-line stitch dictionaries.  Others are my own creations.

The final sampler is one that I started two decades ago.  It is on a large piece of linen in twisted Walsh silks. The design lends itself to smaller experiments with individual stitches, patterns and shapes or to stitches that don't fit the linear model of the previous evenweave piece.

I am enjoying this challenge.  The evenweave samplers allow me to test my stitching skills and to try out combinations of stitches and colors.  The free embroidery pieces are a creative as well as a technical challenge each week.  In some cases, inspiration comes quickly and the pieces are easy to stitch, in other cases they take a long time.  It took me a week to decide that my random attempts at a pebble covered with whipped wheel variations was actually the shell of a turtle, but only a few hours to decide that barred chain was the perfect stitch for a desert scene.  I work full time and have a long commute.  I treasure the opportunity to spend an hour or so three or more evenings a week working on a stitching project.  I also like the social aspect of this challenge as we share our work and our comments with each other.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Menagerie Parts 5 and 6

I have finished the next two parts of the 2012 Cyberpointers Mystery Project.  It is called Menagerie and is based on a series of instructions and design suggestions from Karen Anthony.  Block 5 is a group of Box Stitches stitched in two colors of Medici wool.  A white rayon is used for the small dividing bands between the sections.  The stitches in this block look very delicate.

Block 6 is a group of Diagonal Stitches.  I used a variety of threads in different color patterns and textures including cotton, silk and wool, rayon, and nylon to make up the different sections.  These threads and pattern stitches look bolder than the ones in Block 5.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TAST Week 12: Barbed Chain

Barbed chain got me thinking about desert plants so I started with an ocotilo and added a barrel cactus, a sun and a desert hare.  The stitches are a combination of alternating and single barbed chain, chain stitch, french knots and detached chain.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

TAST Week 11: Whipped Wheel

I could not get excited about this week's challenge stitch and tried several different versions of it before settling on filling in a random shape.  As I continued to work on it, I decided it would make a good turtle shell so here you have my cartoon of a turtle worked in  whipped wheel, chain, stem and straight stitch.

John Waddell Kimono Part 2

I have finished sections 14 through 26 of John Waddell's Kimono.  The colors continue to come together.  I have about ten threads left that I have not used yet; they are different shades of colors that already appear on the kimono.  I have included a photo of the kimono so far and a picture of the sections from the second lesson.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

TAST Week 10: Running Stitch

Before I share this week's samples, I have one more example of couching to share.  It is a small snail that is made out of silk and metal threads from Thistle Threads.  I have had it for a while and finally sat down and worked on it this weekend.

I completed two pieces using running stitch.  One is a section of my even weave sampler that contains a variety of darning samples taken from  Darned Easy: A Collection of Darning Patterns by Sally Simon.  They are stitched in Soy Silks on 28 count linen.

The second is made of layers of running stitch in random directions using Soy Silk and metallic threads.  The base stitches are vertical, horizontal and diagonal.  Toward the top there is a spiral layer.