Another Hobby Blog

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Tuesday Stitchers import: CQJP, TAST, etc

Well, according to my stitching progress, it is still April. :) I haven't begun working on May yet, but I'm almost caught up with the things I didn't get to finish in April! First of all, there were two birthday ATCs that I finally got into the mail yesterday. One birthday is on May 6 and is in the UK, so that one will almost certainly be late. The other is in the US and is onn May 12, so it has a reasonable hope of arriving on time.
Despite taking these photographs in natural lighting (or possibly because of?), the colors are very wrong. The middle stripe of that second atc, for example, is actually a really lovely shimmery deep purple almost black, but in the photo it looks like dark denim. Go figure. And the line of green feather stitch next to it is not just pale green, it's make-your-eyes-bleed-neon green!
Seriously. That was the first line of stitching I applied to that atc, and boy did I regret it! I had to keep looking at that intense contrast (neon green on dark purple) for the rest of the stitching, and while it wasn't TOO bad in incandescent lighting, it almost gave me a migraine under natural light! Argh!!

 Another point of interest on that second atc is the lower right hand corner half-circle. It started out as a seamline of herringbone in varigated floss, alongside which I added some bullion curves. Then I used the bullion curves as a foundation row for buttonhole stitch netting (in a varigated red-white-paleblue thread-- I don't particularly like how the varigated thread worked out colorwise). The net wanted to stay all flat, so I had to use couching stitches to pull it open. That looked pretty lame, so I added two rows of chain stitch in a graceful curve around the couched edge. Now I think the combination turned out pretty neat! But boy did I think it sucked every step of the way until the very last!! :)

 There's not much to tell about the first atc. Except that the diagonal row of stitching just to the right of the central floral motif is a weird little combination of blanket stitch and chain stitch. Two blanket stitches in opposing directions, then a chain stitch.
As I was working the line, I started wondering how it would look if worked in the "magic" method (two threads of different color in the needle, and working one thread as the active thread each time, letting the other thread pull to the back without getting caught in the tensioner, like for magic chain). On the chain stitch the uncaught thread nearly disappears (if you go back down a few threads away from where you emerged) or does disappear entirely (if you go back down through the very same hole you emerged in), but on the buttonhole/blanket stitch I think that the uncaught thread would travel at a diagonal line, creating a little triangle of two colors. I'm thinking I might try it on one of my random samplers, or maybe on my CQJP at some point and see if what result ends up looking like my expectations!

 As for my CQJP, I chipped away at a few more seams:
I managed to work a line of wheatear, for which I developed my own working method that does not match any of the tutorials I've yet seen: I created the two diagonal barbs first, but instead of making them two straight stitches, I worked them as a fly stitch with a tiny tail. Then I worked the chain by starting from the pointy end a stitch-length away from the fly, and then weaving the curve of the chain underneath the barbs of the fly stitch before finishing off the chain stitch at the pointy end again. Another fly stitch secured at the pointy end of the new chain, and repeat as desired. It took awhile to get the rhythm established, and the resulting line definitely has "character" -- in other words the angles and spacing aren't particularly consistent!
I don't mind much. I can cope with it. :)
No, really. <twitch, twitch>

I also tried "crossed buttonhole" (IMHO, should be crossed blanket, but don't get me started!), and that was a real letdown of a stitch for me, TAST-wise, because it is one of the variations that I explored when we looked at buttonhole/blanket stitch back in January, and it will (perhaps) be a particularly limiting stitch to work one of my postcard samplers on. :P ... but I'm way behind on those postcard samplers at the moment, so I'm not sure whether I will try to catch up with them or not! I might just start folding the TAST stitches into my CQJP and just leaving it at that for awhile, or I might start up with the TAST postcard format again, but start up with the newest stitches and let the lost ones be lost for awhile. 

 And then there's the outlined flower worked in a combination of buttonhole and chain. :) 
I only have about half of the April wedge done this week, so I'm going to have to think creatively if I want to get May completed on time!!

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