Another Hobby Blog

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tuesday Stitchers import: a break from the peacock

This week I had to take a break from my peacock cq. I signed myself up for Sharon Boggon's online CQ class again (I took it last year and found it so rewarding that I thought I'd take it again!), so I had a lot of homework to catch up on! It's a six-week class, and we're just finishing up week 3, so I am really far behind on my embroidery for it! ack. I blame dancing. My husband and I do swing dancing (Lindy Hop type), and we've been a bit busy with being out of town, having people visit from out of town, etc. Plus there is grandma to visit and family up for the summer... it's been hectic.

Anyway, I ended up sewing up 4 blocks for the Sharon B class, though I will probably only get one of them stitched up during the remainder of class.

"Victorian" because it required Victorian overlap-and-baste construction technique.

"Snail's Trail" from the traditional patchwork block.
"Patchwork" because this block is made up of four smaller pieced blocks.

and "Home" because it looks like it has front porch steps and a roof. :)

Originally I was only going to try one block, but I sketched up several while I was travelling (and couldn't sew), and Sharon encouraged me to make a set and combine them into a larger project. So now I know what I will be doing when the peacock is done! Ha!

The rose bouquet motifs are printed onto ready-to-print washable cotton printer cloth. I don't like it as much as the cloth I prepare myself with Bubble Jet Set, but it was there, it was quick, and it's good enough. Plus, I caught a great sale on the ready-to-print sheets and have been intending to try them anyway. good deal.
The rose bouquet motifs are also photographs of the Valentine's bouquet that my husband bought for me this year! Yay!!! I loved the bouquet, and now I love all the pictures I took of it! Who would have thought the joy could last so long!

As you can see, I barely got started on my hand stitching. I hope to make up for that today.

The weather's been really HOT here, so another thing that took me away from sewing was re-organizing my house. I took my sewing area out of the upstairs room where it has been for so long and moved it downstairs into the utility room. It is MUCH cooler there, and it is conveniently located next to the laundry. I did all of the piecing of these four blocks down in my new sewing area, and I have to say, I like it. And I am very grateful that I managed to get it all moved a few weeks ago before the heat of summer really kicked in! Now I just have to figure out what I DID with everything when I moved it! My organization system is temporarily shot!

I do have to say, I love the embroidery that I did get accomplished on "Patchwork". -- especially the feather stitch vine with bullion buds. The bullion buds are the "tornado" shape that so frustrated Nancy when I showed her how to make bullions over lunch. The "tornado" shape (bulky at one end, tapered to nothing at the other) is something that frustrated me for ages, too! I worked SO hard at getting my bullions all nice and even from one side to the other... and then I saw a vintage handkerchief that made use of the tornado shape to make realistic flower buds! Yay!! ... so I had to remember how to make the tornado shape all over again after having eliminated it from my vocabulary. ack. I think I got it, though!! Basically, once the needle is wrapped, I twist very slightly in the loosening direction and push the wraps down toward the needle eye so they bunch up on that end, then pull the other end snug when I pull the bullion taut to the ground cloth. :)
I used a single (doubled-over) strand of DMC floss to make the bullions, and used 5 wraps on one petal, 7 wraps on the other. The base end of the bud spaces the two bullions a thread or two apart to create a wider bud base, but the two bullions share the same hole at the tip end. After snugging down the bullion, I then carried the needle a thread or two further from the bud tip before bringing it to the back of the cloth to create an even finer tip to my buds. The end result is pretty close to what I was trying to achieve! yay! and anyway, I like it. :)

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