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January 2022
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March 2022

February 2022

Have a look at this.

My friend Mary decided that she was going to do a bit of stitching each day, just one length of thread.  Mary is a patch-worker, not an embroiderer but she does do beautiful Shibori work and is very artistic.  As she doesn't know many stitches, like about four, she decided to just stitch random crosses.  (She didn't know this was cross stitch.)  Wish my random stitching gave this kind of result.

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The 23rd Psalm

Usually, in the mornings Bear, (my dog,)  and I walk down a path through the bush to the Golf Course and then back home via the beach, if the weather is fine.  If it is wet we come back via the road.  As we started our walk the other day I was struck by the beauty and peace of the path and the words, "He restoreth my soul" came to mind.

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That is just what this walk does, restores my soul.

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It isn't the most startling and outstandingly beautiful walk.

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But there is something about the bush and the singing of the birds that the moment I enter this walk I feel peaceful.   In wet weather some of the trees which have closely spaced, fine leaves, hold onto the raindrops and when the sun comes out the trees shine like they are bedecked with stars.  (I'm still waiting for the right time to catch this with my camera.)

 

 


WIPW

I have finally finished all the samples for my Machine Finishing for Hand Embroiderers Class.  This took far longer than I had imagined.  As  there are so many elements I think I will wait until I check enrollments before assembling the kits.

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And I have finally pulled out an old, old, old kit that I bought in France many years ago.  Problem was all the instructions are in French for the most part.

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I decided it just had to be done, So, I went looking on You Tube to see if I could find anything.  And, wouldn't you know it, there was a clip, from the woman I bought the kit from in Bayeux with English dubbing to the video.  I also found some other videos that I liked better for doing the stitch.  So there is hope that I might finish this one.

 

 


Counterintuitive work bag

Now I know this sound silly but I have solved my problem with how my bag I keep my current project in works.

Normally you have a zipper at the top and you drop the work in.

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I can always find the project it is all the little things like needles, pins, scissors etc that get lost in the bottom.  Now I found a solution.  I just turned the bag upside down.

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Now the zippered edge makes a pocket just the right size for all those things that get lost in the bottom of the bag.

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And the top of the pocket still holds my work in-place.

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Some times having a brain that thinks in reverse is an advantage!


A bit of refection

Looking at what I am stitching so far this year I have a feeling that 2022 is going to be the year of the book cover, or maybe it will just be January?  No, it's February now and they still loom large.  I have a large bundle of A5 note books, lots of small embroideries and other odds and sods.  Yes, I think book covers is going to be the way to go.

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I think this calls for a few prototypes.  I wonder how many variations I can come up with?

The other thing I am reflecting on is the goals that I have set for this month.  Quite unrealistic. 

I listed 14 and then added another =15.

I had some ongoing  = 4

Some I didn't even start  = 4

And I completed  = 7

So, for this month I have re-framed my catagories. 

The are now, Ongoing, Must do, Want to do.  Just the change of wording to 'want to do' takes a lot of pressure off mentally.

It's also my son's birthday today, he is 40y.o.  Only seems the other day he was little.


Stitch Camp results

I have finished my piece from 'Stitch Camp' and I have to say that I enjoyed this diversion.  It took me outside of my comfort zone completely.  It was only a simple class and it came in the middle of my bout of Covid, which complicated things a bit.

The painting of the fabric is always a challenge as I am not comfortable with using paints, but I did it.  Then I had to cut up the paintings and reassemble them.  I found that I have a huge pile of left over pieces.  They may end up in the bin but I think I will hold onto them for a while and think about them.

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The embroidery just took on a life of it's own.  Granted I was a bit spaced out with the virus, that might have been a good thing.  I found I didn't think, I just let the shapes dictate the stitching.  I used 3 weights of embroidery threads to give depth and texture.

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I decided to make this into a book cover and used a batik fabric to frame it.  I added a positive affirmation which I printed on fabric and attached to the front inside edge so that I would see it when I opened the book.

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I must say that I enjoyed this whole process.  Not something I would do everyday, but still very enjoyable.

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WIPW

Most of my time this week has been taken up preparing kits for upcoming classes.  It really is a time consuming task.

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I remade a book cover.  I couldn't work out what was wrong with it.  I had left the wadding out.  Not a big job but I just couldn't leave it when I realised what I had done. 

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Then I got thinking about the size of notebooks.  There are supposed to be standard sizes, A4, A5, A6 etc.  Problem is that there are all these other non standard sizes when you buy note books.  Makes drafting covers a bit complicated.

Some more simple stitching.

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 Then I found Monqiue's portrait, and as she returns for school lessons next week I thought I better lace it on a board and get it up on the wall, alongside her sister.

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And Mr Apple has put an upgrade on my phone that I am struggling to work with.  Such is life.


Taking my own advice

I have been teaching a Basic Embroidery Stitches Class for a number of years and I like to 'revamp' all my classes every couple of years.  It refocuses my attention and I also put in other information I think is important, or cut some things, I feel are not needed.  I decided to take my own advice and change the sampler for the basic stitches class, simplifying it.  The class is only 3 hours in length, so there is only so much you can cover and I like students to be able to see that they can finish the piece.  Also, this is sometimes the first time these students have stitched and it has to be a positive experience.  I want them to keep stitching.

Experience has shown me that;

Perle 8 thread is the easiest for the beginner to use.

Straight lines give the stitcher more confidence to stitch and are a pretty fool proof way of showing how to transfer a design onto fabric.

A fabric with a more open weave allows easier penetration by the needle.

So my new sampler is just lines that make a heart on a Japanese cotton using just basic stitches.

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I include the frame in the kit.  I get them from Ali Express on-line (cheap and not such good quality) as this gives me the opportunity to talk about the importance of finishing your piece, no matter how simple.  A cheap paint brush and a $2 tube of acrylic paint is all that is needed to dress up that cheap frame.  And then there is the mounting.  You can back your work with a piece of wadding, gather the fabric with a running stitch and then, neatly stitch a piece of calico over the back.

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I have written a reference on the back so I know when I finished this.  Then a length of ribbon to make a hanger.

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All up this piece cost under $4.00 for materials plus my time.  Not a scrap to put in the bottom draw, but something to hang on the wall and say "I did that".