Sunday, January 23, 2011

Easter March part 3

Stitching the little girl in the Easter March brought back fond memories of dressing our girls for Easter Sunday and the Easter egg hunt that always followed.  For myself as a child and for our girls, egg hunts continued into the high school and college years, where fooling the eye and the brain became a diabolical game.

This little girl's hat is stitched in two sizes of the Double Nobuko.  I tried appliqueing River Silk for the ribbon, but no matter how subtle my efforts to attach the ribbon, the result was not good.  I used the same ribbon in an Outline Stitch for the final result.

Her hair was stitched with 2-3 strands of Lorikeet using a long bullion needle and the Bullion Knot.

I didn't care for the way the dress was painted mostly white, so I took the richest pink and stitched the dress with two strands of one of my favorite threads, Floche.

This happy little blonde is even able to ignore her little brother, who is kicking up the back of her skirt.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Easter March part 2

I'm finishing up the Easter March--this is a photo of the flowering shrub at the lower right of the canvas.

In each 4 x 4 flower I tried: 1) 4 size 14 beads, 2) 2 x 2 Cross Stitches, 3) 2 x 2 Upright Crosses and 4) Smyrna crosses (not shown).

The beads would have driven my class nuts and I don't think the effort was at all worth the effect

The Cross Stitches would have overwhelmed the shrubbery; the Smyrna crosses were even more overwhelming.

The winner was Upright Crosses. Another option would have been a single size 11 bead placed in the center hole.

Time to write the stitch guide!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Christmas March Epilogue

Earlier I tried to add the final touch to the Christmas March by using hot fix Swarowski crystals for the stars. Trying to get those small (2mm) critters to work with the recommended tip did not work at all. The crystals kept getting jammed into the tip and the round end of the hot tip left a circular dent in the threads. After more than a few choice words, I gave up and added beads as the final idea in my stitch guide.

And yet I couldn’t bring myself to bead the stars on my canvas. After some time, I decided to try the crystals one more time.

The solution was to use the spatula-shaped tip and the index finger from my left hand. After heating the tip, I used my small tip tweezers to place the tiny crystal in place. With the hot tip pressing down on the crystal from the top, I used my left index finger to push up from below. This kept the tip from leaving an imprint because my finger made the crystal the highest point on the canvas. I held the hot tip down until I felt the heat on my skin. Another hint: once the glue has started to melt, pick up the tip to make sure placement is perfect. If not, use the tweezers to move it to the right spot and then press down until you can feel the heat.

And the stars sparkled in the night sky….

Friday, January 14, 2011

Non-Tacky Solutions for Holding Beads

Alice Borge gave this tip for holding your beads while you stitch with them. Start with a 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Buy their hotel blanket and cut it into a rectangular shape. Pour your beads onto one side and bead away. When you are ready to take a break, just roll up the rectangle like a jewelry roll and tie with a ribbon or thread. No sticky beads!

To make Tacky Bob Just Plain Bob, cover one side of the inside with paper. If you want to make it special, choose a scrapbook paper to coordinate with the exterior design. I don’t know if the hotel blanket material will work because I haven’t seen/bought it yet, but take a fabric that will hold beads (not felt) and cut it to fit the other side of Tacky Bob. The sticky side will hold the fabric and the fabric will hold the beads.

Bead-utiful! (sorry, youngest daughter has begun family punning competitions...)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bird and Worm canvas by Zecca

I so love taking classes from Robin King—her models are inspiring, her stitch guides are as close to perfect as humanly possible and she is just plain delightful to be with.  The beauty of her stitch guides is that even if it is 2 in the morning, you have such precise photos and directions that it’s like having Robin right there explain.

When I first saw the class canvas, I gave a little start because the canvas was so small compared to my mental image from the class promotion photo.  It didn’t take long to realize that Robin had packed that little whimsical canvas with lots and lots of fun stitches and threads.  The result is a doable project in bright cheery colors and enough different stitch and thread combinations that the project will stitch up like magic.