Sunday, December 23, 2012

Assisi and Secret Stitcher

This is such a busy time of the year! I have been working on a Christmas gift for my 3 year old granddaughter. She likes to play dress up so I am sewing an ancient Egyptian costume to add to her collection. I am hoping it will still fit her as she seems to be growing like a weed right now. I’ll post a photo of her modeling it…if it fits!

When I’m not working on the Egyptian costume I have been working on one of my EGA Group Correspondence Courses in preparation for my next step in the Master Craftsman program. I have been learning quite a bit about Assisi work through the process. Most of the time we never see the backside of stitched pieces. Why would we? So I assumed that Assisi was simply cross stitching and backstitching. Well, not quite.

The method I have been using results in either vertical or horizontal lines on the back of your work. When you finish a row and begin a new one you jump up or down a row to retain that nice linear look on the back. This does require a little planning and sometimes you need to begin a new thread to avoid any diagonal stitches.

front side

back side

When stitching your motif and your border you do it so it is reversible. The course instructor, Marion Scoular, suggests using a chenille needle to pierce your stitches on the reverse path so your stitches lay nice and flat.

During this process I have found a couple of interesting sites. The first one is Tanja Berlin’s website. She offers free mini lessons in Assisi, blackwork and goldwork.

The second offers a free pattern for an Assisi needlecase and is from GPA designs. The link takes you right to the PDF download.

I designed a very simple scissor holder for my EGA chapter. We will be celebrating 30 years as a chapter in 2013. I stitched one up for our secret stitcher exchange a couple of weeks ago. We exchange our gifts at our annual December luncheon.

My gift was a lovely stitcher’s barbell to be used as a frame weight when stitching. This was a project that was taught at our chapter just before I joined the group. This particular one came from the stash of one of our longtime members who passed away and was stitched by a current member. The gift card was one that was designed by yet another member, so this was a very special gift indeed!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Madison and More Progress

Earlier this month we made a quick trip to Madison, Wisconsin to deliver a chair for our soon to be granddaughter. While there I made a somewhat quick stop at a needlework shop I just learned about. Lynn’s is hidden away on Odana Street, not too far from the West Towne Mall. Although my stop was brief I did manage to add to my stash! I picked up a couple of charts (one by Moira Blackburn) and a couple of pieces of fabric- one in 36 count and one in 40 count. The ladies were very pleasant and asked if I needed help but also gave me time to browse. I found a copy of the pattern I model stitched earlier this year so that was fun! They have a lot of samplers, nice color choices in the higher count fabrics and a small section of Brazilian embroidery. I will need to make it a regular stop when I’m in Madison.

In other stitching news… I did finish a Little House Needleworks piece that I showed you in an earlier post. I changed the blue because what was included in the kit was, in my opinion, too light to go with the fabric used for the little bed. It is always nice to finish up one of those smaller pieces!

I also made good progress on the quilt for the upcoming baby. The pattern is from a book called “Jelly Babies” by That Patchwork Place. It called for a jelly roll but I picked up bits of fabric here and there and used a variety of fabric lines.  I just love the owls! They are "appliqued" with Steam a Seam Lite. I then hand stitched around the edges to secure them. I tried to curve the branches a little so they looked more real and not like a couple of straight lines. The top is now complete and I have started marking my quilting lines. I will finish those and then add the backing and batting so I can hand quilt it. 

Before I close  I would like to share with you this site I found that has free needle tatting patterns. I like them because they use color and are not the usual doilies. I learned how to shuttle tat and haven't tried needle tatting yet. I can't imagine they would be too different so really should give it a try!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Freebies, as promised!

I promised you free things and here they are!

First is a fun ornament hop from Aurifil. Go to this link to see the complete list. There will be three new ornaments each week for four weeks. Those posted so far look pretty quick and easy to complete.

Next up are freebies from a blog. Go to this link and then scroll down a little. You should see a list on the right sidebar of free charts. There are quite a few smalls, like scissor cases and fobs and biscornu.

The last two come to us from France. Jardin Prive offers a set of seasonal tree designs, as well as several variations of a sheep chart.

This link is for a blog that is written in French, although there is a translate button at the top of the page. Scroll down to the bottom of page click on "Messages plus anciens" for more free charts. There are many Christmas designs on the first page and as you go through each succeeding page you will find Quaker style hearts, a lot of interesting biscornu and many seasonal designs.

I hope you find a few things to stitch in this latest installment on online freebies! I’ll continue to share more as I find them.