Stitch #4! Now we’re going to pick a section of our little crewel sampler to fill with cloud filling stitch, which is really, really fun!
Above, you can see that I’ve marked my area out and am placing teensy stitches in a checkerboard fashion (just like the last bit of the couching fill yesterday) in my fuschia color. Then I’ll take a second color (white, in my case, and two strands like yesterday’s for the same reason) and weave it under those little stitches – not unlike huck weaving, now that I think about it. My little stitches are about 1/4″ apart.
But I’m totally cheating and rather than show you the rest of the stitch here, I’m going to send you over to &Stitches, where I previously wrote a tutorial for this very same stitch: &Stitches’ Cloud Filling Stitch Tutorial. It’s a little cheeky, but I was prepping to show it to you when I had a funny feeling I’d done this before! So set your area up like I have above, then pop along to the tutorial to see how to weave in your top threads.
I have to be honest, I wasn’t really happy with how my sample in regular DMC floss looked, but I absolutely love it in crewel wool!
If you remember, I had quite a list of things I wanted to get done, only some were embroidery. I’ve been trying to go through them based on what can be finished most quickly. So I did finish and block the shawl for my mother (forgot photos though, d’oh!) and also finally blocked my Henslowe shawl, which was a knit-along with the lovely Karen from Henrys Shed.
Aak! Taking a photo of a shawl on your own is hard, especially if you have no useful place to lay it out nicely. Nevermind – just trust me on this one, it came out lovely and it’s a fantastic design. (It really is a shawlette though, not a snuggly sort of size. Keep that in mind if you knit it!)
And I’ve finally figured out a way to stitch those little flowers in my Eels lyrics embroidery:
One strand of silk floss, chain stitched in a teeeeensy spiral. These flowers are only about 1/4″ across (shown here larger than actual size), which makes me ridiculously happy. But because I made them so small, I couldn’t find a way to stitch them all Mackintosh-style as they were in the vintage pattern I used, so I just went for a nice round flower instead.
I’ve started doing them in white with very, very pale blue stem stitched stems, but I’m not sure if that will make the whole thing too colorless. I was originally going to use pale pink for the flowers, but that seemed a bit typical. Now I wonder if typical would be actually be quite nice in this context, since the lyrics themselves are not. So I may end up pulling those few flowers out and re-doing them in another color, but that’s ok. Working out how to stitch them was the hard part!
If you are an &Stitches reader (and I hope you are!), you’ll know that we’re starting 2014 off with a finish-along. A good way to start a new year, I think – tidying up the project basket and getting things done!
My finish-along goal might be a little different than others, because I don’t have one project to focus on, I have a pile:
This pile is my official entry to the &Stitches Finish-along, because it’s all embroidery. It might seem a bit excessive, but this whole post (embroidery and otherwise) is full of projects that are nearly all at least 80% finished — and I don’t honestly expect that I’ll finish them all. So pictured above:
Eels lyrics embroidery! Oh, how I love this project so, and am so sad that it got so deeply buried at the bottom of the basket. There’s not much left to do really, but I was stumped by the best way to stitch those teeeeensy flowers and it was put on pause.
The cross-stitch pictured is from a kit bought at the Bronte House about 12 years ago. It’s a reproduction of a sampler Charlotte Bronte stitched as a little girl. She must’ve had amazing eyesight, because this has lingered for so long simply because it is so tiny I can barely see it. But there’s only one line left to stitch!
And lastly, those blue-gray blobby flowers? Those are updated from a pattern book from 1915 and are something I started a very, very long time ago. I honestly doubt I’ll get to this one in time, but I can give it a sporting try, right? Those flowers are all done in satin stitch, and there’s leaves too, and it’s a slow project – but I do enjoy it a lot.
Although not officially tied to the &Stitches finish-along because it’s not embroidery, I’d also love to see this pile finished:
Again, all projects nearly done, it’s just silly that they’re still lingering. The magenta is my Henslowe shawl, which only needs blocking. The white is a secret thing that may possibly become a pattern – with very little knitting left to do. The camel alpaca project is a new shawl for my now-home-from-the-hospital mother. To be fair, this has only been on the needles for about a week, but I’m already on the edging and I don’t want it to linger, so I’ve included it. And the mustard colored project is a sock for my brother (the second of the pair) which is perfect for train travel and my upcoming visit to Amsterdam.
And lastly, this set of English Paper Pieced pillow covers, a gift for my mother now over a year late. Yikes. EPP is slow going, which is why I like it, but it is admittedly very unlikely to be finished quickly. However, one top is already finished and the other is about halfway, so it’s worth mentioning it here and hoping for the best.
These are, sadly, not all of my UFOs, but they are the UFOs that I: a.) definitely want to finish. There are one or two I’m not convinced about continuing, so they aren’t taking part in the finish-along, and b.) are far enough along that quick completion isn’t a pipe dream. Long-term UFOs like my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt don’t count, those are meant to be ongoing. I tend to only get frustrated by projects that linger unnecessarily, and that brings me to my one and only crafty resolution for 2014:
Less projects, more often.
Because I start too many projects at once, they all take for-ev-ar to finish, which means I’m totally sick of the sight of them by the time I get near the end, which means I let them pile up to this point I’m at now but I really don’t want to work on them anymore! This year, I want to have fewer WIPs going at once, so that I finish them and move on to new things faster. Shortening the cycle, as it were.
And the best place to start? Clearing out the basket. Let’s go!
On we go to Sampler #4! For this one, we’re going to move over to &Stitches, where we’re running a little informal stitchalong about blackwork. But because it’s part of our Single Color Stitching Month, we’re not doing blackwork, we’re doing pinkwork, greenwork and orangework mini-samplers! We hope you’ll join along with the provided template or just stitch a little bit of non-black-blackwork wherever you like!
And because I got so behind with my French Knot Tulip Fields Sampler and the months got a little messed up, this will let me get back on track. There won’t be a sampler for December, because that would be madness and I know no one would ever be able to stitchalong if they wanted to, so I’ll take my time with my orangework sampler and I’ll meet you back here in January for Sampler #5. In the meantime, I’ll show you my progress over here and I’ll be sharing the first steps of my project on &Stitches on Monday!
I hope you’re all readers of the awesome (if I do say so myself) &Stitches blog, where Carina and Nicole and my own self write about all sorts of wonderful stitched nerdiness — but if you’re not (crazy fools!), you might want to pop over there and find out more about our new Back to School Stitching Competition! You’ll have to stitch something to enter and be as creative as you possibly can, but the prizes are flippin’ awesome, so I promise it’s worth the effort. Visit &Stitches to find out more and get stitching!