Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Doodle Stitching - Padded Satin Stitch dots

I have finally finished the satin stitch dots on my little square piece doodle stitching. You might notice there is still a dot to be stitched here and there among the finished ones, but I have plans for those… any guesses?

BEFORE DAWN - work in progress
I am filling the spaces between the dots with French knots - close together around each dot and  spilling over the background stitching. It is my hope that the texture of the knots will make the smooth dots look like colourful bubbles floating across the background. Time will tell if it works, but so far I am happy with how it is looking.



I have tried to make my dots as raised as I could, firstly because I just love the smooth domed shape of satin stitch dots but also so that the dome of the dots is higher than the the French knots.

SATIN STITCH DOTS, Step by Step
I very, very rarely use multiple strands for satin stitch but instead stitch layer upon layer with a single strand so it is not a quick job, but I find it results in a more smooth and firm domed shape than if I stitched just a single layer of padding with a much thicker thread.
If you are not familiar with padded satin stitch dots, this is how I do it:

Outline the circle with split stitch (or split back stitch). This will help you get a nice, firm and smooth outline on your shape.
Straight stitch padding
1. Start the padding with a few straight stitch in the middle of the circle. You can work these back and forth instead of having long stitches on the back.
2. Place the next layer of straight stitches in the opposite direction to the first. These stitches are only slightly bigger than before.


3. Continue to add layers, each at a right angle and slightly bigger than the previous.
It is not super important that these stitches are perfect since they will be covered.
4. The final layer of padding is placed just inside the split stitch outline. The needle should skim the outline as it passes through the fabric - this will help stabilize the edges of the shape.
TIP: The final layer of padding should always be at a right angle to finishing layer of satin stitch. If you know what direction your satin stitch should be, you will need to keep that in mind when placing your padding.

Satin stitch
To get a nice shine on your final layer, always start a new thread for your satin stitch. You would normally use the same thread for the padding and top layer, I just changed colour so it is easier to see what is going on.
5. Place the first stitch across the middle (or widest point) of your shape. It is so much easier to get the right stitch direction across a wide section than it is at the very end of a shape.
6. Stitching to one side, cover one half of the circle with satin stitch. It is important to work systematically across the shape - if you try and go back to fill tiny gaps, you are likely to get a lumpy and uneven looking result.
TIP: I use the tip of my needle to feel for where it needs to go - it should touch both the outline and previous stitch.


7. Return to the middle and cover the second half of the dot the same way.
TIP: You kind of need to be 'a stitch short' at the end to avoid your circle turning into an egg.
If you look closely at the last picture, you can just see the outline stitches underneath. If I went to cover it up with one more stitch - it would turn oval.

As much as enjoy doing dots, I am pleased they are done. I am almost halfway through the background stitching now and just want to finish that, so I can finish the French knots, so I can finish the piece and move on to something else. I really do get rather impatient once I am well into a project - patience may be a virtue, but it is not really one of mine LOL.
I am hoping to get a bit more work done on the doodle stitching background over the next few days and hope to show you a bit of progress next week.

Talking about being patient - do you remember this one??

STRAWBERRY FEAST, Raised embroidery kit
I cannot believe it is months since I finished it and I have only now managed to get the kits for my Strawberry Feast in the SHOP this week. A few of you had contacted me for the kit, and I truly appreciate your patience.

Best Stitches,
Anna x





Sunday, August 11, 2019

Out & About

I had another little trip away last week - this time to Queensland.


SONNET Goldwork Embroidery Kit
 I started with two days teaching Goldwork in Rockhampton. I was welcomed by the most spectacular sunset and a group of utterly enthusiast stitchers. For many, SONNET was their first go at goldwork and (I think) a few people were a wee bit aprehansive. This is a super difficult project, but there is A Lot going on. You can see a bit more detail from back when I stitched it HERE. Everyone got really stuck into it and after the two days everyone were doing a great job and were well underway.

From Rockhampton, I made my way back to Brisbane to teach a two day crewelwork class at All Threads Embroidery
SCARLET GLORY Crewel Embroidery Kit


We were stitching SCARLET GLORY which is quite a substantial project to get through in just two days – but WOW, everybody worked so hard and got so much done! 
One of the participants had asked if she could change the colour scheme. How exciting!! I love it when stitchers make my designs their own and it is brilliant to see how different a design looks, simply by changing a colour palette.
I prepare all my patterns and kits in a way so that colours are very, very easy to change or substitute so away we went and changed all the burned reds and oranges to a brilliant scale of peacock blue and purple.  I can’t wait to see how this beautiful combination takes shape.

I had not been to either of these places before and had a fabulous time. Thank you to everyone for making me feel so welcome and at home.  

BEFORE DAWN
I didn’t take any stitching with me on that trip because I knew I would have very little stitching time, so I have only done a little bit more on my doodle stitch piece.


I have almost finished the satin stitch dots and have done a bit more work on the background areas: Happy with the shaded pink on the edge – not sure yet if this will be the upper, lower, left or right… the green is coming along very, very, very slowly. Row after row of stem stitch. I want the finish to be really, really flat and love the finished look of this, but boy oh boy is it slow going.


The area between is also now on track now, after a bit of reverse stitching. I am using burden stitch and in the first go (above), I had placed the foundation stitches vertically and used stranded cotton. It just didn’t look quite right, so out it came...


...Second go (above), I placed the foundation stitches horizontally using a metallic gold. I am much, much happier with this. Still not sure I will use the dark mauve/purple for the whole area or grade it. Time will tell….

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend,
Anna

Friday, July 26, 2019

Before dawn

It was cool, but dry and somewhat sunny last weekend, so I spent a couple of hours in vineyard finishing the last bit of pruning.

 

 

I like pruning. Not that I spend as much time out there as I used to, but there is something very satisfying about sorting out the messy vines, getting them ready for the next season. As usual, I had my trusty 'helper' at my feet the whole time.

Most of the week was otherwise spent getting ready for my teaching trip to Rockhampton and Brisbane next weekend and other 'embroidery work stuff'. I also put two of my new patterns in the shop. The PDF pattern for the Cherry Blossom and the PDF pattern for the Cutwork Sachet are both now available and so is the few leftover Cutwork Sachet Kits.



I did manage a few more dots between all of that.


I am planning to fill the spaces between the dots with French knots, but before I can do that, I will need to embroider the background around those areas.


I have finished the first area with straight stitches. The space is too wide for satin stitch + I wanted it to sit quite flat against the fabric. The straight stitches are worked with two strands of cotton back and forth across the area, picking up just a single fabric thread at regular intervals.. so in a way it is more a variation of a running stitch, I guess.


I have started filling one of the larger areas with close rows of stem stitch. I love the finished look of stem stitch when it is used as a filling stitch, but boy is is a slow process!! I am alternating an acidic looking yellow green with a light golden tan. (Sorry about the blurry photo).


There is still quite a bit to do in this area, so it will take a few hours still to complete. Once I get into it, it is actually quite meditative.


I have still not decided which way is up for this little square...
I am calling it (Ideas?) Before Dawn - The bubbles are like those brilliant ideas you have in those last moments between dreaming and being awake only the minute you open your eyes, they burst like bubbles.

Have a wonderful weekend,
Anna X