TAST: Sheaf Stitch

Pintangle's Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) by Sharon Boggon

You’ve read about my idea for this here, right? Ok! See all completed TAST posts here.

Here is the front and back of last week’s TAST challenge: the sheaf stitch.

TAST: sheaf stitch TAST: sheaf stitch

Yes, I am beyond irked to see the dark blue thread bleed. I guess that is what I get when I use cheap threads! It is only my second experience with bleeding threads, and luckily neither has been on any kind of “heirloom” piece, so I got over this pretty quickly. Just another lesson learned and documented to be remembered! (The offending thread has since been disposed of.)

TAST: sheaf stitch

At first glance, I once again thought that the sheaf stitch was pretty straightforward without many options. Hoo boy, was I wrong! In order of segments above from left-right, here is how I played with the stitch in the top “row”: number of wraps (dark blue and yellow), varying colors/angles/lengths (dark blue, light blue, yellow), creating an arch (light blue), creating a torch/sword (dark blue). The second row is exploring what making a border might be like (dark blue and light blue). The third “row” creates a sort-of zigzag effect (yellow and dark blue), a scallop effect (yellow and dark blue), a tiny flying thing? (light blue and dark blue), and ends in a cross/4-pointed star shape (yellow and dark blue). The next “row” was again exploring a border (light blue), and then seeing what happens if I play with lengths of the stitch and a continuous wrap between them (dark blue and yellow). The following row is divided into three “areas”, with area one (on the left) having two rows. The top is an experiment with stitch lengths (light blue and dark blue) while the bottom experimented with stitch spacing and count (yellow and light blue). The middle area was creating a fancy fill, using different stitch lengths and angles (yellow and light blue). The left area was another fill, alternating colors and varying stitch lengths (dark and light blues). That bottom row exhibits more border options: alternating direction of the sheaf stitch (dark blue) or where the sheaf stitch is tied (light blue and dark blue).

TAST: sheaf stitch

As I mentioned before, I struggled pinning down the motif idea. This farm scene was in my head originally but I feared it wouldn’t work out well. However, the other ideas I had seemed not as exciting so I decided to try this. I used very long sheaf stitches in green to mimic the landscape, and then tied them with varying number of wraps in a brown to suggest a path. I added a similar technique in variegated blue to imagine a bubbling stream. The sunset was a fun exercise in creating a rounded shape (and then weaving threads to fill it in). And the barn saw a sheaf stitch with only two straight stitches (for the doors), or wrapped individually many times (for the roof). And, of course, little sheafs of grain in the field in front of the barn. What do ya’ll think?

TAST: sheaf stitch

Above, the title section. I bought new black DMC thread but it also appears fuzzy when I stitch. I still can’t tell if I prefer split stitch or stem stitch, apparently, as this has both. Oh well!

WIP-TAST-ic Wednesday 14

I still only have a single project in this week’s WIP queue, which is what I prefer! However, what I don’t prefer is that it is last week’s TAST. Boo. I have it all finished but the little motif challenge. I have some ideas for that but I just couldn’t pick which might be best done so I want to let them swirl in my head for a bit yet.

TAST WIP sheaf stitch

This week’s TAST is the buttonhole wheel. I am not sure how I feel about my decision just yet, but right now I am deciding not to stitch up a pennant for it because I included some variations on the second challenge of TAST: buttonhole stitch. I know a whole lot more could be done than what I have in my wiggly seaweed there, but I also know that with my archaeological responsibilities, I needed another week off from TAST and I’d rather skip a familiar stitch now, than be forced to skip a new stitch in the future. (I had some reports to write up – they’ve been a long time coming, I’m afraid!)

In better news, the guild met last night and a couple of neat things happened! First, I was gifted several things by one of my new friends there (the one who already gifted me with some amazing fabrics; I ended up gifting her the little mouse ornament as a thank you). She received duplicate copies of her magazine subscription so I have now been introduced to the super neat-0  Stitch magazine. She also let me leaf through her latest Inspiration magazine; I knew it would be great since I have been receiving their newsletter for some time now. Alas, without a “real job” I am still on my self-imposed spending hiatus so I cannot justify signing up to either. Sigh.

She also gifted me a lot of Brazilian threads and some old books to teach me the technique. I never knew, from the internet searches, what Brazilian embroidery is but now I think I do! I think it is using rayon threads – mostly perle cotton style (as in they come in different weights but are named differently than with numbers corresponding to thickness) rather than six-stranded floss (which I believe is the only rayon thread DMC carries, but I might be wrong on that). These threads are also Z-twisted rather than S-twisted (Nordic Needle has a great article about the difference). And the goal is to make a somewhat 3D texture in the embroidery. Nothing as significant as stumpwork, but the culmination of using french knots, buillon stitches, couching, and some specialty stitches, all of which bring the threads up off the ground fabric.

Second, I got a huge compliment from one of the other members. She loved Mabel the Raccoon and told me she always looks forward to what I bring for Show-and-Tell. That made my day:)

And last, I might be redesigning the guild’s website. Another avenue of crafty ambition, no?

Oh, and I did design a postcard for my work down at the Daniel Boone National Forest. It isn’t finished yet, and if I showed it anywhere, it would be on my anthropology blog, but just because I haven’t finished stitching this doesn’t mean I haven’t been creative! I took a photo and turned it into a line drawing with some cool texture effect. Having never formally learned Adobe Photoshop, I still surprise myself!

Framing Ribbon Embroidery

I wasn’t sure I would have time for framing ribbon embroidery this week which is why I did not include this photo in the original post, but I did! Generally, I lag behind “finishing” projects but I was too excited to share it so I didn’t wait, obviously.

Tatiana’s preference is to not use frames with glass. My house nearly requires glass with the amount of daily dust it produces, but my stumpwork Poppies and Santa Barbara Daises cannot be framed (without an expensive custom shadow-box) and I will be dealing with that already. I agree that the ribbon embroidery effect would be lost behind glass, too. Tatiana and others have provided good tips on keeping them clean, and we always have cans of compressed air laying around so I’ll be good to go.

As far as how I made it ready for framing, I’ve found a lot of resources over the years, and the most recent one to hit my feedly list was from Amina, so I’ll throw a shout-out over to her at Stitch Floral:) It is a super easy tutorial to follow (and you can see her lovely work!). Incidentally, Amina began her history with embroidery in ribbon work, so I think it’s fitting that she helped me with my first piece!

framing ribbon embroidery (owl crafts): the letter R