WIP-TAST-ic Wednesday 4

I am getting ready to embark on a stellar foundation-pieced project so first I wanted to practice. What better place to turn to than Craftsy these days? I found this freebie Rose Paper Piecing by Jikta Designs. I did want to make it in yellow, but I didn’t really like any of my fabrics for a rose. I went with pink instead, all but one being inheritance from my late grandmother. The dark blue background is also hers (though the floral green isn’t, and I really want to use that as a complimentary fabric for whatever it turns into).

Thus, I call this “Hester’s Rose”. It is a WIP and will remain as such for quite a while. I don’t have other plans for it yet. Maybe a pouch. Maybe part of a larger quilt. Maybe a mugrug. Someday, it will find a home, I just want to wait for the right thing. Just in case it takes me longer than imagined to do just that, I embroidered the year on a seam allowance on the back. That should keep me on my toes! I don’t think my gramma really ever knew how much I got into crafting (I was late in the game, and she had dementia before passing away). I know she’d be tickled to see this and would probably say, “Bless your heart”. Someday, that phrase will be stitched!

And TAST this week is the Detached Chain Stitch (also most commonly known as the Lazy Daisy stitch, though it has many names). Things didn’t go as planned today so as you can see, only some research was had. No actual stitching (or even design planning) to speak of just yet but I am not worried in the slightest! We are still in the “basic” realm of stitches so it will stitch up quick!

guild embroidered name tag

New embroidery guild members are tasked with eventually making their own embroidered name tag. I finally got around to mine, a year later! Another guild member already goes by my nickname, so I went with my formal name when I joined. Since my last name is also on the piece, I won’t be showing you in full, you understand. #internetprivacy. Shrug.

I first began with doodling. This year, I am trying something different – normally, I just start with needle in hand and fabric at the ready. This year though, I want to develop my own creativity, remember? So, I now begin instead with pencil in hand and paper at the ready. Of course, I still went off plans a wee bit. Mostly because my plans wouldn’t work, or didn’t turn out as I had imagined they would, but also because needle in hand and fabric at the ready is just, well, sort of inspiring on its own.

embroidered name tag

This embroidered name tag was the first time I used rayon threads. I read about them, and I inherited two colors, and they seemed fussy. They are super silky, and the 6-strands practically fall apart from each other as you hold them. I don’t think it is even possible to make an accidental knot, they are so loosey-goosey! Luckily, the strands are somewhat thick, so as I approached a satin stitch background here, it covered quickly! Though I broke this project into two days worth of work, I could easily have finished it in a single solid day. Like, all of it! The threads weren’t difficult to stitch with at all, other than sometimes the light reflecting off them when trying to get the perfect satin stitch position (sadly you will never understand the brilliant reflections through a photo, but the real effect is gorgeous!).

embroidered name tag

I had been wanting to do an illuminated letter style for a while but didn’t have a specific project in mind. So when I decided to do this, it was prime opportunity! Afterward, I had some wonderings about what it meant that I stitched my name so royally, but regardless, I love it!

Deep purple rayon thread was stitched over a traced google font (Berkshire Swash). I added some golden thread left over from my stumpwork in a criss-crossed fashion with small red glass beads that really look awesome reflecting light (also hard to capture in a photo) for the stem of the R, b, and a.

Some solid red stitches (straight stitches mimicking a fly stitch with pistol colonial knotting) were made using normal DMC thread on the leg of the R. This thread was also used for my last name which was written in my own signature handwriting, much smaller than my first, and kind of as part of the border. The first letters of it were also whipped with the golden thread. The R and a also got a fat colonial knot in red in the serif portion. The c letters got a small gold bead there instead.

I only had one other rayon thread color, a good brown. So, after adding a red whipped wheel rose (with a gold bead center), I used this brown for the leaves (closed fly stitches highlighted with a vein of golden thread). I still wanted something added to the two e letters, so I used just a few straight stitches on their curve. I liked it, so I added them to all the letters. Then I added a detached-chain stitch vine around the whole thing, but decided it should be filled in. I did this with a fishbone stitch. To top that off, I added small purple colonial knots at each leaf.

I think normally I would have made all the leaves in green, but honestly, the effect of the brown fits so well with the other colors, making it look rather pomp and rich, that I am glad I am on a 0$ spending budget for myself, forcing me to use all the goodies that I have. I don’t think green would have looked good at all!

embroidered name tag

The background cloth is a solid light grey cotton leftover from my window seat backing. I doubled it up for support of my threads.

embroidered name tag

My name is a little bigger than I’d like for an embroidered name tag (albeit necessary to be able to stitch the designs on top of the satin stitching) but it will do. To finish, I sewed some medium weight interfacing to both the front (embroidered) piece and the backing (same grey fabric). Then I sandwiched them together and sewed around, leaving a gap as one normally does. Turned it right side out, whipped stitched a lanyard to the back, added 2018 there also for posterity’s sake, and then blind stitched the bottom closed. El fin!

embroidered name tag

Did you ever have to make an embroidered name tag? I’d be curious to see yours!

100 Day Project: Mirrored Light

Following the theme I’ve set myself up for this year (of diving deeper into my own creativity), I have decided to informally try the 100 Day Project: Mirrored Light. It begins today, and wraps up on April 30th. Will I stick with it? Stick around to find out!

According to the website, “The theme highlights the long, dark winters in our northern region which can be interpreted creatively in a number of different ways. The theme is meant to inspire – it’s up to participants whether or not they want to use the theme.”

Rather than going with a long, dark winter theme, I am interpreting the title, “Mirrored Light”, differently. Mirrors are most often used as a reflection of self, ya? And Light can mean good things, happy things, positive things that make you feel hope, peace, serenity. So my goal is to focus on things in my world that make me happy, and I want to become a better drawer, so there ya go. “Chase the light and use a pencil” so to speak. One drawing a day of something that put a smile on my face (expect a lot of kitties, no doubt! [Boy would be unlikely to allow me to post his]). I learned in my first week of January Challenges that a stopwatch helps so these will sometimes also be sketches intentionally hurried. After all, evidence suggests I learn best under pressure!

The website also answers why anyone would want to do this:

To grow a creative habit.
To exercise the right side of the brain – to expand your capacity for innovation, imagination, and problem solving.
To grow discipline and resilience by engaging in a regular practice of creativity for a period of 100 days.
To reinvigorate your creative life through exploration and permission to play for 100 days.
To discover the value of practice and how breakthroughs often happen by making a commitment and sticking to it.
To challenge a limiting belief about your creative nature.
To challenge a limiting belief about commitment.

If you’re intrigued, join me!

I read their Success Tips, and so here’s my formal plan:

  • The “spine” of my project is to draw and keep happy things in focus.
  • The rules to support my spine is to always have pencil and paper on me so that I can sketch the thing that made me smile at the moment of reflection.

Like those January Challenges, I will summarize a few days worth of effort in one posting each week. But I will leave you today with these drawings from December 30th – some doodling and a studied sketched of a recently acquired bitty knife hand-crafted by my great-uncle Jim. If I am sitting in an RPG campaign, my hands must be busy in one shape or other and that day I only had a pencil and paper at hand! I especially adore my little raccoon. it is one of the few images dreamt up from my own mind that I want to pursue in other ways. Maybe you’ll see more of her (or, maybe not!).

Ok, now I must go sketch something happy! :D