TAST: running stitch

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

Obviously this hasn’t been turned into bunting yet; I plan to do that all at the end.

Voila! Front and back, for posterity’s sake:)

The “TAST 2018” title and words in black are not running stitch, but everything else is! There are issues with my piece, and I could have corrected them but I decided to not un-do my work so that I can remember these mistakes in the future. You’ll see them if you look close, too, but overall, I am so excited to have this one done! I never ever looked at the running stitch as more than a basic stitch useful for quilting. TAST forced me to study it, and only it (well, with it’s variations like the combo-colonial-knot-ribbon-rose and lacing). This showed me really how versatile it is – I cannot wait to do this with other stitches each week! Thanks, Sharon!!

Threaded, whipped, double threaded and whipped, and beaded examples.

Lacing examples, and examples of thread thickness (single through six strands of floss).

A design (potted flowering cacti) using only running stitch (the ribbon rose adds a colonial knot). When I saw Fat-Quarter’s couching and running stitch, it spoke cacti to me, I dunno why. I really adored my little guys, but then the TAST 2018 background blurred into it and sorta hid the fun. Lesson learned!

Title of the pennant with basic example and number of week.

Ta-da! (If you caught on that I blurred something out, it’s just my initials;)

WIP-TAST-ic Wednesday 1

Howdy Howdy!

Today is the first Work In Progress (WIP) Wednesday where I will share weekly with you what I’ve got going on behind the scenes, so to speak. I will also discuss my Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) adventure with you, so stick around for a fantastic, WIP-TAST-ic exploration! (Aren’t I clever?;) I may not always have new progress for a WIP to share, but if I play my cards right, there will always be a TAST in progress (with a separate TAST post when each challenge is completed).

First up, my beautiful WIP from Celeste Chalasani’s craftsy Stumpwork: Raised Embroidery Essentials course. I’ve been plugging away at it for a while now, obsessively almost, until I hit a snag with my “aging” eyes. (Sewing with the petite thread for the bee’s wings was too much!) I’ve since purchased a magnifying glass but just had other things on my plate. I do have a goal to finish it soon, though – I am almost done, after all! I am just not one to have a million projects going on at once because that is how I know I would never finish any! I am a one-book, one-video-game, one-(or-three)-sewing-project at a time kind of gal. So, that’s all I got for a WIP today! (Disclaimer: I do have other projects on hiatus, of course! They are just not currently “in progress”, tee hee.)

I am using gaffer’s tape to prevent my threads from getting caught on my wires. It is a really strong but lightly sticky fabric-y masking tape and thus far, it seems to work great for this purpose, though sometimes the wire is stronger than the tape and it needs a gentle reminder to stay put.

The looped threads is a Turkey Work stitch (it does go by other names but I don’t have them handy in my head) – they will get cut and fluffed. I bought an eyebrow brush to do the fluffing and it worked great on my test run.

I am really proud how my satin stitches came out. Less proud that my fabric gave some in the hoop before I realized it, but that is the price you pay when you don’t pay the price for fancy hoops. Woe is me. They are on my list!

Next up, TAST Running Stitch. One of my awesome readers recently linked a fantastic idea for a sampler – thank you, Brenda!!:D The post is at one of my favorite places, here, but I went down the rabbit hole to find the original post and gal: Sheila Iskin at Making a Fairy Tale. I do love bunting, so that’s my plan! Each weekly challenge will get its own pennant, labeled in simple black by title, with a small basic example, and the number of the week. This first one will have TAST 2018 somewhere on there.

You’ll notice I have a lot of extra fabric that is totally not required. Well, I had inherited so much white fabric that I want to use it up quickly, and this one is already cut to a long strip that is almost the right size for my hoop. Serendipitously, I am using the excess as doodle cloth to either actually doodle ideas, or practice before I go. Whoo! My only concern is that I am using my crafting threads rather than my good ones, and I might regret that if this turns out to be something I absolutely adore. Time will tell, eh? For now, it is all about learning and getting better at creativity!

Of course, Sharon Boggon’s own Pintangle as well as Mary Corbet’s NeedlenThread are constant references. I am also using three books: Sharon’s Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting, Margie Bauer’s The Embroiderer’s Handbook (hmm, can’t find a link for her – anyone else can?), and Sue Spargo‘s Creative Stitching. Past (and present!) TAST challengers are also in my inspiration bucket, as well as ye olde google image search. When I post the finale, I will try to link to everything that specifically encouraged me to try something.


Very Nice Mice

A guild member gifted me some amazing fabric – lots of it. I cannot wait to get going on a crazy quilt design! To thank her, I wanted to make her an ornament. The guild had a holiday dinner with an ornament exchange so I was hopeful to make two. Alas, I had zero ready. For shame! I had the ornament picked out but you know what the problem was? I couldn’t get to my felt! Remember my last post, about organizing everything? Blame it all on these very nice mice!

I have been following Ann Wood Handmade now for years – maybe even, dare I say, something like a decade? One day, I hope to be able to support her work and have a little piece of it in my home as I absolutely adore her little camper birdies! Anyway, she so kindly put out a free pattern for Very Nice Mice so I had a couple of goes at it.

The first mouse was given away just after completing it to a friend of ours to take home to his wife. I don’t even really remember what it looked like, ha! The second came out too strongly in it’s face so for the third, I used two strands of embroidery thread rather than a piece of perl cotton. But that face came out too lightly, so on the fourth mouse I did a combination and I really liked it.

On the fourth mouse, I also changed the whiskers (which are not included in the pattern) from fishing line to regular sewing thread. I am not sure which I like better; I may still experiment or remove them. On this last mouse, I also decided to add a little nose with satin stitch. I liked that so much, I added the nose to the other two. Then I decided to fix the third mouse’s face by adding bolder eyes. I regretting not color-matching the belly thread better on the other two, but you live and learn, and that’s the point!

I was just finishing these guys up at the candy store, becoming satisfied with my workmanship and planning how to go about the gift for my fellow guildswoman when another shopkeep came in for her afternoon popcorn pick-me-up and adored them. After a quick chat, she asked if I’d be interested in putting them in her shop. After some thinking, I reached out to Ann to ask about selling off of her free pattern. Happily, she was fine with my selling them. To thank her, please go check out her lovelies!

And so thus, I made them fit the Scandinavian shop’s theme. One got a red and white cord for a scarf that I made with yarn. One got a red Nordic snowflake (definitely not my best work since I was trying to embroidery on a mouse belly rather than on a flat piece of felt!). One got a red and white Danish heart basket. The shopkeep made a little tiny door for them to stand by on display. Super cute!

Alas, this is the only photo I have of them finished:

If they don’t sell, these little mice can just decorate the shop:) It was neat to have someone approach me to sell something so I think that’s certainly a fair trade! Another shopkeep, who deals in “primitive” style goods, saw my mice and then asked me what else I do. I’m thinking I may take these offers a little more seriously and explore some options in the future, who knows!