Posts Tagged ‘hand embroidery’

Finished and Almost-Finished Projects


My First Knitted Piece!

My first knitted piece! You can find the pattern for this simple washcloth here.

And almost-finished:

Hand Embroidered Snake

The Monkey loves snakes, so this will be turned into a pillow…however, first I have to stitch up a dolphin for the Bear, so they each have a pillow, even stevens.


I really like how he turned out. The pattern came from this coloring book.

Fetching Water is Women’s Work

I happened to read the “Water” issue of National Geographic during the rains and flooding in Middle Tennessee.

I have a deep love for National Geographic – it’s the only magazine I read regularly. I’ve subscribed to others in the past, but I can really only make time for one, so National Geographic gets my subscription dollars. It’s always enlightening, and I always learn something – about science, about the world around us.

This particular issue, as the title states, focused on water. The lack of freshwater is a big problem in many countries. I was most captivated by this story – of Aylito Binayo, and the millions of others like her that don’t have access to a faucet, and have to travel for hours to supply their families with this vital resource:

The task of fetching water defines life for Binayo. She must also help her husband grow cassava and beans in their fields, gather grass for their goats, dry grain and take it to the mill for grinding into flour, cook meals, keep the family compound clean, and take care of her three small sons. None of these jobs is as important or as consuming as the eight hours or so she spends each day fetching water.

Last week we had water concerns here in my small town – flood-related, though we were not nearly as affected by the flooding as most of Middle Tennessee. I bought up gallons of water just in case the water was cut off (the water was potable, but we had restrictions). But I still had the resources to obtain CLEAN water for my needs. How very humbling to read of women that carry 50 pounds of water on their backs for hours of day.

Fetching Water is Women's Work

Floral Fabric Sampler

I’m done! Finished this a few days ago but just finally took photos of it yesterday. Here’s the whole sampler:

Floral Fabric Sampler

I plan to frame it in that hoop, but I haven’t yet – I just tucked the excess fabric behind the back for the photo.

Floral Fabric Sampler - Dragonfly Detail

I thought the dragonfly would be a fun addition. He’s mostly chain-stitched, with some stem stitch (my default stitch) and fern stitch on his wings. The wings were done with a single strand of floss – great for adding delicacy to a piece.

That’s DMC color variations floss, which I love.

Floral Fabric Sampler - Detail

From outside in: Blue french knots, purple stem stitch, gold seeding, purple and gold whipped backstitch.

Floral Fabric Sampler - Detail>

I went over the details on the flower earlier – we have couched trellis, split stitch, back stitch and stem stitch. The stem is more whipped backstitching; the leaves were done in stem and fern stitch like the dragonfly wings.

The little purple and gold teardrop shape was done in a double blanket stitch (outside) and backstitch (inside).

Floral Fabric Sampler - Detail

The flower: pink stem stitch on the outside, with straight stitches meeting the rhodes circular stitch in the middle. Gold chinese knots on the petals. The trailing circles are done in gold coral stitch and dark blue french knots.

Floral Fabric Sampler - Detail

You’ll see coral stitch again in the paisley shape here. The floral here is filled with a blue buttonhole wheel; straight stitches make the petals, and back stitch outlines it all. I really like this one. The trailing circles were filled with something called a moss stitch in purple.

This was such a fun project to do. I feel like I learned a lot, and yet it was largely unplanned and more of a feeling thing – going through my embroidery book and looking for appropriate stitches to use; trying to challenge myself and learn more. I don’t know how often I will use some of these stitches, but I did learn coral stitch and can see myself using that in the future. Also, the chinese knots came out a little tighter than the french knots – I am more at ease with french knot, but can definitely see myself revisiting this other type of knot.

39 Squares: 1.5 to Go

I’ve been stitchin’, but I just haven’t been postin’. The last two (yes, two) weeks were Spring Break for the Monkey, so routine was thrown off.

So let’s get to it:

39 Squares: Strawberry

This made the Bear so happy. He loves red, and loves strawberries.

39 Squares: Lazy Daisy and a Branch Swing

The lazy daisy is, well, because I was running out of ideas. But it’s cute, right?
The branch swing is something I’ve had in mind for a while. I really like it on the gingham. The Bear really loves to swing (we hear “Swing me very higher!” a lot), and with spring’s arrival we’ve been enjoying more time outside and, for the Bear, more time on the swingset. This square really made me smile.

39 Squares: Bluebird and Geraniums

The bluebird was stitched at the request of the Monkey, whose favorite color is blue.
The geranium is an honor of my grandmother. Every Mother’s Day, my dad got my Meemaw a red geranium, so every time I see a red geranium, I think of her. I’m really happy with my french knots, but I don’t honestly like how the leaves turned out.

WIP: Next to Last Square

And this is my WIP (hence 1.5 squares to go). I started this rather late on Sunday and hope to finish it today. All those french knots! They’re going to be the end of me!
Originally this square was going to be different, but I didn’t like what I drew. I then remembered looking at dandelions (my boys have been bringing me lots of dandelion bouquets lately), and thinking that their shape would work in straight stitches all around. So I freehanded this one. I think I did OK. But then I had to add some fill around, and now I’m on day 3 of french knots. Sigh. But I think this one is going to turn out great.

So 1.5 more to go!

39 Squares: 7 to Go

I’m catching up:

39 Squares: Victorian Bouquet

Cross-stitched this from a vintage Victorian cross-stitch book of my mom’s – extracted the little bouquet from a larger pattern. My aida is kinda taking a beatin’ on this one.

39 Squares: Butterly and Sunrise on Mountains

Also cross-stitched the butterfly from the same book. The mountains and sun – which I love – commemorates our recent trip to the Smoky Mountains.

39 Squares: Leaf and Redbud

The leaf – I wanted to try out raised fishbone stitch. I then needed to stitch up a red bud tree – they’re blooming all over the place here in Tennessee, and I just love them.

39 Squares: Tulip

And a tulip, because the lines are so clean. Plus, it’s spring!

Housewarming Chicken

I stitched this up last week for my sister-in-law, who just bought her first house:

Housewarming Chicken

I like this little guy. As I’ve done before, I used waste canvas to get this guy on the towel. I found the pattern via Craftgossip; the pattern should be on the blog Et Patati Et Petites Croix but I cannot find the link now. Here’s the craftgossip link. I only made a few changes – I took off the Easter wording, and adjusted the colors to what I have in my floss stash. Also, instead of cross-stitching the eye, I used a button.

I have done two more squares for the 39 squares stitchalong, but then we traveled – first to visit family for Easter, then on to East Tennessee for a quick little vacation.

39 Squares: 18, 19, 20 and 21

So, I’ve used up this month’s bandwidth on flickr – oops! But I just can’t wait to post these pics, so here we go:

The tree is based on an old wood trivet that was my grandmother’s. The turtle was a good chance to try out basketweave stitch. Also, I knew it would go over very well with my boys. I think he’s cute!

If you’ve read my “About Me”, or if you know me for real, you know I am a percussionist in a community band. We had a festival on Saturday, so the music notes and clefs commemorate that event. My parents, brother and his girlfriend even showed up for this one, so it was a big day! Love the support. And stitching calmed my nerves before the show.

The bird is a crow. We have very tall trees around our house and I often see a bird perched up way on top of the trees. I am always amazed that these birds can perch so gracefully on the very tops of the trees. So that square is in honor of our avian neighbors.

Finally, yesterday was a busy day so I opted for simplicity:

39 Squares: Weekend’s Work (and Thursday. And Monday).

Lots of squares! Some more successful than others. Let’s review.

Thursday night I watched Project Runway and stitch up this little fishing scene:

Square 12

I think my perspective is off – fishing line is a bit short, my circles are a bit too circular and big. But I love love love my dragonflies. The dragonflies might appear again.

Friday was a busy one, so I just added an old (likely vintage – not sure of its origins but it was made in “West Germany”) cameo. I’ve had this one for a long time – it was Mom’s, and then she gave it to me when she didn’t want it anymore. But I’ve never been able to wear it – it pins on the bottom half, so never laid on my clothes like I wanted. It’s much happier here.

Squares 13 and 14

Saturdays square, right next to the cameo, is something I’ve had in mind for a long time and I think is one of my favorites right now.

Another square I’ve had in mind for a long time was created on Sunday:

Square 15

I’m mostly satisfied with it. The little koi were BHE’s idea. This square is based on a photograph I took at the Memphis Botanic Garden about two years ago.

And finally, this is what I worked up yesterday:

Square 16

Can you tell what this is? I may have over-conceptualized….it’s bubbles. I have kids, so spring brings on bubble blowing in the back yard. I used the pink in hopes of capturing the iridescence of bubbles but I’m not sure I was successful. I think it is visually appealing though.

Here’s my 16 squares so far:

16 Squares So Far

Are you stitching along with 39 Squares? I think I’m addicted to doing this. I think BHE is enjoying my obsession with inch-sized squares. He asked if I’m doing another for summer after this…and you know, after a brief break I think I just will.

39 Squares: “Beware the Ides of March”

I wanted to do something about the Ides of March today, but didn’t want to do, say, a bloody knife or a bust of Caesar – not saying “joyful Spring” there. Thought about “Et tu, Brute?” but that would just look weird in the midst of what I have going on with my sampler. So I went with a laurel wreath:

Square 9

39 Squares: This Weekend’s Work

My last four squares:

A little bit of my Memaw’s quilt scraps went into Square 5:

Square 5

Square 6 is pretty simple, and was accomplished Friday night while my boys watched Phineas and Ferb. I just wanted to make a big lazy daisy, and used the smallest button I could find from my stash:

I love square 7, even though my ladybug is a little wonky:

Square 7

After I stitched that up, I saw a ladybug walking on my leg. Ladybugs, lightning bugs, and butterflies are the only bugs I will touch; otherwise I am quite bug-phobic.

Here’s it all through square 7:

And another of my Memaw’s quilt scraps appears in square 8:

Square 8

I had plans to embroider a clock (for daylight savings time) on top of the pink, but I thought it looked so pretty just blanket-stitched on there that I left it.