Tag Archives: sampler

Embroidery Sampler Check In

Progress!  Here’s my issue though – the stitches aren’t sticking.  And, what I mean by that is, they’re not sticking to my brain.  With knitting and crochet, I generally watch a tutorial once, and that’s it – it sticks, it imprints in my crafty memory, and I never have to watch it again (except for kitchener stitch, but that’s a topic for another day – I think my brain just rejects it).  I don’t mean for easy peasy things like back stitch and running stitch, but for the feather stitch, couching and even the buttonhole stitch.  A stitch I may have thought I mastered on Monday, on Wednesday, I find myself going back, watching the video again,  and relearning it.   While I find this disappointing, and of course diagnose myself with early onset Alzeheimers, I think I probably expect too much of myself.  In truth, the areas of the sampler that I complete, and then think, I’m an embroidery super star, really aren’t that big.  It’s not like I did rows and rows of feather stitch before I had to go back and rewatch the video.  I did a little zigzag of it.  Not enough to really etch it in my muscle memory, to the extent, like with knitting, my fingers have a mind of their own.

So here is the bit of buttonhole stitch I did with some variegated thread.  I put it down, and then when I came back to do some more buttonhole stitch, I forgot how to do it.  So, instead I worked on the flower – easy to remember backstitch and satin stitch.  And, I’m sure, once I do a refresh of buttonhole, I’ll get it – again.  And, maybe once I do all of those incomplete rows of buttonhole, it’ll stick and become like habit.

And, here is some elusive feather stitch. Part of the problem with the feather stitch, though, is that there are many variations of feather stitch, and the feather stitch in the Creativebug video isn’t this feather stitch.  So, I found this website, Sarah’s Hand Embroidery Tutorials, and she has a tutorial for every stitch imaginable, I think, so it’s all good.

And, hopefully, I won’t forget everything I learned last night, because I doubt I’ll be picking the sampler up at all this weekend, because this is  wool weekend – Maryland Sheep and Wool.  Tonight, I will pack my big tote bag, charge up my camera battery, figure out what I’m going to wear.  Tomorrow, I will shop, pet sheep, watch sheep dogs, and eat sheep product food at a sheep festival, which always seems wrong to me, but what do I know?  And, hopefully, Sunday I’ll post a video to show you all of my purchases, and maybe a baaaaahhhhhiiiing sheep or two!

Have a great weekend!
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Let the Stitching Begin!

And I’m off!

Actually, any kind of racing analogy is a bad one when you’re talking about embroidery. Embroidery truly is a slow, contemplative exercise, and if it weren’t for the threading of the teeny tiny needle, it would be completely zen-like.

This is the sampler from Creativebug’s beginning embroidery class with Rebecca Ringquist. Rebecca has a new book out, and sells her samplers, both as single purchases and as part of subscription plan, through her Etsy shop, Dropcloth.  Her stitching style is really unique; often, she works on top of vintage embroidery, or her stitches are a combination of different threads and textures. I haven’t fully decided if I actually like her style (although there’s no question I respect it, and I think it’s beautiful, I’m just not sure if that’s how I want mine to look), but the class is great, her instructions are clear, and the sampler is so cute.

So, what brought on this desire to stitch? I don’t know – I’ve done a few minor embroidery projects before – mostly with just backstitch. I took Craftsy’s beginning embroidery class, Design It, Stitch It,  and thought, yeah, that looks like something I could wrap my head around, and I put it on the back burner. When I saw Rebecca’s book on the shelf last week, I decided to take the plunge. So, yesterday, on my lunch hour, I stopped by Rittenhouse Needlepoint to pick up some embroidery needles, and of course, I couldn’t resist a good sale. They had the above lovely little kit of perle cotton from Finca on sale for half price. Sold! Unfortunately, I was so mesmerized by its prettiness, I decided to ignore that it really was the wrong weight. Rebecca recommends a size 8 thread (it generally comes in size 3-8, with 8 being the thinnest), and Rittenhouse Needlepoint, which specializes obviously in needlepoint and cross stitch, only carries 5’s. I figured, well, since Rebecca doubles her 8, that’ll be like a single 5. Which it probably is when you’re stitching through the fabric, but not when you’re threading the needle. Getting that five through the little embroidery eye – oy! #needabetterbifocal!

And so far, that really has been the hardest part, threading the needle. I have some cheap embroidery floss (although, there really is no such thing as “expensive” thread when you compare it to buying yarn for a major knitting or crochet project) that I bought at Michael’s awhile back, and I may introduce some to the project because I really want to learn the stitches, not give myself apoplexy trying to thread the needle. Rittenhouse Needlepoint does carry DMC Embroidery Floss at .85 a pop, so if I get through this sampler, and move on to the advanced sampler, that’ll be the plan.

In the meantime, I’ve added a few stitches to my aresenal (again, war and ammunition is a bad analogy – it’s so peaceful) – running stitch, filled running stitch, and couching. I really love the look of couching. Rebecca recommends using a thicker yarn for these weaving stitches – the filled running stitching and the couching stitch – and even suggests fingering weight sock yarn – so that could be a possibility for some future project. I do have all of my Koigu mill ends stashed away somewhere.

So, that’s all for now! I’m going to try to record a video tomorrow to post on Wednesday – hopefully my new mic will come, I know it’s shipped. I have some sewing to do this weekend, as well. And, the third, and penultimate clue to Earth comes up sometime today – so I’ll have a busy crafty weekend, and I hope you do to.

But, there’s still Friday to get through, and I’m off to county prison!

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