Norma's Needleworkz

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Portuguese Stem Stitch & more

TAST week 34 .... where has this year gone! Here again is a new stitch for me and once I figured out what I was doing wrong it was easy to do. How can anyone go wrong on this easy stitch? Well, leave it to me to find a way LOL This week my sample is worked on 14ct Aida and I used two weights of DMC perle cotton. On the far left I used a deep red #3 and the bottom half of the stitch is done incorrectly BUT I like the result very much. It has the look of braided rope ... the kind my sons used when camping as Boy Scouts. The upper half also has a nice rugged texture but tighter. With the turquoise #5 I worked in 3 sets of 2 stitches over a wider spacing and then 3 sets of 2 stitches over a narrower spacing as with the deep red; then I tried again with the turquoise what I had attempted with the deep red only stitching correctly this time. My last try with this stitch (at this time) is to attempt curves such as may be found in forming leaves. I need to practice this stitch more but it was an enjoyable one.

I joined another Yahoo group this week .... this time a tatting group. Tatting is a technique that I have enjoyed for many years but while searching out what the web had to offer in the way of patterns I came across several terms that I was unfamiliar with soooooo sought out a group of kindred minds. After a couple of days with the HBT (Here-Be-Tatters) group I decided to sign up for their 25 Motif Challenge. This means that over the next year I need to make 25 different motifs which can include jewelry, laces, critters or anything else ...... they don't all have to be like the wreathe/snowflake that I did for my 1st Motif.
Yes, I know there is a piece of lace showing, but that was done last week, before I knew about the HBT group so it can't really count ..... at least I don't think it can. These were tatted with Finca #16 perle cotton by Prevencia ..... one of my favorite threads not only for tatting but for cq seam treatments. Both the lace and the motif are two of my favorite "quickie" tatting patterns. During this challenge year of tatting I will be using threads new to me and in fact there were several mentioned on the HBT site that I am unfamiliar with and may get to try some of them. I will be working some favorite patterns as well as trying some new patterns especially those with the "unfamiliar" terms that caused me to join the group in the first place.

Someone new on one of my lists was asking about the Sunbonnet Sue 'sane' quilt pattern so I decided to post a couple of pictures of the top I made for one of my granddaughters. As a child my favorite quilt was a Sunbonnet Sue made for me by my grandaunt (my grandmother's sister). I especially liked to snuggle up with it when I was sick. The granddaughter I started this for just headed off to college last week and I started this when she was much younger. The actual pattern was traced off the original quilt and I decided to do something different. The first thing I did was applique the girls onto a much larger square. Then I added some simple embroidery flowers ..... remember this was some few years back and I was not into crazy quilting. The next thing I did was alternate the direction of the girls. On the original quilt one row of girls faced right and the next row faced left. Each of the rows I did have a left-right, left-right facing. I have the same number of squares as the original which was made for a single bed thus the background squares, which were muslin, and the narrow sashing (which was blue) are much smaller than what I've used. My background squares are a soft pink with pink baby gingham as sashing and solid pink set-in squares. The backing will be the baby pink gingham. I wanted lots of space for fancy quilting so I made my squares 17" (which finish 16 1/2")

This is a close-up of one of the "Sue's". It doesn't show up here but there is a lazy-daisy stitch flower as well as a row of cross-stitches on each bonnet. The flowers were all done free-hand and I used only lazy-daisy and outline stitches. Like I said, this was before I became addicted to crazy quilting.

On another of my groups someone mentioned that Karen in Ohio did beautiful dried flower greeting cards and so I thought I'd share the very precious one I received from her three months ago at the death of my hubby. I call it "my comfort card". I also received "comfort hearts" from many of my stitching sisters in the COH (ChainsOfHearts) group that helped me through those first very numbing weeks. Right now the hearts and card are in a binder where I look at them often as well as show them to others.

This has been and is continuing to be a year of "firsts" for me. First of all I signed up to do Sharon B.'s TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) Challenge, then came the hardest first .... hubby's death .... and a month later getting through birthdays - his and mine. But last night was a very pleasant "first". Several weeks ago a member of one of the orginazations my hubby belonged to called and invited me to dinner and a play (the lodge does the dinner/theater each year at no cost to individuals). I said yes. My hubby was a 32 degree Mason and a Moose Lodge member and one of the mandates of these orginizations is to "watch over the poor, the widows and the orphans".

Mind you, I have never in my life attended a live theater production (although I participated in one my senior year in high school). The evening began when I left home about 4:45pm and arrived at the Moose Lodge. I did not know a soul there but sat at a table of very nice and friendly ladies several of whom invited me to join the women's orginization (which I declined as graciously as I could). We had a nice buffet and then prepared to travel out of town to the Attic Productions theater located about 45 min. away. The theater seats about 450 and it was a full house. You see here the program and my ticket stub. A very, very enjoyable musical in two acts entitled From Sea to Shining Sea written and performed by local talent. It was a historical play covering the founding of Jamestown, Virginia (400 years ago), the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the role that Fincastle played in the history of Virginia. The Lodge provided van transportation for our excursion and I arrived safely back home a little before midnight. A very good time was had by all.


At 8/26/2007 06:29:00 PM, Blogger Susan said...

1. Your TAST looks good. I did mine wrong, too, but liked the beaded look it had. I'll have to practice more the right way, with bigger thread.
2. Is the tatting thread variegated? The picots on the outside look slightly green, which could be the background fabric. It looks very pretty! Needle or shuttle?
3. I love your SBS. It's always been one of my favorite patterns.
4. Karen's card is beautiful. It makes me want to go drag my flower drier back out of storage!
5. My family were Masons, also, as were Paul's. In our generation, we haven't been active, and I've regretted that. I have his grandfather's belt from when he was - Grand Master? I think that's what his grandmother told me. My mother was active, but she died when I was 9, so I never was involved. I'm so glad you had a good time! Live theater is very different from going to the movies!

At 8/26/2007 09:00:00 PM, Blogger crazyQstitcher said...

Norma your Portugese stem stitch is good, though the pic is a little blurry to me. Your tatting is beautiful and your theatre night sounds so good. I have seen that title somewhere, recently.
Karen's card is lovely. She is very artistic.

At 8/27/2007 05:48:00 AM, Blogger Charlene said...

Your tatting is SO pretty. The 25 challenge is a fun one that I think you'll enjoy. Isn't it fun to find new patterns and threads to try out?

Your evening out sounds like loads of fun, too. I'm glad you decided to go and had a good time. Did you feel like Cinderella? ;-)


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