Saturday, December 14, 2013

Something Christmassy

Hi there.  Sorry I haven't brought you a weekly new stitch but I have been very busy making Christmas cards, sewing and also finishing off my handmade Christmas wreath

I would like to share with you a couple of photos.  It isn't really a tutorial, as such, but any sewists out there would be able to work it out quite easily with just a couple of my photos to go by.

First thing, buy yourself a polyfoam wreath.  I bought mine from Riot and Craft here in Australia, but I am sure you could find one at any Spotlight or craft store in your country.

The idea here was to use up all my old Christmas fabrics from past years that I no longer wanted to use in any of my quilting projects.
I had 60 cm of this fabric in my stash.   I ripped it into 2 1/2 " strips and then began from the back of the wreath, glueing and wrapping, glueing and wrapping.  Slightly overlap each wrap of the fabric.

Next thing is to make lots and lots of fabric yo yos...I made 20 large and 20 small yo yos to place on this wreath.  Once again, lots of old fabrics from my stash.   I also purchased some very long pins.  And it is as simple as that.  Just overlap and pin through the centre of each double yo yo.  And Voila, one finished Christmas Wreath.   Oh and do remember to tie a pretty ribbon on it or string so that you can hang it on your front door.


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Long and short stitch

Long and Short stitch is perfect for when you need to fill in, say, large petals on a rose, carnation etc.    The idea is to fill it in with long and short stitches instead of just very long satin stitches because that can end up looking very messy.

Just to give you an idea, I have drawn a little outline.  Now technically, because we are lefties, we are supposed to work from right to left.  After trying this though, I found it very uncomfortable for me.  Therefore, I have worked this Left to Right.
The first stitch on the left needs to be a long stitch followed by a short stitch.  Come up from underneath your work, back down at the top line of stitching and then up again, very close to your first stitch, but this time making a short stitch.


Continue working to your right, alternating long and short stitches.


Once you have completed the first line, you start inserting stitches of the same length underneath the short stitches only.  I have done this line in a slightly different shade of green so that you can see what I mean.

Continue in this way until your shape is completely filled.   After the first couple of lines, it may look nicer to make stitches different lengths so that it doesn't get a bit of a rigid look to it.
I am endeavouring to perfect this stitch myself, as I have found that my finished leaves/petals leave alot to be desired.  Once I finally develop one I am happy with, I will post an extra picture in this post for you.   In the meantime, feel free to google away images for long and short stitch.   Although I have found pictures classed as 'free' images, I am yet to believe that is so and do not wish to step on anyones toes by posting a perfect picture of someone else's work here for you to view...   Have fun searching...there a lots of beautiful images out there and also pinterest is a wonderful source of images as well.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lazy Daisy Stitch

 I have been so waiting to get up to this lovely stitch to share with you.....I think I am nearly half way through the Alphabet.
The Lazy Daisy stitch is so simple and yet so effective and versatile.  You can use it to make flowers, leaves, adornments to just about any line of stitching you use.

There are not many steps to making your stitch.  First bring your needle through from the back of your work, then make a small loop with your thread and insert needle down and up so that it catches your loop with it. 

Then push your needle just down the other side of the top of your loop and voila you have your first little leaf/petal shape.

Continue around to the left in order to make your next loop.

I have made just a four shaped flower, but daisies tend to look much better with five loops.
I then added a little French knot in the centre to finish it off.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Darning using your Sewing Machine

Darning is easy, using your sewing machine.   Most sewing machines these days have a darning stitch and with the correct machine foot (in my case, the buttonhole foot is used) you can mend your items very quickly.

I have a Janome 4800.  It comes with a multitude of stitches and ofcourse one of them is the darning stitch.

A pair of my well loved and well worn flannel pyjamas have frayed underneath the buttons.   After removing the button, you can then easily mend it and then re attach your button.

The above is a picture of the buttonhole foot which doubles as your darning foot.

Above is a picture from my instruction book that comes with my machine.   As you can see by following the numbers, the first part of the stitch is done vertically as per 2, 3 and 4 .  The machine has this  programmed in, so it is just a matter of letting the machine do the work.

Once the first part is completed, the machine stops and repositions to do the horizontal part of the darning.  Easy peasy. :)

The above picture show my poor frayed pyjama top.

This is how my darning stitch looks.  Not entirely happy, as it didn't completely cover the complete fray.   Absolutely nothing to worry about though, as you simply repeat the programmed stitch over the top of this.  Repeating the process only makes the stitch firmer and more likely to hold the button in place for many more wears.

I hope this little tutorial has been helpful.
What to do if you don't have an in built stitch:  
The beauty of your sewing machine is that you could even accomplish the darning stitch, even if yours does not have the stitch programmed in to it.
You could simply do it using your normal stitch and slowly going up and back in a vertical motion and then turn your piece sideways to take care of the stitches that go horizontally.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Holbein Stitch

 Hello one and all.   Well, today, I was going to introduce you to the Holbein stitch..but alas, the work I put into the stitch last night and the photos I took of said work ended up looking absolutely atrocious.   So, consequently, I am starting the post on this stitch without the pictures.   I didn't want to let you think I had forgotten to blog this week.
I will try my hardest to do a much better job on the stitches and pictures tonight and upload them for you tomorrow afternoon.

Meanwhile, I have decided to add a little tutorial this week also on Darning (with your sewing machine).   I don't know about you, but I have a favourite pair of pyjamas.   They have been worn to death...I Love my flannel pjs.   Anyway, the fabric under the buttons has decided to fray.  I thought it an ideal opportunity to show how easily these sorts of problems can be mended with your sewing machine.   My Janome 4800 has a darning stitch.  So I thought I would bring you a little photo tutorial with this machine.

So, I hope you will look forward to both of the posts over the next week   :)

xxx   Vicki here are the added pictures of the Holbein Stitch. 
|First, add a small pencil drawing to your work.

This particular stitch we work from left to right.  Start at the end of your first horizontal line and make the first vertical stitch.

Continue with the vertical lines in the pattern working to the right.


Now work the horizontal lines back towards the left.

And voila, the finished pattern.    You can make as many repeats of these as you like to fill in your stitched piece and you can make them as big or small as you like.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Herringbone Stitch

This next stitch is the Herringbone stitch.   Remember, us lefties
work our stitches from right to left  :)      Now if you follow my steps as in the photos, you bring your thread up from underneath, move to the left and up to where you want the top of the next stitch to be.  Insert needle from left to right as in this photo.
Pull your needle through and then take your needle and thread down to the left and insert left to right even with the base of the first stitch.
Once you have done a few stitches as evenly as possible (which in my case was not easy) you will have created a nice little herringbone pattern as in the next photo.

The next couple of photos will show you how I have added the herringbone stitch to our little crazy patch block.  I have also added a contrasting vertical stitch just to add another bit of interest to the stitch.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jane Austen Bonnet quilt again

Well, finally.   I am so excited to say that I have managed to get one complete panel of my Jane Austen Bonnet quilt together.  To be honest, I never thought I would see the day.   I know, still so much more to do yet.   Now, though, there is light at the end of the tunnel.   Only three more panels to piece and then join the whole lot together. Yay!

My little phone does not take the best pictures and even with a little editing I still have not been able to get the beautiful warm browns in the fabric to show or the yellowy beige of the embroideries to look as they do in real life.   Hopefully, once I have it all together, someone might be able to take a true picture of it for me.

I thought I would just add my progress into this last post.    Finally all 20 blocks stitched together.
Next job is to attach a black 1/4" border and a 2"cream border.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

French Knot

The French knot is so much fun and so easy to do.   I love this little stitch so much.   It is also the main stitch used in candlewick embroidery (which is usually done all in one colour) and it is usually cream candlewick cotton that is used.   I have done candlewick embroidery and just love it.   I made a huge candlewick piggy of all things...must add a photo of him some time for you all to see.

Anyway, here are the instructions for the French Knot.

First things first.   Bring your thread up from underneath your work and wrap your cotton around your needle two, three or even four times, depending on what size French knot you would like to end up with.

The next step is to gently tighten the loops together and place your needle almost straight down into the spot your thread came up from.

Gently hold in place and voila your finished French Knot.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Fly Stitch

This little stitch is known as the fly stitch.   It is such a versatile little stitch.   It can be made as lots of separate little stitches or combined to make trailing vines or beautiful leaves in any way shape or form that you desire.

It is one that you can experiment with endlessly to get different designs.  I am just showing you a couple of ways today


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fishbone Stitch

This stitch is known as the Fishbone stitch. 

The first thing you need to do is draw a picture of your leaf shape.  I just used a very light grey lead.
First insert your thread slightly down from the top of the leaf on the middle line.  Then bring it back down at the top.   All of the following stitches are done on an angle either right of this or left.

You then bring your thread up to the right and top line of your leaf pattern, down again just below your vertical stitch and then up to the left of this stitch.

Continue in this way swinging from right to left to form your side stitches.

Gradually you will fill in all the leaf with vertical lines.

Your leaf should end up looking something like this.
This is called an open fishbone stitch.    I think it looks nice this way if you are trying to get a bit of a palm leaf look

Or you could do the stitches very close together to form and almost satin stitch, completely filled in leaf.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Taking a mini break for Three Weeks

Just a little post to let you all know that I am having a mini holiday away.

You will be seeing lots of new left handed embroidery stitches once I am back  :)

Be kind to each other,  Love Vicki  xx

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fern Stitch

Here is another lovely stitch for the letter F this week.  :)
The beautiful Fern Stitch.   I have decided since my drawing is in no way showing any improvement whatsoever, that I will just show the method of stitching without my ghastly attempts at drawing.  I am sure you will be able to follow without them.

Step One:

Draw thread up from under your work and insert needle to the left of this point.  Then bring the needle back up as close as possible to the beginning point.

Next bring your needle up and on a slight diagonal down and up again at the original point.

Then bring your needle up again on the slight diagonal from under the first stitch and down and up again in line with the first straight stitch.

As you can see from this next picture, you have now created another almost straight line stitch and then follow the same method for the diagonal stitches that form the fronds coming from the stem.

Continue in this method until you have the desired length Fern created.