Stitchers Templates for crazy quilters

using Sharon B's CQ StencilsMy templates for crazy quilters are designed with other stitchers in mind. I aim to help you take your stitching to the next level.  With my templates you are able to create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish your seams and decorate you crazy quilt patches with flair.

These templates are easy to use, made of clear plastic so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box. To use them position the template in place and, holding it firmly with one hand, so that it does not shift, use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template to create a pattern. You can stitch along this line to decorate the seam.

using my Crazy Quilt Templates set 2

There are also a number of different curved lines that allow you to create many organic type hand embroidery designs. They are ideal for floral sprays. The curved lines can also be used them to create frames and other types of flourishes on your work.

Templates fro crazy quilters ebook pageTo  show how each set of  templates could be used, I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set. Using the shapes found on the edge of each stencil you can create numerous seam embellishments.

TO ORDER your Crazy Quilt Templates

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 
Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 

dove from Crazy Quilt Templates set 2

Take a Stitch Tuesday Stitch 73

Algerian Eye stitch sample of patterns 1

This week Take a Stitch Tuesday Stitch 73 is Algerian Eye Stitch. Although this stitch is mainly used in evenweave embroidery techniques such as  canvas work, pulled work embroidery and forms of counted thread work because it is so simple you can be very creative with it. If you apply the star shape to free form embroidery you can add beads or simply scatter them across an area. Or you can build up patterns and designs its up to you. You will find a tutorial for Algerian Eye Stitch in my stitch dictionary and it is not difficult so enjoy experimenting
TAST2012logo

How to join in on the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge

If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitches. If you are an experienced embroiderer push these stitches in creative manner and share with beginners what can be done with a little imagination.

Where to share

Stitch a sample, photograph it, put in online on your blog, flickr site, share it on Facebook or where ever you hang out online, and leave a comment on the Algerian Eye Stitch  page with your full web address. Don’t forget the http bit of the web address so that your address becomes a live link so that people can visit your site and see what you have done.

Feel free to join the  TAST facebook group and leave your photo there.  For Flickr people the group is Take a Stitch Tuesday. Hashtags are #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on places like Instagram etc.

If you need more information the challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.

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Daily Stitch Challenge Part 1

This year the idea of stitching a little every day is very popular. The little but often philosophy is one of the reasons I have managed to stitch so much over the years. I decided to join in on a few of stitchers challenges on Facebook and I have been asked how I build up these complex textured areas.  I thought I would share what I am doing and describe what I am doing in my daily stitch challenge.

I have linked to resources and tutorials on how to do various stitches mentioned in the article and described my design process. Hopefully people will find it useful.

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 1

This piece I started the first week in January. I chose some cheap tea towel linen which had been hand dyed. It was nothing special just a scrap from my stash.

Daily Stitch Challenge 1I started with three flat disk beads discovered at a craft fair a few years ago. They  are glass and about two centimetres or three quarters of an inch across. A hole runs through them so they were easy to stitch on.

Daily Stitch Challenge threadsI liked the colours in them so, using those colours as inspiration I selected a bunch of threads and put them in a project box.

Tip! The first thing I do with any project is to gather together what I need for the project.I am not use likely all these threads, but I sort them like this so they are to handy to choose from. I don’t want to sit down to stitch and think to myself  “I could do with some of that colour or this colour” then have to get up and go find it. If I only have 15 minutes to stitch, I want to stitch, not spend that time rummaging about in my thread boxes looking for something I vaguely remember having. At the same time I select beads, ribbons, lace or anything else I am likely to need for the project. I keep it all together in the same project box and it all stays there until the project is done.

Daily Stitch Challenge 3I wanted this piece to be freeform and spontaneous. By that I mean I did not want to do much pre-planing or start with a definite design. When I do this I usually jump in but  as the piece progresses I respond to what is happening with what I call my design tools. In other words, to stop something becoming a hodge podge mess of stitches I use design principals to pull the piece together. At the start I don’t know what will happen but as I work a bit like Jazz, I respond to what is happening. It is always fun and always a challenge.   I had to start somewhere so I stitched on a bead and added 4 bullion stitches.

Daily Stitch Challenge progress 4Next added the other 2 flat beads and then couched down some thin ribbon which was hand dyed and had a metallic edge. I wanted to establish a freeform line across the work. Next I used bugle beads to secure it further. The big bobble stitches are French knots worked in the same ribbon. I threaded the ribbon in a chenille needle and worked the french knot slightly loose so you could see the glint of the metallic edge.

Daily Stitch Challenge progress 5I liked the effect of the stitch ribbon so I added more stitches. At this point in the stitching process I had no idea what would happen. I had a colour scheme inspired by the beads and was just going for it. In other words I still had no plan for the piece

Daily Stitch Challenge progress6The ribbon was then secured even further with more bugle beads and French knots. To the piece itself I added buttonhole wheels and bullion knots using a hand dyed silk thread that is the thickness of cotton perle #8. A thicker silk thread of purplish tones was used to work detached oyster stitches. Since the thread is thick like 6 strands of cotton floss it stitched up nice and bulky.

Daily Stitch Challenge progress 6I then added some chain stitches in hand dyed cotton silk and some whipped  wheels worked using a hand dyed cotton perle #5.

Daily Stitch Challenge progress 7By this stage I decided it needed some focus and I had decided it would be the header piece for my band sampler this year. (Incase readers are not aware of my nearly 100 ft band sampler you can read about it here) So I wanted to date it. On the computer after I choose a font I liked, and in Photoshop tinkered around with a very simple layout, I printed out the date.

Daily Stitch Challenge progress 8I took the fabric off the hoop. I taped the printout to a window and then taped the fabric in position over the top of it. I used a pen with permanent ink to trace the numbers. Since this line will be covered I was not worried about using a permanent pen. A dissolvable pen will often disappear before the project is done and since this project will take while to stitch, I chose a permanent ink pen.

As you can see I kept it simple. I have found that keeping processes simple means I get things done. I don’t over complicate something as that complication, can become a stall point.

Daily Stitch Challenge progress 9I returned the fabric to the hoop and continued stitching adding more chain stitches, oyster stitches, buttonhole wheels, bullion knots, French knots, and Whipped wheel.

Daily Stitch Challenge progress 11Next I moved the piece off the hoop on to my Grip-n-Stitch frame as I wanted to add more beads. The beads I added are little brass disks. I am not sure where I got them – they are either jewellery findings used as spacers for necklaces or I found them in a hardware store. They are brass, they shine, they have a hole, I can stitch them on to fabric, so I did.  (Shrugs shoulders and grins)  I scattered these vertically across the piece and stitched them down. Around the large disk like beads that I started the piece with, I added whipped spoke stitch using a hand dyed cotton perle #5 thread.

Daily Stitch Challenge progress 10At this stage I decided I needed to pull this piece together. The freeform stitchery needed to be unified. I added more of the brass rings so there was a sense of visual repetition. Vertically down the left hand side I added buttonhole wheels, bullion knots and cast on stitches using a hand dyed perle #5 thread.

I used the same thread so that it would become a freeform textured band on the right hand side. That side is not finished yet but I am aiming for a textured edge that looks organic and freeform but actually acts to define the edge of the piece. It wont be obvious or a hard definite border but that is the visual role it will play.

Daily Stitch Challenge progress 13As I worked the design coalesced more in my mind. I plan to work both sides of the piece in similar colours and repeat stitches so the eye starts to read them as a line or border. Sprinkled in between will be various stitches that break it a little but not so much that they destroy the sense of a line. The plan is for stitching will go right to the edge and be highly textured but freeform and organic. It’s a bit of a balance between chaos and an underlying sense of order. The date 2017 will remain voided

I think it will be interesting to see how this turns out and it is certainly fun to stitch. I have designed it on the fly and enjoyed the approach. I hope you have enjoyed reading  Daily Stitch Challenge Part 1. Next month I will share it again so you can see how it turns out.

The two challenges I am following are “A Year in Stitches” run by Susan Sorrell and “Just One Stitch” run by Deena Beverley. Both Facebook groups encourage stitching daily for a year.The hash tags for these challenges are #ayearinstitches and #justonestitch.

If you are embarking upon any of these challenges don’t forget that my Stitch Dictionary of hand embroidery stitches is free online and hopefully many of the samples will give you some ideas of how to use a stitch in your own stitching adventures.

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Have you seen my Crazy quilters templates?

As a stitcher who loves crazy quilting I designed these templates with other crazy quilters in mind. With my Crazy Quilters Templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to embroider on your stitching and crazy quilting projects. They are easy to use, totally clear so you can position them easily and they are compact in your sewing box.

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 

Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 

TAST Stitch 72

The stitch I propose for TAST Stitch 72 is known as Basque Stitch which is also known as twisted daisy border stitch. It is a sort of twisted chain stitch worked in line or circle a bit like a buttonhole stitch. You will find a tutorial for Basque Stitch here.

TAST Stitch 72 Traditional Spanish embroidered costume 1Basque stitch is known by that name because it is found on old embroideries from the Basque area of northern Spain.  Not that Basque stitch is confined to the one area, as you will also find it used on embroidery from Portugal and southern France.

As regular readers know in second half of 2016 I walked the Camino de Santiago across Spain. The route we walked passed through Basque country. One of the treasures of my camino was to encounter a local fiesta purely by chance. This fiesta was a local event, not something put on for tourists or bus tours as bus tours did not go through this village. This crowd had just tumbled out of the church and everyone was so busy talking to each other they did not notice us walking by.

Traditional Spanish embroidered costumeWhat I noticed is that many of the women of all ages still wore traditional costume and much of it was still done by hand. I could see that this was changing as some of the women had purchased machine embroidered or Chinese embroidered shawls but there were still traditional hand embroidered pieces also to be seen. This gave the fiesta a feeling of lived culture rather than a cultural display because of tourists. Anyway I thought I would share these photos taken by Jerry of The Fogwatch so that readers could see how in parts of the world embroidery is still very much alive and costumes such as these are worn on special day.

Ok back to TAST Stitch 72! Basque stitch creates a line of twisted loops which looks good on a curved line. Once you get the hang of the rhythm it is fun. I hope you enjoy learning it. As usual the tutorial for  Basque stitch can be found here.

TAST2012logoHow to join in on the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge TAST Stitch 72

All stitchers a free to join the challenge and all levels of skill are welcome. If you are new to hand embroidery the challenge is to learn the stitch. If you are an experienced embroiderer push these stitches in creative manner and share with beginners so they can see what can be done with a little imagination.

Where to share

Stitch a sample, photograph it, put in online on your blog, or share it on Facebook, Instagram etc or where ever you hang out online, and leave a comment on the Basque Stitch page with a link so people can come and see what you have done.

Feel free to join the  TAST facebook group and leave your photo there.  For Flickr people the group is Take a Stitch Tuesday. Hashtags are #TASTembroidery and #PintangleTAST on places like Instagram etc.

If you need more information the challenge guidelines are on the TAST FAQ page.

a tangle of pinsFollow Pintangle and have it delivered to your inbox

You can have Pintangle delivered to your inbox by using the follow feature in the sidebar. Just enter your email address, and when you get the confirmation email make sure you say yes and you are all set!
If you are on a mobile or tablet you will need to scroll to the bottom to find the follow feature.