Mini Challenge details

Block 73Last week I asked readers, who was interested in a mini challenge to create a hussif and many people responded to say they wanted to  join in. Today I will answer some readers questions that arose through the week.

What is a hussif? 

A hussif is a sewing roll or sewing kit or caddy but I gave a more detailed answer here 

Will I be providing pattern?

No, the idea is that people design their own hussif that is the challenge! If you do a google image search with the words hussif, or sewing caddy, or sewing roll you will see lots of hussifs and get lots of ideas.

If you lay all your hand sewing equipment out and think of how they might be contained and what shape pockets they need to live in you will soon have a hussif designed. Perhaps readers have tips and advice. If you do leave a comment or if you have written about it on a blog leave your link in the comments as people are turning over ideas as to how they are going to make their hussif.

Can the hussif be in any embroidery style?

Yes any style is acceptable.  Choose a style you like. I am going to make mine of crazy quilting as it is something I have always wanted to do. Make your hussif the hussif you have always wanted to own!

I am a beginner do you think I will be able to join in?

Yes a hussif is an ideal thing to start designing or to use with any embroidery technique, as a hussif can be a made as a roll and be as simple or as complex as your sewing skills can meet.

If you are a new hand dont forget to check out the resources on Pintangle. I have a full list of tutorials and resources and  there is  a  tutorial on how to work decorative crazy quilt seams

For new hands there are 12 Surface Stitches for Beginners (This is a direct PDF download You need Acrobat reader to read it) Also there is my Stitch Dictionary 

How will the challenge run?

It will run the same way I run TAST and WIP Wednesdays.

Every week post on a blog or flickr your progress even if you have worked only a little. Then comeback here and tell us about it in the comments on the Wednesday post. Also leave a link, if you include the http bit of your web address in the comment it will become a hot link and folks can visit and see what you have done.

When does the challenge start?

Reading the comments from last week people were busy over Easter and are finishing off projects and I think I caught a few off guard in proposing the challenge. So I have set start date as the first of May (simply because it is the first of the month) and with a first ‘report in as being  Wednesday the 7th (so that is 2 weeks away from today)

As a side note this start date means I will cool my heals (which is haaaaaaaaard to do) and be a very good girl (can you hear me carrying on in two year old winging voice) and finnish the last block of my quilt…

What is the deadline?

None it is open ended challenge because I want to aim for quality not speed.

For this project my personal goal as I want to include many techniques I have tried (often on my sampler) but due to time have not used often. One of the things I love about crazy quilting is that you can use all sorts of different stitches and techniques in the one project. I want to develop some more techniques, include some of my all time favourites and include many techniques that I like but often don’t work because they are time consuming. It is easy as teacher to spend a lot of time producing samples for classes, and often these sample illustrate simple techniques for those who are new hands but for this project I am going to indulge myself and work some stitches and techniques that take a little longer. Not all will complex because some of my absolute favourites are simple stitch combinations. Since the idea for the project grew into a stitch along I don’t want to set a deadline as I want to allow time for indulgence.

Crazy quilting International has a hussif challenge this year can I combine the two?

Yes of course! The more you share the more your work is enjoyed. For crazy quilters out there who are not members of the CrazyQuilting International yahoo group you might want to join it is a busy group and best of all free!

If I don’t do a Hussif can I still report on my work in progress? 

Yes this mini challenge is not a replacement for my WIP Wednesdays but an addition. For the next few weeks /months I will be reporting on my hussif. It’s my Work in progress but if you are working on a larger project that is fine. For those folks who want to report on a work in progress do so as per my usual.

Join in and leave a comment

If you have made progress on a stitching project leave a comment with a link to your site. If you have further questions leave a comment and I will answer in the comments.

If you want to know more about Work in Progress Wednesdays visit the FAQ. All my Work in Progress Wednesday reports are under that category.

Break week for TAST stitches

Last week I posted instructions for 2 stitches so its a catch up week this week as if folks get overloaded with stitches to do they  drop away. I don’t want TAST to become a  to do list but rather I hope my readers can use it as than a space for experimentation and creative skill development.

I am opening up this page so that if you have worked a sample from  ANY of the stitches listed on the TAST FAQ page  post a comment below and tell us about it.

Once you have worked a sample,  photograph it and put it online at your blog, flickr etc then swing back to the Last TAST post (you will find it under the category each week)  and leave a comment.

Don’t want to miss our on any of the TAST stitches?

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Who is up for a mini challenge?

As I said last after some products from Colourstreams arrived in the post and I was inspired by the colour scheme, I knew I was going to make something from them rather than just work a few test samples in order to write a review.

I decided to make a hussif and if I am still in the mood I will probably make a work bag to go with it. I am wondering how many of my readers want to make a hussif? One of the challenges this year  on  CrazyQuilting International is a hussif you may want to combine the two challenges.

A reader asked me “What is a hussif?” and on Monday I gave readers a few links to see photos of them but basically they are traditional sewing roll or sewing kit.

I have decided to make a full hussif/sewing caddy/kit for myself. I am not sure if it should have theme. At first I thought I would work a sewing theme, then I thought maybe gardening with lots of spring flowers and creepy crawlies as spiders are supposed to be good luck in a crazy quilt. Then my mind thought about stitching traditions and so my thoughts went, rambling through ideas. I have not made up my mind as to even having a theme but I knew if I dithered about too long the project would not get started at all!

So I went ahead and have pieced it anyway! In all probability I will have a theme around the symbols and motifs to be found in traditional crazy quilting. For instance a spider is good luck and to the Victorians many of the flowers held a message but I am still not totally committed tot that yet.

Hussif pieces 1

Anyway I have pieced a hussif, which will have pockets either side, a pocket for my stencils and another for my embroidery scissors. I will also make a needlebook and an extra pouch that will hold other small items.

Hussif pieces 2
This is my studio journal with a rough sketch and notes about the hussif. I also kept a few samples of fabric that were in the scrap pile. This is more as record of some of the fabrics I used. also you can see that the drawing is a simple almost back of the envelope affair of notes on the layout of the pieces.

Studio journal hussif plansI also want to share the next page which is swatches of the Colourstreams products sent to me. Once I start stitching and actually using them I will let readers know how the threads went. In the meanwhile, I have included the fabrics in the hussif. The silk velvet is particularly nice and I plan to use the sheers in suffolk puff flowers on my hussif.

Studio journal colourstreams

Who want to design their own hussif and share what they make?

A few people in the comments have said they want to make a hussif. Who wants to share the project? Perhaps design your own hussif in any style (it does not have to be crazy quilting) and share what you make. I know it is Easter but after Easter we could have a few weeks devoted to an informal stitch along. I don’t want to set a deadline as I want to try a few ideas and specialty stitches on this project so I dont want to race it. It’s a case of quality and sharing a creative exploration rather than speed. If you want to join in, or have an idea to add please leave a comment and let me know as it could be fun. If people want an official starting date we could make it after Easter when things settle a bit. I have house visitors and I am sure lots of people are busy with family this time of year. For those interested we could report in on Wednesdays as part of the Work in Progress days (For folks that want to work on other stuff for Wednesdays that is fine I am just grouping them together as it is easy for folks to remember) Let me know what you think.

What has happened to the work on my quilt? Is it dangerous getting sidetracked like this? I am one single block off completing it, so I know this project will not become a UFO. If I was 6-10 blocks off completing it would be different because that is the danger zone. It is the time when I am tired of the project but with one more block to go I know I will do it. I cant assemble the quilt until a good few weeks after easter anyway as I need to take over the dining room to do it and I have visitors! So this is a good hand work solution.

Join in Work in Progress Wednesdays and leave a comment

If you have made progress on a stitching project leave a comment with a link to your site. If you include the http bit of your web address in the comment it will become a link and folks can visit and see what you have done.

If you want to know more about Work in Progress Wednesdays visit the FAQ. All my Work in Progress Wednesday reports are under that category.

 

Take a Stitch Tuesday 108 Rice stitch and varieties 109 Square Boss

Rice stitch detailWhen I shared this little detail from my sampler I was asked to include this stitch in TAST. I said I would. It has taken me a month to get to it but here it is, another thing crossed off my stitching to do list! I also have a question for my readers towards the end of the article. I would love to hear your comments  about it.

Sampler detail 158This week the stitch is Rice Stitch and two varieties and a variation called Boss Stitch. This stitch is also known as crossed corners and William and Mary stitch. This is thought of as a canvas stitch, but as you can see it can be worked on aida or linen too. If you want to use it on another type of fabric you can use waste canvas.

Sampler detail 164
At first glance it looks a little boring but it is tremendously versatile. It is known as a canvas stitch background because it can be easily worked and builds up quickly.
Don’t let the fact that it is and canvas stitch put you off however because many of the canvas stitches can be worked on Aida (like the samples illustrated) or any even weave fabric with great effect. If you want to work it on other fabric or over an area of crazy patchwork use Waste Canvas.

How to work Rice Stitch

This is an illustrated step by step on how you work Rice stitch. As you can see it is very simple consisting of a cross stitch foundation with a second layer of diagonal stitches added to each arm of the cross.

Rice stitch illustrated stepsHow to work Variety 1 and 2 of Rice Stitch

I want to share 2 varieties (there are a lot more) As you can see they all have the same structure

Rice stitch V1 illustrated stepsThe first variety is a cross worked over more threads so that the diagonal stitches sit apart slightly.

Rice stitch V2 illustrated stepsThe next variety has 3 diagonal stitches worked across each bar.

Rice stitch sample 2You can really have fun with this stitch particularly if you change threads. You can use one thread or colour for the large cross and another thread of colour for the corner tie downs. Swap between thick and thin, metallic and dull or explore colour combinations. Change the size of your stitches and you can always add beads or French knots to really give the stitch a contrast of texture. It is one of those simple stitches that can produce interesting results.

Rice stitch sample 1??Square Boss Stitch
Square Boss stitch is also known as raised knot stitch. Don’t ask me why as I don’t know. However it is so similar to Rice stitch I have decided to group these two stitches together as many of the experiments you can do with Rice stitch you can also do with Square Boss.

Square Boss Rice stitch illustrated stepsSquare boss starts with a larger cross stitch and the tie stitches are tucked further to the crossed threads in the middle. This means that the pattern established varies from Rice stitch but it is really a variety.

I hope you enjoy experimenting with both these stitches.

I have a question.
Would readers like to see more of the canvas stitches included in TAST? I would still have the surface stitches as I still have lots to share. I also have the silk ribbon stitches, Beaded stitches and pulled and drawn thread stitches I could add. What would people enjoy? A mix of stitches or an emphasis on some styles? This year playing with the beaded stitches has made it more interesting for me, but what about you? If you like the canvas stitches is it better to see them worked in steps in thread, the way I have done or is the traditional diagramming better understood. Another thing I have been wondering about is, when we have varieties like this do readers want more time between the publication of stitches so they can “Keep up”?

I would really like to hear from readers. It does not matter if you stitch every week, pick a stitch occasionally or simply read every week. I would love to hear peoples ideas. Leave a comment as to what you like.

Like it? Join in!

Once you have worked a sample,  photograph it and put it online at your blog, flickr etc then swing back to the Last TAST post (you will find it under the category each week)  and leave a comment. If you are pushed for time and don’t get a chance to do it this week, don’t fret as next week I will also open a post so people can leave their details.

If you want to share the technique with friends do so but please link toPintangle.com

You can also share your explorations on the  Facebook TAST group, and the flickr TAST site. All these sub groups are set up at request of members

Don’t want to miss our on any of the TAST stitches this year?

Subscribe to Pin Tangle by Email and have it delivered to your In Box. Follow the link to sign up. You do NOT have to be stitching along to take advantage of this service.