Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2

Last month I shared with readers how I had been doing a daily stitch challenge. I have been having a ball working a piece that is heavily textured with embroidery and beads. This year these challenges are all over Facebook and as you can see I have been having fun with them. I have shared details about the two I am doing at the end of this article.

Daily Stitch Challenge progress 13When I left off last month I had explained how apart from selecting a colour scheme my aim was to commence in freeform manner and respond to the stitching as go designing on the fly. When I do this type of embroidery in order to prevent the project becoming a hodge podge of stitches and visual mess, as some stage in the process I pull out what I call my design tools and using my knowledge of design I respond to what I have just stitched. I compare it to Jazz. This technique is an improvisational process.

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2-17In last months article I had explained how I started embroidery, then decided it would be the header piece for my sampler this year. New readers to this site may want to check out my nearly 100 ft band sampler which you can read about here. I had two issues to deal with. The wall of stitching needed a bit of visual break and I needed a point of focus. The date, which consists of voided numbers solve both these issues.

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2-16A third issue was also developing and that was that the viewers eye got stuck on the textured stitches rather than traveling around the piece so I needed to provide a path for people to travel along. For those non-design folks this is not a literal path but the path the eye takes as it looks at the piece. I did not want to turn this into an exercise in composition but I did want to have the viewers eye move around a bit. So this past month has been working on subtle almost subconscious paths in the piece.

There are three main vertical lines that run down the piece. The first I had started last month when I created a scattered line of brass beads. These are actually little brass disks that are used as spacers in necklaces. (I am pretty sure that is what they are)

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2 left sideDown the left side of the piece I worked a number of buttonhole wheels, cast on stitches and french knots. The main thread I used is a hand dyed cotton perle #5 thread. Since the same stitches worked in the same thread are repeated along the edge they form an informal line or boundary to the side of the piece. They are still freeform but at almost a subconscious level the viewer reads a line.

On the right side of the piece I used once again I used the design device of repetition. This time the stitches I repeated are whipped wheels French knots, Bullion knots and a scattering of small blue bugle beads. Basically I have been working on these three ‘invisible’ lines that run down the piece.

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2 right side

So now its time for the great reveal – this is what I call the header for the year (on my band sampler) ended up looking like.

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2 done

And here for readers enjoyment some eye candy in the form of detail so you can see how closely packed the stitches and beading is.

Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2 detail

Stitches used

The rest of the time has been spent packing the spaces with stitchery. So far in this piece I have used chain stitch, oyster stitch, buttonhole wheels, cast on stitch, bullion knots, French knots, a whipped spoke stitch, and whipped wheel.

Threads used

Threads used are hand dyed cotton perle #5 and #8, stranded cotton floss of 3 strands, hand dyed silk thread that is the thickness of cotton perle #5 and #8. Also I used a thicker silk thread which is thick like 6 strands of cotton floss and some rayon ribbon floss

Designing on the fly is certainly a fun way to stitch. I hope you have enjoyed reading this Daily Stitch Challenge Part 2.

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 

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.

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.

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 

A second abstract floral hand embroidery pattern

Free hand embroidery pattern from Pintangle.comThe embroidery pattern I am sharing today matches or rhymes with the pattern I shared last month. If you ever want to browse what I have shared in the past in the way of freebies take a look at the Free patterns category.

Designs like this are ideal to use on a crazy quilt block but if you are someone who is interested in hand embroidery this type of pattern work well on most small items. You can use it on things like small gift bags, a sewing caddy, needlebook, book cover, purse or bag.

For this pattern I would choose a thread with a firm twist such as cotton perle #8 or #5.

This design could be worked using surface embroidery stitches using back stitch,  chain stitch, whipped chain stitch or  stem stitch. The flowers could be worked by simply outlining them or you could fill them with satin stitch or outline satin stitch. For the little abstract lines that stick out from the flowers you could use straight stitch and bead or French knot or work them in pistil stitch.

If you need to know how I would transfer this pattern to fabric, I have a tutorial on how to transfer embroidery designs to fabric.

How ever you adapt the pattern I hope you enjoy stitching it.

Follow the links to tutorials if you need a refresher on how to work the stitches.  Clicking  on the image will take you to  a larger version. Save to your computer by right clicking on the image and choosing to save.

This pattern is for non commercial use and I ask please if you share link back to Pintangle.

Follow 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.