TAST Interview with Chitra of Jizee6687’s Weblog

profile Image for TAST Interview with ChitraThe next embroiderer I would like to introduce readers to is someone I have been reading for nearly decade. Chitra started her blog Jizee6687’s Weblog in mid 2008. I always assume that people have seen her work only to discover they have not!

Chitra constantly explores stitches and works samplers of the many stitch varieties she can think of, often really pushing a stitch to see what it will do. Her constant dedication to these experiments has always made me feel there is a like minded soul quietly stitching on the other side of the world from me. Those stitching lessons are then applied to practical items,  usually clothing.

Image for TAST Interview with ChitraIndia has a rich textile tradition and Chitra often shares those traditions with us. When you visit her blog don’t forget to read Chitra’s tutorial on Kutchwork. There is also a tutorial on Shisha or Mirrorwork too I love the fact that we can learn a traditional stitch from someone in the culture. Without the internet we could not do that!

Anyway without further fuss Here is the interview with Chitra of Jizee6687’s Weblog

TAST Interview with Chitra of Jizee6687’s Weblog

Image for TAST Interview with ChitraWhy do you like hand embroidery and hand work? How has it influenced your life?

I love colours. Hand embroidery helps in creating pieces with colours. Hand work is not perfect and that makes each piece unique. I work mainly on clothing and sometimes that gives an identity of its own.

How did you start? Were you taught by your mother, school or taught yourself online? If you taught yourself what attracted you to embroidery?

Hand embroidery is considered to be a good hobby in India. It started with my mother, widened in school, grew with help from friends/neighbours, inspired by some experienced teachers and from the onset of internet -Sharon. Still learning.

Do you use TAST to make samplers or incorporate the stitches into projects as you go. Or what sort of projects most attract you?

All TAST stitches are used to make samplers. The stitches are also used on other projects. Functional projects attract me.

Can you talk about your last project and/or your current project?

Currently working on zardosi embroidery on a silk tunic and participating in TAST challenge and a few other stitch challenges and SALs

What is the project you are most proud of?

TAST samplers.

Image for TAST Interview with ChitraDo you have any UFO’s? If so, fess up to how many?

Yes. At least fifteen have been started. Other few need to be just finished up. Too much stash of embroidery threads, notions are also piling up. And many are Unfinished Ideas.

Do you work purchased designs or do you design your own projects? Or do you do both?

I design my projects. Occasionally on kits or designs by others.

Do you have a creative design process? If so what is it? Or do you work intuitively?

It starts with inspiration, mixing up different features, then intuition. Whenever something inspires me, I try to imagine it being worked in a particular colour scheme, type of embroidery, as different functional projects, and start giving it definition.

Image for TAST Interview with ChitraWhat stimulates your creative process? What inspires and sparks ideas for you?

Any particular embroidery or colour or a fabric or a picture or a location or a sewn product or a sculpture or carving are all the sources of my inspiration. I find it easy to work on a precise project. Once the definition is set, I relax, and enjoy working the embroidery.

Lots of people have trouble starting a project. What makes you start a project? Do you have any tips to get you from blank fabric to stitching?

These days the projects are on clothing. It starts with a tunic design or a saree colour or a memory from childhood, an Indian sculpture or painting. Once the idea is well established, it starts becoming a project. Sharon’s online classes are of great help.

Do you have stall points? If so how do you get past them? Do you have any tips to share about this.

My stall points are clouding of ideas. These things halt the ongoing progress sometimes. When that happens, I go back down memory lane, where there were moments of enjoying an art piece, just for its sake and not as something I would like it be. This calms my mind, and then I restart from there.

Do you have ‘go to’ stitches. In other words stitches you use frequently that you return to using over and over. If so what are they and why do you think they are so successful for you.

My focus is basically on Indian embroidery, this aspect makes me do over and over again- kutchwork, mirror work, chains stitch.

Image for TAST Interview with ChitraDo you have a favourite embroidery thread, or something you use all the time? If so what is it?

I use Anchor stranded cotton, because of its accessibility. Sometimes, when there is a chance, a small stash of other threads also are bought. I use them for samplers.

What advice would you give to new hands?

Relax and enjoy working with needles. Easy to say, but it is worth cultivating this habit. Each one of us is different. Our growth shouldn’t depend on other people acceptance.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Hand embroidery being a slow involves enormous amounts of sitting down time. It is better to balance our activities and get more exercise. Neck and hands are vulnerable. Taking care of them is vital.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this TAST Interview. I certainly enjoyed discovering more about Chitra’s approach to embroidery. Pop over to  Jizee6687’s Weblog for a visit as I really enjoyed browsing the samplers on her blog  and selecting images for this article. There are an amazing amount of stitches and varieties on those samples!

This interview is part of series that will run during 2017 as the Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge has been running for a decade. Throughout the year I will interview stitchers about their hand embroidery and feature their work.

Crazy quilt template set 2 Have you seen my Stitchers Templates?

As someone who loves crazy quilting and embroidery I designed these templates with other stitchers in mind. With my templates you can create hundreds of different patterns to apply to 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.

Templates set 1 you will find here 
Templates set 2 you will find here 
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TAST Interview with Queeniepatch of Queenie’s Needlework

image for TAST Interview with Queenie Of Queenie's NeedleworkThis week I would like to introduce you to and other TAST participant Queeniepatch of Queenie’s Needlework. Queenie tells her own story but I wanted to point out that this innovative lady has joined in and revisited the TAST challenge a number of times. I have always enjoyed her Stumpwork ladies and her avatar photo (above) is the image that comes to mind when I think of Queenie and her blog.  Queenie has gone on to create her own Sunday Stitch School. There is a huge thrill for me when I saw this, as for a teacher to see students teaching others is wonderful. This is how hand embroidery will stay alive. Anyway off my soap box and on with the interview!

TAST Interview with Queeniepatch of Queenie’s Needlework

Why do you like hand embroidery and hand work? How has it influenced your life?

Oh, I like the movement of the needle, the touch of fabric and thread, the slow tempo, the fact that you can stitch almost anywhere, in the park or a waiting room as well as at home… I like how the needle leaves a trail of thread in the fabric… I like the 3D image made by knots, loops and couched lines…

From an early age I have had a need to create, and I think needlework satisfies that urge.
I also find it both relaxing and energizing. My days usually contain little ‘me time’ so when I do have some, I will turn to hand embroidery to slow down and charge my batteries at the same time.

How did you start? Were you taught by your mother, school or taught yourself online? If you taught yourself what attracted you to embroidery?

I started by looking, very early in childhood, at the exquisite silk embroidery cushion on Grandmother’s sofa, at my mother and her needlework friends monogramming tea towels, and I wanted to join in. I was shown how to make some simple stitches on waffle cloth.

When formal needlework lessons at school started I was ten, and by then knew the most basic stitches.
The first projects (a luncheon mat and a serviette case) were set for the whole class, but the teacher let me go on and design a tea cosy by myself. It featured a peacock and its open tail feathers were made up of different stitches – a kind of sampler.

image for TAST Interview with Queenie Of Queenie's NeedleworkIn adulthood I have taught myself from books, but when I stumbled on TAST in 2012 I knew it was something much better. This idea of learning a stitch a week, by just adding it to a scribble cloth or building a serious project, blogging about the process and result, sharing it with others online, being free to skip a stitch… I’d say TAST is the best thing that has happened in my needlework life. Thank you Sharon!

Do you use TAST to make samplers or incorporate the stitches into projects as you go. Or what sort of projects most attract you ?

I have made several TAST samplers, as well as a very useful TAST reference chart. Also I often use the stitches to create small greeting cards, add features to stumpwork portraits or when making Swedish wool embroidery clothing.

image for TAST Interview with Queenie Of Queenie's NeedleworkCan you talk about your last project and/or your current project?

The last TAST project was a sampler, called TASTy Tuesday Second Helpings, where I wanted to repeat the stitches I had learned two years earlier and begun to forget.
image for TAST Interview with Queenie Of Queenie's NeedleworkAt the moment I am making a bed size quilt out of thousands of small green triangles, machine stitched over paper.

When TAST came to a halt at the 140th stitch in 2014 and I still wanted to learn more, I decided to make use of my many stitch dictionaries, and pick a stitch a week. By posting the ‘lessons’ and ‘homework’ on my blog as Sunday Stitch School I spur myself on. As there are so many stitches yet to learn, I might never graduate!

What is the project you are most proud of?

Difficult question! I like the Swedish Cushion (TAST sampler) and the Swedish wool embroidery purse as well as some of the stumpwork portraits, an appliqué quilt with bias tape that I embroidered on, some small cards of a dress made of Open Based Picots or the ‘knitted’ cardigan of Magic Chain stitches….

image for TAST Interview with Queenie Of Queenie's NeedleworkDo you have any UFO’s ? If so, fess up to how many?

Believe it or not, at the moment I don’t have any slumbering half finished projects, but I have a dozen new plans (UFP’s?) Among them are a Mola bag, a map of Stockholm quilt, more parts of that Swedish wool embroidery folk costume… I have all the material, just want to finish the Work In Progress first.

Do you work purchased designs or do you design your own projects? Or do you do both?

I have worked a number of kits, mainly in Cross stitch, Canvas and Blackwork. I find it convenient to have everything prepared and it is relaxing for a holiday project. However, I much more enjoy designing my own projects as it satisfies my cravings to create.

Do you have a creative design process? If so what is it? Or do you work intuitively?

image for TAST Interview with Queenie Of Queenie's NeedleworkIt usually starts with an idea and a rough plan, then I make a sketch. That will set me off, but as I move along I often make changes. I have tried several times to make a journal for each project, but find that I give up on it half way through. Instead I try to record the process and progress on my blog.

What stimulates your creative process? What inspires and sparks ideas for you?

The sparks often come from something I see, at an exhibition, on TV, online, or even on a tea cup. I have made two quilts where the inspiration came from the patterns on china.

image for TAST Interview with Queenie Of Queenie's NeedleworkLots of people have trouble starting a project. What makes you start a project? Do you have any tips to get you from blank fabric to stitching?

I start with a sketch, collect the material, mark the fabric and decide on a starting point, pick a stitch and jump in.
Or I start with a stitch I want to try out, then make a sketch of a design where this stitch would look good.
Maybe the best way to go from blank fabric to stitching is to decide where to start, isn’t it like kicking off the bicycle and as it starts rolling you just peddle along?

Do you have stall points? If so how do you get past them? Do you have any tips to share about this.

Nearing the end of a project I do find that my interest and enthusiasm wanes. In the past I tended to shelf projects, but these days I push myself to complete them. I might slow down but have a rule that at least 10 minutes per day must be devoted to that project until it is completed. The satisfaction of having seen it through is so rewarding!

Do you have ‘go to’ stitches. In other words stitches you use frequently that you return to using over and over. If so what are they and why do you think they are so successful for you.

Yes, I do. They are Stem, Chain, Buttonhole and Feather stitch as well as French (or Colonial) knot. I know them well, using them is stitching in autopilot. You could also call them ‘Lego’ building blocks; combined with other stitches they give many possibilities.
However, the TAST samplers and reference chart constantly remind me that I should ‘think before I stitch’ and pick a more unusual stitch instead.

Do you have a favourite embroidery thread, or something you use all the time? If so what is it?

Pearl cotton shows off the stitches well. Stranded floss is found in many shades and the six strands can be divided. I also love the feel of wool.
The beauty of ‘difficult’ threads like chenille, thick cords, metallic has tempted me into buying too much, the challenge is now to find ways to use them.

What advice would you give to new hands?

Join TAST!
or any other online course/stitch-along,
or take part in a beginner’s workshop at a show/shop,
or buy a small kit,
or make a pin cushion, it is small, easy to assemble and gives instant results

For free style embroidery, get a boldly printed fabric and stitch along the lines.
For counted work, start with Aida fabric where the grid will help you find the right holes and spacing.

image for TAST Interview with Queenie Of Queenie's NeedleworkIs there anything else you would like to add?

In the past, and in school education, a PERFECT result was the goal. In today’s needlework and fibre art, it is more important to ENJOY stitching and embrace the FREEDOM of expression.
Give needlework a try, and if you feel it is not for you, don’t be afraid to walk away with your head held high.
Of course, I hope you will have found a new life with fiber art. Happy stitching.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this TAST Interview with Queeniepatch of Queenie’s Needlework. I certainly enjoyed discovering more about Queenie’s approach to embroidery. If you have enjoyed this interview pop over to  Queenie’s Needlework for a visit as I had lots of fun on her blog browsing and selecting images for this article.

This interview is part of series that will run during 2017 as the Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge has been running for a decade. Throughout the year I will interview stitchers about their hand embroidery and feature their work.
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TAST Interview with Maureen of CrazyQstitcher

image for TAST Interview with Maureen of CrazyQstitcherToday I would like to introduce you to Maureen of CrazyQstitcher who has been a long time Take a Stitch Tuesday follower. Although her blog is called CrazyQstitcher you will find Maureen shares many types of embroidery and her sketches. So after the interview pop over and explore her blog as she has shared photos of many hand embroidered projects over the years. Maureen also has a Flickr account which I certainly enjoyed browsing to select the images for this TAST Interview with Maureen.

TAST Interview with Maureen of CrazyQstitcher

Why do you like hand embroidery and hand work? How has it influenced your life?

I find embroidery relaxing, sometimes challenging, rarely disappointing. Years ago, everything I made was roughly done, as it was ‘only for me’ but working in the public eye has made me stitch more neatly, which has pleased me to see my own improvement.

How did you start? Were you taught by your mother, school or taught yourself online? If you taught yourself what attracted you to embroidery?

The only stitching at primary school happened when uniforms were to be cared for and the classes had to hem pre-cut, pop over aprons. Nothing challenging there.
I was not taught by, but definitely inspired by watching my mother embroidering linen table cloths. They were purchased with patterns but if the design wasn’t to her liking, she would bleach it away with lemon juice and sunshine for a week, then do her own thing.

The person who really influenced me was my eldest DD, when she introduced me to an online group of embroiders. I was amazed at the CQ work done in the Southerncrosscrazies group and before I knew it, not only had I been joined into that group but also, had been signed up immediately, in a Round Robin. Thrown in at the deep end of the pool, was how I felt.

Groups are great for Newbies where tips and knowledge are willingly shared with everyone, as the women did with me. CQ embroidery became my joy – such a different needlework medium. Every new project got my imagination moving.

image for TAST Interview with Maureen of CrazyQstitcherDo you use TAST to make samplers or incorporate the stitches into projects as you go. Or what sort of projects most attract you ?

Whenever possible, I incorporate TAST stitching in whatever project I am currently doing.
For easy reference, I have made a folder of numbered TAST samplers, which is really useful.
I’d say painting with stitches would be my favourite project.

Can you talk about your last project and/or your current project? 

Current projects are TAST 2017 which I will post on my Flickr account .. as well as adding a variety of the same stitch to project 2, which is here.

What is the project you are most proud of?
Having my daughters include me in the family group, where we created original artworks for the Johnston Collection, some work- and stitches from TAST shown here (Maureen has written about this exhibit on her blog here)

The image below is a work in progress photos of some of the Kimono buttons being worked.

image for TAST Interview with Maureen of CrazyQstitcherDo you have any UFO’s ? If so, fess up to how many?
I checked, stopped counting at 32, closed my eyes and the craftroom door.
These include old TAST work waiting to become fabric books!
and a worksheet module not completed.

Do you work purchased designs or do you design your own projects? Or do you do both?

If stitch doodling can be called designing, then that is what I do. I’m a born fiddler.
When a teenager, I purchased a few doily and supper cloth patterns, only one is still a UFO. I have not bought any since then.

image for TAST Interview with Maureen of CrazyQstitcherDo you have a creative design process? If so what is it? Or do you work intuitively?
The stitch project depends on what my fingers decide for creativity and thread colours. Hard to explain why, but that’s the way it works for me.

What stimulates your creative process? What inspires and sparks ideas for you?

A photo; someone’s needlework; A suggested TAST stitch may cause my brain to step out the square and create an off the tangent subject – like the 6 Buttonhole photos here.

Lots of people have trouble starting a project. What makes you start a project? Do you have any tips to get you from blank fabric to stitching?
I am quite often a dither-er. A completion date for group work helps.
Sometimes taking a photo of my work and viewing it on the monitor can be very helpful.

Do you have stall points? If so how do you get past them? Do you have any tips to share about this.

If all else fails, I sleep on the problem. Quite often before I wake I have workable ideas.

image for TAST Interview with Maureen of CrazyQstitcherDo you have ‘go to’ stitches. In other words stitches you use frequently that you return to using over and over. If so what are they and why do you think they are so successful for you.

Definitely! Fly; Stem; Feather stitch varieties; French knots. The first three work well for Borders, vines, grass. French Knots for many types of flower and centres, and Chain varieties for anything. All are simple, quick to do, or experiment with.

Do you have a favourite embroidery thread, or something you use all the time? If so what is it?

I have lots of lovely threads but the basic one, DMC is probably used more for background work and the others for a bit of oomph, I like Sassa Lynne, Rajmahal, Perle, Cottage Garden; it depends on what I am working on when choosing threads.

What advice would you give to new hands?

Check out other people’s embroidery. Ask for help and where to find good needlework sites.
Join a stitching group, and don’t be shy, as we were all beginners at some stage.

I hope you have enjoyed this TAST Interview with Maureen of CrazyQstitcher I certainly enjoyed discovering more about Maureen’s approach and ideas about embroidery. If you want to read and see more of her embroidery pop over to CrazyQstitcher

This interview is part of series that will run during 2017 as the Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge has been running for a decade. Throughout the year I will interview stitchers about their hand embroidery and feature their work.

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.