8/17/11

Stitching Lines

I started my new stitchery yesterday.  It's just a little bit more challenging than my last one.  I'm completely self-taught in embroidery, which is a nice way of saying I'm not particularly good at it.  I once listened to a speaker who made quilts from vintage handkerchiefs and doilies . . . stuff she found at antique stores.  (I don't know about you, but I have an entire cedar chest stuffed with that kind of handwork from my grandmother.  Someday I'd like to make a quilt like the speaker.)  All of that to say that she informed us that she had learned to embroider the right way because if it didn't look as good on the back as it did on the front, "you took it out!"  My reaction?  Pffffffffft!

When I did the embroidery for my Winter Wonderland quilt, I wasn't able to work up too much enthusiasm or worry about how the back looked, figuring that it's not going to show anyway.  It is a quilt, after all, and my sloppy embroidery work will all be sandwiched between layers of fabric and batting, stitched down tightly so that no one can ever see it.  Nevertheless, the longer I worked on it, the more I wished I had been just a little more careful.  I kept telling myself that, really, I could have done it with fewer knots and less traveling.  But I'm not going to get all worked up about it, and once it's finished, I'll forget about all that hidden mischief between the layers.

Now that I've started on this new project, however, I'm trying to mend my ways (Ha!  Get it?  "Mend?"  Sometimes I'm just too funny for words).  For one thing, this stitchery is all done in stem stitch, rather than back stitch.  I'm finding stem stitch just a little more exacting and tedious.  It is pretty, however.  Here's the little girl's shoe on her right foot.


I like this stitch for it's "ropey" appearance, but I also like the way you can stitch several rows side by side and fill in an area, like on the heel of her shoe.  The other shoe is done the same way, only the heavier lines extend around to the toe.  I had a surprisingly difficult time finding a tutorial that was clear enough for me to see and understand.  This is a video I found on You Tube from Mary Corbet's Needle and Thread that was the most helpful.


I've done as much on this as I'm going to do today.  This stitchery is definitely going to slow me down for a while until I'm more proficient at this new stitch.

We're getting ready to take off on a camping trip this Friday, and so I have some other things I need to do . . . laundry, for instance.  I'm also going to plant the second round of garden lettuce so that we can have lettuce well into the fall (and, get this for optimism) when the tomatoes ripen (Not!).  (It will be a miracle if we get any tomatoes from the garden this year, but we still like the lettuce.)  And I've promised George a walk. 

George had a very bad day yesterday.  He had to have a fasting blood draw, and so his food was picked up.  He couldn't go outside.  He got stuffed into a box and hauled across town.  They shaved the fur off his neck and stuck a needle into him.  Geez.  What does a cat have to do to get a little respect?  So to make up for all that abuse, I promised him we'd go for a walk.  He's sitting beside me tapping his little kitty foot right now.

4 comments from clever and witty friends:

Melinda said...

Thanks for posting the video. I have been doing the stem stitch and have had trouble doing curves. This should help.

Stray Stitches said...

Your stitchery is looking wonderful! It looks like you have that stem stitch mastered already. Hope George enjoyed his walk. Have a great time camping!!

Kate said...

Stem stitch is a hard one, it's the first one my Grandmother taught me. It's hard to keep the stitchs even at first. But your first efforts look really good!

quiltzyx said...

I can see where the stem stitch would slow you down. The last embroidery I did was a kit from Leora Raikin at African Folklore Embroidery - it was all chain stitched & I had fun with it. Used lots & lots of different colors :D