1/28/18

Slow Stitching on a Slow Day

It was a dark and stormy day here in New Orleans...really dark. There was even thunder and lightening. Some of the thunder claps sounded like gunfire. I thought I might do some sewing, but with the weather so bad, it meant Mike and I were both inside. It makes for cramped quarters when I have all my sewing crap strewn all over every available surface.

Instead, I worked on slow stitching most of the day. I finished up the 2nd of 12 dresses for the Sundress quilt.


There was supposed to be another of those dratted cast-on flower stitch flowers at the left shoulder. There were written instructions included with the pattern. Try as I might, I cannot figure it out. I've read several different variations of written instructions. I even picked up a book in a quilt shop the other day and read about it there. Someone actually tried to show me in person at a guild meeting many years ago. It was so frustrating that I actually threw down the hoop in disgust and refused to continue trying. I've watched countless You-Tube videos, and it seems I have a mental block against this. It's like when I had to take three required statistics courses in college. Some things simply won't penetrate my thick skull.

As for statistics, it was the one college class (multiplied by three) that completely bamboozled me. I got through statistics by purchasing a workbook and learning it by rote. I studied figures of equations and learned to slide the numbers around to get an answer without having even an inkling of understanding of the theory. When I went to graduate school, my research course textbook requirement included a book entitled, "Statistics Without Tears." Just now I went to Amazon to see if the title still exists. It does.


The title made me feel just a little less at odds with statistics. Apparently, I'm not the only one bamboozled by the subject.

So all of that to say that when I couldn't figure out that stitch for the second time in a single quilt, I decided to just do something different there. Mine is a lazy daisy flower, and there is a short stitch in the center of each "petal." It'll serve as a monument to my embroidery ineptitude every time I look at it, but I'll be doing my embroidery without tears, and that's gotta count for something.

With that one done, I was ready to move on to block 10 for the Wine Country quilt. This one is starting to feel like a finish in the offing. Here's the block I'm working on now.


It doesn't give a clue whether I'm stitching red or white wine here, but my floss colors work better if I assume it's a red wine. The afternoon was passed with nothing but stitching, and I moved the piece far enough along to move my hoop.


There's a part of me that is OCD, and I'm bothered when a tiny portion of the design is outside the reach of my needle.


When I moved the hoop, I couldn't quite fit the grape leaf into the hoop. It's right at the edge there, and the bottom hoop will block my ability to stitch it.


So I stitched a little more at the bottom of the piece, and then moved the hoop again.


That took care of it. Grape leaves...you cannot escape my needle of doom!

Okay, so it was a boring day, and this post is one of the "prattle" variety. I'll fill a post with words if it kills me...think of it as blogging without tears.

Today we're moving on to Palmetto Island State Park in Louisiana. We decided to stop there because our next consequential stop will be the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange, Texas. The museum is only open Thursday through Sunday, and so we needed to kill a little time before we arrive there. Looking at the map, we noticed the state park, and hey...we're game for anything. More about that later.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

I have not seen what the block would look like with the flower from hell, and I think our lazy daisy is lovely -- the first stitch I ever learned and still a favorite of mine. And really, if stitching is going to cause tears, why on earth would one do it? I love the wine blocks and think that, in case of doubt, red is always the right choice.

Quilting Babcia said...

Your sundress block looks great just the way it is. My motto is always keep the quilting/sewing/embroidery tears and hassle-free. So what did Smitty and Sadie think of the thunder-boomers? They don't hear much of them in Oregon.

Kate said...

Why not just call it creative improvisation on the flower and ignore the rest? I'll be you are not the only one you changes up that part of the pattern.

Don't know what you've got planned after La Grange. I can highly recommend Fredricksburg, TX. Lots of cool shops. Wildseedfarms is located just out of town. Don't know what's blooming there this time of year, but if you like wildflowers it's the place to go. Just north of Fredicksburg is Enchanted Rock. Some cool hiking and photo ops there. In the other direction toward Brenham is the Antique Rose Emporium. The gardens there are really cool. Not sure what's blooming this time of year, we were usually there in March. Blue Bell Ice Cream is based in Brenham and they have tours and tasting.

Terri in BC said...

I had no idea what that stich was, so I looked it up and I agree, it isn't worth the trouble. Embroidery should be fun, not for tearing your hair out. Love following your trip!

WoolenSails said...

That is one thing I liked about our trailer, the bed is in the back, so when we are inside, I sit in that with my computer and Bill sits at the table, need my space, lol. But long term, like more than a few hours, I would go nuts, lol. Looks like you are making great progress on your stitcheries and love the quilt shop you went to, lots of nice fabrics.

Debbie

Sandra W said...

I see what you mean about the cast on flower stitch. I looked it up and also discovered the double cast on version. I think you could get a similar look by making a ric rac rose.
I saw needlework in Hilton Head that was also several hundred dollars and up to $1000 and got the same explanation about the painted canvas versus the printed. Apparently the painting are much more accurate and give superior results.
New Orleans is fun. We stayed in a very French hotel just off Bourbon that cost an arm and a leg but it was lovely. Breakfast was all served in silverware and it was lovely.
I see you use a plastic hoop. I've read that wood holds better. What's your opinion.
I went to a quilt meeting today and bought a vintage hoop (chrome lined with cork) for 25 cents.
I've heard the texas q museum is great, but apparently quite small.
Have you ever been to Paducah? The museum there is fantastic.

Sandra W said...

I see someone else has mentioned Fredricksburg. Don't miss the museum of the Pacific!! I wrote about this while you were planning your adventure.

piecefulwendy said...

Well, I think you should've had a glass of wine while you stitched your wine block after your embroidery with tears that you solved without tears! I had to smile at your statistics without tears story, since I just had a conversation with my daughter about that a few days ago. She was very excited because she had come across a free online book on stats and said it was an "aha" moment. Suddenly everything has begun to click; she is understanding the theory behind the work. I'll have to ask her if it's that book. Wouldn't that be funny?! Hope you have nicer weather today.

heartsease54 said...

Barbara, I agree that cast on flowers are difficult, but I learned to do them myself with the following book-one of the best reference books I have ever used. Still available at this link and will work the price https://www.amazon.com/Z-Embroidery-Stitches-Sue-Gardner/dp/0957715986/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1517260696&sr=8-8&keywords=a+to+z+of+embroidery+stitches
If I can find a picture of the flowers I did for a design I taught, I will email it to you. It is worth the effort to learn as they are so pretty and the book shows very clear pictures of each step of the stitch.

Joni said...

I love your embroidery work, it is so cheerful. I am slowly learning the special stitches thanks in part to youtube and subscribing to Mary Corbet. This youtube video is very good at explaining cast on flowers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxcZ9Fc9xeA. I hope the kitties did fine in the thunder and lightning. It is a balmy 60 degrees in the Willamette Valley today!

Brown Family said...

You probably already have this block finished, too!

Nancy in IN said...

The flower you used looks great. I had to google 'dratted cast-on flower stitch flowers' to see what you were talking about. I had never read it, but it looks hard. I will have to investigate and try sometime when I have 'nothing to do'. Enjoy you travels. It has been fun to travel with you. Be safe.

quiltzyx said...

"It'll serve as a monument to my embroidery ineptitude every time I look at it,..." - NO_NO_NO!!! Your lazy daisy flower is a DESIGN CHOICE, one you are ALWAYS allowed to make!!!!! So there.
The dresses look great & I do love the simple line drawings of your wine blocks.
Give Smitty & Sadie some skritches from me!