I'm happy to say that I'm still doing well with the #100dayschallenge on Instagram. Yesterday I finished my first week! If you haven't been following on Instagram, here is a recap and more details.
Stitching the Hexies, Diamonds and Spiral
So far, I've been stitching with yummy thread on an improv piece with free motion quilting (FMQ) in the centre panel. My #100dayschallenge has been to stitch the centre panel. This week I've played with some very special hand-dyed threads from Maiwa, in British Columbia. They have craftspeople in Bengal who hand-dye silk, linen, cotton and wool with natural plant-based dyes. As well, they have their own brand of thread, Honest Thread, that is also hand-dyed. You can read more about them in my previous posts (see links below).
|Days 2 to 7 stitches|
Days 4 and 5 - Fly and Cross StitchesI played with both the fly stitch and the cross stitch within the border of the diamonds. I experimented with the size, and for the fly stitch in particular, the order in which I made them. Generally instructions for the fly stitch are from top to bottom (or else that's what I've always assumed!). I found that for me, this was the most difficult way of making them for a consistent outcome. I'm much better at making them from side to side, or even better, from bottom to top.
Day 6 - Coral Stitch with Chain Stitch Variations
|Coral stitch inside the hexie|
|Coral, Chain, and Berry stitches with French knots|
Day 7 - Battlement Stitch
Doesn't that stitch sound grand and aggressive! I suppose that it could look like fortifications, but it's just rows of buttonhole or blanket stitches stacked row on row. If I had actually planned this, I would have made the first row (2 strands of Bengal linen in marigold) further away from the edge. I then had to squish the second row into it (2 strands of Bengal silk in madder).
|Stitching slowly coming along!|
Day 8 - Feathered Chain Stitch
I pretty much exhausted my usual stitches after a couple of days, although the stem stitch hasn't made it's way in yet...but I'm sure that it will eventually. So I've been looking at my three wonderful books of embroidery stitches. I'll talk a little about them after this stitch.
I really like the chain stitch. It has so many possibilities and can look very different depending on the thread used. I decided to try out the feathered chain stitch as a filler for the top spiral. I had to practice this one because remember, I'm accuracy challenged, so trying to make an accurate(ish) zig zag of stitches does not come naturally. Even my straight lines are only straight(ish)! This stitch is not difficult - it's really a long-tail chain stitch that follows a zig zag path.
|Feathered Chain Stitch|
For this stitch, I used a variegated Eleganza #8 perle cotton from Sue Spargo's collection (more about some new threads in a future post 😊).
I have three embroidery books that I LOVE and highly recommend. The first, The Beginner's Guide to Freestyle Embroidery, is the one I used to re-learn to embroider as an adult. On one of our family trips to the South-west states, I did most of the samples in the book. I've mentioned this book before in previous posts.
|Beginner's Guide to |
I use the e-book version of Joyful Daily Stitches - seam by seam by Valerie Bothell to find interesting stitch combinations. It's created primarily for crazy quilting and has a lot of fun stitch combinations, something that I'm always struggling with.
|Joyful Daily Stitches - seam by seam|
Finally is a new book by Sharon Boggon, Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery. I found Sharon's amazing website, Pintangle, a few years ago. I has a great Stitch dictionary. Sharon also hosts Take A Stitch Tuesday (TAST) which I followed on and off for a couple of years. I've used this book for many of the stitches in the #100dayschallenge so far.
|Creative Stitches for |
What I learned
- I really love learning new variations of the simpler stitches. Sharon Boggon's book is really great for this and I will be using it a lot.
- I think that this #100dayschallenge is more about posting on Instagram every day than it is about stitching every day - and I'm ok with that. I don't see the point of stitching every day if I'm really not in the mood. I'm much better at stitching every couple of days and preparing for two or three Instagram posts. It's what works best for me!
- As I mentioned, I got more thread (sigh). I'll either show it off as I use it or will include it in the next challenge post.
- I had better go stitch today's Instagram post - it's now Sunday! 😲
- QuiltingLearningCombo on Instagram
- Challenge related posts
- Bengal thread from Maiwa
- Beginner's Guide to Freestyle Embroidery by Christina Marsh
- Joyful Daily Stitches - seam by seam by Valerie Bothell
- Sharon Boggon: Pintangle and Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery