Thursday, September 6, 2018

Canvas Work Spectacle Case

I've started to stitch a little kit that I've had for years. It's a spectacle case designed by Kathryn Cilliers-Louw. The needle was pinned into the canvas for so long it's completely rusted. It's definitely time to do that stitching!

First stitch is Smyrna cross. It's a double cross stitch also known Leviathan stitch. I'm using three strands of rayon floss which gives little bumpy squares. I like the feel of them when I run my finger over them.

The rayon is proving just what a mind of it's own it has. Thank goodness for my thread conditioner and a drop of water. They do help to tame the thread. I have often marveled at how the embroiderers of Brazilian embroidery manage those slippery threads and produce such perfect stitches.

My pattern calls for five different threads and somehow I have only four with my kit. I'll have to add in something from the threads in my cupboard. All in all it hasn't been the best start to this little project. It is relaxing though to be stitching from a kit. Someone else has worked it all out and ironed out all the tricky bits. I can just stitch.

'Till next time, happy stitching!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Canvas work portraits

A little stitching inspiration for the weekend from the needle of Marie E. Pieres.

Marie E. Pieres

This portrait is the work of artist Marie E. Pieres. I am captivated by not only the figure of the girl but also the texture, colour and variety of the canvas work stitches used in the background. 

There is some detail about Marie's creative process on the My Modern Met website here. And more of her work on her website here. Have a look at the portraits gallery and also the rogues gallery where you will find a portrait of Hugh Grant!

Till next time, happy stitching!

Friday, July 27, 2018

London Pencil Case

A London themed quilting fabric jumped out at me from the shelf when I saw it in the cute quilt shop Pretty Quilts. Incidentally it was not in London, but in Bangkok! And sadly Pretty Quilts is no more. My younger daughter spent a few years working in London so I thought I'd make something as a memento of her time spent there, and the couple of very happy family trips we made to see her. The question was what to do with the fabric?

A zip pouch is always useful and would fit the piece of fabric. A strip of batting and simple machine quilting gave the quilt fabric body.

I had to cut the small piece of fabric that I bought quite carefully. I realized only later that the way it was printed it was impossible to get all the well known landmarks fully included. The little angel charm I attached to the zip pull reminded me of Eros at Piccadilly Circus.

I have a zip bag that I use for small sewing and embroidery supplies. It's rather worn so I won't show you that one. It is faded and very well travelled, but it comfortably carries threads, a needlecase, scissors, tape measure, a thimble and other odds and ends that I think I may need while I'm away.

A zip bag works well as a pencil case too. I made a few recently for a school carnival and I'll show you those soon. I'm still working on transferring photos from my phone to my PC so that I can edit them before posting them up on my blog.

In the meantime, enjoy the weekend and happy stitching.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Thread Colour Converter

Sometimes the occasion arises when you are looking for an embroidery thread in the same colour but a different  type of thread. Thanks to a free colour converter on the Cross Stitch Guild website, you can look up threads of a similar colour in a number of different brands and thread types.

DMC stranded cotton and Paterna wools in similar colours
Being able to do so online beforehand and compiling a possible list of alternatives will save you time later when you reach the embroidery shop. It's also useful if you don't have an embroidery store nearby and must order by phone or online.

Below is a screenshot taken when I looked up the DMC stranded cotton equivalent of colour number 932. This screen shot gives you an idea of the thread manufacturers included in the list. I was looking for the Paterna equivalent of DMC 932. It's the 11th down the list on the left. The Paterna colour closest to my thread is number 505.

Screenshot of colour converter from The Cross Stitch Guild 
To use the thread colour converter, choose your thread type from the "Choose" box on the left, enter the colour number in the little box opposite and the converter lists the most closely matched colour for each manufacturer on the list.

Don't expect to find an exact match. In this example the corresponding threads to my blue DMC 932 vary from quite a similar blue to darker, greyer blues and even some quite green. The Paterna wool colour 505 turned out a little different to what I had in mind for a small project I wanted to try. I eventually used the DMC threads that I had on hand, but I was glad that I had found this useful little tool.

The colour converter is a useful guide to similar colours in other ranges. It's a good starting point. However you may wish to see the actual threads before you make the final choice for your embroidery. Click here to visit the page on the Cross Stitch Guild website. Enter you thread type and colour number and see what comes out.

Till next time, happy stitching.