Sunday, April 19, 2015

Chain Stitches for Maureen

 I remember way back in about January, one of my readers, Maureen, commented on the pink pincushions shown here.  I'm not sure she wanted to see the Chain Stitches done, or just more pink, but I have intended to show more and so, today, I am.  The photo above is of a grouping of pincushions I made for a class I taught several years ago.  I now only own the largest blue one of this grouping, but felt I needed to make have reproduced the largest and the smallest of the pink square pincushions, so I can show them to Maureen, and YOU.

 It all began with this page of my sketch book....along with notes.  Some things I sketch or write down never reach a finish line, but it is a place to start after my initial idea.  In a photo further down, I will show you my inspiration piece for these pincushions.  Oh, this design is about five inches square.

Here is a little drawing of the way I would add the Chain Stitches to the work.  You will notice the leaves and the flower have the Chain Stitches on TOP of them.

Another view.

And, here is a 'clean' drawing of the pattern.  You may use it if you wish.  (And, yes, I did reduce it down for the smaller pink's about three inches square.)  The dotted lines are just to aid in placement when tracing the pattern.  Oh, yes, I DO use a light box for that.

Here is the latest version of this pincushion, traced with a white chalk pencil, on a Lilac colored fabric.

Yes, this is the same fabric....have no idea why it looks blue!!  In this photo, you can see where I have added the appliques for the pincushion.  I used an organdy fabric (by the way, it could be any fabric you wish to use!) adhered to some double-sided iron on interfacing, then ironed in place onto the square. That way, it stays in place while I do the Chain Stitching.   You could baste those pieces on if you would rather.   I machine baste around the squares (both front and back of the pincushion) on the sewing lines (the exact size of the pincushion).   The basting serves as a guide to line the front up with the back when I sew the pincushion.  Makes every thing line up nicely.

You can begin on any part of the pincushion....but, on this one, I began right here on this stem.  Bring the thread from back to front and begin!

Make a loop and come up with the needle, then, draw the thread completely through...tightening the loop.

And, continue on along.  Now, see, that is easy!  These loops are really small ones.  Don't get too stressed about how small they are....just keep going.  The more you make, the less you notice the sizes or tension of each one.  Consistency comes after making thousands of them.  Then, like me, you will just enjoy making them, rather than becoming uptight about how 'perfect' they are...or not.
But, really, just enjoy the stitching!!

As you will see, we are just following the drawn line as best we can.

In this photo, you can see that I am beginning to stitch the second line of Chain Stitching on that side of the stem.

And, go!!

There you are...two lines of Chain Stitch on one half of the stem...and then on to the next.

Now, the second side.  It should be fun....

In this photo, I am beginning the Chain Stitches on the center flower.  Again, up from the back of the work, make a loop, tighten, and keep on stitching.  You will be working a Chain Stitch around each 'petal.'

Go the way, I didn't say, but this is one strand of DMC floss. works up quite nicely!

Just another view.  And, those photos are of the how-to of making a Chain Stitch.

This photo is of the pincushions...AND, the inspiration piece for them.  I bought this small appliqued and Chain Stitched place mat at the flea.  The minute I saw it, I knew I wanted to stitch something like it...that is when the pincushion idea popped into my head.  I didn't want to use the design exactly as it was on the place mat, so I just used the elements of the design in a different way.  If you enlarge this photo, you can see exactly how the stitching was done...and the appliques also.

So, here is the smallest, newest, pincushion...along with the beading, using the Three Bead Edging as shown on my previous post.

And, here you can see the beaded corner.

Another view of the largest pincushions.

A look at just the Pink Pincushions!

And, just another look at the corner.

A look at the edge....and a close-up of the Chain Stitching.

Thought you might want to see a close-up of the blue pincushion's corner also.

Then, here is the completed Chain Stitch Flower.  Really this is quite a simple project.  I hope you will give it a try and ENJOY it!!

Thought you might want to see these again....They remind me of a frosted cake.  I've no idea why!!

So, Maureen, I hope you and my other readers enjoyed this little Tutorial.  

No idea what will be in my next post....but, 

Until then,

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Beaded Edge Tutorial for Louise

Some time ago, I posted some small pincushions....with hearts.  In February, I believe.  One of my readers asked me if I could show how to do the beaded edging on one of the featured pincushions.  Naturally, I said yes.  So sorry it has taken me this long to get a 'tutorial' ready to go. 
 Louise, this is for YOU!

I made an extra pincushion....but forgot to make photos as I beaded the edges.  So I made a little tube of muslin to substitute for yet another pincushion.  You will get the idea and I can also use the beaded tube in another project.  I also decided to embroider words on it...making it even more appealing to use in some other way. 

Seven Bead Edging

  So, here we are, loading three seed beads, one oat bead and three more seed beads on my needle.

When I make that stitch to anchor the seven beads to the seam, I also take an extra tiny stitch...for 'security' helping to stop any unraveling that could  'accidently' take place.  And, I do that after every stitch.  Here, I am ready to load the needle again.

And, here we are with another group of seven beads.

 And, again, take the stitch to hold the grouping of seven beads in place, then a security stitch. Load on another seven beads, and about a quarter inch away from the previous seven beads stitch again.  And, that tiny security stitch.  Continue along until you get to a corner.  You will easily be able to go 'around the corner' by just adjusting the seven beads to 'fit' that corner.  I never try to do this with perfect spacing...for one seems to work out easily....and for another....I like my work to look like a human made it and we don't do anything perfectly.  Well, at least this human doesn't.

 The same thing goes for ending the beaded edge.  Just work that last group of seven beads in as smoothly as possible...and do the extra security stitch, then, make a knot in the thread and "hide" it in the seam of the pincushion, or, the fold of the little tube, whichever one you are making.

Here is a photo of the pincushion and the tube I beaded as an example.  I'll find somewhere to use this tube, at some point, and will show you the finished product when I do.

Here is the finished pincushion and you can see the beading as I went 'around the corner.' 

I think it turned out to be kind of nice.

And, here is a close-up of the beaded tube.

A Three Bead Edging. 

Sometimes I use a simple Three Bead Edging.  It's basically a group of three beads sewn on with a whip stitch and a security stitch.  Very easy.  I've used it dozens of times.  So, begin by taking a stitch in the fold or seam, then a security stitch.   Again, thread three seed beads on the needle.

Take that stitch, make a security stitch and then thread three more beads on the needle.

 Now, you see where we are going here...repeat, repeat, repeat, all the way around the pincushion or whatever you are beading.  As this is being done on a tube....there is no you just bead the desired length and end with a stitch and the last security knot, make a knot in the thread and hide either in the pincushion or inside the tube.

 Here is the Three Bead Edging in it's finished state. 

 And, this is how it looks on the edge and the back.  Kind of 'fluffy' if you ask me.

 This is a photo of all the 'ingredients' used.....Seed Beads, Oat Beads, DMC floss for the wording, Quilting thread for the beading (although there is a multitude of threads you can use:  beading thread, upholstery thread, Silamide, or Beading Wire).  I can't do anything without a thimble, and, then, of course, embroidery scissors.  You might be wondering about this glass tray set-up.  I found this glass 'tray' at the flea for 50 cents...a long time ago.  It's actually the glass insert for a small micro-wave oven. Very useful to me and not for cooking!!  In it, I have placed a piece of a Velux blanket.  A damaged one given to me by my daughter.  It has supplied beading tray liners for many of my students and friends over the years.  It keeps beads from traveling all over the work surface and I wouldn't bead without it.

 Just another photo of ingredients.

 And, here is the little sample tube I made of both the Seven Bead Edging and the Three Bead Edging with embroidered words.  And, a Heart.  You know I have to put those everywhere!!  The Heart and wording, done with one strand of DMC floss.  The Heart with a Satin Stitch and the wording with a Back Stitch.

 And, here are the DMC colors I used.  Ecru for the Embroidered Vine and Heart, #841 for the wording.


 A close-up of the wording and the beading too!
(Oh, I'm told by friends and family that I say "it is what it is" all the time.
Well, it is what it is, isn't it??)

I just wanted to take a photo or two of the finished products placed on top of a vintage box of crochet thread.  Love this color!!!

 A Heart and Vine, embroidered.  Such fun to do!

 A last view of this know, you could do this with all sizes, colors, and kinds of beads!

 A last view of the Heart and the wording with the Three Bead Edging.  I'll find somewhere to use it!

 And, the thread I used. 

So, there we are....a little tutorial for those of you interested...and for Louise, a reader and a friend!
Thank you, Louise, for your interest in what I do!

Until next time,

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.