Entries in Daisychain Sampler (29)


Daisychain Sampler "A" Part II

Ok, ok.  Satin stitch, here I come.  And I'm going to do it right.  The sampler is coming along so nicely I don't want to spoil it with a sloppy satin stitch so here's my plan.

I learned this trick a long time ago.  If you outline the object that is to be "satined" with a backstitch (some people recommend a split stitch) first, and then satin OVER the outline to hide it, the edges where your needle goes in and out will look much smoother. 

I hate doing is extra step because it's work NO one will EVER see.  It almost feels like a waste of time. 

Until you actually DO it and then see how nicely your stitches turn out.

All right, all right.  I'll stop complaining now.

Time to get knotty ... Colonial Knot-ty, that is.  ;)

Ok.  Totally worth the extra work.  :)


Daisychain Sampler G

Ok.  I'm about to say something that might shock you if you embroider ... the french knot & I are sworn enemies.  I am SO not even joking about this, you guys.  I mean enemies as in:

But seriously.  I will never reconcile with the french knot.  And there isn't a single one in this letter - or in my entire sampler, for that matter.  I swore off french knots a few years ago and haven't made one since.


Nope.  Not a single one.  So what knot DID I use for this letter?

Brace yourself.  I'm about to rock your embroidery world ...

The Colonial Knot

When you are making it, it doesn't misbehave like a french knot can (and often does for me!  Grrr).  And it lays on the fabric all nice and flat like a donut. 

Yes, go ahead all you lovely Americans and make fun of this stereotypical Canadian who somehow found a way to compare embroidery to donuts.  tee hee ;) 

I have yet to find a situation where the french knot CAN'T be substituted with a colonial knot.  Give it a try.  It's worth the time to learn.  Trust me.  If I can teach my 10 year old dyslexic daughter how to do it, you can do it. 

Here's how my sampler looks so far ...

Ugh.  But now H is more satin stitch (I'm typing this in my very best whiny voice ... can you hear it?)  Guess I better just suck it up and go back to A before my sampler ends up looking like Swiss Cheese on account of all the holes left where satin-stitched letters should be!


Daisychain Sampler F

Yes, I'm skipping E.

More satin stitch ... still not ready.  So I'm movin' on to F.

I started with a pale green.  But I just wasn't feelin' the love.

So I took it out and went for a pale blue version of "C".

SO much better!

Sigh. :)


Daisychain Sampler D

Just a quiet monochromatic letter today.

Mostly in stem stitch - my favorite stitch of all time.  I love its twisty, rope texture.  And it doesn't betray uneven stitches like the backstitch.  (That backstitch is SUCH a tattletale ... gets me EVERY time!)  

Another new thing for me - making a lazy daisy stitch curved by tacking it down. 

Very clever, Miss Alicia!  Thanks for teaching me something new.  I'm more smarterer than I was yesterday. ;)


Daisychain Sampler "C"

Ok.  I LOVE this letter.  I've never done this weaving through a backstitch before and it is SO COOL!  It reminds me of ricrac.

And I can't even TELL you how much I love this color blue.  I know, I know, it's not pink.  But aside from that, I get such a strong emotional response when I see this color. 

I can't explain it.  I just love it so much.

Omg, I just noticed how this letter matches my blog banner!  Haha!


Daisychain Sampler "B"

At the risk of being rude, I didn't like this letter ... at first.  Lemme 'splain.

Compared to all the other letters in this alphabet sampler - which I would describe as romantic, feminine, antique, etc. - B just sorta looked out of place to me. 

I didn't get it - which is not altogether unusual.  I often arrive late to the party.

I just kept thinking about this movie from 1980.

Now don't get me wrong.  I have a VERY strong sentimental attachment to Xanadu - or more specifically the soundtrack.  LOVE ELO!  You can go ahead and make fun of me.  I don't mind.  It will just make me feel sorry for you that you can't appreciate the total awesomeness of this song.


But back to the letter ... it just didn't say Daisychain Sampler to me.  I even contemplated coming up with a different design.

Then suddenly the heavens opened and I had a moment of clarity.  It's not electric disco, you doofus who still spends WAY too much time in the 80s, it's CLASSIC ART DECO ... as in the Chrysler Building!

Just gotta spin it for myself sometimes and then I'm all good. :)

How do you like me now?  Darlin' I like you just fine.  ;)

Again, pattern available here and COSMO floss available here ... just sayin'.

And now I'm going to hit replay on that video like 10 more times and sing & dance in ways that make my husband so embarrassed to admit he knows me, let alone married me.


Daisychain Sampler "A"

I thought I'd start today by talking about how I transfer embroidery designs onto cotton fabric.  Please note there are different tools and techniques out there.  I'm just sharing MY preferred method.

I stayed away from embroidery for many years (decades?) because I didn't like the printed or marked drawing to show underneath my stitches.  It bugged me.  (It's a thing.) 

So I stuck with counted cross-stitch.  I think you could wrap the earth a few times with the amount of embroidery floss I've cross-stitched!  Seriously.  I would cross-stitch on a bench in a shopping mall downtown during my lunch hours in my teens & 20s (& 30s).  (Yes, I'm that nerdy!)

And now as a mom, I'm often spotted stitching while my girls are at their extra-curricular activites.  (Although a friend informed me that toting my needlework around in a large wicker basket was going a little overboard ... just because I WATCHED "Little House on the Prairie" on tv as a kid doesn't mean I need to RE-ENACT it as an adult.)

But a few years ago I was introduced to these PERMANENT pens.  Pigma Micron pens.  They come in assorted colors and "fine-ness-es".

Yes I know, the word 'permanent' gives some of you a case of the vapors just thinking about it.  It did me for years too.  But then I did something else.   I started tracing my designs using tiny dots instead of solid lines.  Now I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for eyes that don't cooperate all the time (I can always tell if I need a new prescription for my eyeglasses when I embroider.)  And it doesn't always work depending on the color/design of your fabric & threads, etc.  But I usually stitch on white or light cotton and my markings are (almost) always totally invisible.  I'll show you as I go along.

Now to Letter A.

Ok.  You know that scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when they remove the ceiling tile from that tomb and Indiana Jones rolls onto his back and says "Snakes ... why'd it have to be snakes?" 

Well, that's kinda how I feel about this letter.  Only instead of snakes it's "Satin stitch ... why'd it have to be satin stitch?"  I've never gotten along well with the satin stitch.  I mean, it's gorgeous and all.  But it takes me too much time to make it look really nice.  Other stitches you can kinda fudge a bit and not be quite so exact and your work still looks good.  But satin stitch?  No can do.

I'm not in the mood right now to tackle it.  So I'm just doing the chain stitch part of this letter and skipping the rest for now.  I'll come back later ...

If you feel like joining the dark side, the pattern is available here.

And I got a few requests to share the floss colors I'm using so here they are (COSMO brand, available here):

103A, 104, 105, 2105, 2251, 252, 683, 684, 533, 534, 535, 142, 143, 144A, 368, 714

And my fabric is ... well, in the picture just up there. ;)  It's a Moda 3 Sisters print from the "Simplicity" line.  It's a few years old and probably difficult to find in stores (just sayin').  But any white, light cream or something light with a subtle print (like mine) will work with the floss colors I'm using.


Daisychain Alphabet Sampler

This past Spring, I was visiting one of my very favorite blogs and nearly fell over when I saw this beautiful sampler (pattern available as a PDF)!

I HAD TO MAKE IT!  I just HAD to.  I mean come ON people! 

Now you may or may not know that I like little.  Remember my obnoxious decision to make my FWQAL blocks 5" instead of 6 1/2"?  And the Mini-Series I started this week?  Well, I'm doing it again. 

But lemme 'splain .. there is a method to my madness.

See, Alicia's sampler is stitched with crewel wool which is thicker than embroidery floss.  I'm a flosser.  However, if I use the original pattern size with floss, the letters will look a little too "skinny" for me.  Plus, I want my sampler to fit easily in an 8 1/2" x 11" pre-made frame.

So I reduced the size of the pattern to about 70%.

Now I love Alicia's sense of style, but the colors she used for her version just wouldn't work in my house.  So I picked these little pretties. 

Have you tried COSMO embroidery floss yet?  I was a hard-core DMC girl until I tried these ... now I'm a Cosmo girl!  (Tee hee!)  But seriously, this stuff is awesome.  Super Buzzy is one online store that carries the entire collection of solids. 

I based the colors on my all.time.FAVORITE fabric lines - Paris Flea Market by Moda (2004?). 

You guys, if I could be reincarneted as fabric, THIS is what I would look like. 

So for the next little while I'll be sharing my progress with you here and there in amongst my Mini-Series & FQWAL and other silly things.  Not quite as big an undertaking as Project Simplify, but I hope it will entertain you a little.  And maybe inspire you to get the pattern and start stitching up one for yourself.  ;)


More About Me

I've been blogging for a little while now, talking mostly quilting & motherhood ... and being an occasional bad driver

I should qualify that last thing by saying I've never hurt myself or any one else with a vehicle.  I've just damaged my vehicle(s).  And my husband's.  And maybe my dad's. 

And maybe my neighbor's truck.  (Dude, he shoulda KNOWN better than to park at the bottom of an icy hill in the winter in Canada ... just sayin'.)

Oh yeah, and maybe my sister's brand new car.  Word to the wise ... if you're driving through the mountains, go AROUND big rocks that have fallen onto the highway - not OVER them.  Boulder vs. oil pan ... guess who's gonna win.  That might seem obvious now, but it wasn't so much when I was going like 90kph (55mph) very early one morning ... maybe ... (sorry, Sister!)

But there's more to me than just quilts and insurance claims.  I embroider.  Yep, I do.

So why haven't I mentioned this before?  Well, last summer (2010) I kinda messed up my hand by embroidering WAAAAAY too much.  (One WOULD think embroidery is safer than driving ... unless you've met me.)

I ended up looking like this for a few months ...

I know.  Super attractive, right?  I felt sorta like this ...

... just without the cool.  (But it does get you out of doing dishes and stuff for a little while!)

And then after a cortizone injection (for De Quervain tendonitis if you're curious), I looked like this for a few more months.

Only slightly less ridiculous. 

After months and months (and months) of physio ... and by the way, I was my physiotherapist's very first embroidery injury - an honor I mention with great pride ... my hand is almost back to normal. 

But I have to be very careful.  No more sitting on my butt for 10 hours straight with a needle & thread in hand.  I'm having to employ things like "balance" and "moderation" in my daily activities.  (Yuck.  Hate those words.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm also sometimes a little immature?)

So back to being careful, I still get into trouble if I spend a few evenings in a row watching an entire season of "Weeds" on DVD (for example) while doing this ...

My hand was very cranky for a few day's after all that cutting. 

(And my mouth needed a bar of soap!  Sheesh.  "Showtime" (not HBO, my bad!) tends to bring out the sailor in me ...)

But never mind that.

The reason I'm bringing up the embroidery thing is because if you happen to stop by tomorrow, I don't want you to think you came to the wrong blog when you see this ...

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