Monday, February 27, 2012

TAST, Quaker Diamonds, Gridding fabric for stitching and Crazy Quilting

Busy or what!?
Well, first of all, never believe what ground hogs tell you! Our ground hog did not see his shadow which is supposed to mean an early spring. Well, the thing is a liar! We've had nothing but snow storms since he said early spring! I am NOT amused! lol

We went for a drive last friday after an overnight snowfall. It was quite an amazing sight because absolutely everything was covered in snow and I took a ton of photos as we drove along. It was quite surprising to see the photos when I got home because at first, I thought I had mistakenly set the camera to take black and white photos, until I hit a few with a bit of colour in them. Here is a sampling.

All in all though, it hasn't been too bad of a winter, but, we are getting another storm tonight which will continue pretty much into the whole day tomorrow. A good stitch day I say!

Well, what have I been up to? I don't have a photo of it, but, I am working on finishing up my Quaker Diamonds sampler. It is time consuming going over each page, section by section to see what I have missed, mark it, stitch it and then cross it off. I learned a big lesson though on this sampler. It is the first really big sampler of this sort I have ever done and a few friends suggested that I grid the fabric first and I didn't think I needed to. Well, now that I have those little motifs to put it, when I am counting stitches, I am out one or two here and one or two there. So, I will definitely grid next time I do a sampler.

So what do I mean by gridding your fabric for stitching? Well, here is a small sample I just made up.

We all know that stitching patterns are gridded to be 10 squares by 10 squares with each square usually being 2 fabric threads. You can take some thread and just loosely sew lines across and up and down your fabric every 20 threads if you are stitching over 2 threads, and you will have the same grid that is in your pattern. It should be easier to make sure you are stitching in the correct spot. And what do you use to grid your fabric? Well, fishing line of course!

If we use ordinary sewing thread, well, that is why we hate gridding, because when we do our cross stitching, our needle pierces the grid threads and then we have a hard time pulling our grid threads out when we are done our sampler. Instead use about 4 to 7 pound test fishing line and its perfect! I am using one that has a bit of a brownish colour to it this way it is easy to see on white or beige fabric. You don't even need to grid your entire fabric from side to side and top to bottom. If you cut about 6 or 8 inch lengths of fishing line, as you finish stitching a section, just move the fishing line up or down or sideways, as you progress, stitching it into the new section.

Well, what's next? I haven't done all the TAST stitches but am slowly getting there. I think I have too many things on the go! I added the chain stitch to my lighthouse from a few weeks ago.

And, I did a tiny bit more on my felted wool stitch sampler.

I also pulled out the second block I made in Sharon's "Encrusted Crazy Quilting" class. I did a row of edging and started another.

I'm having a hell of a time keeping my stitches even and straight and nice looking. I guess that comes with practice and I realize that the tiny little pieces of fabric that I am using to practice each weeks new stitch in TAST, are just too small for me to get a good grasp of the stitches. I am looking in TAST 2012 in Facebook and in Sharon's blog and people are doing so much practice stitching and I am doing almost none. This normally wouldn't bother me as I am happy just doing my own thing but when I see that I am having problems with keeping my stitches even, then I know I need to practice more. Even the whole tension of the stitch is an art unto itself! lol

Anyways, to show you how handy that fishing line is, I used thread to mark a line on my crazy quilt block and then remembered I had fishing line hidden somewhere. I found it and did my second guide line in fishing line. And yes, my guide lines are crooked, so I think I need a lesson in making guide lines!

I now have almost a whole row of stitching started there but no photo of it so it can wait.

Well, as a tease and also as a little bit of motivation for myself, I am going to show you a bit of something... Wonder what will come from this?....

a ball of baby alpaca yarn....

and a handful of Sari Ribbon.....

and a pair of these funny looking things?

Well, hopefully you will find out in the next couple of weeks!

I have to finish this so I can make my next post!!!
Enjoy life!
and talk to you later!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful stitching and I love the Lighthouse project. Lovely photos though I'm glad you've got the snow and not us!