I quite enjoy watching TV in the evening with my husband, but I could never bear to just sit and watch 'the box.'. I always have to be doing something with my hands! Evening is when I do all my hand-stitching, embroidery, sewing bindings down etc. I find it very relaxing and it's lovely to be sitting with my husband.
The last few weeks have been very busy for me, what with organising a party, many hours spent with our Internet Service Provider trying to get our lost phone line back, medical appointments, a visit to hospital when I hurt my ribs in a fall, plus preparing for a stall that I have been asked to host at the Queensland Quilter's Picnic which this year is being held in our local area.
This means I haven't opened the sewing machine, haven't drawn any new patterns, and don't have any projects to stitch at night. For such a time as this, I have a couple of long-term pieces of needlework that I can stitch, with no pressure whatever to finish. So in the last couple of weeks, this 'Afternoon Teacloth' has come out of hiding:
It was given to me by a friend, brand new in its packet, and is a prestamped linen design just like I used to embroider 40 or 50 years ago! In those days I would have filled in all the flowers and probably the leaves too, mostly with satin stitch. These days the modern 'stitchery' concept is more about outlining. When I looked at this design, I could see that it really needs areas filled in so that there is a focus, otherwise it would be a very open and rather boring picture. However, I didn't want to do lots of satin stitch, which is the obvious choice to fill in some of the petals. My experience with satin stitch these days tends to be one step forward and two steps back as I spend so much time unpicking since my eyesight isn't as good as it used to be!
I'm rather pleased with the substitutes that I have chosen. The purple flowers are outlined in stem stitch then filled in with French Knots. Not every bit of the petals is filled, but there are enough knots to give the impression of solid colour and as a bonus there is some added texture.
For the flower centres, I worked a spiral in stemstitch which filled the space nicely. For the calyx on the bud, there is a backstitched outline with running stitches inside.
Normally I might have worked buttonhole or fly stitch for the leaves, but they had large veins which gave a good coverage inside the leaf. A darker green backstitch, then a running stitch inside the edge gives enough impression of colour to keep it interesting.
The small pink flowers are edged in chain stitch and on some of them I added a stem stitch outside the chain in a lighter or darker pink. So that's my new take on old embroidery. I hope to soon put it back in the cupboard for another 'rainy day' as I have a new pattern floating around and I'm very keen to open my new Valdani threads!
My grandson drew me this lovely echidna - 'Curled up and Content'. I put the stitchery on the front of a needle case. One of my Facebook friends has sent me a photo of one she has stitched and placed on the front of a bag.
The pattern is in Patchwork & Stitching magazine, Vol 17 No 8:
I've put a couple of new patterns in my Craftsy Store:
Don't get my Tail Wet here
and Black Beauty quilt here.
I'm hoping to tick a lot more jobs and appointments off the list this week so that I can finally get back to opening the sewing machine and putting pencil to paper for a new design! I'm so thankful that finally our phone issue has been sorted out. It was rather weird calling our home phone number and it being answered by a complete stranger!!! It took 22 days, 14 phone calls and 264 minutes of hanging on the end of the mobile phone, so you can imagine the relief to finally have our home phone working again. I'm sure it was an answer to prayer as I asked two people specifically to pray about our problem last week and within a couple of days we had results! Should have done that three weeks ago!!!