Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Now, THERE is progress!

What a difference a great tutorial makes!

And better materials!

And taking one's time!

OK, so here is the full story . . .

First of all, I'd like to say a big THANK YOU!! to all of you who left me such kind comments! Many of you gently pointed out that I need to not be such a perfectionista, and I totally admit that is one of my downfalls! I've taken your advice and slowed down and am truly enjoying the process now.
I've been working in the evenings on a lovely Elefantz Design stitchery . . . this is Block One of her new Psalm 23 stitching series.

Wow! I'm pretty proud of the progress I've made!

I put a link up there at the top to the great tutorial that helped me a good bit. My stitches are much more even, and I'm getting them made correctly - no more faux chain stitch! (Grin)

I also followed Jenny's advice and got some Robert Kaufman Essex linen blend to work on. It's made a big difference for me! 
And the Whisperweft! Awesome! I love how it's so thin and drapey -- I hardly know it's there behind the stitchery, but it helps everything look much better. Plus, it's easy to adhere -- just iron it on.

Here's the problem - where to find it? I did manage to get a yard of it from a supplier link on the Elefantz site. I went to a (ahem!) local store that shall remain nameless and they had no clue. They offered me a product for backing my embroidery that felt like I would be stitching through a sheet of printer paper! (Grin)

I know that some of you swear by the stabilizer that washes out, but my one experience with that was not a really positive one . . . I was picking out pieces for quite a while. 

Any recommendations? Sure would appreciate it!

Thanks for stopping by! You're always welcome here at the Lilypad!


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Viewer discretion advised . . .

I've mentioned before that I'm enjoying some stitcheries from our talented friend "down under," Jenny of Elefantz . . . 

I'm warning ya right now, viewer discretion is advised on this post! (Grin) Some of these are downright shocking! LOL
(You can zoom in on all of these, you know, the old "spread or pinch" maneuver with your fingers!)

In an effort to be totally transparent and honest (and a chance soon to toot my own horn as I make progress) I'm showing you some pretty bad stitching!

I will admit to being in too much of a hurry.

I will also admit to not wanting to take out stitches. 
I am rationalizing that it's going to go on the kitchen table where it will not be noticed as much, since we'll be putting a centerpiece there, place settings around, and we'll be concentrating on our food!

And more importantly, I'm resolving to do much better in the future. I'm going to follow Jenny's lead, and relax and contemplate the words I'm stitching. I'll allow myself the "luxury" of taking time to remove errant stitches. 
So, here they are -- honest photos of stitching that will be improving soon!

Some of the arrows are for stitches that are just not lined up correctly. Those should have been pulled loose and done again.
Some of the mistakes are where I was not doing the backstitch correctly -- they look more like chain stitch in some places! (Grin) 
And of course, in some places you will see: small stitch, small stitch, BIG stitch, small stitch!!
All of these are from her free patterns on her site, so hop over and check out all the lovely things there! She also has great tutorials, which have helped me immensely!

I'll be back soon with some better stitching! The weather lately has kept us inside, instead of working outdoors, so the stitching continues!


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Yes, half square triangles are our friends!

I wanted to re-introduce you to my fave ruler as I have been working my way through these Summer Moon blocks: the Bloc Loc ruler is awesome!

See that groove in the center? Here is how it works . . . grab an unsuspecting half square triangle that you just finished, and lay the Bloc Loc on it, shifting and wiggling it so that the groove nestles in the diagonal seam, like so:

Let's say we want our finished squares to be two inches -- slide the ruler so that it covers a little more than two inches. See up there?
Now, grab that rotary cutter and trim the two exposed sides of the block. Like this!

Now you want to trim the other two sides, but DON'T PICK IT UP! (Just kidding, you can if you want to.) But you can also just slide it along the seam and rotate the whole block till it looks like this:

Now you can trim that bad boy's last two sides and you have a lovely, perfect, exactly two inch half square triangle!

And the possibilities are endless!
The next block for Summer Moon is the Split Nine Patch and it's nothing but HSTs! Here are mine:

Here's a close up:

This is sew much fun!
What's under your needle these days?


Friday, January 31, 2020

More Summer Moon blocks!

It's been a while since I posted! 
But I've not been slack - every chance I get, I hunker down in my sewing room and make blocks!

This block is on pages 22 and 23 of the Summer Moon sampler book by Carrie Nelson.  It's called the Crown of Thorns block:

Remember, for each block design, we make three: one that measures 5 inches unfinished, one at 6.5 inches unfinished, and the biggest one at 8 inches unfinished.

This block is on pages 12 and 13, and is called "Birds in the Air" -- I think it might be my favorite one so far!

Half square triangles are our friends!

Love how these look in scrappy colors!

How about you? Have you found time on these wintry days to do some sewing? 


Friday, January 10, 2020

More embroidery finishes!

I found three more of Jenny Elefantz's designs that I had stitched and laid aside . . . 

Time to DO something with them!

I found three frames the same size and reached for a sweet floral or two from a jelly roll in my stash. Here is how they turned out!

I'm really happy with how they look, and I think will hang them in my new sewing room as a group.

Now I'm really inspired to get started on some more handwork!


Monday, January 6, 2020

Sweet embroideries finished


I didn't realize that my last post about these little stitcheries was FOUR years ago! (Grin)

Here it is, if you'd like to visit: Click here to see post.

As I have been moving my sewing goodies into my new sewing room, I came across these and they just begged to be completed. And I needed me some sewing time! You've been there, right?

Luckily, I had some cute thirties repro fabrics that looked perfect for the job!
Sewed 'em up into lattice strips, and used some scraps of batting and backing, and here they are now:

These stitcheries, as I posted years ago, are the creative touches of Jenny of Elefantz -- I do love her designs, and I encourage you to pop over and check out the lovely things at her blog, Elefantz.com! (I don't know why, but Blogger was just not cooperating with me so I can't put a linkie there. Sigh. )  I'm going to enjoy focusing on the twenty-third Psalm; Jenny's designs minister to my heart as I stitch, and long afterward, too.

As I was sewing, I was thinking about kitchens and cooks of yesteryear, specifically those in our families. Some of these items pictured sure do bring back memories!

Another memory that popped into my wee head as I stitched was that of the "ole button box" in my stash . . .grandma's huge box of buttons from an auction. There must have been over a thousand buttons in that cardboard box -- all navy and white! She must have used those buttons on many different projects; and I was going to put them to work again!
I secured them at the corners with some perle cotton, and tied it into bows.

I quilted it super simply; just outlined the lattice strips with stitching. Here's a photo of the back:

And I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out! I put it on my stand and placed one of our grandmas' sewing boxes there, too. A nice vignette of good memories!

Thanks, Jenny, for sharing your talents and designs with us!


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Last day!

I've mentioned before how much I love the Stella light family - just wanted to pass along the word that their great sale is still going on! Hurry! It's the last day for these awesome savings!

When you check out their site you will see all the benefits a Stella can give -- adjusting the color "temperature," the intensity, the angle (with that super-flexible arm) -- it all adds up to a great lamp for us as sewists, embroidery nuts, crochet hounds, or whatever we love to do!

Here's a link to their site! Click here