TSTC Week 31: Cast on stitch

July 31, 2007

When Sharon b announced her thirty-first stitch for the 2007 TSTC, it sent me scurrying for her stitch dictionary to find out about the cast on stitch. It is a high texture stitch and Sharon has shown us some exciting applications of this stitch in her post as well as another in the dictionary. The ending link in the dictionary shows a full view of the block from which one of her samples was taken. It’s well worth clicking to see Sharon’s beautiful work.

I’m learning this stitch so there are some bad little errors in some of the stitching samples, maybe all of them.

Here is my first try.


This is the next trial. I began to make as many cast on stitches as possible. I had fun stitching over the bad ones and trying to make the next ones better. But there were too many bad spots cropping up to hide them all! And you can see glimpses here of the buttonhole wheels that I want to continue working on this week.


Here is a sample of several spiral buttonhole wheels. I did more over stitching. These are both things that I want to spend more time with this week.


These last two buttonhole samples have to do with an idea I didn’t think of until Monday. My idea was to make one outer circle with two centers. As I went around the outer circle, I alternated between the centers. It might be worth working with a little more; I’m going to try it with a different type of thread.



Two little lines and beyond

July 30, 2007

My ideas on the buttonhole wheels have been few and far between. My two little lines are slight variations on some common seam treatments I’ve seen.



I like the top one but this second one needs more work–a bead or something. And while I’m thinking about beads, I wondered if a bugle bead could be used for spokes of the wheels. And beads between the spokes for rims? I think I must try that–wish I’d thought about that at the beginning of the week instead of the end. I’ll have to look, beaders must do this all the time.

Here are some more trials and tests.


The largest dark wheel was testing places other than the center for some of the spokes to end. The other dark wheel was grouping some of the spokes close together and then trying to go as far as possible without distorting the circle shape. I went too far. That’s why the second rim is added. Not all my ideas work out!

The other thing I was forcing myself do in the sample above was to stitch over some of my previous stitching. It’s hard for me to do that; I think I’m covering up the best part. You can see I was all too gingerly and only stitched over the outermost edges of the wheels.


First I tried weaving the center spokes. Then I tried making a mill wheel, I thought it would look three dimensional but my perspective was certainly off. The last partial wheel is just trying to balance off the failed mill wheel.


I’m not ready to leave the buttonhole wheels behind. Friday evening I’d exhausted everything I could think of, but this afternoon I began thinking what if…

I think they may be showing up in my work with Sharon b‘s thirty-first TSTC stitch. And starting Wednesday I should be back to a more normal posting routine again. What unpredictable schedules I sometimes have!

Mostly off grid

July 28, 2007

I was working mostly “off grid” last night and again this morning on the buttonhole wheel stitch. Very interestingly the one “on grid” sample is something I first did “off grid”, transferred to “on grid” work and liked the “on grid” work best. The only other surprise was that while working on the blue piece I never realized a “heart” shape was developing until I was turning the piece around to fasten all the threads. I’m not much for heart shapes, but decided to leave this one as is.






That’s all the work I’ve had time for with the buttonhole wheels. There is some really good work with this stitch on various blogs and the flickr site. A good way to find blogs is to check towards the end of the TaST week with Sharon b‘s weekly introductory posts and follow links. If you haven’t already visited I hope that you will do it. This stitch deserves a lot better work than I’ve been able to give it so far. Fortunately, some other stitchers are just doing great with it and inspiring me.

Working on buttonhole wheels

July 27, 2007

My experiments are on going with the buttonhole wheel stitch. In some ways what I did last night doesn’t look like much, but I learned a great deal. Most of the time I think I dream my own experiments but with this stitch I see Sharon b‘s influence cropping up in my work. I wish the quality of the work was better, but these are after all only first steps in an area I haven’t ventured into very much.





Although the picture doesn’t reflect it there is a cone shaped center in this wheel.


Off center

July 26, 2007

All my pictures show that early morning blue. I apologize for erratic post times; my schedule is upside down or inside out until at least next Wednesday.

I had fun placing the wheels a little “off round” and the centers a little “off center” last night while stitching. Today I decided this is a perfect reflection of how I feel!


Stitching over the top (lower left) then under the top row of stitching (lower right) and trying a spiral.


My travel bag didn’t have a very exciting color to try this next experiment with. But I liked this row a lot. It’s rather fussy because I stopped and changed the direction with each quarter of the “circle”. But it kept me alert, no day dreaming allowed.


And a few more trials.



Square wheels?

July 25, 2007

I got the craziest idea while stitching buttonhole wheels last night; I tried to reverse them. I got squares and diamonds instead.


As you may notice I still have trouble fastening the beginning stitch and keeping every thing nice and neat with this thick thread. If any one has tips for beginning and ending the buttonhole wheels, I would appreciate it. Thanks!
Here’s the diamond, well actually a partial diamond. I didn’t try to finish it off as I got rather discouraged about it for some reason.


I will be trying a thread like a Perle 12 or thinner today. I will not promise to stop my experiments with the reversed wheels. I already tried whipped and woven buttonhole wheels back on week 18 so I want to force myself into some other areas this week.

Here is another place where I went crazy with my stitching last night. I started out with a nice sedate row of alternating quarter fans.  Then I had all sorts of other ideas and added them on at random.


Now for the more mundane experiments.




TSTC Week 30: Buttonhole wheels

July 24, 2007

This week bring us to the thirtieth week of Sharon b‘s TSTC. At it’s conclusion, if my calculations are correct, we will have twenty-two weeks of the challenge remaining. It’s been an amazing journey so far. I don’t know what the remaining twenty-two stitches will be. But Sharon has named the thirtieth stitch; it is a buttonhole wheel stitch.

I’ve already been having fun with it. Sharon wrote a wonderful introduction. Her work with this stitch has always been a standout for me. When I first got acquainted with her blog during “a 100 details for 100 days” last year, I was totally fascinated by what she was doing with this stitch. And there were many other crazy quilter’s stitching along with her and using buttonhole wheels to great advantage on their seams.

All I can do with this stitch is to start to follow along behind them. Here is what I stitched yesterday.







The arrowhead stitch plays out

July 23, 2007

A word of welcome and a word of thanks.

To any new reader or newcomer to the on-line needlework community “Welcome!” I keep a blogroll of various types needlework. Each may lead you to many other blogs in their particular fields. Also if you click on the category blogs. You will find an number of posts on blogs that I enjoy visiting. I’m sure I’ll be introducing others along the way. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy some in past posts or explore the links on other blogs on the blogroll. It’s well worth getting acquainted with a good variety of people doing great handwork today.

A word of thanks to all of those who have visited the blog and especially to those of you who have left comments. I appreciate the many encouragements and kindnesses very much. Thank you!

Now for the arrowhead stitch.

Yes, the last day of posting on the arrowhead stitch. I’ve had a lot of fun with this stitch. My hardest task was keeping it from becoming something else–like an eyelet, a cross stitch, herringbone and so forth. I hope I succeeded with that.

Threaded or laced samples




All others





Here and there with the arrowhead stitch

July 21, 2007

Various experiments with no rhyme or reason that I can figure out. So shall we say as the mood struck me, I went from here to there?

Off grid blue


to on grid red.


On to red rick-rack




and why I lingered there, I have no clue.

A blue triangle and a red star and we are through.


Threaded arrowheads

July 20, 2007

I couldn’t resist playing with threaded arrowhead stitches. There were a few disappointments along the way. But for the most part once I switched to the thicker threads the results were better.

This is my favorite so far. It is so thick and sturdy–more like a piece of fabric than stitching. And it was a lot of fun to stitch since the stitches are easy and I enjoyed the rotating colors. If I had more time I’d have enjoyed making this into a useful piece.



I like the top concept, but it is here where I made an error with the blue thread between the two mirrored rows of arrowheads. I stitched the blue thread too tightly to the place where the middle two wraps meet and it pushed them apart. The wraps on either side meet very nicely. I could not redo without uprooting too much. Thankfully these are only samples, in this case with a reminder of what not to do!


Tried a couple of different threading ideas; loved the one in the middle.

Now to turn a corner

Yesterday I began thinking about what I called direction perhaps this is called position or orientation. When I was in Photoshop getting this off grid piece ready to post, all those thoughts from yesterday floated up. Some pieces only have one or two positions that are “right”. This one seem to have several to me depending on the thrust/energy/idea that I would wish to convey.


tstc29dfabric2.png To me this is less energy than the one above. But it appeared to be flowing toward me almost as if gathering more momentum.

This view seems to have more energy at the start but it is flowing away from me and seems to be losing energy.


The difference a horizontal flip in Photoshop makes

tstc29dfabric3.png This looks “wrong” or weak in my eyes.

tstc29dfabric4.png This looks better.

I suppose this is something that should be going in my journal rather than in a post. So often I tend to skip planning in my needlework. Some of these switches would be off limits if the piece was stitched.

Lately, I’ve noticed a few things my design teacher stressed seem to have become a part of my thought pattern. I see the value of them even more than when I was taking the class. There are so many things that I need and desire to learn. How much diligence and patience I need to have in order to do it. And diligence and patience alone can’t gain understanding and wisdom.