Slivers and slices with the Shisha stitch

August 31, 2007

I had some time to do “off grid” slivers and slices and well as do more “on grid” work with the Shisha stitch.

Here is the “off grid” work.



The more I consider this stitch it seems like the bonnet stitch, but not self anchoring.

In “on grid” work my favorite was this wavy line. The back stitched anchor row looks almost like a little line of tan beads.


Here are two different rows. As I sat stitching yesterday I thought perhaps they might be way to add a drawstring casing to a small bag. The one with the two rows is from yesterday. I just brought it forward so that you can compare it to the single open row. The two row finish is my favorite way of finishing, it seems so much neater. But of course one row is much faster and takes less material.



I haven’t taken up the mirrors again, but Annie at Annies Crazy World left a great comment for me explaining how to make use of CDs. I think I will be trying that instead. Thank you so much, Annie.

And before I’d read Annie’s comment I’d been thinking how nice it would be to try attaching guitar picks with the shisha stitch. I’m almost convinced that a triangular shape would work. It looks like there should be many experiments ahead with this stitch.

Here is another fill idea.


Progress on the Shisha stitch

August 30, 2007

As one of my friends commented on the yesterday’s post the shisha stitch without the shisha. I’m thinking about the mirrors again, but I haven’t decided yet. I’ve had plenty to do without the mirrors. This stitch is an interesting texture. I’ve had a couple of control issues in smoothness of the work and so forth but it’s been fun to work with.

My eye is pretty much back to normal, thankfully. Afresh I realize I can’t take the ability to see or do anything else for granted. How quickly I could be completely without the ability to do anymore work with my needle and thread. My mind doesn’t grapple with these thoughts too often, but when something stirs them up it promotes thankfulness to God and rest in His care.

Here are the experiments I tried yesterday.


tstc35broundedsq250.png rounded square

tstc35bchangingshapes.png  changing shapes


tstc35bperle8vs.png This and the second photo are using the same technique. The size in thread is making the difference. It was and experiment in using a zig zag row rather than a backstitch row as a tie down. On top photo where I tried using both sides to the zig zag row for tied downs, I was pleased to see there is a nice change in texture that could be exaggerated a bit more, I think.

TSTC Week 35: The Shisha Stitch

August 29, 2007

I’m late, but fine. This is the way I saved the opening of my Tuesday morning post on Monday afternoon (usa, west coast)…

Here we are at the last week before reaching the two-thirds mark in the TSTC year. Sharon b has assigned the the Shisha stitch for this week. I thought I’d combine it with a review of the stitches learned since the midpoint review I did in June. It looks like a fun stitch to learn more about. My local craft store had mirrors in squares and circles. They had some triangular things, too. But I changed my mind about purchasing them until I’m certain I get along OK with the circles and squares. Sharon wrote an easy to follow step-by-step with photos in her introduction to the stitch.

Today, I’m reviewing the long and short stitches (week 25), the bullion knots (week 27). I’m planning to come back and pick up the half chevron (week 26) and the sheaf stitch (week 28) in Wednesday’s stitching.
Thursday, the arrowhead stitch from week 29
Friday, the buttonhole wheels (week30) and cast on stitch (week 31)
Saturday, the crested chain stitch (week 32)
Monday, the scroll stitch (week 33)

Well, that a plan, let me see what happens.

… I wasn’t sure if I’d post the whole plan but I needed to at least lay it out for myself. I printed it out to put with my stitching. About 7 pm I went back to stitching and I decided to transfer those mirrors into a resealable plastic bag. I noticed there was a little gritty feeling on my fingers but never gave it a thought. A warning missed because in just a little while some of that grit got in my eyes. Thankfully in God’s mercies, the worst was not stitching the rest of Monday evening and having to do very short stitching times yesterday.

Except for finishing one bullion stitch project that was nearly finished when this happened, I’ve had to focus on the shisha stitch itself. Not a bad stitch to experiment with, but I definitely have not felt like picking up one of those mirrors again. I’ve almost convinced myself that I should try to substitute buttons.


You can see this is just a first effort. I might have added more bullion stitches as petals, if I’d not had that accident. I’d planned a daisy like look with the long and short stitch.

Instead, here are the bits of experiments I did try afterwards.

tstc35adiamond.png  Perle 8, everything else is Perle 5 except for the pima cotton rust in the last photo which is probably a little under a 5 Perle cotton.



The straight rows of shisha stitch are anchored by initial and ending backstitch rows.

Out, about and doodles

August 27, 2007

Out and about

Welcome to the Quieter Moments blog. I hope new readers enjoy having a look around and getting acquainted if you find things of interest here. I especially want to welcome those who are new to the on line needlework community. My blogroll is not very extensive, but I do try to point you to some I enjoy in a particular area of needlework. I believe they will point you on in the right direction to find out more through their posts and/or blogrolls.

This is the third week of a four week trial to point to a few blog articles that I found of special note during the week.

Judy at Possibilities, etc.! posted this article about a beautiful needlework block based on a crazy quilt. She has just finished it and the article explains more. I’ve been watching Judy’s ideas on this concept progress for quite some time through my bloglines. Thanks for taking the concept and doing such a great job with it, Judy!

Neki at A movable feast posted an article about Takashi Iwasaki’s embroidery. Please do check out what Neki has to say and the link to more of his work in her article. He does far more work than just his embroidery. And there are some large swings in his style as well. I found his work very refreshing. Thanks for this great post, Neki!

Lisa Call’s blog New Work and Inspiration is in my reader, too. Thanks go out to her for a very thought provoking post Sunday. The title is Posting New Artwork on my Blog. I’ve thought a lot about this subject since I started blogging last fall. This is definitely a to-each-our-own area because our personalities and modes of working are so individual. I’ve definitely been the beneficiary by learning so much from many people who do freely post new and in progress artwork on their blogs.

But I could relate to what Lisa is saying and reading her blog has been just as helpful to me. This post in particular was well worth reading because it helped sort out my own thoughts. It has provoked an interesting discussion in comments on Lisa’s blog, too. I have pros and cons stacked up on both sides of the issue. I think my own indecision on this issue is one of the major reason I tend to stick to stitch samples or slivers and slices of ideas here. For me classes or face-to-face situations are entirely different than posting on my blog.

Now to turn another corner, I should also mention two pages on this blog; one back in order and one new.

The new first, “Where is Sharon b blogging these days?” This page points you to Sharon b’s new blog and her post on the move. I’ve put this page up on my blog because my blog leans against hers in so many ways every week with the Take a Stitch Tuesdays Challenge (TSTC). Although my blogroll is updated, I’ve lots of links in my posts that I’ll need to be fixing as the move takes place. I’ll be planning this out a little more before I do it.

The TSTC stitch families page went haywire when I tried to add the Portuguese stem stitch. It’s hopefully correctly revamped. Yes, I will back up more frequently! If you’ve not noticed this page before, be forewarned: I’m not an expert on stitch families. These are very broad categories originally intended primarily for my own use.

Many thanks for all the visits and kind comments this past week.


Sadly, I wasn’t very much more inventive with the Portuguese stem stitch over the weekend. Not that I’ve exhausted all the innovations on it, just all mine save one that just won’t work out yet. There is only one new idea in these doodles and it is looping more than twice to make the knot (see pink edge on right hand side). I pulled this idea out and did a few tests with it. I didn’t post them here but I got very good results with three and four wraps for the “knot”. They look more like a tiny bullion stitches than knots.



I know, more cut outs! But it seemed like a good solution to the orientation of this sample that is stitched on an entirely too small a piece of felt. The only thing new here is the trial on the blue spiral. The detached buttonholes are looped twice in some loops of the Portuguese stem stitch to make it lay flat. It reminded me of what I’d have to do if I were crocheting.

I’ve played a bit with the orientation of this next doodle, but at least I’m back to a normal rectangular crop.



News and a few more thoughts

August 25, 2007

A few more thoughts on the Portuguese stem stitch are in the post today. But first two pieces of news that may be of interest to my readers.

Where is Sharon b blogging these days? Probably most of you have already seen what is happening with Sharon b’s in a minute ago blog. But if not please click the button above for the new links. My blogroll is updated. I’ll be checking to see how my posts are affected. I may have some updating to do to keep those links working and connecting back to her posts.

I’m pleased to say that Hilary Metcalf of Textileplay has posted more expanded squares. Please do click over there and see them as well as read about the developments there, if you’re interested. She’s been working on the electronic versions and has notes available. It is such a exciting improvement from having to roundup scissors, black paper and rubber cement. Unfortunately, my Photoshop Elements can’t handle them so I need to start doing that more frequently myself. Thanks for another great post, Hilary!

Back to the Portuguese stem stitch and a few more ideas.


Here I’m experimenting with lacing two rows together and testing out the changes it make as the distance between them varies.


Here is an experiment with changing the angles of the “thorns” variation I was playing with the other day (pink thread). Then I threaded the other side of the stitch and was pleased to see how this emphasised the pink knots.


I tried doing a filler in the spiral; not too successful. It is not very neatly done at the joins and I should have used a Perle 8 instead of the 5. That would have prevented the tightness there is between the stitches and also lent more interest due to the change in height. But that’s why I stitch samples! I may learn either from both a good or a poor choice.

More threading and my favorite sample in rust and tan.

tstc34echainwhipped.png tstc34edoublewhipped.png


The unexpected and the expected

August 24, 2007

The unexpected: A mini midweek out and about

Hilary Metcalf of Textileplay posted this article about Expanded Squares. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you may remember this post and how excited I was about the very same Quilting Art’s article by Jane Dunnewold. Hilary’s post includes examples of both her paper and electronic expanded squares. Thanks for a great post, Hilary!

The expected: Stitch work with the Portuguese stem stitch

This is the composite of some of the things I was experimenting on the other day. Most of it is the Portuguese stem stitch or a variation. But a few things are my own invention or fillers.


Here’s the Portuguese stem stitch at work on curves and circles.




Perhaps the cutouts are another unexpected element in today’s post. I hope they were not too distracting. I certainly don’t intend to start using them. I had problems with the normal squares and rectangles because of stitching these shapes so close together.

Couching, threading and buttonholing

August 23, 2007

I’ve been thinking and working more with the Portuguese stem stitch. I must move on to other areas today. But here are more experiments using it with couching. In this case, I’ve just added to the work in yesterdays post. The work below with threading and detached buttonholes is all new.




I have a composite piece I did yesterday. I’ll try and post it tomorrow. I wish I could have taken a couple of photos along the way on some of it. It is worked so close together that it’s almost impossible to see what has been done. So I’ve tried to pull a few of the concepts with threading and detached buttonholes and stitch them separately. Sorry the colors aren’t much to look at. But I wanted to use two colors so it would be a little clearer what was happening.





Update: I forgot to mention the TSTC stitch family page is not gone forever. I had some kind of error in it when I updated it this week. I’ve pulled it off until I can correct it. It should be available by next Tuesday.