A stitch: not much on wave and curves

January 9, 2009

The continuous “A” stitch didn’t do well for me on waves and curves. Or is it that I can’t do well with waves and curves on any stitch? Regardless of where the difficulty is, here are some photos of the trials that went on. Most of them look like peaks and valleys to me.




I had to try one grid and a non-continuous one at that.


A stitch: continuous unbroken lines

January 6, 2009

I decided to take the “A” stitch in a new direction and start playing with continuous unbroken lines. As I was thinking more about the way the stitch “A” stitch was made, the up and down buttonhole stitch came to mind. It has a similar action in the way the thread is worked back though the loop. It seemed reasonable that if it is like a buttonhole stitch I should be able to make it in a continuous unbroken line.

These samples are the results.




From a distance a little distance.


Next planned post Thursday. I’m planning to work with waves and curves today and tomorrow.

A stitch: playing around a center

January 5, 2009

I keep plunging into more “rough draft” imaginations with the “A” stitch. Below are some of the more recent “A” stitch photos. I’ve done a few more samples that may shed some more light on what the stitch can do and how to identify it. But sun only beginning to climb up over over the horizon in the central valley now.

The more I play with this stitch the more familiar it seems.

I’m so puzzled. I’m sure I’ve used this stitch or one similar to it before. Many thanks to those of you who have kindly been swinging by to take a look and see if you knew it or could help identify it.




A stitch: imagination and discovery

January 3, 2009

If you have read my last post I will now refer to another thing that Anne Gailhabaud wrote me in her second email when speaking about the “A” stitch.

In the same manner, I think we are both different, but complementary (in imagination and creativity). The parenthesis mine, to make it clearer as to what Anne was saying since I’m not providing the whole context.

So true Anne, your imagination leads in one direction and mine in another. When Anne was imaging Christmas trees and birds I was imagining more letters and patterns. Anne does what I love see happen with the stitches. She makes them give expression to the picture she sees in her mind.

However, I don’t despise the gifting of my imagination because it its not like Anne’s or some other person. As Anne says they are to be seen complementary. I think this attitude is what gives imagination wings allowing it to both develope in it’s own unique way and granting it full freedom to enjoy other people’s work. 

Here is the expression of what I was imagining. I saw eight letters of the alphabet in this stitch and made them into patterns.  If your counting and wondering where the eighth is, the “A” was done in the first post and I stitched a number of patterns on it alone. 





But you can see there are more than alphabetical patterns here. The first pattern I worked (top photo) was a a three prong version of the “A” stitch and that has lead me to consider the stitch in a couple of ways:

First: I worked the “A” stitch differently than the sheaf stitch from Sharon b‘s TAST week 28. But it has so many similarities. Could some of these patterns be more simply worked if done like that stitch? And what did my experiment from that week yield? Anything close to the “A”? Well then would a barred arrowhead stitch be just as fine? Are there other possibilities? Where does this stitch fit?  What do you think? Or have you seen or used this stitch before? There are so many stitches I’m not familiar with yet, I would be please with help about it.

Stitch construction is a fascinating subject to me. The more investigative side of me is still grappling with these issues all the while my imagination is running free and discovering more patterns.The tension that the thread is under, it’s stability, the wear and tear on the thread, the thread’s behaviour as it is manipulated are all components of what I think about. Does the thread lay differently if it is gathered up by a loop of thread than if it is passing though a loop of thread?

Then there are the questions that are not part of the construction but still come into play when we look further down the road. What will the stitcher’s experience be? How much do we consider ease of stitching and time involved in making the stitch? What limitations of application will the stitch have? Will the stitch be stable over time? Can it stand up to the wear and tear that it will be subject to in various end uses?

Next post planned for Monday (us, west coast).

A stitch: playing with the alphabet

December 30, 2008

Perhaps this is an old idea I returned to last night. I was thinking about the stitches I’ve been focusing on this year and trying to unwind from work. So I doodled with a little stitch that looks like an “A”. Of course, I couldn’t resist adjusting things from there.

Here is a quick step through:






Here are thoughts that came to mind on using it.




Now turning a corner, I want to draw attention to a new blog, I’ve recently started following. Anne Stradal of The Cape Stitcher has just finished a series of posts on transferring one of her father’s pen and ink drawing to a needlepoint canvas. Anne has given many helpful comments and tips in these posts. I’ve gleaned much along the way in addition to the delight of seeing the print come to life in needlepoint. Many thanks, Anne. I’m looking forward to your next project.

Best wishes to all for the new year. Many thanks to all that take time to swing by and visit the QM blog. And special thanks to those of you who have kindly taken time to write a comment. Although I’ve not always been able to acknowledge each one this year due to some family situations, your encouragement has come through. I appreciate it very much. And I have learned and gained much especially from the insightful comments on beauty and design.  I’m still working on the design project so those comments are continuing to guide my thoughts in many ways.

TSTC Week 39: The reversed buttonhole bar

October 7, 2007

I had a great time with the reversed buttonhole bar this weekend. It’s another post on condensed experimental stitching time as I struggle to get back on schedule after vacation. Sharon b’s introduction to this TSTC week is super. Her examples inspired me to try some things that I might not have thought of on my own.

After my stitching was done and photos taken, I had a bit of time check out the TSTC flickr account and saw more things I wish I’d tried. It’s very encouraging to see all the good stitching there as well as on so many other blogs.

I started out with this sedate curve.


And finally move forward to this more extreme one.


In between these two came some other curves. On the second sample pictured I tried skipping very other prong of the buttonhole bar. As you will see in the third sample I liked this idea and tried it out on a straight bar.


That lead to this. In the top sample the first and last line of the peach thread are done over each prong of the buttonhole bar. The three middle lines are staggered and skip every other prong.


Two bars off-set and facing each other in different colors.


Two bars back to back. The following two photos don’t do justice to the purple thread.


A rick-rack trial

tstc39aricrac.png I feel disappointed that I didn’t develop this more. I think that a lot could be done with this or other types of couching.


Well that’s it.

I’m looking forward to see what stitch Sharon will be introducing next.

Knotted buttonhole ladders

September 21, 2007

News note:

I’m off for vacation and expect to be posting again on October 6 (west coast, usa).


I was experimenting the other day with these knotted buttonhole bars. And they reminded me of ladders, not bars. So I had fun with them as my ideas progressed. I should have snap a few pictures of my uncle’s ladders for comparison.

It started with this bit of “off grid” work.


I moved it to “on grid” work with variations.





Above I didn’t knot the buttonholes on the inside curves, just the outside curves. The thread for the bars is a dark purple. Unfortunately, the colors in the photo are not true to life.


As you may notice this ending leaves me with something to work on while vacationing. The stitching in this row is far from satisfactory but I like the idea.

What more to do with knotted buttonhole bars?

September 20, 2007

I’ve had fun with the knotted buttonhole bars–still disappointed with my consistency in execution. I keep plowing ahead and hope that corrects itself with more practice.



Inside out




A flower


Cross purposes.


Threaded or couched



Buttonholing knotted buttonholes


What more to do with knotted buttonhole bars? I’ve three or four more samples to post, but one has to be rephotographed and they go together in a series. But I have no idea what I’m going to stitch next. Perhaps it’s a sign that I need a vacation soon.

Stitching bars of knotted buttonholes

September 19, 2007

I’m having fun with knotted buttonhole bars and can’t seem to settle down to do much serious work on them. I’ve more ideas that need stitching. If I can find a few spare minutes with my needle again today I’ll be happy. Given my schedule the good light needed for photographs is shrinking as we head into autumn here in California’s central valley.





Not ribbon, I couldn’t find any in a pleasing color. But there was some tissue paper laying around and I decided it would do. Now in the picture below, I used rick rack, no substitute, as the basis for the experiment. The only problem with the rick rack is that the camera can’t seem to capture the fact that it’s purple. The green thread not only held it in place but also acted as the bars for the knotted buttonholes.


TSTC Week 38: The knotted buttonhole band

September 18, 2007

As every Monday afternoon (USA, west coast) I read about Sharon b‘s stitch for the 38th week of the TSTC. It is the knotted buttonhole band and Sharon has provided an excellent step-by step on this stitch in the introduction. It sounded like a lot of fun to try and I started in on it right away. It’s a stitch that is hard for me to execute consistently as the following photos will show. However, that didn’t prevent me from trying out a few experiments.






As you can see just a bit of this and that in trying to figure out how to work with this stitch and make it useful. As an outsider looking in, this stitch seems like a great one for seam treatments since once the simple straight stitches are done everything is worked without moving through the fabrics.