Out and about: Catching leaves

September 15, 2008

Autumn is around a long corner in the central valley, and all the autumn leaves have been on my mind. Did you ever try catching the colorful autumn tree leaves before they fell to the ground on a breezy day? Growing up, I had so much fun playing outside with the leaves.

On the internet I’ve been catching up with some great leaves as I’ve had a chance to look around a little more in the past week or so. Here are a few posts where I caught a glimpse of some wonderful leaves.

Bookmark at Paddy’s Daughter: Sue

Woven quilt at Come Quilt with Me: Jo

Bargello leaves at Tanglecrafts’ Tangled Thread:  Su
of special note: index of reviewed of needlework books (currently 43)

Leaves in beads at Beading at the Beach: Bobbi

Thank you ladies for sharing your work!

Regular readers may remember a few of my previous posts on the subject of leaves. Leaves have always fascinated me. And when my friend Anne Gailhbaud started talking to me about her leaf sampler early this year I was excited. And then she sent me a sampler of leaves that is beautiful, each leaf is worked in a different type of stitch. If you haven’t checked Anne’s website lately please do. It’s updated with lots of new work from this year.

Raised stitch experiments? On going…

a tree, open chain trunk over the long tie downs of the branch chains and a few detached chains at the top with a few straight stitches at the bottom. 

three converging straight stitches added


various threading trials

I’ve had a lot fun with this stitch. There are a few more trials I want to try with it. And I want to do some research on one of the variations. But I don’t think it will be this week.

Next post Wednesday (us, west coast).

Winding up the Pekinese stitch

November 12, 2007

I would like to say a word of welcome to new visitors. Thank you so much for stopping here. I hope you will find something of interest in the stitches I explore as part of Sharon b‘s Take a Stitch Tuesday Challenge (TSTC). I also keep a small blogroll of needleworkers in a variety of areas. If you have an interest in any of those areas and are not already familiar with these blogs please do swing by and see what they are doing.

As I’ve been out and about I will mention a piece featuring the Pekinese stitch in a great post by Maureen of CrazyQstitcher. Please do catch it, if you haven’t already seen it and while there please take the opportunity for a further look around her blog. Maureen does beautiful crazy quilting and I’m sure you would find many other things of interest. Thank you for posting that beautiful piece and your blog, Maureen!

As SharonB’s TSTC for 2007 is winding down I’ve been casting about in my mind for a focus on this blog and what to do for the upcoming year. Many thanks to those of you who frequently visit and special thanks to the many who leave comments.

Now turning attention to the samples I have at the end of the forty-fifth TSTC week, all of them are “off grid” work. Except for the top photo, everything could easily, and I dare say more tidily, be stitched on a counted thread ground.








Beading the Pekinese stitch

November 8, 2007

I could not leave off beading the Pekinese stitch. With one exception all my samples have some beading.

When I started out doing counted thread work on linen I did not want to use anything but threads. I hated beads; please, no buttons. It was crazy quilting that won me over to considering them when SharonB did her 100 details for 100 days last year. As I saw her work and that of so many others during that time, I realized how much they could enhance embroidery. I still am limited in my work with beads. They are not in my comfort zone, but I try to remember the possibility. The Pekinese stitch got me carried away with beads…at least for today’s samples.

Of special note before my samples:

I’ve been following the of Plimoth Embroiderers’ story, where they are recreating a 17th-century embroidered jacket. And I wanted to mention that I’ve been seeing some great posts on the stitches that they use from Carol-Anne Conway at Threads across the Web. If you haven’t seen the project yet, please do take a few moments to swing by and take a look. In addition visit Carol-Anne’s blog to see some of her posts. She has followed up the first post that caught my eye last week by highlighting a spiral trellis stitch, detached buttonhole lace, Ceylon stitch and knot stitch. While you’re there do take time to explore this interesting blog. Thanks very much for these wonderful posts and your blog Carol-Anne!

Beads and Perle 8


I love the first row where I beaded the backstitching. Then I tried switching to beading the loops. As you can I got tired of row two and hated it. I tried to move to alternating the beads but it didn’t work well until I started using the pima cotton.

Beads and pima cotton


Top row alternating beads. Second, every other loop beaded. Third, every loop beaded–much better spacing here than with the Perle 8, I think. The fourth row is beading the loops on both sides of the back stitching. This can be done with one row of backstitching. It’s only my personal taste dictated against one and for two rows.

This sample is the exception to beading everything. I worked on my sharp corners with this one. This is some improvement over yesterday, but I have to improve upon it more before I would turn to this stitch for a diamond shape. It sure does nicely on curves, however.


Trials with the twisted satin stitch

October 18, 2007

I’ve been using the twisted satin stitch to make borders and snippets of this and that.

But I want to pause for a moment and say “welcome” to new visitors to my blog and to anyone new to the on-line needlework community. I appreciate those who read my blog and that includes newcomers. Please feel welcome to look around and to leave a comment, if you wish. If you’re new to the on-line needlework community, I keep a short list of blogs that I enjoy in several areas that may be of interest. If you visit these blogs I think they will be able be able to direct you more specifically.

Since I’ve been back from vacation I’ve not been caught up with so many things. I’m still not yet prepared to go back to my Monday out-and-about posts because of my current work schedule. There have been so many posts of interest to read and some great tutorials that have been absorbing. I will mention just two today.

I have learned to enjoy working with straight stitches. So I was delighted when I saw that Janet Perry wrote a thoughtful article about them at Nuts About Needlepoint a few days ago. Due to being behind on my Bloglines, I only read it yesterday. If you haven’t caught it, and are interested, I think you’ll enjoy it. She’s writing it from a needlepoint perspective but I found things to consider for my own areas of interest.

I also finally caught up with Gwen Magee at Textile Arts Resources and found that she’d highlighted lines as a design element in quilting in this post. She pointed me on to June Underwood who had written and posted, The line, as quilted at Art and Perception. Although not a quilter, it proved thought provoking for me and was well illustrated. Gwen’s article also points to several exercises and instructive pages about lines. I’m sure most of my regular readers have already seen these posts, but if you a newcomer or missed them I hope you’ll pop over and take a look to see if they would be of interest to you, too.

Many thanks to all these ladies for their work and expertise.

I must get back to the twisted satin stitch.


I tried two colors and two different thread thicknesses in the samples below with the exception of the third sample where there is only a color difference.




tstc42dbackforth.png Twisted in opposite directions in the top and lower portion. The middle rectangle is twisted from both directions. Oops, I just now spotted a small error on the upper portion of the middle square. Well, I’ll try to post a better sample of this tomorrow. Evidently, I need more practice or better eyesight.

Out, about and guitar picks

September 3, 2007

Out and about

This is a word of welcome to those new to this blog or the on-line needlework community. Thank you for visiting. I enjoy many blogs, I’ve tried to highlight a few major categories of needlework blogs on my blogroll. From there I think you may find many others of interest.

The highlight of my week was seeing the start up JoWynn Johns blog at Parkview 616. I’ve been busily reading her excellent essays as well as seeing her beautiful embroidery. She has done a lovely tree using various stitches to attach the shishas. Annie at Annies Crazy World has some wonderful and informative posts on this subject as well starting with her August 31 post and going through today’s post. And in this post she also points on to another example of more good work with shishas. And there is so much more good work on this stitch that I wish I could highlight all that I saw this week.

Gwen Magee at Textile Arts Resources posted an article worth considering on working in a series. There is a follow up post here with an Amy Lindenberger quote on the subject.

Cyndi at Layers upon Layers has done two great posts on expanded squares one here and the second here explaining how to make a digital stamp with them in Photoshop. Many thanks to Cyndi for the great posts and to Susan Lanz of Art in Stitches for pointing me to Cyndi’s blog. There is a nice profile piece on Susan there, too.

Guitar picks

This week has been rather exhausting for me. The incident with my eye took a lot out of me. What a wonderful gift our sight is to us! I’m so thankful that no harm followed, but it did limit my stitching and sent my whole stitching plan for the week in a new direction. And I am not sad about that, I explored the stitch in a different way and learned perhaps more than if things had proceeded as I’d planned.

When I began to think of substitutes for the mirrors, guitar picks stood out in my mind as a possibility.  They are made in all colors and a variety of shapes. I see butterflies and flower petals in them. They also have shinny metal look versions but the ones I saw didn’t appeal to me.


Here are a couple of trials with them.



I found the thin picks cut fairly well. I had in mind almost a stained glassed window look. I was first thinking of doing this with the CDs but started practicing with the guitar picks since I’m still perfecting a few things with my cuts on the CDs.

The alternating work I did the other day with the shisha stitch needed improvement. This went much better. I’ve used a different thread for the anchor stitching to make it clearer what I’m doing with the stitch.

tstc35ealteven.png  tstc35ealtdiag.png

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.



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.

Out and about; without scroll stitches

August 20, 2007

Out and about

A warm welcome to this blog; thank you for visiting. And especially to any new readers and to those also new to the on-needlework community, a special word to say thank you for visiting. I keep a blogroll that may help point you on to other sites you would enjoy. Clicking on “blogs” in the categories list will bring you to posts highlighting other blogs I enjoy reading.

Many thanks, as well, to those who visit my blog regularly. I appreciate your visits and comments.

This is week is week two of my out and about trial to highlight blogs posts that are of interest to me as I explore some needlework and related blogs through the week.

Marty at Textiles in Time did a great tutorial on covering donut beads. I have a packet of about 30 donut beads. Now I know another way to transform them. Many thanks for doing this tutorial, Marty!

Learning furoshiki looks like a good choice if you want to reduce the fabric in your stash and wrap something elegantly at the same time. Check out this interesting article written by Serena Felton at Layers of Meaning. Thank you for putting together a very informative and enjoyable article, Serena!

I hope you’ve not missed Sharon b Saturday post regarding an article by Germaine Greer published in the Guardian and follow up at in a minute ago (now pin tangle). Sharon has stimulated a very interesting discussion, please do stop and read the comments if you have not done so already.

Thanks for doing this Sharon! You and those contributing to the discussion made me think far more deeply about the issues than I would on my own. All of us are prone to make mistakes in logic and embrace or express ideas that contradict some of our other deeply held convictions. Some worldviews have contradictions in themselves that have not been noticed or resolved yet. It is a discussion like this that bring some of those things in my own mind to light.

Without scroll stitches

8:30 am (west coast time) in the central valley and I can’t get pictures with enough light to clean up and post. The flash comes on if I’m close and if I back off the pictures are too blurry. I’ll be retaking them after work. And posting them then.

Out and about; a double crested chain stitch?

August 13, 2007

Out and about

Wecome! Thank you for visiting. I’m using this section for the next four weeks as a word of welcome to those who are new readers of my blog or new to the on-line needlework community. I keep a blogroll that I think point to some major needlework areas and from there help acquaint you with other blogs in special areas of interest to you. I need to expand this a bit more. New additions are coming but I tend to work slowly on this project. If you click on the category “blogs” you will find those that I’ve highlighted in the past.

“Out and about” is a way to highlight blog articles that I read during the week and thought noteworthy. They are not necessarily from any one involved in Sharon b’s TSTC but may be of interest to stitchers.

Lynne at Faffing About had an article with a photo of a great piece using the TaST long and short stitch. Her article mentioned something I related to instantly–courage in needlework. Thanks Lynne, you put some of my very thoughts into words!

Ann at Taoknitter posted an illustrated article on Irish dance hand embroidery. Thank you for investigating and displaying this hand embroidery work, Ann!

Karren K. Brito at Entwinements did an short, interesting post on the red dye of the safflower. I loved following the links and learning more. Many thanks, Karren!

Double crested chain stitch?

I tried this experiment on Monday (USA) evening when Sharon b had just posted the TaST stitch of the week. And dropped it because I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Over the weekend, the idea came back to me and I tried again. It only requires a very simple step to prepare the thread to make the second crest on the opposite side.


The needle is slipped under the far side of the chain instead of being inserted into the fabric to make the next chain stitch. The crest is then completed as normal and the second chain is then made. I hope that if you’re interested in trying this that these directions are a help. If you have any question please feel free to ask. I would be happy to try to try and clear it up with more photos or some other words to explain it better.

Here are some of the trials.

tstc32fdourow4.png Pima cotton


Three strands of floss above; more pima cotton below.

tstc32fdourow1.png tstc32fdourow2.png tstc32fdousquare.png

Sometimes I get sidetracked on something like this and wonder how useful it may be since this is not a very stable stitch in itself. However, I still want to see how it will do on curves, in couching. I’m full of curiosity if I can put two crests on one side. I just have to laugh at myself, shake my head and ask why do I want to push a capable little stitch like the crested chain to the maximum I can dream up?

Back to normal crested chains.