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.

Thorns and stems

August 22, 2007

Yesterday morning I was sitting with my stitching stuff feeling utterly bored with anything I could think to do with the Portuguese stem stitch. Now that is highly unusual state of affairs! Then just a glimmer of an idea occurred to me…wouldn’t it be nice if I could use this stitch to couch some other threads. Well, I’m not sure if I kept the Portuguese stem stitch intact. But my boredom disappeared and I had fun exploring. All sorts of ideas about the stitch are now waving at me for attention.

This variation is basically all the same moves of the Portuguese stem stitch with the exception of moving the beginning of the stem stitches out from the center on one or both sides. Here are some of the things I tried. At first it looked like it was going nowhere.



tstc34bsame8p.png At least not going anywhere fun.

Then I tried alternating and things improved.

tstc34balternate8p3.png tstc34balternate2color2.png

tstc34balternate2color3.png A stitch of two colors was another thought along the way to my goal of couching.


TSTC Week 34: The Portuguese Stem Stitch

August 21, 2007

This week Sharon b has chosen the Portuguese Stem Stitch for this weeks challenge stitch (see TSTC). Sharon’s post takes you step by step through the execution of this stitch. I’ve worked with this stitch once before. I’m anxious to have a little more time to experiment with it now. Here is some of that preliminary work done last year.



The beading on the swings seat was done as the Portuguese stem stitches were made.