Where to go next

August 2, 2007

After doing this stitching I’ve begun to wonder where to go next with the cast on stitch. I think it’s time for something more exciting, but I’ve no clue what that would be. It doesn’t seem like I have skills to make a vase full of blooms. I can’t imagine using it to represent the the coat of my favorite dog, Tucker.

Oh…perhaps I could use it to represent the woolly coat on a sheep. I can almost see that now. I’ll have to see if imagination matches stitching reality. What else would this stitch be good for? Could I make it very narrow at the ends and wide in the middle? Could it be made to look like a hen’s comb? There is so much to find out about this stitch and I seem to be dabbling at the water’s edge. Nevertheless, I hope you like these sample. I had a lot of fun stitching them up.

Blue fans–the one on the right is only tacked to the fabric at the edges of the innermost row.

tstc31ctwobluefans.png Hum…maybe they don’t look like fans now that I tucked away the loose threads. They did look like fans with nice blue handles.




This sample I call “my music”.


And this one, “two sticks”. I learned a new way of working with cast on stitch to make the bumpy part of the left. Rather hard to photograph. While re-thinking about how I did that, an even better idea came to mind. I could make two cast on stitches close together and whip stitch the edges together. Maybe they would look like a pea pod or a green bean? Could they look like an apricot or peach on a tree? Oh, no–strike that idea, I must be dreaming.


Where to go next with the cast on stitch?

More practice

August 1, 2007

I discovered another nice thing about using buttonhole wheels with cast on stitches this week. Now, I’m sure that others already knew about this match between the two stitches. I probably just wasn’t observant enough to notice it or pay attention to it before I had to work with them myself.

Here it is. Not perfect stitching but I think a perfect match between these two stitches. I love the contrast in density between the two stitches.


Since I discovered it on grid, I tried it with two layers of buttonhole wheels on some felt.


Here is the practice on the cast on stitches. I’m beginning to see how pulling them in various ways controls the shape.


You can see that I’m still using Perle cotton for the most part. It is easier for me to control than the pima cotton that I have in overdyed threads. Not that overdyed Perle cotton isn’t available, I suppose. Maybe that should be on my list for the next visit to the local needlework shop.

My stitching is still not such that I want to try making all kinds of flowers but I did try this one last night.


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.







More slivers and slices

June 16, 2007

In my on going review of Sharon b’s TSTC stitches via the French knot stitch in week 24, I’m hitting weeks 16 through 20 today. I wish I was flying through my day so fast but I’m way off schedule. I waited until the last minute to do Father’s Day shopping (in the USA on Sunday). I think a lot of other folks did, too, if the line I was standing in was any basis for making a judgement about such things.

Still no positive identification on the variation. I’ve heard of a couple of possibilities. On one I’m trying to a little more research; this one does not look like it is shaping up to be match. On the other I’m waiting for a response to my inquiry for more information; it’s too early to make any evaluation about it. I’m keeping Sharon in the loop and will post as soon as we have any more news. I certainly appreciate all of those who have stopped by to look and pulled out books or checked other sources for information. If you’re looking and find something, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Thank you very much!

Week 16 Palestrina stitch


Week 17 running stitch


Week 18 woven and whipped wheels


Week 19 Basque stitch


Week 20 butterfly chain stitch


More French knots — exploring ideas with the new variation