Bits and pieces (I)

Stitching-wise, it’s been a bitty week – and none of it what I should have been stitching! Still, I’ve made progress on Join The Band, got some useful finishing done, and I’ve been trying out a couple of ideas which I’m sure will be useful as well some day.

The finishing involved all those little shisha tiles I stitched to find the version that I want to use for a second shisha kit. There they were, in a pile on the dining room table (which doubles as my place-to-put-projects-in-progress – as well as folders full of sketches, boxes of threads, a magnifier light, transfer pens, and my recently acquired lightbox), waiting for me to decide what to do with them. I could just have kept them as a record of all the variations, but I have photographs of them all and it seemed a bit of a waste, so an evening of production line cutting, padding and sticking turned them into 10 cards.

10 Shisha Tile cards 10 Shisha Tile cards

With Join The Band I’m finishing all the guilloche bands before getting to the cutting. At first I intended to complete each band before moving on to the next, but then – as with the cards – I got a bit of a production line going, finishing all the stem stitch first (done), then adding the satin stich (two more left to do), and finally the lacing and French knots (only the middle one completed as yet). I decided to take a picture for my records because at the moment the project shows all these stages in progress.

Building up a guilloche stitch

And the ideas I’ve been trying out? More about those next time!

Relaxation or challenge?

At the moment I’m working on the stitched model for Join The Band, and finding it very enjoyable – a band sampler with alternate bands of Hardanger and guilloche stitch, it has enough repetition to be soothing and relaxing, and enough variation to remain interesting. But this post mentions “challenge” rather than “interest”. So do I ever want my stitching to be challenging? Yes, within reason. I love learning new stitches and new techniques, and that surely is a challenge, doing something you haven’t done before and trying to do it well. But if it becomes a struggle, and puts me off my stitching, then I am quite happy to decide that this particular stitch or technique is simply not my cup of tea. After all, when it comes down to it embroidery is my hobby, and I mean to enjoy it!

Fortunately Join The Band is giving me just the right amount of challenge; and working with a lovely palette of purple, blue and green just adds to the pleasure (although I must say I’m also looking forward to working the alternative version in three shades of coral red).

A little preview of Join The Band

Incidentally, there is quite a bit of frame flipping while working this design, which with the Millennium frame on the Lowery isn’t very easy; because of the width of the frame the mechanism for flipping it gets stuck on the arm of the chair, and anyway it’s a bother having to undo and fasten screws every time, not to mention having to push my purpose-built Meccano prop out of the way. So I’ve been looking at the Stitchmaster Seatstand which is like Needle Needs’ floor and lap stands in that the frame rests on it rather than being clamped to it in some way, but has the advantage of being smaller than the floor stand, and I suspect less wobbly than the lap stand (because you sit on the paddle rather than perching the whole thing precariously on your lap). My one concern was that the frame wouldn’t sit high enough, as I couldn’t quite gauge the size and height from the pictures. So I rang Sew & So and asked them whether they knew what height the upright post is. The very helpful lady called Claire whom I spoke to said she would measure it and call me back. She did, I did a bit of experimenting with a 12″ ruler, and I’ve just ordered my seat stand smiley – expect pictures soon!