Progress On the Pillowcase

Pillow Flower Basket 06Today I am sharing the progress on the new pillowcase of the flower basket with a blue ribbon. In my last post about this guy, we had just finished with the majority of the satin stitching on the blossoms. The basket line work and the blue ribbon are also complete. Beginning with the right side and working to the left, the vines and leaves have only just begun.

Pillow Flower Basket 07Satin Stitch

You can see up close here, how the satin stitching is beginning to work together. If you have problems with your hand satin stitching check this site out. It is kind of exciting to see how the satin stitch works, isn’t it? Sometimes, I haven’t done a stitch for a while and I get lost. When that happens, I just look it up on the world-wide-web. It is amazing how many high-quality little lessons are available to learn better techniques.

Pillow Flower Basket 08 Details

Progress is made on this as more detailed work gets done. Gradually, it becomes easier to see flowers as they come to life.  The Flower stamens, then outlining begins on the flower petals. I am actually using some really different outlines to see what it would look like. For example, see the maroon blossoms outlined with pale yellow. Hmmm.Pillow Flower Basket 09 In all honesty, there are so many shapes in this pattern that it is a little confusing at times. Am I stitching on a leaf or a vine?Pillow Flower Basket 10 Now, you can see that as more and more of the objects are filled with color it then gets easier to differentiate between a leaf and vine.

My plan of attack from here will be to work on outlining and details. Little touches here and there will get it to look exactly the way I want it to. Zing! a pillow full of love, to lay your head on and sleep.

Pillow 3 Hummers Begin

Pillow 3 HummingBirds 01This pillow has 3 hummers (hummingbirds) on it from iron-on patterns (Aunt Martha’s). These are three different arrangements of birds, flowers, and foliage. I have forgotten to get a picture of the patterns before I started stitching, but here it is with just the foliage done and the birds not so much. A closeup of the side view of a hummingbird hovering over an orange/yellow blossom is on the left side of the pillowcase.

Pillow 3 HummingBirds 02Close up of a humming flying toward us showing his underside is in the middle with some maroon and purple/pink petal flowers in the background. I have only started to stitch the underside of this bird’s wings and tail feathers in blues.Pillow 3 HummingBirds 06

The third is a close-up side view again of the hummer on the right who is sticking his beak into some pink and orange honeysuckle blossoms.Pillow 3 HummingBirds 08

NEXT

Cutwork Flower Tablecloth

Cutwork Flower Table 13This Cutwork Flower Tablecloth was a discovery at a garage sale. It was sitting on a table full of miscellaneous craft materials. When I unfolded it, there were stains all over it. Would I be able to get them out? I could smell cigarette smoke and the stains were brown. The lady offered it to me for $2 so I thought, what the heck, why not.

I always keep my eyes open at garage sales and thrift stores for treasures!

When I got home I put it in the washing machine and let it sit overnight soaking in “Oxy 10”, then washed it in the morning and it came out sparkling clean.

Cutwork Flower Table 03You can see that it was machine stitched (embroidered) in a simple flower pattern with leaves between the blossoms. I have already added a darker pink outline to the interior of the petals of this flower. The edge of the cloth and some of the areas between the leaves are cut out and edges are reinforced with stitching. This is called, “Cutwork“, and here is a good definition of it if you are interested, this style of working makes a wonderfully interesting edge. BTW, I did not know the proper term to call it so I had to look it up myself for this article.

Cutwork Flower Table 04However, the machine stitching is just boring, so, I intend to “spiff it up” with some bright lines and satin stitching until I can say I love it. See the blue flower on the left where the original machine stitching pattern makes you feel like yawning? On the right is a yellow blossom that has had orange outlines added to the yellow blossom petals and red french knots added to the center. Okay, now we have some pizzazz going, and we are on a roll.

Cutwork Flower Table 07I added embellishment all around the edge and then thought that the center of the tablecloth needed something more than the two little sets of a pair of pink blossoms. So I added some vines, and daisy’s in many colors. Yep, yep, yep.

Cutwork Flower Table 05This idea spread to the corners and sides until I had all kinds of flowers and plants around the entire border of the tablecloth.  That is what happens when you go weed in the garden and all of the flowers are blooming.

Cutwork Flower Table 10Okay, a bit excessive but it was so much fun. It is a colorful addition to our tablecloth family.

Baby Blanket 05

Our baby blanket is full of entertaining characters. We have done quite a few, but let’s not forget all the numbers. The numbers count. Haha.

By the way, I discovered that the spelling of the baby’s name was incorrect. Thank goodness for family texts that showed up with her name spelled differently. I had to rip out the embroidery and redo two of the letters. Luckily, this was just before getting ready to finish stitching the binding around the edges and quilting it on the sewing machine. Here is the initial layout design where I spelled her name Liera.

LA Baby Blanket name 02LA Baby Blanket name 03It fit with the letters between the leaves and vine.

LA Baby Blanket name 04Here it is redone with the “i” and “e” changed around. Whew.

Baby Blanket 01

LA Baby Blanket 05

Following family customs, a baby blanket was started as soon as we found out about our nephew and niece expecting a baby this year. Every baby needs a personalized baby blanket to welcome him or her into the world. Since we did not know if it would be a boy or a girl I didn’t try to go one way or the other and just tried to keep it so either a boy or girl would enjoy it.Using an off-white sheet 54″ x 90″ I embroidered the family last name right in the middle and surrounded it with a twisting vine and leaves border. I planned to add the baby’s name later on. I purchased some red and white checkered flannel to use on the back with no batting. After completing this name located in the middle I then began drawing miscellaneous creatures, numbers, and shapes spaced across the blanket.

LA Baby Blanket Apple

A is for apple,

LA Baby Blanket Airplaneairplane,

LA Baby Blanket ButterflyB is for butterfly,

LA Baby Blanket CherryC is for cherry,

LA Baby Blanket Circlecircle,

LA Baby Blanket DaisyD is for daisy,

Next

03 Green HummingBird

03

Green Hum Bird Pillow 10At this stage of the embroidery on the 03 green hummingbird tutorial, my focus is on finishing the details and blending in or outlining shapes. I do that by adding touches of different colors to accentuate here and there. The addition of light blue edges to the wingtips and the tail feathers was a good start on wings and tail, but more is needed.

Green Hum Bird Pillow 16Here is the finished hummingbird green hummingbird up close. Using a medium turquoise embroidery floss I outline above and below his eye and also along the top surface of his body. To mix stitches in with the satin stitch areas already complete I also run the stitches into existing satin areas randomly. Similarly, darker threads are added to both the orange under his neck and the green body below between his wing and tail. Turquoise is added as a thicker division line between his wing and tail feathers.

Green Hum Bird Pillow 15
King size pillowcase complete.

The pillowcase is completed, it is ironed and ready to be mailed out for a Christmas present. Thank you for reading through this embroidery tutorial and Merry Christmas to you!

Cherry Tablecloth

cherry tablecloth angleBegin

With special anticipation, I begin this Cherry Tablecloth needlework journey. Calmly embroidering,  with great colors and a wide variety of possible stitches as a beautiful design becomes even more classic with each strand of floss until an heirloom keepsake is made.

At this point, I am happily working on my cherry embroidery every night.  The average time it takes me to embroider a new tablecloth project is between 3-9 months, depending on the level of difficulty in the design.

cherry tablecloth side
Side Tablecloth View

It also seems to take a lot longer when there are a large volume of colors in the design. You know, completing all of one color for a reasonable space, then securing the knots, snip and threading needles with the new colors every few minutes. More colors are more time consuming.

Finished

cherry tablecloth angle
Entire tablecloth view showing cherry basket.

Before you know it, here is a beautiful tablecloth complete. I do a little Irish jig dance celebrating! Standing up and dancing around the living room singing, “It is done, yeah, it is done!”, after the last stitch is tied-off.

cherry tablecloth angle close
Full view, embroidery cherry tablecloth.

Then the new tablecloth is carefully washed, ironed (every single inch), and carefully photographed on the dining room table. I apologize that I did not think anyone was interested in the unfinished stages of embroidery during this project time period. Nowadays, I make it a point to photograph the stages of completion so others can see how it looks as you go along.

I hope that you are able to find forgotten treasures at your next garage sale expedition too. This was actually someone else’s dream tablecloth that I was able to complete. When she got this fine tablecloth stamped in this great cherry basket and cherry vine pattern I am sure that she had all kinds of ideas about how beautiful it would turn out. She probably had a great fondness for fresh cherries, herself. I hope that my embroidery has honored her wishes for this heirloom tablecloth.

Hummingbirds 09-11

A lavender and purple guy with dark blue and black on his wings and tail feathers.

Hummingbirds Tablecloth Corner 9_11aHummingbirds 09-11 are complete and here is the last corner of the tablecloth with them on it.

Hummingbird 09Number 09 is a character made with a mixture of different greens, blue on his wings, and some white spacing between the stitching to highlight his shape. He is perched on a branch for a second, staring at you. There are some considerations required to be able to correctly build believable foliage around the characters. The outline of the branch that he is perched on has to go between his claws, not through them.

Hummingbird 10_11Hummingbird 10 and number 11 are close together. 10 is the closest, and he is done in teal, aqua blue, and other blues. We are looking at him from above seeing his wings spread out on both sides of him. Number 11 is above and in a dive maneuver position and we see him from the side. He is made of mostly greens with a bright shiny orange area under his neck. His shadows and feathers have black outlines.

 

Hummingbirds 6_8

He is a lavender and purple guy with dark blue and black on his wings and tail feathers.

Tablecloth Corner 06_08a Hummingbirds 06_08cHummingbirds 6_8 are done now. Here they are on the last corner of the tablecloth.

Hummingbird 06cHummingbird 6 is a mixture of lavender and purples with dark blue shadows on his ever-moving wings and tail feathers. Here he is with foliage beginning around him. To be truthful, I have never actually seen a purple hummingbird, have you? Now you have.

Hummingbird 07b#7 hummingbird #7 is a character made with a mixture of oranges, reds, and dark shadows outlined in black. He is pictured in a side view and has a stark white underside to his neck as he perches. Perched hummingbirds are a rather rare sight to see in real life, so Mr. RedOrange here is a rarity.

Hummingbird 08Humming Bird 08 is mostly green but many other colors are used to round him out and add highlight or shadow.  He is a character made with a mixture of purple, green, and even orange with dark shadows done in black. He is frozen in mid-flight as we look at him from the side. Typical satin stitches fill his body area but there are breaks and changes in direction to help portray feathers.

 

Hummingbirds 01-03

As these tablecloths progress I notice that I try many new techniques with the needlwork to try and get different effects.

Tablecloth Corner 1-3Hummingbirds 01-03 are complete on this smaller tablecloth (60″ square). Hummingbird 01a

Hummingbird 01b

#1 is going to be perched on a limb, not flying. He is made using oranges with yellow highlights and black shadows and he has a green wing. Here he is after some foliage is added around him.

Hummingbird 02b#2 is a side view of a hummingbird in flight and he is stitched using a mixture of blues, and teal with black accents.

Hummingbird 03a #3 is an underbelly view of a hummingbird in flight and he is made using blue, grays, green, and some black along with orange for his beak and feet. There are new stitching techniques tried on both of their wing feathers in an effort to display the ever-present movement better.

Hummingbird 03bIf you compare the first image of him with the second one you will see additional stitches and more colors added as the tablecloth progresses.

Many new combinations and techniques tend to show up as the tablecloth progresses. I am always trying to get a better effect with different stitching and color choices.