Monday, October 3, 2016

Floral bowls

That's the tentative title for this next few pieces of stitching. I'm not loving it yet.

Last week I watched the fifth season of Longmire and while gripped to my chair, I stitched some embellishments to be used in the next round of work. Above you see a little cluster of french knots that are in the tones of the threads I've chosen to work with the squishes of hydrangea, zucchini vine leaf, grasses and some heliotrope (don't try heliotrope, it disappoints but it is an amazing annual for the garden). Heliotrope is a wonderful dark purple with little bits of a lighter purple under the florets. Since that matter is squished onto the fabric, I gave myself permission to use the original colour, rather than the resulting nicotine colour.

These cluster will eventually be cut up into circles for Suffolk Puffs, or applique or reverse applique. I don't like to cut them yet, because I am uncertain as to where they will go best. I might also decide to expand the size of some of these. Aside from being very pretty, I can watch TV and not feel guilty about it.

And because I was bingeing on the series, I had time to work up these little scraps as well with the same future in mind.

The purpose of sewing these little fabric scraps onto scrim, using Free motion embroidery, is that I then have a wonderful organic surface to do button hole stitch on. You can see how the threads are stronger just outside each little stitched scrap.

The scrim allows the group of scraps to be anchored into a hoop for the French knots and white wrapped stitches. The bullion knots are done without the hoop, because I find it easier to get all the wraps of thread onto the needle without a tightened fabric.

These are the two pieces I am currently working on. I have ripped the fabric up the middle, making for two pieces about 8"x8".


Some placement of lace bits to set up direction and focal points. When I sew, I know i need to consider this sort of aesthetic guide, but as the stitching grows and makes curves and turns, I don't always keep to the original plan.

This is a detail shot of one of the squished zucchini vine leaves. To begin with, it was 90 degrees the other way but once I decided the piece need the equivalent of a horizon line in the guise of a bowl's curve, the leave moved all the way to the other side of the piece.

That's it for stitching related items. I just have to tell you that I really stumped a 20-something man the other day. I've taken up weight training to help with post-concussive problems with balance and stamina nearly two years ago. I'm a good 30 lbs. over weight and short. I am also over 55. On Monday, the day I use the leg press machine, I was waiting for the young man to finish up. When he finally finished with his texting and weight lifting, he moseyed around to remove the weights. I was impatient by then and told him to leave them as is. He didn't believe me, so I said, no that's fine. I can add my own weights. Don't you mean, take them off, he asked. Nope! I replied. I added another 10 pounds, sat down and casually, and I mean casually, leg pressed 190 lbs 10 times. He just looked at me. He forgot to say WOW. He wandered back when I did my next set, at the same weight. I was a little annoyed. He need to show more respect. These leg presses happen as the last thing I do before heading home, so I was a bit tired of messing around with weights. Instead of adding more weights, I decided on the final set to press for more than 10 times. I sat down and did a set of 15, not breaking a sweat and not having to use the handholds to help with leverage. I was suave. I stood up to take the weights off for the next person's turn and realized the young man had brought a buddy over to watch. Awesome, they both said. Yup! I said. And there's more where that came from.

So good stitching week, good gym week.

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