Wednesday, June 17, 2009

project update

For a while I've been struggling with this banner design taken from the Bayeaux Tapestry. I replaced the floss that came with the kit with crewel wools in the same colors but I really struggled with the laid and couched stitched used in the design--in particular in the tiny areas.

Last week as I was cleaning out my computer files, I came across a document I'd saved a while back. "Refilsaum" by Racaire. Refilsaum is the name of the laid and couched stitched used in the tapestry (Google it for some interesting results...) After reading her very clear instructions and tips, I was able to stop ripping and start stitching and I completed one bird motif and some of the border.

I had also been struggling with outline stitch on the small, tight curves. The Refilsaum document listed split stitch as a stitch used in the tapestry, so I switched to that for some of the tighter areas and am much happier. I had thought of using it but just wasn't sure if it was proper.

I decided to do this as a learning experience and part of that is to try and do the stitching much as it would have been done originally (except not on a huge frame in a room with no lighting with other women working alongside me).

I also did some digging and stash cleaning this week. I'm looking for some silk paper I made a while back. Haven't found it yet, but I did find other things and have a new pile of goodies for giveaways this summer and some new projects to work on now that Dolly's done.

I was looking for the silk paper to use it for the last page (December) of the Take It Further challenge from last year. I have a design I like and couldn't figure out what was holding me up until I realized that I felt I was copping out by going with felt again...quick and easy. But the whole point of TIF was not do do the quick and easy. Then I realized my design would work in silk paper and take on a whole new dimension and it wouldn't be as quick and easy since I haven't done much with the silk paper. I have some silk paper already made is colors that would work. If I could find it.

I did find this panel of crazy pieced mini-stockings. It was a teaching panel years ago with a step-by-step progression for how to foundation piece a crazy quilt square. I taught it at the local EGA chapter.

When I got home from class, I completed piecing all of the stockings, but then it sat. This weekend I dug it out and cut out a small stocking shape pattern and used a silver Sharpie to outline it on each stocking. I cut one out from the background and began to embellish it. I always need at least four ornaments at the holidays for various guild things, so I'm hoping I'll get these done for that.

I also found this beaded cord. It's a rather mindless project--peyote beading around a cord. Sadly, the little beads mean that it's not a "doctor's office" project. But I sat and quickly doubled the length beaded (I hadn't done much before boredom struck). I think it will be okay to do in the evenings when I'm tired.

It made me realize how much I used TV as background noise when I would work on a mindless project like this. I missed it.

The quiet of no broadcast TV helped me get a couple of repeats done on a lace knitted sachet bag. I have two repeats done and need to do four. Lace knitting is something I really have to concentrate on and count.

This time I'm using a flip book for the pattern and I like it. I wrote out two rows of the pattern on each page of a spiral bound notebook. As I complete the rows, I flip to the next page. That way I don't get lost and when I pick it up, I know where to start again. I have a hard time with charts and this is working nicely for me.

I do think we'll end up getting a digital box for the TV. My husband is going through withdrawal (he's home a lot more than I am). He quizzed everyone about their box brand on Saturday and watched three DVD TV shows and a movie (Bend It Like Beckham--my pick and we really liked it, although getting through the British accent on top of the Indian accent meant we did some rewinding to catch what was said.) Sunday the TV was not turned on at all. But yesterday he told me that he spent twenty minutes watching the one channel that's left--a public service announcement about how to hook up your box. Last night was back to more DVD TV. (Right now it's the 1960s "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." Boy, are they full of 60s cold war cliches!)


Jenny Woolf said...

It's surprising how important TV can be. The question is, whether it's worth going through the cold turkey in order to find non-TV alternatives. Sometimes it can be like an addiction, but in some ways TV enriches our lives. Computers are getting to be a bit like that for me, too.

Racaire said...

Thanks for mentioning my handout and my blog :)
...btw. I love to use Stem Stitch for my outlines :)
good luck for your project from Austria / Vienna
& best regards