Sunday, August 26, 2012

TAST: Linked Double Chain Stitch

School started this week, so I'm back to work, and stitching on the run.  This week I did try the Linked Double Chain Stitch, above in yellow, which wasn't as hard as it looked at first.  I did get a rhythm going, and can imagine doing long seams in this stitch.  I also outlined the cone flowers (?) in the central image, and added some French knots and lazy daisy stitches the adjacent seam.

I stitched the butterfly in some thin crewel yarns, and added a few more French knots for seam embellishment.  I'm hoping the long weekend next week will give me some time to finish this block and to piece the last four blocks (can that be right?) for this project.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bistro Aprons

I made another batch of bistro aprons for my daughter the cook.  Her aprons take a beating, so a new batch was in order.

I can get each side of a double-sided apron from a yard of fabric.  I gave measurements and instructions for single-sided aprons in this earlier post. For the double-sided apron, make two sides, line up rights sides together, and stitch around the edge, leaving a small opening through which to turn it right side out. Then simply slip stitch the opening and attach the ties.

I tried to give each apron a dark side, and I also positioned darker fabrics toward the top, where my daughter wipes her hands.  Piecing different fabrics allowed me to use up some fabrics that were less than a yard.

I got to use up some fun black fabrics.

This apron has a Madonna panel on one side.  Perhaps she'll provide some protection from burns and cuts, or insure tasty outcomes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I've made some progress on my August block, though it's so cloudy here it's hard to get a decent picture.  Across the top I stitched a vine and added beaded cast on stitch flowers.  

I used Pekinese stitch to edge a patch with an embroidered seagull.  I've got to go back and finish picking out the stitch and tear medium behind the seagull

The August block gets a boost from a large piece of black work embroidery Debra machine embroidered.  So far, so good.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Weaving a Rag Rug on the Rigid Heddle Loom

I warped my rug with a couple of weights of crochet cotton.  Size 3 crochet cotton (the Aunt Lydia's brand is commonly available) is a great warping material.  Since I only had about half of what I needed, I interspersed it with some lighter weight crochet cotton just to see how it would work.  In retrospect, the size 3 (which I think is also known at #10)  is the perfect weight.  Note to self: stock up.

The numbers: 170 warp threads in the 7.5 dpi heddle, 58 inch warp length.  In the future I'll need about 2 balls of the Aunt Lydia's Size 3. 

 For the weft I used 2.5 inch fabric strips.  Quilters may have a few of these around the house.  Join the strips (and avoid knots) by applying glue stick to 1-2 inches of the end of one strip and overlapping it with the next one.   Let it dry 20-30 minutes and then fold in half along the length and wind onto a shuttle.  I chose a palette of blues and yellows.  I'm not sure how much i used, because I have an endless supply of 2.5 inch strips.

In this rug I alternated two passes of the fabric with two passes of worsted weight ("kitchen") cotton.  I used less than a ball of Sugar and Cream for this rug.

The whole project is beaten with a comb.  The heddle isn't strong enough to pack the layers together.

When laying down the rows, twist the fabric at the edges.  I only remembered to do this at the end.  When beating with the comb, I found that I could only really pack in the rows after changing the shed (the position of the heddle).  I found myself working the immediate 4-6 rows, packing them in, while adding new rows.

In the photo above you can see that the new rows are more loosely packed than the previous rows.  They'll gradually get worked down after newer rows are added.


The finished rug is 20 x 25 inches.  I tied off the warp threads in groups of 4,  In the future I might add additional passes of the kitchen cotton and turn the hem to the back.  I washed the rug to make sure it will hold up to delicate machine washing, and it came out fine. 

Sunday, August 05, 2012

July TAST and CQJP

In between a couple of out of town trips I finished my July CQJP block.

Pink Basque stitch is accented with hearts.  The cardinal's branch has some oyster stitch leaves.

I added some fern stitch and button flowers to my faux ceramic pot.  I wish that green had a higher contrast against the blue background.

I pulled this crochet motif from the goody box circulating among some of the Tuesday Stitchers and added a bouquet of silk ribbon flowers.

There's the up and down buttonhole stitch in red, accented with more buttons.  The button stash got heavy use this month.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...