Thursday, January 14, 2016

Butterfly Band 1 and setup

I am trying to do some posting using an app on my iPad, and I've just discovered that it does NOT do well with photos, so sometimes my posts are a bit awkward-looking. Oh well.

I have finished my band 1 on my Butterfly, also known as the Heritage Sampler Club from Nordic Needle.

 It's really pretty! I've photographed it against a black background so that you can see that I've done a pretty good job of not carrying threads. And that little hanging thing from the leaf on the left branch is a butterfly chrysalis. Click on the photo to make the photo bigger.

 Here it is photographed against a white background. When I was nearly finished with the right branch, I realized that both sides didn't match and I couldn't find the mistake. I ended up ripping out that entire side, basting along both sides for reference, and then stitching the right side NOT from the chart but by mirroring the left side. It turned out that there were two problems. I had made an error, but the chart for the right side also has an extra backstitch on one of the stems, essentially doubling my error.

Here is a picture of that coral knot edging on the butterfly. First the outline is backstitched and then restitched with a series of knots for extra texture. It is these little extras that give needlework dimension. Because of the twist in the thread, I had a terrible time working out of the body toward the right or clockwise. I just couldn't avoid bad knots. I found that working counter-clockwise was much better.

I also realized that I didn't talk about my setup for this project.

First, I chose a roller frame because, unlike stretcher bars, I only have a small section of the project to deal with at any time. I usually don't bother to lace the fabric to the sides but Linda Driskell tells you to do so. When doing pulled thread work, keeping the fabric under both vertical and horizontal tension allows for a better, more consistent pull of your stitching thread and better control of the fabric thread distortion, which is how you get that pretty lace appearance on the butterfly.

 First Linda had me run a basting stitch down the center of the fabric. This is a symmetrical design so having that center line will be really helpful. I then basted another line down a few inches to set the top of the design.

I then used the velcro attachment roller bars from American Dream Products because it is really fast and easy to get the fabric straight. I used pearl cotton to lace up the sides. I don't have drum-tight tension at all but it is an even tension in both directions.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

First Time in Rotation

I have decided to concentrate on the Heirloom Sampler Club aka Butterfly and the Sampler au Bouquet 2016 SAL. I started the SAL a few days early since I had a whole night waiting in the hospital for my daughter to have a beautiful baby boy, Aaron.

Anyway, on January 1st, this is what my Sampler au Bouquet looked like this:

Today it looks like this:

The designer has you stitch the initials of your name in a lighter pink. I like that! I only stitched a few hours but I got quite a bit done.

So I now have to switch over to the Butterfly for a bit. Here is what I have done so far:

The piece is mounted on a 16-inch scroll frame and laced up the sides to create a consistent tension on the fabric both side to side sad up and down. The butterfly is outlined with a back stitch and then highlighted with coral knots on the top. I like the effect and will try for a better photo later. This piece took a fair amount of time to set up but it will look really great when it's completed. 

Here is the project photo from Nirdic Needle. 
I should be completing the second band by now but you can see that I'm behind. That's why I've decided to commit to a rotation this year. I love, love, love to start new projects but then I start another one and then another one and the older ones that I still love disappear into the WIP pile. The first half of each month is for the Butterfly and the second half for the Sampler au Bouquet to stay on task. Let this be the year of completion!