Tuesday, January 7, 2014

practicing embroidery stitches

My favorite stress reduction is, what else, embroidery, but more specifically, the sort where it really doesn't matter so much what the finished result looks like because it's meant to be playful and a means to polish skills or try new stitches.  So I like to shred and cut and machine stitch bits of fabric together that catches my eye from my stash, and then embroider over them following the patterns of the fabric.  In this little sample bag, I have been wanting to experiment with a new perle cotton that is made in Spain which I recently acquired at a local quilting shop.  Herringbone stitch in green perle cotton and buttonhole stitches.

Here is a buttonhole stitch in a wheel pattern, with a smaller double wheel in the middle.  It was stitched over wool and the outer wheel kind of pulled in on itself so I anchored it with a straight stitch ending in a french knot.

The reverse side-- scraps of fabric machine stitched down and then with feather stitch added in purple.

And my favorite look-- buttonhole stitch wheels with french knot cluster middle.
I make lots of these and they are all different stitch combinations, mostly randomly chosen from an old copy of Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches.  And it's relaxing!

Christmas 2013 is behind us but not the light show.  Many people in our neighborhood still have their lights up, which tickles me to no end because our apartment is too small and lacks windows for decorating, so I have to rely on others to entertain me.  Here are a few of my neighborhood favorites.  I love very colorful, whimsical decorations, where the lights are randomly placed but somehow it all comes together in a pattern that stops me in my tracks.  Can't you see sequins and beads in the place of these beautiful lights?  Inspiration is everywhere!

LOVE the pink flamingos!  This tree also has tiny snowmen that pulse with light and a few stars that change color six times over.  I love it!

Me and our dog Buddy enjoying the light show...  This neighbor added Valentine hearts to his Christmas lights!

My husband got a new camera and has been playing with it.  It's quite extraordinary what he has come up with, including all the photos on this post, although due to a hard drive crash on my Macbook, and a subsequent overhaul, I have yet to load Photoshop back on and didn't crop or alter any of my photos.

Hope everyone had a happy Christmas and has a healthy 2014!  


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