Monday, December 24, 2012

TAST Weeks 50 and 51

Last week's TAST stitch, the last of 2012, was the Knotted Cable chain stitch and the week before was the Berry stitch. I had a really difficult time with the Knotted Cable chain stitch. Neither the written instructions nor the photos were fully helpful to me and I couldn't find a video to help either. So, I muddled through it quickly just so I can say I did it.

Sharon will be continuing the TAST in 2013, with some changes that you can read more about here. I plan to continue and hope to be able to keep up. I sure have been learning a lot after years of using just the basic stitches.



Wednesday, December 5, 2012

TAST Weeks 48 and 49

Last week's TAST was the Arrowhead stitch and this week's is the Buttonhole Eyelet Flower. I had lots of fun combining them. But, although the Bullion Knot stitch is one of my favorite stitches (along with the French Knot) and I've made hundreds of them in the past, I just couldn't wrap (pun intended) my head around it this time. So, I found Mary Corbet's video to refresh my memory. (Please excuse the pencil marks I forgot to erase.)

As usual, click to enlarge



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

TAST Week 47

This week's TAST is the Portugese Border Stitch. I thought it to be a strange sort of a stitch. I found no video, nor other instructions, but Sharon's instructions were easy for me this time. After fiddling with the stitch in a triangle shape, I decided to try a straight line with beads. I put a bead on each of the foundations stitches and then worked up one side of the row. By that time I realized I hadn't made the foundation stitches long enough and didn't have a enough room to work up the other side. I decided it looks just fine this way and left it alone.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TAST Week 46

This week's TAST is the Checkered or Magic Chain stitch. It was a pleasure to have something a little lighter to work with this week, but there's no way I could have done it without Mary Corbet's video. I certainly did enjoy stitching it. 

And, just because Mary mentioned that she never tried it with three threads, I had to try it! It works! You can see some bumps where I didn't pull the unused colors through all the way, but with some extra care while stitching, it would look right.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TAST Weeks 44 and 45

I've done the TAST for Weeks 44 and 45 together and they happen to be almost the same stitch! Week 44 is the Closed base needlewoven picot and Week 45 is the Open base needlewoven picot. I was helped by another good video by Mary Corbet of Needle n Thread for the woven picot.

My plan was to make a circle of the open based, that would have been 12 of them, and a circle of the closed base inside. While it was an easy and fun stitch, I started to get bored really early on. So reduced the plan to what you see and filled in the circle pattern that I had penciled in on the fabric with some French knots. 



Thursday, October 25, 2012

TAST Week 43

This week's TAST is the Buttonhole Wheel Cup stitch. I found it to be a fun and very easy stitch to do. I've been doing my TAST sampler on a piece of Osnaberg and recently ran out of space. Before the sample I stitched last week, I sewed on an extra piece of fabric. Last week and this week I stitched to cover the seam. Since I stitched last week in the middle of the line, I decided with this stitch to extend each side to the end, which is why you are again seeing Weeks 40, 41 and 42.

And, here's the whole sampler, so far:

Click on the photos to enlarge. If you click on the TAST label at the end of this post, you can see details about each one of the stitches.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

TAST Weeks 40, 41, 42

Catching up with the TASTs for Weeks 40, 41 and 42. The Beaded Hedebo Edge, the Knotted Loop and the Italian Knotted Border Stitch.

I combined them all into a small sample. They were stitched on the seam where I added a piece of fabric to my sampler. I really wish I had time to be more creative.

I had a lot of trouble with the Knotted Loop. I just couldn't get it at first. But, I got some good coaching from Jeanette of JennyPennyPoppy. Thanks, Jeanette! See her creative version of it.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

TAST Week 39

This week's TAST is the Knotted buttonhole stitch. Pretty easy, but I just don't have time for anything more complicated than just the regular stitch this week. But, of course, I had to add a bead to it!

I added the bead before wrapping the thread around the two 'spokes' of the buttonhole stitch and then the bead got secured with the knot.

I won't be doing the TAST next week and will probably be doubling up on it the week after, doing 40 and 41 together.



Thursday, September 20, 2012

TAST Week 38

Just enough so I can say I did it!

This week's TAST is the Drizzle stitch. Trusty Mary Corbet of Needle 'n Thread made it much, much easier with her video

After I made two curls, I decided to try putting on a bead. For that, I needed to thread a second needle in order to get the bead on top, and then unthread it and thread the original needle to finish the stitch. But it's more interesting/less boring that way. 



Thursday, September 13, 2012

And the winner is!

Gill from the U.K.! Please send me your mailing info, Gill, and I will prepare your winnings to send out. Congrats!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

TAST Week 37

Back on schedule with the TAST, here is this week's, the Pistil stitch. I love French knots (Week 16), so how can I not love the pistil stitch. I actually don't remember ever having used it before and it was fun and interesting to do. It is one of the stitches that Laura Wasilowski uses a lot and she has a video on how she does it. Here is one of Laura's posts where she shows it and here's another one.

My next post will be about the winner of the giveaway on my previous post. Sometime later today. So, if you're interested, you can still enter. There are very few entries, so the odds are very good! 



Thursday, September 6, 2012

Giveaway - Magazine and embellishments

Remember I was in a blog tour with a giveaway a few months ago for Cheryl Lynch's book, Sew Embellished?

Remember I wrote about when Cheryl came to visit? When we were together, Cheryl was at the end of her trip and gave me a couple of magazines that she was finished reading. One of them was the February issue of The Quilt Life, which includes two articles that she wrote. I subscribe to The Quilt Life, but get it much later because I have it sent to a U.S. address. 

Now that a traveler brought me a bunch of magazines in a suitcase, I am able to give away my duplicate copy of the magazine! Along with the magazine, I will throw in some one yard lengths of some fancy yarns that are good to use for embellishing and a cutting from a very glittery top that I picked up in a thrift shop last night.  

This week Cheryl and her husband are celebrating their birthday with a giveaway of a little quilted birthday cake that Cheryl made. So, to enter my giveaway for the magazine, yarn and glittery fabric, you must leave a comment on this post telling me that you went to Cheryl's blog and entered her giveaway, too, which included becoming a follower of her blog. I will draw the winner sometime next Wednesday, the 12th.

Cheryl's cake - isn't it cute?!
To be eligible, there must also be a way for me to contact you. This means that  if you are a no-reply blogger (no email in your profile) you must leave your email address in the comment.



Friday, August 31, 2012

Vote for me!

I've got a quilt entered in this week's Quilting Gallery contest. The theme is Leaves, Trees, and Flowers. You can vote for four quilts! I hope you make mine one of them! The voting ends Monday morning, 8 am, US EDT.

This is the quilt that hangs on the wall opposite where I sit at the computer. So, I'm looking at it all the time!

Thanks and have a good weekend.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

TAST Week 35

It's TAST time again. Week 35 is the Sheaf stitch. I did not like this one, but got through it, albeit a bit sloppily. 

Hopefully, next week will bring a stitch more to my liking. Actually, it will probably be the week after as next week is probably going to be a catch up week. While I don't need to catch up, I do like having a week off!



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

TAST Weeks 33 and 34

This summer has been really busy, but I'm obsessed with keeping up with the TAST. I am trying not to let more than a week go by without trying out the stitches. So, here is another simple 'double'. Week 33,  Pekinese stitch, and Week 34, Linked Double Chain

I've never done either of these stitches before and didn't have a good start with the Linked Double Chain. It is VERY rare that I rip out stitches of anything I do, but I did it this time, because I really didn't like the way it was coming out. I figured that I'm doing so few stitches already, as it is, I may as well do them right!



Friday, August 10, 2012

TAST Weeks 31 and 32

I wasn't able to get last week's TAST, Algerian eye stitch, done in a timely fashion, so I'm combining it with this week's, the Cast-on stitch. I got kind of bored with the cast-on stitch after the first few. It was so easy when I did it exactly as Mary Corbet does.

Here's a shot of a small portion of the family chuppah that I made that has the cast-on stitch. It's from ten years ago. I must have had a lot more patience then, to make so many cast-on stitches at one time!

Next week is going to be a another very busy week for me, so it is likely that I'll again be combining it with the stitch of the week after.

Have a good weekend,


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

TAST Week 30 + knitter winner

The winner of Henya's stitch markers is Sarah, who said "i am a subscriber of henya's blog! i have been for quite some time actually lol"! Congratulations, Sarah! I will be emailing you shortly for your address. Thank you to everyone who entered and are now readers of Henya's blog.

This week's TAST is the Oyster stitch. I just did a little doodling with it. Sharon B.'s image tutorials are very good, but I do better with video. Another great video tutorial by Mary Corbet! Don't know what I would do without her!

One of Mary's recent posts at Needle 'n Thread is about Random Stitch Samplers. What she shows is sort of what I've been doing with the TAST stitches. Five or six of the stitches are not on this sampler, they were done on individual pieces of fabric, for various reasons. 

I had been thinking of cutting them all up and then mounting them on other fabric to make a band sampler, but I decided to keep it the way it is. I will add more fabric to lengthen the piece for continuing the TAST. I will also add temporary pieces of fabric to the sides (after trimming and straightening) so I can fill in more spaces on the sides of the main fabric. For those not experienced in embroidery and may not understand what I'm doing, the extra, temporary, fabric is in order to have support for a hoop in that area.



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

TAST Week 29

Don't forget to check out my giveaway for knitters! Deadline July24.

This week's TAST is a good one. I did a simple experiment and got through it quickly. Not so perfectly stitched this time, though. Again, Mary Corbet has a very good video for the Basque stitch.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Giveaway for Knitters!

Two weeks ago I had a lovely visit from Henya of Chicken Stitches blog and her daughter. They live a less than two hour drive north of me but had someplace they needed to go to in my neighborhood. They braved the public transportation and made it here several hours before the place opened. We had already planned for them to hang out at my place for a few hours. We started with a nice lunch at a local joint down the block from me and then we walked home.

We had an enjoyable afternoon talking and doing show and tell. Henya brought several of her knitting projects with her and I pulled out a bunch of my quilts to show, along with a bit of my knitting. the current knitting project I showed her was the Mystery Knit a Long by Wendy Johnson. The last clue was released just a little while ago.

I learned a lot while Henya shared some of her expertise on knitting. I knew I would be sorry later when I didn't write down anything when she described to me how to make her adorable little girl's skirt with ruffles! Now I'll just have to wait until she writes up the pattern (hint, hint), which she does do eventually, to sell in her Etsy shop or website.

From her Mary Poppins bag, Henya pulled out a few small gifts for me! One is this little fob, with an 'I Love Quilting' charm, that she once bought and had been saving for me for a while. Then she pulled out a bunch of the knitting markers that she makes and sells in her shop. When I truthfully told her that I'm only comfortable using weightless markers, she said, keep them anyway or give them away. I decided to keep the two for marking decreases because they are lightweight and one of each of the glass bead markers.

All the rest of the markers will be going to one of you! 

*If you would like a chance to win nine of Henya's knitting markers, just leave any comment on this post (only this post).

*For a second chance, become a subscriber of Henya's blog and leave a second comment telling me that you are a subscriber of her blog.

*If you are a member of Etsy, you can have a third chance by adding Henya's Etsy shop to your favorites and leaving me a third comment telling me that you did so.

You have until midnight, Tuesday night, July 24, to leave your comment. I will use the guy to choose a winner and announce it on Monday.

Only entries that have an email address come up when I hit reply to the comment that comes to my email, OR have an email address within the text of the comment, will be eligible to win. If you are not sure if you are a no-reply blogger or not, go to SewCalGal's page where she explains the whole issue and how to fix it if you wish. As SewCalGal implies, if you have never gotten a reply to comments you left on someone's blog, chances are that you are a no-reply blogger. If you don't use a google blogger account, you can always leave your email address in the body of the comment.

Good luck!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

TAST Weeks 27 and 28

I combined last week's and this week's TAST. As I mentioned last week, I'm not crazy about the Bonnet stitch and I didn't find it in any book either. But, I managed to make something simple of it along with this week's Up and Down Buttonhole stitch.

I did find a nice video tutorial at Mary Corbet's Needle n' Thread for this week's, the Up and Down Buttonhole. All of Mary's photo and video tutorials are very good!



Thursday, July 5, 2012

No TAST, yes quilting workshop!

I'm not crazy about this week's TAST, so I'm going to wait for next week's and try to work them out together. 

But, I did go to a quilting workshop! OK, so I didn't do any actual sewing. I was very behind in the project because I made a mistake and had to go back and repeat several steps.

This week was the annual quilting retreat for the Israel Quilter's Association celebrating it's 20th anniversary. There were numerous attendees and some teachers who came from out of the country. I met several people who I met from email over the years.

There were many workshops and side activities from Sunday through Wednesday, but I only took a workshop on Wednesday. I took Phyllis Cullen's fabric portraits workshop. Here are two of her own pieces that Phyllis brought to show us. You can see a lot more of her work on her blog, Phyllis Cullen Art Studio.

Some fellow students listening attentively to Phyllis explaining one of the steps.

Cindy cutting out her ambitious project, larger than anyone else was brave enough to try.

Danielle doing an impressive job on the thread painting and quilting of her piece.

A work in progress of another member of the class. 

Maybe one day you'll get to see my project...



Monday, July 2, 2012

The next cherry pie

My husband brought home yet more cherries this week. That called for another pie, which came out perfect this time. My son topped it with a crumb topping.

My son also made challah. I'm so fascinated by the dome that develops from the rising of the dough.

After braiding and rising again

After baking

No topping on the challah as one of the children in the family we had over for lunch is allergic to sesame seeds and peanuts. So, to be extra careful, they were just left naked.



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

TAST Week 26

This week's TAST is the Palestrina stitch. When I looked at Sharon's instructions for this stitch, the first thing I thought was, I can't do this, it's for lefties! Then I started clicking on her links for variations and found what she calls the Reversed Palestrina, which is the same but going from right to left. So that's what I used, sort of. While I made each individual stitch from the right, I did them left to right like in the fantastic video tutorial by Mary Corbet. 

The only one of my books that I found it in was Judith Baker Montano's Elegant Stitches. She has a very good diagram there.

I kept it simple this week, so I could finish quickly and get back to knitting Wendy Johnson's Knit-a-long Mystery Shawl.

I'll get back to quilting one of these days. I'm still surrounded by fabric all the time. It won't be going away.



Monday, June 25, 2012

How did that hole get there!?

On Friday my husband came home with a load of fresh cherries that someone gave him. There were three different kinds. So, my son, the expert baker, decided to make a pie. The rest of the cherries he pitted and froze. He froze them laid out on a tray and then put them in bags. When you eat one, it's just like eating ice cream!

Anyway, while he was cooking the filling, I came over to peek in the pot and was fascinated by the wonderful color! Here's with a flash and without.

While it was baking, it was boiling over.

After taking it out I figured out why. The center of the crust rose and pushed out some of the filling. Here's a top view and a bottom view.

We were both stumped as to what happened. If any of my readers knows why that would happen to a pie, we'd love to know!



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TAST Week 25

This week's TAST is the Cable Chain stitch. This is a new-to-me stitch. I had a lot of trouble with it. I tried following Sharon's instructions. I googled to find others and tried following Sarah's instructions. I found that Mary Corbet, of Needle 'n Thread, has a video tutorial. Of course, all of their instructions were very good, I just kept doing the wrong thing!

I must have started and ripped out (cut the threads, actually) about five or six times before I FINALLY figured out what I was doing wrong! I should have taken photos, but didn't think of it at the time. So, here are my simple results.

I also found this diagram of an interesting variation, but I wasn't going to push my luck. I didn't have a chance to look through my books, as I usually do before I even start. OK, I forgot.



Monday, June 18, 2012

Winner of Sew Embellished!


The winner of Cheryl Lynch's Sew Embellished is Diane, who commented:

"I have been following Cheryl's Wednesday Wanderings and impressed with her embellishments, I would love to win this book. I am working on a gift for my niece who is getting married and know that the techniques in Cheryl's book would be extremely helpful."

Congratulations, Diane! I will be sending you an email shortly. Please reply to it with your mailing address.

Happy Monday,


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

TAST Week 24

Click here to enter my giveaway for Cheryl Lynch's Sew Embellished. You have until Sunday night!

The TAST is back after a week off! This week, Week 24, is the Buttonhole Wheel. You can see that I had a really good time with this one!



Monday, June 11, 2012

Sew Embellished Giveaway

It's my turn on the blog tour for Cheryl Lynch's new book, Sew Embellished!

Cheryl sent each of us on the blog tour one signed book to review and keep and one signed book to give away to one of you! See giveaway details at the end of this post.

Just look at this full table of contents! Cheryl shares a lot of information and there are EIGHT projects in the book with full instructions and photos. I was lucky to get to meet Cheryl in February when she was visiting in Jerusalem. We had a little show and tell with each other and I had a lot of fun fondling some of her beautiful little pieces of work!

Cheryl likes to do a lot of embellishing with buttons and beads. She has a section in the book about them which includes her description of how to put them on by machine. I have been sewing buttons on by machine for years and still had something to learn from Cheryl!

Cheryl's work is so creative! She likes to put words on her quilts. In the project shown below she has words sewn on using beads with letters on them. What fun!

You must check out Cheryl's blog, Cheryl Lynch Quilts, and see her weekly Wednesday Wanderings, where she makes memory pieces about places that she's been to. Cheryl really does a lot of traveling!

You can buy a signed copy of Sew Embellished from Cheryl's Etsy shop. On her website, Cheryl shows even more of her wonderful work from over the years and has information on buying her patterns and books.

If you would like a chance to win a signed copy of Sew Embellished, just leave a comment on this post (only this post).  You have until midnight, Sunday night, June 17, to leave your comment. I will use the guy to choose a winner and announce it on Monday.

Only entries that have an email address come up when I hit reply to the comment that comes to my email, OR have an email address within the text of the comment, will be eligible to win. If you are not sure if you are a no-reply blogger or not, go to SewCalGal's page where she explains the whole issue and how to fix it if you wish. As SewCalGal implies, if you have never gotten a reply to comments you left on someone's blog, chances are that you are a no-reply blogger. If you don't use a google blogger account, you can always leave your email address in the body of the comment.

If you don't win this time, you can enter the giveaways at the stops on the tour that follow through mid-July:

June 25 Kathy Loomis
July 9 Karen Musgrave
July 16 Cheryl Sleboda

Good luck!