Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Handwork

So how many out there are getting back into handwork?  I've always like doing cross stitch, you might even say at one time I was obsessed by it but that story is for another post.  I started cross stitching when I was very young, 9 or 10, you know just a few years ago.  In the 80's my great-aunt, and yes she was really that good of an aunt, owned a cross stitch/yard shop in Virginia Beach.  I would take my two weeks vacation from the bank and spend a week with her "working" in her shop so I was really in hog heaven. I moved onto basket weaving but always had something going in my stitchin' basket.  In 95' I married the most wonderful man in the world and moved to New Hampshire, you know covered bridges, falling leaves and so much friggin snow that I really needed something to do with my hands while freezing my butt off.  There was this nice little "needle arts" store in Merrimack, Needles Crossing, this is where I feel in love with silk threads, linen fabric and my love for cross stitch was renewed.  

Lets fast forward to 2008, we went to the fall quilt market and started seeing lots of redwork and bluework and blackwork and yes hand embroidery popping up in quilt patterns.  Being a lover of handwork I decided to start testing threads and the rest they say is history...after a full year of playing with different threads, touch, pulling through fabric, I found the perfect partner for me...Aurifil 12wt.  We got a full rack of colors in the store, ordered some patterns, started a block of the month...all in hand embroidery.  If it's not popping up in your part of the country yet, it will, it's hot, hot, hot...and hopefully the designers will keep the new patterns coming because I'm having a blast.  

Here are a couple of things I'm working...


this is Bunny Hills new free block of the month, you can do it in applique' or handwork, the blue is a variegated 12wt Aurifil on a white tone-on-tone, see where the handle has a little hickup..gotta fix that, am thinking I'll do alittle extra stitching to make the handle look like it's braided.  

this our Bareroots block of the month pattern for March

I changed things up a bit by using my watercolor pencils to enhance the colors, actually doing a little coloring between the lines...I still have some stitching to do and then make some french knots but this is alot of fun.  You can see see my basting thread, I've decided that I'm not really a hoop girl, I try and and try but it's just not working.  Because I like to use flannel on the back as a stablizer I either need to hoop it or baste it, thanks to Valerie's tip in last months club I tried the basting and gotta say...I LOVE IT....if you're not a hooper try basting, I promise you'll love the results.

So how many out there have caught the bug??  If you've not been bit yet don't worry it's coming, you can't avoid it.  And if you've been bit and not tried the 12wt Aurifil cotton yet..all I can say is "WHY NOT"...it's single strand, no need to pull two threads apart from six, no lint left on your fabric, no color bleeds...I can go on and on because yes I do love it that much..but give it a try...like Mikey...try it..you'll like it...
Until next time....
keep stitchin....
Kelly Ann

5 comments:

  1. Gorgeous!! I, too, am a cross stitcher at heart, but I just can't get into the stitching on fabric. All I have ever done is stitching on aida cloth... Heck, I tried to stitch on linen once and it just didn't happen either...

    I do have a cross stitch piece that I was working on before I got into quilting. It's on my goals to finish it this year. Fingers crossed! :)

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  2. I love handwork and always have. Did some really cute crewel pillows in high school and college; started cross-stitching big time when i was supposed to be working on my dissertation; joined the Embroidery Guild of America when i was underemployed and added all kinds of stitches to my counted cross-stitch repertory...and then i finally succumbed to the quilting bug in 1988 and cross-stitch projects that i was in the middle of still languish unfinished! I've used Aurifil for hand quilting art quilts...it's gorgeous.

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  3. I've cross stitched for years, but I've put it on the back burner now that I've started doing embroidery! I used colored pencils on the wonky houses I stitched and I really like how it looks. Enjoy your stitching! :0)

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  4. Fantastic Kelly Ann and with the pencils too!

    I did liquid embroidery as a kid--this reminds me of it a little!

    love, kelee

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  5. oh yeah - i done been bit!

    i started Hocuspocusville (over a year ago) and liked the return to my stitching roots so much that i have Snowflake Angel in the works ... and i liked working on HIM so much that i decided to embroider teapots and cups and saucers as alternate blocks for a paper-pieced BOM ... i really don't see an end in sight and i'm not the least bit upset about it!

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