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April Squares Bring… More Squares in May?

OK, just ignore my poor attempt at a pun in the title!  Another short and sweet today, here are the 4×4 squares that I have stitched this past month:

Out of each group, which square do you like the best?  Which one do you like the least?

How do you feel about the color combinations?  I definitely notice that certain colors attract me on a certain day, but on another day, I wonder what I was thinking.

Do you like the stitch selections that I chose for the pieces?  What stitches would you have used?

If you love hand stitching like I do, I hope that you will try a few squares.  Even if you haven’t done a lot of hand stitching, give it a try!  These squares do not take long to complete, and who knows, you just might discover a new passion.

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Springtime in Stitches

Short and sweet today.  I just finished a small, dual-purpose project:

This is a future class sample, and a teaser for some embroidery patterns that I hope to have available soon.  The base of the above piece is an example of fabric weaving from Fabric Embellishing: The Basics and Beyond by Ruth Chandler, Liz Kettle, Heather Thomas and Lauren Vleck (Landauer, 2009).  I’d love to teach a monthly workshop on fabric embellishing, there are so many surprising techniques to have in our art quilt skill sets.  I really enjoy learning and sharing new things with others.

From my “finding inspiration anywhere” files, here is a random snapshot I took last week of spring beauties and a few violets that I found on a walk around the countryside:

There is a little composition lesson here, this is an example of crystallographic balance, where there is no main focal point.  Look at it from a short distance, and there are still areas of negative space, where there are gaps in the flowers.  Visual interest comes from those gaps and in the contrast between the short star-like petals of the spring beauties against the long blades of grass sprawling in every direction.  Of course, the pop of color from the violets adds an element of surprise.  Yes, I am imagining how to turn this into a little stitched piece… someday.

 

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Scraps, Squares, Stitches

I am addicted to these little stitched squares!  This most recent bunch has turned out very well, I like all of them.  I am still amazed at how scraps can be transformed into little treasures.

In this set of four, I played with making stitch flowers by filling in petal shapes with combinations of stitches, and then tried out a monochrome color palette:

More trials with monochrome, and then I jumped back into multicolor mayhem:

These little squares are a great way to audition color combinations. Think of them as preliminary sketches for larger pieces.  I absolutely love the layers of textures that I combined in the square on the lower left here:

I wonder if the square I make for a given day reflects my mood at the time.  I’ll have to pay more attention to that.

 

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A Surprise Sampler

Every time that I learn a new stitch, I try it out first on some bit of scrap fabric.  Over the past year, a 9 x 10” piece of fabric for test stitching has been floating around my hand stitching nook.  It resurfaced a few days ago, and I almost tossed it out.  Here it is:

After having it sitting on top of a pile of projects for a few days, I think I will hang on to it.  I am really enjoying the sampler look of it, while at the same time it shows the randomness that was inherent in its creation.  Adding to the long list of things that I want to make, I’d love to do a small series of pieces with many sections of different hand stitches.  I could have a lot of fun with this.

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More Assorted Stitching Adventures

As usual, I have not accomplished everything that I wanted to in the last week.  I have kept up with my four 4×4″ squares:

Here is a sneak peek of something new coming soon for all of the hand embroidery lovers:

The background fabric is a dyed vintage damask napkin.  I have dyed hundreds of them and have them for sale at the quilt shows.  They are easy to stitch through, I usually add a stabilizer to the back side to keep them from shifting and bunching.  I love the way that the woven designs are enhanced by the dye, and they add a layer of additional textural  interest to a piece with hand stitching.  The vintage damask also machine quilts nicely.  The damask napkins also find their way into my fabric collages, I use them as a base for adding vintage fancy pieces.  They also work nicely in pieced blocks and applique designs.