Friday, 30 November 2012

TAST2012 - Week 48

What would be a more appropriate use for the Arrowhead stitch than to put it on - an arrow?

I still have space on the Aida sampler and that's where this arrow landed. Please note that there is no blood on the arrowhead and the arrow itself is broken. This is because I am not too keen on violence!

Go to Pintangle to read more about TAST2012, Week 48, Arrowhead stitch.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - Chicken Scratch on the train

Work in Progress Wednesday is a great way to keep on adding stitching to any project. The UFOs are thinning out!

I have been on a trip where I had to travel by train for a long distance. That is the perfect time to stitch but not anything that requires lots of packing (beads, ribbons, scissors, pins, bobbins of thread, needles....).

With only a hoop, a needle and pre-cut strands of thread, I worked on a Chicken Scratch embroidery I started earlier in the year. I manage to do about half of this during this trip (heavy rain made it impossible to enjoy the view from the train window so work was easy):

Excuse the awful colours; I took the photographs under electric light.

I have also added a small wheel to the crazy quilt block:

To see much more impressive Work In Progress go to Sharon's page!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

TAST2012 - Week 47

Week 47?
That means there are not many weeks left of TAST2012!
I still have some space on the sampler band I started earlier, I will have to use that space.
What's the stitch this week?
Portugues Border stitch?
What does it look like?
Oh,  I have never tried this before. It's called 'Portugisisk Bård' in Swedish.
I wonder what it might be called in Japanese....
No time to search...

That was the line of thoughts that went on in my head as I worked on a small gift in Santa's Factory. I will blog about this present some time next month.

The week has been filled with odd jobs, serving others and making that Christmas present. So as I have not worked the Portuguese Border stitch before, there was space on the the sampler band and I had little time for this week's TAST challenge I simply made a few rows of:

An enjoyable stitch and one that could take a lot of fantastic looks. I have already seen my favourite, a floral display made by Brigitte Otto. Have a look here. Other works can be enjoyed by clicking on the various links in Sharon's Comments on Pintangle.

However, my simple stitch sampler, when looked at from this angle, and if I had added a few straight stitches as a fringe, this might have passed for a Swedish rag carpet! Well, never mind...

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - New Ribbon

Sharon of Pintangle has made another bare cq block. It looks great with curves and lace. Have a look here. Then click on the comments to see what other needleworkers have achieved.

My Work In Progress Wednesday report is only on the crazy quilt this time.

Do you remember the little disc I bought? I blogged about it here.

Anyway, last weekend I returned to the shop, Natural Kitchen, and bought some more cheap stuff:

Among them two packs of ribbon. They are called Tyrolean Tape, and I thought they were charming. I proptly used the one with diamond pattern:

Monday, 19 November 2012

Faking Magic Chain

Oh, what a lot of wonderful ways the Magic Chain stitch have been used by various TAST members!

 I really want you to see Hopscotsch's take on the stitch. Like me she thought cold weather and clothing. Isn't the sweater great?
 Hopscotsch is famous for her sure sense of colour, as you can see here, and her creations are often highly decorated with beads and beautiful stitches.

Another person who has used stitches to look like knit is one of Japan's most famous embroidery artitst, Kazuko Aoki. The other day, quite by chance, I bought her book 'Seasons' (季節の刺しゅう).

In it there is a picture of two 'knitted' sweaters (page 54) and they are worked in ordinary Chain stitch but with three colours in the needle. This gives a mottled look to the sweater. Beautiful!

That had me think of another way to knit with an embroidery needle - make 'Fake Magic Chain', i.e. Split stitch with three colours in the needle.

Here is a picture tutorial:

Three colours in the needle.

Red on top.

Blue on top.

Yellow on top.


Happy stitching!

Friday, 16 November 2012

TAST2012 - Week 46

For this week we were given Magic Chain as a TAST challenge by Sharon of Pintangle.

After a bit of pondering I made my embroidery piece. However, I first thought I would cheat, do nothing and simply show an old example of the Magic Chain. You see I have used this fun stitch several times before. Unfortunately many of my embroideries have been on greeting cards or small gifts so I have few examples left. Anyway here are a few seams on old miniature crazy quilts:

In June I also posted a short tutorial of how to make other kinds of two coloured chains. Please click on the link for details.

Now, last week I made an evening gown. It was sleeveless and if you feel a chill at the party what would you do? Go home? Or put on this cardigan? Or go home, cuddle up on the sofa with a good book and put on this cardigan?

It was made with one strand of DMC floss and you can see the scale by looking at the needle. It was a bit fiddly, time consuming, of course, but much more enjoyable than actually knitting a cardi, which I am sorry to say I have never succeeded in.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday - Change of plan

Do you remember these ricrac cones? I blogged about them here after following the tutorial on Pintangle.

They are really neat and I like them a lot. In spite of that, I decided that they are not right for the bias tape quilt. That is why I removed them and instead made four Whipped Wheels with some Chain stitches and blue beads.

They sit much flatter on the quilt and I think on the whole these wheels look better.


On the crazy quilt block I have only outlined the pattern on one of the pieces with a few Stem stitches:

I am sure the others have made much more progress on their work. To see, go to Work In Progress Wednesday on Pintangle.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Miniatures at Yokohama

Here is a final report from Yokohama.

Whenever I enter a quilt at this show it is for the Miniature category, however, this time I took a break. Maybe next year, I'll participate again.

'Miniature' at the International Quilt Week Yokohama does not mean a scaled down version of a large quilt. Instead it means that the quilt should measure exactly 50cm x 50cm. This gives a lot of leeway in design, material and of course scale of the pattern.

Here are a few samples of the many wonderful quilts.
I have not edited or cropped the photos, nor had time to check the names and change them into Roman letters. Information about the quilter can be found in Japanese on the labels underneath each picture.

A perfectly stitched quilt. Hand quilted. Look at that edge!!!

 Machine quilted and maybe inspired by Jacquie Harvey's crayon quilts? Check out some crayon work in her picture Gallery.

Another machine quilted piece, with a bit of embroidery:

A stained glass quilt. Fresh and crisp design:

I really liked this one:

Here are some quilts with embroidery:

These circles are made from the quilter's husband's ties:

The feathers on this owl are made from 'yukata', the Japanese cotton kimono used in summer or for sleep.

 Here is a famous scene from Japan; a painted train passing in front of Mr Fuji. Is there maybe a train loving child in the family?

I hope you have enjoyed a sample of Japanese small quilts.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Embroidery on quilts at Yokohama

Continuing from yesterday's report from International Quilt Week Yokohama 2012, today I want to focus on embroidery. Year by year there are more innovative ways to quilt and add a bit of surface pizzazz to quilts by the way you stitch.

On my last blog post I showed how Hisako Chiba had used Long and Short Stitches. I have never seen that kind of stitch on a quilt before. Interesting! On this particular quilt a perfect choice:

Here is a detail from Sakiko Nakamoto's quilt I showed yesterday:

Kazuko Ikeda's quilt of a ginko tree lined avenue is entirely covered in embroidery:

Manga, cute and 'childish' drawings are often seen on quilts in Japan. Here is Aki Sakai's charming, and SMALL quilt:

The details are tiny!

Mitsuyo Umezawa added a picture of each of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac:

And Yasuyo Kominami transferred a child's drawing to the quilt:

Finally is a detail of Toshiko Maeda's stitches:

This year there were not many crazy quilts in the contest. Japan's CQ queen Machiko Miyatani had a number of her stunning quilts on display. However, photography was not allowed in that section of the show, so no eye candy for you. Hideko Ishida, another skillful cq quilter, and maybe a member of TAST (well she has the button on her blog anyway), has written a bit about Machiko Miyatani here.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

International Quilt Week Yokohama 2012

I have been to visit the International Quilt Week in Yokohama.

As you enter you see these HUGE quilts. They are displayed every year.

This fantastic bed size quilt, made by Chieko Shiraishi, won the Grand Prix. It was impossible to take close ups of it, but I saw in the programme pictures of the intricate needle work. I hope it will travel to Houston!

Here are some other quilts from the contest that caught my eye. 

A shining medallion by Sashiko Nakamoto.

Japanese lanterns made with old kimono fabric, by Shizuko Yoshizawa.

 Shoko Sakai has made several of this type of quilt, this is version #7.

Western log cabins and Japanese cherry blossoms shine on this quilt by Kumiko Koyama.

 Teal is a colour I am often drawn to. This border is beautifully quilted by Hitomi Yamada.

 Sometimes writing is added for the beauty of the Kanji (Chinese characters). This calligraphy in reverse appliqué by Yoko Otani.

'My Sweet Garden' is the title of this elegant quilt by Keiko Kusumoto.

On closer inspection you can see it is all made with typical Japanese fabric.

From a distance this quilt glowed and had some unusual embroidery. Created by Hisako Chiba. 

Tomorrow I will show more details of embroidery on quilts at Yokohama Quilt Week.