Linda Stouch's RR: Tina's piece with a heart theme is probably lost forever as the stitcher who will remain nameless has been dropped from the RR ... one piece "lost in the mail" - possible, two pieces "lost in the mail" - improbable, failure to respond to e-mails and phone calls by organizer - damning. I am now waiting to receive Jane's piece [May 15th rotation - and held back while the nameless stitcher situation was resolved] and Dolores' piece [June 15 rotation] all within a week. This will call for some turbo stitching ... but luckily Dolores' piece is a PS and well within my comfort zone. I'll have to check the list to see what Jane's theme is ... and then go stash diving for an appropriate chart.
This has been my primary focus this weekend. I have read and re-read Week 2's class and begun work on the seam embellishing: using the herringbone stitch, plaited algerian cross stitch, plain cross stitch, fern stitch, ermine fill stitch, chain stitch and french knots. I even made up a band sampler on which to practice some of the embroidery embellishments I wish to try over the next few days: the boullion stitch with it's many variations, some of the herringbone variations, trellis stitches that produce a diamond pane pattern and knotted stitches that produce figure 8 effects, as well as a few spider web roses. The first photo shows the block with the band sampler laid out behind it. The velvet cord that is laid across the top will be stitched down with the red 1/4" metallic ribbon in a spiralling half cross stitch. I have used silks, overdyed cottons, pearl cottons, metallic ribbons and braids as well as metallic floss. You can see close-ups of a few of these seams in the second photo. And I have pulled out all of my various stitch dictionaries in order to expand my repertoire and add variety and interest to the stitched embellishments. As I do all this, I envision where all the beads and buttons will go, experimenting with stacked button or button/bead combinations ... rather like playing with building blocks ... and have come up with a few combinations that I know will find their way into the final design. The third photo shows my favorite button combinations and the planned placement. Of course, I haven't stitched them down yet since they'd get in the way as I continue working with the embroidery embellishments. This project is very liberating since I can try out some rather over-the-top techniques and just play with different fibers and textures ... though I never attended kindergarten, I think I now know how a kindergartener must feel upon encountering a blank sheet of paper and pots and pots of fingerpaint. I haven't yet joined in the forum discussion with other participants nor have I posted any WIP photos, though I shall have to do that soon ... I have resisted looking at the work of the others till after my own project has taken a definitive shape of its own, for better or worse. One of the things I have enjoyed doing was working snakes of chain stitch over two adjacent pieces in layers: starting with a 1/4" wide metallic ribbon, moving onto a a #5 metallic braid and finishing up with a fine perle silk ... with the links of the chain getting progressively smaller as I use finer fibers. In a later stage, I'll add beads of various sizes so that that particular part of the block will look like a jewelry tray upon which a jumble of necklaces has been carelessly tossed.
I received an e-mail about the shipping date of the back-ordered Silk Mori for the May Thanksgiving ornament and have had offers of help with finding the right dye-lot of GAST Maple Syrup [for April's Thanksgiving ornament] floss from 123stitchers. I still need to find a source for the silk serica, though.
I pulled out and kitted up Shepherd's Bush's Be A Witch, ordering threads as needed as well as the two Homespun Elegance bee buttons I needed for HIH's Wee Bee.