Thursday, October 4, 2007

Old and New Ideas - Please Read!

I'm nearly to the end of the border with the lace! It's really slow going with this one, and I'm not sure why. It's a rare time that I stitch "in hand" on so large a piece and I think this might be slowing me up. *Isn't Kirsten Dunst a darling "Marie?"

Some new soul searching....after all these years of stitching:

What makes a faster stitcher???

Can you tell me, those of you who seem to be able to get through several things at one time rather quickly. Do you care if each stitch is perfect?

What are your stitching techniques?

Do you use frames or Q-snaps, or stitch in-hand?

Do you "sew" your stitches, or cross all the "x's" as you go?

Do you have a special way of visualizing or starting your charts...or breaking down your pattern that makes it work up easier and faster?

What can you share with us any of your scheduling or other special tips that would help us move along our stitching more quickly and/or more effectively?

I'm wondering if I could take a poll from the following, and if you can answer on my blog by posting below with your answers? Or maybe just in comments.... Would the following please let us know the answers to the above questions: Just those in the good ol' USA to start with...(I hope to poll our Euro friends next.)

1) Becky SC

2) Carol Sutcliffe

3) Vonna Pfeiffer

So, I'm wishing I could go faster with this because I have so many ideas clicking around in a file and in my head! Here's another picture, which I'm not sure is better. If any of you have any ideas or pictures you'd like to contribute to the Sampler, please feel free to email me with them for consideration. It would be fun to have this be a group design, too!! I'm happy to share my findings with you, if anyone's interested.

Once the roses and laurel pattern get to the end, I start with the lacey backstitching that makes it look like a real piece of lace. I'm guessing this will take me another two weeks at this rate!! UGH! Thankfully, I still love my fabric color and the winter white floss. I'm saving my silks for the other parts. I've discovered this is actually 36 ct. linen. But, I'm still using 2 strands on the pattern to make the lace raised and dense in the longrun.

Ginny of "Twinkle Pink" blog...see my side bar for her addy link, somehow led me through a labyrinth where I saw on one blog, a darling example of paper, ribbon and beads and pearls creating handmade paper dresses. Fancy dresses that were hung on tiny black clothes hangers. They are just darling! I have to re-find the sites for you! I thought to myself, I have to make some of these, and we must get a group up to do these exquisite little things! The first ones I saw were of ballgowns for a pretend fancy dress ball. They were just phenomenal!

I found these to the left tonight on My Cherry Heart blog as another example. Each type of dress types appear larger than paperdoll dresses and can be made of anything, really. They could even be made of perforated paper and embellished. What a perfectly gorgeous exchange or journaling RR it would make! I just don't know how to start these Exchanges or RR things, but I would love to make one and then see if anybody would want to join me in a group. What I mean by a journaling RR is that they could be done for each other and be kept safely in an artist's sketch journal book, so at the end, they would be fresh for framing or whatever we'd like done with them.

I'm full of ideas tonight!! Somebody email me, I must be very lonely and in need of some chats!

Hugs to all...and thank you for taking time to talk to me....:)


BeckySC said...

Here's my answers Deb...nothing special about them :)

What makes a faster stitcher???
I really couldn't say-I just have always been a fast stitcher-it's like I need to hurry and move on to the next project-as I want to do so many and I love starting and finishing a new project :)

Can you tell me, those of you who seem to be able to get through several things at one time rather quickly. Do you care if each stitch is perfect? YES, I am very particular about my stitches laying nicely and have been known to stitch and restitch stitches that I am not happy with.

What are your stitching techniques? I use the stab method. It's what has always worked for me and a VERY good light (daylight lamp) Stitching is truly my passion and I would rather stitch than most anything.

Do you use frames or Q-snaps, or stitch in-hand? It depends on the project, but I prefer in hand if possible.

Do you "sew" your stitches, or cross all the "x's" as you go?
I cross each X as I go.

Do you have a special way of visualizing or starting your charts...or breaking down your pattern that makes it work up easier and faster? I always start at the top left corner.

What can you share with us any of your scheduling or other special tips that would help us move along our stitching more quickly and/or more effectively? My hands are never idle. I never sit without my stitching. After my daily chores are completed, I stitch every chance I get. My hubby says I stitch in my sleep :)

Take care Deb :) Hugs to you :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your creative juices are flowing, Deb!! You're off to a great start, aren't you? It doesn't look like a project that's supposed to go quickly! Enjoy the process!

Stephanie said...

Hi Deborah - lovely to find your blog! I'll be interested to see the replies to your questions - I'm a fairly slow stitcher, or maybe there just aren't enough hours in the day :)

Vonna said...

Well first off I'm surprised I'm on your list...WOW, to even be considered in the company of Becky and Carol...well that's something. Here's my answers:
*Fast Stitcher*: I don't know what makes a fast stitcher. But I do think that a well thought out plan of action makes a good start. Then I believe on having meticulously organized items so that I can get to them easily. I have my fabrics all in gallon sized freezer ziplock bags, with color/count in a long narrow cardboard box with piece of foam core to separate 28 ct., 32 ct., 36 ct. and 40 ct. I have all my threads organized. DMC's on cards in a floss chest, overdyes in those organizer bags and on rings separated by brands CC, GAST, WDW, etc. all ready for the go. I have my patterns in a file cabinet filed under the designer name.

*Stitching Techniques* I use the stab method, but what makes me "faster" I guess is that I never turn my needle. I hold it perpendicular to the fabric. I go down through the fabric with the point end and I come up through the fabric with the eye end. This way I never get twisted threads, My thread lies flat and I can use the thread way until it is a bitty bit on the end. Try's a wonderful technique that I came up with on my own...I've shown people and they try it and are astounded with it.

*Frames/Qsnaps* I used to stitch in hand, but my hand would start cramping...then I found Qsnaps. Ahhh, my love for Q snaps are unending. I have all the sizes of them multiples of 6 and 8 inches because they are my favorites. I use a piece of felt under the "snaps" and this holds my fabric at a perfect tension and doesn't distorte my stitches if I have to "snap" over fabric already stitched. LOVE THEM! Q-snaps try them!

*Crossing X's/Sew*: I cross each X as I go because if you do a "test" row, you'll see the reason...crossing each X as you goes allows the X to lie better and it looks neater. Plus if you have to frog it's better because you don't have to frog a whole bunch of stitches, just a few or the "one" that you messed up with....use a do-lolly and get the tail under the others and off you go. I railroad my stitching also.

*Starting*: to me it depends on the size of the project, but I usually start on a corner If it is a large project I start on the top left, small I may start in the middle and work out. But It seems that no matter, the predominant way I start is from a corner, which has the most of the same color near it...then I stitch that color until I need to change colors.

*scheduling*: LOL! Have to laugh at this one because, honey with 4 kids there "ain't no schedulin'" :)
Here's my "schedule" I get up in the a.m. usually around 6:30 a.m. I make myself presentable for the day and come downstairs, make coffee/tea, read blogs, wake up 4 kids, make breakfast - yell, plead, yell some more, walk them to school, the baby and I come back home. I finish up reading blogs. Start daily housekeeping. Have lunch by 12 noon. Put baby down for nap at 12:30 have stitching time until 3 p.m. (!) and then walk to school to pick up I play Mommy until 8:30 and then *maybe* I may get to stitch from 8:30-10 p.m. this is a *lucky* day....I try to get 2 hours of stitching in every day.This doesn't always happen. Especially if I have to go shopping for food/household items. But I must say...I'm very regimented, I'm a scheduled person and I very rarely deviate from my schedule!
Hope this helps and again I must say I'm very interested in the responses of Becky and now Carol...thank you for putting me in such an elite stitching group Deb! WOW!

wanda said...

I have long admired your blog. Always interesting! You asked a great question what makes you fast. My husband's aunt stitched the fastest I have ever seen. Something that would take a usual month for her would only be two weeks. How in the world?? I will check back I am really interested in this topic.

Susimac said...

Love those little dresses, what a great idea for a RR like you said.
I'm interested in the girls responses, I've read Vonnas and Becky's just Carol to wait in answer for, its always interesting isn't it how we all stitch and make time for it.

tintocktap said...

Great questions, Deb, and fascinating to read the answers. With big designs I think it's good to give yourself goals related to different sections or parts of the chart - so give yourself a treat when you get to the end of your lace border! And have fun!

Barbara said...

Ah, yes, this is fascinating to read Becky and Vonna's replies. Can't wait for Carol's!

The girls' dresses would make absolutely adorable birth announcements, wouldn't they? :D

Lauren said...

I'd be interested in the answers, too! For me, right now, I think it's just the lack of time!

Bejeweled said...

Well, you know I'm a paper dress addict :) And yes, they are phenomenal fun to make and embellish and have so many fun creative uses :)

I don't stitch, only knit and crochet, so I'm afraid I'm no help on stitching faster. But I'm enjoying looking at all your beautiful work!

Cheryl said...

Have enjoyed reading Vonna and Becky's answers to your questions Deb!

Wendy said...

Deb ~ your mind is a whirlwind! You're making amazing progress on your Sampler. But I do know how you feel, there are just so many wonderful things out there and just not enough hours in the day to make it all happen.

Kajsa said...

Love your progress on your sampler, very delicate lace looking border.

Michelle said...

Loved the responses from Becky and Vonna! I always wonder how they get so much done!!! Great post!