On my Stitch Fun 2021 Yearly Sampler project, a few things have been going on.
I’ve worked some random bands of stitching, I’ve added some more text – which I duly decorated and will probably decorate more (there’s a great area for some flying critters!) – and I’ve cheated on the Time Rule.
True confessions: I know I said I would only stitch when doing my morning listening (I’m listening to The Bible in a Year podcast this year), but several times, my listening has extended to other things. And this past weekend, when it was fuh-reez-ing in Kansas and I didn’t go anywhere, I listened to some bookish stuff and did some stitching on it one evening.
And then there were a couple episodes of Pride and Prejudice. You know – the one with Colin Firth? I flicked that on at one point and stitched on this.
So, yes. At this point, the sampler has a bit more than 20 minutes a day in it, as I’ve had a few bouts of extra stitching to keep me occupied while chillin’ out.
I bent my rule on the podcast listening thing. I may bend it further. In fact, I may write a new rule that overrides the first rule, saying that I can stitch on it whenever I’m listening to something and I don’t have something else I have to be doing.
Yes, I think that sounds about right!
It is ever thus. We always find a way to justify ourselves, don’t we?
For me, this project must be a carrot. I can’t stitch on it whenever I want to – or I’d be playing with it all the time! So it has to be something I allow myself to do only in certain circumstances and when I have accomplished things I must do.
In any case, last time we met on this project, I was adding fabric to the sides to make it easier to hoop up. I think I was about here:
That bright blue stuff – lines of backstitch – became padding under a diagonally striped raised band in bright blues.
I haven’t been snapping a photo every day after progress (probably because of the Great Time Cheat mentioned above), but I’m going to try to do that from here out. It’s easy to forget!
You can see in the photo above that I don’t necessarily follow any particular order of work, either. I do part of a band, something else occurs to me (like the text), I work on that a while – and then go back to the previously started band.
Then, I hopped back to the text and decorated it a little more, went on to another band, decided to add a couple more flowers and French knots to the text area, and so forth.
I’ve moved on to other bands below the text now, but I still see things in the text area that I want to add. For example, I might work in some bees, just for the fun of it. Or a wee butterfly.
Unlike the previous line of text that we talked about in this article – where I free-handed the quote – this bit of text got a little more planning and precision. I wrote it out first, spaced it, and then copied it. I even marked the edges of the fabric so I could be sure that it was straight.
There are limits to my ability to be random and to completely free-style something like this. I’m not the type of person who would be happy looking at permanently embroidered text sloping down the fabric. Since I know this about myself, I took some care in the placement of the lettering.
I used an overcast stitch, which is similar to trailing. Overcast and trailing are both satin stitch techniques that involve stitching over some thread. In the case of overcast stitch, the thread weight never changes. You’re always stitching over, say, one strand of the same thread, just to give your letter some lift and padding.
With trailing, you work with bundles of thread, and you can reduce or add to the bundle as you want your lettering to thicken up or thin out.
In my case here, I stitched over two strands of coton a broder, using one strand of coton a broder. Coton a broder is a fabulous thread for this type of lettering! You can read about coton a broder here.
Floche, which I’ve also written about extensively, is good for this type of lettering, too, but there’s a little more body to coton a broder, and it works really well with overcast stitching.
To make the letters a little more decorative and a little less cold, I added serifs at the tips of the strokes by extending the length of the overcast (satin) stitches just a tiny bit.
We’ll talk again about overcast stitching and lettering in the not-too-distant future.
So that’s where I am on Day 41 in 2021. I’ll probably be stitching in this area of the sampler for a while. I’m trying to keep the length of fabric divided into fourths in my head, so that I don’t end up without enough fabric at the end of the year – or with too much fabric left blank.
On Friday, we’ll do more wheat!
See you then!
PS – I’ve added some Ready to Stitch Towel Sets to my shop, if you’ve been waiting for them!