Blackwork Bow Tie: TAST Bonus Challenge

Blackwork Black Tie

Black Tie Nap

This week there is a break in TAST 2012 to give stitchers whose lives have gotten really busy a chance to catch up.  After all, if you get frustrated and so behind the challenge might just become another UFO!  And Sharon Boggon is all about setting people up for success!

For those who were up to date she offered two bonus challenges.  One of them was to create some “Bling,” some eye candy to inspire others using from 3 to 6 of the stitches from the challenge list to date.  For some reason “Bling” hit me.  And when I think of Bling I think “Black Tie.”  And, with my interest in Blackwork, my mind obviously jumped to Blackwork Bow Tie.  Here is what I quickly stitched up (based upon a sketch in my Studio Journal.)

Blackwork Bow Tie

TAST Week 13 Bonus Challenge: Blackwork Bow Tie

I have used these stitches:

I will be posting more details later this week on my blog, Blackwork Lessons, after I create a clean copy of the pattern and directions.  Followers of Blackwork Lessons and The Shop Sampler who leave a comment requesting a copy of the pattern will receive it, gratis, of course!

TAST 2012: Week Six Chevron Stitch with Bamboo and Sea Grass

TAST 2012 Sampler stitched by Julie Castle as of Feb 12

My TAST Sampler to date

It’s been a very busy week, but I managed to stitch a few Chevrons…and more!  We are preparing to move to our next camping location.  Doing so is kind of like tying off loose ends, weaving in bits, and getting a finished piece ready for framing.  Yup—nitpicking chores!  But there was some fun, too!  I have a new grandniece named Peyton Marie born to the little boy I helped deliver too many years ago (who I’m proud to say is now a not so little member of the U. S. Navy)!  I started Sharon Boggon’s Online Class Studio Journal as a Designers Work Horse.  I went to New Orleans to visit the Garden District Needlework Shop where I spent too much money but had so much fun!  (I’ll be doing a full write-up about this incredible shop once we get relocated.)  I used some new to me threads in stitching the TAST Week 6 Challenge:  the Chevron Stitch.

The Thread Gatherer Sea Grass Cotton in Turkey Red

Sea Grass by The Thread Gatherer

I have seen Sea Grass by The Thread Gatherer in catalogues, but not in a shop.  The Garden District Needlework Shop had a supply, so I picked up a packet to try it out.  It was very nice to work with.  In some situations I could see using a laying tool, but in this case I simply used my needle to smooth the flat thread out.  The texture reminded me of the shredded paper type of grass  for Easter Baskets (as opposed to the plasticky stuff.)  The colors are nice, too!  I can definitely see a stash of Sea Grass in my future.

Layered Chevron done in Sea Grass Cotton and Pink Ribbon

Foundation Chevron in Pink Ribbon, Top in Turkey Red Sea Grass

Another thread new to me was Rainbow Gallery’s Bamboo thread that is sold under the moniker, “Mandarin Floss.”  Just looking through the bobbins on the stand, this color popped out at me.  While I had no idea what I would do with it, I knew it would fit somewhere in my color world.  I was right.

Rainbow Gallery Bamboo thread

Mandarin Floss in M294 a Bamboo thread by Rainbow Gallery

Using the Sea Grass over the pink ribbon Chevrons and not being sure what the next stitch would be, nor what colors would be most fitting, the variegated bamboo thread provides a really nice bridge to just about anything! Wanting to use previous stitches to offset the Chevrons, I used the Mandarin in Fly Stitch to underline the Chevrons.

I haven’t even mentioned the beginning of the Chevron sample.  The pink ribbon chevrons were tied with layered Herringbone in a Caron’s over dyed cotton.  Not really sure which one—it was pretty and went well with the pink!  That set of Chevrons was framed with Buttonhole Stitch

TAST Week 6 Chevron Stitch Sample

TAST Week 6 Chevron Stitch Sample

Tell me!  What would you do differently?  Be tough.  I can take it!  Should I do something other than bands?

Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012: Update

I mentioned before that I’m participating in Sharon Boggon’s Take a Stitch Tuesday 2012 challenge.  For those unfamiliar with what this is about, every Tuesday Sharon shares an embroidery stitch with the group.  She gives detailed instructions on how to complete the stitch for those unfamiliar with whatever the stitch of the week is.

For those who have some experience with the stitch, she provides inspiration and a challenge to play with the stitch and see if you can use it in a different or creative way.  She gives photo examples of how she has used the stitch, often in one of her crazy quilt blocks or from one of er own stitch samplers.

We are now at the end of week two.  I struggled to get started as I needed to decide how I wanted to proceed with the stitches.  You could just work up a doodle on your collar.  Or you could stitch/paint a landscape.  Or you could do a crazy quilt block.  Or you could do a traditional sampler.  Or you could do a sampler like Sharon’s Sampler of all Samplers!

I decided to do a more traditional sampler.  We’ll see what happens over time.  I used the buttonhole stitch from the Week 2 challenge to couch some pearl trim into a square to place my start date.  I used the Week 1 challenge fly stitch to write out “2012.”  I’m using a 28 count linen for the ground.  The buttonhole was worked with Weeks Dye Works #1278, Holly.  The fly stitch was also Weeks overdyed cotton, but # 2266, Turkish Red.  I thought since I’m starting this in the winter, I’d use wintery colors and let the colors in future stitches reflect the passing of the year.

The results so far:

TAST Week One and Two stitches together

Buttonhole stitch border to couch strung pearls and fly stiched numerals

What do you think?  I kind of like it!