Wednesday, July 31, 2013

TAST 75 Woven Zig Zag Chain Stitch

This week’s stitch at Pintangle is the Woven Zig Zag Chain Stitch.  Here are my two samples - #5 perle in blue and #8 perle in ecru.  I need a lot more practice with the tension, but I think this will be a useful stitch.

Omiyage from Istanbul
One of Ted’s co-workers presented his research on attitudes toward disabled athletes at an international conference in Istanbul and brought Ted this omiyage.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

River Kayak Trip

 After practicing their kayaking skills at Lake Shikotsu a few weeks ago, Ted’s class went to Ikushunbetsu River this past weekend. The students were thrilled with the rapids and only two of the kayaks flipped.

Lunch Time


(Did you know today is World Embroidery Day? I didn't before, but thanks to Queenie Patch I do now!)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Morning Star Count - I'm Learning

Lesson 1: I love these Japanese silk fabrics, but I don’t think they were the best choice for this project.  They don’t finger press well and I’m afraid to use much heat from the iron on them. This project is turning out okay, but my next epp project will be with cotton fabrics.

Lesson 2: I should have read the directions for this project better.  It called for 36 hexagons, which is what I used.  What I didn’t read was the size – 2 cm hexagons. Mine are 26 mm size hexagons, so it’ll turn out a little bigger than the little pouch in the Quilting on the Go! book.

Lesson 3: I didn’t plan the order of putting the hexagons together very well. The paper pieces need to stay in place until all sides are stitched.  I ended up folding some of the in place paper pieces to be able to stitch them together.  It worked out, but wasn’t ideal.

I’m learning.


I’ve picked out a blue-ish gray floral cotton print for the lining.  I haven’t picked out the binding fabric yet.

I’m already cutting cotton fabric for my next project.  I hope to have something done to report next week. I'm just a beginner at this, but you can check out the projects of other stitchers at Life Under Quilts.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hokkaido's Awkward Mascot

In the US, each state has its own state motto and flower and bird.  The states don’t each have their own cartoon character though, like the prefectures in Japan do.  I recently learned about Hokkaido’s mascot.

 mori top
You can read the whole story (and see the whole picture) and find out what this character is here.  

Kingfisher Progress 
I finished outlining the water with silver twist and the branch with copper twist and have just begun outlining leaves with the gold twist.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Now He Can See

Yesterday I gave the final exam for my university class.  I haven’t graded the tests yet, but I looked through them and most of the students did well. I’m glad because I’ll have these same students next semester.

I did get to stitch in the afternoon, and I gave the Kingfisher an eye. I also outlined the wing and head and started working on the silver twist that outlines the water, in addition to working a bit more on the cat tails. He’s coming along nicely.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chagal Exhibit at the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art

Even though we live in a small-ish town, we live fairly close to Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido.  The Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art in Sapporo is one of our favorite places to visit in the big city.  Currently, they are hosting a special exhibit of the works of Marc Chagal. Ted and I spent a pleasant afternoon taking in the exhibit.

I thought Chagal (1887-1985) was French, but it turns out I was wrong - he was a Russian artist who spent many years in France. I think the exhibit did a very good job of covering the many things he accomplished over his life time, with great variety – framed pictures and sketches, video, slides, tapestries, ceramic pieces, stained glass, and ballet costumes. Like most museum exhibits, photography was not allowed.

Ted’s favorite part of the exhibit was a multi-screen slide show depicting the paintings of the ceiling of the Paris Opera House, which took a year to complete.  Chagal was 77 years old at the time.  The Aleko ballet part of the exhibit was my favorite.  It consisted of the sketches for the costumes and sets, a video showing parts of the ballet and about ten costumes from the ballet. We feel fortunate to live so close to a museum with so many great exhibits.

The start of the cattails and a few more stitches completed --------

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kingfisher - Leaves are Green

I’ve put in a few more stitches and have started the green Kreinik on the leaves. I’m looking forward to pulling out the red basting stitches and doing the outlines so I can see what it really looks like.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TAST 74 - Zig Zag Chain

This week’s TAST on Sharon B’s Pintangle blog is the Zig Zag Chain stitch. My sample includes #5 perle (dark blue), two rows back to back with #8 perle (medium blue), and #12 perle (yellow).


This is a stitch I like and have used before. Here is a small line (green floss), with an added chain stitch going out to the right on my recently finished penny purse.

This little yellow line is on the back wall of my “Crazy World” bird house.

This seam is on the Victorian bag. I've added other stitches to the right of this zig zag chain too.

I had a busy day yesterday and didn’t put all that many stitches in the Kingfisher. (Maybe I'll have something to show tomorrow.)  I’m teaching some extra English classes over the summer at the children’s English school where I work part time, substituting for some other part time teachers who are on vacation. Yesterday I had two classes that went really well – 4 and 5 year olds in one and 7 and 8 year olds in the other.  I also had one class of 3 year olds that did not go well at all.  There were only three of them, but it started with two of them giving me the crossed arm sign (meaning no) and the third who just woke up from a nap, all refusing to repeat the vocabulary or say anything at all in English.  I was happy that that was the first class and the next two were better.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cattail Leaves

I’ve been working on the leaves. Basically there are only two patterns in the leaves (hexagons or hexagons with diamonds), and two weights of black threads plus I will be adding some green Kreinik. By filling in more or less of the spaces in the leaf patterns, the leaves look darker or lighter.  Some of them will get outlined.  As I suspected, there are a lot of compensating stitches.  It’s coming along.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

While Ted's Away, I Stitch All Day

Ted’s gone on a weekend trip with his canoe class, so I spent most of yesterday with the Kingfisher.  The threads I’ve used so far are DMC black floss, YLI black silk, and Kreinik #4 in light blue and darker blue.  I have a few chores this morning, but hope to start working on the cattails a little later today.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Non-Birthday Dinner

Ted and I love having our birthdays and we celebrate the entire month, not just the day we were born. One of our friends here doesn’t like birthdays, imagine that!  He doesn’t even want his birthday mentioned.  His wife organized a dinner get together with friends on his birthday, but no one was allowed to say anything about his birthday.  We enjoyed the get together with friends and the meal at Bombay Blue, but hated that we didn’t get to sing Happy Birthday or even make a card for him.

The Bird Takes Shape

Friday, July 19, 2013

Kingfisher Start

I’ve decided to work on one of my New Year Resolution pieces – Tanja Berlin’s blackwork Kingfisher.  I traced the design onto the tissue paper and basted the design to the 32 count fabric with red sewing thread, which is removed when the blackwork is completed.  It’s rather time consuming to do this basting, but well worth the time involved. The design areas are small, so I expect there will be a lot of compensating stitches.


After removing the tissue paper with the help of some tweezers, I’ve already stitched the first two small areas on the wing.


When I’m doing blackwork, I think how much I like doing it and wonder why I don’t do more of it.  I’m probably thinking that about most things I’m working on. There are some people who like to do one thing and that’s what they do, like quilting or counted cross stitch or painted canvas. I like to do many things and never seem to have enough time to devote to them all.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

University Student Festival

This past weekend the University students held their annual festival. Ted and I went together on Saturday morning and he returned on his own Saturday afternoon and Sunday.  After all, the university is in our back yard so he didn’t have to travel far to attend again.

There was a large area in the parking lot and several classroom areas indoors. On stage there was musical entertainment and an eating contest and demonstrations.

Fans with the festival logo were given away to attendees.

There were tables of original art for sale and we bought some things to give as gifts.


There were quite a few food booths, although I didn’t eat anything at the festival.

The calligraphy and art students displayed their work.

I think a good time was had by all.