Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Machine wins !

With eagerness to get hand stitching on my leaves, after work I dashed to my in-town LQS for embroidery floss, then dashed home to start hand stitching my leaves on my Bargello vine.

I found my Embroidery Tote in a corner and washed the dust off the box. With an effort for organization, I wound these new threads on the appropriate little gadget, put the thread ID number on that little gadget (what is that thing-y called - plastic spindle?? ), lined everything up in appropriate sections in my organizing box, and started my stitching. Uhhh, not quite was I was thinking - oops, I know, I'm heading the wrong way - gotta start from this end. Drats, knots, cut the blasted thing and restart. Hey world, do I hafta know which end to knot on embroidery floss? "HEY, DH, sweetie, sugar pie, would you please bring me my needle threader???" Oops, that's not looking so great either - crud, I have 3 threads instead of 2. Again, ??? strength for this project is waning fast ... Crud, I know, stitches too big .. but .... oh crud, this looks like XXXX! It's just sitting there, on TOP of the fabric, with pokies evident here and there.
OK, I knew using the machine for doing a featherstitch would be a pain, since I already had the border on, but ... in about 30 minutes, I had a good portion DONE! My vote is for the machine work for this project. It gives the leaves the barb-y, prickly edge that I wanted, the darker thread (dark green) is the perfect 'look', and I'm very happy. Where the leaves go into the border and over a seam or two, I used telephone book pages for stabilizer, and that worked like a charm.
And, FYI, my machine has stitches that slant UP, and another mode for the same stitches that slant DOWN. I did not push for perfection and stuck with just one mode.

One other thing - I was worried about messy stitches when starting and stopping with that awkward featherstitch, so I did NOT do a locking stitch. Instead, I left a thread tail when starting and stopping, and then, using an easy-threading needle, quickly threaded the threads to the back where I tied them together. If you haven't seen one of these needles, they are kinda open at the end, and the thread sort of slips into the eye. Perfect for this use. I keep that needle in a special segment in my tomato pin cushion, because it's hard to recognize.

I feel like a 5-yr. old in kindergarten, still playing with my colors, paints and pencils. Life is good.

23 comments:

StitchinByTheLake said...

Elaine I love the feather stitch on the leaves and would never have thought of doing that. I'm working on some applique now and I'm going to try that on my piece. Could you please explain using the telephone book pages for stabilizer?

log cabin quilter said...

The machine feather stitch looks great! And it will go a lot faster by machine, so it is a double plus. It makes we start to think about trying it too!

Anonymous said...

those leaves look great! i'm with the others thinking i have to try this too. cant wait to see the finished quilt.

ursula

paula, the quilter said...

That thing you wind the floss around for the organizing box is called...

are you ready for this?...

A BOBBIN!

I can tell you were get frustrated when you can't think of the word bobbin. *s*

Lindah said...

Oh, yeah...those leaves look good with the machined feather stitch!

Su Bee said...

LOL - I feel your pain! Happily, those leaves came out looking super, and what a great idea!

Sharon said...

The feather stitch looks great! And the fact that it's fast and relatively easy is even better. You'll have that done in no time now! The feather stitch makes the leaves almost look like rose leaves, to me anyway. I'm glad this is making you happy!

Purple Pam said...

Your leaves are great, lots of texture.

Yes, life is good!

Julie said...

Beautiful! Hooray for machines, I say. Whatever it takes to get the job done well. In this case, the job looks gorgeous.

Sweet P said...

I love the effect of the feather stitch. The leaves look perfect. Great job!

Joyce said...

I agree that using the machine wherever possible is the best. The feather stitch looks great. I love those self threading needles for sewing in the ends. It used to take me so long to thread each needle that I would give up and just clip the ends, not a good thing.

Deb H said...

Funny post Elaine. I'm with you, I'd rather be using my machine. Your leaves look beautiful.

I've use the needle you mentioned, but actually prefer a big crewel embroidery needle for that tast. Sometimes the split end cathes on my thread & shreds it. The crewel needle has an enormous eye, so it's easy to make a loop on my thread & just push it through. In fact I could probably do it without my glasses!

jovaliquilts said...

I love the feather stitch, your leaves look great!

Anne Ida said...

What a great idea to use the feather stitch for appliqué!!! It looks wonderful!! Thank you for sharing!

Owens Family Adventures said...

Those leaves look really good!! I'm working on a quilt with a large star in the middle..I may try the Eleanor Burns method..I hope it looks half as good as your does!
dawn

Morah said...

Welcome to the dark side....emboridery by machine!!!! Yahahahahah. Looks very good!

Exuberant Color said...

It looks great by machine! There isn't a much harder task than hand stitching through fused applique. I'm for the machine every time.

meggie said...

The perfect solution! Love the colours in the that quilt. The machine stitching will be much more hardy too!

Marilyn said...

Love, love your feather stitching! You know I think I like the dark thread better,too. Great job!

Tanya said...

That machine applique is looking good! I don't know as I've ever tried that featherstitch but it looks wonderful! Glad to get caught up on your projects. Aren't Bargellos fun? I'd love to make another someday!

Margo said...

Feather stitch looks great...will try it myself...thanks for sharing...Maine

Kim said...

I like this. Good solution. Thanks for sharing it!

Marcie said...

That looks so cute with the feather stitch!