Sunday, November 15, 2009

Angel Swap received, Advent Swap posted, and some help with stitches...

Thank you sweet friends for all your lovely emails and comments over my recent bout of illness. I'm much better today, almost back to my old self again, but I am taking your advice and will be slowing down a bit from now on - I went through a bit of a silly season for a few months, and it was all for a good reason, but it's not the way to live all the time.
On Friday I received the parcel from my Stitchers Angel partner! It came all the way from Portugal and contained some extra surprises - a box of cappuccino mixes (all gone now!), Belgian chocolates (all gone too!), and lovely pyramid tea bags that Blossom and I are saving for our special afternoon teas.
Guarding my parcel of presents was this beautiful angel ornament!

My lovely Angel was Noemia, and you can see more of her work on her blog!
Inside the parcels were lovely handmade gifts ....

Thank you so much Noemia!! She has been reading my blog and knew how much I loved tea parties, cappuccinos, and Belgian chocolates so she spoiled me with a sweet tea cosy, and a tea pot mat, as well as the other goodies.
I love them all! :-)
I have been busy with some secret things things this week - more swap presents, and a special gift for a dear friend, but I've also begun a new set of designs. I did a lot of sketching early in November and now that I am almost caught up with the 'have-to' projects I can make time for my 'want-to' projects! This means all my lovely sketches can come to life in needle and thread at last.
As I was stitching this morning it occured to me that this is an opportunity to answer a question I receive regularly in emails and comments. We have chatted before about backstitch and the importance to take your time and not be afraid to unpick and re-do - the most recent blog post on this topic is HERE if you would like to read it - but today I thought it would be good to discuss satin stitch.
I love satin stitch, and for exactly the reason the stitch is so named - the satiny sheen it displays when done well.

Like a simple backstitch, satin stitch should be undertaken slowly and gracefully, too.
Rushing through your stitcheries will always give the project a less than pleasing appearance - and many of you have told me that is how you feel when you look at your finished work.
I talked about the gentle rhythm of stitching a good backstitch, taking time, not pulling the threads tightly but allowing the thread to always feel relaxed in your hands in the fabric - the same applies with satin stitch. Never 'pull' the thread, but guide it through the fabric and allow it to stop of it's own accord rather than tugging it at the end (which will cause puckering).

Make sure that every stitch is sitting right next to the one before - remember, don't do spaced stitches just to finish faster. If the stitches are all nestled together they take on that lovely satin sheen. It is better to take your time and do a lovely piece of work than to finish twice as many projects poorly. Stop after each stitch and look at it. If it does not look even or smooth, pull it out and do it again.

Just as there are no gaps between a good set of backstitches, there should be no gaps between your set of satin stitches. I hope I have encouraged you to slow down as you stitch. It is so worth it at the end.
I am not the best hand-stitcher in the world, but my goal with every project is to improve my skills. It's a good goal to have. :-)
My Advent Swap parcels are now winging their way to my partner, Jeanette, and hers are on their way to me. We chose to post our parcels a week later as we both live in the same state and looking at a parcel of surprises for almost a month before we could open them would have been torturous!
I didn't number her parcels, but wanted her to choose them as a daily lucky dip - and there is an extra one in there in case she has a rough day in December and needs an extra special surprise.
The main present is wrapped in Christmas can never have enough Christmas fabric, can you!?

I'd better get back to my stitching. Blossom is sitting nearby studying for her end of year science exam tomorrow, so perhaps I'll make her a bowl of freshly sliced nectarines and some cheese squares before I sew...
Have a beautiful Sunday, and may God bless the work of your hands!


Allie said...

You have a wonderful angel - what beautiful gifts she made for you! Those are really lovely, Jenny.
Glad to hear your putting needle to thread and taking your time. Secret designs....oh my.
I'm not very good at satin stitch. I need a lot more practice. It's mostly getting an even border that I have trouble with.
Praying Blossom does well on her exam - I'm sure she will, she's a smart cookie like her mum.

Gloria J W said...

HI Jenny...good luck for your daughter's exams!! It's a trying time for them. Nourishment is good!! Loved all your goodies from your swap partner. Now I need to slow down when stitching and maybe my satin stitch could look as good as yours. Prcatice...practice.. practice. Rainbow smiles... Gloria

Janice said...

Didn't you receive some beautiful and thoughtful gifts! Thanks for sharing your satin stitch. I don't feel so bad now that I often have to undo a stitch if it doesn't look quite right. I hope Blossom doesn't stress too much with her exams.

Rita said...

jenny, i love you! you bring a good feeling of peace and calm to my life when i read your postings. may you be blessed with all good things this week -- be happy and healthy.

SewLindaAnn said...

Hey Jenny,
Glad your beginning to feel better. Thank you for the pictures along with your stitching hints. I think I'll focus on breathing as I stitch so I don't get uptight. I want to look at my stitching and think it looks as clean as yours. I mailed off my Christmas swap to a lovely soul in Floreat. I even looked it up on Google maps, that was great fun. I have to claim ignorance because I totally thought it was going to look like some rural outback. Enjoy your week.

Unknown said...

Jenny...glad to hear you are getting over whatever bug you've got that's trying to lay you low...chuckle. Don't let it get you! REST is BEST! Say, I read the info and I don't think there is anything about the length of stitch (maybe I missed it); stitch length is probably about 1/8...or depends upon what I'm about lettering...
well...feel better! Almost forgot, the angel gifts are lovely ... we must swap sometime when you would like to maybe swap some of your beautiful work for one of my dolls. (quilts, dolls, purses) Stitching - still under construction...grin! Do you and Blossom like dolls?..take a look at my blog whenever you get a chance...


Deb said...

What beautiful Angel gifts Jenny.
What pen do you use for putting your stitching pattern onto the fabric, its looks so nice and fine.

Tell Blossom fingers crossed she feels positive after her exams.

Narelle said...

Dearest Jenny, thank you for the info on the satin stitching and what a wonderful piece that you are stitching. Is it one of your wonderful patterns for us as i would love to see it finished it looks lovely from what I can see. The gifts from your angel were lovely. Tell Blossom that our thought will be with her in her exams next week. Have a lovely week
Big hugs

--- Ruth --- RuRebo --- said...

Wonderful, these Angels!
I love the gifts very much.

zigzago said...

Hi Jenny, I'm glad you fell better.
You got some great gifts from your anngel, ... mine also arived at my partners house and now I'm wainting to receive the gifts from my angel.
My Advents swap parcel is on the way to Tasmania, ... hope Pauline receives it soon!
Have a nice and creative week! Hugs, Renata.

Cattinka said...

Hi Jenny,
I like the stitchers angesl gifts you have reiceived... I´m still waiting on mine....and for me you are the best stitcher in the world!

Chocolate Cat said...

Thank you, Satin stitch is my least favorite, in fact I avoid it if possible, but you have encouraged me to give it another go with a positive frame of mind!

Chocolate Cat said...

Thank you, Satin stitch is my least favorite, in fact I avoid it if possible, but you have encouraged me to give it another go with a positive frame of mind!

Debbie said...

Thank you for the reminder to take it slow. I need a kick every now and then.

Abby and Stephanie said...

Your work is perfection.

Country Nanny said...

Dear Jenny,
thanks for this new tutorial.
A big hug to you and finger crossed for Blossom and her exam!
Have a nice Sunday and a happy week.

Dorothy said...

Wonderful stitch tutorial Jenny. I love the look of Satin Stitch in a design.
Hope your daughter does well on her exam and doesn't stress out too much.
Glad you're feeling better.

Betsy said...

Jenny , Noemia was my swap partner years ago. She sent me the most beautiful needle holder and pin cushion. I still use them and think of her.

Graciela said...

Hi Jenny!!!!!!!! adoro lo que hacés, me gusta mucho, y explicas muy bien todo, ese color de tu nuevo trabajo es genial!!!! quiero hacerte una pregunta que tipo de tela usas para tus trabajos, para la base de tus bordados, no para las aplicaciones, aca en Argentina no hay mucha variedad en telas de algodón y me encanta la trama que tienen, y otra pregunta cómo se marca la tela para bordarla porque yo veo una linea super finita gracias te mando un beso enorme

Diane said...

Thank you for answering my question about the number of strands of floss when lettering!

I appreciate ALL the tips and hints you have shared.

Your stitching is beautiful.

Diane in AL

Leslie said...

Happy to hear that you're feeling better!

And you are really have to slow down and take time to really do well at stitching! I am constantly pulling stuff out because it doesn't look right. You have to do that to have a great end result!

Do slow down, Jenny! Don't bog yourself down and tire yourself out. Take time to enjoy what you I know you really love stitching and quilting :)


What Comes Next? said...

You have such beautiful stitching - thanks for all the tips and hints you've given us. Lovely Stitcher's Angel gifts you received, too. And your Advent swap package looks lovely - your partner will have great fun opening each package.
Taking life slower is something that I'm trying hard to work on. Your special tea parties are a great way of keeping things in perspective - I'm trying to make it a habit of mine, too. Hope to see some of your new projects soon, but no more crazy busy, okay!?? Health and family always come first.

What Comes Next? said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terri said...

What lovely gifts!! It is so fun to get spoiled sometimes isn't it?
I can hardly wait to see your new creations though I can't stitch them fast enough!
I know Blossom will do well on her exams.

Unknown said...

Glad you are feeling better now...your xmas goodies look Gorgeous...
take care

Sandy said...

Thank you for all of your tips and helps us newbies learn the right way. My hand embroidery is improving with patience.....

Sharon (Stitches on Mars) said...

I'm glad to hear you are feeling much better. Your angel came threough with flying colours.
BTW was the satin stitch pice also a sneak peek. It certainly looked lovely.

Sweet P said...

Beautiful Angel gifts! I'm glad to hear you're feeling better.