Near the top of the photo you will see a dark red thread coming out of the middle. This is called "parking a thread". I do this with my threads when I have stitched an element and will be using that color again near where I finished the element but don't want to carry it under my surrounding stitching, or count up to the next area it should be used. In this case I will be using the dark red in the garland that adorns the tree. Instead of finishing the thread and having to start again, I have saved it out of the way of my current stitching (the cream background) so I won't accidentally stitch over it and will pick it up again later when I begin the garland. I will have to move the thread later when I stitch more of the tree but, for now, it is out of the way.
This comes in very useful when you are stitching an area with many color changes. If you stop and start your threads each time you would have a very bulky back on your rug. Since it will be carried behind an already stitched area, it doesn't show from the front through the color you have stitched if that color is a darker color. It is still a good idea not to carry threads over a light area of stitching. If you do wish to stitch over it, simply park your thread in the direction you will need it again and stitch over it before picking it back up again to stitch with. Later, when I am done the rug, I will post a photo of the back of the rug for you to see.
If you are unfamiliar with the Basketweave stitch there is a great description of it here: Basketweave . I have used Tent or Continental stitch for the border and have found that basketweave is a nice stitch to do when covering larger areas of stitching in the same color. It also helps keep my rug more square after I have blocked it.
mistake in the first place. Luckily for me I don't have any counts of gauze smaller than 40 count so I couldn't accidentally mount one of the lower counts. This would have been disastrous as the rug would not have fit and I would have had to start over. Therefore, lesson learned - always count my gauze first and don't assume that I have the right one. I do have all of my gauze labelled but this piece had been mounted in the frame for several months and I must have mounted it thinking of doing one of my rugs designed for 48 count then picked it up for my Christmas rug. I think if I mount a gauze that I will not be using right away in the future, I will pencil the count onto the frame so that I can't forget.
Once I figured out my mistake, I had to frog out the extra stitching. As you can see, I still have some frogging to do but decided to stitch the corner so that I would know how far to take out the rest of the stitching. My finished size for the rug will now be approximately 3 5/16" x 5" (8.4 cm x 12.7 cm). I am stitching it to go into my Santa's Cottage. The little cottage is quite small but still 1/12th scale. It only has one room upstairs and one downstairs. I will be creating two room areas on each level so they will be small compared to the rooms in my Beachfront Mansion. Therefore, it may be a blessing in disguise that I have stitched this on 48 count instead of 40.
This rug obviously will not take up the whole of the gauze, so I am planning to stitch some of my 48 count Christmas stocking designs and 48 count pillow designs around it before I take the rug off of the frame. In this way I will use up much more of the canvas and will just block everything at the same time when finished. It will be interesting to see how many designs I will be able to stitch around it...
the next before stitching the light color. It doesn't show through if you stitch the light color first and carry the dark thread across. However, just in case it did show through, I have stitched the light background first then started stitching the inner red line before I started the trees. I placed the tree in the corner first and did not run my starting thread under the light background. Once the tree was complete, I ran the green thread under the red stitching at the base of the tree then over the light stitches (not under them) to the next tree above it. In this way, I don't carry the thread over the light color very much and it doesn't show through. I am working my way up the left side of the rug in this fashion, first stitching the background, then the tree.
As you can also see, I once again, have not started in the middle of the pattern. This is simply my preference and your rugs can be started in the middle if you prefer that. When starting in a corner, I simply make sure my gauze is big enough to fit the frame and I choose a frame that has an opening that the rug will fit inside. I have the inside measurements of the frame opening written on the top of each frame so that I may choose the correct one for my project. This one is 1/2" larger in both directions so that I know it will fit. I start in a bottom corner and work my way outwards. Since I work my rugs this way, I do not have to make sure the center of my gauze is in the center of the fame opening. My rug will always fit and I won't have to re-position my gauze if I started in the middle and made a mistake finding the center.
To reduce counting, I work partway across and up then begin the background and motifs of the border. This way, I work my way up and across using my motifs to count my way. The largest stretch that I have to count in the border of this rug is 5 rows - a very easy number to follow. Once I have made my way to the top left corner and the bottom right corner, I begin working across the top and up the right side until they meet at the top right corner. As long as I have made no mistakes when counting out the border, everything should match up easily and the inner section of the rug will be easy to stitch.
on the frame. I then trimmed the fabric so that approximately 1/8" or more remained, clipped the corners, then turned the pillows inside out so that the outsides of the pillows showed. They were very easy to stitch together but it was a challenge getting the pillow turned and they are smaller than the others. I will most likely make a braid using the colors in the pillows and put it onto them to make them appear larger.
The pillow on the left was finished by stitching a front and a back for it, then folding the trimmed edges back right to the stitching, ironing them then folding the pillow in half and stitching it together using a running stitch. This one had much sharper corners, was easy to stitch together but because I used a running stitch, I can see a bit of the white threads of my silk gauze if I look closely. For this reason, I will also be putting a braid around it to finish it off.
The pillow on the right was finished by stitching a front and back like I did for the pillow on the right but this time I folded the fabric back leaving one row visible just like I do for my rugs. I folded the pillow in half then stitched it together using an overcast stitch just like I do on my rugs. This pillow also ended up with nice, sharp corners but unlike the one on the left, I do not need to put a braid around it to finish it off.
All three methods of finishing have merit depending on what look you are going for in your finished pillows but the easiest one is the one on the right. I will be writing a tutorial later that details each of the finishing techniques, along with photos so that you may also see clearly how I did each one.
This past week, I have been having a lot of fun working on the middle sections of the rug. I have decided to work from the corners towards the center. The main corner I am working is the bottom left, but if I have a lot of thread left in a color I won't be using close by, I have been ending the thread and working the opposite corner. This is why the opposite corner has a lot less finished.
You will notice that there are a couple of threads that are still attached to the little motif on the left side near the halfway point of the side. These threads lead upwards, away from my stitching and are placed outside the stitching area of the rug. This method is called "parking" your thread and is used when you are going to be using that color again soon but don't wish to count to the next place you are going to use it. I often make mistakes if I have to count too far without other stitches close by for reference, so I do this to save the thread until I have done some more stitching close by and can count easier. It saves me having to end off my thread and start again. I keep the end of the thread far away from my stitching area so that I don't accidentally stitch the end in with my work.
Sometimes stitchers will leave the needle threaded with the color and "park" the needle on a magnet they have attached to the side of their frame (or if using foam core, they can poke it into the foam on the side). This way, they have multiple needles in use and don't have to keep re-threading their needle when switching to different colors.
I will also "park" threads if I am using a dark color and have a light color to stitch between the dark color and the next dark area. This is because if you carry the dark thread across before stitching the light color, it will show through. If the dark color runs across the light area after the light area is stitched, it won't show through. Ideally, it is best to run the dark thread under another equally dark thread to get to the next dark area, but sometimes this isn't possible.
of un-picking it all over again, so I took a scary plunge and carefully cut off the top half of the left black border and added a patch of gauze. The patch overlapped the red section (underneath before the upper half of the red was stitched) along with about 1/4" of the black border and allowed me a clean slate to stitch it again without taking the risk of putting holes in the gauze if I un-picked again. I tack-stitched it into place and stitched the red part of the border in one and a half inch increments and the black border in the same increments afterwards. To make the transition of the black border seamless near the center, I un-picked about 1/4" of the black border, then re-stitched it to catch the patch in it as well. As I completed parts of the red border, I removed the tack stitches so that I wouldn't have to try and stitch over top of them.
This time, the black border went without difficulty and I was able to reach the upper corner. Finally!!
The patch that I put in is not visible now that I have stitched it in place with the red and, since it overlaps about 1/2 inch, it is good and strong. In this photo, it is only visible above the left corner, where you can still see the tack stitches. The black stitching across the middle of the red border are to hold the bottom edge of the patch in place so it wouldn't move as I stitched the red border. When I complete the rug and do the overcast stitch at the end, you won't see it at all, either from the front or the back.
Doing this patch saved me hours of un-picking and frustration as well as saving me from having to start the rug over again. I still seemed to make mistakes regularly along both sides of the border but was able to catch them very quickly and fix them before I got too far.
Once my two upper corners were in place, I was able to work the top red border fairly easily and, miracle of miracles, I didn't make a mistake across the top!!
I am hoping the rest of the rug goes smoothly now that I have completed the worst of the borders. Looking back, I have been wondering how I made so many mistakes when I have never done so to such an extent before. Part of it, I think, is that I am using 48 count gauze for the first time after getting used to 40 count. This can make it difficult to see the individual holes. Another part, I think, is that I need new glasses. Luckily, I have an optometrist visit coming up in 3 days so this should be fixed soon. The last part of the problem, I believe, is the fact that my Grandmother died just before I started this rug and I was emotionally and physically exhausted. Note to self: Don't do any complicated patterns when exhausted! I put it aside for a few weeks to work on some less demanding miniature projects and came back to it feeling much better and was able to problem solve and stitch it with much less difficulty.
I have learned a lot with the stitching of this rug so far and am now back to loving stitching it.
On November 12th, I finished stitching my Ocean runners for the stairs in my dollhouse. That same day I mounted the gauze and began stitching my new project.
I decided to stitch my Denise rug as I was looking forward to stitching something with lots of pattern after the monotony of stitching the runners for so long. This project is being stitched on 48 count gauze and will be the first time I have used this count. Below is a photo of my progress to date.
I began my stitching in the bottom left corner as I am left-handed and find this to be an easy place to start for me. I worked across the bottom to fill in the outer border, then worked upwards along the left. I have not completely finished the first border on the left side because I want to work a bit on the next border. The reason I do this is so that I can check my pattern count to make sure I haven't accidentally mis-counted any of it. I find that I can get my borders placed more accurately if I work this way and not try to complete the entire outer border. If I work just the outer border and am off by even one stitch, the border won't line up when I get around the perimeter back to the bottom. Once I have placed the left side and bottom outer borders, I like to work the inner borders across and up until I reach the edges of them. This helps me place the outer top and right borders more accurately. You will see my progression of this more accurately as I post more progress photos.
You will see at the bottom of the photo, that I have a bunch of lines on the inner edge of my frame. I did this because I hadn't worked with 48 count before and wanted a visual reference to show me every 10 stitches across. It helped me to count out the bottom border. I worked the black line almost to the end of the little lines then began to fill in the shapes until I got to the far right corner. I will begin working my way up the right side once I am sure I have counted correctly. Rather than end off a thread that I will still be using, I "park" it by going down through the gauze away from the stitching then back up again. I will pick up each thread again as I need it.
You may also notice near the bottom right corner in the red stitched section, that there is a shadow of red in the unstitched area. This is because I stitched the last bottom motif, then found out that I had mis-counted by one stitch when I got to the corner. I had to remove the stitches and begin again. It is so easy to make this kind of error and even very experienced stitchers do it from time to time. I usually find the mistake before I have gone too far then fix it before I have a chance to make more mistakes based on the first one.
I have now finished filling in the different blues in the center motifs and was able to begin the background white. You can see a tiny bit done in the bottom left corner.
I have decided to do the background using Tent Stitch (also known as Continental Stitch) and work my way to fill each little section as bordered by motifs and lines. This way, I won't be crossing over the motifs or lines. Also, if I complete a small section, I will feel like I accomplished more than if I stitch all the way across the whole width of the center. (This is purely a psychological response but goes a long way toward keeping me interested and engaged in a project! 😉 )
Using this method of filling in sections, the finished rug won't be as thick as it would if I traveled across motifs and lines, and I will have the added bonus of using less floss, thus having to re-thread the needle less often. I find that silk gauze is very hard on DMC thread and I can only use shorter lengths when stitching, or the floss will fray and break. The longest I have been able to use at one time is about 19" - 20".
My name is Yvette, and I will be writing this blog to tell you about the creative process that has gone into the creation of my Petitpoint patterns along with showing the stitching I have done of some of the rugs.
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