Tag Archives: 12wt thread

One Year of Stitches: February

I’m still working on a post about my experiences at QuiltCon last week, but as March continues to skip on, I thought I should share February’s stitches for my 1 year of stitches project in the meantime. QuiltCon post coming soon!

My 1 year of stitches project is a personal challenge to stitch at least one stitch every single day. I am working with no set plan, I don’t mark the fabric before stitching; I simply stitch whatever wherever whenever. It’s quite fun!! You can follow along with my daily stitches at @NQ1yearofstitches on Instagram.

Even after a short month, it grows! As a reminder, here’s the hoop after the month of January:

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1and here it is showing the progress from February:

february progress for 1 year of stitchesI guess 28 days can make a big difference!

erin from aurifil thread live at quiltconThe highlight of the month was getting the chance to chat with Erin from Aurifil on Facebook live while attending QuiltCon in Savannah. You can see my low key chat HERE on the Aurifil Facebook page. I talk about my process, how the project came to be, why I use Aurifil 12wt thread, and I show a quick demo on how to stitch a French knot. It was a really fun opportunity, and while a bit nerve-wracking knowing I would be live, Erin made it easy by being totally awesome and relaxed. Plus, she’s from Maine. Perfect! The whole experience inspires me to try a bit harder to figure out a way to video my stitches live each day, or at least some days each week. I’ll get right on that and will let you know if I figure it out!

1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifilBack to my embroidery progress! Here are some close up shots of the various sections of this freestyle hoop.

1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifilI am still stitching without a plan, deciding each day’s stitches the morning–or sometimes night!–of the current day. I have tried a handful of new stitches and look forward to trying even more as the year progresses!

1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifil1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifil1 year of stitches freestyle embroidery progress february 12wt aurifilThose little white three-petalled trillium flowers are the most recent addition. Time will tell where this will go from here!

Finn helping me with photographyThis month, I had a photography helper, so of course I can’t end the post without a few Finn cameos. I often use the photos on my phone as a reference, so I pulled up January’s photo to make sure I arranged the thread in a consistent way. Finn was please as punch that they matched.

Finn helping me with thread positioningHe also helped me put the thread back into the box, then arranged around the hoop, back into the box, then arranged around the hoop. What a helper!

Hmmm what shall I stitch today?

One Year of Stitches: January

As a full time mom of three little ones, but one with a strong innate need to create every day in order to maintain sanity, I feel like I do a fairly good job of creating opportunities for creativity and stitching, sprinkled throughout even the busiest of days. First, it was knitting–something I could carry with me and leave next to the couch to pick up while nursing or holding a sleeping baby in my lap. But as my children grew, their desire to turn yarn into spider webs, spy laser obstacles, leashes for stuffed pets, etc. also grew and knitting became quilt a risky endeavor.  English paper piecing helped and I dove into basting hexies and honeycombs. Then I felt like I needed something new. Enter: embroidery. It’s small, I can store it up on the counter out of reach, it’s clearly mommy’s–not simply a ball of yarn begging to be unravelled or little fabric bits to be tossed around–, and it’s something I can pick up and put down quickly.

AG stitched embroidery hoop aurifil 12wtLate last year, I kind of got hooked on the quick mental fix that comes with freestyle embroidery while I was creating this Alison Glass hoop. In late December, when some friends brought my attention to the 1 year of stitches project initiated by Hannah Claire Somerville, I was intrigued. After a bit of googling, I found this invitation by Sara Barnes of Brown Paper Bag, who helped spread Hannah’s open invitation for others to join, and I knew that I had to join in. Hannah’s specific personal rules and stipulations are here, but I chose to take a looser approach. The goal is to stitch at least 1 stitch every single day for a full year, 365 days.

night quilter 1 year of stitches beginningsI went into the year with a 10″ hoop of Robert Kaufman Essex linen in light blue, my stash of Aurifil 12wt threads, and no plan at all.

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1Here is my hoop after 1 month of daily stitch-whereever-the-wind-blows stitching. Fun, right!? I created a separate account on Instagram @NQ1yearofstitches to document my daily stitches, and I am trying my hardest not to make any kind of formal plan at all.

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1My basic strategy began as a daily google of “embroidery stitches” as an image search. I would scroll through, find a stitch that looked cool, and then find a tutorial on how to make the stitch.

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1I began by learning bullion knots, so this whole project began with that little mass of turquoise squiggles and has grown organically from there.

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1I love the texture that results when you stack embroidery stitches together. Those white floppy things are my first attempts at braided picot stitch, another fun one!

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1This has been really fun so far, and as of the writing of this post, I’m already over halfway through February, too! (You’ll have to wait until March, or check the IG account, to see those additions, though!) I’ll plan to share an update each month, so that you can see how this grows.

night quilter 1 year of stitches month 1My personal guidelines include stitching at least one stitch each day, trying to plan as little as possible and simply stitch whatever feels right each day, and not remove any stitches no matter how much I dislike the final outcome (cough, cough, that octopus family, cough). I figure this way, the stress of getting everything *just* right disappears, and instead the thought that it will all work out somehow in the end dominates. No stress!

1 year of stitches embroidery month 1This is a really fun, exhilarating project since it is pure spur of the moment random creativity. If you have any cool, unusual embroidery stitches to recommend, I’d love to add some more to my arsenal. There’s something about learning something new that makes my day.

If you are itching to learn embroidery, this is also a really fun way to do it. In the end, you end up with a hoop of many different stitches, as well as a visual story of your progress! Happy stitching!

I’m linking up with Beth at Cooking Up Quilts for MCM, since I’m excited to be blogging, and always excited to stitch!

Stitched Embroidery Hoop Finish

The finish I’m sharing today measures only 4″ across, but probably took more hours of work and provided more peaceful moments than most of my other projects. I’m relatively new to embroidery, with really only my Dropcloth Color Wheel sampler and the embroidery stitching I did on a mini quilt a while back as projects under my belt, but when Alison Glass sent me some of her Stitched fabric, part of her new Seventy Six fabric line for Andover Fabrics, it begged to be… well, stitched.

AG Stitched embroidery hoop aurifil 12wtI’m so happy I obliged, because I just love this little hoop!

nightquilter instagram embroidery beginning
Here’s my Instagram post from the wee beginnings of this hoop, about 12 weeks ago.

When the Stitched fabric arrived, I had just completed my Ocean Path quilt for our big Quilt Theory debut, and I was in the final push stage of finishing a quilt that will be in the February issue of Love, Patchwork and Quilting magazine, so picking up a small, no pressure, no purpose, no pattern hoop of Stitched and my 12wt Aurifil thread stash was the perfect brain palate cleanser.

embroidery back
Here’s the back of my finished hoop—see! I am totes a novice! I think this looks fun, though, crazy as ever!

This was back in September, according to my good ole’ Instagram feed, and since that time, ending just a couple of days ago, I’ve picked this little hoop up for 1-20 minute intervals (and 20 minutes might be leaning on the long end) every here and there: a quiet moment when the kids were all playing nicely together, a few seconds here while having a minute lax time while cooking dinner, or just because I needed to MAKE and had not yet had a chance that particular day.

AG stitched embroidery aurifil 12wtI stitched whatever I wanted, wherever I wanted, and tried many different stitches.

AG stitched embroidery hoop aurifil 12wtI used Aurifil 12wt thread from my stash, in colors (left to right from photo above): 2530-Blossom Pink, 2435-Peachy Pink, mystery orange–the only Aurifil tag that has ever fallen off a spool!, 2120-Canary, 1147-Light Leaf Green, 2884-Green Yellow, 5005-Medium Turquoise, 2540-Medium Lavender, and 2515-Light Orchid. I used a single strand for all except the turquoise x’s, for which I use two strands. If I were to do it again, I would probably stick with a single strand since I love the crisp aesthetic that results.

AG stitched embroidery hoop aurifil 12wt french knotsToward the end, I went a little crazy with french knots, but I do love them so and they make a great “filler” around the edges.

AG stitched embroidery hoop aurifil 12wtSince the pattern is printed on the fabric, there was no actual end, so it was up to me to decide how close to the edges to stitch. At first I thought I’d leave a bit open, but I just couldn’t stop stitching. As it is, most stitches extend to the absolute edge of the hoop. I kind of love it.

finishing embroidery hoop wool feltI finished it using the methods (minus the plan-ahead phase, since I didn’t plan ahead lol) shared in this tutorial on Sew Mama Sew.  I stitched the running stitch around the excess fabric, pulled it tight, knotted and tied it, then trimmed off the extra fabric. Next I cut a 4″ wool felt circle using my Sizzix machine and stitched it onto the back with coordinating 12wt Aurifil thread and a blanket stitch. I’m quite happy with the finish, and definitely plan to make more. In fact, I very well might aim to always have a  free-form brain palate cleanser embroidery hoop laying around, since it really worked wonders for helping me get back into a better mental place during especially hectic, crazy kid, too many (mostly self-imposed) expectations-filled days. Making works magic, doesn’t it?

I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday, and then sending this hoop off to a friend!

Return of the Rainbow

Do you ever get to the point in a project where you are *so* close to finishing that you sort of let your mind think you already have, and it hops right over and latches onto a new project idea or three? Yeah, me too. I have at least three projects that are in their final stages yet have been put aside for the past month, while I instead started a handful of new projects. Who doesn’t love a new project?! Yesterday I decided it was time to get those nearly finished projects into the finished pile, and I pulled my favorite one to the top to start.

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler mini quiltRemember this? Over a month ago, I finished my first ever embroidery sampler, this Color Wheel by Rebecca Ringquist of Dropcloth. I used Aurifil 12wt thread for the first time, learning the stitches as I went, and loved it SO much when it was finished that I just couldn’t let it be actually finished. So I hatched the plan to extend the color wheel using none other than my favorite saturated rainbow: Alison Glass’s 2015 Sun Prints. Putting it aside was not out of lack of love or excitement, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE this project and it feels so good to pick it up again. I just get into spots where the ideas burst and I have to get them started so that they are real. You know what I mean… a project with fabric cut and design sketched and a few stitches invested is a real project. It’s a lot less likely it will sit stagnant in the pool of unrealized ideas once it’s been at least partially begun.

rainbow color wheel processSo back to my color wheel. I managed to match the fabrics almost exactly to the colors of the Aurifil embroidery, which is incredible. It seems like Alison Glass and Rebecca Ringquist and Alex from Aurifil must have all gotten together to design this harmonious flow with the perfect combination of design, color, thread, and fabric, it goes together that well. I wanted to be sure that the prongs of the outer color wheel aligned with the organically drawn prongs of the embroidery wheel, so I scanned my embroidery sampler and uploaded it to Inkscape, the free vector program with which I design patterns. I created larger circles, centering the embroidery, and extended the lines on the sampler to create wedges. I then printed it, cut out the wedges with scissors, and used them as templates to cut the fabric wedges, as shown in the Instagram photo above. I winged it, really, but amazingly it came together beautifully.

dropcloth color wheel rainbow quiltRight now the rainbow circle overlaps with the embroidery sampler’s edges, but don’t worry–I plan to either trim or fold the edge under so that the entire sampler is visible.dropcloth color wheel rainbow quiltIt was an exciting day, since this is the first project sewn on my new sewing machine: a Bernina 560, which I recently purchased during one of their 0% interest, 60-month payment plan offer days.  (I’ll give you a formal introduction soon, promise!)

flatter by soakI also used Flatter by Soak spray for the first time since QuiltCon, and I’m amazed I survived without it. Between the new machine sewing like a dream and the seam-relaxing Flatter spray, this circle came together without a hitch.

Now I am going to study up on circles by watching Cheryl Arkison’s class Inset and Applique Circles by Machine on Craftsy (affiliate link). It’s my first time trying a class on Craftsy, but I hear there are subtitles. I also was fortunate enough to take a class with Cheryl Arkison at QuiltCon, so I have no doubt of her depth of knowledge and skill. I’m really looking forward to trying to attach these circles!

Having never sewn a circle by machine, and perhaps only one by hand, this will be a creation filled with firsts. I’m getting awfully close to completing this beauty, though, and I’m loving every step of the way.

I’m linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday.

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Also, for those of you on Instagram, I’m having an awesome giveaway to celebrate passing 1,500 followers, sponsored by Aurifil, Soak, and moi (with a fat eighth bundled pulled straight from my stash favorites, basically this color wheel!). Head over, follow me @nightquilter, and tag a quilty friend to enter. Here are some sneak peeks for eye candy (Note: This giveaway is on Instagram only):

instagram giveaway bundle
Fat eighths bundle pulled from my stash favorites. Giveaway on Instagram only.
instagram giveaway bundle
Aurifil thread set and Flatter by Soak, graciously provided by Aurifil and Soak. Giveaway is on Instagram only.

GIVEAWAY! note for blog and twitter

 

Dropcloth Color Wheel Embroidery Finish… but only the Beginning!

I’ve officially completed my first ever embroidery sampler, and I must say I’m hooked! It has been the perfect project to just pick up here and there while snuggling a sleeping baby and playing with two big kids.

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wtI stitched this Color Wheel sampler by Rebecca Ringquist of Dropcloth using Aurifil 12wt cotton in the following colors (for when you want to get your own sampler to embroider, since I’ve had a few people ask about details!):

2884 Green Yellow
1147 Light Leaf Green
1148 Light Jade
4140 Wedgewood
2525 Dusty Blue Violet
2784 Dark Navy
2515 Light Orchid
2540 Medium Lavender
5002 Medium Red

1154 Orange
2145 Yellow Orange
2120 Canary

I love the shine of the stitches created by the Aurifil 12wt, and I’ve already mentioned how nice it was to work with a thread that wasn’t strandy or prone to unravel.

dropcloth color wheel embroider sampler finish aurifil 12wtInitially I thought I might finish the sampler in a hoop and hang it in my craft loft as is, but the colors are just so gorgeous that I feel a strong need to draw them out into an even larger creation. I scanned the sampler and played with it in Inkscape a bit to determine a course of action, and I think I’m going to aim to make a larger color wheel using coordinating fabric–mostly Alison Glass Sun Prints, although I’m sure none of you are surprised at that!

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wtOnce I visited my fabric stash and did a trial fabric pull, I was completely convinced that a larger quilted color wheel is the way to go.

alison glass carolyn friedlander fabric rainbow Really, can you blame me for wanting to use these fabrics in every.single.project!?

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wt

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wtI will most likely include my favorite neutral, Robert Kaufman Essex yarn dyed linen in charcoal as the background, although I’m liking the bright colors’ contrast on a lighter background, too.

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wtSo, once again, I’ve finished a project only to turn it into a larger, more complex project. But as usual, I am very excited about this project extension! I will be trying my first inset circle as well as practicing curved sewing, in which I have only dabbled early in my quilting foray. I’m also I’m eager to hand quilt the next phase of the project with the Aurifil 12wt to help tie the entire color wheel together.

dropcloth color wheel embroidery sampler finish aurifil 12wtI’m linking up my Dropcloth Color Wheel Embroidery Sampler finish with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday & TGIFF, even though it’s only the beginning of the next phase of the project. Let the rainbow wheel stitching begin!

Dropcloth Color Wheel Sampler Progress

With an infant sleeping and nursing much of the day, and still the help of my husband around the house, I’ve been making good progress on my Dropcloth Color Wheel embroidery sampler. Over the weekend, I received some new colors of 12wt Aurifil (thank you, Alex!) so I now have all of the necessary colors to complete this sampler. I’m already thinking about what I’m going to embroider next, and can’t wait to use the thread for hand–or even machine–quilting, too!dropcloth rainbow wheel embroidery sampler and 12wt aurifil

dropcloth rainbow wheel embroidery sampler and 12wt aurifilThis is my first time trying embroidery, so I’m learning the stitches as I go. YouTube is an amazing resource, isn’t it!? So far, blanket stitch is still the trickiest for me. My favorites are Algerian Eyes, Coral Knots, and Backstitch. In browsing other embroidery samplers, I’m noticing that there seems to be an endless list of stitches to try, but I want to try them all! Admittedly, I’m a bit frightened by French Knots, but will tackle them next. I chuckled at the fact that I was sewing the couched stitch while sitting on the couch (is there a couch-related reason for the name?).

rainbow of aurifil 12wt threadThe more I use the 12wt Aurifil, the more impressed I am. I’m a complete beginner at embroidery, so there may be benefits of using a floss or perle cotton thread that are unknown to me, but the smoothness of the Aurifil makes it a dream to stitch with. There’s no unraveling or splitting, and the thread is thick enough to make an impact with only one strand. The colors, of course, speak for themselves: vibrant, bold, and shiny.

rainbow of aurifil 12wt thread and dropcloth samplerI have only a few sections remaining, and then comes the fun of deciding what to do with this once it’s finished. My initial instinct is to finish it in the hoop, but I’m tempted to stitch it into a larger mini quilt for a more finished display.

If you stitch embroidery samplers, how do you finish them?

I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced’s Work in Progress Wednesday and Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash (hello, shiny new Aurifil!).