this is a shot of the white one. the buds and new growth have begun to form on the viney stems of last years old growth.
last year it bloomed profusely for it's short time and i realized that my habit of cutting the plant back every fall (which hadn't gotten done as usual) wasn't a good idea as i was stunting it's growth/bloom possibilities every time that i did it.
so now i know; no more fall pruning of this white clematis.
i would like to add some more clematis to the garden. maybe this summer . . .
this post is a combination TAST, 15 minute challenge and giveaway.
i once again met my own personal goals within a challenge framework. so i'm doing a quick dance of joy as well as celebrating by offering three of my photo note cards (of my choice) as well as a few extra surprise goodies. if you are interested in winning i would like you to leave a comment on this post telling me what you think my theme/challenge for april was. you don't have to get it right, you just have to take a guess within your comment. if you happen to have an idea for a future theme, feel free to share that as well.
i'll draw a name/winner on May 10th.
the cards were made by a company called snapfish. i think they're pretty nice cards.
over at sharon b's pintangle the stitch for week 17 with TAST is the wheatear stitch. i don't recall ever working this stitch before so i was interested in giving it a go and seeing what it would do. as i was thinking about how to approach the stitch (in relation to my christmas stockings) i happened to visit this blog. Masha was also new to the stitch but she had very nice examples of her experimental work. she commented that the stitch reminded her of a combination of seaweed and fir branches and as i read this i had a creative aha moment and decided that i would like to explore that idea.
so i sketched a bit . . .
after a while i decided that it was worth getting out a needle and thread to try to see what i could do with that.
i found a piece of scrap muslin and not wanting to 'waste' my time and effort i backed it with a thin postcard sized piece of batting with the intention of finishing whatever might happen as a usable piece of mail art.
the orange running stitch that you see is basting so that the muslin didn't wiggle off of the batting. you can see a bit of batting in the upper left corner because the muslin didn't entirely cover the batting (a space left open for future fabric/embellishment on the piece).
in my effort to make the stitches look continuous (like a 'branch') i failed to pay attention to how it should be formed. it's actually considered a detached or stand alone stitch but if one 'stacks' the wheatear stitch it can be made to look like a continuous form.
i was not quite completing the stitch before heading into the next stitch. it wasn't the look i wanted and it wasn't the correct way to do the stitch.the stitch is formed first by making a fly stitch and then a chain stitch is formed and used as the catch portion of the fly stitch with the stitch being completed by a second catch stitch at the base of the chain stitch.
in the shot at left i have shown a single wheatear stitch but i have elongated my last catch stitch.
this elongated version was great for the look i wanted. it helped create a looser looking series of stitches when one was stitched directly below/behind the next.
it was looking more and more like a fir branch all the time . . . i learned that i could also lengthen out the arms of the fly part of the stitch and give things an even looser, more organic type of feel. the less i tried to make 'perfect' stitches the more organic it tended to look. i was liking it~! so i kept on stitching.
eventually i added some fabric over that corner of batting that was initially left uncovered.
and stitched some more . . .
so now i have a very well started postcard and absolutely nothing on the christmas stockings (for the second week in a row).
i'm not even sure that it looks like fir branches at this point . . .
maybe a pine cone would help . . .
there are some wonderful examples of what can be done with this stitch. Maureen's work is beautiful and creative. Claudia did a floral arrangement and a sea themed piece that is gorgeous. All Kinds of Needlework did some whimsical windsocks with the wheatear. Lisa has created a mandala like work that turned out nicely too.
if you're interested in embroidery there is some real eye candy as well as good instruction within these links.
so now it's on to Kate's at Life in Pieces for the 15 minute challenge . . .
no detailed report card for me as i feel that i'm boring my readers to tears with that. i'll just sum it up by saying that i managed to get my challenge done on 6 out of the 7 days. on tuesday i completely forgot. i stayed up quite late and as i was falling asleep and going through my day in my head i suddenly had an 'oh sh@#' moment and knew that there was nothing to be done about it as it was already past midnight. oh well. no A+ for me this week.
i did accomplish some work on the hexie path basting and actually sewed a flower and path unit onto the growing top. and i spent quite a lot of time on the TAST/wheatear stitch.
all in all a decent enough week.
if you're needing a little encouragement to get your sewing time in on a daily basis this is a great challenge to take on.
recent gifts include:
- hearing from my daughter frequently
- big bunches of bright yellow daffodils
- daily walks with my wonderful husband and the dogs