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i am a creative person. mother to a daughter who is an active young woman and a constant blessing in my life. i hope that you enjoy your visit here and that you will return often.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TAST/checkered or magic chain stitch ~ Photo Art Friday ~ 15 minute challenge ~

this week's optional challenge at Photo Art Friday was to experiment with using Bonnie's  "Signed & Sealed" texture.
Bonnie's texture/layer: "Signed & Sealed"

i used an archived photo of my orchid plant in bloom and came up with the above image.
i did find this texture a bit difficult to work with but it was good for me to experiment with something more challenging. stretching those digital wings is exactly how i will learn to do more with them. thank you Bonnie.

Sharon of Pintangle has presented the checkered or magic chain stitch for the TAST challenge.
this variation of the chain stitch changes color as you stitch it.
it was great fun. i did some playing around with it on my own christmas stocking using a white pearl cotton (size 12) and a hand dyed variegated cotton thread of the same size. both are threaded into the needle together but only used one strand at a time.
i also played around with 'the rythym' of the white and green placement within this curvy line of stitching.
what i really wanted to do was make a candy cane with it but i didn't feel like i would get the best color contrasts since the stocking's base is a piece of a red and white quilt. no matter where i placed the candy cane one of the colors was going to blend into the background.

so i decided to play around some more and ended up creating this candy cane/sled runner onto another work in progress. i used heavier cotton threads for this attempt and used a dark red variegated with the white. i continued to use the red thread to create the rest of the sled which worked out beautifully with the thread changing color just when i needed it to.
i thought that using the lighter weight thread was a bit easier but it wasn't too much of a challenge with the heavier thread either.

i think i'm getting this 15 minute practice thing down now and i happily have seven more days of success to report. this challenge is hosted by Kate at Life In Pieces. i managed to get the TAST practice onto a stocking this week :-)  as well as another project and i'm in the process of mending/darning socks. i suppose it's not commonly done but i have a few pairs of wool socks that i like to wear around the house in winter and they are well made really good (and a bit pricey to replace) socks so i'm mending them rather than purchasing new ones. it's time consuming but i actually really really like to do this which is good because i have several pairs yet to do.
i don't have a darning egg so i'm improvising with one using an inexpensive plastic easter egg.  it actually works quite well.
i have decided to keep it fun and am using wool blend threads that do not match the sock's colors. i will use same colored threads on each pair but change the colors for other pairs as i do them.
i really don't know what i'm doing and am not sure this looks too 'professional' but apparently, i'm doing a good enough job at it, as i'm now being asked to darn other socks~!
i didn't have the perfect thread colors but there isn't a hole there anymore~!

recent gifts include:
  • finding out that i won a beautiful little quilt from Maureen at Pursuit of Quilts.
  • being able to darn my own comfy/pj socks~not only does it feel good to do it but it's very satisfying to be wearing one's own stitchery even if only on the heel of a sock. 
  • warm soup and stew dinners in front of the t.v. and a snuggle with the wonderful husband after for 'dessert'
  • anticipating my family all together over the thanksgiving holiday . . . just a couple more days . . .

by the way, i'm wishing all of you who celebrate thanksgiving a warm, safe and full of love kind of holiday. if you don't traditionally celebrate this holiday i'm inviting you to make it a personl day of thanks and wishing you the same.


  1. You made really good use of the texture, love the resulting photo.

    Very fun stitch. I'd have never thought to change colors like that. It does make a great sled runner.

    Congrats on another successful week with the 15 minute challenge. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you! Your darning looks as elegant as your stitches on everything your needle touches!

  3. Good to see what you are up to. I've darned wool sock, too, though not as neatly as you've done! Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving Libby! Hope you have a great time with your family around you!

  5. I love your Photo Art Friday image ~ lovely texture work!

  6. And to think I've just been wearing them with the holes in them...I'm going to give it a try! Thanks so much for sharing! You did a great job! I LOVE IT!


  7. I agree with PomPom! You are a stitcher indeed! I'd love to repair my wool socks. Any chance you'll share how you are doing it? And what thread you are using?
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Great week! I didn't know anyone darned socks anymore .. I usually just toss them and get new ones. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  9. For some reason I learned to darn when I was a kid (on a lightbulb). It must have been 7th grade home ec (which I detested). It's a useful thing, especially if you have nice wool socks, yours looks very good. Now I'm reflecting on how to use darning in an art quilt. Hmmm...Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    best, nadia

  10. Your photo art is gorgeous!

  11. You did a great job using this texture - which I too found difficult to use. The Orchid is very pretty. Great job with your stitching again. I love varigated colors.

  12. your work is beautiful. it is a good idea to play with more than two threads.

  13. Absolutely great work again Libby, I hope you had a lovely time with your folks last week too :)

  14. wow - your darning is incredible! Hooray for you.
    I love your photo collage. The script is so pretty overlaid of the orchid.
    I love chain stitch it the first fancy stitch I learned as a girl and thought it was a little miracle and still love it!

  15. I had to laugh...the other day I went to an antique shop with a friend. In a bowl were 2 darning eggs. I picked them to shake them because I thought they were maracas. My friend clued me in...ha ha ha...laughter is good for the soul! Even if you are laughing at yourself!

  16. You have posted in a while dear, dear lady..so I just wanted to send you a little note to tell you that I am thinking of you! A lot of us faced some hard challenges last year, that are really creating a shift in consciousness and new visions of what 2013 would look like if we could manifest all that we wanted for ourselves..personally and professionally.

    So, for 2013..for you...may you have the gift of feeling just how much we truly care for, and admire you. And may that gift and this big virtual hug from so many ease your way into new, and even more creative ways of both understanding, and going into all of the transitions that we are all being called upon to now enter. (((((HUG)))))


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