Thursday, April 5, 2012

January Reflections: Q & A

Oftentimes, when I am in the middle of a project, I'll get questions about how I did something or which material I used for a certain technique.

Though I try to answer them all, I'm sure there are some that slip through because I'm in a stitching fugue...and I don't have too much time to be online.

So I thought it might be helpful to save them all for the end of the project and answer them in a post...a kind of "behind the scene" question and answer session post-completion...

Question #1

How did you get the eyes and nose of the deer to be so shiny?


I'm not going to lie. This is one place where having the right supply on hand makes all the difference.

Ideally, I knew I wanted to have a bead for an eye because of the shiny nature of the glass. Unfortunately, most seed beads are not round but more oval in nature and they just weren't right. I needed something round. I didn't have any round tiny beads but I did happen to have a couple of very very tiny vintage nail heads...they're only about 2mm. The facets of the nailheads were perfect. His nose isn't shiny at all but the one white stitch on its tip gives the appearance of light reflection.

Question #2

Is that a mirror inside the hole of the tree?


Yes! It's tough to photograph a mirror because it often gets whited out. I think the hole of the tree might be one of my favorite areas on this whole piece. I attached in typical shisha mirror style. I wish I had taken a picture before I stitched over top but alas...

I used the stitches holding the mirror in place as a "fabric" of sorts and stitched right into them as I stitched the bark. It was challenging because the mirror gets in the way of accessing the fabric back so most of the stitches that go over the tree knot do not go all the way to the back of the block...they are sewn over and through the mirror-holding stitches.

Question #3

What stitch are in those spiky leaf things?


Those spiky swirl fronds are stitched with palestrina stitch and then couched in between the spikes with a metallic thread.

Question #4

What thread is that threaded under the snowflakes in that top right seam?


That is a product called "flash" that fly fishers use in tying flies. It's really cool stuff and comes in lots of great colors. It tends to move and not behave very well...which you can see in my pic...it looks like I need to go back and add a few more couching stitches to hold it in place.

This picture is a great example of how my camera's eye is much much better than my naked one. Often when I'm showing you close up pictures of stitches or motifs, I see new things that I do not see when working (even with a magnifier!).

The block is 8" square so many of the animals are less than one inch. It's very challenging to get detail that small and you can't really see it from far away anyway. That's one of the areas most challenging to me...how to work small when most of our supplies are quite big.

Question #5

How did you attach those rocks?



If you don't own that book yet, you need to! It is chock full of tips and tricks that I use almost every day.

And this tip changed my stitching life because it opened up a whole new realm of possibility for attaching anything to fabric...rocks, shells, cabochons, pictures, potato peelers, etc. Thank you Allie!!

I only made one modification to Allie's idea. Allie punches "buttons" from the lids of plastic containers. Unfortunately, for me, those lids were a bit too thick to use on the bottoms of the tiny rocks I was using in my piece. I used quilter's template plastic instead which is much thinner.

I custom fit each piece of plastic to each rock so that the rocks would stay pretty firm against the fabric. I didn't want them jiggling around.


It's not so easy to punch a hole in those tiny bits of plastic, so I used a piece of foam underneath to make my needle holes.


Then I used the E-6000 applied with a toothpick to attach all the pre-threaded buttons to the backs of the rocks...


And left them overnight to dry...


I really enjoyed this Q & A session so I'd like to approach future questions relating to specific projects the same way...So next time, if you ask a question and I don't answer...hopefully, it will show up in the Q & A when the piece is completed.

Did I miss anything? If so, just drop me a line and let me know.

Hope you get some play time in today everyone!

22 comments:

Catherine said...

So cool to see and read about your little tricks!! I never would have guessed about the rocks!

Suztats said...

It's great fun learning how you do your magic!

Teresa said...

Your Janurary piece is just wonderful. I have been away from blogland for awhile and just got caught up on your piece. I love the little rabbit that peeks out.
Another fantastic job.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

Sheila said...

Very cool! Thank you for the book recommendation. One more to add to my next-to-buys...

~ Sheila

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Thank you Susan.
This was an absolutely priceless post.

You definitely have developed your own style. I predict we will see your artwork published. Its in your future for sure.
xx, Carol
Happy Easter

Lelia said...

Fantastic - your details are awesome + thx for close up photos and tips!

Stitch well today

Mary Ann said...

I am in awe of how you did the rocks...so cool and unexpected:) Good to know for future endeavors.

Heather M. said...

Thanks so much for telling us this. There were a couple of things that I had wondered about.

This piece is stunning. What are your plans for it?

Monica said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love your blog. It is so inspiring and pushes me to try new and different techniques. Looking forward to the new book.

Judy S. said...

Susan, you are one amazingly creative stitcher-person. Thanks for sharing the ins-and-outs of this beautiful piece!

Elmsley Rose said...

That deer's nose totally fooled me. What a perfectly placed stitch! I was sure it was a bead!
That method of attached rocks is so cool! *brain fail* on my part for not thinking to ask how it was done. Nice method in "my world" for attaching 'gems' if I should ever do that. (scribbles rapidly)

Gerry Krueger said...

What a lucky person I am to now have all the answers when I wasn't even clever enough to ask the right questions... Big hugs Ger

Robyn A said...

This block is beyond fabulous and this post is a great idea, answering all the questions at once. Thank you.

Shari said...

Your block is beautiful and your generosity in sharing your tips and tricks is awesome. Thanks for sharing your creative process.

Rachel said...

You have such a huge range of techniques in each piece, from ordinary stitching to managing tricky things like bits of rock - a truly virtuoso performance!

Angela said...

Your Q&A was super fun! Thanks for the reminder that I need Allie's book!

Mayté-MagicXstitch said...

I don't do quilting or Patchwork at all BUT I enjoy following your projects in every post!!

You're a such of inspiration!!You fulfill my curiosity about precious works like yours.

Createology said...

This Q&A session is wonderful. How kind of you to share and also critique your amazing work of stitchery art. You are a wonderful teacher and mentor of this craft. The levels you go to research and replicate perfection are truly awe inspiring. Thank you Susan for sharing so much. Blessings dear...

Nana said...

Wow, I have just found your blog and it´s such a plessure to look at your work. I´ll be back,

Nana from Germany

underatopazsky said...

Thank you - what a joy to travel through this stunning block with your words as guide.

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

This block is stunning! I can just imagine seeing it in person and actually touch it. I may have missed this somewhere, but did you say how you did the snow? I keep looking at your pictures and admire your work so much. Thanks for all the tips you have shared.

Elizabeth said...

Between you and Allie, my breathe is taken away!! ROCK ON!!!!

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