Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How Do You Stitch?

With needle and thread, right? LOL

Seriously, how do YOU stitch?

Do you stitch in hand or with a hoop, q-snaps, scroll rods or a frame?

Do you use the stab-n-stick method or the sewing method?

If you use the sewing method, why have you chosen that method?

Do you love stitching with hand-dyed, over-dyed and variegated threads as much as I do?

I normally stitch in hand using the sewing method.  For me, stitching in hand came about because I suffer from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and found holding any type of hoop, q-snap or frame very difficult and painful.  Often, I'd still have pain and numbness from moving my right hand and arm above and below the fabric for each stitch.  I started experimenting with the sewing method.  At first, I found I was stitching with a combination of the stab-n-stick and sewing methods.  Eventually I became more comfortable with the sewing method and now use it the most.  There are still some times when I will use the stab-n-stick method, especially if I'm using a metallic thread or blending filament.

What I like most about the sewing method, besides being the most comfortable way for me to stitch, is that it has a rhythmic flow that I find soothing.  Since I stitch for enjoyment and relaxation, the soothing, rhythmic flow is a bonus! 

Today, I want to share the way I stitch with the sewing method.

I'm right handed and find it easier to move the needle from the top of the stitch to the bottom of the stitch.  The sewing method is most often used when stitching in hand because hoops, q-snaps, scroll rods and frames keep the fabric taut or "drum tight", making it more difficult to move the needle through the fabric in a sewing motion.

When using solid colored threads, I stitch left to right, stitching the bottom leg first and then the top leg from right to left.

 Come up at #1

Needle down at #2 and back out at #3.

Needle down at #4 and back out at #5.  
Continue until the end of the row.
For the top leg of the stitches, work from right to left with the needle still going from the top of the stitch to the bottom.  Needle down at #6 and back out at #7.  Continue working stitches in this manner until back at the beginning of the row.

When using hand-dyed, over-dyed and variegated threads, it is often desirable to form one stitch at a time to maximize the effect of the color changes in the threads.

After using the stab-n-stick method to complete one stitch at a time, I was frustrated because I was having pain and numbness and couldn't really get into a stitching rhythm with it.  After playing around with lots of different methods, I finally developed a modified sewing method that is both easy and comfortable for the way I hold the needle and fabric.  Mostly, it's what works for me and allows me to stitch in comfort and enjoy a rhythmic stitching pace.

Beginning at the right end of the row and working right to left, 
come up at #1

Needle down at #2 and back out at #3

Needle down at #4 and back out at #5.  Notice that the needle is going from the upper right corner of the stitch to the bottom left corner of the stitch. 

Starting the next stitch, needle down at #6 and back out at #7.  Notice that this segment of the stitch is worked just like the first leg of the sewing method when using solid colored thread.

 Needle down at #8 and back out at #9

Continue working the stitches in this manner until the end of the row is reached.

When at the left end of the row, simply rotate the fabric so the stitches are upside down and stitch the next row in the same manner.

In this example, I started with the loop method to secure my thread.

In the group of 3 rows in the example above, the top row is stitched the traditional way -- bottom leg / / / / / across the row then top leg \ \ \ \ \ back to the beginning of the row.  The next two rows are stitched with my modified sewing method.  The back is not bulky at all and I've even found that on certain lighter weight or looser weave linens, the stitches are more supported.  I don't have a problem with the needle catching any of the threads on the back since the threads are laid very similar to the traditional stitching method.

One thing I will point out is that the thread does still twist with this sewing method so I am conscious to watch the twisting and dangle my needle and thread to let it untwist.

This sewing method is something I came up with after playing around with many different methods and is my own way of working with hand-dyed, over-dyed and variegated threads.  I have not ever seen anyone else stitch this way, but I'd love to hear from any of you if you also stitch this way.

I'd also love to hear how this method works for you if you give it a try.


We really enjoy watching the hummingbirds visit the feeder and zip around the yard.

There are at least 5 that are always around.  They buzz past us when we're sitting on the porch swing, perch in the Smoke Bush, take off again, visiting flowers throughout the yard and stopping at the feeder.  Over and over and over again.

The other evening, as I walked out my front door, something caught my eye.

Do you see it?

See the little hummer perched on the vine?

This hummer was perched on a vine right outside my front door.

It was about 6:45 pm and despite my using the front door, the hummingbird did not move AT ALL.

I'm aware that hummingbirds go into torpor, a type of hibernation at night, but I never thought one would choose a vine next to my front door, totally exposed and low to the ground.  I also didn't think they would go into torpor so early in the evening as it wasn't getting dark for at least an hour.

I worried about the little bird all night long!  After all, we do live in a rural area with critters around all the time.

Hubby had to leave for work early the next morning and it was still dark out when he left the house.  We cautiously opened the front door and were relieved to see the hummingbird still perched like a statue on the vine.

The little hummingbird did not move until the sun began shining on the front porch around 7:15 am.

Just so you know, we did not get close to the hummingbird.  These photos were taken with a zoom lens and we used the back door after we discovered the bird so close to the front door.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Tons of hard work on hot, humid, stormy days.  

The storms cleared just long enough for rehearsal.

Saturday dawned with storms, but by 9 am blue skies and bright sunshine broke through and replaced the gray clouds.

Yes, this momma cried -- alot!

 As did this Aunt and Uncle
who graciously opened their beautiful home
and farm to host this special day.
Dad shed a few tears too.

 Everyone had a great time and said it was a most lovely wedding
with all the perfect touches.

All I care about is what my daughter and son-in-law 
thought of their day.

They both said

My cousin created a slide show and posted it on youtube