Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

It's was a cold and snowy weekend.... wait, it's still October.  How does that work?

It's true, it was a cold and snowy weekend here in Maryland, but a small group of us met to finish the Halloween tree anyway.

This has been an interesting project to stitch and to teach.  There are lots of small areas which you know I love but there are a lot of them.  All we had to do yesterday to complete our trees was stitch the squiggles behind the tribbles  (Now there's a fun sentence to say), complete a few leaves and stitch just enough background to enable the finisher to work her magic.



The squiggles behind the tribbles are worked as corkscrew stitches.  I love this stitch.  It's the hair on Maggie's watering can lady that we stitched as a mystery class last summer.


 Aren't the squiggles cute?


I used Caron Impressions doubled in my needle.  Here's how its done.  Anchor your thread on the back of your stitching.  Put your stitching in a floor frame or work at a table with a frame weight.  Bring your threaded needle straight up next to a tribble.


Twist the threads (Step 1) - there is no science here, you need to determine the number of twists that makes the right size corkscrew for your taste.  When you are making the twist pay close attention to how you are twisting;  I rolled the needle from the tip of my thumb to the first knuckle.  On me that's roughly one inch.  I found that 8 twists made the perfect size twist. 

Once your thread is twisted, fold it in half, putting it back into the canvas one canvas thread from where you started.  Pull it through about an inch  allowing this section of the thread to relax.  The thread on top of the canvas will twist upon itself. (Step 4)

Gently pull the threaded needle through the canvas until the corkscrew on the front of the canvas is the approximate size and length you want.  If you pull too hard the corkscrew will disappear, so take it slow.

Bring your needle back to the front of the canvas, catching the tip of the corkscrew.  Tack it in position.
 


I really love this stitch, but if it defies you you could do a fake bullion or even a real bullion and get the same effect.  Once you are comfortable with the corkscrew I think you will love it too as it goes very quickly.


The leaves are instant gratification with long stitches and japanese ribbon stitches.  Before you know it, your tree will be complete.

I chose a bright orange for the background.  One can't have too many bright colors at Halloween.


It's off to the finisher to be made into a standup.  We probably won't see it again until after the first of the year but it's going to be outrageous!

Happy Halloween.

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