Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Spring Questions and Answers 2016

Once again, Annake answers questions about recent posts...and don't miss the Free Download of the new Butterfly needle arts pattern at the end of this post!

Purple poppies
Some old-fashioned poppies in the Garden
My question is for J.D. What are you growing in the straw bales?

Oh, good: an easy one! The straw bales are being planted with aromatic herbs (like basil, oregano, and marjoram) and pungent salad greens (like arugula and cress); basically, things the deer won’t like. We may try some other things later in the season, but that’s the plan right now.

(J.D., Annake’s Garden Gnome)

I received several questions about Swedish weaving patterns. I've shortened the questions for reasons of space, but added color descriptions so that you can easily find the examples the questions were about.

I have a question about a pattern from Part I (March 11, 2016). On the lower sample sheet, the fifth pattern from the top (red, black, and light green). In what order did you do the stitching? I can't tell from the enlarged photo.

First of all, thank you for looking at the enlarged sample. We use that feature (Lightbox) so you can study the patterns more easily. I hope all of you will take advantage of it. I've shown the design on plastic canvas to enlarge it even more. I did the red pattern row first, working from right to left. Next, I did the black pattern row, working from left to right. and paying close attention to the places where the two threads crossed. But I don't think it matters which one you do first because both colors pass under the two center threads. The first color sets the pattern. The second color black in this case passes under the first color at each crossing. To make the pattern more decorative, you might sew a tiny seed bead at each of the crossings. Finally, I put in the green row, again working from right to left. In this version, the green thread passes under the crossed stitches each time. To change the pattern slightly, make the green thread pass over the pairs of threads that the red and black threads pass under, and under the pairs that they cross over. This will make the green thread pass over the crossing threads.

Swedish weaving sample 1
Swedish weaving sample 1

On the top pattern sample sheet (on the same post), I have a question about the top pattern (purple, lavender and pink). Are the long parallel stitches that look like ‘11’ part of the outside rows top and bottom, or are they from the next rows inside?

They are from the inner rows. They skip the top row and go under the two threads one row further out than the “points” on the top and bottom rows. This pattern is stitched from the two outside rows inward, ending with the pink center row. Here the stitches are on plastic canvas.

Swedish weaving sample 2
Swedish weaving sample 2
I have a question from Part II (March 21, 2016) about the rows of (orange) diamonds at the bottom of the top sample chart. It looks to me like the two top rows of diamonds are made at the same time, while the last row is just a single one. Why isn't it a double row, too?

You are making this pattern much more difficult than it really is. No two diamonds are made at the same time. In fact, each diamond is made one half either the top half or the bottom half at a time. Each row is a line of simple “peaks and valleys”. They go together in a way that creates an optical illusion. I began at the right-hand side and made the first row with a stitch slanting upward. I then ran my needle under the two threads, made a corresponding stitch downward, ran my needle under the next pair of threads, and continued to the end of the row. The next row was worked from left to right and made the bottom halves of the diamonds. The two halves were held together at each side by running the needle under the same threads it went under on the row above. I've shown the diamonds on plastic canvas, but I used one bar on the canvas to represent the pair of threads on the huck fabric. When I tried that using two bars of canvas, the diamonds were distorted by the spacing and no longer looked very much like diamonds. The pattern is really quite easy and covers the cloth rapidly, as you will find if you practice it.

Swedish weaving sample 3
Swedish weaving sample 3
Are you going to show us more of the “mola” applique designs?

sleeve mola
Small Cuna mola
Yes. I have several more of the authentic Cuna Indian molas from my collection that I want to show you. In addition, I will be doing another reverse applique pattern with felt, but this time I will be inserting other kinds of fabric into the felt framework to add textures like satin and velvet to the finished design. I think you will enjoy this new activity.

Why will a six-way bargello pattern be more difficult than the eight-way design was?

4 way bargello "Green Envy"
Four-way bargello "Green Envy"
Good question. The answer is in the angles. We won't be working in a square any more. The four-way bargello projects were based on 90 degree angles (0 degrees, 90 degrees, 180 degrees, 270 degrees, 360 degrees), and depended on the horizontal and vertical center lines on the canvas.

8 way bargello
Eight-way bargello
The eight-way design was based on 45 degrees (0 degrees, 45 degrees, 90 degrees, 135 degrees, 180 degrees, 225 degrees, 270 degrees, 315 degrees, 360 degrees), and depends also on the diagonal lines from the four corners of the square.

Hexagon plotted for 6 way bargello
Hexagon plotted for six-way bargello

The six-way design, however, will be based on a 60 degree angle (0 degrees, 60 degrees,120 degrees, 180 degrees, 240 degrees, 300 degrees, 360 degrees). The design must be constructed along each axis from the degree mark to the center. I haven't yet decided whether to use a hexagon or a circle to enclose the design. When I get the pattern worked out, I will do a sample and write a new post describing how to make it.

I appreciate your questions.

butterfly chart 2
Click here to download!

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