January 29, 2012

Barbara's Tast Week 4: Cretan Stitch and CQJP Block 1


I used this week's stitch, the cretan stitch, to make some grapes for the wheat.  I used a piece of ribbon to help space the stitches, and I think that helped a lot. I hope it doesn't look odd that there are grapes missing around the wheat,  but I didn't want to layer one motif over the other.  The grapes are lazy daisy and French knots.


I'm pretty happy with the finished block.  One down, eleven to go.

 I added a bug for the birds to eat.  The blue stitch to the left of the bug is called snail's trail.


The stitch immediately above the bird's head was the dry run for the snail's trail stitch.  I got the loop going the wrong way, and this is how it came out.  Because it otherwise looked okay, I left it.  If this stitch doesn't have a name, I'm naming it Snail's Trial.

The combination of stitches that runs behind the humming bird is the one I'm considering replacing, so maybe you can give me some input.  It's got a wrapped herringbone stitch as a base, and it's accented with yellow lazy daisy (that's the part of it I like) and some pink French knots.  I've decided that my wrapped stitches look messy, and the spacing changes behind the hummingbird.  I'm not going to tackle this now, but I'm going to think about taking this out and re-doing it in an edited form.

Not bad for a month's work.  I'm really looking forward to starting February's block.

I may be late to the party, but I just figured out that I can just copy my original blog post (select all + copy) and paste it into a new post page here.  Will wonder's never cease?

14 comments:

Deborah McLaughlin said...

I love everything about this block. I don't see those stitches as messy, it just takes a tiny bit away from the hummingbird which is so beautiful. You give me something to aspire to. This is gorgeous.

Debra Spincic said...

If you are looking for my 2¢, I would add the lazy daisy petals and a few french knots on those blank spots near the wheat. I think you have enough room.

I would also add a tiny little straight stitch antenna to the bug and some straightish stitches to the grass or whatever that is in the finch's beak.

I like the bold trim looking seam treatment except where it is touching the hummingbird's body. I might be tempted to take that part out and bring the seam treatment from the block that will be attached into that section of the seam.

Great looking block, Barbara!

Debra Spincic said...

And yes, pasting works well--it's especially good for photos so they don't take up all our free available space here on this blog. If the photo is already being hosted somewhere else, you can paste the existing html & we are not charged against our free space for it here.

Marjolein said...

Very colorful and cheerful block. It looks like spring.
I love the straight pink stitches on the central patch. Well done!

Barbara C said...

Great suggestions Debra, Thanks!

Peacock said...

Hey, grapes get eaten. ;) Nature isn't always perfect either-- rarely is, actually. We humans are just really good at envisioning an Ideal form. I think that ability to envision an Ideal gets in our way when we are creating things, too-- we hold ourselves to high standards that sometimes work against us.
I can see the change you are talking about in the decorative line behind the hummingbird, but it does not bother me-- I interpret it as diminishing perspective: what is behind the hummingbird is further away and that is why the motifs look closer together. But of course the final decision is up to you. Debra had a great suggestion re: changing only the part of the line that is bothering you. I also like her idea of adding antennae to the bugs: I'd suggest pistil stitch (a straight stitch with a french knot at the far end).
Your block is very cheerful! I love it!

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

I love it!

ladyhawthorne said...

My 2¢ is to not add more grapes, I like the space around the wheat. You are such an accomplished embroiderer, thanks so much for sharing and being part of our group.

Debra Spincic said...

ha! Ha! there you have it, Barbara! An opinion from both sides -- now it is up to you to make the decision. Don't you just love feedback? Kept me up about 2 hours last night mulling over ideas.

jenclair said...

The grapes are wonderful! Using the Cretan stitch as the twisty "vine" works beautifully. I really like the snails trail (and the trial, of course)!

Suztats said...

I like the yellow lazy daisy as it repeats the yellow of the bird on the thistle. I think your bug is just so cute! Lovely stitching, and a happy, well-balanced block.

Cy said...

Hi Barbara, I really love your grapes as they are, as Peacock says, nature isn't perfect.
The seam behind the hummingbird, in my opinion, only needs the thick yellow thread removed. I think it is too thick and dominant to be around that sweet little bird. The rest of that seam is quite ok there and you could add a thinner yellow thread (say one strand of DMC floss) and only do one smaller chain stitch 'flower-head' instead of the two that are there at the moment, As long as the stitch did not encroach on the hummingbird anywhere.

Susan said...

I love your bug! Too cute! The grapes are great. Not every vine grows fruit. =) Maybe take just the yellow stitching out under the bird's wings and see how that looks? I like the seam combination in front of the bird. Honestly, though, in the whole scheme of multiple blocks, I don't think anyone would notice this, so don't take it out for a while. See what you think later. When I look at the whole block, instead of the upclose of the bird, it doesn't bother me just as it is. Stand back and get the big picture later.

Judy S. said...

I was wondering whether you'd add something in that yellow-plaid corner, and hurrah, you did! The grapes are perfect, and what a neat use of the cretan stitch. Love Mr. Bug also! I second Susan's idea to remove the yellow flowers closest to your pretty hummingbird; for me they draw my eye there instead of to the bird, but actually when you look at the whole block that isn't as apparent as in the close-up. I really like this block; it's fabulous.