Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 21--and some help

Only 12 stitches today--it's a good thing DH is heading out of town tomorrow so that I can put in a few strands tomorrow night, isn't it!

Here's a progress pic--I'm still amazed at the difference that only 12 stitches can make in a project.

I had a question from someone who was having trouble getting the outline of the heart basted into place. A friend had mercy and stitched half of the outline, but now she's worried about basting the other half of the outline into place, especially since she's stitched much of the interior of the heart already!

I understand her plight--I must have ripped out the basting 6 or 8 times before I had it right. Ultimately I ended up stitching the left side of the heart first, from the bottom, and then I returned to the bottom to stitch the right side as a mirror image. I used some basting threads (in my case only the center vertically and horizontally) so that I could check myself as I stitched and catch an error before it started. So here's what I would do if I needed to stitch the other side of my outline now:

First, run a long basted thread in the vertical center top to bottom. Then do the same horizontally. After that I would start adding additional horizontal basting lines at about every 3 or 4 stitches (using the stitches on the left side as your guide). Once you've basted the heart completely then I would take a highlighter and mark those basting lines on your chart--the one that also shows the inside placement. (I know that seems odd, but because she's already stitched a great deal of the inside it will help with counting to mark that chart rather than the one with just the heart outline.) Now you have to start counting carefully (using the left side and the stitched motifs as your counting aids) to put each stitch in place, making sure that you match up each time you get to a basting thread. You'll only be putting in 3 or 4 stitches, so if you don't match up when you reach a basting thread you'll only need to remove 3 or 4 stitches to start over.

If it's easier, think about using a slightly deeper color to stitch the outline. I would recommend using a good silk floss for this, as I find it doesn't leave fuzzies when you remove it. (I use Vikki Clayton's silks from Hand-Dyed Fibers for this and haven't had a problem.) First you would go back and overstitch the outline on the left side (so that you can see it) and then you would follow the same steps (as listed above) to stitch the right side.

I really need to learn how to make a video and post it here--this would be much clearer if I could simply show you rather than trying to tell you what I would do!

And check with Gay Ann. It may be that the outline is only there to make a template for the backing. If that's the case, then you won't need to stitch the right side--simply make a template for the left side, turn it over, and create your template for the right side!

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