Friday, January 19, 2018

Hanabatake - Part 6

I ended up taking a break from Hanabatake, finally breaking my stitching marathon. It was hard getting back to work and I was tired when I got home. This next flower required a lot of concentration so I decided to put it off for one day.

Flower 6 (it looks like a cherry blossom to me) is worked in three steps. We start with a calyx stitched over beads that act as padding. Next, petals are stitching using the same technique as the other petals in flowers 4 and 5 except we use a koma to manage the tension in the longer lines. You don't need komas to do this, an eraser will work just as well. After this the petals are filled in with stamens and seed stitched to add detail.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

This flower is stitched in reds and gold. While reading the instructions and closely looking at the finished piece, I noticed that there might be an error in the instructions. 'Might be' because it's really up to how you want to stitch it. Instructions say to stitch the stamens using a combination of the red seed beads with the red cut beads. After closely examining the pictures, it seems likely that this was done only on the gold flowers, because the red flowers look like they've been stitched with red seed beads and red 3-cut beads.

Flower 6
Out of all the flowers so far, this was the most complex and took the longest time. I have one of the larger flowers left to stitch and then I think I will move onto the vines and leaves, leaving the smaller flowers for last.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

January TUSAL

It's the first TUSAL of the year. This month's jar contains felt and sewing threads from my goldwork and beading. So lots of yellow and white. Hopefully I'll have more color in the next one.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hanabatake - Part 5

This post will be very short today. Day five on Hanabatake with a new flower. Flower 7 is stitched with techniques from flower 6 (which will come in a later post) and flower 9.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

Flower 7
Seven flowers out of twelve have been finished.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hanabatake - Part 4

Day four of Hanabatake and we're starting to see more colors. There are a lot of instances where two gold beads are combined. They have different sizes as well as different finishes. This gives the flowers dimensions.

Flower 9
To give further dimension, you can also add on extra beads on a line forcing it curve upwards. nestling it between several lines ensures it doesn't move around. This makes the flower look like it's padded without actually putting in any.

Flower 12
There is something that is never explicitly mentioned in the instructions. Once the calyx is stitched, petals need to be added from the outside towards the center. This ensures you have a smooth line. It also helps judge how many beads you want on the line and helps hide the thread better.

Flower 10
A look on the piece so far. I'm noticing that the bulk of the bigger flowers are at the top. Notice the three flowers near the upper left corner are in the same configuration as the bottom right corner?

Note: I had a commentator named eyestitch on the last post. If you are reading this one, I wanted to reply back but you are showing as As this is someone else's design I can't really show my solutions since it will giveaway the pattern. We all have to be careful with copyright infringement. The closest I can do on the blog is post good pictures that others can use as a guide to help them stitch their own kit. As I mentioned in the previous post I did make short hand notes on each flower for my friend Carolyn. I will eventually type it all out once the piece is finished as another friend had bought the kit and expressed interest in them. You are welcome to the notes as long as you can show me that you own a copy of the actual magazine. If you'll send me an email, there is a link under my profile, I will send them to you when they are done. If you have any questions please don't hesitate :)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hanabatake - Part 3

Day three saw me working on a new flower on Hanabatake. I'm going to complain again about the instructions. In between the instructions for each flower, there are little boxes that describe the techniques used. That's fine, but sometimes textual instructions are no good. A diagram would be better. Which is something this pattern really lacks. To understand the steps for flower 11, I referred to Margaret Lee's book which contained diagrams. The names of the techniques match those in the book. It would seem that the lack of detail in the instructions was on purpose to sell the book, which doesn't seem very fair to those who don't own it when they work on this design.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

Flower 11
Three flowers out of twelve have been completed so far.

At this point in the project, I found myself not really enjoying the piece as much as I was expecting to. The instructions are not up to the standards I am expecting from Inspirations. My friend Carolyn is also stitching this piece with me and is just as confused. I'm a little ahead of her, so to help out I've been writing notes on each flower with tips and diagrams as I stitch them. Anyone else working on this piece? I'd love to hear from other people who are either stitching it or have stitched Hanabatake.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Hanabatake - Part 2

On day two of Hanabatake, I moved onto flower 4. This one was a little easier to stitch. It is very similar to flower 5 and the center of the flower is stitched in a technique that I learned in Hana and my phase 1 Japanese bead embroidery piece.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

There are three of these flowers and they're stitched in the same manner, except for the one in the animation above. Instead of a half circle, it has a full one. I noticed as well that the proportions of the drawn lines didn't match what the flower should look like once it was beaded. So I ended up adjusting the petal outline.

Flower 4
An overview of the piece.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Hanabatake - Part 1

Note: All this stitching happened during the holiday period. I'm publishing a post a day in order to catch up. Afterwards, updates will go back to my regular posting schedule.

The second project I started over the holidays was Hanabatake by Margaret Lee. This piece was featured in Inspirations magazine issue 95. I'm working this design from the kit that is put together by Inspirations which I showed you in September.

Like in all my projects, I like to be prepared. I had my colored sketch ready to use as a reference. When I made this sketch, I noticed that the design outline didn't match Margaret's final stitched piece. There are some places where she had switched the smaller flowers around. While stitching it, she probably decided it looked nicer that way. I made note of these changes in my drawing.

The beads came in baggies which I transferred into these little containers. I found this setup much more efficient as I can easily grab the beads I want.

My fabric came with the design already printed on the fabric, which is great as it would have taken some time to transfer all the lines. Unfortunately, the design is not quite centered on the piece of fabric I received. I only realized after I stretched the fabric on the stretcher bars. Something to look out for next time.

Before I can start beading, I had to put in an outline using the Japanese running stitch all around the piece. This is to delimit the stitching area.

With the preparations done, I could start. The instructions start off with the smallest flowers, which doesn't make sense if we are stitching this in the Japanese way. The Japanese way dictates that the foreground be stitched before the background. Since the smaller flowers are filling the background, I decided to start with the bigger flowers first.

I had a very hard time understanding the instructions. I had to re-read the instructions many times and I unpicked my flower a few times before I was happy. Luckily the fabric is very forgiving.

(click on the post to see the animation below)

Once I had that first flower done, the others were very easy to stitch. Compared to the few hours it took me to stitch the first one, the rest were a breeze.

Flower 5
At the end of day one, I had the first flowers stitched. My first attempt is the one in the upper left corner. I did notice that my attempts got better as I went along.