Friday, March 18, 2011

February Violets

My mom guessed the flower for February... what can I say? She must know me.

Here are the 6 violets. There was as much stitching in this section as on some whole temari! I do like how they turned out, but with this set I feel the difference to off-set them from the flowers around them a little bit, I think because they are smaller. I want some foliage too, but I am not sure how to add it, not knowing how the flowers here and in the other squares are going to work out. At this point I am thinking of just bordering the pentagons with a couple of rows of outline in a medium to light green, but I cannot do that until all the divisions are set.

These flowers are stitched with pearl #8 for both the petals and the French knots.


I am having so much fun looking for flower patterns in my books. I tried a cherry blossom (for April or May, I forget), and then took it out to try again. I have to decide whether to set them straight or offset inside the pentagons. I hope I can make the right choice without messing up the stitching surface; some times it comes down to trial and error.

Onward and Upward!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Peace Rose

Here is my Peace Rose for June. I must admit, this is not the most beautiful picture of it, it looks much better in real life. (I think it is the flash.)

I started working on February, any guesses as to the flower? DH and DD2 could not guess, and they had a visual clue. You can see the start of the marking for it to the "north" of the rose.


I also have the flowers picked out for July, November and December. So that leaves... January, March, April, May, September, and October. I would like to do a carnation for January, but I am having trouble thinking of how to stitch it.

I think this is going to be very striking when it gets done.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cherry Blossom

This is the temari I stitched from Saturday's Ustream class. It is a kousa or all-over pattern. I like it because the stitched pentagons hide the nuts and bolts of how it was stitched and it becomes very beautiful and very mysterious, even though the stitching itself is not hard.

The negative space shows the Cherry blossoms; I think the delicate silver metallic thread was an excellent choice to go with the two shades of pink.


Next time I make this pattern (and I do plan on there being a next time) I would make a couple of different choices about the placement of the colors. The green line marks the beginning of the stitching on the pentagons, and it highlights too much the difference between the two steps in the stitching. If I had continued the dark pink for a row or two after the green line, and then switched to the light pink, I think it would have looked better over-all. But I really like it! It looks like spring!

When I stuck my head out the back door this morning to let the dog out, into the time-change darkness, I heard robins singing their hearts out to claim their territory. It sounded like spring. It is supposed to warm up this afternoon too, and feel like spring. I think we made it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

12-Month Flower Sampler

I finally got started on the Temari Challenge group project that started in January. Several people in the group have been working on it, and one person has finished hers. I am bringing up the rear, and decided I better get going.

One of the reasons it took me so long is because this thing is huge! I bought a styrofoam ball for the center, since it would be way too heavy if I used rice bran for the center. It took me a whole afternoon and part of the next day to wrap this mari, and I had a sore shoulder when I got done. I couldn't work as usual, holding the ball in my left hand, and wrapping with my right, because it is too big to hold in one hand. I rested it on my stomach, and just rotated it as I wrapped with my right hand. I was able to get a random wrap, but I was amazed by how much thread it used.

Then I found a new problem. There are several ways of marking a c10 temari, but my favorite is to start with a blank mari, and my v-ruler. There are cheat-sheets in the Japanese books that will give you your "magic number" from just knowing the circumference (in centimeters) of your mari--the v-ruler goes up to 7 cm. The circumference of this mari is over 50 cm, and my cheat sheet did not go that high. Fortunately, the site has a temari calculator, that gives you all the information (and more) that you could desire when you just input the circumference, so I did not have to pull my calculator out, or stress any grey matter. But, my magic number turned out to be 9.22 cm, too big for my v-ruler. What to do, what to do!?

I figured out if I cut out two pieces of quilling paper to 9.22 cm I could triangulate off two pins that were at the proper distance apart and find the location of the third pin. It worked like a charm, and actually took me less time to place the pins than usual. (I tried to save the two pieces of paper to show you, but they got lost in my chair, so you only have one to look at.)


I am not sure what flowers I am going to use for each month. Every time I make a list it is different. I was sure, however, that I was going to make a water lily for August. I had practiced on the side opposite my turtle, and I liked how it turned out, and I have very fond memories of spending time at the lake at my parents' house. August was always beautiful because of the water-lilies.

So here it is stitched. You can see the normal sized temari cuddled up to it, just to show the scale.


The next flower will be a peace rose for June. My grandpa grew roses, and was always very proud of his peace roses. I pulled the colors last night; now to get them stitched.