Friday, August 31, 2012

Gracie's Face

Got the face and hands done, and put in short stitch holding where the threads spanned 1 cm. I may be getting the hang of the short stitch holding - they turned out reasonably well for the face.
Discussion: Twisted foundation requires 8 mm spacing for the holding stitches. I don't understand why I should put the temporary holding threads at 1 cm and then stitch at 8 mm (as Susan Steven's book says to do), instead of putting the temporary holding threads at 8 mm and then stitch the full 8 mm length. There is the ambiguity of "mid-point" of previous row for the start of the next row of holding stitches, which could mean at 4 mm or 5 mm. I decided to ignore the 1 mm discrepancy and spaced the temporary holding threads at 8 mm.

Transferred the features to the face, including the ear and chin. Decided to leave well enough alone and tackle the features tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eternal Grace

Finished one kimono section. Removed the temporary holding threads right away before these could leave creases on the foundation. Things were much better today; maybe my eyes weren't as tired. Actually not counting threads helped A LOT. It turned out reasonably well, all things considered. Another "I'm going to quit JE!" averted; and the thought of doing short stitch holding for the rest of the kimono is not as repugnant.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Still too scared about doing the face, so decided to finish this section of the kimono first. Instead of using a .5Twist silk for the short stitch holding per the box chart, I thought it would be easier to use .25Flat instead, since 1. I don't have to twist a lot of fine threads, and 2. flat silk stitch is 1 cm long instead of 0.8 cm, which fits into the 1 cm spacing of the temporary holding. I don't know if this is a wise decision or not; half way through the first row I realized that short stitch holding is intended to: 1. turn people blind, and 2. drive them into a mental institution, not necessarily in that order.
On further reading of the Susan Stevens book, she proposed not counting thread, but use spacing and angle instead for the stitch placement. This worked better, although since I started with counting thread, the spacing and angle are not too consistent, but that will have to do. I'll find out how well this foundation holds up when I put the superimposed lines on top. I'll test that out as soon as this foundation is done - to see if I need to un-stitch and start over (or worse!)

Did 3 rows of short stitch holding, and removed the temporary holding thread as soon as the row of holding stitches were done.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Eternal Grace

This piece came on a pretty, patterned fabric. Unfortunately the weft lines are hard to see because of the fabric pattern. Grrrr! So I put in some guide lines in the weft direction.

According to the instructions, I should start with the face, neck and hands. My initial thought was I should wait for Mary Alice's class for the face, and start on the kimono first. I used Mary Alice's recommended colors for the kimono, as I never liked the JEC's suggested pink color (on left). The kimono is going to be blue.

Finished the first section of the kimono, with flat silk satin stitching. Next is the temporary tie down and then short stitch holding.

On further reflection, I will work on the face next. If I messed up on the face and she turned out to be really ugly, I don't want to have had spent a lot of time on the rest of the piece, as this piece will most likely become a permanent UFO. ;-)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Expanse of Shippo

Since the Shippo piece is not the "normal" JEC Phase 4 piece, I thought I'd give it some discussion.
My JE group found this piece from the JEC catalog. We consulted with Kay Stanis who approved it as a viable substitute. The original one in the catalog is gold and silver on white. Mary Alice Sinton supplied a sage colored silk fabric, and we came up with antique copper and honey gold for the colors. The piece arrived with the design printed on. Unfortunately on stretching it onto the frame there was no way to get the circles to be circular and the lines to be straight, nor was there a way to remove the printed lines. Finally I turned the fabric over and tissue-basted the entire design onto the back side.

[As this is a Phase 4 substitute, the main techniques were metal thread couching - round-and-round, to-and-fro, and vertically held fuzzy effect. These are the same techniques as the JEC Phase 4 - Karahana]

When it was done, I did not like it - the original black design lines were showing through from the back. After everybody got tired of hearing me moaning about it, Mary Alice suggested I put in some "mists" lines as a distraction. She mentioned that it is the standard technique in JE to cover up mistakes. So that is why this piece has the (single #1 honey) gold couched lines, top and bottom, added to the original design. As an aside subsequent orders for this piece do not have the design printed on the fabric.

When the judge saw it at the GPR seminar, she questioned the black design lines, which my JE friends were able to explain away, so that I squeaked by and got a ribbon. Whew!

So here are some pics of the piece in progress, as well as the final result. Before the mists were added...

You can vaguely see the black lines from the back if you click on the image.


At the GPR seminar

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Framed pieces

All the completed pieces were framed. In addition, I redid the "Expanse of Shippo" to remove the speck of dirt under the glass that the judge pointed out during the GPR Exhibit. I took advantage of it being removed from its frame to photograph it without the glass. This is my JE Phase 4 piece.

Naoshima Sunset framed.

Wedding Shellbox, my Phase 5 piece, framed.

Spring's Splendor, GCC class, framed  with linen liner. This one turned out really nice. Darn it! There is a small white speck on the tulip petal, which if the judge saw it would be marked as a demerit! I will have to reframe this later.

Do I have any more excuse about working on Gracie (Phase 6)? Well, it's too hot today!