Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Feeling inadequate?

I have made a start on 'Sweet & Spotty' pattern by Cinderberry stitches, free pattern available here as part of Stitchers' Angel Project 2009.
The satin stitch is testing me out. I am eternally grateful to my mother & grandmother for instilling in me a desire to hand craft. But I have to say, they have also 'psyched' me out of a couple of significant life skills. As long as I can remember, I have been solemnly warned of the difficulty of baking a good sponge cake & mastering satin stitch. To this day, I've not been brave enough to tackle a sponge, and it is with much trepidation that I attempt this little design & all its satin stitched flowers. Wish me luck & do let me know if you have any inadequacies you can blame your forebears for!

25 comments:

  1. Firstly, let me say that I think your stitching looks beautiful. And yes, even though the stitching gene was passed on here, I too have been told I could never make a sponge cake or pumpkin scones like my nanna! Hence I have never tried.

    My little satin stitch tip is - start at one side of the shape, stitch to half way, turn your stitching around and start at the opposite side and meet in the middle. I find this helps keep things in shape and neater BUT I am sure you don't need any tips, your stitching is gorgeous x Janelle

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  2. To me it just looks lovely done and I think it is great that you just started and did it. Keep on going and have fun...

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  3. Good luck! I'll never make a sponge either, but with my satin stitch, I stitch around the shape in a back stitch then fill it in. Maybe it's not the correct way to do it, but it keeps it very neat.

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  4. I've found it difficult to keep it even and neat... sometimes I do the same as Rachel... and back stitch around the shape first. I don't think I could be any worse at making a sponge cake than my mother did.... one of hers turned out like a giant crumpet! Best of luck with the satin stitching... I think it's all about practice!

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  5. You go girl... you can do them both!!
    Can't wait to see your finished.
    hugs
    Robyn xx

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  6. Your stitching looks beautiful. I look at the lovely embroidery my Mum did in the 50's and have never been brave enough to tackle long and short satin stitch. I have enough trouble getting the ordinary satin stitch to look neat. My Mum always shied away from making a pav and hence I've never tried. However, my MIL makes the best pav and she just throws it all in with no fuss. I must one day face my fear and have a go.

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  7. Just give everything a go!! My mum never sewed... I taught myself most of what I know. A great place to go is www.needlenthread.com. Mary is currently doing tutorials for long and short stitch shading amongst everything else. Perhaps give them a go to increase your confidence, or just have a browse.

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  8. Your stitches look just fine. I am terrified of satin stitch too but am happy to bake a sponge - ginger is a favourite. One out of two ain't so bad, is it?

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  9. My satin stitch always looks terrible, so I never do it. Yours looks great though! And I love the fabric you're stitching on too! Keep up the good work! :0)

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  10. I am not sure if I am more scared of satin stitch or sponge cake?

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  11. Your stitching is beautiful! I have a fear of satin stitch, in fact I have a fear of any other stitch other than backstitch LOL
    I am going to try it Janelle's way next time though.

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  12. I love satin stitch...school sewing scared me off, but over the years I have come to love it! Persevere you will be fine...me, well my forebears scared me off scones & pastry!

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  13. It looks awesome....you don't need to worry. So when will you tackle the sponge??? Jo xox

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  14. Too many to mention - I think your work is FANTASTIC!

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  15. Hi there, I have just finished the little needlecase for my stitching angel partner. I've only been sewing for about 10 months and I can not do the satin stitch, did try but it wasnt very neat or nice..... so sadly I chickened out and did it all in backstitch. I cant do the needleturn either, cant wrap my head around that bit, so I used blanket stitch instead.... btw your stitching looks way better than mine. hugs xxx

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  16. It's funny isn't it how we steer clear of certain things for reasons we can't really explain. I was always afraid of zippers, I avoided them like the plague, used buttons/velcrose/press-studs (anything) instead. Then I found a pattern called "Zipperphobia" and now I'm able to tackle them without a problem!! Sometimes if you just give it a go you realise it's not so scary after all .... you've proved that because those flowers look fabulous!! Yay for you :o)!!
    Hugs,
    Joy :o)

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  17. I still get nervous about satin stitch too. At embroidery classes for stumpwork, we did the backstitch around and started in the middle for the satin stitch and worked to one end and then went back for the other side. Your piece looks great to me.

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  18. Not really a skill this but I'm afraid of horses and that clearly is my mum's fault. She kept telling us that they would kick us the moment we turned our backs on them and so on. :-)

    I'm not keen on satin stitch either (actually I'm not that keen on any stitches) not because someone told me they are difficult to do. I just found out myself. :-D

    I think yours are perfect, though.

    Jette/Denmark

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  19. Your stitching looks lovely. I make my sponges out of a box :)

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  20. As a couple of others have suggested, I was taught to do lots of tiny backstitches around the shape and then use then as a guide for your satin stitch...i.e. bring your needle up just on the outer edge of backstitch... it's much neater. Though will also combine Janelle's technique

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  21. Having just finished my stitching for this project, I too realised I missed out on the "satin stitch gene", but didn't know it before I started!...I hit the blogs for ideas and found the pocket stitch book on Sew, Mama Sew's blog and took her advice...I never realised you backstitched around the shape first and filled....I ended up with a much neater job! The power of the blog!!!
    I don't really think you have a problem with yours though, ... it looks beautiful!
    happy stitching
    Wendy B

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  22. Hi! Just wanted to say I made your note book cover from your tutorial.
    Thanks so much for a lovely tutorial, have posted a pic of it on my blog.
    Jacqueline

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  23. lol... I too have major heart palpitations when the pattern calls for satin stitch.. Yours looks fine - as does the rest of your stitching... I think part of the charm of embroidery is its 'less than manufactured' look... I come from a very long line of perfectionists (who do/did the most amazing things I hasten to add) however I have realised as I have gotten older that I have also missed out on so much fun an spontaneity because of my "perfection issues"... I tackle satin stitch much the same way as everyone else here has suggested firstly doing an outline of backstitch then 'colouring in' with straight stitches...Another trick for me is to put what I am working on aside for a day then have another look - sometimes what you think is terrible is actually quite good when you put some distance between you and it...Many a piece of embroidery has been saved from unpicking because I have put it aside for awhile...

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  24. This looks just great! I would definitely not worry. Love the background fabric you used for the stitchery!

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  25. Just found your blog.....

    I don't do satin stitch, not even by machine.

    But a sponge cake is so easy once you find the recipe for'you'. I cannot do my mums sponge it always flops

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