Monday, August 24, 2020

Stitch Relationships

I've shared this little tutorial with the Patreon Ladies recently...and though all of my blog followers might also like to think about stitch relationships. The question being..."If stitches were a family, would would be cousins? or even siblings perhaps?" That might seem like a strange conversation to have with yourself...but consider the similarities of just these few embroidery stitches.

While some folks like to create the Detached Chain Stitch by needling up/down in the same is often best to give yourself a thread or two between these positions for stability and ease of stitching.
Needle up at A and down at B; leaving the thread temporarily loose. A loop is formed as you pull the thread after having needled up at C. The loose thread is captured by the needle since it is passing under the needle, being therefore restrained. Needle down at D to create a short tacking stitch to hold the loop into place.
If you use the "scoop method" of stitching...then needling down at B and up at C would be done in one motion. The A and D motions would be "stab method" because they don't need to scoop.

Next, consider the Fly Stitch. Really, it's the same as the Detached Chain Stitch but we've moved A and B further apart. So, if you can stitch a Detached Chain Stitch there is no reason why a Fly Stitch is not in your library of stitched either.

Logically, the same reasoning holds true for the Fishbone Stitch. The only real difference between the Fly Stitch and it is the length of the tacking stitch (distance between C & D needle positions). Fishbone Stitches are most often created in a vertical line...resembling then the backbone of a fish; hence the name.

Changing the angle of a portion of a this vertical tacking stitch on the Fly Stitch alters the look of the stitch...and opens up more options. Feather Stitches are similar to Fly Stitches or Fishbone Stitches...they only need the direction of the C/D needle positions shifted to the left or to the right.

The above diagram is busy...but let's break it down to the basics. We begin with an open Chain Stitch...needling up at A, back down at B...and scooping up at C. Instead of needling down directly below...we move out needle to angle to the right. If we consider the angle and space being consistent...then the result would appear as the diagram above. Our "C" becomes a new this manner; and we continue along until we have stitched the amount of these needed...then we tack the last one down. Moving left and right creates variations of the Feather Stitch.

Note how changing the angle between A and B shortens one side of this diagramed stitch. Doing this can create variety in your Feather Stitching and is very helpful when trying to fill in an odd shaped space with stitching.

Loops can even be incorporated into stitches by twisting the fiber before tacking it down. This is easily done if you "scoop" between B and C as the thread can then be passed OVER the UNDER the needle before tacking. This causes it to "cross over" itself creating the loop.

So, I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial and might consider how some stitches are related to each other...if just in their manner of creation. For beginners...IF you can learn the Detached Chain Stitch...then so many others (as noted above) are certainly within your grasp as well.

Hoping your stitching is enjoyable. Hugs!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Faux Strawberry Jam - Super Quick!

Mom and I put up some "fake" strawberry jam yesterday because a friend gave my sister about a gallon of figs. In total we had about 8 cups of figs...and ended up with 6 1/2 pints of beautiful jam! I went home also with a little sandwich baggie half full of figs just to snack on. But, this morning...I decided that strawberry jam on my toast would be great. As I didn't have any of yesterday's jam in the house (still at Mom's)...I just decided to whip a bit up!

Here's how easy it was. First I de-stemmed, washed and cup up the figs. There was about a cup of them. Added same amount of sugar (1 cup)...and 1 pkg of strawberry jello. Turned the heat on medium and just kept stirring and mashing the figs.

This is how it looks as it begins to boil. For such a tiny amount...just boil long enough for the sugar to get completely dissolved (about 3 minutes). Yesterday, that 8 cups made a larger pot...and it took longer to come to a boil. Then, we cooked it for about 7 minutes to make sure it was good and hot.

While we put the jelly into jars yesterday...there isn't enough this morning to do that. So, I am just keeping it in the fridge. Believe me, it will not last long at my house; so no worry about it taking up room in my fridge. Ha!

It spreads nicely! Goes great on toast with a cup of tea. :)

Yummy! Ha, that didn't take long to make or dispose of. :)
Here's the basic recipe:

Equal parts figs and sugar. Cut up figs at least into 8 pieces...mash even smaller if you like. Add 1 small pkg strawberry jello for every 2 cups of figs. (I used the entire pkg for a single cup, so it's not bad to add a wee bit more if you have an odd amount of figs). Stir constantly while heating...when it begins to boil...keep stirring. Let the mixture get really hot...for at least 3-4 minutes. If you make a pot full (6 cups or more...then cook longer). No need to cook more than about 7 minutes in total. Put immediately into hot jars if canning...seal and you're done. If keeping a small amount in the fridge...just let cool down and place in airtight container. ENJOY!