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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stitching Techniques - Reader Survey, part 1

The comments from Tuesday's post about the conclusion of my month-long WIP list were so varied and interesting!

Jocelyn said, "It drives me to distraction to have several pieces on the go at once. I like to work and work and work on one piece, then when it's finished, move on to the next."

I can understand that. The number of unfinished pieces around here drives me nuts sometimes. However, I often find that stitching on a single project to the exclusion of anything else does become "work and work and work"! Instead, variety (in techniques) keeps it interesting for me, much like it does for Cheryl, who said, "repetition of styles makes one feel like a one trick pony," and Donna, who commented, "I'm with you - I like variety."

Madonna (Front Range Stitcher) commented about "the depth and diversity of [my] stitching tastes."  Thanks! I'm constantly trying new techniques, because I firmly believe that each thing I learn in a given technique improves my stitching in all techniques. I can't think of a specific example, but I will often approach a project in one technique in a untraditional way due to something I learned while stitching something in a completely different technique. That's why my WIPs cover the gamut from stumpwork to counted canvas to hardanger, and then some.

So, what about you? What stitching techniques do you enjoy? Have you tried any new styles in the past year? Why or why not?

I encourage any and all of you to answer in the comments.  I'm attempting to improve the quality of my posts, and it really helps if I understand my audience.

I look forward to the discussion in the comments!


Anonymous said...

I have to admit in the past to try many different needlework techniques - over the last few years, however, I have returned to the basics and concentrating mainly on good ol' XS ... it's more a case of being so exhausted after a challenging job now that I don't have the 'head space' available most times to learn new things again ... I still do get the urge, though, to try new techniques and that's when I pick up a counted thread project with specialty stitches - it's give me a mini challenge without being too overwhelming.

Other than that, I have a number of stumpwork WIPs to finish, along with many EGA correspondence courses to work my way through ... one day :P Those cover quite a few different techniques, and I keep hoping that soon I'll have the free mental space to attack those :)

In the meantime, I get to watch your progress on your WIPs instead :D

The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure said...

I seem to be trying more light coverage stitches these days on my painted canvases. I also tried detached needle weaving, which is a sort of stumpwork technique I guess, and am about to do more beading on my next piece.

So I've tried new things in a limited way on painted canvases. I am going to do another charted piece next year, though. I hate doing them but they really teach good technique. One can get away with sloppier technique on painted canvases but not on charted pieces!

Carol said...

While most of what I do is XS, I really enjoy speciality stitches (many of which I leanred when doing crewel ages ago), do needlepoint when I am traveling (I need that magnifier for XS and it doesn't travel well) and absolutely LOVE blackwork, although I'm sure I don't do it "right", being self-taught. I also knit a bit...

As for challenging myself, I have signed up for the Bead Journal Project although I am scared to death of having to "be original", and I have joined a quilting guild, in hopes of expanding my horizons.

Ginny B said...

Back in my 30s and 40s, I tried many different stitches in cross stitch, crewel embroidery and needlepoint. I have found in my retirement, though, that my patience has deserted me. I did manage to make a biscornu last year that made me really happy, but then didn't make another. Could it be that I'm overwhelmed? I have a large WIP backlog, and much that I want to do. I also have a large statch. Part of my problem is that there's only one stitchy group in my area, and it's all cross stitch and no one is interested in being adventuresome. I need someone to step out there with me! I love seeing your differing techniques.

Jeanne said...

Anne, from your blog, it sounds like you have enough challenges right now. Keep it simple, my friend! Stitching challenges can wait.

Jane, I love seeing how you apply so many different techniques to painted canvas. It's a prime example of how various techniques can influence each other. And good for you for continuing to try counted pieces even though they're a challenge for you!

Carol, how exciting to challenge yourself with the bead journal project and the quilt guild! Please leave me another comment in the future to let me know how it's going!

Ginny, this is your hobby. Do what makes you happy. If you're overwhelmed with the WIPs, get rid of some of them! (I should take my own advice!) And if you're looking for support for some more adventurous techniques, have you thought about joining some of the online groups, such as the CyberStitchers EGA chapter or the Cyberpointers ANG chapter? Both of these (and many other online groups) are very supportive of members trying different "stuff". What do you think?

Cyn said...

Hi Jeanne,

I'm always working on quite a few (okay a lot) of projects at any one time. Especially when I add in prepping my volunteer stitching/donations of stitch supplies. :-)

I do find that I usually concentrate on one to three projects during any one week.

What I work on is determined by what is due soon (prepping volunteer teaching project supplies) and my tired factor.

With two active teenagers, a full-time job, and volunteer work there are days/weeks I have more time to concentrate on more challenging pieces than other weeks.

I usually find that I can get more elaborate/challenging stitching done during January - February, and mid-June - August as that is when most activities slow down. Usually in January - February due to weather concerns and in the summer as schools are not in session.

I'm not overly concerned about learning new techniques as I know most of the ones I am interested in. I don't select projects to learn a technique. I select projects that I want to stitch as I like the design.

In other words, my focus is stitching for fun and/or to make an design/item that I want not on learning techniques.

I concentrate on needlepoint, embroidery, cross stitch techniques though now I'm starting to experiment with quilting. I'm very intrigued right now with crazy quilting as it combines quilting with embroidery. :-)

Windy Meadow