I spent much of last Sunday cozied up to the woodstove, happily stitching to replays of movies I've "seen" a hundred times. This was my progress at about ten hours over the weekend. I can tell that the stack of about 20 pieced quilt tops in my studio will likely be sorely neglected - at least until this summer, when I'll be looking to the basement studio and quilting for a reprieve from the heat. (Yes, it gets hot - and very muggy - in Wisconsin).
I am in search of the perfect needle. I have had some issues with my favorite John James needles lately in that the last couple of packs I've purchased have had something of a burr inside the eye, and are snagging my thread. Bohin needles were recommended as a "favorite" by one of the staffers at the LNS, so I grabbed a pack each of #28’s and #26’s last Saturday, and have since re-discovered my dissatisfaction with Bohin #28's. The eye of the needle I started this project with is already collapsing with just a few hours use, and the eye end is beginning to make a sharp turn for the worse! I immediately took inventory of my tapestry needles, to discover that this is the THIRD TIME I've purchased these needles. After passing two packs of Bohins on to KathieB Thursday night at our bi-weekly stitch 'n' bitch, I quizzed her about needle threading. Perhaps it's HOW I thread the needle - bending two strands of thread over the shaft of the needle to make a nice crease that pushes easily through the eye. (I'm sure I read this tip in a magazine somewhere.) It does mean that I'm stuffing four strands through that tiny hole, and that I'm putting some stress on the shaft of a fine needle. Maybe I need to go back to the way grandma taught me. Draw those two threads together, lick 'em, and pass them through the needle's eye. I will give it a try.
And this is my progress over the past week - approximately 20 hours since last Sunday. Please excuse the poor quality of the photo. My camera is in the car and it's dark and chilly out there, so this one was taken with my iPad in relatively low light.
You get the idea. Those last two flowers aren't filled, and I have some work to do yet on the greenery.
By the way, I did try another Bohin, eliminating the stress of my previous threading technique. Apparently, I am very hard on needles, as this one is developing a significant bend, as well. I doubt that I'll become a much less aggressive stitcher unless I abandon the "linen method" and choose to "poke and pull." Not likely. I just need to use a stronger needle. I do like the way the slender #28's glide through the linen. Any thoughts?