Friday, April 24, 2009

A too long post - or- I'm obviously home alone on a Friday night

First of all, thanks to all of you fabulous blog friends who left me such sweet comments about my daughter's pictures! I know that I've gone on and on about my kids in this blog, and perhaps that wasn't why you visited originally, but you've all been so very wonderful with your advice and compliments and Jeez...Surely you all know that the quickest way to a mother's heart is to say nice things about her children. So I'll tell you now that I'll love you all forevah and evah.

Well, I finally finished the top row of large alphabet letters in Tree of Life. Now I can work my way down the left side of the sampler. I can feel it....It's going to be finished this year! I'd like to take a break, but I'm worried about leaving it on the scroll rods for very long.

Here's why - I opened my last large skein of dark red silk, and it had stained the plastic thread drop in the package. So I'm a little worried that this silk may bleed onto anything it comes into contact with if it's touching it for too long - including its own self in this sampler. What do you think? Am I right to worry about that? Or am I being paranoid?

Oh, and here's another question. The very first stitches that I put into this design were in the top, light red, border. I used my usual anchoring technique when I finished each thread. Nothing special. Just ran it under a few stitches and cut it fairly short. WELL. Now those stitches are fuzzy and starting to come out. I don't know what to do except to pick them out and re-stitch the areas. Grrr. It's frustrating. Do any of you use any special techniques for ending your silk threads?

OK, now I'll stop griping and show you a picture of its hugeness. Those are my stork scissors in the middle, to give you an idea of its gigantorness:

So - in other things around the O'Neil house, Dave and I went to another Mountain Stage taping this Wednesday. It was a special program because Neko Case was going to play, and although she's not my favorite singer, Dave really likes her music, so we went. It was in Charleston WV, at their Civic Center. Neko Case was...well, she was okay. She was acting kind of weird, though. Started one song three times and still couldn't get it right, so she just gave up. And she re-sang another song that she had done earlier, because she said it was too slow the first time. Truthfully, it sounded exactly the same as when she sang it the first time.

But here's what bothered me more than anything else. We've been to lots of Mountain Stage tapings, and I have to say that every single performer has been pretty great. Famous or not-so-famous, they come to Mountain Stage and they seem happy to be there and appreciative of the live audience. Neko Case was neither of those things. In fact, they (she and her accompanying singer) kept doing this little curtsy move and saying that they felt like they were in a 5th grade talent show. It was insulting to both the audience and the radio show.

Maybe she was on drugs or something. People act strangely when they're on drugs. Even very gifted and talented people.

Ahhh, but as usual, Mountain Stage always gives us a surprise musical act that makes you sit back in your seat and say, "Wow, that was incredible!" Wednesday night's WOW moment was a group from Southern California called Sonos, an all-vocal group that was fabulous. High energy, amazing talent. They only have an Itunes EP available right now, but I sure hope they produce more. So watch these!

Now I'm going to end this too long post, but remind me to ask you next time about Leashes for Little Kids.


  1. I never get board of hearing about my stitching/blogging friends families! It helps us to get to know one another and build friendships when we know a little more about each other than just stitching! So don't ever feel bad about sharing about your family!!

    Second of all that is a HUGE piece and it is gorgeous!! I can not give you any advise on the silks though. Thanks for sharing the video, they are amazing!

  2. I've never stitched with silk, so I'm no help. But the piece is both huge and beautiful!

  3. Your Tree of Life sampler looks amazing, it's just beautiful. I'm sorry but I can't help your with the silk therad problem because I rarely stitch with silks. I stitch my BP sampler with silks but the anchored threads are not coming out although I use the same technique as you do.

  4. Your sampler is wonderful! When i roll my fabric around on a roll frame i roll some white kitchen paper against the stitching, it might be an idea to stop the 'bleeding' that might happen, just a thought.
    I do my finishing the same as you, just thread through a few stitches at the back.

    I LOVED Sonos, what fantastic voices they have! thanks for sharing the videos.

  5. Love your WIP! With the silks coming out & fraying a bit, I would unpick what you stitched till your tail is a manageable length, and then anchor it again. When I've noticed silks coming out or getting fuzzy like that, I will then start anchoring my threads under two different rows of stitching in opposite directions. Like--
    If that makes any sense. That way when there is a bit of wiggle room, usually going in different directions, it will stop. I also leave longer thread lengths than usual so there's more that is anchored.

    As for the red thread that is bleeding, I've never had that happen before. Check with the manufacturer or the shop where you got it. If it's hand dyed and NOT color fast, you might run into problems if you wet it. If it isn't, maybe you could wet the skein and blot it a bit? Kind of leech out the extra dye? I'd talk to the place where you got it first.

  6. That is definitely bizarre and insulting behaviour from the performer :(

    Your daughter's grad pictures are absolutely gorgeous. I love how they each show a different interest. She's so pretty!

  7. Instead of just running the threads in a straight line, you might want to make a u-turn with them--like come across 3-4 stitches as usual, then go back in the row below 3-4 stitches. In one of MB Lewis's dissertations in JCS, she talks about doing something similar, but hard to describe, she goes back over and back through the last stitch. Make sense?

    As for leashes, I can tell you, I'm all for them. Some places you can't have kids running everywhere; and some kids can't sit still. OTOH, there are many parents that don't want to change their behaviors when their children require it--and all children do. Like the parents who ignore their little kids in restaurants because they want to chat with their friends like they used to. Oh, I could go on. But it is always the people with no kids who have the most opinions, isn't it?

  8. I popped over to welcome you to the Totally Useless SAL and I find this stunning WIP, how beautiful. Hope you enjoy the hard work we'll put you through (LOL).

    Two of your commenters have already given you the best way to end silk threads -- make that U turn and go under a few more stitches than you normally would. Silks need a little extra tying down because they move a lot more easily than cotton threads. I always put my hand dyed silks in a sink of lukewarm water before stitching with them because I had some bleed onto my fabric once -- what a mess! I've never had regular hand-dyed threads bleed on my stitching though. I have no idea what could have made the silks bleed, they certainly did not get wet, unless there was just that much humidity in the air!!

  9. Your Tree of Life piece is coming along nicely.

    When using hand-dyed silk I also handle it the way Yoyo does, I soak it a bit and blot it with a white paper towel before using it.

    Sounds like Neko Case has some issues.

  10. I've had red silk run before ('Rose of Sharon' from Crescent Colours) the advice from Sharon Crescent was to wash the silk in water (no soap or detergents) until the water runs clear and then air dry. They shouldn't run as the dyers should rinse out any excess but mine definately did. I like the idea of using paper towels between too that sounds sensible. Can you test any on some scrap fabric? When I stitch with silk I also use shorter thread lengths so it gets less wear and tear.

  11. Ugh, I am just posting about bleeding silk and seems like you have the same problem. Thanks for visiting my blog! Your stitching is beautiful and what a humongous project!

  12. I've had trouble ending silk threads successfully, as well, ending up having the same problem you did. It looks like you've gotten some good advice, though. Thanks for the Sonos videos. They are incredible! I got goosebumps all over while listening to them.