Friday, April 12, 2013

Tying the Knot

I finally got my act together and finished French Country Wedding Bells, which leaves me, predictably, at the point of deciding how to finish it. I'd like to take it overseas, so framing is out. I may get brave and try a flatfold. I've done this type of finishing once before, but I wasn't thrilled with the finished product (due to my inexperience, not to Meari's instructions!).

Remember Chillin' Out? Remember how I washed it & all the floss bled? Remember how I gave away the pattern prior to washing the finished piece?

There's a happy ending to this story!

I emailed Pam with my story of woe, and she kindly sent the pattern back to me. So I'm stitching it up again, except I've swapped out the maroon for emerald green. I really like the green (Carrie's Creation Silk in Emerald, in case you want some). I also used a much brighter blue fabric.

When I say "French knots", you scream, right? It seems like all (okay, most) stitchers are afraid of these tiny little beasts. The cat's eyes in Chillin' Out are French knots, and I had never done a French knot before. Ack!

Back when I was fretting about the Berwick stitch, I came across a blog called Sarah's Hand Embroidery Tutorials. It has a great tutorial on the Berwick stitch, so naturally I looked up the French Knot tutorial.


I read the instructions (a few times), picked up Chillin' Out, and had those babies done in under five minutes! I honestly have no idea why anyone is terrified of this knot. It was so easy.

Not that I want to do, say, a hundred of them in one pattern!

 So after my French knot victory, it seems the stitching gods decided to knock me down a peg or two. I had stitched nearly everything except the two lines at the bottom.

The top line is supposed to line up with the bottom of the ice on the right. But it doesn't; the bottom line does. Ack! So I had to frog the ice.

I frogged the lines as well because the floss was leaving weird vertical lines at each of the squares.

The tiny vertical purple lines beneath the bottom line
I made sure to wash and completely dry my hands before working on this, so I don't know if it bled or if it's tiny pieces of thread. Either way, I wanted it gone. Even though I've frogged it, I can still see them. Grr. But I am not redoing the entire thing!

So my plan to have Chillin' Out finished by today has gone out the window, teaching me that backstitching in a poorly lit room is generally not a good idea! Ah, well, I still have the French knots to make me feel warm & fuzzy.

Best Stitches & Wishes,

P.S. We've just received word that our visas have been approved and our passports are in the mail back to us. All we need now is the cat's health certificate (authenticated by three different departments!) So maybe I won't have a chance to make that flatfold, but I will finish Chillin' Out before we move!


  1. Hi Lisa, Beautiful stitching. When I have to frog and it seems to leave what could be little bits of thread showing where you frogged, I use one of those clothes lint rollers on it. It usually works pretty well. Congrats on finally getting the visas approved. Hope it doesn't take too long for the kitty approval. Good luck!!

  2. Congratulations on your beautiful wedding sampler. It was so nice Pam send you the pattern back. After you finish stitching and iron it, you may not see the traces of your mistakes. You can make the flat fold after you move. Or you can make a no-sew cube.

  3. Wedding Bells is beautiful , and good news about the passports

  4. ohhh well done on the finish :)

    excellent french knots girl :)

    hmmmm re the wee little lines not seen that before ...

    brilliant news re the visas :) love mouse xxxxxxx

  5. Congrats on your finish, Lisa.

    I don't mind french knots. Glad you figured them out. :) I'll probably have to do at least 100 on the gesiha I'm doing. I did about 30 on the collar alone!

    I had to really look and reread why you frogged Chillin'. I couldn't tell what was wrong. I would've left it, lol. As for the "frog poop", I had the same problem with Sampler aux Bouquets. The only way I could get mind out it to spot wash the area with Dawn. If you used hand-dyed threads, it probably wouldn't be a good idea.

  6. Lovely stitching Lisa.
    Yea, you have your Visas :-)

  7. Beautiful stitching! Thanks for the link to the tutorial site too.

  8. Lovely finish Lisa! I actually really enjoy French Knots. I think it does take practice but also not a rush thing, but they work well for me. I know exactly what you mean about the black thread leaving residue. It always does that. Have you tried some scotch tape on it to help remove? Sometimes that helps a little, on back and front. Just lay it on, firmly, then tear away slowly.. It should remove some of the black. :)

  9. Lovely stitching on your pictures and glad you got your visas.


  10. It all looks great! I love JBW Designs! Your french knots turned out perfect!


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