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Daisychain Sampler "A"

I thought I'd start today by talking about how I transfer embroidery designs onto cotton fabric.  Please note there are different tools and techniques out there.  I'm just sharing MY preferred method.

I stayed away from embroidery for many years (decades?) because I didn't like the printed or marked drawing to show underneath my stitches.  It bugged me.  (It's a thing.) 

So I stuck with counted cross-stitch.  I think you could wrap the earth a few times with the amount of embroidery floss I've cross-stitched!  Seriously.  I would cross-stitch on a bench in a shopping mall downtown during my lunch hours in my teens & 20s (& 30s).  (Yes, I'm that nerdy!)

And now as a mom, I'm often spotted stitching while my girls are at their extra-curricular activites.  (Although a friend informed me that toting my needlework around in a large wicker basket was going a little overboard ... just because I WATCHED "Little House on the Prairie" on tv as a kid doesn't mean I need to RE-ENACT it as an adult.)

But a few years ago I was introduced to these PERMANENT pens.  Pigma Micron pens.  They come in assorted colors and "fine-ness-es".

Yes I know, the word 'permanent' gives some of you a case of the vapors just thinking about it.  It did me for years too.  But then I did something else.   I started tracing my designs using tiny dots instead of solid lines.  Now I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for eyes that don't cooperate all the time (I can always tell if I need a new prescription for my eyeglasses when I embroider.)  And it doesn't always work depending on the color/design of your fabric & threads, etc.  But I usually stitch on white or light cotton and my markings are (almost) always totally invisible.  I'll show you as I go along.

Now to Letter A.

Ok.  You know that scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when they remove the ceiling tile from that tomb and Indiana Jones rolls onto his back and says "Snakes ... why'd it have to be snakes?" 

Well, that's kinda how I feel about this letter.  Only instead of snakes it's "Satin stitch ... why'd it have to be satin stitch?"  I've never gotten along well with the satin stitch.  I mean, it's gorgeous and all.  But it takes me too much time to make it look really nice.  Other stitches you can kinda fudge a bit and not be quite so exact and your work still looks good.  But satin stitch?  No can do.

I'm not in the mood right now to tackle it.  So I'm just doing the chain stitch part of this letter and skipping the rest for now.  I'll come back later ...

If you feel like joining the dark side, the pattern is available here.

And I got a few requests to share the floss colors I'm using so here they are (COSMO brand, available here):

103A, 104, 105, 2105, 2251, 252, 683, 684, 533, 534, 535, 142, 143, 144A, 368, 714

And my fabric is ... well, in the picture just up there. ;)  It's a Moda 3 Sisters print from the "Simplicity" line.  It's a few years old and probably difficult to find in stores (just sayin').  But any white, light cream or something light with a subtle print (like mine) will work with the floss colors I'm using.

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Reader Comments (22)

It's really weird how much we have in common;-) I love cross-stich but every other stiches made me cringe. And the thing with the printed drawing? Same here, although there're soooo many sweet pattern I'd love to do (like your daisychain). Perhaps I'll change it a bit to fit my cross-stich love? Just thinking;-)

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHildy

Listen Girlfriend, you keep toting those wicker baskets around. PROUDLY! Ha! I do the exact same thing. Mine is a Longaberger basket with a sincerely 80's liner. And I totally rock it at the ball fields. Just sayin'.

I'm gaga for this sampler. If I could, in a million years, get my chain stitch to look like yours, I'd be tempted to dive in. But I know better.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

Oh my if I spotted you toting a wicker basket with your needlework I've have to go sit by you. I wouldn't be able to stand not knowing what you were stitching - it would be like a magnet - you'd have to become my new best friend because I'd be stalking you. LOL A wicker basket filled with needlework - be still my stitching heart. sigh!

I love your start and by the way I don't do a good satin stitch either. LOL

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarlene

I just started following you and I have to tell you that you are already one of my FAVORITES!

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley Williams

I'm with ashley top dog . I wish i even know how to embroider any good books websites or better yet you can teatch me :) yay
Hugs from over seas

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVikki

You rock! I love that you dragged around a wicker basket. I'm of that Little House generation -- yeah calico! I can't wait to see your progression on this sampler. I'm so glad I discovered your blog through Camille.

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

A is for AWESOME! I've been sitting here in "The Dark Side' just waiting for other cool/nerdy people to join me!! When I worked I use to sit either at my desk or in the 'lounge' part of the ladies room and work on cross stitch. It was the only thing that made my day tolerable. ;0 Boring, boring jobs. :(

I'm fairly new to embroidery and I just LOVE that it's going on everywhere!!

Take a seat, ladies....Miss K will light the way......mmmaaawwwwww!

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterina

I feel the same! I was doing 'Life is Beautiful' by Helen Stubbings (Australia designer) and it requires that darn satin stitch! You are right, I can substitute for another - now, why didn't I think of that before?? Thanks, K! Brilliant as always....


September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBernie

I mark my fabric with a very sharp, ordinary pencil - it tends to rub off as you stitch over it. The 'redwork' piece that I am stitching just now was marked by someone else using one of those horrid (I think) turquoise 'wash-out' pens. Having had a nasty experience when it didn't wash out so much as just spread across the fabic, I steer well clear of them. I look forward to seeing how your embroidery develops!

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterfrayedattheedge

'Fine-ness-es' is areally good word! :)
I really don't like doing cross-stitch, it makes me cross, I think that's how it got it's name! ;) Don't get me wrong I like the look of cross-stitch when someone else has stitched it, just so long as it doesn't have to me!
Vivienne x

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergreenrabbitdesigns

Wow, those little dots are tiny...I think I would have to use a magnifier! How many strands are you using on this project? I can tell it's gonna be gorgeous. :)

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDana

Ok, I'm in. Just downloaded the pattern and will pick up the floss soon. I'm grateful that you're willing to share so much. I will do mine like yours. I'm a grandma and have a nursery done in pastels and it will look perfect on the wall. Though, after seeing your chain stitch, I have to ask, "are you a sewing savant?" Your stitches look like they were done by a machine. I have a pretty good stem stitch, but will need to strive hard to emulate your beautiful work. Camille was right - you sew at lightening speed. Thx for the inspiration! You're my favorite new blog read. LOVE IT!

September 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPolly

I am still fretting with Alicia's wool thread. I love floss and should just go with that but then I will have the wool floss left behind:(
and my chain stitch looks so very sad compared to yours!

September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLibby

Nothing wrong with baskets at all , i used to take my hand stitching to my sons cricket matches and sit under a beach umbrella as its usually around 43 degrees celcius people thought i was mad.I'm not crazy about satin stich either, i love the look of it just not mine (actually i usually cheat and fill the area in with french knots as my ss is really that bad).

September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda in Aus

I love this sampler! I love embroidery too. I agree, satin stitch and I are not best friends! Would you be willing to share your pattern when you are done with it? Thanks.

September 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdiane

I use the pigma pens too but I never thought about just using dots.
I like the idea of using the chain stitch to fill in.
thanks for the tips.

September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie P.

Love the thought of you sitting by a playing field with a big basket! Love the fabric you're using - good luck with the satin stitch!

September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArchie the wonder dog

I was never really of stitching but I've always been amazed by how people do the things they do especially if it's related to stitching. My mom also loves to cross-stitch and she's done a lot of stuff that we display in our home.

September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHalley | Brochure

I've been cross-stitching since I was 20 also...through all of the times that everyone else thought I was SO uncool...and I hid my art. Now...I'm out there stitching and knitting away at football practices and in the carpool line for everyone to see!

September 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDianne

I love your idea of doing dots with the pens rather than full lines! I always get a bit irked with the way lines can show if you aren't really, super dooper careful with your stitches!
I assume you use the lightbox/sunny window tracing technique? Or do you trace it backwards onto transfer paper and iron the design onto the fabric?

October 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTeegz
Hello Kristyne! I'm the slly fan of yours reading posts in real time these last 10 months. I wasn't sure where to put the following but had the biggest thrill this past weekend when I observed a crib quilt made for a little girl with the alphabet and accompanying graphics (blocks were about 3 " square from your book!)

I live in Morgan Hill, California and the quilt was entered in the only show we have in town called the Harvest Quilt Festival sponosred by the Silicon Valley Quilt Association. I was so excited and presumptuously wanted to introduce myself as your #1 fan!

Thank you for continuing to post when life is so busy! Celia
September 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCFQuilter
Love your blog, I know you're busier now! I check you often, I enjoy your creations!!!
I have a quick question. I know you like to reduce your patterns, did you reduce the daisy chain abc's sampler when you made it? If so, how much?
December 6, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuzette Wink

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