Reaching for Faith – Tubing – Feeding the Filling Through

To feed the filling into the tube, thread it onto a large dull needle.   Leave only a very short tail.

Reaching - Tubing - Starting the Fill by Carmen CS
Reaching – Tubing – Starting the Fill, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Then insert it into one end of the tube.

Reaching - Tubing - Feeding onto the Needle by Carmen CS

Stroke the tube from the end of the needle until it bunches up near the head.  Make sure the needle doesn’t pierce the tube.  If it does, just back it off.  My right hand is grabbing the bunch so it doesn’t let go, while my left strokes the tube.

Reaching - Tubing - Tube Fed On by Carmen CS
Reaching – Tubing – Tube Fed On, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Here the tube is completely bunched up on the needle.

Reaching - Tubing - Pulling the Filling Through by Carmen CS
Reaching – Tubing – Pulling the Filling Through, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Finally, pull the bunched tube down off the needle onto the filling.  Pull the filling through until the loose end comes free, and unthread it from the needle.

Prayer: Father, help me to find You in all the details and little chores of life and craft and ministry.

Show Me the Way – As Presented

And here is the piece framed, as I presented it to her.

Tulips - Temporary Frame by Carmen CS

Tulips – Temporary Frame, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

I always frame my pieces before giving them.  The last thing someone going through troubles needs it to be faced with the effort and expense of framing a piece of needlepoint!  But custom framing for so many pieces is beyond my reach.  I therefore design my pieces to fit standard frames, which are more modest in price.

When I presented this piece, she agreed with me that it would benefit from custom framing with a mat.  I’ll post a picture of the final framing once it is done!

Prayer: Father, I pray this piece will continue to bless her and remind her always to turn to You.

Show Me the Way – Stretched

Here is the piece fully stretched.  Note that you do not place pins at the corners, as that would not fit into the frame.  The piece should now look even and flat.

Tulips - Stretched by Carmen CS
Tulips – Stretched, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, I pray for beauty, peace, and joy in her life and her work.

Reaching for Faith – Tubing – Tube and Filling

Where the arch passes behind the flame, I wanted it to look like it shone through.  To get this effect, I used a tubular rayon ribbon, which can be filled with another fiber.  I used 2 strands from the flame fiber as the filling.

Reaching - Tubing - Tube and Filling by Carmen CS
Reaching – Tubing – Tube and Filling, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, I want you to shine through my life!  Please wrap me in Your love and You light.

Show Me the Way – Spreading from the Centers

Next, start spreading out from the centers.  Place a pin every 1 1/2 – 2 inches.  Make sure they stay on the same line.  Pull the canvas taut as you go.

Tulips - Spreading from the Centers by Carmen CS
Tulips – Spreading from the Centers, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer:  As she shapes her life, help her to start from the center, the core things, and grow peace and harmony from there.

Show Me the Way – Centers Placed

Once the first pin is placed, pull the canvas taut and place the next T-pin in the opposite edge.   Then do the other two edges.  At this point the canvas may look worse, but just hang in there!

Tulips - Centers Placed by Carmen CS
Tulips – Centers Placed, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: When we start stretching, it can pull unpleasantly.  She stretches so much!  Father, grant her ease from the pull.

Reaching for Faith – Arch Bricks

To stitch the arch, I thought it would be appropriate to use the Brick stitch.

Reaching - Arch Bricks by Carmen CS
Reaching – Arch Bricks, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, please strengthen my faith.  Help me to build it strong, wide, and straight.

Show Me the Way – Centering on Foam Core

It is important to have the piece properly centered and evenly stretched.  Begin by marking the centers of all edges of the foam core.  You have to mark the edge of the foam core, because when you are pinning the canvas will cover the top.

Then mark the canvas at the centers of the design edges, just outside the stitched area.

Now take a T-pin and put it through a hole in the canvas at one of the center marks.  Then push it into the foam core at the corresponding center mark.  Push the pin all the way in, making sure it stays buried in the foam core.

Tulips - Centering on Foamcore by Carmen CS
Tulips – Centering on Foamcore, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: It’s all in the details.  Father, help her with making the little things right!

Reaching for Faith – the Doorway

The spirit dove is appearing coming through an arch or doorway.  For me, this represents faith, through which I can invite God into my life.

Reaching - in progress by Carmen CS
Reaching – in progress, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, I knock, and you open the door to me.  Help me to remember to knock often, to seek with all my heart, to ask to be allowed to walk with You!

Reaching for Faith – Variegated Mottle

Instead of stitching lines, a different look results if you stitch in swirls.  Lovely mottled visual texture!

Reaching - var mottle by Carmen CS
Reaching – var mottle, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the joys of creation!