Friday, September 29, 2006

CQ Heart for my Sister

Yesterday I worked on my CQ heart for my sister. It's my first CQ project ever! I sat myself down and learned how to make the bullion knot rose and then started embroidering. I took some purple silk ribbons that were too bright and put them in some tea, then ironed them to make them match better. I think they turned out nice. Those ones are the spiderweb rose and the bow. The bow looks ecru, but it was a light lavenderish purple and when it came out of the tea it just looked ecru instead of a muted light purple! The bow was my first time couching down tails like that, I just love how that looks. The dark purple ribbon is from Hand Dyed Fibers though and it's 7mm and I made 2 running stitch roses with it. The black pearls (purplish) are from a broken strand I had gotten in Hawaii. The little purple beads are from Vanessa's RAOK, that was really handy because I don't have very many beads! The little mother-of-pearl button and the flower motif are from Lillian's hostest gift, I put the flower in tea but it didn't take very well so I got out the ribbon dyes and put brown on it and microwaved, it's not meant for those dyes but it made it dark enough for the heart. The bullion knot roses are 2 of my first ever and one I accidentally switched the thread colors around, it's supposed to go darkest to lightest. I just used DMC floss on those, Micheal's just had a 5 for $1 sale the other day. Oh and the lace going across is hem tape from WalMart! It was just right! I used 2mm green silk ribbon for the first time and did a running stitch along the edges of the hem tape lace. Then of course my signature bee. Joyce said not to forget the little bee!
I had soooooo much fun! It's kind of like scrapbooking but with embroidery! Now I really understand why CQ, Crazy Quilting, is so popular and addictive! I got to try out so many new things, and just be creative to my hearts content!
Click here to see the blank heart.

Ornament Swap: Lillian's

I got Lillian's ornament for the swap in the mail today, and a generous hostest gift! Thank you Lillian, you really didn't have to do that you are too sweet! Isn't her ornament lovely? It's so vintage! I feel like I'm holding an antique heirloom that's been passed down from generations! Lillian you did an awesome job! I love the tatting, and the fuzzy fabric. And your stitching is so delicate. It was so cool to get to see it in person! Click on the photo to see it closer.

Previous: To see my ornament Click Here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lillian's Heart: ready to sew

Click on the photo to see it closer.
This is the best photo colorwise of all the photos of this heart.

I stayed up late tonight and finished the final details for the flowers. Now it's ready to sew and finish. I love this heart! I think it's my favorite one I've made so far. I love every one I make but this one I really, really love. I think it's because of the colors and the Swarovski crystal beads and the rose ribbon is antiqued with tea. I love how it is encrusted with ribbon stitch leaves vining inward. I also like the swirls on the monogram.
I think Lillian is going to love it! I also think I might make one similar for myself!
Click Here to see the heart's progress.
Click Here to see the heart finished.

Lillian's Heart

I worked more on Lillian's heart today. I finished the leaves on the vines and added pink Swarovski crystals for buds. Then I over dyed some 13mm silk ribbon to give a more antique look. The second photo is of what the original color looked like beside the tea over dyed one. The third photo is of one of the folded roses I made but haven't attached it yet. I'm going to make one more and then in the "L" I'm planning on doing a running stitch rose in the same ribbon.
Oh bye the way the first photo is the closest to the actual fabric color.
Click on the photos to see them closer.
Click Here to see it in progress.

Random Acts of Kindness Received

Click on the Photo's to see them closer.
Today I checked my mail and inside as a package from Vanessa Hall from the Hand Embroidery Group!!! I opened it and this is what was inside! Wonderful tea fabrics and goodies!!! She sent pieces of cute teapot floral fabric, and tea cup floral fabric, and a pink paisley fabric, and a embroidered hankie, and beads, and sparklies, and gorgeous pearl beads. A cute teapot charm that I just adore! And look at the purple and gold beads they will match my sister's CQ heart that I'm working on!!! And wow that crochet basket!!! Vanessa made it herself! It's soo pretty and tiny and perfect! I'm going to have some CQ fun with this stuff!!! OHHH I just had an idea to make like a tea heart set that I can put around my kitchen! One with the hankie as a center, one with a teapot as a center, and one with the basket as the center!!! I'll have to dream up what I want to do. I want to make one for my friend Christina too, we share a love for tea, and she's in Iraq right now I think that would cheer her up!
Thank You So Much Vanessa!!!!!!! I love it!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Dad & Joyce Hope's Bathroom

My Dad just sent me a photo of their bathroom, it's only one view but you get the picture! The only thing is that the shower curtain is different than when I was there. It used to match the valance on the window and be that pretty white lacey fabric. I think they should put it back up it just tied the whole room together.
Click Here to see the towels I'm embroidering them for a Christmas Gift.
**Update: Click Here to see progress on the towel set.
***Update: Click Here to see the finished set.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Heart: satin stitch "L"

My latest RAOK heart is for...shhhhhhh ...Lillian ...don't tell! If you are on the Hand Embroidery List DON'T mention it on the list! I've been wanting to make her one for awhile, but I didn't feel the time was right. Now she's away and I can do it to surprise her and have the heart waiting for her when she gets back home. I just couldn't keep it a secret from you all! I'm not very good at secrets...I have to tell someone! LOL

OKAY now that I got that out, I can tell you about the stitching! Well I went back to the back stitch for the vines because I hated doing the stem stitch. I did the satin stitch on the "L" which I used to really not like to do the satin stitch but I took a long break from it and now I find it not so bad. In fact, I think my satin stitch improved during the break!!! I'm so serious it's like my brain was working on it in the last few months! Hey maybe in a month or so I can try the stem stitch again and it will be better??? LOL Has anyone else had this happen to them? I know that your brain works on things when you sleep and stuff...that's why the saying "sleep on it" I guess I had the satin stitch on my brain's back burner! God is so awesome to have made our brains to work on things in our subconscious!
Oh yeah and I used tracing paper for the "L" and stitched though it and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I just outlined the letter with the back stitch, then tore away the paper and then filled in the satin stitch spots.
By the way, the fabric is gold Dupioni silk and the fabric doesn't photograph very well because it is shimmery. The photos look lighter, and more pale than it actually is.
To see my last heart I made Click Here!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Johnson "J"

Click on the photos to see closer.

I'm embroidering hand towels with the Johnson "J" for my Dad and his Wife for Christmas. Here is the first of the set I finished last week. Three more to go! My Dad and Joyce Hope love bright colors so I chose 4 different bright colors in their style. I call their style "Flower Power Shabby Chic"! I'm making the towels washable so that they will be completely usable! The floral letter is 6 inches and from Ribbonsmyth's Victorian Monogram Initial CD I just printed out the letter, traced it onto Solvy and placed it over the terrycloth in a hoop and stitched it in. When it's finished, I tear most of it away and then soak it in cold water to get rid of the rest of the solvy.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Projects in Planning

Here's a look at my breakfast table where I've been working on all my projects lately and a peek at 3 projects I'm working on. I'm at a standstill on some because I need some things before I can do anymore work. I guess I'll start embroidering in the vines on my newest heart, this time I used gold Dupioni instead of my usual champagne color.

Sisters Heart Framed

Here's the heart framed! It's soooooo pretty! I have it hanging in my dining room. I sometimes sit in my dining room and embroider too! I got the 8x10 frame from WalMart for $12 something. I thought that I would have to take out the glass so that it wouldn't be smashed but I found that there is a piece of cardboard in it that I just removed and it made a perfect size shadow box! I cut a piece of black velvety material, it's like velvet but very short kind of like suede, is it velveteen? I attached the black fabric to the back of the frame and then placed the heart in and closed it up! Isn't it great?!
To see a close-up of the heart Click Here

Christmas Ornament Swap

Here is my finished ornament! I'm not too great at sewing so there were a few moments that I wasn't sure it would turn out nice...but I persevered and kept at it and now I think it looks nice. I was going for simple elegance, with a Victorian feel. Click on the photos to see closer.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Project Progress

Well, last night I stayed up late and worked on my ornament more. I finished the gold french knots in the middle of the poinsettias and the folded roses at the top sewed it together. Now I just need to get some stuffing to stuff it! I didn't realize I didn't have anymore stuffing! Then I just need to hand sew the bottom closed...which is going to be the hardest part for me.
Then I just took a quick photo of some of the things I've collected for my sisters heart. She likes buttons so I think I'm going to need to use some different type of buttons too. I ordered some 13mm silk ribbon from Hand Dyed Fibers because she has lots of colors Joyce would love at inexpensive prices. So I got like 3 colors to try out. If I don't use them on her heart I know I'll use them at another time.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Onament Swap Progress

Okay, I started to work on my ornament for the swap I'm hosting! It's going to be a stuffed heart and it's going to have folded roses at the top by the loop as well. I still need to finish the little poinsettias and put gold sparkle french knots in the middle, make the folded roses and then sew it up, stuff it, and finish it. The lace you see is the lace I got from Shay, when I was wondering about Tambour lace. Thank you Shay!
I got 2 loads of laundry done, did my 30min on the treadmill, got the CQ heart for my sister ready, and started on the ornament! Pretty good if I say so myself! LOL Now if I can just keep it up!

First Crazy Quilt Heart

This morning I decided to go ahead and jump into Crazy Quilting, because my sister, Joyce, asked me to make a CQ heart for her. Her birthday is November 11th so I wanted to make her one, embellish it and then put it in a antiquish type frame without the glass. She's going to be 15 but I know that it will be a treasure to her that she will probably have for the rest of her life. I've never done CQ before, but there are no rules, so I just pieced it however I felt. Oh what I'll do for my little sister! I had a hard time getting the colors accurate for this photo! I had to scan the heart and then adjust the colors to get it to look right. Dupioni Silk is hard to photograph! So this is as close to what it really looks like as I'm going to get! I'm planning on putting 2 folded roses next to each other and also some cheap pearls I had gotten in Hawaii that broke they are purplish-blackish and I'm planning on stringing them and making a little swag out of them.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Finished Monogrammed Heart

Okay here is the finished heart for the Random Acts of Kindness list! I know she's going to love it! I'm so excited to get it in the mail. I'm going to try and get it out today. The photos aren't totally accurate on the color because the fabric of the heart, Dupioni silk, is shimmery. The heart fabric is Champagne, the folded rose is Ivory, and the middle of the blue flowers is a light yellow. Click on the photos to see closer.
To see it in progress Click Here
To see more SRE Click Here

"Sisters" Heart

Today I received this "Sisters" heart from Debbie! Isn't it stunning!?! I just love it! It looks so antique and vintage and I adore the colors and the laces and the flowers and the fabrics! I love the vintage button she used, the honey bee, the cute sisters with the dog, the beautiful rose printed on the corner fabric, the gold beads sewed onto the bottom lace...I just love everything about it! This is a real treasure! Her embroidery is so delicate and sweet! I had been wondering how I would use the heart and was thinking of several ways, now that I have it I have decided I want to either frame it or make a wall hanging! If I make a wall hanging I'd like to put 3 hearts vertically...Debbie, you want to swap 2 more with me?

To see the photo's closer, click on them.

Here is a link to Debbie's blog of the heart...Click Here!

To see the heart framed Click Here

Monday, September 18, 2006

Monogramed Heart

Well today I decided to make another heart, this time for our Random Acts of Kindness list we have going at the Hand Embroidery Yahoo Group. I'm not going to say who this is for but it's a monogrammed heart for her. I looked though my favorite book for inspiration. The book is Treasury of Floral Designs and Initials for Artists and Craftspeople. I've noticed that a lot of Anna Griffin SRE designs are inspired by this book as well! I found this motif and copied it and then put it on my light box and traced it onto the fabric with a water erasable pen. Then I just stitched in the design how I thought it would best work for embroidery. The lady likes cool tones so I used an ivory rose with blue flowers, and my signature bee in silver tone. Tomorrow I will finish the heart and ready it for the mail. I really like this design and I think I'll use it again sometime! The biggest thing I would do differently is that I used the stem/outline stitch for the stems and I hated using it! Next time I will resume working the back stitch for my vines! I like the satin stitch better than the stem/outline stitch...and that's really saying something! I feel like my stem/outline stitching is messy and not as neat looking as I like it to be. Click on the photo to see it closer.
If you would like to see more of my work Click Here!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Lake

Today Echo, Gerard, and I went to the Lake with Sky, China, and Madie! We had a lot of fun and the dogs had a blast. The first photo is of Sky enjoying the warm sun during the car ride to the lake. The second photo is of Gerard playing chase with the doggies! They LOVE to chase Papa! Then the Third photo is of Sky resting after exploring the area. The forth is China following Gerard down a log, but Madie didn't want to try it. The fifth is China and Madie exploring near the water.
Click on the photos to see them closer! I just love the one where Gerard is playing chase with China and Madie you can just see all the fun they were having!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Echo, China, & Sky

This is my sister-in-law Echo. She is married to my youngest brother Aaron who just joined the Air Force and is at training. She just came down to stay with us while my brother finishes up his training and gets his first duty station. The cool thing is that they will be stationed about 2 and a half hours away from us. Echo is almost 5 months pregnant too! I'm going to be an Auntie! Our dog, China, just adores her and she won't let just anyone snuggle with her and hug her! So that means she really likes and trusts Echo. The big white dog is Sky, he is a pure-bred Kuvasz and Echo and Aaron adopted him from our brother Issac who couldn't have him anymore. Sky is a big, gentle, boy who really likes Gerard and Me as well which is also surprising, since he is usually wary of people he doesn't know. Sky and China don't get along though...China is having a tough time having this big boy coming into HER house. Madie and Sky knew each other previously when Madie was a puppy, so they get along just fine.

Tambour Lace

Well I'm pretty sure that this form of lace is what's on my vintage hankies. Here is a link to some info and history of Tambour Lace. There was a lady who had brought back tambour lace in 1976 which collates with the "vintage" status of my hankies!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Net Lace?

Here is an example of one of my vintage lace hankies. I'd like to learn how to make this myself since it looks like embroidery on netting. The problem is I cannot find netting like this, only tulle and sports netting or already embroidered mesh. Could it be that I need to look for mesh? If anyone knows what type of lace making this is or what type of fabric is used please let me know. I'm really interested in learning how to do it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Button Cover 2

Here is my second 2 inch button cover design. I used all 4mm silk ribbon. A spider-web rose for the middle in burgundy, little running-stitch roses and a few french knots in pink, and ribbon stitch leaves. The pink flowers where way too bright so I made up some strong tea and dotted them let that dry and then I dabbed some coffee on them this morning, that really helped to mute the brightness of the pink color. The button even smells like chai tea! LOL That's the only kind I had to use! It's hard to get the design I want on such a small surface to work with...I usually like to work with about 5 inches so my stitches are usually sized accordingly. Maybe I'll try making tiny flowers to bouquet on my third and final button. I just love lots of vining and scrolling leaves!
To see the first button cover Click Here
To see the third button cover Click Here
Brooch for a friend Click Here

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fat Hummingbirds

I visited The Hummingbird Garden blog and she had posted a photo of a very fat hummingbird! It reminded me of some photos I had taken in April this year. So these are photos of my fat ruby thoated boy! And go take a look at the fat one at The Hummingbird Garden!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Project underway

I've sketched out design ideas for the button cover contest. I've got a few that I like and want to try...I'm starting to make one now and I'm picking out what colors I'll use. I think the hardest part for me is deciding what I'm going to do! The actual embroidery is the fun easy part! I have an idea of what I want to do, but then when I try to sketch it out it doesn't look like what I want! So I'll whip up the current button design I like so I can see what it will end up looking like, and go from there.

China & Madie

China and Madie snuggling with Papa! China usually doesn't allow Madie to snuggle with her but since she was snuggling with Papa she allowed Madie to be there too.
To read more about Madie click here.
To read more about China and Madie click here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Heart: Finished!

To see my heart for the heart swap Click Here!
To see other SRE I've completed Click Here!
To see finishing steps Click Here

Tea Time Magazine

Tea Time magazine I just found this link on someones blog and thought it was a neat magazine. I subscribed because it's a 6 a year magazine and it doesn't have a lot of advertisements.
My favorite gardening magazine is 6 a year with lots of info and no ads. It's Garden Gate magazine! It's got a TON of info, ideas, and helpful articles.

Heart: finishing steps

Sewed the heart right sides together with interfacing, cut a slit in the back, trimmed and then clipped the corners turned it right side out, pushed out the edges, pressed the edges, and now to rinse and let dry. Click on the photos to see them closer. **Tip for smooth edges, sew on the line slowly!
***Remember to clip your curves and corners! This gives you a smooth edge instead of chunky.
****I used interfacing to finish the heart but you can also use a light weight muslin.
To see previous progress Click Here