Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Floral Belle

Here's my Floral Belle with the embroidery all finished! My idea was to make her in graduating shades of pink. I'd have liked to use more of the bright hot pinks for Alece but didn't seem to have the right colors of floss or ribbon, but I think Alece will love her anyway! She really looks like a rose garden in person the photo doesn't seem to do her justice.
She has sweetheart roses on her hat and bodice in 4mm silk ribbon. All the light green leaves are straight stitches in 2mm silk ribbon.
She is full of spiderweb roses in graduating sizes down her dress the first 2 rows of roses have colonial knots of the darker shade in the centers all using 4mm silk ribbon.
On the last row I used 4mm silk ribbon to make spiderweb roses that also have a sweetheart rose in the center. After making the spiderweb rose I would come back up at the center with the same ribbon and place a sweetheart rose there. I think it gives them a more pointed center shape.
On the back I created a "To/From" in Word and printed it and then flipped it over and traced it with a black iron on pen. When I ironed it, I got it too heavy in a spot so the stitching looks kind of dirty but it's not. I'm a little bummed that I messed that up but since Alece is going to be 7 years old I don't think she'll mind! LOL Also this is not your ordinary white floss...it's DMC's Glow In The Dark!!!!! I worked the whole thing in the whipped backstitch, my new favorite outlining stitch!If you click on the Glow In The Dark photo you might be able to see it better. It's hard to get a good "glow" photo, but it sure looks cool in person!

I finished the pillow for Alece!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Floral Belle

Here's more progress on the Floral Belle! I don't like that on the middle of the skirt you can see the black lines underneath the stitching...after I took this photo I washed it to see if it would help fade the lines but it didn't. I'm not sure what I'm going to do! Gerard says that Alece won't care and she'll love it even though it's not perfect and I know that's true, but still I hate seeing the black lines!!! I'm considering ripping out those stitches and doing something else to try and cover over the black lines.
***Update*** After posting I went and tried a few things to try and fix it and this is what I ended up doing. I added a little ruffled lace over the top! I think it looks a lot better and the stitching underneath is like shadow work giving it a nice pink hue. Plus it gives it more of a 3D effect. Now I can start on the silk ribbon embroidery!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tatting a Split Ring

Lillian and I were chatting about tatting and wanting to see how we each tat so I decided to make a home video of me tatting a split ring. If your curious here's my video!
I did click the shuttle by passing the thread through the tip of the shuttle as I made each half of the stitches on this video, but I've learned since that it's best not to do that! LOL

Tatted Lady

Motif #20 of the 25 Motif Challenge
After seeing some pretty tatted ladies, my friend Lillian asked me if I could make her one! So we searched the web for a pattern that I could do and I found this one! The pattern is for needle tatting but I still felt that I could do it with the shuttle since I've been learning it. Sure I could have done it by needle but I really wanted to keep learning with the shuttle. I've just learned shuttle joins and split rings so I figured I could try and do it. There is a lady (Jackie aka Beadin' Gram), in a Crazy Quilt Yahoo Group that I am in, who always has a quote at the bottom of her post that says "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." by Vincent Van Gogh
I felt just like that as I was making this lady and learned so much! I had a lot of fun too! There were a few spots I was scared I wouldn't be able to fix like at one spot in the pattern it says to reverse work when it should say Do Not Reverse work (row 3 right after first chain) and I ended up having open up the ring and unpick it...very scary moment! Another spot I had joined to the wrong end and had to cut if off...LOL. Then there was a little confusion over where to join and which direction I should be going. Some hiding ends frustration, oh and I started running out of thread on one shuttle and so I had to SLT (shoe lace trick) to switch the shuttles so I could keep going and I made it to the end with just barely enough thread on both shuttles! On the very last row I missed a join!!! I was too far down the row to unpick to fix it so I just left it as is. Overall it went really well, and those few little tricky spots only taught me how to tat better! I have to say it was a tatting adventure! From the tip of her bonnet to the base of her skirt she is 6 inches. I tatted her in size 10 DMC Cebelia thread.
Thought you might like to see how I blocked the lady, I didn't add any stiffener because Lillian is a Crazy Quilter and she might want to dye it.
I just used a piece of cardboard with a hand towel over it and then shape and pin the wet lady to it to dry.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Windsong Jewels DYB RR: My work on Maire's Blocks

Here is the block I choose from Marie's blocks to embellish all finished!
I added a feather stitch seam treatment in light aqua blue using 1 strand floss and added clear size 15 seed beads. Then I added 2 lace butterflies with small Czech glass beads and fly stitch antennae with colonial knots at the tips.
In this bouquet I made sweetheart roses, colonial knot forget-me-nots, french knot flowers, and ribbon stitch leaves along with adding Czech glass beads. The butterfly was an earring I cut the post off of and stitched onto the block!
To the fan in the center I added a silk ribbon bow and a Czech glass heart bead. On the seam with the lace I added Czech glass flower beads and ribbon stitch leaves. I also added 2 gold butterfly beads to the lace.
The button/bead cluster I added assorted buttons, freshwater pearls, and Czech glass beads.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Floral Belle

As you can see I started on the Floral Belle! I already picked my colors out and started stitching! I used the whipped backstitch for her skin, I had never used that stitch before and I like it it gives a more fine cord look than the stem stitch. For her eyes I made a 3 wrap french knot and a tiny fly stitch using 1 strand floss. Her hair is 2 strands floss and the blanket stitch. Her hat is a combo of stem stitch and blanket stitches using 1 strand floss. The top ruffle is stem stitched with 1 strand floss.
I also used a hoop the entire time and for the stem stitch I did it in the stab stitch method where you take the needle to the back and front in separate movements to create the stitch rather then the sewing method that has you do the stitch in one swoop.
On the middle of her skirt I used 3 and then 4 strands floss using the blanket stitch and straight stitches.

Split Ring Bracelet for Ashe'a

Here is the split ring bracelet I made for Ashe'a! She requested red and blue, this time as I made the split rings I worked the Shoe Lace Trick after each one. What you do is take the threads and tie them like the first part of tying your shoe laces! What that does is it makes the color threads swap places and that's how I was able to alternate the colors! The girls loved it and now I need to make Alece a new one since her's was the experimental-didn't-turn-out-quite-right one! For Ashe'a's I also attached a magnetic finding using jump rings. The magnetic finding is much easier for the girls to open and close on their own wrists.
I had a lot of fun making it and it will be fun to make Alece a "proper" one with all the upgrades! LOL

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Candi to tell 7 things about myself! If you haven't stopped by Candi's blog, please do! She is such a sweet dear lady I'm glad to have as a friend!

7 Things about Me

  1. My first word as a baby was "flowie" my parents say I would point to flowers and exclaim "flowie!" And I still love flowers!
  2. My father joined the Army when I was 4 years old so I've been "in" the military practically all my life! I married a solider too! All the places I've lived: Iowa (born there), North Carolina, Italy, Washington (state), Germany, California, and Georgia. Really that is a short list compared to most military families.
  3. I hate spiders, I don't even like them in jewelery form for crazy quilting...they just creep me out! To me there is no such thing as a cute or pretty spider...just doesn't happen! LOL
  4. When I turned 4 years old I got to get pierced ears, that was a big deal to me! In my early teens I loved earrings and couldn't get enough of them, the bigger the better too! In high school I got a second set pierced but I never wear earrings now...I just don't care for them anymore. I've moved on to necklaces! LOL
  5. My dream is to have a garden like a Thomas Kincaid painting! This one is one of my favorites and I have a lithograph of it (I'd love to have a painting but can't afford one) hanging in my house...I would love to go visit that spot!
  6. I love to eat watermelon seeds! I've never met anyone else that does but I love them! They are really tasty! I save them up as I eat the melon and then eat them all last!
  7. I have 2 Dogs China and Madie and I have a blog just for them! It's a ton of fun and they have a bunch of Dogs with Blogs online friends!
Since it seems that all the Crazy Quilt blogs have been tagged I'll tag some of China and Madie's Doggie Online friends! Have fun checking them out!
China & Madie
Army of Four (all 4)
Got Chocolate

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

B-day Gift - New Project

When the kids were staying with us Alece would remind me constantly that her birthday was coming up on June 5th! Because she was so persistent about it I decided I better make something for her! LOL So since this pattern is going to be used in a Creativity Challenge (where we each embroider the same exact pattern in our own creative ways) I thought it would make a good duel purpose project...the perfect gift for Alece and embroidering the Challenge pattern.
I had an extra piece of pink flannel from a pillowcase that was cut down from king size to queen as an embroidered gift for my Mother-In-Law and I had saved the extra bit since it can easily be turned into a throw pillow! I took a "new" transfer tool I hadn't tried before and used it to create an iron on transfer of the pattern...and it worked! It would be nice if the pen could get a little more fine tipped but it's not a bad size! I wish I had tried this sooner! LOL It writes basically like a marker and then is ironed on just like any iron on transfer. I think I ironed a bit too much on the middle section but I think if I use thicker thread it should turn out all right. I also want to incorporate a little bit of Silk Ribbon Embroidery, but I'm unsure of how much because Alece is an active 6 year old turning 7 after all! LOL Also she loves pink so I'm going to go for shades of pink.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Spring Challenge: Finished!!!

Yeay I've finished! I'm so proud that I've finally finished a block for myself! And it's a big block too 11x11 inches! I plan on framing it for art in my home! In a way I look at this block and it makes me think of our home here in Georgia, we will be moving soon so I'll always have this block to remind me of memories of my garden and the Ruby Throated hummingbirds that visit. I also kept using butterflies as much as possible can you spot all of them? I've used several things as reoccurring themes like roses and hearts too.
You can click on the photos to see a closer view.
I added vines coming off the finding and curving around with little red seed beads in the vines. I also added a pink butterfly bead.
Around the embroidered butterfly I added little flowers that have pink colonial knots for petals and a tiny gold size 15 seed beads for centers. I also created a seam treatment of curving size 15 seed bead stems with a gold heart beads.
Once I got to a certain point I noticed I did need to add something to the green lace in the upper right after all so I added beads! Pink flower beads with size 15 gold seed beads in the center at each of the leaf repeats in the lace and green Czech fire polished beads in between.
I had also found the perfect butterfly bead to go in the empty spot above the Melanie Roses.
Here is the bouquet motif I had started but didn't like because it had been too round and tight. I tweaked it by adding more sweetheart roses around it being more loose with the placement so it's not so tightly round like it was and more like what I had in mind when I began creating the design. Then I added more stems and leaves and a gold heart charm. I added 4mm green bicone Swarovski crystals to the bouquet as well.
I also added 3 gold butterfly beads around the motif on the green velvet fabric.

This challenge was a good experience for me! It really pushed me to keep going and work past any difficulties I was having.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Alece's T-Shirt

Today Alece finished her T-Shirt!!! YEAY! So here it is! Didn't she do such a good job?!
And here she is modeling it in our garden out back!

Tatting: Split Ring Bracelet

Here's one split ring bracelet! This one is for Alece in pink and purple size 10 Flora thread.
For a closure I just added a ring and lobster clasp.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tatting: Split Rings with a Shuttle

This weeks lesson for the New Tatter's Basic Class was on Split Rings. So during the class I went over to the link provided for instructions and decided to give it a try. I hadn't even tried tatting with 2 shuttles yet so I had a little bit of figuring out to do!
So off I went and made my very first split ring!!! My stitches on the split side were loose so I kept going with practicing so I could get it down nicely. I had a lot of fun and I can now safely say I have learned to do split rings, I even tried doing one with less stitches on one side to make an angle.
My rows of split rings tend to curve instead of being straight but that's because I have trouble snugging the first half of the stitch on the normal side up against the previous ring, but I can snug it really easy on the split side so it curves in that direction. In fact I think I do better on the split side than the normal side! HA! Funny huh! I guess I need to keep on practicing! I really love tatting it's so fun to whip the little shuttle around and get into a rhythm. And I was able to successfully tat over my ends too!!! Hurray!
Oh on the top you can see 2 color split rings I had thought to make the girls a couple of bracelets to give me some practice and them a little gift but I didn't load the shuttles with enough thread and I tried adding new thread but it made a mess so I figure it'll just make a little bookmark. LOL The kids' Mom comes home today so they will be back home now. I still might make them some bracelets though just so I can practice.

Spring Challenge: Hummingbird

Here's my little hummingbird all stitched in. I don't think he turned out as well as I would have liked him too, but I still think he looks great anyway.
My fabric puckered a tad around him I need to go behind him and try to iron a little and see if that helps.
I stitched him in using 1 strand silk floss for both green colors in stem and outline stitch for outlining and filling him in, and his beak in 1 strand DMC floss in black. I also used a few lazy daisy stitches for his feet and the ruffled feathers near his feet. I added straight stitches in 4mm red silk ribbon with 3 red sequins at the edge, and added a black seed bead for his eye.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Spring Challenge: Almost Finished

I'm just having an awful time thinking of things to embellish this block, I don't normally have so much trouble! I have to admit I've been avoiding it and working on other projects, and if I didn't have a deadline that would be okay. I allow myself to have space to think on projects if I get stuck while working on something else if I need to, but with the deadline looming soon (15 May) I'm feeling pressure to work on it anyway.
Don't get me wrong I love how it's turning out! There's just those few spots that are being tough. I don't like the silk ribbon embroidery that is in the lower left and I need to tweak it with more vines and flowers. I don't like how it's so round. I'm also considering adding that heart charm and the 3 butterfly beads you see near it.
I'm finishing up the hummingbird still need to fill him in more, I'm using the stem/outline stitch as filling. I'm thinking of adding the pink butterfly to the spot above the last rose too.
In the upper right green lace I'm not sure that I need to add anything to that space. What do you think? Does that green lace area need embellishments?
Then in the lower right the pink area, that has given me lots of trouble but yesterday I finally liked the bow with the finding dangling from it. I'm also considering adding some silk ribbon embroidery flowers and vines coming from the end of the finding.
OH and I'm not sure if the little red patch in the upper left that has the pink embroidered butterfly needs something more like a few more butterflies somehow.

OK now that I've got out my thoughts I could use a few opinions! Hearing other's thoughts usually helps me and sparks my creativity!

Update for Kids Embroidery

Ashe'a also wanted to make a pillow so she embroidered a sun and dolphins using scrapbook templates and I showed her how to sew up a pillow with it. She is 10 years old and has really taken off...she's designing and embroidering like crazy!
Here is Alece's work in progress on a t-shirt! Look at those stitches!!! She's doing them so even and at a good size, I am just so impressed because she's only 6 years old!!! I don't even have to help her anymore with the embroidery and I didn't mark any stitch marks for her either!
I think she'll finish this today and be able to wear it to school tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Melissa's Handbag: Part 1

I joined in a new Tatting Challenge started by Sharon called Tatting Treasures from Trash! Pair of my husband's old jeans.
I thought the leg area would make the best size handbag for myself. I've been wanting a nice little handbag for everyday type stuff that would be durable yet cute and this challenge is perfect! A recycled jean handbag with my very own tatting attached!
I turned it inside out, pinned and marked my sewing line so it will be a straight bottom.
I sewed it twice about an 1/8th apart to make sure it would be sturdy.
Then I trimmed away the excess.
Here's the front.
You can see the little tool I used to push out the corners, very handy!
Here's the back.
As you can see I don't have very many extra bits of tatting. Most of the motifs I've made with a purpose so I may need to tat up some more for this little handbag. I also need to figure out handles for it.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Windsong Jewels: My Blocks Home

I'm going to sum up my experience with the Windsong Jewels Do Your Block RR in this post. As you see each of my blocks done by each lady I'll link to the work I did for them as well, that way I'll have them all organized so I can remember this RR easily! I had a lot of fun doing this RR, and gained a lot of crazy quilting experience!
Click Here to see my blocks before all the ladies embellished them!
Here's Maire's work! Very lovely, I just adore the floral heart!
Here is a look at the block I embellished for Maire!
Here is Leslie's work! I just love what she's done, I really love the tree with the little blue bird!
Here is a look at the block I embellished for Leslie, it looks like we both went with a landscape idea!
Here is Cher's work! I really like how she's added to the lace seams and the climbing rose!
Here is a look at the block I embellished for Cher.
This is Clairee's work! Clairee wrote that she didn't get to finish embellishing my block because life was interfering, but what she did do is just beautiful!
Here is a look at the block I embellished for Clairee.
This is Kari's work! I love the little central motif and the bits of tatting she's added!
Here is a look at the block I embellished for Kari.

Lots of Shuttle Tatting

Motif # 15 - 19 of the 25 Motif ChallengeI've been tatting like crazy lately! First I created the pink round motif to practice and get better at making the stitches with the shuttle. Sharon's videos helped me a lot, I stared at them and then when I got the feel of how she was doing it I went and tried it and ta-da I was able to slide the stitch all the way better!
Then I attended the New Tatter's Basic Class online on Wednesday, and was encouraged to try a few other things like Shuttle Joins and hiding my ends again (having troubles hiding my ends). So I've done the Classic Rosette motif several times and hid my ends. The order of my work that I completed is from left to right, the top with the shuttle I just was doing to empty the shuttle of the extra thread and figured I could use that as a seam treatment for my crazy quilting. The first rosette is ecru size 10 cebelia, the red is size 8 perle, and the purple is size 10 flora.
Since I made so many my shuttle tatting has gotten faster, and I feel more confident making the stitches now, I even hid the ends on 2 fairly well.
If you know me you know I like to turn as many things into necklaces as possible so I made 2 rosette's for Alece and Ashe'a and instead of hiding the ends I made them long enough to be the necklace and attached closures to the ends. Alece picked purple and Ashe'a picked blue. I used size 10 flora thread for both.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Spring Challenge: Hummingbird and Roses

I added stem/outline stitch stems stacking the stitches for the thicker main stem and singly for leaflets. Then I took 7mm green silk ribbon that I bought from Pat Winter's Etsy Shop and stitched in leaves in ribbon stitch.
I'm adding a hummingbird gently sipping. I made his throat with 3 straight stitches in 4mm silk ribbon and added 3 red sequins. I thought that would add the touch of sparkle that happens when their throat glints in the sunlight.
I'm stitching his body in with 1 strand silk floss in stem/outline stitch and I'm thinking of using the same to fill him in completely. Also for the lower section I'm considering layering detached chain stitches to simulate feathers to fill it in.