Friday, November 30, 2007

CQ Purse Blocks Side One Finished

Yesterday I concentrated on finishing up the first side of the CQ purse.
The night before I had stash tryouts, where you go through everything and see if it would work, and got a few ideas to do. I did do most of the ideas too.
Here is the overall block, I really enjoyed having fun with brighter colors I was going for a "floral playful victorian" feel. When I think of my friend and how she loves tea time, roses, sparkle, and fun lively colors, this is the result.
I added heart sequins with lime seed beads to the seam I had already done. Then I finished the roses, added some leaf sequins then I added a tatted flower I had made and saved. I added beads to the center of each of the flowers too. Last I added in stems, leaves, and some feather stitch with some fine YLI green silk floss. I just love the YLI silk floss, each strand is more fine than DMC cotton floss, it's so lightweight, and it's pretty easy to work with.
I added some tatting in a simple rings only edging I had made out of some variegated coats&clark cotton sewing thread, which is smaller than the average size 80 tatting thread. The thread was hard to work with (it would get sweaty too easy therefore make closing rings hard and I'd end up breaking the thread) so just this simple pattern was all I could do using it.
I then added alternating lighter and darker orange flower sequins with orange seed beads, also added 2mm silk ribbon leaves in ribbon stitch.
Below that I added feather stitch in the same sewing thread I used for the tatting, and put a butterfly on top.
I also added a cameo, it's plastic and I had my hubby put a hole on the top and bottom to sew through. I think he did it with a hot pin. I added light pink sweetheart roses around the cameo and then gold ones. Then I took one strand amber DMC floss and embroidered fly stitch branches and putting an amber bead at the bottom.
I added a line of sparkly green bugle beads to the inside seam of the fuzzy center piece.
Up top I stitched in wavy lines chain stitch in some variegated green cotton perle thread, put straight stitches of silk ribbon at the overlapping spots, and added lazy daisies and straight stitches in one strand matching DMC floss. Then I added the orange buttons with orange seed beads.
I added a large very light green button with a heart sequin and lime seed bead, and then put the feather stitch in the amber DMC floss along the seam, adding lazy daisy petals in orange DMC floss and bright pink size 15 seed beads.

Now on to the second block!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hand Made Ornaments

Every year the ladies in my church have a Christmas ornament exchange so I decided I wanted to try and make one this year. These are not the best photos of the ornaments, but the best I could get they are tricky to photograph.
The first ornament I made in a circular shape but it got a little misshapen so I knew I would keep it for my tree and try for a nicer looking shape with another ornament.
The first ornament I used red velvet and made white spiderweb roses with Swarovski crystals in the centers. I added fine gold metallic thread in fly stitch fern, and a few larger Swarovski crystals. Then I hand sewed the ornament together, with a large round Swarovski crystal at the top with the loop, stuffed it, and beaded with tiny clear size 15 seed beads, and various sizes and shapes of Swarovski crystals. This photo doesn't really show the bit of misshaping that was happening but I whip-stitched around the edging so it looked more like puckering all around and giving a nice gathered result. Still not perfect roundness, but good enough for my tree. I love it and I learned from it! On to the next ornament!
For this ornament I used a dark green satin that has a heavier feel too it and I chose a square shape, since I felt I could control the outcome of a square better than a circle this time. Again I chose 3 white spiderweb roses with AB Czech glass beads in the center, then I added the fine gold fly stitch fern thicker this time. Then I used some larger red beads in 3's for berries and created bead and sequin "holly" leaves by putting sequin, bead, sequin, bead on the needle then coming back down skipping the first bead and going through sequin, bead sequin. I thought it gave a nice sparkle and 3D effect and looked a little like holly leaves. Next I added a red bow and couched it on with size 15 clear seed beads, hand sewed the ornament together using the same red ribbon for the loop with a large round Swarovski crystal at the top. Then I stuffed it, sewed it closed and then beaded the bottom with clear size 15 seed beads and various shapes and sizes of Swarovski crystals. I love the result and feel it's worthy of the exchange! I made a little tag that says how it's made so the recipient knows it's not a generic run-of-the-mill ornament. Also on both ornaments I embroidered a small MA '07 in the back side in the same fine gold metallic thread I used for the fern.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Update on CQ Purse

Just thought I'd put up what I've done so far on the CQ purse I'm making for a friend. I haven't gotten too far yet. Sometimes I just like to put things on my "back-burner" and work on other projects so when I pick it back up I have fresh eyes and sometimes new ideas. I left off with one seam treatment of herringbone stitch with sweetheart roses in 4mm and tiny ribbon stitch leaves in 2mm silk ribbon. Then I added the amber rectangular beads to the other end. I had put in the spokes for spiderweb roses when I got sidetracked.

SharonB's Take it Further Challenge

Just thought I'd pass along some info on SharonB's new challenge for next year, the Take it Further Challenge. I think it's going to be really fun, but I'm not committing to it since I tend to not keep up with things like this. Still I will keep up in reading about it and jump in and participate when the inspiration strikes! What I love about the challenge is that it's not just for embroiderers or crazy quilters it can incorporate any medium or format and is going to have more flexible choices. (Do ya hear that tatters? This challenge can include you too!) I encourage you to go take a look and see what it's all about.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gift Scarf

Here is another finished gift! I'm really on a roll with Christmas gifts, I don't want to be rushing as time gets closer. I've been enjoying working on lots of different projects. I really love how this one turned out too!
What I did was take a cotton print and trace out a heart shape, then I turned it into an applique by using this method, except that I used a cut-away stabilizer and hand sewed around the heart shape with a small running stitch instead of using the sewing machine. After turning it right-side out and ironing it I started embellishing on the print. I used silk ribbon and beads to accent the print. When I felt that it was finished I took a verigated green Perle cotton thread and appliqued the heart onto the scarf using the long and short blanket stitch. Then I added a few colonial knots to the center area of the heart just so the heart would be stable.
This was my first time embellishing a print like this and also my first applique! It was really fun to do!

Tatted Heart

Motif #17 of the 25 Motif Challenge
I tatted up the Clover Drop Heart in the variegated Rubi Perle cotton thread. It's a little fuzzy but I thought it makes it look softer. I was going for a soft frilly look. The finished size is about 3" x 3".

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Another Gift Embellished

I bought a gift for a friend, her favorite perfume, and it came with a velvet case. It's a nice case by itself but I wanted it a little more personalized from me.
Here is the finished result! It's so cute! A little hand tatted bit of lace sewn onto the flap and some light purple sweetheart roses in 4mm silk ribbon! Now it's personalized and the perfect gift.

Mr & Mrs Pillowcase Set

Here is another gift set of pillowcases I made. I really like how these turned out. I used a typical "embroidery" 180 count pillowcase set and pre-washed them and I have no puckering issues.
I got this Mr/Mrs pattern from Floresita too, if you haven't visited her pattern blog, Vintage Transfer Finds, you are in for a treat! Thank you Floresita for taking the time to make these patterns available to use.
I used the Sulky Iron-On Transfer Pens and traced the pattern onto the back side of the printed pattern in the Green and Brown pens, that way if any of the lines show it won't be that noticeable. I traced lightly so that the line would not be too thick.
I took 2 shades of green DMC floss and used 2 strands in the stem/outline stitch to embroider in the letters. Using the darker green for the Mr and the lighter green for the Mrs. Then I added delica beads that are kind of cylindrical and double stitched (made 2 passes through them) each bead on. Since the end of the pillowcase won't be slept on I figured it would be safe to use beads, and I love the sparkle they add.
I couldn't decide which of the photos to use so included both with flash and without to show the sparkle of the beads.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Puckering Pillowcases

I'm so upset I embroidered this set of pillowcases for a gift and when I finished and washed them they came out puckered!!! I thought I had pre-washed them, but I guess I hadn't! I wish I had washed them one more time before stitching just to be sure! The set took me 6 or more hours to complete, I outlined and filled in the letters with stem stitching! Here is a link to the pattern at the Vintage Transfer Finds blog.
I had the idea to try a fix. I wet the motif and ironed it real good face down on a terrycloth towel, then I ironed on a piece of interfacing.
The result isn't too bad, still some puckering, but I'm wondering if it will hold up in another washing so I just stuck them in the washer now. I'll see if they re-pucker and add that to the end of this post later on.
Still, I'm going to have to make another set, even though I'm sure the recipient would still enjoy them as a gift from the heart, I want them to have the best! So I may still include this set with the new one I'll make...IF they don't re-pucker!
Well here are the final results, puckered. Right now I'm not sure if I'll be sending them anyway with the new set too. What do you all think, would you love them anyway?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Finished Scarf

Here is the finished Persian Flower!
As you can see I choose a leaf in the similar style for the accent design on the other end of the scarf. I drew it onto solvy and just put it in the hoop with out basting, since it was smaller it didn't really need it.
I stitched it in using the same green variegated Perle cotton thread in chain stitch and stem stitch for the stem. Then I stem stitched the vein with the same size 10 yellow DMC Cebelia, and also put in the lazy daisy stitches. Then I filled in the center of the lazy daisy stitch with a straight stitch in 4mm ribbon that is a nice light coral-pink, in Silk Ribbon Embroidery when you fill in a lazy daisy with a straight stitch it's called the decorative lazy daisy.
Here is a funny tid-bit for you! After I finished the accent design, I realized that I stitched it on the wrong side of the fabric! So in order for both motifs to be seen you have to fold the scarf at the neck! LOL At least it's not so noticeable to ruin the scarf.
Also I fell in love with the scarf...I know I intended it as a gift but I love it so much that I'm going to keep this one. I bought another pink scarf set to embroider for the gift.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Persian Flower Scarf

At the Hand Embroidery Yahoo Group we are doing another Creativity Challenge. So I got on mine right away, I decided to embroider it on a scarf as a Christmas gift. The scarf came as a set with some gloves and a hat which I'll embroider on some sort of accent design. I'm also planning on doing an accent design on the opposite end of the scarf. Lillian gave the the idea to put leaves on the other end, which I thought would be perfect.
Getting the pattern to the design was the trickiest part of the whole process! I decided on Solvy so that I could dissolve away the pattern after I was finished. I traced the pattern onto the Solvy with a red sharpie because I figured if it stained then at least it will blend in with the fabric! LOL I had to baste the Solvy onto the scarf, then get it in the hoop, then I had to baste even more over the pattern because the loose knit would hang! Talk about frustrating! But the basting worked and I began embroidering. Next time I want to embroider on a loose knit I'm going to stick with free-form embroidery and not use a pattern like this, it was just too much work to get the pattern on the scarf!
I began embroidering in the design, I used a pink size 10 DMC Cebellia thread (normally for tatting), only because I didn't have any size 5 Perle thread and it's close to the size and the color was right. I worked it in the chain stitch to create a nice thick line. Then I saw some 4mm silk ribbon in my stash that was given to me, that I thought would work perfectly! It's variegated too! So I stitched in the center with silk ribbon in the satin stitch, then I thought the outer area of the center would look neat in stem stitch with the ribbon, I don't usually use silk ribbon in this way but I loved the result!
I went with alternating thick thread and silk ribbon stem stitch, adding a light green for the centers of the pink petals. I also used the green ribbon to satin stitch in the base of the flower and used a green Perle cotton for the stem. The outer petals I used a red size 5 Perle cotton thread in chain stitch again, since I really liked the look it gave.
Then I used yellow silk ribbon for the cup of the flower in stem and straight stitches and then colonial knots. I then used another size 10 DMC Cebellia thread in yellow to add in the details inside the petals. Those were done in stem stitch and lazy daisy stitches.
Then I pulled out all the basting, took it out of the hoop and cut away the excess Solvy. I've rinsed it this morning and am letting it dry.
I really focused on stitching it in last night and worked for hours on it. I didn't want to put it down, you know how it is...just a little I didn't want to have to take it out of the hoop and hassle with putting it back in to work on it more! LOL

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Block and Scallop Edging

Well I've finally tried out block tatting and had a go at the Workbasket pattern "Block and Scallop Edging" using updated adjustments to the pattern. It's also the first time I've consistently used a picot gage from Georgia Seitz in the horizontal method since I usually just eyeball my picots. The picots are a little bigger than I like, but that's okay. I was using the second to the smallest picot gage in the set with size 20 DMC thread! The pattern is working up with a curve and I think I'll let it just become a circular motif, it would need some sort of adjustment to actually be a straight edging.

Monday, November 12, 2007

CQ purse for Christina

Well I pieced the front and back blocks for the purse this afternoon. Now I just need to embellish it up! These are 6 inch blocks. Most of the fabric is the reclaimed fabric I got at the thrift store. The only bit that's not is the piece of light green minky fabric in the center. That was a small remnant I had gotten, it's really soft and fuzzy. I love how it's coming so far when I look at it I smile because it looks so fun and that's totally Christina, bright and fun!
Side One
Side Two
Finished Purse

Fun Reclaiming Fabric!

I recently visited the Thrift Shop here on Post and I had the surprise of my life! Usually when I walk into thrift stores the clothing is so outrageously priced that I get way better deals shopping in the remnant bins at fabric stores, but I was thrilled when I found out that each piece of clothing was 25 cents!!! This stack of fabric is from 2 visits! AND I'm excited to say I probably spent way less than $5! I have had so much fun reclaiming this fabric! I tossed it all in the washer and dryer (or line dry) and then started cutting out all the seams.
I also like to reclaim the trims, straps and ties because I can use straps and ties as handles or for tie closures on purses.
Here are buttons I've reclaimed. I love the crystal looking ones even though they are either plastic or acrylic.
This is the reason I had initially gone to the thrift shop to look for fabric, I needed bright pinks and greens to make a crazy quilt purse for my friend Christina for Christmas, but my stash was sorely lacking in those colors. So here is all the fabrics and trims I've pulled out to use for creating the purse. It's going to be a small purse just enough for a cell phone and wallet since I know Christina has wanted something like that. I also decided to throw in a tad of orange to the mix so it will be shades of pink, green, and orange.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sister's Sweater Finished

I couldn't resist adding some leaves so I tested out some tiny straight stitches using 6 strands DMC floss in a lighter green color. I liked what I saw so I went with it and this is the result! I think it adds a little more depth to the design. I now feel that it's finished and I can send it off to my baby sister!
Click Here to see the progress of the Sweater

Sister's Sweater

For all the buds I did the Oyster Stitch with 6 strands DMC floss. The Oyster Stitch was perfect because it was simple to stitch and has a nice shape like the lazy daisy yet filled in and a little puffy. I'm not sure if I'll be adding any leaves to the design since to me it looks beautiful just like this. Very simple and sweet.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sweater for my Sister

I'm embroidering on a sweater as a gift for my sister's birthday. Here is a before photo.
I added feather stitching around the neckline in 3 strands DMC floss, since I love vines so much, and I enjoy doing the feather stitch. I'm going to add flowers too, I'm considering oyster stitch buds. I chose darker colors because that is her preference. I'm not using any interfacing or using a hoop but I did test to be sure the stitching wouldn't get pulled out and I'm extra careful with my tension as I stitch. I need to get this finished and sent off since her birthday is next Sunday! She will be sweet 16!