Friday, March 30, 2007

Spring Challenge: Fluttering Additions

Here's more of the block so far with the gold beads added to the feather stitching.
I'm still tossing around ideas for the blank red patch in the upper left and the blank pink patch in the lower right. I'm contemplating bead embroidery for the red patch and more of a dimensional embroidery for the pink one. I'm going to finish the silk ribbon embroidery bouquet in the lower left first and then figure out what would go best in the other 2 spots. I also just got my order of ribbon from Hand-Dyed Fibers and I have to say I'm a little disappointed! Two of the ribbons are way off color to the point that they are 2 completely different shades but they look the same like a third color! The 2 on the left are supposed to be the same color and the 2 on the right are supposed to be the same color with the outer ribbons the correct color and the middle two the messed up ones. From left to right the ribbon sizes are 7mm, 4mm, 7mm, 13mm. I understand about slight differences in dye lots and ribbon sizes but this is WAY off! I hate to say that too since I like her ribbon and prices! Also one of the sizes that is a messed up color was the size I was going to use! The good news is the messed up color actually works with my block! I'm grateful for that, but I had wanted the right shade. I'll be working on the bouquet next.
I saw this little butterfly in one of my Aunt Martha's iron-on transfers and just knew it would work right there! I think it needs a little something in the space around it but I'm not sure what yet. I stitched it in light pink DMC floss 1 strand using the stem stitch. Then I used a darker shade pink DMC floss in 1 strand for the body, antennae, and markings. I worked the stem stitch for the antennae and body. Filling stem stitch for the body and then 2 wrap french knots for the markings.
I also tatted and stitched down this little dragonfly! I love him there!
Since I hated that dragonfly I had stitched in with the button/bead cluster and couldn't make peace with it, I ripped it out and put a button there instead. I'm much happier that I did. The dragonfly just bugged me, I think it's proportions were off or something but I just couldn't stand leaving it there! To me the button just feels SO MUCH better!

As always opinions and suggestions are welcome!
I love to hear feedback!

Chihuahua T-Shirt

I finally finished the Chihuahua T-shirt for my Mother-In-Law! The last bits I filled in the collar with stem stitch, and then satin stitched the medal. I think the stem stitching as a filler just looked right more like a collar and I had never tried it as a filling stitch before. I also filled in the eye with dark brown in the stem stitch too, and stem stitched the little tail wag movements.
Mostly I just used 1 strand DMC floss except for the medal which I satin stitched with 2 strands DMC floss.
We just know she's going to love it!
Click Here for previous progress on the Shirt
Click Here for the beginnings of the Shirt

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Very Own Tatting Pattern!!!

Well it all started when Sharon left a comment on my blog about my block needing some tatting and suggested a dragonfly with dagger beads for wings! I haven't seen any pattern around like that and I figured while I was waiting to get the pattern I'd fiddle...well my fiddling worked out and I have made my very first tatting pattern!!! In the pink fabric area is my 1st and 2nd attempts where I tried adding the daggers on the picot thread and the carrying thread but those didn't work I figured I probably have to do a Split Ring and with the needle they are easy so I got out the book that had the instructions and figured it out. So it was also my first split ring and my first time doing the Josephine Knots.
Motif #9 of the 25 Motif Challenge
I think it goes perfect in this patch on the block so I'll be stitching him down soon!
I used variegated sewing thread and a size 8 tatting needle. Here's a little visual pattern I drew out of the little dragonfly.
I completely made up this pattern on my own so if there is one out there like this I didn't intentionally create it the same.

I just got an email letting me know of a lady who has a similar dragonfly pattern. Her name is Debbie Arnold Click Here to go to her dragonfly pattern.
It's a sad thing in the online tatting community I've heard of people stealing others designs and I think it's awful that anyone would do that! I believe in giving credit where credit is do and since Debbie made hers first I'm sharing a link. I had never seen her's until now, and my dragonfly is different in several ways but still there is only so much you can do with a simple shape in tatting. The idea of the dagger beads was given to me and I fiddled around BUT I'm sure that the dagger beads was mentioned because of Debbie's pattern so I think it only fair to give everyone her link as well.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spring Challenge: Button/Bead Trail

Here's more work on my block! I put the feather stitch along the green velvet with 1 strand light green silk floss and I'm adding gold seed beads to the tips.
I added the pink size 15 seed beads in a stem stitch along the grid fabric.
Here's the button/bead trail I stitched just felt like the time to do it since other parts of my crazy quilt "puzzle" haven't come into place yet. When I'm working on a block it's a lot like putting together a puzzle for me and I focus on the area's that I can get together and when so much of it is together the tough area's start filling in easier.
I'm not sure about the dragonfly I added in the button/bead trail...he's a little odd...what do you all think, should I rip him and do him over?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Challenge: Strawberry Seam

Well I was thinking about my slanted buttonhole seam and was also looking out my window to the back garden and saw several ripe strawberries and thought the stitch looked a lot like the stems to the strawberries! So I ran with the idea and make the seam strawberries! I already ate the ones I had seen but this one wasn't ripe enough so I got to take a photo. Isn't it cute? Next time the garden gives me inspiration I'll try to take a photo right away! LOL
I made them by adding small ribbon stitches in 4mm red silk ribbon and adding fly stitch and a straight stitch at the top to make the little greenery and then added yellow seed stitching on top of the ribbon stitches. Then I needed to add leaves so I thought about it for a while and came up with the scallops with the leaves at the ends. I did the stems in stem stitch and then added bead embroidery leaves using tiny size 15 seed beads.
The leaves are in the A-Z of Bead Embroidery book which I highly recommend. The leaves are pretty easy to do; take your needle and come up to the front of your fabric, then add your
beads (lets say 5) then take your needle to the back. Next you bring
it back up to the front close to the last bead and then take the
needle back through the last bead then you add more beads, 2 less than
the number you started with (so since it was 5 you would add 3 more).
Then you take the needle through the first bead snug it all together
and take the needle back through the fabric to the back.
Since the seam was uneven because I just eyeballed the buttonhole stitch I made the leaves in graduating sizes since the spaces seemed to gradually get smaller up the seam it worked out.
My art teacher always used to say "Art is making order out of chaos" and so that's what I did, making the best of the uneven stitching! LOL She would be so proud! LOL
Speaking of old teachers, my 6th grade teacher loved a Strawberry Poem and we at one time had to memorize it...I can't remember it does anyone know of any famous strawberry poems? I tried to Google search for it but couldn't find anything. I wish I could remember something about it...I think it repeated strawberry or strawberries in a lot of the verses. Wow, really wish I could still have it memorized...I'd know it if I saw it though! I sometimes saved old papers from school I wonder if I still have the poetry papers.

Here's a poem that Carolyn Cibik sent me it's soooo cute and very fitting for me since I got curly hair, don't do a lot of cleaning, and I love to sew a nice seam and eat strawberries! HA!

Curly -Locks

Curly-locks,Curly-locks, wilt thou be mine?
Thou shalt not wash dishes, nor yet feed the swine;
But sit on a cushion, and sew a fine seam,
And feed upon strawberries, sugar, and cream.

Spring Challenge: Love Is In The Air

This weekend I worked on my Spring Challenge block and I needed to order ribbon since the colors I wanted to use I didn't have in the right sizes. Do you see that deep red bow? That is 13mm silk ribbon but I'm wanting to use that color in the bouquet on the doily. The bow is not stitched down either I'm still not sure if I'm really going to use it. But it does seem to bring the darker red around more!
Well I didn't want to wait for the ribbon to come in and started fiddling with the bouquet. I stitched in some wavy vines using the stem stitch in three directions then added some feather stitching greenery in 2 other shades of green. I made some folded roses out of the dark 13mm ribbon and tacked them down lightly to see if I would like it. Then I took the other 2 colors of 4mm ribbon I had planned to use with it and stitched sweetheart roses and colonial knots around but it just didn't look right so I removed the folded roses. I didn't remove the other flowers because I'm going to wait and see if it will work with the other ribbon as well and make a nice bouquet before just ripping it out.
Then I wanted to do some seams...and I remembered Jo in NZ suggested the herringbone/straight stitch/lazy daisy combo and I remembered that I've wanted to do that combo so I put in the herringbone with a lighter shade green silk floss (1 strand) and then added straight stitches in a darker green silk floss (1 strand). Then I added 3 lazy daisy at the tip using the very fine YLI light pink silk floss (1 strand). I also added sweetheart roses in a variegated peachy-pink/ecru 4mm silk ribbon, clear AB beads to the base and tiny size 15 pink seed beads to the base of the lazy daisies.
The next seam I added small Czech fire polished flower beads with a size 15 gold seed bead to the center and then added 2mm silk ribbon leaves using the ribbon stitch.
I'm having trouble with the green patch's seam and I've ripped out a few things because they didn't look right! I'm going to try the current idea of the slanted buttonhole with lazy daisy flowers dripping from it with a bead but I'm not sure that will look good either and may be removed as well. The fabric is getting angry with me and the more I mess with it the more I'm going to need to cover it!
Oh and I added some tiny stone carved hearts to the print! When I added them it made me think that the theme of my block could be "Love Is In The Air"

Friday, March 23, 2007

Opinions Please

Okay my CQ friends! I kinda like how this doily looks there it seems to be the right color and size and I was considering adding an SRE bouquet to the center. Do y'all think it goes well? I'm debating with myself on whether I should do that or not and just add a seam treatment instead. I think it balances the thick lace at the top right though by adding another thicker lace...and added bonus of bringing the coralish-pink color into the green area too.

My other questions would be should I add a seam treatment to the green seam underneath the doily?

I have to say when I first start working on a block I get frozen very easily and I think it's the hardest part for me! Once I get going I'm all good but man I tell you getting going is tough!

Opinions Please!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring Challenge

Carolyn Cibik at Evening Star Designs created a spring challenge I decided to do it and got the fabrics in Feb. but haven't done a thing until now. The challenge is to create something 100 square inches (I chose a 10x10 crazy quilt block as an easy way to meet the requirements) using a recognizable piece of 5 of the fabrics received. She also put some extra fabric, beads, and threads in that we can use or not. In the above photo you can see everything I got the five fabrics are to the left and the extras are at the top. She will judge and pick a winner who will receive a $5o gift certificate to her website! I really want to win!
I hate to say that I'm not too fond of the colors of all the 5 required fabrics so it is a challenge for me. I went through my stash of fabrics, because we are allowed to add other fabrics and embellishments as well, and pulled the above fabrics to take it in a direction that is more appealing to me. I added some pink and reds as well as another green color.
Then I spotted the little bird fabric I had bought and it went perfect with all the fabrics and it all felt more like "me"! I worked on piecing the block tonight and this is my results! I have to say I am very happy with how it's come together, now I just need to start embellishing! Can you spot all five of the required fabrics?
This is another angle so you can see the green velvet still isn't photographing as well as I'd like it too! I'm sure you all know how it goes...much better looking in person when your eyes can take in the different textures and the way the light reflects! LOL
Oh and I make the block 11x11 so when I embellish if it shrinks up it will be ok. I also hand basted the outer line it seems that works better than machine and all the blocks I've seen come through my hands tend to have hand basting! I also basted the red burnout velvet on it's edge so that it will lay flat for embellishing and can be removed later.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Needle Tatting: More hearts

Motifs #7 and #8 of the 25 Motif Challenge
Well we were on the road this weekend so I brought along my needle tatting supplies and finished these 2 hearts (pattern from Birgit Phelps). The top one is ecru size 10 crochet cotton using a size 5 needle with a clear Swarovski crystal at the tip. The bottom one is red size 8 Perle cotton using a size 7 needle. I had trouble with the red one so it turned out kind of messed up but it's good enough for a crazy quilt, besides I had forgotten to add the Swarovski crystal before I started tatting. What was giving me trouble was that the thread that was threaded through the needle was getting worn and giving me the hardest time pulling the stitches off the needle so I moved it a little and sure enough it went easier!
I also added the ecru tatted pendant for sale on my Etsy Shop.
I have permission from Birgit to use her pattern to create pendants for sale on Etsy.

Free Embroidery Pattern Links

Links for Free Embroidery Patterns
  1. Ladies in Red a good source of patterns for redwork or to just embroider.
  2. Needlecrafter has a library of designs.
  3. Vintage Transfer Finds is a blog of vintage embroidery patterns.
  4. Antique Embroidery Patterns J. F. Ingalls embroidery stamping pattern catalog from 1886
  5. Cottage Quilts Free Pattern for Silk Ribbon Embroidery.
  6. Needle'n'Thread has a compilation of free patterns and links to free patterns.
  7. Pattern Bee this link is to their free patterns section they also sell vintage transfer repros.
  8. Honey Bee's Silk Ribbon Embroidery Patterns these are my very own creations for you to use. Please give me credit for the pattern and do not sell the pattern or use commercially, Thank You.
  9. HoopLove tons and tons of patterns pooled in one place.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Windsong Jewels DYB RR: My work on Leslie's block

Finished! You can click on the photo to see it closer.
I finished adding the larger amethyst flowers and then added smaller amethyst flowers with lazy daisy leaves so now it's a field of pretty amethyst flowers. I'm very happy with this block now!
To see details on the rest of the block Click Here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Windsong Jewels DYB RR: My work on Leslie's block

Here's an update what I've been doing on the block...I'm still not finished. I still need to complete the violets on the bottom and the space between needs something, not sure what yet, maybe a basket who knows! I think it takes just as long to think of what to do as it does to stitch it in! LOL I ripped off the rosette and put a metal butterfly bead there instead, I like it better.
I thought the yellow patch looked like a sun area so I thought of how I would make it a sun. I used a large sequin cut in half and pierced it with the long straight stitch rays that I made with 1 strand DMC floss and couched those down with the same floss, then I made more rays with 4mm silk ribbon in straight stitches and then used gold Kreinik metallic cord to couch them with running stitches up the middle.
Here's a little bullion knot bird. I got the idea from the A-Z of Bullion Knots book. The photo doesn't do him justice because the fabric looks odd in photos but in person he's really cute.
Here you can see I added some little yellow lazy daisy/straight stitch butterflies in 1 strand DMC floss. Also some little plants at the base of the fence using 2mm silk ribbon in straight stitches and adding tiny size 15 amethyst seed beads. I think of them like wild violets or something similar.
To the walk way I added random beads from an amber bead mix I had. I love these amethyst flower beads with size 15 gold seed beads in the centers. For the leaves I'm doing 2 ribbon stitches that are side by side with the tips turning toward each other to make 1 leaf.
To see the finished block Click Here.

Chihuahua T-Shirt

I decided to mostly use the backstitch on this design so his body is all 2 strands DMC floss. Also the bone is 2 strands DMC floss backstitched and then I added a little sparkle with 1 strand DMC floss in straight stitches. I still have the collar to do and the little movement lines by the tail.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Windsong Jewels DYB RR: My work on Leslie's block

I changed some things around on the block and did something different. The stuff that's missing wasn't stitched down yet in the old photo so I just removed it and started working on this new idea. Lillian gave me the idea of a fence because she said the block looked like a landscape so I took that idea and looked in my silk ribbon embroidery books by Deanna Hall West and in the An encyclopedia of ribbon embroidery: Fruits, vegetables, and herbs I saw this little fence! It was perfect and then I saw a hollyhock idea so I went with that on the side. I made them yellow hollyhocks to stay within the block colors and I added the bushy leaves around the base so it's more like it is in the garden. I'm going to make the little golden yellow patch down at the bottom a walkway, and I may put in some more plants along the fence and/or walkway. Also I might stitch a bird from one of the Deanna Hall West books at the top near the hollyhocks. I'm feeling a lot better about the block now and I'm so much happier with the way it's coming along.

Windsong Jewels DYB RR: My work on Leslie's block

Here's my work so far on Leslie's block. I'm having a difficult time on it because I'm a frills and fancy kinda girl and Leslie asked for no frills but she likes flowers and nature she also requested to stay in the same shades on the block. The color request is easy for me since I tend to stay in same shades anyway but the no frills is kinda hard. It's a very natural block, like a woodland walk, now I like woodland walks but I usually embroider the cottage garden type style. I love how I did the vines in the corner I couched on specialty threads that come coordinated together and then added flower and leaf beads to it. I need to do some seam treatments but I don't have very many under my belt so I have no ideas yet but I will need to do some since this block is calling for seam treatments.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Promise of Spring

These small daffodils are one of the few plants in our garden starting to bloom already this year! It's a promise that Spring is on it's way!
We are starting to prune and weed and get the garden ready for spring...a lot of work but worth it for the luscious flowers! I'm getting excited to see all the blooms this year and it's a good motivator to do the hard work in order for it to look it's best. We bought a few seasonal plants that were out for sale and want to plant them soon.
I started a garden blog just for the purpose of blogging all the changes, blooms, and hummingbirds. If you'd like to follow our garden blog Click Here. I've been adding photos of the beginnings of our garden, of all the hard work we had to do in order to get our garden and the first big bloom we had. I'll be blogging last year and then starting this year which is going to be even better since all the plants have grown (some died) and every year gardens just get better. I don't think green thumbs exist...only perseverance...if a plant dies it gets replaced until the perfect plant is found that thrives. Hard work and perseverance are what make a garden great.
I hope you enjoy our garden!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

In The Garden RR: Debby L's block

Here is an overall photo of her block! Isn't it lovely?
I added the sweetheart roses and colonial knots around the cherub that Lillian added. I used 4mm ribbon in 3 shades of variegated silk ribbon from Hand-Dyed Fibers.
I also embroidered the spiderweb rose motif using those same ribbons and adding in a green 4mm silk ribbon for the ribbon stitch leaves. I added metal flower beads and 2 butterfly beads to the motif as well.
Then I added the bow made with one of the shades of pink variegated 4mm silk ribbon and couched on letting the tails wander.This is a close up of the SRE motifs.
I also added this motif which is one of my needle tatted medallions with folded roses and leaf beads!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Needle Tatting: SweetHeart Motif

Motif #6 of the 25 Motif Challenge
I found this pattern on-line it is SweetHeart by Birgit Phelps. She has other patterns you can use as well. They are written for shuttle tatting but I got some help from a MSN Group called Needle Tatting Two which helped me turn the pattern into a needle tatting pattern. It writes out differently for the needle. OH and I did the variation at the point of the heart replacing the Ch 4-4 with Ch 4.
It's a pretty easy and fun little heart to do! I really enjoyed tatting it up!
Oh and I got a proper stiffener "Aleene's Stiffen Quick". Then I just added a bail to the top picot where the last join is made.

I was given permission by Birgit Phelps to share the SweetHeart pattern rewritten for Needle Tatting so here it is!

SweetHeart Pattern for Needle Tatting

Clover: R 8-8, R 8-8, R 8-8 RW
Ch 4-4-4-4 RW
R 8+ (to last ring of clover) 8 RW
Ch 4-4-4-4 RW
R 8 + (same picot) 8 RW
Ch 4-4-4-4 RW
Clover: R 8 + (to previous group) 8, R 8 + (to middle ring of first clover) 8, R 8-8 RW
Ch 4 + (to last picot of previous chain) 4-4-4 RW
R 8 + (to last ring of previous clover) 8 RW
Ch 4-4 Do Not RW
R 6-6 (tip of heart) Do Not RW
Ch 4-4 RW
R 8 + (to last ring of previous clover) 8 RW
Ch 4-4-4-4 RW
Clover: R 8 + (to previous group) 8, R 8 + (to middle ring of first clover) 8, R 8-8
Ch 4 + (to last picot of previous chain) 4-4-4 RW
R 8 + (to last ring of previous clover) 8 RW
Ch 4-4-4-4 RW
R 8 + (to last ring of previous clover) 8 RW
Ch 4-4-4-4 RW
Final Clover: 8 + (to previous group) 8, R 8 + (to middle picot of other clovers) 8, R 8 + (to first ring of first clover) 8 RW
Finish Off

Variation also by Birgit Phelps at the point of the heart replace the Ch 4-4 to only Ch 4.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Chihuahua T-Shirt

I started working on a T-Shirt for my Mother-In-Law! She loves Chihuahua's and really treasures the things I've embroidered for her so I used the iron on transfers to get the design on the shirt and basted some stabilizer behind it. I accidentally transferred the "Chihuahua" too heavy so I needed to embroider over it thickly so I choose the split stitch using 4 strands DMC floss. Then I satin stitched the little nose, stem stitched the eye, and back stitched the thought cloud. You can find the Iron On Transfers Here.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Needle Tatting: Green Silk Heart Pendant

Motif #5 of the 25 Motif Challenge
Here is the finished heart before I stiffened it and attached the bail and necklace. I put a quarter in the photo so you could see how small it is. You can see a few mistakes in the heart, a few chains are uneven, and then I made a major mistake with joining in the bottom area of the heart. I joined one picot too soon! I swear I counted about 3 times before joining it...but I didn't count after I joined it and before I closed the ring! I still think it looks nice though, enough not to scrap it and start over. I wouldn't have enough thread to start over anyway. I was majorly bummed when I realized what I had done and I was already to the third clover ring by the time I knew what happened. I didn't work on it for a couple of days because that was really discouraging! But today I figured I'd finish it and stiffen it and see what it looks like, even with the mistakes...and it's not so bad...I wonder if she will even notice it...even so it proves it's hand tatted!
Ta Da! A beautiful Pendant/Necklace! I made the necklace with 4mm silk ribbon, and made the clasp adjustable. I was going to use sugar starch for a stiffener but when I started cooking it up it just seemed too goopy so I didn't use it but used hairspray instead. The hairspray worked perfectly!