Thursday, February 28, 2013

Operation Snowflake: More Bonus Snowflakes for February

I needed to empty my shuttles so I can fully load them for a larger snowflake so I tatted these up. I had just barely enough thread to finish the smaller one!

The larger one is Sally Magill's SCMR Snowflake 2 which was actually the first time I've used the Self-Closing-Mock-Ring technique.  The SCMR is actually a chain that you hold a loop back at the beginning of it to pass the shuttle through so you can close it to look like a ring.  I thought I understood how it worked and I started tatting it up and then I realized too late that I had used the wrong shuttle to start the SCMR and found myself with an un-closeable I had to scrap that bit and start over.  I went and grabbed my book from the Shuttle Brother's and looked more closely at the diagram and found out what happened.  Once I fully understood what went wrong, I was off and tatting the SCMR's no problem and it's really very easy.  Though this pattern with all the little tiny rings was hard on my finger where I pinch to close rings.  It's such a cute snowflake though, I really love the fluffy arm tips and if you don't know about the SCMR it looks pretty impossible since you can't throw rings off of a ring! LOL

After that one I still had a tiny bit of thread left, but just enough not to want to just throw it away so I tatted this little one called Elmo's Snowflake.  I had just barely enough though and had to finger tat the last repeat.

So now my total snowflake count is 19!  I've got 7 snowflakes finished in just 2 months, I'm not sure I'll always be keeping up this kind of tatting veracity but hey I figure why not, maybe I'll continue to snowball snowflakes and have way more than I planned for.  That would be awesome!  It seems the more I tat the more I want to tat even more!  LOL  I'm starting to need a place to hang them all, I need to hash out an idea soon.

Now to load my shuttles and start on the large snowflake for March.  I'm planning on tatting this snowflake from Be-stitched!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Operation Snowflake: Bonus Snowflake for February Finished

Here is the snowflake by Sharon Briggs, all finished!

This one brings my total snowflake count to 17!

I still have a small amount of thread on my shuttles I think I need to tat another small snowflake to use up the thread.  I want to do some more larger ones and want to do a larger one for March.  Maybe I'll start the month off with a large snowflake for my birthday.  My parents say when I was born there was a big blizzard!  So it would be fitting!  LOL

I've been finding so many snowflake patterns that I want to tat that I don't think I'll get to all of them if I did only 1 a month for 3 years!!! LOL  But the good thing is I've been finding it easy to do little bonus ones, so maybe I'll have a huge blizzard by Dec.  I've been compiling the ones I've found online on a Pinerest Board if you are interested here is the link: Tatting Patterns.  The Board makes it easy for me to find the links for posting it when I blog it eventually.  Also it's nice to see all of them in one place, and I can browse which one to do next easily.  I also print them too, because you never know when a link will end up going all those ones that are bad when you go searching for patterns and they have a bunch of links complied that are all no good!!!  So frustrating.

OH and back before I started the Pinterest Board to keep track of the patterns, I had printed one that I cannot find the link for again!  Glad I printed it but wished I had been pinning back then.  I don't know if it's just hard to find or if it's now missing.  It was a PDF though so there is no link info printed on it.  But at least I know the name of it to give credit, but I like to be able to link when I can.  It's a beaded snowflake called "Elaine's Snowflake" so I'm assuming Elaine designed it...LOL it doesn't say on the pattern.  If I get to it maybe someone will recognize it and know where the link is.  LOL  I haven't been wanting to do any beaded ones lately, but I did in Dec.  Maybe the "want-to" will come back at some point.  LOL  I do love a good sparkle! LOL
***UPDATE*** My friend Marie searched and found it!  So if you want to print the pattern now just in case it disappears it is.  It's Elaine's Snowflake by Lily Morales!  Enjoy!  There doesn't seem to be a way to pin it, since the link on Flickr is wrong and Marie did some web digging to find this PDF!  Thank you Marie!

Well now I've written way more than I thought I would!  LOL  Bye for now! ;-)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Operation Snowflake: Bonus Snowflake for February

I felt like tatting another snowflake this month as well.  So here's what I am working on.  It's a snowflake by Sharon Briggs.  It was nice and easy, with all the same stitch count between picots.  Not sure why I have a thing for thrown rings, I just like them, the clovers on the outer edge are thrown, and to me it's a super easy technique too.

Tatting all these snowflakes and seeing how they are designed, helps me start seeing creative possibilities in simple basic designs that can be added to in several ways.

Monday, February 25, 2013

CQJP 2013: Gathered Stash for March

Here's the stash I had gathered for a "Guest" themed block. I think it was the Cameo that started things, then the teacup, and then I couldn't help but pull potential fabrics! LOL  When I finally piece it we will see what fabrics end up in the block, I never know for sure until I get going.  All I know is I really especially love the center fabric and the black sparkle one on the left, so those will probably be priority with the other stuff playing off them.
I'm not sure if I want to give the blocks names, I kind of like the obscurity so that anyone who enjoys this one can think of it as "theirs" in a sense.  If I would name it I might call it "Cameo" since that is the inspiration.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

CQJP 2013: Feb. Block Finished Into A Page

As you can see I turned the block into an applique like the last one and also made a backside out of tea themed fabric.  Then I added a ton of lace and such in between the 2 sides and stitched it together.  I placed all the lace and then pinned to the back of the backside and sewed along the edge with the sewing machine to keep it all in place.

 I used the Ladder Stitch along the edges to sandwich them closed nicely so that no stitching would be seen on the top side.
 I added bits from a crochet doily I had bought and saved just for this purpose and it found it's perfect home!  On the back I also took one of the Roses and a Leaf from the Doily and stitched it down on the corner.
 Here you can see the Rose and Leaf Doily edge as well as the Variegated Pink Doily too.

I also added in a Battenburg Lace Leaf, and a dyed lace motif.

 Here you can see the two pages (Jan. and Feb.) side by side, I think they flow together well!

And here you can see the Jan. page on top and how the edge lace plays together when they are closed.
And this photo is of the back of the Feb. page closed against Jan.'s page.

I'm loving it!!!  This is exactly what I was hoping for!

My next idea is to do blocks that are representative of Guests, and go in different color themes and styles along with a Tea Cup.  I'm a little worried about that idea if the colors will flow as a story.  I can always make 2 or more books, after all 12 pages is an awful lot for the thickness of these to be in one book.  Maybe I will have a pink themed book that is more the Hostess's Side and a 2nd book with the Guests...a Crazy Quilt Tea Party Saga! HAHAHA  That's a funny idea, but I kinda like it!  Who doesn't love a good Saga!  LOL  For the Hostess Book I could have a Cream and Sugar Page, a Tea Accessory Page, a Cupcake Page...and I already have a color themed Guest Page already gathered...I think I might work on that one for March, it's all in more sepia aged tones with a touch of black/brown, very antique feeling.  Which is VERY different than these two bright pink pages!!! LOL  Well I'm happy that I can go with my whims and follow them and wander around.  It's more fun that way too!  To be outside of the box!  Sometimes you just have to break out, march to the beat of your own drum!  I've always wanted to make blocks of different color themes and styles so I'm really excited about it!  YAY!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

CQJP 2013: Feb. Block Done

Now all I have left is to finish it into a page!  Yay!  LOL

Do you like all the bead sprays added into the bouquet?

I added a hand charm on the left, which is attached using clear thread, gotta love that stuff!!!  I also added a rosebud laying across the table and saucer.  The bud is made the same as the others in the cup's bouquet (13mm ribbonwork rolled and gathered bud, with 7mm ribbon stitch petals over the top and a couple of straight stitches for the sepal).  I added a twisted ribbon stem which I also tacked with clear thread.  The leaf stem is also twisted ribbon and ribbon stitch leaflets, all in 7mm silk ribbon.

Friday, February 22, 2013

CQJP 2013: Wired Beading

One thing I love about the art of Crazy Quilting is that you get to incorporate all kinds of techniques!

I've seen wired beading on lots of things like Christmas Ornaments and such and whenever I see it I think that looks easy and it seems like something I could do.  So with this bouquet being more 3 dimensional using a mixture of Silk Ribbon Embroidery and Ribbon Work Techniques I thought adding a wired beaded element would look great.  So off I searched to learn how to do such a thing!

I found a few good video tutorials on YouTube, my favorite being this one:  Handmade Bead Spray Tutorial by Luvleescrappin 

I simply downsized my beads to tiny size 15 using a thin 30 gauge wire, and worked everything really small.  To attatch the tiny spray I used a large chenille needle to poke a hole then I slipped the end into place, bent it back, clipped off the extra, then took a needle and clear thread and tacked it into place with a few stitches.

It really was very easy to learn, and I can totally see myself using this more in my work and for other things I make too.

I think it is just what the bouquet needed and I'm glad I took a break on the bouquet to let ideas brew.  It was enough time for the 30 gauge wire to arrive and since I still felt it needed something more and this idea had been there before but different, and nothing flat seemed right to add for foliage, this was the perfect thing!

Now to continue adding bead sprays to my bouquet!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

CQJP 2013: Feb. Block Seam 3

Here is the last seam treatment.  I added a ton to this one!  At the very top is a lazy daisy flower with lots of layers, with a silver-lined size 15 seed bead and 3 green lower leaves.  Also a running stitch scalloping line.

I added to the 4 petal blue flower a dark blue colonial knot center and  a light pearlized blue straight stitch coming off of it with fly stitches along it.  I also added green straight stitches around the little flower.

On the Herringbone stitch's tips I added pink metallic thread in crisscrossing straight stitches.  I also added some light blue colonial knots in a swag, and medium blue stright stitches in a zig-zag along it to draw the eye up and down along the seam treatment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Operation Snowflake: Feb. Snowflake

I tatted this little cutie from HERE.  A blogging tatter from Poland but photos with stitch counts are universal!  Gotta love the google translate too!!!  So cool!

A little note for anyone who will now tat it, make sure your middle picot of the little rings in the inner area are longer for joining.  I didn't know it would need to be longer and had to stretch it out after it was finished for blocking so the snowflake would lay flat.

This brings my tree's total to 16 now!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

CQJP 2013: Block 2 Middle Seam Treatment

Here's my progress added to the scalloped chain stitching of this middle seam treatment.

I added tiny size 15 blue seed beads to the eyelets.

I used a light blue pearlized thread in a fanned straight stitches with a dark blue french knot at the base.

I added a pink fly stitch and using a metallic pink thread a lazy daisy tipped with a pistol stitch and 2 french knots.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

CQJP 2013: Block 2 Left Seam Treatment

I am really loving this seam treatment!  I'm glad I'm pushing myself to try to create better ones, and I'm finding it's all the layers of stitching that I really like.  I like to look through Carole Samples "Treasury Of Crazy Quilt Stitches" to help my brain brew ideas.  I don't copy any specific thing but I just browse and notice what I like and think about why I like it and if it's possible to incorporate and keep browsing and then I set it aside and look at the seam again and it helps me dream up my own.  It's like I have to input info visually by browsing ideas so I can think of possibilities.
I've tried reproducing seams before in the past and it just never works out.  To me it's like trying to reproduce someone's handwriting!  There are too many variables that have an influence on the result.  So I just use all seam ideas I see as inspiration to spark my own.

Anyway her book is like a nice giant compiled brainstorming session of seam treatment stitch combinations and to see the process of that brainstorming helps my brain start thinking like that too, of possibilities, and they really are endless!

I've even come to enjoy the imperfections of my seam treatments, the way nothing is ever the exact same size even when I try my best to make it so.  I figure it adds to the hand stitched feel, it gives it warmth and personality.  Machines do perfect exact work, and I am not a machine! LOL

So here is what I did:
I added to the center of the base stitching some lazy daisy leaves in green, then some metallic pink straight stitches, and a tiny size 15 silver lined seed bead.

Then the the Cretan Stitch end of the base stitching I added a green fly stitch, light blue lazy daisy stitches that are using a french knot to finish the stitch instead of the normal straight one, and a dark blue colonial knot in the center of the flower.

Friday, February 15, 2013

CQJP 2013: Block 2 Bouquet

Not sure if this bouquet is finished yet or not. It's looking really good to me it just seems something is still missing.

I think I may scrap the wired bead spray idea for this project, though after researching it I am wanting to make some for sure!

I am considering adding some fine fern type wispy stitches around the edges, maybe in stacked fly stitches.

I think I might concentrate on the seam treatments for now and wait till inspiration kicks in or I feel happy with it as is. ;-)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

CQJP 2013: Block 2 Bouquet Prep

I finally buckled down and worked some buds and rosettes to add to the bouquet. It's makes things easier if I make them ahead of time and then I can attach them into place faster. Since it's such small (and fiddly) work, I kept putting it off till later. But I'm happy that I got them done now.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

CQJP 2013: Block 2 Bouquet Progress

I am working on adding flowers to the bouquet. I decided on a Baby Rosette in a 7mm dark pink silk ribbon with a small rhinestone in the center.

I also have an idea for a flower like baby's breath in blue but using wire and beads so that it will stick out 3 dimensionally from within the bouquet. I need to do a little research on how to possibly create such a thing.

Friday, February 08, 2013

CQJP 2013: Feb. Block Progress

Here is what I am working on. For some reason I just didn't want to work on this for a few days and then I realized what the problem was.  The rose I last did just wasn't right.  The color was off and it was annoying me, and holding me back, though I wasn't fully aware of that yet.  So I ripped it out.  Sometimes you need a little time away to gain some perspective and forget all the hard work and long amount of time you put into it, so you can rip it out if it's not right!

“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”
― Pablo Picasso

So I started working on some seam treatments.  I am not usually very strong in these but this block really called for nice seam treatments in the background.  They will be more quiet than the bouquet but still add interest to the block. None of the seams are finished they will have more added to them, but this is what I got accomplished today.

 I started with a Herringbone stitch in the upper right.  I used a metallic thread.  I also added some light blue lazy daisy flowers to be like forge-me-knots.  I'm not sure what else will be added, I'm letting ideas brew.  The seam to the left of that one, I simply did Chain stitching in scallops using a variegated thread.  If you notice I also worked around the eyelets in the fabric, I want to incorporate them into the seam treatment.  
I'm trying to bring blue around the block in little touches, since the cup is a blue patterned one.  I don't normally prefer blue, but I have noticed that I enjoy how it makes pink pop, and that makes it worth using!!! LOL

This seam is a combination of one side Cretan and the other Herringbone to which I added some lazy daises with long arms, some french knots in dark blue each downgrading in wraps from 3 to 1, then a few straight stitches of a light blue thread.
Finally I worked on the bouquet ripping out the outer part of the petals and reworking them with another silk ribbon which is a better color of pink.  It's 7mm, and I pretty much did stem stitching around the center and then added some loops.  I also added 7mm green silk ribbon leaves, some sweetheart roses in a 4mm variegated pink and green ribbon.  I also used a ribbon work method to create the center of the large bud to the left with 13mm ribbon the same as the large rose, and then used the same 7mm pink ribbon to do a couple of looped ribbon stitches.  I added some straight stitches around it in green and then made a stem by twisting the ribbon and taking a straight stitch with it twisted.  I'm really blending Silk Ribbon Embroidery with Ribbon Work methods to create this bouquet.  I cut off the fabric print and am going to wing the design instead.  I like my own ideas better!!! LOL  I'm prepping to make more of the large bud centers for more of them, and I need to figure out another larger rose or flower to add to the arrangement.

I feel so much better after all the work I did today.  I'm really happy with how this block is coming along. 

Saturday, February 02, 2013

CQJP 2013: Sculpted Silk Ribbon Rose

I have been working on this rose today and finally got it to where I want it!  I used a 13mm variegated Silk Ribbon and Clear Thread, but I didn't do typical Silk Ribbon Embroidery techniques but used Ribbonwork techniques instead.

Recently I bought a couple of books that inspired me.  "Roses" by Di Van Niekerk and "The Artful Ribbon: Ribbon Flowers" by Candace Kling.  The Artful Ribbon is the book I was really looking for to learn ribbonwork flowers.  Though the book by Di Van Niekerk is inspiring as well.

To make this rose I started out making a cabochon rose and then went off in my own direction the rest of the way, fiddling and as Candace Kling says sculpting until it was something I liked.  She's right, it is like sculpting with ribbon.  It took me a few hours working on it though which for me is a long time since most SRE doesn't take that long per flower.  Most of the roses in either book is made out of bigger ribbon, but I needed something smaller so I used the 13mm silk ribbon I had.  I'm not sure if I'm going to repeat this process for the rest of the roses in the cup but this front and center one needed to be extra special.

I liked how Candace Kling uses Ribbon Widths to measure out how much ribbon you would need, it makes it easy to figure out how much to use with any size ribbon you choose.  The bad side was I would have like a bit more detailed how to get a specific result.  All the basic is there and you can take it and run with it, like I did going off in my own direction.  But there were moments that I was wondering how to get it to look like what I wanted and no directions to help me get there.  It's such a subjective process, I know, but I was wishing for a little more detail to help figure out what I wanted.  More experience will help me, but it's nice to be able to glean from what others have learned to give you a boost too. 

Friday, February 01, 2013

CQJP 2013: Block 2

Here is my latest block!  And my browsing of Pinterest has inspired me to do some luscious Ribbonwork and SRE!  Every teaparty needs a floral centerpiece so that is the inspiration for this block.

Knowing I wanted to do this as I pieced the block, I used more floral and gardeny fabrics and a print of a teacup with flowers.  I put interfacing on one side to prevent fraying and make it easier to applique this time and I folded the edges and ironed so it will be easier too.  I'm actually only going to do the edges of the cup.  The edges around the flowers are going to be left raw because I'll be using the print as a kind of pattern for SRE and Ribbonwork.

I also got some other ideas for future blocks.  I might make each a different color and style that comes out of the fabrics and teacup used so that each is unique like the guests at a tea party.  If each block represents a guest, I can add jewelery they would wear into the mix etc.  After all isn't part of the fun of a Tea Party the dressing up for a Tea Party?  Also I think doing that would draw in the onlookers into the book and whichever is their favorite can inspire daydreams of them wearing such things to the party.  Imagination!

I hereby cordially invite you all to my Tea Party in the land of Daydream and Imagination, you are welcome anytime 24/7 and to stay as long as you wish!  Where your favorite tea is always ready just for you!  And all the endless delicious desserts and finger foods are zero calories!  Enjoy!  LOL ;-)