Saturday, December 28, 2013

a week of Saturdays....

this holiday week has made me feel like every day was Saturday, even though it's not a holiday I celebrate. no regular routine of classes and groups I generally meet with so had to keep checking the calendar to see what day it was. I did get quite a bit accomplished despite the confusion.

I took out some of my dad's ink pens and pencils and did a bit of sketching and line drawing with the help of a Craftsy class...Mixed Media Pen, Ink & Watercolor. I'm not following along exactly as the teacher suggests. just picking up hints here and there.

(remember to click on the images for close-ups)

sketching lunaria for a page in my Alchemy journal. my aunt sent me seeds, many years ago,  but i have never been able to get them to grow here in Texas.

I worked a bit on my Fun Times cloth this week and am finally working on the last panel. I also learned a new stitch that took some practice to get it right...the cast-on stitch. here's a video tutorial if you want to try it. I love the 3D effect.

the cast-on stitch worked over a seam

some bumpy bits with bullion and french knots and wrapped threads

and a hand seemed appropriate on this panel that has a triangular pocket

I've been wanting to make a cloth doll and just couldn't find my old pattern so i purchased one. it looks a bit complicated, but i'll give it a go.

a Mary Tressler doll pattern

I just finished reading a good book you might like...The Dinner by Herman Koch. you can read a bit about it on Amazon here. hope this link works for you.

I'm hoping to do a bit more reading this coming year. there are a bunch of books waiting to be read on my kindle. I spent lots of time stitching this year and want to find more time for reading. I love getting lost in a good book.

Wishing you all  the best for the New Year.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Needle Threaders and Hoops

I am very fond of milliners needles for making bullion knots in embroidery. The eye of the milliners needle does not bulge which makes pulling the thread through, after all those wraps, so easy.  The only problem is that the eye is so small that, for me, a needle threader is a must. I also like using those small quilting needles for stitching and those have small eyes as well. I used to buy needle threaders whenever I found a different type because the wire used to break so easily, until I discovered that if you hold onto the end of the wire when pulling through the thread, they will last a long I have quite a collection now.

click on the images for close-ups

milliners needles in my needle book

some of my needle threaders...those blue ones are for threading beads onto thread and are found in the dental section of your drugstore.

I found this tiny 3" hoop at Michaels this week. I've been looking for a tiny hoop for those pieces of cloth that are too small for a regular sized hoop. It's a design I hadn't seen before and did some doodle stitching to try it out.

doodle stitching to test out 3" hoop

I liked it so well that I went and purchased a 10" one for free motion embroidery stitching. it really holds the fabric taut without having to readjust due to that ridge on the inside ring that fits into the outer ring.

hope you can see that ridge and the hollowed out space on the outer ring

The distraction this week was  some cute fabric that a quilting friend shared with me. I created this tote bag using sections of it and added some embroidery.

the tote measures 10" square

back of the tote...there is some flannel stitched in with the lining.

I did add a pocket on the inside using a piece of fabric where I did some fme stars with perle cotton.

....and for those of you who asked and are wondering.... I have done a bit of knitting on my Downton Abbey coat. Unfortunately, not as much as I planned to but it goes.

some progress made

Wishing all of you who celebrate the holidays a wonderful time with family and friends. Hope all your travels are safe ones.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

a week of distractions...

didn't accomplish half the things i planned to do this week. i am so easily distracted but sometimes the distractions lead to new inspirations so i guess it's a good thing. i started out making a bound button hole as demonstrated by Karen Ruane in Simply Stitch 3...well i wound up with this....

click on the images for close-ups...

an embroidered letter on free motion embroidery done on scrim
doesn't look anything like a button hole, does it. well this is how it started:

and there it went to a different type of letter...

it's been embellished and sits on one of the panels of my Fun Times Cloth. one more panel and corner block to make before it can be finished.

embellished on one side with ruffled lace, bullion knots and french knots

an F and a T for Fun Times

with the help of a couple of people, i finally was able to make a sample of this knitting pattern i really like. i had the graph but no legend and instructions so i was pretty lost. those little white bobbles are called nupps (rhymes with soup). here's a video if you'd like to try them. they give a nice little texture every once in awhile.

this measures about 3" square. made with a extra fine yarn and a size 2 knitting needle
 i'm thinking this pattern might be nice for the top section of a sock or maybe even a scarf.
i have done some more work on my knitted coat but not as much as i hoped...too many of these distractions taking up time.

i also wanted to show you this beautiful cotton embroidered cloth i purchased from ebay a couple of weeks ago. i'm sure it's machine made but i thought....very unusual....can't wait to find a use for it. it's said to be vintage 1930s.

vintage 1930s cotton embroidered cloth

it's been a cold and rainy week but should warm up a bit to the 50s and 60s in a few days. i'm really looking forward to that. hope you're all staying warm and cozy.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Jude Hill has declared December the month for Wishing Stars. I decided to play along using white cloth and lace that I have been working on in Karen Ruane's Simply Stitch non-class....a sort of alignment of what i've learned from two wonderful teachers. I started out with a traditional star pattern but wound up cutting one of the pieces incorrectly so, in the end had to ad lib to make it work. and since I love pouches, I decided to turn it into a pouch for some lace treasures. The pouch measures 11" x 11". I think my star has no wishes...maybe it is a star that no longer exists but its light still shines.

click on the images for close-ups.

this is the front to my way of thinking but most would consider it the back. the patches consist of dupioni silk, embroidered cotton and bits of tatting.

the back and a peek at the pink printed patchwork lining

an embroidered cotton flap for closure. there's some embroidery on the outside and inside of the flap, close to the top.

and a close up showing the bullion knots, french knots and bullion cross stitches for embellishment.
There is an inner layer of white cotton flannel to give the bag body and to prevent the pink lining from showing through. I really enjoyed stitching this together so thanks to Jude and Karen for all the inspiration.

It has been very cold here the past few days so staying warm inside and stitching has been wonderful. Hope you are all safe and warm as well. I will leave you with an advertisement video that I found very touching and such a wonderful way to give thanks. You will find the video here. It is a short one...only a few minutes.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

playing with photoshop....

not much stitching or knitting the past couple of days due to bursitis in my shoulder. feels much better today so maybe i'm back on track.
i stitched these two pieces a few days ago, trying to replicate a vintage sleeve effect with cording and ruching. not for any particular reason. just because i liked the effect. the image of the vintage sleeve is in the upper left hand corner of the first image. i was pleased with the way it turned out. have no idea what i'll do with these samples but i did use them to play a bit in Photoshop Elements. might use those images for some collage work.

click on the images for close-ups.

silk cloth with a thick cording

manipulated in PE

manipulated in PE...kind of looks like a skeleton

i did get some knitting done on my coat before my shoulder started acting up. it's slow going...

been knitting in front of the tv at night

and some play in PE

i was going through some bits and pieces of old work and pulled out a few small pieces to play with. some ideas are brewing...

bits and pieces...the ribbon with the British flag was a gift and i love it

hope all of you in the US survived Black Friday. i didn't go anywhere near the stores. it was a cold week but it's warming up in the afternoons so the weather has been pleasant. stay warm and cozy wherever you are.
see you next time.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

a slower week...

not much stitching done this week. the days seemed to fly by with other things that needed to get done. I did experiment a bit with a layered kind of lace work. the base is fleece with a couple of silk hankies (spun silk) over that and then some scrim. I scattered bits and pieces of lace and embroidered cotton over that and went to the machine to do some free motion quilting. i left lots of little open spaces to do hand stitching and x-stitch. this is a work in progress.

the x-stitched letters are a bit of a challenge over the scrim

the long bars were created on the machine and then some were wrapped by hand and the circle up top has some web stitching done in the center.

I added a triangular pocket to a section of my Fun Times cloth with a button covered with a bit of toile cloth.

a pocket with a toile cloth button

I did finally get started on my knitted coat. it took a couple of gauge swatches to get the gauge right. i had to go down 2 needle sizes from what the pattern suggested. need to make sure this coat will fit.

pattern called for a size 8 circular needle but I had to go down to a size 6.

I've been wanting to get started on learning Tambour work and was able to get the library to find this book for me that is just too expensive to purchase. I have all the equipment. just need to find the time. Mary Corbet of NeedlenThread has been posting info on Tambour work that is quite helpful. and if your interested in seeing some gorgeous tambour work, check out Susan Elliott's post here.

I'll save the story about the Ballet 101 video for another time.
It is bitter cold here today and will be for the next few days. the leaves are finally falling from the trees and my front yard is a blanket of yellow as the Chinese Tallow tree is freeing itself to become unburdened. it's a constant shower of leaves so there's no keeping up with it. i'll just let them be for now.
have a great week and stay warm.

looks like my house is the only one inundated with falling leaves.
as on the images for close-ups.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I almost forgot....

I am so excited about trying a new embroidery technique on the machine that I almost forgot about my Saturday blog post....but here I am, even though the day is almost over.

I did finish the needle book case with the bobbin lace embellishment.

I used the same thread to crochet the edge as in the bobbin lace leaves.

a close up of the leaves as requested by a couple of you.

I've started working on my Fun Times cloth again...just some simple stitching to embellish another piece to be added to the completed center.

embellished blanket stitch, french knots and x-stitch

Still crocheting these little flowers that will dangle along the edge of the habotai silk cloth finished weeks ago. I don't really like crocheting with such a fine crochet hook so i do at least two each night...just a few more to go.

crochet flowers to dangle along the edges

I have been carrying this very old project to quilt bee each week hoping to finally finish it sometime soon. I can't even remember how many years ago I started it. I was really into making the cathedral windows pattern. I used a fabric with a trees pattern and interspersed those squares with family it's kind of a memory piece...just a small wall hanging.

that's a wedding picture of my mom & dad and a picture of me.

Click on the images for close-ups.

It was winter this week for about 2 days when we had temperatures just at the freezing point, but we're back to Spring and Summer weather this weekend. I do like the variety.
Have a great week and I hope you'll come back again next time.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

knitting and bobbin lace...

i was in a hurry to finish this knitted scarf i started last month so i could start on my next big knitting project. i didn't think i'd tackle another knitted lace project after the shawl i did last year, but this one was quite easy and has given me more confidence with lace knitting where you have to really focus on following a chart as each line is different to achieve the pattern.

click on the images for close-ups.

a linen, mohair yarn with a bit of nylon for strength.

my next knitting project will be a coat that i found in the new Downton Abbey knitting magazine. i have purchased all the yarn and am ready to begin. i just hope i'm able to see this project through to the end. i'm thinking i'd better set myself a weekly goal on this one.

the yarn color is 'berries' and is 100% wool.

i've been working on bobbin lace leaves in my weekly lace class and decided to use some of them to make a little needle case. the thread is very slick and silky. it was left to me by my grandmother so it is quite old but in very good condition. i have lots of it and hope to do some crocheted pieces with it as well as more bobbin lace.

working on a needle lace book. the leaves are bobbin lace, stitched down to the cotton cloth. the edging, not yet complete is done in crochet work.

we have been blessed with quite a bit of rain these past 2 weeks...too much in some areas, but still not in the right place to raise the lake levels which are still quite low. the trees are still loaded with leaves and some of the plants think it's Spring instead of Autumn. hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

and the winners are.....

Peggy of  Woman With Wings.... won the Brown Kangaroo bag, and

Emmy of Cramzy .... won the Purple Bird bag.

Congratulations ladies. they both have been contacted.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

a pillow and a pouch...

i had a little pillow that i was ready to put into the Goodwill bag but then thought i could cover it with another part of my magic diaries cloth. i chose the part i stitched when i learned about the Chauvet cave. it all started back here and there's a link there going back a bit to the original post about the movie 'The Cave of Forgotten Dreams'. really worth watching if you haven't already seen it.

click on the images for close-ups.

animals on the walls within the Chauvet cave. the pillow measures 14" x 9". that's purple velvet up at the top and a hexagon walkway at the bottom with animal paw prints stamped on.

i used left over fabric pieces for the back...some of it hand dyed. the animal face is scrim manipulated with hand stitching. the pillow is edged with a green piping.

and then for a completely different type of stitching that started out here with a watercolor design  (scroll down the link). it developed into a small pouch that i guess could be used for a wedding bag. it measures 10" x 6½" and is made of dupioni silk with a cotton lining.

that's some vintage lace on the flap with some bullion knots stitched on it to hold it in place.

the reverse side has the bumpy bits with all the bullion knots, french knots and some web stitches. i added a thin, spaghetti type strap.

the lining is a Patchwork (x-stitched down the center) of cotton and embroidered pieces. there is a thin cotton flannel between the outside and the lining which gives the bag some body.

there's still time to enter my giveaway. if you're interested, the post is here. the winner will be picked tomorrow.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tie Bag Giveaway....

i've decided to have a giveaway for the two tie bags i showed you last week. this giveaway is open to everyone, near and far, regular commenter or not. just leave a comment with your choice 'brown kangaroo' or 'purple bird'. i'll pick a winner a week from Sunday, November 3rd.



good luck to all of you. please leave your comment no later than Saturday night, November 2nd.
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