Saturday, September 28, 2013

where do i start....

i did so many things this week that i can't possibly get them all into this one post so just a few of them....
the top of the silk cloth is finished and i'm almost finished embroidering french knots on the back. just french knots scattered in color blocks to match the colors of embroidery thread used on the front. it will be stitched today and i will start working on the edging.

click on the images for close-ups...

pale pink cotton backing with french knots

i did some more smocking on the toile fabric i'm using in my 'fun times' cloth. haven't worked on that cloth in a while. i used a section of the smocking to make a toggle...something Karen demonstrated this week in Simply Stitch 2.

smocking on the toile fabric

the bottom toggle is the newly made one with smocking in the middle and web stitches on the edges.

i did start the embroidery based on the watercolor i posted previously. i'm using white dupioni silk and floche thread.

those are bullion knots stitched on the bumpy bits. i stitched those on before cutting out the circles and applying it to the base cloth.

i have lots of what looks like a rayon thread that my grandma gave to me way back in the 1970s and i decided to try using it in my bobbin lace. she used it to crochet doilies. i thought it might be too slick but it does hold the tension needed and is quite nice to work with.

a lace pricking of leaves. just started doing the leaves and a couple of stems. i have lots of different shades of this rayon thread so i'm mixing them up to give a variegated look.

for those of you who like to try new knitting patterns....this one was new to me and is called 'Cross Stitch Knitting'. i just loved the way it looked and had to try it. there is a video here if you would like to have a go at it. it's quite simple once you see how it's done.

this is my sample with some yarn i had left over. i just love it.

i'll have another knitting sample for you next time. i'm working on it right now and it's not quite finished.

the weather is slightly cooler and we've had a bit of rain which has been wonderful. more expected today.
my plumbago does so well this time of year. glad i can see it out of my kitchen window.

blue plumbago
hope you're all having a great weekend and i'll see you next time.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

working with watercolors....

i watched this video on facebook this week and it inspired me to take out my watercolors once again. i love the look of a watercolor painting but have not practiced enough to get good at using this medium. this video gave me some good pointers and i did something i hope to transfer to cloth....not in color but in white.

click on the images for close ups.

watercolors and inktense pencils

i'm still having fun with my pleater that i showed you in my last post. i'm trying out different fabrics and will probably make a sampler of some kind.

a double layer of cheesecloth through the pleater. the selvedged edge makes a nice finished ruffle.

this is cotton lawn with some iron on transfers applied and run through the pleater.

i decided to smock some of this to open up the pleats. this is 'my kind of smocking' i don't really know how to smock correctly.

i'm close to finishing the top of my nine patched irregular pleated piece. i have to decide on how to edge it and what type backing to use.

15" x 15" irregularly pleated squares with french knots and embroidered bands...all on habotai silk cloth.

so it's been a busy, enjoyable, productive week here. we finally got some good rain yesterday and things are looking green again. the temperature has cooled down. it was actually in the 60s this morning and delightful. hope you all have a good weekend.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

mostly pleating this week....

i'm making good headway on the pleated nine patch i showed you last week. it's here if you missed it. i have 3 more patches to do before i sew it all together and a few more bands of embroidery need to be done.

click on the images for close-ups.

doing the embroidery on such a narrow band of silk is a bit fiddly

i did find a good buy on ebay for a pleater so i now have a new toy to play with...i'm loving all the experimenting with different types of cloth. i'll probably just make a sampler with all the experiments to use as a reference.

lots of needles to thread. moving the needles into different positions takes some patience. i should have taken a picture of the needle. it is a strange shape as it curves in the middle to fit properly into the roller.

my first try was with habotai silk. the fabric is rolled on a dowel so i could feed the fabric into the roller evenly.

a 56" length of silk made a 5" pleated section. this machine eats up fabric voraciously.

the next 2 experiments...the cotton lawn was a bit too stiff but the organdy or nylon (not sure what it is. it was a runner with a ruffle around it) pleated like a dream.

the cloth has to be quite fine to go through the bars and needles. anxious to put some of my hand dyed cloth through but trying to experiment a bit before doing that. the pleater didn't come with instructions so i need to find a good reference book for some help and ideas.

i acquired another piece of beautiful lace that looks like tenerriffe lace but i'm not really sure. it might be machine made. it will be perfect around the collar of the linen smock i showed you a couple of posts back. i took a small section and washed it in oxy-clean and it turned to pure white which was probably its original color. i might wash the whole piece now and then tea dye it a bit since the linen smock is a beige color.

the lace has crocheted balls on some of the edges. i have instructions for those so i can make a few more if i need to.

here you can see the little section on top that was washed in oxy-clean. i love that stuff.

and last night i was playing with the light and some of my free motion embroidery.

free motion embroidery with bits of lace stitched in...on cheesecloth

it is September but the weather has not cooled down much. still mostly very hot days. thinking about all of you who have been dealing with a bit too much rain. hope you are all staying safe.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

pleating of sorts...

my latest obsession is forms of pleating. Karen Ruane demonstrated pleating on her little pleating machine and i've been experimenting ever since. i'm doing another form of irregular pleating by hand and am loving the way it's turning out. i've completed two 5" square patches so far.

click on the images for close-ups.

habotai silk, pleated and tacked down to a base cloth with french knots. a 5/8" embroidered band between the patches that are 5" x 5"

the plan is for a nine patch of these silk, pleated squares with the embroidered band between each patch. i have no idea what it will be used for...maybe just to admire, as it is so soft and light.
i already have a label for the back. i embroidered the first band in white, forgetting that i wanted to do it in pink and other pastel colors, so that first band now has my initials and the year and will be a perfect label.

a label for the back of the nine-patch

i continue to go to bobbin lace class on Tuesdays and still struggle to do this craft on my own, but i do enjoy it, so i continue. here are the last 3 pieces i finished. they will, eventually, be stitched onto a cloth project.

bobbin lace on a silk eco-dyed background
and couldn't resist this cloth at Joann's last week...don't those bonbon yarns match perfectly. i have some ideas in mind for this.

nice way to buy a variety of yarn colors for a small project

we finally got a good rain on Wednesday night...with lots of thunder boomers and lightning. lots of damage in my area with falling trees on houses and roads. the trees are so dry from the drought. i guess the trees, being so dry and unstable,  couldn't handle that downpour and strong winds. i was lucky and had no damage.

NOTE: Karen Ruane is contemplating another class real soon. it will include so many wonderful techniques and you will be able to just watch and/or participate when some technique appeals to you. check today's blog post for more information.

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