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.
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