Sunday, October 31, 2010

TDiTM Stitch #104

Reference: Twelve Dozen Stitches in Twelve Months
 If you have sequins, this is a good stitch to help you use them up. Just stitch from the outside to the center four times, like a cross to hold the sequin down flat. As an alternative, you could add a bead to the center!
 And, don't forget that you can fill in between the straight stitches as well. I added little flower beads to mine, stitching them down similiar to the sequins!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

TDiTM Stitch #103

Reference: Twelve Dozen Stitches in Twelve Months

The French knots on top of the "arrows" on this stitch have been substituted with seed beads. The trio of French knots at the "hills" and "dips" of the herringbone stitch have been substituted with 3mm Swarvoski crystals.

If you are not a fan of beading, you could always use 2mm silk ribbon to create your knots too!

Friday, October 29, 2010

TDiTM Stitch #102

Reference: Twelve Dozen Stitches in Twelve Months

 Swarvoski 4mm perles were used in the place of French knots in this stitch. I think this would be very pretty with a bullion rose or a spiderweb ribbon rose where the pearls are. Just drop away from the herringbone stitch far enough to stitch them!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

TDiTM Stitch #101

Reference: Twelve Dozen Stitches in Twelve Months

One of the great things about using the herringbone embroidery stitch on seams is the space it creates in the "dips" and "hills" of the stitch. Another super thing about this stitch is that by changing the angle of the straight stitches the stitch can become taller, shorter, wider; this makes a single diagram combination stitch look so very different just by changing the scale.

This little Stitch #101 looks so very simple, and is cute when stitched just as is.

But, it really takes on a super look when you start adding objects like buttons or sequins in the "dips" and "hills". Here's a possible variation...

And, here is what my final choice was on my current CQ project.

I just love these sequin butterflies. My friend Marina from Russia sent them to me a couple of years ago, and they are just gorgeous! Thanks Roolen!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Herringbone Template

I have the next twenty stitches sketched for the TDITM; but have to find time to stitch some before posting them.

This next series will be for the Herringbone Stitch. So, if you don't have a template for that yet, here's a photo to get you started. You can save the photo above, and paste it into any type of document. Then just drag the corner to change the size to something in the scale you enjoy stitching.

Paste it more than once, and change the sizes to have a page full of different herringbone templates.

If you print your document on clear acetate (or take the document to the local Office store and ask they to copy it on to a clear transparency) you will have a sheet of templates. Cut them apart. Use a 1/16th inch hole punch and punch where the "dots" are in the stitch and you will have a stitch guide for the base of these upcoming stitches.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My "Punkin"

Spending a lazy morning surfing the net and doing a little house-keeping on the computer. Have a sinus headache, so don't feel up to stitching or much else right now. But, my spirits were lifted by some old photos of my granddaughter, Aidan. I call her my "punkin", and I have no idea why...just did one day and it stuck. Of course, after a few times..Grandma had to explain that I was not calling her a pumpkin...but a "punkin". There's a is a vegetable...and one is a term of endearment. She is my sunshine on a rainy day. So, indulge me for a few moments...and I'll share my punkin with you too!

This is a little blury, because it is just a small avatar size photo. It was taken about two or three years back. I put a washcloth in a small Q-snap frame and let her "sew" large beads on it. They are willy nilly of course, but she felt so accomplished. The needle was a tapestry one, so the point was not too sharp. And the beads had to be really big so it would fit...but they worked best for her little hands at the time anyway.
Here she is last year, sewing some blocks together. My Janome has a function that lets it sew "super slow" so I know she won't "probably" won't get hurt...but still, right after the flash went off I was saying "pay attention, watch what you are doing". She says Grandmothers worry too much. LOL!

And, Yes, my sewing room is messy like this most of the time. In a tiny garage apartment, there isn't much room. So, I do not have the luxury of much surface space. It's a constant battle to put away scraps and stuff from one project to another. Okay, from one dozen projects to another...I do not work on only one thing at a time...if I did, I'd never get anything finished!

For Punkin to reach the footpetal we stack some stuff up!
She's also a good helper in the kitchen. Here, she is filling some muffin tins for me. And lastly, here is what she looks like today.
Hard to believe that she'll be turning seven years old on the 2nd of November! Seems like yesterday when we were bathing her in the kitchen sink!

Hope you enjoyed my little visit with my Punkin...thanks for indulging grandma!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A New Beginning

A friend from Arkansas asked if I'd cover the top of a beautiful cobalt blue box for her. Of course, I was honored that she would ask. And after discussing a little of the style that might be fitting a blue box; we settled on an underwater scene.

We searched the internet for an image of a mermaid. We selected a fairy mermaid with lovely shades of green and purple. She will be surrounded (eventually) by various plant life and underwater sea creatures. Here is what I have completed today. The brown and beige "lumps" will be rocks or boulders. The green and blue "things" will be plant life. The netting style trim will also be plant life.

And, I thought you might enjoy seeing the very beginning of the fabric placements. Here is the silkie placed on top of some green cotton broadcloth for stability. The broadcloth is about 3 inches larger on each side of the finished project size, to allow me to put it in a hoop to work on. I usually always work from my Q-snap hoops when the finished project will completely fit in the center. No hoop marks! No removing until I am done!

This entire project also has a thin piece of batting on the back of the 8 x 11 size rectangle (size of the top of the box). This extra stability is critical (IMHO) because the finished project will have so much beading it will become very heavy as all of it is stitched layer on top of layer.
 The "sand" floor center was added first, then I started layering the middle blues of the water. Next I added more blues upwards and browns towards the bottom.
 All of the pieces are hand stitched down. Then I machine stitched around the entire rectangle to keep all those edges down.

Most fabric pieces are triangle shaped scraps. I use the long side which is on the bias, as the edge I usually stitch down. The other sides are covered with the next pieces to be placed down most of the time.

The progress of this piece will be blogged as I work through the various plants, animals, and other objects.

If you have not tried an underwater project, I encourage you to do so. They are very liberating! No real seams or motifs are needed. Just embroidery work to create the underwater world you can imagine. Let yourself go and just create!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quick Gifts

Cyber friends are such treasures to me. And, this week I was reminded more than once of how much more fun my stitching has been since going "on-line". It was also the week to complete a few things for friends, so I thought I'd share those with you all. Hope you get some inspiration to stitch!

Here is a flannel blanket and some bibs for Miss Mikol, who (after 3 girls) is having a boy! Woot! Woot! I think that is just great. So, when I saw this super fast pattern for baby bibs I immediately thought of her. It took only about 3 hours to whip up nine bibs...from selecting the fabric to sealing the box I mailed them in! Now, that is a great project to work on!

If you would like to stitch some of your own the Nested Bib Pattern is free! It's found under Things to Make and is their Basic Bib Pattern. I changed the assembly instructions to suit me. The original instructions had velcro as the closure...and that is good; but I don't like sewing velcro. So, I used little covered elastic pony tail holders as the "loops" and big buttons (extra securely stitched) for the closures. The original pattern also had a little pocket across the bottom, but I did not see the need of that, and just made reversable bibs instead.

To accompany the bibs, I stitched up a baby blanket super quick! A square piece of fleece with "slits" cut in the edge (about 1/2 inch from the outside edge) creates a great "soft as a cloud" blanket. The edging is a hand crochet shell stitch and single crochet (alternating) all the way around. The stitching is done with all-cotton yarn so it is really soft as well. It takes about 30 minutes to cut the blanket out of the fleece and make the holes. And, another 45 minutes to crochet the edging. If you want to do your own blankets, the rotary cutter blades used to make the holes can be found at Skipstitch, and the yarn I got at Walmart.

This eyeglass case was great fun to do for a friend to present to her Secret Friend. It has a simple embroidery center and has a closure (similiar to the bibs) to keep the glasses from slipping out. The embroidery is straight stitch, french knots, and lazy daisy stitches...and ya'll know by now that I can do those in my sleep! If you don't believe me, just check out the Two Dozen in Twelve Months (TDITM) posts!

And, for you TDITM I have not given up! I will be posting more soon!

Lastly, the next little giftee is a Mug Rug for Jill. It has embroidery on it as well. And a little pieced block on the opposite side.

The pumpkins and the center eyeglass case embroidery patterns come from a Flickr site I belong to that posts hundreds, if not thousands, of free embroidery patterns for sharing. So check them out sometime at Hooplove. I know that I've recommended them before...but it never gets old to support good sites!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More Embroidery

As is my glorious habit, I've been stitching! Not so much crazy quilting lately as I am getting giftees ready to mail.

One of the lovely ladies (Bea) on HGTV Message Boards has a wonderful Christmas swap that takes a whole year to prepare for! We gather up items for our "Polly" in a variety of categories. Some are for the home, like "Mrs. Clauses Kitchen or Holiday Home" and some are specifically related to stitching, like "Buttons, Beads or Cotton". There are twenty categories in total...and the swap is intended to be really good gifts, so it is not inexpensive...which is why we spread it out over a year to accumulate our "treasures".

It is almost time to mail, and my three boxes are sealed and ready to be shipped! We are required to include some hand made items in the mix...and here are three embroidery designs that will be included...along with some other hand made things that I have already blogged about.

I get a lot of designs and inspiration from a flickr group that I belong to. If you like to do embroidery work, check out the group Hoop Love Vintage Transfers on Flickr.