Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Little Work Pouch

Way back in 2016 the creative stitching group I belong to ,Stitchers Plus, had a challenge for the year to work 2" squares. My mind went instantly to working tenneriffe lace in a square format, it was something that I had wanted to try for a while.

I played with a few different designs which can be seen here , and settled on one that I liked so decided to make more.

The problem was what to do with them. A friend had suggested that I make a 15 sided biscornu, and I remember thinking 'why not?' So off I set to make 15 of the same designed little squares, just in different colour ways. I think I made ten before I  started to think how I could put this pin cushion together. The squares had been on exhibition, and in that process had been mounted to navy card to keep them flat and show off the colours to best advantage. To make the pincushion, I would have to take them off the card and mount them onto something else. I needed something rigid to help hold the shape, and everything I thought of was not pin friendly, so I needed to think of something else to turn them into.

I thought of one of those  square shaped bags that were traditionally from Central Asia, so bought some navy linen, interfaced it, carefully sewed a square, turned it through and folded it to shape, only to find it didn't sit quite square. Oh well, it would have to do. I found out later that all my friends who have made them have never got them quite square either.

So, the bag made, I then stared to add on my tenneriffe squares for decoration. I had a plan, but the plan didn't quite work, the squares were just too big to do what I wanted. I could only fit four of them on, and then they went on crooked, and the bag still looked incomplete. So then I decided to add some interlaced herringbone. Mmmm... remind me not to do this stitch ever again!I knew the stitch had to be worked carefully, and I'm sure I did it right, but when I came to do the interlacing, some of it worked, some of it didn't. If I don't tell anyone they won't know 😃😃.

The bag talked to me as I worked the interlace herringbone, and I kept adding rows of it. The issue was that where the joins met was not the best. So I decided to cover them up. I vlysafixed two layers of the linen together, cut some small circles and stitched them over the joins using woven wheel. Looks much better.

Then I needed a closure, so I made a covered button using the same linen with another woven wheel for decoration.

It's finished! Yay! My fifth UFO done for the year.



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Textured White Bookmark

This little book mark was born form spotting a scrap of fabric in a bag on my coffee table. It was left over from making some Christmas decorations, but not big enough to make another one. It was big enough, however, to make a book mark.

What to do? Firstly it needed a buttonhole edge to finish it, and I had a thought I would work a needle lace edge later. I have found over the last few years that I find straight buttonhole stitch edging a little boring. It just needs a little something to add to it.

OK, so the buttonhole stitch was done, now what? I needed some inspiration so looked in a few books to see what inspired. I spotted a lovely edge of two rows of 4 sided stitch with bullions angled in a zig zag worked in between. This would do. I am so used to counting by four, I left only four threads between the two rows of 4 sided stitch. It really needed more, possibly at least six threads to make the bullions stand out, and then it may of been too wide for this little book mark. A lesson learned for next time.

So once this row was done, I was left with a blank space in the center which needed to be filled. Back to my book for some more inspiration. I spotted some bullion flowers that would work nicely, so spaced them out evenly,  then worked a row of satin in between, also decorated with bullions.

The little book mark was cut out, and I decided to only put a small amount of needle lace in the corners, rather than all the way around the edge. Then I made a tassel to finish it off.

I am quite happy with my new little book mark and do intend to use it.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Double Eyed Spider Bookmark No2

Back in April I finally had a go with this pattern featuring double eyed spiders. There are four of these spiders in this book mark, and on that attempt they were all different. I vowed to myself I would do another one to practice them. At the time, I made notes on how to work them, and I wanted to test my notes out as well.

So, here is attempt number two of this book mark. It is worked in Guttermann Sulky thread, just a slight different colour than the last one. This one is more green than blue, and I put a plain bright blue pair of Guttermann Quilting thread down each side. Unfortunately it gets lost and is not noticeable. I may need to double it next time to make it stand out.

All my spiders are the same on this one. I followed my notes working them, and for the most part they are good. They just need to be tweaked a little at the end.

I want to work another one still, just so I know my notes are fool proof. Once they are correct, I will type them up and store them with my pricking. So watch this space to see version number 3 of this book mark.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

A Blue Edged Handkerchief

This little handkerchief is another one in my collection. The edge is in bobbin lace worked by me and then  mounted by hand to handkerchief linen. The pattern is by Olwyn Scott, and was published in Australian Lace.

Started back in April this year, it is finally finished and ready for show and tell.

The pattern of the edge is the same as this yellow one that I finished back in February. When I finished the yellow one, I nearly cried, it wasn't square! So not to be put off, I made a new pricking, made sure it was square, and started another one.

This one is also worked in Gutermann Sulky 30, in this gorgeous variegated blue. This time I tried a little experiment though. Along the edge, I used a double thickness of a plain deeper coloured blue/green thread, sort of like a gimp. It's difficult to see in this photo but it's there. It worked beautifully so I may try this double thread edge thing again.

I am very happy with my new little handkerchief, and once it has finished it's run of show and tell, I plan to use it.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Little Book Mark In Pueblo Stitch


Just over a week ago I met with my creative stitching group. This year we have all been taking turns to inspire each other with a little exercise of some sort. At our last meeting our inspiration was Pueblo Stitch.

We were asked to bring a piece of fabric, two different threads that could not be divided, and a needle that would accommodate both threads at once.

I threw in a variegated crochet thread , a plain Perle 12, and some scraps of even weave linen that was left over from another project. I had no idea what we would be doing.

On arrival, we were given a page of notes on Pueblo Stitch, and told to go for it.

It was an instant decision to make a book mark, so I left enough for a hem, and just started stitching. The piece of fabric was only small and I soon came to a corner. Another decision had to be made, how to get around the corner? Once worked out, I turned the corner, worked some more, turned another corner and worked some more. This continued all the way around until I was nearly back at the start. It was here I made an instant decision to keep stitching in a square spiral in towards the center until there was no room left. I might add here that this entertained me for the day.

When I came home I added a hem and a tassel to finish it. Such a quick and fun little project in which I learnt a new stitch.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Tenneriffe Handkerchief


Another handkerchief to add to my collection.

This project began some time ago, how far back I am not sure, possibly a few years. I was looking for something else and found this small snap-lock bag containing thread, some tenneriffe wheels, and one of my own hand made tenneriffe pads with a circle part worked  .



I actually found it with less work on it than it has here, as there was only one of those center petals worked. I had obviously worked out the maths, because as I continued to work the other four, the petals all fitted beautifully. I just had to make up my mind as to what to fill the spaces in with.

As I was working it, I was thinking "now what am I going to do with it?" I played with the idea of making another five and working them into a doily. Mmmmmm........... that would require too much extra work. I had two other suggestions, one was to put it on a facinator, one of those  hair accessories that are worn to the races. Considering I have never been to the races, and never likely to go, I ruled that idea out. The second suggestion was to put it in a ring and hang it as a Christmas decoration. This idea worked for me, but at this stage I had already decided and half put it into the corner of a handkerchief.


As I mounted the circle into the corner, I realised that I would have to put an edge all the way around to totally finish it. I had just finished doing buttonhole loops with bullion picots on my book cover, so  I worked the same finish around this handkerchief.

So this is number four UFO finished for the year. There are a few more yet that I want to complete, so watch this space to see which one is next.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

A Book Cover

Behold, my latest book cover.

It didn't start out as a book cover, it started as a project towards an Embroiderer's Guild fund raising effort some years ago. Half done, these letters got packed away for some reason, and didn't see the light of day again until earlier this year. I found them while I was looking for something else.

They were part done, and still packaged with all the threads I was using at the time. So I finished off the embroidery, then wondered what to do with them now. The only thing I could think of was to applique them onto a book cover.

The letters were stitched onto even weave linen, so I thought it might be nice to hem them first before appliqueing. Rather than machine stitching, I could then hand stitch them to a background which could them be appliqued to the cover. In hindsight, this was a fabulous idea as they can be easily removed and used for something else if need be.

The hem I used is a pulled thread hem, which gives a little picot. The letters were two separate pieces, and this hem gave me little loops at the side to join the pieces together. Once they were joined, I had this idea to do a needle lace edge around the outside. The edge just made it.

When finished, I hand stitched the piece to a scrap of navy fabric, which then got appliqued to the striped fabric, and turned into a book cover. The book cover was made to fit a spiral backed note book which I use for my Stitchers Plus group, and can be removed to adorn another when the current one is full.

So, another UFO done. I wonder which one is next to be finished?


Monday, June 04, 2018

A Chocolate Tin


Another tin in my collection today, this one is number nineteen.

I found this tin while cleaning  out a cupboard a few years back. The cupboard is an old china cupboard that belonged to my parents, and dates back to the 1950's. I remember it in the kitchen as child, being full of every day food stuff like salt, pepper, jam, honey, sugar, cereal etc. Our every day cutlery and table linen was housed in the drawers, and every day plates cups and glasses were behind the glass of the top section. The cupboard is mine now, and houses all kinds of textile goodies including old knitting and crochet patterns. These patterns were what I was going through when I found the tin.

I am not sure where the tin came from, it was probably a gift from someone. I've done the Google search and found similar ones for sale from a few dollars up to $30. There is lots of information on the bottom of the tin including nutritional information and a use by date of August '13. Hmmm.......  that's fairly recent, and I know I didn't buy it.

The tin is rectangular in shape and only about 4cm in height, so it's another perfect stitching tin. It's just tall enough to hold a ball of Perle thread, along with a needle case, a pair of embroidery scissors and a piece of even weave linen. What more could I want for simple work storage?


Thursday, May 03, 2018

A Christmas Tin

Tin number eighteen in my collection is the latest tin I have bought, and one that seems to celebrate Christmas.

We were away on holiday towards the end of last year, on a day out to a country town to visit my elderly Aunt when I purchased this tin. I was always taught that when you go visit someone, to always take something, and had deliberated for a while what to take her. We had called into a local shopping center on the way to her home, looking for a bakery or florist shop with no luck. Instead we walked into a cheaper chain store and spotted all the pretty tins of biscuits that we out for Christmas, so I bought her a tin of chocolate biscuits.

It wasn't until we had left the store that I thought I liked this tin so much that I was going back to get another one for us.This is the tin that I bought for myself, it is different to the one I bought my Aunt, but along similar lines.

There is no information on the tin at all. At the time it was covered in a plastic wrap which was taped, so any information about the contents or date is long gone. I know I bought it late in the year of 2017, and I know it contained chocolate biscuits. I might add here that at the time, this tin sat in a very warm car while we went to visit my Aunt. Note to self, chocolate biscuits and very warm cars do not mix.

The tin is slightly rectangular in shape, 22 cm x 23 cm and only only about 4cm high. So now it is cleaned of melted chocolate, it is being used to hold some lace making supplies. Supplies that I need for my current lace-making project. Lace bobbins, threads, scissors, pins etc etc.

Just another pretty tin to add to my collection and be useful. I wonder what the next one will be.

Friday, April 27, 2018

A Baby Quilt

Towards the end of last year I had word that another little baby was due in the family. The delema was what to make, so I thought I would use up some fabric from my stash and make a quilt.

The fabric that I had in mind was an all over print, a cute print, but I was just going to quilt it and not cut it up. This piece of fabric was ear marked for another little baby a few years back, but I actually did something else for him.

So I had it all planned out, until I heard that a second little baby was due. Then my plans changed. I was away on holiday when this news was heard, and I had discovered a beautiful patchwork shop in this country town we were visiting. So I walked in, was amazed at what they had, and bought a panel. I had decided a panel as it would be quicker to do,  after all I now had two quilts to do.

So behold, my latest finish. I have had lots of oohs and ahs, but in reality it is just a printed panel that I have quilted. It still took a long time to quilt though, as I quilted around all the animals, the clouds, the sun , then quilted the background.

The quilt is with it's new owner now, and I believe he is very happy with it, or at least his mother is. Now I can get back to finishing some more UFO's

Monday, April 23, 2018

A Counted Thread Needlecase


This needle case started life in a workshop way back in 2013. It was a fabulous workshop with a fabulous tutor. It was supposed to be a hussif, a small container to keep all my sewing goodies in, but
I decided right at the beginning that I would turn it into a needle case, I thought I would have more use of it in that form.

Like a lot of things that  do, I will get the stitching done, then they may sit there for quite some time before I finish them or make them up into something. This one has sat for five  years. So why did I pick now to finish it?

Well, I was finishing off another UFO and it needed a closure. I wanted to make a hand made toggle. I had made one  once, many years ago, and was trying to remember how to do them. What I was producing just wasn't quite right. I could still see the base fabric, ( some white cotton tape) underneath. Well, a month ago, I participated in a mini creative exercise with my Stitchers Plus friends, and  I felt sure one of the ladies there would know how to do them. One of them pointed me in the direction of a book which I had a copy of at home. When I looked, the instructions were not quite what I wanted.

So then I asked around at my local stitching group, and was pointed in three different directions. One of the ladies there helped me fix up the dodgy one I had made, and I was also pointed towards one set of workshop notes and two books, all of which I had at home.

The workshop notes were the ones attached to this piece, and they were very clear and precise. So I used those notes to make my toggles on my red needle roll, and my mauve counted thread needle case. So while I was at it I thought I may just as well finish this one off too, it just needed a lining , some needle pages and a toggle closure.

So another UFO finally finished. That's two done for the year, just another eight to go to complete my personal challenge.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Double Eyed Spider Bookmark

Back last year when I was working my yellow lace edged handkerchief, there was a pattern for a book mark on the same page as the edging. I had wanted something little to take to lace meetings, so I drew up the pricking and proceeded to start.

What I hadn't counted on was these double eyed spiders, and they stumped me. I tried so hard to work them out, but my lace meeting was getting closer and I needed something to do. In the end, I changed my pricking and inserted  whole stitch ground  diamonds instead. That book mark can be seen here.

I was going to master these little double eyed monsters, so I tried again, and still had trouble. The pricking was tiny and the lines were fine, so I made a larger version to try to work out the thread path. By looking at this larger version, and also at the photograph in the book, I realised that I had pin holes in my pricking that should not be there. OK, I could just try to ignore them for now and fix up my pricking for next time. One problem solved.

As I continued to work, I still got confused every time I came to one of those double eyed monsters. In the end I came to the conclusion that that there were still pinholes there that should not be. I couldn't figure out what to do with them. Anyway, I got my book mark up to a point that I could take it to a lace meeting and have something to work on for the afternoon. One of the ladies at this meeting had made a number of these book marks, so I had a chat to her and she sorted me out. Yes, those pinholes needed to be there, but as support only.

So behold, my new finished bookmark! It has been made with Guttermann Sulky 30 thread, with a purple crochet thread acting as a gimp down the side. My double eyed spiders leave a bit to be desired, and like the spiders in nature, they are all different. Watch this space for another one when they are all the same.




Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A New Needlecase


Back in January 2017 I was enticed to join and on-line group called 'A Year In Stitches'. The idea of the group was to encourage people to stitch every day. Do I need encouragement to stitch every day? Definitely not, I have been stitching every day for most of my life.

I really didn't need to start anything new, but I did. Everyone in the group appeared to be doing surface stitching of some kind. Well, I am a counted thread/lace kind of person, so I looked in my fabric stash and found a piece of linen that I had bought at a Christmas function with my local stitching group. It was a light pink/mauve colour and had in the packet with it a skein of Waterlilies silk floss that blended. All I needed now was a needle and I could start. But what to do?

My passion is drawn thread work, and for a long time now I had wanted to try some coloured needle weaving. So I began creating the sides of a drawn channel with a 4 sided stitch, using the lovely silk thread that was in with the fabric.

OK, channel edged and drawn, I needed to find some Perle threads that blended to needle weave with. That was easy, I have plenty of left over balls of Perle threads, so enter the blue, pink, and cream.  The coloured needle weaving was fun, and I found it much more practical to run three needles. So much easier than threading & re-threading needles all the time.

The piece grew over time. I added fine borders  that I found in one of my books, decided what to do with corners, and added a black work pattern. With the black work pattern I blended different colours with the silk floss that made it blend in with the needle weaving that  I had done. All the while I kept thinking 'what am I going to do with the piece?'

The piece went on hold while other things took over. Then last year at Stitcher's Plus, we were setting challenges for ourselves for this year. My challenge was to finish some UFO's. So behold, my fist UFO for this year is finished! I have turned my piece into a needle case. I finished the black work stitching, hemmed it with a four sided stitch hem, added some lining and Doctors flannel, then a closure of toggle and loop. There is a hand made twisted cord for the spine with a bottom tassel just to finish it off.



So one UFO done, hopefully nine more will happen over the remainder of the year.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

An ANZAC Tin


My ANZAC tin is number seventeen in my collection. This one I bought a few years ago purely for the tin, though it did contain ANZAC biscuits that were OK. I tend to make my own ANZAC biscuits.

This tin is rectangular in shape, and about 7cm high. The lid is in relief, with a scene from the Kokoda Track, a famous track from WW11 in Papua and New Guinea. My Dad fought in WW11, though not in New Guinea. I bought the tin in rememberance of him and all the other soldiers who fought in the war.

On the base of the tin there is lots of information. There is a story about the history of the ANZAC biscuit, and how it was included in the rations of the soldiers at Gallipoli in 1915. It goes on to tell  how it was the women back home who were baking the biscuits not only for the soldiers, but also to raise money for the war effort. There is also a story about the RSL, and the New Zealand equivalent.

Of course there is nutrition information, and information about the company that made the biscuits, as well as a use by date of March 2013.

I’ve found them on EBay selling for anything up to $30, but I will keep mine for a while yet, it is, after all, in use. 

So what does this tin hold? Embroidery supplies of course. There are embroidery hoops, threads, half finished pieces of work, my good embroidery scissors, threads, a thimble etc etc. I am sure you get the picture. It's a tin I  can pick up and take to group days and I will have something to do on the day.

ANZAC Day will be upon us again  later this month. I must look in the shops and see if I can acquire a different one to keep this one company.