Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Seasons Of Change" - April TIF

" Seasons of Change" is my April TIF challenge complete. It began here & continued to this, which I wasn't entirely happy with. So I cut out my leaf & appliqued it onto a green background. I think it looks much better & has more life than before. I tried to portray the changes in colour & shapes that Mother Nature gives us as she changes the seasons. I have used digitizing, applique & machine embroidery to achieve the result.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Filet Lace

Back in November I listed my personal challenges for 2008. One of the things on my list was to have a play with some filet lace. Behold! Challenge complete! The two pieces pictured here are both worked straight from the book "Filet Lace - Stitches & Patterns" by Margaret Morgan. I must admit I was a little scared of trying as I was worried about all that under & over stuff & ending up where you start. It was not as hard as I thought. I am only up to page 40 in the book (there are 168), but I feel like I am ready to tackle a design of my own. The only problem is that the mesh has been very hard on my fingers, giving me a small dose of dermatitis, which I think has come from the dressing that has been used to stiffen the mesh. I will just have to withdraw threads from fabric & make my own mesh to avoid this problem, something that has been an aim anyway.

Autumn Leaf Update

After some show & tell with yesterday's Autumn Leaf, Trish from on of my on-line groups gave me a hint about fixing up the spots on my leaf. I knew the ones I had done were very regular, & I had thought of a few ways myself on how to get them more irregular. Trish offered me another way which is what I have used here. I have also changed the left side of the leaf so that each layer is a different colour so I will get more colour depth in my leaf. I have not stitched this one out yet, not sure that I will, but it is one design to be saved.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

April TIF - A start

I worked on my April TIF this morning. I had the idea to digitize a leaf to symbolize the change in seasons. I wanted one side to be one colour & the other side another colour, showing the changes in colour that a change in season will bring.
I found a leaf pic that I had scanned into my PC in an Autumn gone by, imported it into my digitizing program & off I went. I remembered that I had a colour blending tool & thought that would be good to try to see if I could get subtle changes in colour. It worked on one side of my leaf but not so well on the other. This was the first time I had used this tool & I learnt heaps. I found out that I could create many layers of colour using this tool, also edit the stitches & fills. On the final layer on the left, I edited the stitch to be a candlewick one, so giving me spots on my leaf, the type that appear as a leaf ages. What I didn't change however, was the colour. So consequently when I did the stitch-out, my spots are the same colour as the layer before, & are not as visible as I would have hoped.
I am not exactly happy with this but it certainly has been an interesting exercise. Now I have to decide whether to start again, or make something of what I have done. I think it will be the latter as I should really be doing wedding sewing instead of playing, and time is precious.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Creating Patterns for Digitizing

Today I am a Happy Little Vegimite! Ever since aquiring my digitizing program I have been wanting to create a hexagon fill for use in my digitized lace. This morning on one of my Yahoo groups there was some discussion about creating circle fills without jumps stitches. So with a little play, and lot of thinking I have created this! The best part is that there are no jump stitches which tend to take away from the look of the design. This design would not stand up to digitized lace as it would all fall apart in the first wash out test, but the technique of creating the pattern without the jump stitches is inspiring.

With the press of a button I have produced this pattern which would pass the wash out test for my lace.
This led me to trying again to digitize my hexagon lace fill. I still have not been successful for what I want but I am closer than before. The fill below would not pass the wash out test,

but this one would.
I haven't tried to stich any of them out yet , I have been too busy playing on this PC. Time I got off & tried to do some stitching!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Change - A TIF Challenge

"Change" is the topic for the TIF challenge for April. This topic is so broad it can just about cover anything. So here are my first thoughts about this challenge.

OK, so what can change.

The weather. It changes every day, sometimes many times a day, from brilliant sunshine, to cloud to rain. It can be stinking hot one minute, then freezing 10 minutes later when the southerly changes come through & drop the temperature 20 deg in a short time. I've seen the days when I could draw a line across the sky, blue on one side, black on the other with electrical storms on the way. The change in the weather is always a topic for discussion.

The Seasons. These go from summer to autumn, to winter to spring. All very scientific with the tilting of the Earth as we revolve around the Sun. As we change seasons we see an overall change in the weather, from the hot humid days of summer to the cool crisp days of winter. We also see changes in the garden with different flowers emerging & leaves changing from green to gold to nothing.

This then leads to the discussion of "Climate Change", which seems to be gaining political ground. Personally I think it is all scare tactics to make us look after our precious resources better, & yes I agree we need to do this . However, I have seen droughts before, along with bad storms with hail & floods. I remember as a child not being able to get to town because of floods, carting water from town every day in the droughts to water the garden so we would save our precious tank water for drinking & cooking only. I'm sure we have all heard of "Ice Ages" & how the Polar Caps slowly change in size as the planet cools down, then change back again as the planet warms up again.

Our health can change from day to day with contamination with certain bacteria & viruses. Some of us take extra care with our health with simple measures of cleanliness, eating healthy food, & exercising regularly. Others will abuse alcohol, cigarettes, fatty foods & avoid exercise, all of which will cause change in our health at some point.

Family will change with the birth of a baby or the death of a loved one.

Living arrangements change by moving house, getting married, children arriving, children leaving home, or Mother Nature being violent in some way.

Metamorphose is change in shape, the most common example is the caterpillar to butterfly
story .

Change can be slow or instant. Sometimes we get warning & can prepare for the change, like a new baby arriving, or the change in the seasons. Sometimes we get no warning about the change, like when the storms hit & the lightning strikes, or when a love one is killed in a road accident. Us humans can be resiliant & have learnt to cope with change.

I have thoughts already for my piece but you will all have to wait, watch & see what eventuates.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April TIF Challenge

The April TIF challenge has been posted on Sharon's site this morning. The colour scheme this month I find very warm & cosy, something we Aussies might need as our weather changes & cools down. The theme is also about "change" & how we see it. Stay tuned to see where this month's challenge will take me.