Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Crochet Time

I have been asked to teach a young girl how to crochet. So I gave her her first lesson last week, beginning with chain stitch, and practicing handling the hook & pulling the loops through. G progressed quite quickly and was making double crochets, trebles, double trebles & slip stitches by the end of our time together. G wants to make hearts, so my brain started ticking over how to create the shape. I suggested that she look on the net for patterns before our next session. I had a look myself, and there are heaps of patterns out there, all different. So I picked one & tried to sort out the pattern. Of course, it was written by an American, therefore I had to substitute stitches for it to make sense. At the end, the pattern was what I had in mind anyway. The finished heart was supposed to be decorated with a flower, flowers that my Mum used to crochet nearly every day. So these little flowers are not new to me, they are in heaps of old crochet books of my Mum's, all of which I still have. I think I can do much better than this thread though. I'll have to go on a seach in my stash to look for something better.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More Drawn Thread Fillers

I've finished another two of my drawn thread fillers. The first two can be found here. This one is a variation of the pink one from before, hoping I have made it a little stronger. The second one is something on the slightly creative side to find out how things would look if I changed the numbers of the threads that I cut. Mmmmm............. possibilities are going through my brain. All four designs are still not cut from fabric. They are all waiting patiently to be made into something.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

W.I.P Number 42 - Finished

Over the last few weeks my W.I.P. spreadsheet list has grown some & reduced some. After finding a few WIPs in odd places, the list got to be at 42, but has gone back to 41 with the finishing of this bookmark. I started this a number of years ago for a bookmark swap with one of my on-line groups. The bookmarks required at the time were all finished & sent, & this piece of fabric was left over, waiting for me to do another one. I pulled it out of my stash before Christmas, thinking I could do a quick present for someone, but that never eventuated, & the fabric stayed at the bottom of my sewing tin, until the last few days.
The fabric is one I created myself, sandwiching threads & paper between homespun & organza. I then surface stitched over the top with chain stitch & woven wheels, finished the edges with machine satin stitch, and decorated the bottom with a tassel of the same thread.
Mmmmm................. maybe I have started my Christmas present making for 2009 very early.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This Morning's Post

Look what arrived in this morning's post. I have been participating in a counted thread band round robin and Mandy's sampler has found it's way to Australia. It's been over 6 months since I had a sampler to work on, but that is OK as I had plenty of other stitching to keep me busy.
When I first saw this sampler here, I thought I might do some balckwork, but now I am not sure, that might be a bit heavy. I am also not sure on colour either, as there is such a mix already. The sampler will just have to live on my design wall for a while until something talks to me . All the samplers can be viewed here.

Friday, January 09, 2009

W.I.P Number 32 - A Challenge

I have been adding to my W.I.P spreadsheet, which is now up to 41 with finding more hiding away in odd corners. So I decided I needed to work on something from this list to give me space in my cupboard. When I opened the door, this piece slid out onto the floor. Do you think it might be trying to tell me something? So I have listened, and decided that this piece will the first piece to be "finished".
OK, so what is it you all ask. Well, some years back, the Stitchers Plus group that I belong to, had a few meetings playing with creating different backgrounds. This is just one sample from those plays. It is a piece of muslin that has been painted with Gesso, scrunched into a shape, then painted with colour. I had to do some thinking of what to now do with the piece. Mmm...... maybe a post card, maybe a box top, & then I thought that maybe I could cut it up & make it into a number of brooches. Any other ideas out there? Just another challenge for me to work out.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Calendar Piece - "Past Horizons"

Over the last 12 months, my creative stitching group, "Stitchers Plus" , has been working hard to produce a calendar to celebrate our 10th birthday. As it is has now officially been published, and many are now hanging on walls around the world, I thought I would show my contribution.
The piece is called "Past Horizons", and is worked using my own hand dyed fabrics & threads. It was rather a challenge to produce, as the fabric was a dressmaking linen, not an even weave linen. I noticed this as soon as I started counting, and noticed that one side of counting was longer than the other. This got me thinking that it was going to elongate my design too much. So ? What did that matter? It was after all a creative piece. As soon as I started to cut & remove threads, the weft threads started to stretch, another problem that had to be solved, otherwise all my wrapping & needleweaving would be wobbly.
The design is original & has been interpreted from a sketch that I did some years ago of a beach, headland & surf club.
To check out all the calendar, visit here .

Sunday, January 04, 2009

WIPs, UFO's & Stash Sorting

It is that time of year when I take stock of everything that I have done over the last 12 months, review what I have finished & what is still left to do. Ten years ago, after completing the Intermediate Certificate with the Embroiderer's Guild here in Sydney, I started a little book of all my new projects that I started. As I worked on each one, I would make notes in my book, including what my thoughts were, where I was headed, & what I still had to do. Over time this little book became very disjointed and bits of all my projects were all mixed up together. Last year I decided to tidy up my method & put everything on a huge spreadsheet, with each project having it's own worksheet. Much more organised!

Two days ago I decided it was time to add a new page of all my UFO's. These were all listed in a word file ( after sorting out a cupboard some years ago), & I thought I could cut & paste everything from this word file to my spreadsheet. Somewhere along the line, after much setting up of new worksheets, cutting & pasting, I forgot to save my file. OOPS! As you can imagine I was "Not Happy Jan" and uttered a few choice words. ( I blame lack of sleep from New Year!)
So yesterday I spent the day sorting through one of my sewing cupboards, the one with all the UFO's stashed away & hiding out of sight. As I sorted, I made up my new UFO worksheet & carefully saved it after each entry. So now my spreadsheet reads like this:-

Page 1. Fabric stash - all 37 pieces of dressmaking fabric (with more still to be listed)
Page 2. UFO's & WIP's pre 2008 - all 34 of them ( and still more hiding in other places)
Page 3. 2008 worklist summary with 9 projects still outstanding & not finished
Page 4. A finished items list with markings for pieces for exhibitions
Page 5. 2009 work list summary ( so far this page is empty)

The pages continue with each individual project having it's own page of work notes. It makes everything easy to find. Sometime in the future I may add a page of threads.
Today it is the turn of the magazines. Not sure what I will do with those yet, they are taking up too much space in my cupboard so something needs to be done.