Friday, January 16, 2015

there has been improvement....

I've been practicing every day and I am becoming more comfortable with that tambour hook. I worked up this design on cloth with a variegated #20 thread and the cloth didn't fight me as much this time round.

click on the images....

I've ordered a larger hook....I think it will be larger....It's hard to tell by the numbers. I really enjoy working with the thicker threads.

Still working on the doll I showed you last time. She's turning out to be about 20" tall. Just finished her dress which needs to be blocked. Hopefully, it will be completed by my next post so I can mail it off.

I started doing a bit of collage work in a book I was about to put in the giveaway pile. It's about 2" thick and gluing or stitching some pages together makes it a great medium for paint or collage work. Need to make a cover for it.

collage work with paper, micron pen, paint pens and stencils.

....and I did pull this wrapping cloth out this morning. I worked on it in Karen Ruane's wrapping cloth class and it is so close to being finished so maybe if it's staring me in the face I'll actually finish it.

It's warmed up a bit. We start out in the 30s (F) in the morning but it gets close to 60 by afternoon and the sun is finally shining again. Have a great weekend.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

back to a normal routine....

I have caught up with lots of things during this, somewhat free, time in December and the beginning of the new year. My one great accomplishment was learning tambour embroidery. I will show you my progress but I'm also heavy into knitting projects....even though the Downton Abbey coat is not yet finished. Another doll is in the making....

click on the images...

she will be about 18" tall and her dress will be white with a lacy edge...

A lace friend was wearing a sweater I admired so I decided it would be my next project. I will not start it until the coat is finished....but I am anxious to get it started.

the yarn is wool and bamboo and the color is Jasper...

....and some images on my tambour work. I have ordered more hooks to do some more experimenting. I like working with the thicker threads but the biggest hook I have is not big enough. I don't think tambour work is meant to be done with thicker threads but I will attempt it nevertheless.

some tambour beading in a tic-tac-toe pattern

working with sequins....they need to be closer together....more practice needed

and am attempting a real design with a variegated thread

It is still too cold here for me but there is a promise of warmer days this week.
Wishing you all a good week.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

practice, practice, practice....

...that's what it takes to learn tambour embroidery. I've been practicing the chain stitch all week and then tried working with some beads. It is becoming more comfortable to handle the hook and thread. The next task is working with sequins....those slippery things that tend to stick together. It would be a bit easier if you could see what you are doing but the sequins/beads are worked from underneath the cloth so it's done by feel. The back of the cloth is the right side when working with the beads or sequins so if you want the chain stitch and the beads to be on the right side, you have to reverse the cloth when doing the beadwork. I don't imagine I'll be doing lots with the sequins but I still want to learn the process.

click on the images...

the tools

just practicing

trying to work with a pattern....a bit messy....still need more practice

I did finish the doll I showed you last time. I decided not to stuff it.

made with cotton yarn

That's about all I did this week. We've been having some cold, wet trying to stay warm. I know it's a lot colder elsewhere so I will not complain about the cold. Wishing you all a magical New Year.

Friday, December 26, 2014

catching up....

I always take this time of year to catch up....finishing up some projects, starting some that have waited in the wings, new techniques I haven't had a chance to learn and some organizing. This doll pattern was brought to my attention months ago and I've wanted to try it. I'm using the Lion Brand bonbon cotton yarn that I have left over from some other project and I'm making a few changes to the design. The doll is not meant to be stuffed but I'm going to stuff it for a more substantial doll. It's almost finished. Still missing one leg and a little ruffled skirt and the hat. The pattern is on Ravelry.

click on the images...

a doll for a little girl

I talked about Tambour Stitching last time. I have been practicing every day for almost two weeks and I think I've finally mastered the chain stitch. It's the only stitch needed in tambour stitching but not one that's easy to master with the tambour hook.

the chain stitch on netting using the tambour hook

It was a matter of experimenting with different threads, different fabrics, and learning when to release tension on the hook and how to pull it through the fabric. The instructor (online class) says to use organza but i didn't have much luck with the organza.....lots of big holes and constantly snagging the fabric with the edge of the hook. Mary Corbet's video was a tremendous help. You can see it here. I'll go back to the organza once I've had more experience but the netting is actually what I prefer to make some pretty lace. I'm now ready to try the next step which is making the chain stitch while picking up a bead or sequin that will be pre-strung on the thread.

....and yes, I have made some progress on the Downton Abbey coat. The front and back have been blocked. It took a couple of days for the pieces to dry. Still have to block the sleeves and the collar and there is some more knitting to be done to join the shoulders to the back. I have to re-read those instructions.


 If you celebrate the holidays, hope it was fun and festive. The weather has been mild here except for yesterday morning. We went from 27 degrees F in the morning to 65F by afternoon. We are expecting some cold days this weekend, but our winters are very mild here so it probably will not last long. Stay warm and cozy and see you next time.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

little things....

I've always loved things in miniature. I played, a bit, with the bow-tie block I showed you last week. It is HERE, if you missed it.....way down at the bottom of that post. I have a small stack of 3" squares so I started playing and the bow-tie block turns out to be 2" square. I love the way it looks and I think it would make a sweet little a new project has been started.

click on the images...

2" bow-tie blocks

Another inspiration when I saw these napkin ring pincushions HERE. She used napkin rings but I used some small wooden rings I had and made them in miniature. I cut circles from some vintage linens. I just noticed that she gives the instructions of how to make them in the comments so if you're inspired to try it, the instructions are easy to follow. Mine turned out 2" in length and they are perfect for working projects on the go.

2" long pin cushion

I added a bell on each one just for fun.

During this slow time of year....for me....when everyone is busy with holiday fixings and classes are canceled until the new year, I try to fit in the things that I've been wanting to do for a while. I signed up for a class, a few months ago, at to learn Tambour Beading. I love the classes where the videos and instructions are available forever so I can do the lessons whenever I have the time. My hoop is set up right in front of my computer and I'm ready to begin. Hopefully, I'll be able to show you some progress next time. Here's a short little video showing what beautiful work can be created with this technique. It is an excerpt from the movie Sequins which, i believe, came out in 2004.

ready to begin learning

The Downton Abbey coat is ready to be blocked and stitched together. The pieces are large so I will have to be blocking them one at a time for lack of space.... it will take a while but the end is near.

The weather has been just a bit wet but mild so not bad at all. Winter hasn't hit us yet. Hope you all enjoy your holiday fixings and gatherings.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

making paper stencils....

I never did finish the scrollwork on that collar for the Downton Abbey coat in one day. It took several. Just printing the pattern and making it into stencils took hours....and then i basted through the stencil onto the knitting. Working on the cuffs this weekend.

click on the images...

paper stencils...don't know if i'll ever use them again but after all that work, i'm not throwing them away.

scrollwork on the collar is completed

basted the design on the cuff....ready for the scrollwork.
The scrollwork is done with a crochet hook and a slip stitch. you pull the yarn up from the backside while doing the slip stitch on the right side so it's a bit tricky.

I decided to make a triangular shawl to match with the leftover yarn. I had ordered one extra skein....just in case something went terribly wrong.

triangular shawl pattern....easy

started the shawl

I found the shawl pattern HERE just in case you are inspired to make one.

....and since this has all been about knitting, I thought I'd share a fun block to make if you are a quilter or a stitcher or just want to try something different..... A quilting friend shared the instructions for making a bow tie block from one piece of fabric just by folding and a bit of stitching. It was fun to do and I found a you-tube video that takes you through it step by step. The video is HERE.

you can do some embroidery or applique in the spaces to accentuate the bow tie if you don't like the solid color. i like the texture it creates.

Have a fun week whatever it is you are doing.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

I've gone over the deep end.....

don't really know how this happened but once I got started, I just had to continue until it was 'finished'... I started out with a print of an optical illusion and it took off from there... the finished piece measures 9"x12".

click on the images...

I cut out a triangle...added a zipper, some bullion knots, french knots and some snippet cloth in the background.

cut out sections and backed with cloth and embroidery

more french knots all around to enhance the circular motion. bordered with a silver shiny fabric and some gimp.

a fun experiment with paper and stitch
This was the final piece created in Karen Ruane's class....Doodle, gather, much fun.

....and now I must finish my Downton Abbey coat. All the pieces are complete and I steam blocked the collar so I could do the scrollwork but it will need to be wet blocked when that's completed.

collar steam's huge as the front of the coat is a deep v-neck.

scroll work completed on one side. determined to finish the collar today.

....and there's a new 'toy' to play with. I've been thinking of buying one of these kick spindles and one of my lace friends was selling hers. I tried it out and I love it. It's much easier to use than my drop spindle so hopefully I'll be spinning a bit more in the days to come.

Little Meggie kick spindle
Here's a link to the Woolery website where there's a video showing how it works for those of you HERE

Stay warm and have a good week.

Friday, November 21, 2014

it's a wild one....

I had some bulky yarn that I had found at a thrift store quite a while ago. I really wanted to do something with it so I decided to knit another one of those Multi-directional scarves. I knew it would be kind of wild considering the colors I had.....but I do love it. I added some crocheted flowers on one end. It's very warm and cozy. This one is for me.

click on the images...


and After....

wishing for a cold day so I can wear it...

Karen Ruane's Doodle class continues to be lots of fun. Wish you could see what inspiring work is being done there but I can show you my work...

beginning second piece

acrylic paper, hand dyed fabric, shell beads, hand dyed perle cotton, stencil, ink pen

I've started a third paper project. Will show you that next time.
Hope all of you who are having snow and extremely cold weather are staying safe and warm.
See you next time.

Friday, November 14, 2014

mostly about paper this week....

Having so much fun in Karen Ruane's class that started this week, Doodle, gather, create. It's not too late to sign up. Great instructional videos that you have access to forever and a wonderful group of students who share and inspire each other on a dedicated Flickr group.Read about the class HERE. Here are some pictures of what I've created so far...

click on the images...

started out with some pen and ink doodling over a pattern printed on paper from fabric

building on the base with another layer

another layer with fabric and embroidery stitched onto mulberry paper

adding more pen and ink and embroidery

getting a peek through the openings to the different layers below

I didn't want this piece that you've seen before to be forgotten so I did some planning for the next section...a sun setting over a bridge.

hope to do some embroidery on this piece tonight

I did try painting with those huge brushes I showed you last week but the onion dye bath was not strong enough to give any color. I will have to buy some proper ink.

I read a very interesting book that I'd like to recommend. It has recently been made into a Broadway play and gives great insight into the mind of a special needs child.....The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. You can read about it HERE.

We had our first freeze last night and the temperature went down to 25 degrees (F). It will warm back up in a few days but it looks like winter is here.

Wishing you all a great weekend and a productive week.
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