Thursday, December 03, 2009

Christmas, 2009 In Review & 2010 challenges

Well, this will probably be my last post until January, so I will take the time to sit back now & see what I have achieved over 2009. It really is a bit early I know, but Christmas is comming & there is much to do. I set my 2009 challenges here, whether I achieved them or not is another story.

1. The quilt - still hasn't happened, still a pile of fabric in a container under the bed. Maybe 2010.

2. The reticella - still happening. It has reached a point that it has to go in a frame. I have pulled out the frame, then promptly put it away again. At this point in time it can wait until 2010.

3. The Bedfordshire lace - has definately been happening & what a learning curve! All my samples can be viewed in amongst all my other lace here. Hopefully there will be more to come.

OK, so I may not have achieved all of my goals for 2009, but I still achieved a lot. 42 items started for the year, 33 finished, and if I put my mind to it another 6 could be finished today. That would leave only 3 left to finish. Not too bad I guess, but those three items will go on my WISP file.

So what have I got planned for 2010? The list goes like this:-

1. To cut down my WISP file of course, it grows every year. I am ashamed to say I have a list that is over 50 projects long, (that's the ones that I have actually started, not just have planned) and something needs to be done drastically. So, my goal for 2010 is to finish at least 10 of them. Besides, there is an exhibition comming up & I need something finished .

2. The quilt. I know, I know, sounding like a cracked record, but 2010 is my year for WISPs remember.

3. The Reticella, I know, another cracked record, but when you see it finished you will understand why it would take so long.

4. To pull my sewing machine out of mothballs. The poor girl has sat there most of the year just crying to be used. A good clean & oil at the beginning of the year & she will be ready to hum. I have curtains to make, safety vests to digitally embroider, boxer shorts on order, & a whole cupboard of fabrics aquired over time to make into stunning clothes for me. The latest piece (aquired yesterday on a trip to the City) is a stunning silk/linen mix in a self stripe, just beautiful.

So that is it from me for this year. I wish everyone that has taken the time to read this far a very Merry Christmas, & Happy New Year. Stay safe over the holidays, & return here next year to see what I get up to in this wonderful world of textiles.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Teneriffe Trial 3

My latest trial of Teneriffe Lace. This time I used a different set-up method using discs & pins, as well as a different thread & different pattern.

OK, my samples still need work, but in general I am getting better. This sample sits flat, which means my set-up method is stable. Yippee! It is also firm, so my thread choice is good. Yippee! What I need to work on now is pin placement & design. Precise pin placement will give a more even design, especially the picots around the edge, & design, well that is just practice isn't it?

So watch this space to see what improvements happen next.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Teneriffe Lace Sample 2

My second sample of Teneriffe lace has just been cut from it's backing. I used a different thread this time, a cotton one, which was a little better to handle than the synthetic of last time. The final product is really a bit soft & floppy, so there will be more trials with a different thread again.
I have other cotton threads that have more body than this one, so I will give them a try

I played with a different design too, only because I miscalculated with the count of my spokes, so I improvised & came up with this one. I'll have to study my design better next time & count properly.

I also took care as to how I set up my spokes this time too, making sure they were even, but the end result still ended up a little lopsided.

So the only thing to change for the next time is the set-up. I still used the hoop method that I used last time, so for my next trial I will choose something else. I am thinking about lacing the backing into a frame of some kind to help keep it tight. I'll let you all know how that works out.


OK, forget lacing in a frame, I tried it & all I ended up with was knots. Well, maybe not forget this method all together, I just think it didn't work for me with the pattern I am trying. I have lots of spokes, therefore needed lots of thread to set them up, hence the knots. So now I am back to the drawing board with the set-up.

I've thought of pins in a lace pillow, but my lace pillow is quite large & heavy & I want this for travelling. Then I thought of a piece of polystyrene with pins & thought that the pins would drive me crazy. After all, this is a wheel shape & I would be working on the center of the wheel & I figure the pins would catch the thread constantly.

So now I am going to try something that I saw at embroidery earlier this week. A disc set up in such a way that the pins go around the edge. This looks promising, so there will be more experiments to come. Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Teneriffe Trials

Teneriffe lace has been one of those things that "I must do one day". This is my first attempt, and I must say not bad for a first time, though I know there is room for improvement. I have read various sources as how to set it all up, and chose a method similar to needle-lace, pattern under contact, on top of two layers of calico, all set into a hoop. I wonder if I need to re-think that. This little motif is a little lopsided, and I have put that down to a few different reasons:-

1. Fabric not taught enough in the hoop. I did notice it getting slack over time and will need to watch that in the future.

2. My tensioning is too tight, always a problem with me & needleweaving.

3. Base spokes not set up correctly, something I have to watch.

4. Type of thread could make a difference. Why did I start with such a difficult one? A nice cotton would have been much better than this synthetic.

Well, the Teneriffe Bug has well & truely bitten, so watch this space for more trials.

A New Scarf

About a month ago I was playing with a daisy wheel, one of those little wheels with spikes. Since then I have been joining them together with some crochet. It took some playing to find just the right thread to use & in the end I settled on a blue perle 8. The next problem I had was how to finish the ends. I knew I didn't want a fringe, I was sure it would not suit, so I ended up with this croched edge.

Something a little different, & something I have wanted to do one for a while. I have made the daisies many times before, but they were always white & always went into baby shawls. Then last year I spotted a shawl done with these daisies, all multi coloured, and joined together with black. I had seen the shawl from a distance, as the new proud owner showed it too her lunch friends, and immediately thought to myself " I could do.....................". Now my mind is still racing with ideas of how to use these cute little daisies.

A Quick Challenge

One of the groups I belong to decided to have a challenge. We were asked to bring along a bag with some fabric, any fabric, around fat quarter size, and more than one piece if desired, complete with our name. The challenge was then to swap the bags, and we would then have to make something usefull with the bag contents we had swapped, to give back to the person who originally gave the bag. We didn't have to use it all, and we could add anything else that we wanted.

The above covered coathanger is what I made with the fabric in my swap bag. There were three pieces of fabric, one purple & two green. As the purple was the largest piece, I used it as the main fabric. Then I used one of the greens to add a piped edge. In my calculation, purple & green need to have a third colour to make it all "sing", so I added a digitized embroidery motif in green, purple & yellow to give decoration to the front.

The motif is one that I put together with parts of a couple of different designs, so making it my own. Although I was happy with how the finished motif looked, there were lots of jump stitches and the flower section was really thick with stitches. I have made notes that if I want to stitch this design again, I would be better re-digitizing it to avoid these problems.

Overall am happy with the final product, I hope the recipient is too.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

My First Bedfordshire Bookmark

One of my personal challenges this year was to start learning Bedfordshire Lace. Anyone who wants to see my progress so far can check out my bobbin lace pages.

The bookmark above is my latest attempt, and my first attempt at designing this type of lace. That is if you call it designing. It is just an edge pattern that has been mirrored with some extra tallies & plaits down the center. I also experimented with some different picots, and some DMC stranded thread. It will be a while before I use either of these elements again. I found the stranded thread a little too soft for bobbin lace, though I would not rule it out altogether as there are some great colours available. As for the picots, these were just simple ones, and I like the twisted ones I did before much better as they hold their shape better.

Anyway, the book mark is finished, and now I can move onto the next piece

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Christmas Is Comming

Scarey isn't it, the fact that Christmas is not too far away. I attended my local Sewing Guild group today & we were making Christmas goodies. I wasn't really sure what but I went along with a whole bag of bits & pieces. The above piece of fabric was just one that I went with. Watch this space to see what I do with it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jessica In Pink

Away from the stitching now just for a bit. The news headlines lately have been full of a corageous young girl, Jessica Watson, from Queensland, just 16 years old, & off on an andventure of a lifetime. Her ambition is to be the youngest to sail solo, non stop & unassisted, around the world. Jessica has her own blog so that we can all follow her progress. As a mother, I am not sure I could handle my child of 16 doing something like this, but then it depends on the preparation that has gone ito it. Brave parents for letting her do something like this. I will be following her progress with anticipation, and wish her well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

One-A Daisy, Two-A-Daisy, Three-A-Daisy,More

It's been a while since I posted anything here. I have been stitching though, I stitch every day in one way shape or form, well at least have some form of textile encounter.

I have been slowly working on a major piece of counted thread work, now patiently waiting to be laced into a frame ready for some cutwork to happen. I have also knitted a scarf ( started purely out of boredom when my home was invaded with football final fenatics), nothing fancy mind you, just a K2tog, wool over needle, repeat pattern in a gorgeous colour textured yarn, now waiting patiently for next winter.
Hardanger Christmas decorations have also been on the stitching list. I've made 4 so far, all to be given to a charity which my local embroidery group has orgainised. The decorations are beautiful & I want to make some for me.
Then there has been the bobbin lace, slowly but surely my next piece is happening. Just a bookmark, but it is one that I have sort of "designed" myself. I say designed, but it really is only an edge pattern I have made before, mirrored, and added some tallies to. It is nearly finished, so maybe there might be a pic here in the not so distant future.
When I was knitting the scarf, I was having all these ideas as to what to do with all the yarn that was in the bag, one of which was to pull out my Mum's daisy wheel & see how many I could make till I got bored. It's a bag of mixed yarns, left over from other projects, and I wanted to experiment & see how the textured yarns made up into daisies. I had only ever made them with baby yarn before. So far I have made 40 daisues, experimented with two different yarns, ( ditched one) and have a sort of an idea as to what I will do with them all. You will have to come back another time to see what I do with them. Some of them are in the pic above.
Now, for those of you that have read this far, I need you all to do me a favour & leave a comment on how this page is loading. I have been having a **** of a time with it over the last few days & don't know why. I have had some fun with backgrounds & thought it may have been that, so I ditched those with no improvement. I have also ditched some other links which I added in the last week & thought it may have been, ( not that I wanted to as they were lace links), and still no improvement. I am still having hassles so I thought I would add another post & see what happens then. Feedback from readers about how the page is loading elsewhere will be greatly appreciated and let me make decisions as to what to do about the problem.
Thanks all for taking the time to read this far and for making comments.
OK, so a few hours have passed since I posted about my problem. Those people that know me know that I don't stop until the problem is solved. Well, the problem is now solved. I "phoned a friend" to see if they were having the same problem as me with this page & yes, they were. So that meant that something had to be eliminated off the page. So I have cleared a few things & wallah! no more problem. Good stuff! At least I didn't have to eliminate all my places to visit. So my page might look a little empty down the side bar, but at least it will now load & you can all read what I have been up to.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Wessex Bookmark - A WISP Finished

It is amazing what one finds in a clean-up. Last week I was sorting through some "stuff" & found none other than another three WISPs. The above bookmark is one of those three. Stitching all done, just patiently waiting for a backing & to be fringed. Mmmmm............ just a few minutes work. I wonder why I left it so long?

Wessex Stitchery, worked onto my own hand dyed even weave linen, using a mix of Perle 8 & stranded threads.

One WISP finished, just approx 50 to go. Now that's a scarry thought.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A "What If" Leaf

When I have finished a piece of bobbin lace, the problem then exhists as to what to do with the left over thread on my bobbins. In the past I have back wound them onto something else to keep for joinings, but there is only so many of these I can keep.
So I have decided to put my left over threads into something useful. The above leaf was born from left over thread of my beds edge 4. Worked in a base of c., tw.,c., tw, giving a grid that was a little warped. Mmmmmmmmm........................grids........................................................... My mind started racing, my fingers started stitching and this little leaf came about.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Bedfordshire Edge 4

I have finally finished another sample of bobbin lace. This time it is Pattern 4 from the Pamela Nottingham book "Bedfordshire Lace Making". I have tried a different thread, Finca No 60, & at first I thought it was a little fine, but now that it is finished it looks OK. It is after all just a sample, and gives me an idea how different threads react, and work up. On the right fabric, this edge could look very pretty.
I tried so hard to get the pins in the right place on the footside edge, but still managed to miss one. I also thought I took special care with my picots not to get them caught around other pins, but missed one of those big time. I'll have to look for other ways to keep check on these points. Any ideas out there from other bobbin lace makers?

Friday, July 31, 2009

A New Shopping Bag

I've had the opportunity to make a shopping bag for a lady. I was asked first, & was told " tapestry fabric & something pouchy". So the above pic is what I came up with. The fabric was supplied & was horrendous to stitch through, requiring a jeans needle in my sewing machine. Very thick & stiff especially where it is tucked. I did think of gathering but didn't think that this fabric would gather very well. The lady that it has been made for is very petite so I couldn't make it too big, otherwise it would swamp her & if the handles were too long then the bag would drag on the ground. I hope she is happy with it, I am, & now I want one for me!

Friday, July 24, 2009

SS Band Sampler

I have finished stitching the last sampler of the Stitching Sister Counted Thread Band Sampler Round Robin.

This sampler is for Margaret, who has stitched the up/down tulip design at the top. For my band at the bottom, I tried to keep the flow of pink & green that seemed to be happening. I played with designs on graph paper first then decided the colour. The stitching started with two rows of 4 sided stitch, with 6 threads removed between the rows. I then needleweaved the remaining threads to keep them strong. Above the 4 sided stitch I worked groups of radiating straight stitches, while below is a row of large eyelets which have been outlined in back stitch. The top row was then mirrored below the eyelets.

I feel a little sad now that this is all over. I love stitching counted thread work of all types and this RR has been an excuse to venture out with colour & stitch combinations.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Parcel At The Door

Look what arrived at my door yesterday. This beautiful book on Bedfordshire Lace. Now I have plenty to keep me busy & inspired. Mail order is wonderful.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Crazy Patch For Charity Quilt

My local Sewing Guild group has been given some little fabric squares featuring digitized motifs. As we were doing crazy patchwork at one of our last meetings, one of the ladies decided to put all the squares into a crazy patchwork quilt for charity. We each were given one patch each to take home & add to, the only stipulation was for a 6 1/2 " square in pastel shades. This is the one I have done. It was a struggle finding pastel shades in my stash that went with the original patch. It had yellow in it & there is not much yellow in my stash. It is now ready for someone else to stitch all the squares together & turn into a quilt.

Beds Sample 3 - The 9 Pin Edge

I have just this minute cut my latest bobbin lace sample off my pillow. This one is the 9 pin edge which is pattern 3 in my "Bedfordshire Lace Making" book. It was easy enough once I got started. ( Starts are a real problem for me) Revision of plaits, picots, 4 plait crossings & footsides. Though this footside is a little different to those I have done before, done with cloth stitch instead of whole stitch. I still need to remember where to place the pin in the footside, only missed once in this sample, though I noticed a few more times I'd missed & fixed them real quick while working the lace. There a few joins in this piece too. I'm getting better at hiding those as well. Pattern 4 here I come.

Crazy Patch 1

Remember the crazy patches that I started here? Well, I have finished the stitching on all 8 of the patches. Now they sit patiently waiting to be made into something.

Monday, June 29, 2009

What If?

OK, so if I coud do a gumleaf in bobbin lace, what about a rose leaf? Down to the garden to pick a rose leaf to trace & prick. Wind some bobbins in burgandy Perle 5, combine with some left over already wound bobbins, and wallah! Now the creative mind is really racing. Better calm it down & get back to my Beds lace learning.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Lace Gum Leaf

This is the second gum leaf I have done in bobbinlace. As with the first one, the holes are deliberate. I played with swapping the bobbins around a little to get the colours to move around like they might in a real leaf. Looks much better in colour, don't you think? This one used a variety of threads too, perle 12, perle 8, linen, metalic machine thread ( horrible stuff). Yeh! All the linen thread is now off my bobbins & I have thoughts on how to use the green left overs.

I've spent the last two days sorting out my bobbin lace folder. I had lots of back copies of lace magazines that were taking up way too much space. I have pulled out all the "keep" pages, placed them in plastic sleeves & moved the remainder on. So now my folder has more space and all the patterns are easilly visible. Lots of inspiration & many hours of entertainment.

I wonder what will appear here next?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More Practice

After the last little exercise in bobbin lace I still had thread left over on my bobbins, ( I am still trying to figure out what to do with all these little bits) so I tried another of the samples previously worked. This one included spiders, diamonds, and some rose ground. OK, so the diamonds I can handle, as long as remember the twists on leaving. The spiders didn't take too long to detach from their web, but the rose ground is another story. I think I need to find a pricking that has lots of rose ground so I can really brush out some cobwebs.
This one still has lots of joins in it like the last one, but is a little more respectable to look at & maybe a child would like it as a bookmark. I'll let our feeless lace leader decide if it is good enough to go with the rest. Maybe it will be one to pull out when we have run out. If it inspire some younger person to make lace then that can oly be a good thing.

I still have some of this linen thread left on bobbins, but I am going to use it with some other threads on something a little more creative. So come visiting in a few days time to see what comes to be.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just Practicing

It was my local lace goup day just over a week ago & I had no lace on my pillow to take. Ooops! So I gathered together some bobbins that had some leftover thread, the spool of matching thread, some empty bobbins and a pricking that I had not worked in a long time. It was a sample piece from when I was having lessons a few years back and I thought that it would make a simple book mark to give away at our open day comming up. I needed the notes too as it had been quite a while. So armed with my bag full of goodies I toddled off to my lace meeting.
Did I say I took my notes? Of course I did, the problem was they were the wrong notes for the pricking I had taken. Mmmmmmm.......... that made me have to think didn't it! I worked it out though & here you see just part of the piece. There are lots of joins, ( consequence of using left over wound bobbins) a fringed end on one end & a bunched up lot of knots on the other. Definately not bookmark material, it will hit a dye pot at some stage and maybe go on a piece of crazy patchwork somewhere someday.
The upside is that I have bown out some more cobwebs regarding my bobbin lace.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A New Scissor Case

The sewing group that I mentioned in my last post made scissor cases back in April and they were asked for this month so they could all be photographed. So at the last minute once again, I whipped up this one. The pattern was supplied, and the idea was to cut an outer fabric & a lining fabric, stitch right sides together leaving an opening so that it could be turned through. Once turned through, the case was then folded ( & stitched) into shape, giving a pocket for larger scissors & a smaller pocket for something else.

Mmm....... I could do better than this. My original plans were to do something fantastic, like some digitizing, but the month got away & I found myself with just one day left to make it. So I layered two fabrics together with some pellon between, free machine quilted all over, cut to shape, then bound. Wallah! New scissor case. I'd still like to do another one, maybe with some bobbin lace trim, or some digitizing on it somewhwere. We'll see.

Going Crazy

I belong to a local sewing group which meets once a month. This month the activity was on crazy patchwork. The lady who was leading the activity happens to be one of my previous students, and the project for the day was one that I had led her through a few years ago. As a result, I was asked if I could help. J*** had not asked for anything in particular, just "help". So the day before, (nothing like leaving things to the last minute) I set about putting together some samples on the "how to" of crazy piecing. All in all there were eight samples, beginning with "placing piece 1 here", and moving through the order of how to place the pieces. Each sample had one more piece stitched on to it than the previous piece, so at the end, I had 7 part made squares and only one finished square. So I have sat down & finished the others, and now have eight crazy squares similar to the one above, waiting for some embellishment & to be turned into something.
I really enjoyed being back on my machine again. After sewing for a wedding last year I have not even felt like turning on my machine. So watch this space to see what I do with these squares.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Last RR Sampler

Look what arrived in the mail!. It is the last of the counted thread RR samplers for the Stitching Sisters Group that I have to work on. This one belongs to Margaret and I have ideas already for what I want to do. I have picked out colours of threads & sort of narrowed down a technique & a design, all I have to do now is graph it out & start stitching. So watch this space to see what eventuates.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tally Practice

After my last effort with tallies I decided I needed more practice as well as some help. So I tottered off for a lesson with a reputable lace teacher. I wanted to have a lesson on tallies, and not waste precious lesson time on working plaits to get to the tallies, so found another design in another book that was just about all tallies. Yippee! OK, there were two footsides and one plait but I thought that would be easy enough, so I set about making the pricking & setting up the lace ready for my lesson.

Mmm............. how did I start this piece of lace? Back to the book, no help there. OK, so author assumes only experienced lace makers want to use their books. Not so, but I still had a problem & needed to solve it. So I just "had a go" and have no idea what I did. I was OK with the footsides, but it was the tally/plait junction that had me stumped. All of a sudden I discoverd something called "6 pr crossings", now that was new! So were the picots on both sides of the plait. Now did I say this piece of lace was going to be easy?

So, my easy piece of lace that was going to give me lots of practice with tallies, also gave me lessons in other lace techniques as well. My tallies have definately improved, I have learnt that there is more than one way to do a 6 pr crossing, twisted picots on the right are worked different than twisted picots on the left (& yes I need to practice those to get rid of the "rabbit ears", I learnt about "cluny crossings" rather than traditional Bedfordshire crossings, the fact that I need to concentrate when doing footsides on both sides, and that I need to think about the start of a desgin & change it if necessary.

Ah......... so much to think about, but at the ned of the day my tallies did improve, and that was the aim of the exercise. I wonder what I will learn with the next piece.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bedfordshire Edge 2

I have been continuing on with the samples in Pamela Nottingham's "Bedfordshire Lace Making" as per my challenge 3 for 2009 which I lised here. Pattern No.2 is a continuation of the first, revising the footside, the plaits & the picots, as well as introducing the "leaf" or "petal" shaped tally. It has been quite some years since I have worked tallies, and then only a few of the square ones, so these leaf shaped ones are new to me. I was brave, and had a go all by myself. All I can say is that they definately take practice, practice, practice & still more practice. I wasn't too happy with them on the pillow, but now the lace is off the pillow I feel much happier with them, and they definately got better the more I did.

The pic above is the beginning of the sample, where I had absolutely no idea as to what I was doing. Girls on one of my on-line lace groups have given encouraging comments such as "all leaves are different in nature" & " it takes about 1000 tallies to get them right". One lady asked if my tallies looked like silverfish........................ ah, yes, at least the first couple do. I soon learnt to widen them.

This next pic is the center section of the sample and they are definately fatter than silverfish.
I read as many books as I could find, and got suggestions from a few people on-line. In the end I worked out my own method and was reasonally happy with what I ended up with. I just had trouble with them twisting. I think this might be a tension thing but I am not sure.

The last pic is the final end of the sample, definately much better than the beginning. I am not sure if I am connecting them correctly to the footside, and the outside edge of the tallies are not as smooth as I would like. So I have booked myself in for a lesson with a reputable lace teacher who only lives five minutes drive from me. So this sample is going to be repeated, maybe in a different thread.
All in all I think I did OK for a first effort by myself. My picots have definately got better as well, that is if I don't miss one. Any comments on how to improve these tallies will be greatfully recieved.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mandy's Band Sampler

I have finished stitching on another sampler. This one is for Mandy and is part of the Counted thread Round Robin that I am participating in for the Stitching Sisters on-line group that I belong to.
Here is the sampler when it first arrived back in January. Before it arrived, I had thought that I would do some blackwork on it. But when it actually arrived in the flesh, I felt that a blackwork pattern would not quite work at the stage that the sampler was in. So I had to put my thinking cap on & let the sampler talk to me for a little while. The first thing it said to me was colour. There were lots of colours happening already and I needed to work something that would bring all the colours together. So I went through my stash of threads and picked out those that I thought would work in some way, shape or form. I then let my needle go where it felt like going.

In the end I worked eleven smaller rows of stitching, which in the end formed into two bands, one wide & one narrow. The rows were worked as follows:-
1. A row of four sided stitch in yellow ( a colour I only occasionally work in )

2. A row of four sided stitch in green, leaving four threads between the previous row & this one.

3. Removing the four threads left between the rows of four sided stitch & wrapping the remaining threads in an orange hand dyed Perle 12.

4. A row of alternating half eyelets in another green, with the gaps filled in with a third green.

5. A row of alternating half eyelets in the same green as before, with no gaps filled in.

6. A mirror immage of row 5.

7. A mirror immage of row 4.

8. A repeat of row 2.

9. A repeat of row 1.

10. A repeat of row 3.

11. A simple row of a blackwork pattern which I alternately flipped vertically. This row was worked in a deep pink to match work previously done in the sampler.

I think the colours that I have chosen have worked and I hope that Mandy loves what I have done. I know I certainly enjoyed working this sampler & could have continued working on it to the end. Unfortunately this is not how a RR works, but I am now enthused to start a sampler of my own, to work on how I want & how my mood takes me.
Below is a close-up of part of my band. It is amazing what close-up pics show, and no, it is not a mistake, just a loose thread that needs snipping (whew!). For some reason Blogger is playing nasty games & turning things sideways.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

More Bookmarks

I have finished off two more bookmarks over the last few days. They didn't take much as the stitching was already done & they just needed some backing. Both started off being samples for this piece, which I worked for the Stitchers Plus Group that I belong to. I just turned the samples into something usefull!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Inspiring Thankyou

As I usually do every day, this morning I did my blog surf and found this award sitting and waiting for me over at Laura's Lace. Well, how surprised was I ! To think that Laura thinks my blog "rocks" is just amazing, considering the beautiful Bedforshire Lace this girl produces, compared to my puny efforts.

OK, so to pass it on, I could very easilly give it back to Laura, and also to Adrianna, but considering this is from whence the award in question came, I think I might give it out to someone different. So...............

the lucky recepients are...............................

Guzzisue - Who has urged me on with my challenge into Bedforshire Lace,

MargB - Who is doing some amazing drawn thread,

Norma - Who's adventures into the world of bobbin lace inspired me to pick up my own bobbins again,

and last but not least,

Jan for finding the positive in every day.

You are all so deserving of this. Thank you all for inspiring my days.

Pulled Thread Bookmark - June TIF Challenge

Yesterday I finally finished the TIF challenge for June. Only nine months late, but who is counting.
This bookmark started purely as a sample for stitching eyelets onto this RR Sampler, then ended up being part of the TIF challenge run by Sharon B last year. The stitching has been finished for quite some time, all it needed was a backing fabric to be slip hemmed onto the back to hide the reverse side. Now it can be ticked off the list. Yippee!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another Bookmark

I've been playing with my bobbin lace again. This is another bookmark to give away at our display later this year. This one is made up of a variety of threads and three different colours, not that that shows very clearly here. I have then threaded some ribbon through at the end. If anything, I have practiced some stitches, and emptied some bobbins, and I think someone somewhere will appreciate it. I might even keep it myself yet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Counted Thread Experimentation

I have been slowly working on a band for the Counted Thread Band Sampler Round Robin that I am in. This is Mandy's sampler & before this sampler first arrived, I had ideas as to what I was going to do, then when it arrived I felt that what I had planned would not fit in well. It took me a while to get started & I am just letting the sampler tell me what it needs. The first thing was colour, somehow I needed to bring all the colours together. So I searched my threads and pulled out all the colours that were already in the sampler, then made a decision as to which ones I would use. I settled on a yellow, a hand dyed orange, and some greens. I felt these colours whould not only work together in a band, but help to reflect the colours already present elsewhere in the sampler. I haven't finished yet, I still need to work more eyelets, and then I think the band will tell me it still needs something else. Time will tell. I'll post a pic of the whole thing when my section is finished.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Lace Leaf Bookmark

I've been playing with some more bobbin lace. My local lace group are having a display at the library where we meet later this year and our fearless leader wants to give away bookmarks to all the children who show an interest. Nothing fancy mind you, all to be simple. E.... gave us this pattern for a gum leaf to work. I am soooooooooooo out of practice. I thought I would have a go anyway & see what I could do. Mmm............. still more practice obviously required. And before anyone comments, the large holes were meant to be there! I have never added in pairs before, and I had to think by myself how to start. The next one will definately be better.

Sewing Again

After making a wedding dress & three bridesmaids dresses last year, I have hardly turned my sewing machine on since. I've done some mending & added some fabric strips to embroidery pieces so they will fit in a hoop for hand stitching, but that is all. My sewing machine has been sitting under it's cover waiting patiently for me to feel in the mood again.
Yesterday morning I remembered that I had promised to make a little bag for the sewing group I belong to. Needless to say the meeting was on yesterday as well. Nothing like getting things done just in time. So just as the sun was comming up & before breakfast, I sat bleary eyed at my machine to produce this little bag. Nothing special, (it didn't have to be), but in under an hour I had something usefull for the group. The good thing is that it has got me on my machine again, hopefully the next item will be a little more creative than this

Friday, February 27, 2009

Lace Edge - Attempt 2

I've had another go at the same edge as in the previous post. This time I put the picots in each time, but as the thread was different to the last sample, I changed the number of twists I used. I have learnt the hard way that I used too many twists for my picots, and with help from many on-line lace friends, the next ones will be better.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bedfordshire Edge 1 - My first attempt

Back in December, I set myself some challenges for 2009. One of these was to start learning Bedfordshire lace. My bobbin lace pillow had been laying idle for some time with a boring piece of black silk lace & I needed something to re-inspire me, and this type of lace did. So I have been busy finishing the boring piece so I could start my challenge.
The first piece is a little edge that teaches plaits & picots. I had not done either of these techniques before. There was also a footside, and I had not done one of these for a long time either, so there was lots of cobweb sweeping & lots of learning.
The above pic is my first sample. First I tried the plaits, and had to have help with the tensioning. When I got the thumbs up on my plaits from my lace group yesterday, I tried the picots. Now they were interesting, and definately need concentration. There are lots of mistakes, so I plan to do it all again in a different thread, with lots of concentration..
So if there are any lacemakers out there looking, I am definately open to any advice that you may like to offer.

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.