Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Roses from the Heart Bonnet Project

I've promised to make and embroider 2 bonnets for Christina Henri for the Roses from the Heart Project. I don't have any convict ancestors, so I "adopted" 2 convicts who died while in custody, since they will have no descendants to commemorate them. Christina needs 25,000 ( yes, twenty five thousand! ) colonial style bonnets for her project, click on the sidebar link for more details. It's not too late to offer to make a bonnet, the main display is in March 2008. Here is the first little bit of embroidery on my first bonnet, nothing like leaving everything till the last minute, is there? Now I've gotten started, I'm itching to complete them. Of course, they will have to wait till after the long weekend we have coming up, and the dreaded welt pockets on the vests, see post below.

TAST Week 39 Reversed Buttonhole Bar

I can't believe I've managed to post TAST stitches 3 in a row! Must be some kind of record for me. Of course, regular readers will know that I hold a Black Belt in Procrastination. I should be making some clothing for a client, but I have to face some welt pockets. The sewers here will recognise that they can be a bit tricky, and that you don't want to start them when you're not completely ready, in case you ruin the garment. So instead I explored the TAST stitch on Sharon B.'s blog (see sidebar for link) and had a bit of fun. I'll face the welts tomorrow! I've used Perle 5 and 8 threads, on evenweave linen. I quite like the serpentine line, and I can see that the little multi-coloured "Aztec" style wheel might be great fun for kids to try. Couldn't resist stitching a French knot in the centre though.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Secret Santa stocking

My Embroiderers' Guild group made a Secret Santa bag last year, so we decided to continue the tradition and celebrate Christmas and our friendship within the group. I found this sweet little stocking designed by Michelle Ridgway in the latest issue of Handmade magazine V. 24 no. 12. I changed it a little as ours is to be used differently than the decoration she designed. It's only little, about 9 inches long, the perfect size for a small gift. We'll all put our own names on them, and then draw one secretly from a container. The idea then is to think of something suitable for that person, usually worth no more than $10. Of course people can make something (preferred) or buy a treat or small gift. It's fun seeing how well we really know each other, but I'm easy! Chocolates, chocolates and more chocolates. Or a little piece of yummy fabric, or some scrumptious threads.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

TAST Week 37 catch up.

I had a great day today. It was International Talk Like A Pirate Day, so with pirate earring in place and a scorpion necklace at my throat, I waited for a ride from my daughter to Spotlight for some sewing supplies. Alas, she arrived during evening peak traffic hour on the roads, so we will go tomorrow morning instead. I should have been sewing up some bed linen for a client today, but Sharon B.'s blog (link at sidebar) was too tempting this morning so have stitched up my samples of 2 weeks of TAST instead. This one is called Square Boss Stitch and is a variation of Rice Stitch. My first sample is in the traditional style, while the second one is an exploration using sequin waste (love a bit of glitter, you know), blue metallic tubular ribbon, and perle thread. The arms on the crosses needed to be uneven to clear the holes in the sequin waste, but still looks quite interesting I think.

TAST Week 38 Knotted Buttonhole Band

Well, as promised on Sharon B.'s blog, here is a little exploration of this week's stitch. I spent several pleasant hours with this rhythmical stitch, I've really missed regular stitching. I've promised last week's stitch by the end of the week too, so will "reward" myself with some more stitching in a day or two if I get another overdue job finished.

The details : top motifs left to right. 2 rows Steff Francis silk "perle" yarn buttonhole on perle 8 ladder stitches, 2 rows Perle 5 stitches on contrasting Perle 8 ladder and the right hand one is 3 rows Perle 8 on Perle 8 ladder stitches. Below them is one row of a metallic crochet yarn on Perle 8 ladder stitches. Last but not least is a piece of Sinamay metallic ribbon used as the ladder stitches. Irregular single rows of knotted buttonhole band in metallic crochet yarn, Perle 8 and Perle 5. A bit tricky because the raw edge of the Sinamay kept catching on the thread.

HINT for next time, put a row of Scotch tape over the edge while stitching and remove carefully later to save catching threads.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What to make with "special fabric"

I mentioned in a previous post that I'd bought some more "must have" patchwork fabric at a recent craft show. I'm very reluctant to cut it up in smaller pieces for traditional patchwork as the allover design is just too wonderful. I thought a padfolio might be the answer, but searching for my bookmarked link I found a couple of alternative ideas. I think I may just have to subscribe to this "zine", I think I can find several ideas among the free projects, I wonder what else they have on offer for subscribers? No affils, etc. etc. just love finding really useful links.
Look at http://fibreandstitch.com/freebies.htm

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The cockatoo tree.

This hollow tree was home to many different species of birds at "Linnwood", the local historic house where I spend a lot of volunteer hours. Unfortunately, a large truck picking up a full rubbish skip took a shortcut, knocking off the overhanging limb and tearing open the side of the tree. The birds have found alternative accomodation though, and continue to nest and raise their babies in our area. Aren't they sweet, they're real characters and have distinct personalities.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Spring is in the air.

Rainbow lorikeets and white cockatoos wake us up every morning, even more loudly than usual, so I know Spring has really sprung around here. The wild freesias in the garden are blooming, my Kangaroo Paws are ready to burst out and the deciduous trees are taking on a green fuzz with all the new leaf buds just starting to open. Can you tell I love Spring, I gave birth twice in this season and I've always loved seeing the renewal of Nature all around me. This of course leads to Spring Cleaning. I get quite strange (well, stranger than usual!) at this time of year. I feel the need to re-organise the house, pull out weeds, re-arrange furniture and sort through junk that has been accumulating over the year. The only problem is, I really don't have time at the moment, I should be catching up on projects postponed while I was ill. But the instinct is too strong, and so today I've tidied and sorted the sewing room to within an inch of its life, moved things around and even cleaned the floor. Of course, it could have something to do with the imminent arrival of my newest baby. No, I'm not in "the family way", I just mean my new Bernina 240 machine is being delivered on Wednesday and since I am having an introductory lesson at the same time, I needed to clean the sewing room to make room for 2 chairs at the cutting table.