Thursday, June 23, 2011

Still More Butterflies

I am done with the Butterfly Bookmarks.  I have to admit that they did turn out very nice. Turn out is a good phrase for what I've done.  I have a set of 5 and so does my daughter.  I have 10 of them to contribute to the Arts and Craft Auction for United Way.  I have also given out so many that I forgot to count them.  Here's a photo of 5 in all the colors that I used.

Butterfly Set

The tassels are what put the finishing touch on these.  I used some of the cotton thread and added various ribbons that I had on hand. I picked up a tassel tool a long time ago and decided it was time to make the investment pay.  I don't remember how much I spent on it as I am sure it came from a Yard Sale of Thrift Store. I wouldn't call it a necessity, but it was fun.  Here is a picture of it.

Trim-It, a Tassel Tool

I was curious about the tool and did a search. I did not find this tool but I did find Crystalites Tassel Tool, Tassel Master,  and Tasselitt.

There was also an interesting Tassel Making Primer at Pretty Impressive Stuff. Did you know that you can make beautiful tassels out of fringe and cord?

The tassel makes the bookmark, well the word that comes to mind is flutter by.  This is a term that has been coined by Kelly Fletcher on her blog, Materialistic - A Blog about Stitching on a series of free butterfly designs for surface embroidery.  I love her work.  This is her 3rd set of patterns.  She has already released Jacobean Leaves and Bloomin' Marvelous.

While we are talking about butterfly patterns, I wanted to mention that last week I saw an e-Bay listing for the Butterfly Shade Pull that I listed in a previous post. I recognized the graphic used as it was taken right off the web site.  It had a minimum bid of $4.95 and free shipping.  I wonder how many times this seller has charged someone $5 to provide them with this link.  I think this is shameful!  I know that it is important to be an educated consumer, especially in a forum such as e-Bay.

I have put away this project.  The The Trim-It tool is in the sewing tool box.  The scissors, hooks and remaining threads and ribbon have been put away. BTW - I used 5 full skeins of #10 crochet thread. Now it is time to move ahead to the next project which is a CQ crochet case.

During the Basic CQ class hosted by StitchMap, I made two extra pieced blocks.  I have seamed them together.  Once I have finished embellishing them, I plan to make a crochet case.  Here is a photo of them as they are now:

Nearly Naked CQ Crochet Case

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Sampler

At some point, all crafters have a moment when they choose action over thought.  For me, the thought was about crazy quilting.  I was reading about it, searching the web for it, seeking out others who crazy quilted. I was drooling over photos, building a stash and dreaming about the wonderful crazy quilt I would create. I was coming from a background of crochet and some surface embroidery usually on preprinted linen such as pillowcases. Crazy Quilting was on my mind and I finally decided to act.

With my new action-oriented resolve, I realized that I needed to improve my embroidery skills.  It was at this time that I was introduced to sharon b's Pin Tangle.  More specifically, I stumbled upon her posts about the famous For the Love of Stitching Band Sampler.  I decided that I was going to make one of my own.

Sampler 1

You can't quite make it out in this photo but I started the Sampler on July 04, 2008.  It wasn't fancy.  I had taken some 12x18 aida and cut it in half.  Having already read about the For the Love of Stitching Band Sampler I was prepared and used my sewing machine to add some inexpensive cotton down the sides so that I would be able to use a hoop across the width.

I started at the beginning with Running Stitch and then practiced some Threaded Running Stitch. Next up was some darning stitch patterns I had been reading about in a magazine.  It occurred to me that the Sampler could be more than just a practice piece.  It could also record patterns for later reference.  After darning stitch interruption, I continued with Arrow stitch and Algerian Eye stitch.
Sampler 2

I wasn't going to be able to continue on in alphabetical order.  It was not that organized of a project.  As I was looking through stitch dictionaries, I was struck by all the examples of stitches done in leaf form.  I copied a simple leaf pattern and then made my own examples of Open Fishbone, Closed Herringbone, Raised Fishbone, Leaf, Roumanian, Flat, Closed Cretan, Van Dyke and Closed Fly.  It was apparent to me that I was going to need to label my work so that later I would know what I was looking at.

Sampler 3

Next I have some samples of Coral, Chain and Crested Chain. The rest of this photo shows my experiment with Back Stitch, Outline Stitch and Stem Stitch.  I was able to see the difference in how the stitches took curves.

I also agreed that the Sampler would have more meaning it it included tidbits from my life.  In Back Stitch, I stitched a violin to represent my daughter taking music in the 5 and 6th grades.  The cat I chose for the Outline Stitch and the Stem Stitch represented my first cat. He was black.  His name was Monster.  When I first got the cat, I found myself saying, "Get out of that, you little monster".  The name stuck but it was used affectionately for the 10 years that he was with me.

Sampler 4

First I needed a simple alphabet so I could label my work and then I decided to tackle Bullion Stitch.  I recorded not only a bullion rose but also a frog, spider, bumblebee, and strawberry.   This is followed by Sheaf Stitch and an example of a butterfly in Sheaf Stitch.  There is a Buttonhole Wheel, Open Cretan and some practice on the Cast On stitch.

Sampler 5

Sampler 6
These photos show some excercises from a Color Theory class that was taken through Stitchmap. It was very helpful to think about color using a non-blendable color source.

Sampler 7 is my results to the Long and Short Sampler by Mary Corbet on Needle N Thread.

Sampler 7

Sampler Backing

It has been left unbacked so that more length can be added. Which brings me to the reason for this rather lengthy post. I have recently put a backing on the sections introduced above.  I used sheeting that had been picked up at a thrift store.  I started by cutting the sheet but soon realized that the material can be torn.  That made quick work of it. I also have a crocheted rag rug floating around in my thoughts!

New Aida Length

New Striped Cotton Length
I have also put together two new lengths to be added on in the future.  I have one in aida and I one in a striped cotton.

I am looking forward to filling these up and adding them to the rest.  Since starting this Sampler, I have actually created a few pieces that have been done in crazy quilting.  Focusing on embroidery was a very good start for me .

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stars and Stripes

I have completed and mailed my summer ornament for an exchange that was hosted by StitchMap.  Stitchmap is a wonderful needlework group that offers mentoring and teaching at no cost. Click on the link in the right side bar for more information.  Here it is:

This is Stripes from the Stars and Stripes pattern in the magazine Stoney Creek Cross Stitch 06/2005 page 38-39.

I really like the use of negative space. The ornament was made all the more perfect because my swap partner's favorite color is red.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

More Thrift Store Finds and More Butterflies

Some of my favorite memories are going to garage sales and thrift stores.  When my mother was still alive, we went out every Saturday morning.  We would end the day by going out for lunch.  We didn't need a lot of money.  Usually we would have about $20 each.  My mother always bought more than I did because she liked decorator items.  I was always looking for books or craft supplies.  I no longer have my mother to go with, but I know she would be happy to know that I still love to find a bargain.

Tuesday morning I had a doctor's appointment.  When I got there the receptionist told me I would need to reschedule because the doctor had an emergency.  Instead of wasting my time out, I stopped at a thrift store near the office.  I had a lot of fun.  Here is what I found.

Thrift Store finds 06/07/11

If you look close you will see that each bag is marked as $3.00.  Let me show you what was in each bag.

Tatting Threads

First I was able to find these tatting threads. 

I checked at Herrschners tatting threads and each one of these are going for $1.99.  I got 19 skeins for $3.00.

Floss on cards

This picture is of floss that has already been wound onto card bobbins.  There are approximately 40 cards. There was even an extra supply of bobbins.

Floss Skeins

And this picture is of the loose floss skeins.  I counted them at 71 skeins.  I was at Michael's the same day replenishing my red #321 and paid $.35 a skein.  At 71 skeins that is $24.85.  If you include the floss already wound there are 100 + skeins.  100 skeins would cost $35.00.  This floss cost me $6.00 for the two bags.

I also got 5 crochet hooks for $2.00 and 3 bobbins of lace for another $2.00   This was another great shopping experience.

Now for more butterflies....

I have been crocheting butterfly bookmarks.  They go together pretty fast and it seems like everyone who sees one wants one.  I didn't get pictures of all that I have made but here are two of the ones I have kept for myself.
Butterfly Bookmarks
This pattern looks really good in variegated thread.  I have made a dozen already and have plans for more.  In fact, at work each year there is an arts and crafts auction that is a United Way fundraiser.  I hope to have a dozen to include.  I need to have two more done by Saturday since my friend would like one for her  for birthda y!  Another friend wants one for her daughter's birthday.

This butterfly bookmark link will take you to the free pattern.

I found a nice tutorial on Bookmark Tassels on wikiHow.

Here are some more crocheted butterfly links:

Butterfly Handkerchiefs
Butterfly Shade Pulls
Dainty Butterfly
Fancy Crocheted Butterfly
Pineapple Butterfly
Small Crocheted Butterfly
Thread Butterfly

Progress on my Butterfly Pillowcases has slowed.  I have been spending my time finishing up an ornament for a summer swap.  I will have pictures of that next time after the recipient has received it.  I still plan to do this in chain stitch and it's variations.  I have been trying to achieve a consistent and uniform look to the chain stitch.  It does give the butterfly an interesting texture.  I am looking forward to having more of it done soon. Here is a current picture of the project .

Over on Stitchin Fingers, Pat Boggins is hosting a Post a Photo of Chain Stitch challenge.  You can see the photo's at the Chain Stitch Photo Link.

Theresa E.