Monday, January 16, 2012

TAST Week 2 Buttonhole

Just a quick post to show my sampler for Week 2 of TAST 2012 - Buttonhole stitch.

TAST 2012 Week 2 Buttonhole

Here are some buttonhole flowers that I did earlier on my sampler.

Button Hole Flowers on Sampler
Pin Tangle also has a posting of the Week 2 Highlights.

Interesting Links:

Needle N Thread Button Hole Video Turtorial
Sharon b's Dictionary of Stitches for Hand Embroidery and Needlework  - Buttonhole
YouTube - Buttonhole

Sunday, January 8, 2012

TAST 2012 has begun!

TAST 2012 is a great opportunity for me.  I first found Pin Tangle a couple of years ago.  I admired the author's contemporary sampler enough to start one of my own.  I thought then and still think that it is a genius method for learning and recording embroidery stitches.  I couldn't help but also associate the traditional meaning of a stitch sampler to the project.  So with visions of the Lady of Shalott in mind,  I started one of my own. While I have worked on it to try out new stitches, it has not been a priority.  With TAST 2012 beginning and my new enthusiasm for Crazy Quilting,  I have revived my interest.

The first week of TAST 2012 began with the Fly stitch.  The format of my sampler had already been decided.  What I thought about at the beginning of this new project was what my goals really were.  I decided on these 4 main goals that are:

1. Learn new stitches
2. Be exposed to and think about creative ways of using these new stitches.
3. Design CQ seam treatments
4. Learn how to copy, transfer and mark my designs on the fabric.

It is interesting that I would be starting on a striped cotton which was not AIDA cloth.  My striped cotton would not have the grid quality that is so useful although the stripes would be helpful. This means that I would have to mark the fabric to try to get somewhat even stitches and to translate the idea onto the fabric.  This is something that I will need to get much better at. 

Here is my version of the Fly Stitch.

TAST 2012 Week 1 Fly Stitch
These are very basic fly stitches.  Within the group of participates, there were many creative uses. 
Sharon of Pin Tangle and host of TAST 2012 put togther some week 1 highlights.

Here are some other useful links:

Fly stitch from Sharon B's Dictionary of Stitches
Fly stitch Video Tutorial: Vertical Fly Stitch from NeedlenThread
Fly stitch Video Tuttorial: Horizontal Fly Stitch fron NeedlenThread
Bing Search - Images of Fly Stitch

It's a new year. CQ2012 I am ready!

It's a new year.  It is full of promise. Most people start the new year with resolutions and many check off their 2011 lists and compile their 2012 lists while they update their contacts and calendars.  I have added another task.  New Year's weekend, while my husband watched football and my daughter tried to master another round of electronic games, I was busy at my sewing machine. 

Twelve blocks ready for CQ2012.   My blocks are 8 inches by 9 inches.  The fabrics are all from table linens found at second-hand stores. They are grouped in two sets of 6.  The plan is to have a new set of pillow shams to end the year.  Would you like to see them? Honestly, I can't wait to show them!

Pillow Sham-to-be 1

Pillow Sham-to-be 2

They were a challenge.  These are my first cq blocks that have been pieced outside of a class experience.  They are also my first blocks that are part of a bigger piece.  I am so grateful for Allie Allison's suggestion of a design wall.  She may not have originated the idea, but her blog is where I was introduced to the idea. 

Once I could look at the pieces of a part of a whole, things started getting complicated. For example, I had 5 of the 12 blocks pieced when I decided that the four corners had to have a bit of blue.  Then I decided that the piece of blue should be a curved piece. ( I had forgotten about curved pieces).  Of course, I didn't want to discard any blocks that I had already made so I settled for 2 curved and 2 triangular blue pieces in the corner.  I also used three patterned pieces for the centers.  I decided that I had to have 2 blocks of each center color in each of the two pieces.  Then I decided that the two pieces had to make a column.  Try that half way through and then have your 4 corner blocks with defined parameters.

Then I found that I didn't have enough of my first choice main blue and my medium blue to use consistently throughout the blocks.  I had to scramble for other pieces that would work.  I don't think it will be noticeable.  I also found that the sew and flip method gave me less control of the color sections within the block than I would have liked.  I am interested in exploring patterned piecing in the future.

The lace also was a challenge.  Before I could see the individual pieces within the whole of the block I didn't really know where I wanted my laces.  Then once the who block came together, I could see that a bit of lace would be good in this place or that place. I started ripping into seams to tuck in lace and then closing them back up. The only problem was that I had a self-imposed deadline.  I needed all of the blocks to be complete before the end of my three-day weekend.  Consequently, I stopped stitching on the lace for now.  I can add it in later as I do each block.

All in all, I love them!  I can hardly wait to begin working on them.  I have picked January's block.  Here is a close up.

January's Block
Some of the fun is that I am not experienced enough to know how each decision will affect the whole and with each decision a surprise surfaces. I am enthusiastic about the project.  I'll let you know how it all develops.  Don't forget to visit the CQ2012 Blog to see what other's are working on.

2011 is History

2011 is history.  It was a very busy year for me.  I told someone once that it seems like the older I get the faster time goes.  His response was memorable.  He said that it is not that time goes faster it is the older we get the more there is to do.  I have reflected on that quite often.  Especially in my crafting, there is so much that I want to do and that I want to do well. 

A fad that has been sweeping many of my online associates has to do with picking a word for 2012.  I gave it a lot of thought and followed others take on this idea closely.  I did find my word.  Participate.  I believe it boils down to the old adage, that you get what you put into it.  With this in mind, I anticipate that 2012 is full of possibilities and hope.

I think the idea may have started with my association with StitchMap. The group has encouraged me to become involved with the online community of crafters.  It has become a huge part of my life.  I follow many blogs for inspiration, participate in challenges and courses with others,and in turn mentor and aid others.  I am part of a wonderfully creative and giving group of people.  My days have been enhanced and I am so thankful.

Of course, consequently, I come accross many finds. I often use this blog to keep my finds accessible.  Peruse my pages and you will see reference articles, blogs, patterns and other inspirational finds.  Towards the end of the year, I also found Pinterest.  What a delightful tool for organizing and accessing images.


Our charity event with others from my working community was very successful.  We made hats, scarfs and mittens.  We donated so many that every person who wanted a hat from the resources of the homeless shelter was able to obtain one.  I was able to connect with so many more people and saw firsthand many acts of generosity. 

I was even able to get some personal Christmas crafting done.  This year, I focussed on clothespin dolls.  They were dressed in crochet angels outfits.  Here is a picture:

Clothes Pin Angels 2011
The picture shows thirteen dolls but I actually got to 19.  My goal was 24 but I ran out of time.  Time permitting in another season, I will be able to complete the goal.

One day I was looking at my usual blogs and found a link to a blog about clothes pin dolls. Dolly Peg Doll is whimsical and I really enjoyed perusing the blog.  When I stumbled upon it, it seemed that there was meaning and purpose behind it.  It was a very mystical moment.  I realized that it was just another example of connecting to the larger group, the awe-inspiring online community of crafters.