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05/14/10

  08:00:00 pm, by Airycat   , 290 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Blessings Stitched Fabric Book

I'm Back!

 

My sister and I had a wonderful week in Los Cabos, Mexico, just resting and soaking up sun (reflected). Despite 100 SPF lotion and staying under umbrellas as much as possible, I got a nice tan. We got a lot of photos and I also took a few short videos (some unintentional since my camera dial was loose and turned unexpectedly. I'll be posting those on the main blogs, soon.
I had intended to work on my Blessings inchies, but I lost my needles! I figure they have to be here in the house somewhere, because I couldn't find them on the first day there. Fortunately, my cross stitch project had a needle in it, so I did get some work done on that. Not a whole lot, though. I read four books, though!
Next time I post here I hope to have something to show.

My sister and I had a wonderful week in Los Cabos, Mexico, just resting and soaking up sun (reflected). Despite 100 SPF lotion and staying under umbrellas as much as possible, I got a nice tan. We got a lot of photos and I also took a few short videos (some unintentional since my camera dial was loose and turned unexpectedly. I'll be posting those on the main blogs, soon.

I had intended to work on my Blessings inchies, but I lost my needles! I figure they have to be here in the house somewhere, because I couldn't find them on the first day there. Fortunately, my cross stitch project had a needle in it, so I did get some work done on that. Not a whole lot, though. I read four books, though!

Next time I post here I hope to have something to show.

 

05/03/10

  10:58:00 pm, by Airycat   , 157 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Blessings Stitched Fabric Book

A Few Notes

No stitching to show. I've had an infection that ran away with my get-up-and-go.

I put every blog listed on Amy's page into my Google reader (in a Counted Blessings folder) and will keep up (more or less) with them. I'll check her list periodically to see if anyone has been added. (So far I haven't been. &amp;#58;&amp;#112;)

I got invited for a week long getaway to Mexico with my sister! Woohoo! We're leaving tomorrow night and will get there Wednesday morning. We're bringing our stitching, but possibly not a computer. Even if we do bring the computer it'll be mostly to empty our cameras as we hope to take lots of pictures. We're also going to see if we can find some cool embellishments, and hopefully take in a little history. Mostly however, we plan to veg out and stitch and read. So-o-o-o... I won't be keeping up with anyone for the next week or so.

04/30/10

  10:58:00 pm, by Airycat   , 763 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery, Blessings Stitched Fabric Book

The Beginning

I'm still trying to figure out why I chose to do this not so little project. It's not as if I don't already have more than I can do as it is. I think I just like the idea of the subject. This is a tangible way to acknowledge how good my life is. A shout out to anyone who happens onto this blog (or Amy's blog*) to say it's a wonderful life. And not just now but in the future for anyone who see the finished project.

I may regret this later, but I have this wonderful fabric that called to me for this project.

 


Click for a larger image.

The weave is too small to do counted stitching on. I think this is cotton, but it's a two layered fabric, so I'm not sure.

I also decided to make this a sampler book instead of something else. I don't need any more pillows and have no more wall space to hang things. It will be a nice conversation piece on the coffee table. And it will give me some practice in fabric books as well as hand stitching.

I cut the strips today. I had done the math in my head, Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! I wanted four inchies to a page, so I made my pages 5" square. The fabric is in strips of five pages. I guess I could do only 4 inchies a page, but I have room for sixteen per page!! Duh! So now I decide to do two inch squares or a whole lot more Blessings. I'm actually drawn to the latter, but 400 is a whale of a lot of blessings. I think I could come up with that many, but I don't know that I could figure a way to stitch them.

 

I see only four strips. Hmmm... either I didn't pick them all up to photograph them or I did that math wrong, too!

There is a good reason to use larger squares. After hitting the mid century mark, my eyes are simply not as good as they used to be. I'm not nearly as nearsighted as I was, but now I'm also farsighted. I need glasses for both close up and far away. I have a range of about two to four feet between the two where I don't need glasses. And I need new glasses. I tried to do some cross stitch last night and all I got was cross! I did about ten stitches and had to redo them all... a couple more than once. I'm not going to do counted stitching for this, but I don't know that any other stitching will be any better. I plan to go get my glasses tomorrow, if I can, but I'm not 100% sure I can do that tomorrow and even then, how long does it take to get them after ordering? I will be leaving town for a week next Wednesday or Thursday. I'm hoping I get them fast, because I wanted to use that week away to work on this project and learning some other needlework.

The next thing was to draw my grids (either 4 or 16), I have a thing about using regular pencils. I was taught never to use pencils on fabric and it's just one of those things that stuck. I have one of those purple pens that washes off, but it turns out that it's too old. I can do some dots with it for marking ruler placement to cut, but it doesn't draw lines any more. That's as far as I got today.

Maybe tomorrow I will get some more accomplished.

Mostly I will probably use DMC thread. I don't have every color, but I have quite a bit.

 

Does anyone else keep their thread like this? I find it a lot easier to use than the little cards. I think the strands are about 15-18" (though I'm not sure). Whenever I need a new thread, I don't have to unwind, cut and separate. I just pull out as many threads as I need (one at a time) from the top of the braid and they are ready to use. I like the look of the braids, too.

I have some other threads and yarns that I may possibly use, too. And maybe some ribbon. I'm not sure about anything right now.

I do know what I want my first square to be, but I'll save that until I actually do it.

________________________________

* Amy is the one who started this project and is keeping track of everyone who is doing it with her.

04/29/10

  04:02:00 am, by Airycat   , 394 words  
Categories: Needlework, Chitchat

Needlecase

Until this week my main interaction with needlecases was the word "etui" in crossword puzzles. I have been looking at the needlecases everyone is showing over at stitchin fingers. After seeing them, I have a very vague recollection of making one many years ago -- 1964, maybe, in home ec class. Obviously I don't have it if I did make one. I think I still have my pin cushion from that class, though I'm not sure, as I haven't seen it recently.

Anyway, now I'd like to make one. I've seen so many cute ones. My favorite is the cat, just 'cause I'm a cat lover. I need to think up something original, though. Still, I'll probably do more looking before I decide on anything. Also a little research on what fabric would be best for the pages the needles go into.

Speaking of needles... two things. First: The embroidery machine is still breaking needles on me! How come the tech guy was able to stitch the very same pattern completely with no problem and I barely get 100 stitches into it and smack! the needle is broken??? He told me not to take off the hoop or thread or anything, and bring it in. Hopefully he will find something that is easily fixed.

Second: I found two huge needles in a box of miscellaneous tools and stuff. I don't remember if they are upholstery needles (I think so) or just large crewel needles.

Frustration, in part, kept me from working on my quilt. Besides the embroiderer problems, I had a devil of a time attaching snaps to some bags I made for my son's Magic game cards. I don't know if it's my tool or if I just don't remember how to do it. Anyway, by the time I got five snaps attached, I just wanted to get out of the area. ::sigh:: How will I ever accomplish anything with that attitude?

4/30/10 1:10 AM

I had something else written, but my computer decided to shut down for updates (without telling me) and I hadn't saved again, so I went to bed.

No stitching today. UGH!! I had to leave the embroiderer at the shop. Hopefully he will have it fix tomorrow.

I was going to write about something, but I've forgotten what, so I'm going to work on some cross stitch before I hit the sack tonight.

04/27/10

  10:18:00 pm, by Airycat   , 781 words  
Categories: Needlework, Quilting, Machine Embroidery, Fairy Quilt

Lace!!

We ended up not going to the coast because it got cold again. We rescheduled for mid May.

I got the embroidery machine back on Friday, but when I put my embroidery in it to finish, it started to do the same thing. Something is off with the tension. It's odd, though. The tech embroidered my design with no problems. Well, hopefully I can take both the machine and the embroidery in so they can see the problem. I checked and double checked my threading. The tension is supposed to be automatic. Something is off, though.

I had to take mom grocery shopping, today. It's no wonder she's tired when she comes back. I am too. She takes about twice as long as I do. That's OK. After I got things put away today, I sat down here and somehow I ended up on a page of crochet. Crochet is not something I really know how to do. I know only the basics. Anyway, I was looking at it and it made me think of crazy quilting and that made me think that I don't have a whole lot of lace for the CQ I intend to make. It also made me think that the embroidery machine can make lace. I still have to learn that technique. Apparently there is something I'd need to do to keep it from falling apart when the stabilizer is dissolved (because to be lace, it would not have fabric under it). ...

...So, I opened the program and proceeded to make some lace, virtually. It's not a final piece. I just wanted to see what I might be able to do. When I actually do make some lace, I will need something better than a freehand trace of a photo, which is what this is.


click for larger image

The really exciting thing is that I don't even need to copy any designs. I can see how my doodling (a kind of tree or vine shape -- depending on how big I do it) would make a lace. I think my mom could come up with some great ideas, too. Anyway, I'm quite excited about it.

Even if I don't make it freestanding lace, it is something I could machine embroider onto fabric pieces either before or after I piece them into a block.

This also makes me more excited about taking Sharon's GIMP/Fabric Design class in July. I definitely will need to know how to use that program to make decent designs. (You can see how wobbly my freehand is.) One thing I have already sort of figured out is the stamping feature. I didn't see any use for it, though. Now I do!

Another thing I'm excited about is a bunch of pattern books my sister let me borrow. One of them is called Traditional Designs from India. Why does that excite me? Have you ever noticed that many fabric items from India are a kind of CQ? The fabric is pieced and there is a lot of embroidery. Well, That is the kind of CQ I want to make for my bed. My bedroom is my India themed room. I also have a collection of elephants in there. I'm going to have a bamboo headboard (maybe). The room is not pure Indian. I don't think my colors are traditional (purples, and greens). We still like it. Anyway...

There are a lot of small motifs that will look good on a CQ. There are at least two elephant patterns, too. Besides the designs, there are also instructions for embroidering those little mirrors into the designs. I think this project will take me forever, since I'm so slow at hand embroidery, but I'm getting more and more excited about it.

I didn't work on my fairy quilt, yesterday, because my stomach was upset. I did sit here at the computer, though and I made a small design that I will machine embroider onto that quilt.

3bbirds
click for larger image

Here it is against the fabrics of the quilt, not the actual quilt, though. The embroidery thread will be a bit different, too.


click for larger image

It'll look better on the real thing. This embroidery is only 2" wide. I will be hand embroidering the tree trunks. I haven't decided if I will delete it when I do this or if I will somehow blend it with the handwork. I'm kind of thinking the former. I'm also thinking of leaving some of the jump threads to hang loose. A real bird's nest would have some miscellaneous elements hanging loose.

Right now I need to go make five fabric bags to hold Magic card decks -- for my son

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