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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Blackwork Peacock Purse Stitching Complete!

I know many of you are probably waiting anxiously to see this:

Blackwork Peacock Purse

This has been such a joy to stitch! A bit challenging too in trying to balance the design using black, gold and silver do-dads. If you look closely, I did manage to add quite a few more beads!

The fabrics on this piece include: Brocade, Silk, Taffeta, Sequined Bridal Lace and a gorgeous heavy cotton with fine metallic gold threads.

The peacock body was hand-embroidered using DMC Cotton Floss in Long & Short stitches. I then outlined the body with Kreinik Silver Ombre and highlighted it with Kreinik Silver Blending Filament. The tail is done with black eyelash yarn couched on. The jewelry piece is a vintage pin. I cut the pinback off of it using wire cutters to make it lay flat. The "eyes" in the tail feathers are pearly sequins and small pearl beads.

I worked the spiderweb with 1 strand of DMC black cotton floss, the spider legs are Kreinik Gold Ombre and the spider body are done with 2 pearl beads from a vintage necklace.

The black seed beads on the fan stitch beneath my signature cat are vintage as are the small white pearls and end caps on the fan stitch beneath the large gold fan.

The "berries" on the vine with the gold butterfly charm are black Swarovski Crystals.

I was asked if I would post a photo of this peacock piece along with the white peacock purse so here you go Geri, it's my pleasure:

Peacock Purses

Click on either photo to go to my Flickr site where you can see a larger version.

My plan for today is to do the finishing on both of these purses. I've also had a request for another Blackwork Cellphone Pouch so I'll be piecing that block today as well. As soon as I have these completed, I'll post another photo.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Blackwork Peacock Purse Continued

Are you ready? I stitched on this all day yesterday and loved every single minute of it:

Blackwork Peacock Purse

It's not done yet. I will be doing some more beading on it this afternoon. I know you're probably thinking, "where is she going to put more beads?"! Trust me, there is still room for more embellishing.

I was actually a bit worried last night when my husband told me that he really likes this one! Normally, he doesn't care for crazyquilting but he actually said that my peacock done in black is beautiful and elegant. Hmmmmm.....that's a little scary!

I expect to complete this later today. Then I'll spend the next couple of days sewing. Check back tomorrow to see the completed piece!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Lots Of Stitching To Share

I pretty much just stitched all day yesterday. I'll admit, the cold and the snow outside is getting to me. Cabin fever always sets in for me around the end of January and I have a hard time focusing on anything but stitching or sewing. I am so looking forward to Spring now!

I finished the Victorian Lady pouch:

Painted Lady Pouch

I added crystals to the centers of the silk ribbon roses. The "pin" on her collar is a crystal too. It came from a broken necklace that I bought at a flea market last Summer.

Once I completed the Victorian Lady pouch, I started on the Blackwork Purse:

Blackwork Purse

I'll be working on this most of the day today. It will have a black peacock as a focal point. I have a pretty silver vintage pin with rhinestones on it that I can use for the top of the tail feathers and I have some black eyelash yarn that I'll use for the tail. I haven't decided yet what I'll use for the "eyes" on the tail feathers but I have plenty of beads and sequins so I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Can someone do me a favor and see if you can get into Etsy.com? I can't get into my shop or anyone else's shop or even the main page. I just need to know if it's the site or if it's my computer.

Thanks!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

More Crazyquilt Cellphone Pouches

I now have the Blackwork Cellphone Pouch completely done:

Neutral Cellphone Pouch

I had some black diamond cut chain that I thought would look great but it was too heavy looking so I used silver chain and because it's so elegant, I added a Lobster Claw clasp. I am so pleased with how it came out!

Last night, I started on the Victorian Lady pouch:

Painted Lady Pouch

It was screaming for pink! Which is one of my favorite colors!

I expect to complete the stitching on this one later today. My house is clean and other than doing 1 more load of laundry, I plan to spend the rest of the day stitching and watching movies.

If I finish the Victorian Lady today, I'll be starting on the Blackwork Purse later.

Stay tuned for more eye candy!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Next Blocks

I didn't really have any stitching time yesterday. I focused on some more finishing. I like to stay on top of that! If I have too many things that need finishing, I find it overwhelming and don't know where to start so I try to finish as I complete the stitching on my projects.

One of the things I focused on completing yesterday was the Blackwork Cellphone Pouch. I assembled it and then hand-beaded around it with black 2-cut beads. Oh, it is so pretty! All that's left to do is to attach the chain and sew on the snap which I'll do today and then I should have a photo of the completed piece for you tomorrow.

I also sewed up the ornaments that I promised to Kim. Boy, she does some beautiful and perfect stitching! She's been my model stitcher for years and years and I don't know what I would do with out her!

I just have to stuff them and I'll do that today too!

All that's left for me to finish will then be my White Peacock Purse. That's on my schedule for next week. Of course by then, I'll have more things stitched that need finishing!

In the meantime, I have 2 blocks ready to stitch:

Painted Lady Pouch

I just love these little Victorian Lady images! I thought it would be fun to use one on a cellphone pouch. I'll probably do this one next so I have a couple of new things to take up to the shop in Richmond next week. Oh, and I am so excited! A couple of my Crayon Tinted Doorknockers have found their way into new homes!

Also on my schedule for this week:

Blackwork Purse

This is the Blackwork Purse. Or it will be when I stitch it! The fabrics are the same as what I used on the cellphone pouch. I've already been to Michaels today to pick up some more black Perle Cotton and some fancy beads for it. I found some gorgeous little Cloissene (I know I didn't spell that right) beads that I want to use on it and I bought another Fan button for it too! And a few other things because I have no self-control when it comes to beads and other do-dads to stitch with!

So stop by tomorrow if you have time to see what I accomplish today!

Friday, January 26, 2007

TAST And Blackwork Cellphone Pouch

I completed the stitching on my Blackwork Cellphone Pouch last night and if no one minds me saying, this is absolutely stunning! So elegant!

Blackwork Cellphone Pouch

I might do the large purse like this after all. It truly does have the look of Elizabethan Blackwork which is a style and technique that I have always loved!

If you look closely at the seam on the bottom left, just above the butterfly, you can see my TAST Cretan Stitch. I mentioned the other day, that this stitch is completely new to me. I've never done it before and had to check out Sharon's Stitch Dictionary to see how it's done.

It was pretty easy to get the hang of but I'll admit, if I ever do it again, it will probably tear a hole in the universe! I just don't find it all that attractive. And my addition of beads is nothing unusual or creative. Still, I'm pleased with myself for at least giving it a try.

I worked this seam with 8.5 count waste canvas. If you like to work perfectly spaced stitches like I do or if you're just used to working on a grid, I've charted out this stitch for you:

Cretan Stitch

Click on the image to go to my Flickr site where you can download the larger version of the pattern.

I'm going to run my sewing machine today. If all goes well, I might be able to get this sewn up! I'd like to sew up a few new ones too and I have some finishing that I promised to do for Kim so I'm off! See you tomorrow.

Purses Finished

I've completed the finishing on the Summer Rose Purse and the Bee Purse. I swear, the assembly takes longer than the stitching!

This is the Summer Rose Purse and it's now available for purchase in my Etsy shop:

Summer Rose Purse

I did something really fun with the ruffle at the top. I folded it down on the left side and added that pretty button. It reminds me of a 1930's hat!

And here's the Bee Purse:

Bee Purse

At the suggestion of my friend Cherry, I made the tassel out of purple eyelash yard. I love it! If anyone wants this purse, please drop me an email. I plan to take this up to Richmond next week and put it in my showcase. I still need to pick up some gold chain for it next time I'm out and about but it only takes 2 seconds to attach.

Both are on purse frames which does cut down a bit on the finishing time but the frames are rather pricy. If anyone knows of a good online source for purse frames with reasonable prices, please let me know!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Blackwork Cellphone Pouch

This is certainly interesting, isn't it?

Neutral Cellphone Pouch

The fabric at the top left is beige, not pink. This is quite elegant although I'm not sure I'd want to do this on a large block. I guess I like working with more color even though I really like this look. I plan to use actual chain for the neckcord on this one. I have some diamond cut black chain and I have some silver. Will have to see what works with it. But first I have to complete the stitching which I hope to do later today.

For now, I'm off to Richmond to rearrange my showcase a bit and pay my rent for February!

More tomorrow....

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Completed Cellphone Pouches

Just a quickie for today. I always seem to have this long list of things to do, finish, put away or clean! I just can't seem to get done with chores today!

Anyway, I've completed the assembly on my 3 latest cellphone pouches. I don't know which one I love the most! Here's the photos:

Sunflower 2

Spiderweb 2

Seascape 2

They're listed in my Etsy shop now. I'm off to try to complete my chores so I can sit down and stitch on my "blackwork cellphone pouch" which BTW - is very interesting so far. I'll have an update for you on that one tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Crazyquilt Heart Kits and Cellphone Pouches

I spent the majority of yesterday running my sewing machine. That's one of my favorite things to do! I sewed up some 6 inch crazyquilt hearts and have put them together into kits with some lace, beads and a button and added them to my Etsy shop. I had a great time putting those kits together and can't wait until I have time to do some more! The foundation piecing is such an enjoyable process for me.

After straightening up, I spent the late afternoon and evening stitching. I finished my little Spiderweb Cellphone Pouch:

Spiderweb Cellphone Pouch

This is so pretty and I'm so pleased with it considering that when I started stitching on it, I wasn't sure what direction it should go in!

My next piece will be this little cellphone pouch:

Neutral Cellphone Pouch

This is an experiment piece for me. I have a purse block sewn up with the exact same fabrics. I mentioned a few weeks back that I wanted to do a block in light neutral colors and then do all the stitching in black. I decided that I would do that on this small piece first to see how it looks before working the purse block. I'm visualizing this as having a "Blackwork" feeling to it but I won't know for sure until I actually start stitching on it. I just thought it would be best to experiment on a small piece first. If I don't like it or it doesn't work out as planned, then I can do something else with the large piece and not feel that my fabrics are wasted.

On the TAST front, Sharon has chosen the Cretan Stitch for this week's focus. Hmmmm......this is a stitch that I have never done. My grandmother never taught it to me and I never found it attractive enough to want to try it. But, try it I will! First I'll have to hop over to Sharon's Stitch Dictionary to see how it's done and then I'll figure out my own take on it.

Ok, I'm off now to assemble these latest 3 cellphone pouches. I really enjoying doing these little projects in between my purses. It's fun to see something work up quickly even though crazyquilting for me, isn't about the destination but rather the journey!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lots To Share Today!

I did absolutely nothing yesterday but watch TV and stitch! I completed my little Sunflower Cellphone Pouch:

Sunflower Cellphone Pouch

The scanner lid kind of smooshed the little sunflowers. Those are little silk sunflowers that I took off of a garland that I bought awhile back. They were kind of boring so I decided to put a bit of glitter on them. Only, my glitter was in a box at the bottom of my craft closet. I didn't feel like taking everything out to get to it but then I remembered that I had some glitter glue for making cards and that was easy to get to so I decided to try using that and it worked! Thank goodness I have so many craft supplies!

This was a bit challenging as I normally don't work with yellow and orange. The blue is quite complimentary and I am really pleased with how it came out. I even strayed from my comfort zone and used a silver tone butterfly instead of a gold one! When I get it assembled, I will post a better photo of it.

When I completed the sunflower pouch, I started on this one:

Spiderweb Cellphone Pouch

Sorry, I forgot to scan it for you before I started on it. Anyway, there will be a spider in the web. Carol Samples has a lovely pattern for a spiderweb and vine in her Treasury Of Crazyquilt Stitches book and I've been taken with it since I bought my copy. I wasn't sure what to do with this block when I started but then I remembered Carol's book and decided it might be fun to do a spiderweb as a focal point! I should have this one completed later today.

Last but not least, I completed all of my purses except for the White Peacock purse which I hope to finish later this week. The first one to be listed in my Etsy shop is the Purple Painted Lady Purse:

Painted Lady Purse 1

I put this on a silver purse frame and made the chain detachable. I really love working the frames! They work nice and look great!

That's it for today's news. I'm off to run my sewing machine for a few hours.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cellphone Pouches

I completed this little one yesterday:

Seascape Cellphone Pouch

I added a few more beads, some sequins and a little gold fish. Can you find my signature cat? He's there, but quite obsure on this one!

A design like this, with larger embellishments will require using a zipper foot when assembling on the sewing machine. The zipper foot will allow for getting right up against the embellishments. When I sew this together, I'll document the process with my digi so you can see how it's done.

My next project will be this little cellphone pouch:

Sunflower Cellphone Pouch

I mentioned a few weeks ago, that one of my goals for this year is to work more with colors that I don't like. Well, here's another yellow project! I think it'll be fun though, as the theme will be sunflowers! Check back tomorrow for an update on this piece.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Seascape Cellphone Pouch

I had alot of stitching time yesterday! I started working on this little cellphone pouch:

Seascape Cellphone Pouch

As you can see, it has a Seascape theme. I started with one of my painted dryer sheets ironed on to the foundation with Heat & Bond. I then did the Buttonhole Wheels in the center. Using a dime, I traced on the circles, stitched them and then added some Stem stitching.

Then I took a piece of metallic gold mesh fabric and tacked that across the bottom of the pouch. I did some Feather stitching to the left and tacked on some fancy fibers to the right. I did a bit of Twisted Tatting with cream & gold crochet thread and added that to the fibers to the right and then went onto adding the seashells and beads.

I left some excess of the gold mesh fabric at the bottom. When this is completed, I will pull that up a bit to make a poofy edge at the bottom of the pouch.

This a wonderful little project for someone who doesn't have a clue about foundation piecing. Knowing how to make a crazyquilt is not necessary to create a fun little work of art like this. Any piece of fabric laying around, basic embroidery stitches and a few different threads & beads are all that's needed.

I'm sure I'll have this completed later today. I plan to add a few more beads, a couple of sequins and a little fishy or two and it will be ready to assemble.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The White Peacock Purse and More!

Well, as planned, I completed the stitching on this last night:

The White Peacock Purse

I added my spider to the bottom left-hand corner and then highlighted the peacock's wing with a bit of metallic silver thread. That seems to bring it out a bit more and I must say, this so pretty!

I do think we need to take a moment when looking at our work and give ourselves a pat on the back sometimes. I'm still amazed with what comes out of my head and through my needle! And I don't think there's anything wrong with congradulating ourselves for our accomplishments! I love this piece and will have a hard time parting with it.

Susan asked me what the little flowers are that I used on the vine to the right of the peaocock. Those are just lavender colored flower sequins held in place with a few petite delica beads.

My next project will be a cellphone pouch:

Seascape Cellphone Pouch

It doesn't look like much now. It's simply a painted dryer sheet ironed on to the foundation using Heat & Bond. Notice the transparent quality that it has! Wait till you see what I'm going to do with this. I plan to start on it later today.

In the meantime, today is another finishing day. At least the machine finishing. On Wednesday, I assembled the Purple Painted Lady purse and the Green & Yellow Rose purse. Oh, did they come out nice! I used purse frames for them and only have the hand finishing left to do. I should have photos in the next couple of days.

Today, I'll be doing the machine finishing on the Pansy Purse. Again, I'll be putting it on a purse frame. I also need to finish my little Valentine Cupid Doorknocker.

Last of the news for today, I recently came accross a huge batch of beautiful upholstry fabric samples. There was way more there than I will ever use so I put some in my Etsy shop.

Upholstry 1

I hope someone can use them. Beautiful colors and textures! I can see these worked into crazyquilts or used for contempory embroidered pieces. Perfect too for the background on fabric postcards! I'm itching to do some more of those!

Ok everyone, I'm off to run my sewing machine. See ya tomorrow!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

TAST and The White Peacock Purse

I didn't complete this last night like I had hoped, but I did get quite a bit done including the beading on the Detached chain leaves on the vine to the right of the peacock:

Beaded Detached Chain

The beads give it a whole new look! They add more color and dimension to the stitching. I used 1 light green bugle bead in the center of each Detached Chain stitch.

Here's what the entire block looks like:

Green And Purple Block

This afternoon, I'll add the spider web to the bottom left-hand corner and highlight the peacock's wing with some silver thread and then it's complete. I'll have another update for you tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

TAST - Detached Chain Stitch

As I mentioned yesterday, Sharon chose the Detached Chain as this weeks stitch focus. I use it alot as it's one of my favorite stitches. It's so versatile! Quite often, I use it for leaves like I did on the vine to the right of the peacock:

Green And Purple Block

This piece scanned a little dark today. It's much lighter and brighter in person. And very sparkly!

I decided to leave off that rose applique as I feared it would compete with the peacock. Instead, I did a stem stitch vine and used the Detached Chain (aka Lazy Daisy) stitch for leaves. The next step is to bead it. I always add either a bugle bead to the center of the leaves or 3 seed beads. If I use Petite seed beads, then I'll usually use 5 of those. I haven't decided yet on what beads to use.

The beads add sparkle, dimension and more color to the piece.

I've drawn up the motif that I used in case anyone would like to stitch it:

Detached Chain Flower Motif

Click on the image to go to my Flickr site where you can download the larger version. Trace onto tissue paper, pin to your block and stitch through the tissue. Once stitching is complete, carefully remove the tissue paper. I always freehand these motifs but if you want to do an exact replica, the tissue paper should work nicely for you. For the flower, you can outline stitch it, satin stitch it or fill it in with beads.

As you can see, I did alot on this piece yesterday. I added more glass flowers to the branch and a few seed beads. I did the grape vine to the left of the peacock and I did a rose motif on the dark purple ribbon. The roses are vintage Millinary (did I spell that right?) flowers. I found a whole bagful of them awhile back but kept forgetting that I had them! I added some glass beads for a little extra sparkle and did the leaves using silk ribbons from Pat Winters. If you need silk ribbon, visit Pat's Etsy shop! Working with Pat's ribbons makes me want to do more SRE!

Looking at this from a distance, I do feel like the peacock needs a little something to make him pop out more. Maybe I should have done him in purple but I've been wanting to do a white peacock for some time now. I may take a strand of metallic silver thread and outline him with that and maybe highlight his wing with it.

I still need to add my little cat and I'm thinking of a spider web for that bottom left-hand corner. I love doing spider webs!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

We Have A Winner!!!

Well, I checked the times on yesterday's comments as well as a couple of emails that I received from readers who have trouble posting to my blog and the winner is, Gail who posted at 11:23 yesterday (Monday) morning.

Yes, the focal point is a peacock:

Green And Purple Block

I sent ya'll over to my Flickr site thinking you'd find the photos of my other peacock pieces. I like to use vintage jewelry as part of the tail feathers.

On this one, I did the tail feathers a bit different than I have in the past. I used white eyelash yarn, couched it on and used some clear pearly sequins to add sparkle. Then I added some large dark green seed beads for the eyes in the tail feathers. I had wanted to use crystals but I didn't have any in emerald green.

If you look closely at the jewelry piece, I altered it a bit. I cut that loop off of it. That part sat over the wing and I didn't like the way it looked so I just grabbed my wire cutters and cut it off!

After getting the peacock stitched on to this block, which took most of yesterday afternoon, I decided that the rose applique was too much. It overpowers this little guy so I'll be leaving it off and doing something else with that seam.

So, Gail who commented at 11:23 on Monday morning, please drop me a quick email with your snail mail address and I'll send your pansy off to you. You can find my email address on my main Kitty & Me Designs website.

In other news, Sharon has chosen the Detached Chain stitch as this weeks TAST Challenge. Also known as the Lazy Daisy stitch which is what my grandmother always called it, this is one of my favorites and one that I use on just about every block I stitch! I must find something extremely creative to do with this stitch! I'll have to think about that a bit and see what I come up with. You've probably noticed that I always add beads to my Detached Chain stitches. I do that because I love the sparkle. In fact, you can see some of my beaded Detached Chain stitches on the seam to the left of the peacock.

Ok, that's it for it today's news! I'm off to sew up some new blocks because after this peacock block, I have nothing else to stitch on. And I can't have any of that going on! I must stitch!

I also plan to run my sewing machine tomorrow in hopes of assembling some of those purses that I've been making.

Monday, January 15, 2007

No Winner Yet

Ladies, ladies, ladies! I can't believe we still don't have a winner yet. I've been holding off on starting the "focal point" until we had a winner but I can't go much further without it so I'll give you one more suggestion.

Why don't you all poke around over at my Flickr site and see if you get any ideas!

Ok, onto the purse itself:

Green And Purple Block

I did some more beading yesterday. I worked on that bottom Herringbone seam. I must say, that is just so pretty! I really like the way the Herringbone looks over the ribbon! I knew if I worked with it long enough, I'd find a way to make that Herringbone more attractive!

I then beaded the bottom right-hand seam.

I do plan to hand-paint that applique as it might clash with my focal point which will be white. I'm just holding off until I get the focal point stitched on.

Ok, I think I've given ya'll a good couple of hints here. Keep guessing! I'm off to organize my fancy threads in a nice rolling cart that I bought at WalMart over the weekend.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

TAST - More On Herringbone Stitch

I really loved what I did with the Herringbone stitch on my Green & Yellow purse project so I decided to do it again on this purse:

Green And Purple Block

I added a piece of 5/8 inch wide lavender satin ribbon along the seam but it didn't show up very well so I added another piece along the top edge. This one is a green shaded ribbon 3/8 inch wide. Once I had that attached, I lined up my Waste Canvas up over the ribbon. I did my Herringbone stitch in white, added my favorite little fan stitch along the bottom in green and then some small fan stitches in purple.

Here's the pattern if you would like to try it:

Herringbone And Fan Stitches 3

Click on the image to go to my Flickr site where you can download the larger version.

Susan commented last week on the wide purple band near the top right. That is actually 2 inch wide wired Christmas ribbon. I found it a WalMart last year after Christmas for 25 cents! I just loved it because I love purple. I cut the size I needed for the space, and pulled the wires out of each side and then it's sewn into the foundation on the top and bottom. My stitching holds the sides in place. I'm planning to do some SRE on it.

As for our Contest, we still don't have a winner yet. Maybe instead of "guessing the theme", I should have said, "guess the focal point". Does that help anyone?

I'm actually hoping this stirs up your creativity! Look at the jewelry piece that I posted yesterday. What would you do with it? Now, think about what I would do with it!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

CONTEST!

I didn't get any stitching time in yesterday. I've been working like crazy trying to get my Monday morning deadline project done. I'm happy to say, I'll have it completed in another 2 hours!

I thought today would be a good day for another Contest! This is pure guessing on your part.

I was digging through my junk & do-dads again and I found this piece of vintage jewelry which I'll be using:

Pin

The first person to guess the theme of my current purple & green purse project will receive as a prize, the Dryer Sheet Pansy model that I made for the tutorial.

Dryer Sheet Pansy 6

You have to post your guess in the comments section of this post.

Out of fairness to my readers, since I haven't actually started on that part yet, I've sent the answer to my model-stitcher Kim.

Ok everyone, post your guesses, have fun and good luck!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Just A Quick Update Today

I just got another very tight deadline project. I need to have it completed by Monday morning! Yikes! I can do it but I have to start on it now. I don't like missing out on blogging so here's an update on my purple and green purse:

Green And Purple Block

I couldn't decided what to do with that bottom seam so instead, I started beading on the seams that I already covered. I've decided on a theme for this piece. Anyone want to take a guess?

Thanks to everyone who commented with compliments on my "mistake" stitch! Look at it now with some beads on it! I just love it and will definately be doing it again.

Oh, I added a bunch of stuff to my Etsy shop! Tons of cross stitch things and all that beautiful vintage lace is there now too. I have more things to add when I complete this cross stitch emergency project including some gorgeous upolstry fabrics that I found recently. These would be wonderful for crazyquilts!

And if I have any scrapbookers who read my blog, there's some really fun vintage gift wrap there, all with a childrens theme!

Ok, I'm off to work. If I manage any stitching time later, I'll post another update tomorrow.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

TAST - (Reverse) Buttonhole Stitch (Mistake)

Sometimes, great things come from the result of a mistake! It was my intention to do the Buttonhole Stitch in reverse. I however, did not account for the extra space that I needed and marked the 1/2 circles on my seam a little too close together. But just look at what I came up with:

Reverse Buttonhole Stitch

Isn't this great?!! They look like some sort of abstract flowers found on an antique sampler! Can you imagine how cool this will look once I bead it? I can't wait!!!

Once I had the row completed, I added some straight stitches inside the open part using a pink metallic thread.

Here's what it looks like on the block:

Green And Purple Block

As promised in my post yesterday, I've drawn up the pattern for perfect buttonhole stitches along with the pattern for this, my "Reverse Buttonhole Mistake":

Perfect Buttonhole Stitch

Click on the image to go to my Flickr site where you can download the larger version.
When printed, the Buttonhold Stitch pattern should measure about 4 inches wide.

Trace this pattern onto tissue paper, pin it along your seam-line and stitch. Or, if working on a fabric such as cotton, you can trace it onto lightweight cardboard, cut it out and trace it directly on to your fabric.

I know I've mentioned before that I use coins with lines drawn down the center in permanent marker. I lay the coin along my seam line, lining up the center mark on the coin and then trace my 1/2 circles. This won't work on dark or plush fabrics so the suggestion of using tissue paper is a perfect alternative.

Did I mention that this piece will be another purse? Are you at all surprised?

Stop by tomorrow for an update on this piece!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

TAST - Buttonhole Stitch

Ok, this is extremely pathetic! I'm sure it's nothing that hasn't been done before but after working on the computer all day yesterday, trying to meet an extremely tight deadline, I just wasn't feeling very creative:

Buttonhole Stitch Sample

And I will honestly admit, my stitches are far from perfect. I don't care for doing this stitch on 14 count Aida. That grid is just so confining to me! I love this stitch but much prefer doing it on a crazyquilt seam! So that's where I'll be doing my next example! I already have a cool idea and although it's not new to crazyquilting, it will be new to me! I'll be working it on this block:

Green And Purple Block

I'm just itching to sew up some new pieces including the purse flap that I'll be using my gorgeous vintage collar on. Serious sewing time is scheduled for next week!

Tomorrow, I will have an update on this block along with a pattern for making perfectly spaced buttonhole wheels. In the meantime, if anyone actually likes what I did with the Buttonhole stitch, here the charted patterns for 2 variations:

Buttonhole Variation 1

Buttonhole Variation 2

Click on one of the images to go to my Flickr site where you can download the larger versions.

I'm off to package up all that lace that I painted the other day for my Etsy shop.

Oh! Do hop over to Sharon's blog and see her gorgeous stitched Praying Mantis! What a beauty!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Green Purse Completed!

I always feel a bit sad when I complete the stitching on a crazyquilt project. I enjoy the process so much! The stitching and embellishing are complete on this now:

Green Purse

I had to use the camera instead of the scanner due to the rose pin that I added. I must say, I'm quite pleased with this despite my dislike of the color yellow. This looks so light and Summery!

On the TAST front, Sharon has named the Buttonhole Stitch as this weeks stitch focus. The Buttonhole Stitch is very versatile and one that I use quite often on a variety of projects. Also known as the Blanket Stitch (which is what my grandmother always called it) you can find it on my Dryer Sheet Pansy Project posted on January 2nd. It's a wonderful overcast stitch for finishing off raw edges.

I will be playing with this stitch a bit later today (I hope) and should have a photo for you tomorrow. I also plan to draw up a Buttonhole Wheel pattern for you to use on your projects. I've mentioned many times that I like my stitches to be perfectly spaced so I mark my pieces before I stitch them instead of just eyeballing it.

On another note, after three years of blogging, Sharon has posted a very interesting article on blogging & technology. Boy, did I see myself while reading Sharon's post! I am not one to move with the times as far as technology goes! Quite frankly, technology gets on my nerves! I hate upgrading and I hate changing things on my computer! Like my husband always says, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

I still use bookmarks rather than the RSS Feed option. Mostly because I still don't quite understand how the RSS Feed thing works. I just bought a new Backup Battery for my computer but I have no patience for the mess of cords under my desk so I've asked my dad to come and switch from the old one to the new one for me!

I remember when my husband wanted to get a digital camera. I kept telling him that we're not picture takers and he doesn't even use the computer so why do we need one? (He can't even send an email without my help!) Well, thankfully I agreed to getting one because it comes in quite handy for my love of blogging!

Honestly, do you remember the days of buying a new television, bringing it home, plugging it in & turning it on and it worked? Oh no, not these days! I don't know what's worse, the mess of wires behind my TV or the mess of wires under my desk? Please! Is all this really necessary?

Now Scott would like to get a big flat screen TV. Ok, I can deal with that, but after looking into it, we found out that if you want the High Def thing to work, you have to upgrade your Satalite or Cable service, if you have a Satalite service then you need a new dish to receive the signal and a new box to bring that signal to your TV. WE both agreed that at this time, we do not need the High Def thing! Technology is like a vampire and if you let it, it will suck your wallet dry!

I really don't even watch television. I just listen to it while I stitch or look at magazines! I never listen to anything through the stereo. Who needs that much noise? When I listen to CD's, I just play them on my tiny little boom box here in my room. I will admit, it's kind of cool to listen to Pirates Of The Carribean movie through the stereo. Yes, it sounds like there are zombie pirates everywhere! But do I really need to be chased by zombie pirates while I'm stitching? No, not really. Honestly, my television is really only 6 or 7 feet from my sofa! I mean, I'm not deaf!

The point I'm making is that technology is fine when it suits our needs. Eventually, I get used to things. I remember when I had no choice but to switch from Win 98 to Win XP! Oh, did I hate Win XP! I couldn't find anything! I whined constantly about wanting my Win 98 back. Well, I've had Win XP for a few years now and I can't even remember what Win 98 looked like. Yes, Sharon is right. We all move with technology at our own pace. For me, it's only when I absolutely have to!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Beads & Old Lace

We had a lovely time up in Galena yesterday. I never want to leave when we're there!

One of my favorite shops is a bead store called, The Bead Bar. This has to be the best bead shop I've ever been in! You will never see so many beads in one place as you will here! I of course made quite a dent in my spending $ in that store:

Beads

I tried to make good choices and picked things that I don't usually see here where I live. It's difficult as I always want one of each!

I don't have any stitching to share today, but I did get a huge mound of vintage lace all painted up Saturday afternoon. This is a wonderful batch, mostly crocheted, some knitted, some tatted and a bit of old manufactured lace:

Handpainted Lace

I hope to get this and some other things packaged up and listed in my Etsy shop later this week.

I do plan to have stitching time later today so check back for an update tomorrow on my green & yellow purse!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

More On Purses

We had some errands to run this morning and while out & about, we stopped at Borders bookstore and look what I found:

Handbags Book

This is the most delightful little book on the history of handbags and purses! It's about 450 pages and is loaded with gorgeous color photos of handbags from pre-1890's through now. Of course I'm most attracted to the embroidered and beaded bags but even the Lucite and Bakelite handbags are interesting to look at.

It's a wonderful reference book for the collecter and a great source of inspiration for the needleworker and purse designer! Also, if you just like to look at photos of pretty purses, this book is loaded with eye-candy!

I found this book over in the Antique & Collectible section if anyone is interested in checking it out.

And speaking of purses, here's an update photo of my green & yellow purse:

Green Purse

I did more beading on the ribbon. I used yellow silver-lined seed beads on the points of the Fan Stitches. That adds alot of sparkle without being distracting.

I then added a SRE spray which still needs to be beaded. Yes, this another rare piece for me as I don't do alot of SRE! I had wanted to do the leaves with ribbon too but I didn't have any ribbons in green. I think I'll contact Pat Winter and see if she'll put together a small custom package of green ribbons for me.

I don't think I'll have time for a blog post tomorrow. Scott & I are going to drive up to Galena, Illinois for the day. It's a 2 hour drive so we'll have to leave at 7 am to make it worth the drive time and we probably won't get back until about 5 or 6 tomorrow evening. We really love it up there so we decided to do a nice day trip and spend some time looking in the shops.

For now, I'm off to start painting a huge mound of vintage crocheted lace for my Etsy shop. I have all sorts of neat new things to list and hope to have everything ready for listing later this week.

See you on Monday!
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