Double Duty

May 17, 2012

needlebookAs usual, I’ve fallen behind.  I had really wanted to try Sharon’s TAST Challenge from Pintangle but I just couldn’t get started.  When I was having the same problem starting a needlecase for an exchange with others on the EAC Board of Directors, I suddenly realized that it was stitchers block.  I had an epiphany.  I needed to set a starting point.  In this case, I felt a wavy line was needed.  Once I got the line in place, everything else seemed to fall into place.  Although I’ve not yet done week 1, I have officially gotten a great start on week 2: Buttonhole stitch.

In the top left, I used buttonhole to attach a two hole button and finished it with circles and swirls of detached buttonhole.  In the bottom right, I wanted to test out how buttonhole would work as a filling stitch.  I tried a variety of thread weights, including mixing a heavier and lighter thread.  As I worked the stitches as filler and then using the detached buttonhole to fill the top, it began to take the shape of a house. So I thought I’d continue with that theme and couch down some fleece as paths.

I’ve always loved buttonhole stitch and now I’ve discovered so much more about how the stitch can be used.

I hope the recipient of my needlebook enjoys the buttonhole stitch too.  But now, I have to stitch more samples for my box of stitch ideas.


September Mystery Sock

September 8, 2009

I’m trying to get ahead with my Christmas knitting so I’m participating in a couple of mystery sock knit alongs. I’ve completed the socks for my SIL from the Solid Sock Mystery Sock for August and am now working on my Sept socks.

yellow socks

More socks

July 31, 2008

It seems I’m always kniting socks. For me, they are both challenging and relaxing. So far this pair has been challenging. It took three tries and making a set of needles that look a lot like wire  to get the gauge I required. They are part of a challenge on Ravelry — knit at a microgauge. The wool is Knitpicks Essential Tweed Sock Yarn and it feels wonderful. I can’t wait to see how it washes.

Take It Further Challenge March

April 2, 2008

Okay. I disappeared for two months. Work was hectic and it was costume time at our house. My daughter is a competitive dancer and required costumes for six numbers along with costumes for her duet partners in two numbers. It seems like my life has been consumed by dance. I am still working on completing the challenge for January, I have sketches for February and a strong start on March.

For March, “Do you ever notice the little things, the small moments, the details in life? This months challenge is to do just that, pay attention to the tiny details. Sometimes the small things become emblematic for something larger.” I realized that my small person and her activities created one of the important details in my life so I gathered up the scraps from her costumes and created this quilt block. I’ve never created a crazy quilt block before so it is a bit of a learning experience. The background is several layers of organza overtop of white poly-cotton. I used the freezer paper method of forming the fan and hand stitched them together. Then I stitched the fan onto the background. I realize this is not usually done as an applique but I couldn’t face the raw edges of the organza to piece it together. At this point in my life, simple is better.


I’m then going to embellish the block. In my mind, the embellishing is like all the small details in my world right now. Which tights, shoes, and accessories are needed for which costume? How can it be packed neatly and organized? Nut-free, non-messy snacks. Hotel rooms. Getting work completed to take time off. All the little details that go into making the next couple of months run smoothly without loosing my head.

There are still two more fabrics to add in and they will become a border of some sort. I have a black crinkle cotton with a silver stripe and red satin. Maybe a cording and a ruffle? Maybe a double border? I think I’ll plan that when the block is closer to completion.

I have a few more costumes to go for the studio recital and then I’m finished with that for the year. In the meantime, I’ll continue to work on this challenge and knitting to keep my sanity.

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January 30, 2008

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TIFC No Where Near Complete

January 30, 2008

Well it appears that this month’s challenge (TIF) piece is what Sharon B would refer to as a “slow cloth.” I had a not bad beginning. Located my materials, decided on the focus and then promptly complicated the whole thing. Oh it’s not that bad. I just had more to work on than I had time. I do have the first two parts of this piece finished.

I am using the colour palette suggested with some additions. I did begin on Jan 3 before anyone had researched the DMC colours for comparisons. My green was chosen based on what I saw on my monitor and obviously, reading other blogs, there were some variations. I do not currently, nor can I remember ever, admiring a person. I do however, admire certain qualities that people possess. For this piece, I chose to represent “courage/strength”. I have several friends/relatives who constantly move past their fears, charge into the unknown, have the wisdom to recognize the patterns of life (work & play) and the ability to move beyond where they are, to learn and grow.

My first panel (I’m calling them panels right now) represents facing fears. I have embroidered the word fear using the letters to create a face. I’ve then machine stitched yarn around it symbolizing the capturing and controlling of the fears. (Click on the pictures for larger images.)

Full facing fear panel.                          Full facing fear panel.

The next panel is growth and starting over. It has been stitched on one side of a linen type napkin. I loved working this piece. It really developed a rhythym. This piece has four repeats and is probably about 15″in height.

Daisy border

Lessons learned:

1. Scale the project back or find more time to put into it.
2. Try to have more of the assembly done early so the project becomes more portable.

I am really enjoying myself and this is stretching my creativity which is what I was hoping for. I’ll start February on Friday and continue to work on January as I can.

January’s Take it further challenge begins

January 2, 2008

I read the challenge yesterday around noon and it’s taken me over a day to wrap my head around this one. Who do I admire and why? It really comes down to… I admire a lot of different people for very different reasons — it’s an individual trait not the whole person usually. So I’m thinking of ways to make this work.

I’m also hoping to use the colours. Unfortunately, they don’t print really well on my printer but tonight, at home when I’m not supposed to be working, I’ll gather up my stranded cotton and match the colours. I already have two of them from my lunchtime foray. A friend and I had lunch at a teahouse/shop today and I discovered a basket of single napkins (okay some of them might have had pairs, but they were selling them in singles.) So I took a chance on my memory of the colours and picked up three linen napkins. Not only were they on sale but when I got back to my computer — two of them matched the swatches quite well. It’s an awesome start so I will be using the colours.

I’m already thinking about ATC or postcard size patches representing different attributes and the person, then joined together to make one larger piece. Maybe CQ or maybe not. Hard to say right now.

Had to get this all down before it was lost. So ba

Creative Moments

December 13, 2007

My creative moments are often literally that. Snippets of time snatched in between running my daughter to dance, tossing in yet another load of laundry, and all the rest of the things that seem to fill my evenings and weekends. This past year, I’ve been challenging myself to try new techniques. So I’ve started a file of notes of ideas I’ve seen on other blogs. Ways to do something that I hadn’t tried. Different stitches, fibres, colours. I eagerly read the Quilting Arts magazine and others looking for something to try. So the other day when I found myself at loose ends for about a half hour, I scooted down to my studio/sewing room/storage area. I had read tutorial on how to create a background using roving. I have lots of roving, including a lovely new one with plenty of sparkle.rovingme.jpg

So I laid out roving in a pleasing to me landscape over white felt. Added sparkly white for snow. Covered with water soluble stabilizer and machine embroidered over top. I’m still learning/practicing my machine embroidery but it’s a great deal of fun and very practical. I’ve dissolved the stabilizer and now it’s waiting for hand embellishing. It is the size of an ATC but I’m thinking about attaching it to card stock and using it as a card instead.


December 12, 2007

I know most people start everything in September (following a school year) or January (calendar year) but I hate to wait. I’ve wanted to do this for some time and always let “life” get in my way. Thanks to SharonB and her upcoming challenge, I’ve taken the plunge. Now I just have to post about my explorations in fibre…