Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm on a ROLL!!!

Okay, I'm sore and tired from being so tense but at least I'm breathing and I made another Butterfly!!! AND I definitely know that I HATE the metal shuttle and bobbin - I think I spent more time rolling the cotton back onto the bobbin than it took to make this baby and the tight grip to hold onto the bobbin - it kept slipping away!!!

Here are my first (on the right) and second (on the left) tatted projects side by side. Ain't they just lovely for a beginner - yep I'm feeling mighty good with this accomplishment!!! And I think I've got the tension a bit more even the second time around. Yep practice, practice and more practice, but not tonight now!!!


Yahooie, I did it, I did it, I really really did it!!!

Here is my first shuttle tatted project completed all by myself - no one guiding me nor helping with stitches - ALL BY MYSELF!!!

Butterflies are Forever Free

It is the first project from my Online Tatting Class - The Learning Centre accessed via AKTATTER@aol.com - you have your various lesson pages to print off and practice before the online Chatzy which is the place to discuss problems and find solutions, links etc to help you over your problems. Now I tried this way, but I "needed" the hands on guidance I received from my local Lace Group to get me started and now that I've caught on I can read a pattern and hopefully if easy enough can continue with these online lessons to further my training.

Chains, Picots and Rings!!!

FINALLY I've got it - not smoothly but it's in my head now without looking at the book for every step!!! Thank you to all who have perservered in trying to teach me to TAT!!! I think I've got it!!! YAHOOIE!!!!!!!!!!!

Yah, I know, I goofed and did not join after the third ring, I tried to rippit but just could not open up the ring so thought this is practice - leave it!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tatting Shuttles

Okay, I decided I need to keep a record of these or I might land up getting duplicates. Now I don't mean in the styles as there is one in particular that I like so far, but I mean in designs or decals/paintings on the shuttle. I thought I only need one - well for now while I'm learning yeah ONE or TWO are sufficient - BUT I'm going to get good at this and then I'll want a shuttle for each colour or type of thread I want to do something with. After unwinding my first shuttle today and then rewinding the appropriate colour I will not be doing this too often and KNOW why Maija has many shuttles!!!

So these are the shuttles I now own:

Aero plastic shuttle and bobbin

Susan Bates metal shuttle and bobbin

Clover plastic shuttle and post - my favourite to use so far - thank you Maija for showing me this smaller one!

And these are the shuttles so far that I've seen on various online searches for "shuttles" and think are just AWESOME and would like to own someday as long as they are not over $15 Cdn.

This one is beautiful along with the abalone shell one and if possible a must to have one day!

These others are awesome craftsmanship:

I know there are various "antique" type shuttles out there along with sterling silver and ivory bone etc but really I'm not that into collecting especially if costly - I want to use these and appreciate the decorations each has. Someday!

Tatting Again?

Well I can tell you that teaching myself from the book or over the Internet was not working too well for me!!! Then I joined a local Lace Group (mostly bobbin lace makers – WOW - talk about eyecandy at the monthly meetings) and Ewa from Needlepoint Place did an awesome job of showing Michelle and I how to start off, even though she said she was a beginning tatter herself. Well after a ratio of 1 good stitch and I’m sure at least 6 bad stitches (lots of "rippits"), I think I caught on.

Well the other day I wanted to just do some simple chains, rings and picots for a dainty lace edge to the item on my Faces RR block and thought I can do this! Yeah right!!! The problem was I didn’t keep practicing every day as I was trying to catch up on other CQing work and I TOTALLY forgot everything – real dumb!

So at yesterday’s Lace meeting Maija, the "Tatting Queen" of the group, was there and she showed us her smaller shuttle and a slightly different way to hold our hands and shuttle and for some reason I understood this better. I even made RINGS – no picots yet – that’s next!!! NOW it’s to see if I remember today! Yes I brought my thread and shuttle to work so will see what I can produce shortly! LOL!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I Shouldn't Have -- But I Did!!!

Yep, I's been bad and blew my horribly waning budget to smithereens this weekend!!! But you know what, even if I rethought this I still would have done this and probably more!!!

Yesterday I picked up a Santa Lucia pizza, now it was a small not the medium I usually order nor a second one for a few $$$s less - just the one and I've half for tonight's supper too, then home to have it with Pepsi instead of brew!!!

Then this morning I slept in cause I was reading late, and off to get my usual short haircut - gosh it felt mucho better than thinking I'd grow it out some. And while there I asked my stylist if she knew of a nails salon as I noticed I was picking on them the other day and that was not good plus the last polish job was just lousy!!! I've got to somehow learn to change polish myself but I hate wasting the 3 hours or so it takes me to do so and then it's not such a great job either! Anyways she told me of the shop just opened in the mall there so off I went and a manicure was $15 and mani-pedi was $35 - hey I'd never had a pedicure and my sister has always told me to GET ONE - I seem to need it badly (barefoot and sandals as soon as it's warm enough and until it's too cold) - at least this year they didn't crack and bleed! So I had my first pedicure in one of those huge leather massage chairs and WOW WOW WOW - I think I'm going again!!! Now she was very gentle and only the sanding part bothered me and once the tickles surfaced and everyone there had a good laugh!!!

Now it's been like THREE MONTHS since I've chewed my nails so I'm trying with the payday manicure treats to hopefully keep them thus!!! So that should have been enough and I should have gone home right!!! WRONG!!!

I then headed towards Fabricland but stopped at A&W for a Teen burger lunch then over to the fabric store for some red thread and $7 later with lace and needle grabbers. Then stopped into Valu Village to check out some men's shirts and found TWO I'd have liked for a peasant's blouse for fall but not at $5.99 and $9.99 each - SHEESH they weren't new that is for sure. So I sauntered over to check the doilies but none that I felt I really needed but over in the crafts section I found this bag of wool "ropes" for $1.99 and I'm sure this is what is used for needle felting projects so I grabbed that - that's for sure. See the blended one on the left was still in it's sealed bag! So my niece, sister and I will definitely have some to try out this technique one of these days - heck the tools are expensive enough so good that I got this bargain.

Then I went next door into Kathryn's Stitching Studio and $16 later for some long Milleners needles for easier making of my Bullion knots and a metal tatting shuttle, good thing I didn't look at the threads or it would have been lots more. Then one last stop into Needlepoint Place and $17 later for a second tatting shuttle (twin to the one I had) and a lilac and forest green #8 DMC Perle Cotton for stitching/tatting projects.

That's enough - off home I headed - my feet were starting to ache and I wanted to meet with Pat F at the Craft Museum up the street from home, so I parked the car, dropped off my purchases and rushed up the street towards St. Mary's just to find that she had left like 10 minutes before!!! Pat Pat Pat!!! Now I can tell you my feet are burning!!!

So back home to grab my lawn chair, book and beading and off to the fountains to relax instead of my overly warm humid apartment. Well that did not last long as there were wedding parties everywhere and one photographer had the audacity to plunk his equipment (getto blaster blaring) just feet away from me and they were arranging for pictures right there - I was so tempted to just keep sitting there then thought it was not worth it and packed up to go to the other side of the grounds. That did not last long either so I just packed up and went home! I was getting hungry anyways!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Faces DYB RR update

I'm not sure if I have updated the progress on my set of blocks, posted previously, I had sent out with a request for a Celestial theme to match my future bed quilt that I had made the top myself. Anyways here is block number two completed by Nicki L - just lovely.

Thank you Nicki.

Remember this Block?

Naked block

Some time ago I entered a CQing RR in one of my other groups and was the first to embellish this crazy patched block - you can read about it in a previous blog entry. Well now the finished block was posted - I LOVE it!!!

Finished block

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Postcard Swaps Caught Up!!!

FINALLY I've completed all postcard swaps that I was behind on and I hope the ladies all are pleased when they arrive and not so upset with my tardiness. The idea for these evolved out of the Michelle Dobrin workshop of fabric landscapes that I took through the guild. Basically using Batiks and with bobbin work followed a sketch from the back then from the front did some quilting before adding fabric paint to the rocky island and shoreline. I'm very pleased with the results.

Faye S - FAPC


Dyane D - FF

Linda B - FF

Carolyn J - FF

I've also made a couple extra and still have some tops to finish off for whatever and will be posted in My Creative Extras blog. I think I'll now sit back from signing up for anymore postcard swaps for a while and give my RRs a chance to grow. I'm in two committed RRs and then in another group "no time frame" RRs ongoing which I still don't want sitting here too long. I'm just glad my creative and stitching mojo has surfaced again and hope it sticks around forever now!!!

Crescentwood Grizzlies & Bead Box Comparison

Well it was an awesome day out today and I got to watch my great nephew's football game and he made an AWESOME tackle and the whole TEAM played very well and WON!!! AND I took a picture of Byran and Andrew in a football pose with my new camera but it's not there so not sure what I did or didn't do!!!


Just about felt like we would be blown to Kingdom Come though with these gusting winds!!! And again I've forgotten to put sunscreen on and I've red legs to the knees - surprised my face and arms aren't redder, just gotten more tanned. There were a number of injuries on both sides this game and that was not nice to see, even Byran hurt his wrist on one play, but the worst was one of the boys on the other team got hurt and while walking off the field with his parents passed out so an ambulance was called and he was taken to get checked out. I pray that it is not serious and he's back home very soon.

Then on my way home I stopped at the Dollarama enroute and WOW they had bead containers similar to what I just bought on sale at Michaels but for $2 - well I had to buy one and see if they would do the trick or not. WELL don't waste your gas or time to check them out - what a waste of my $2 and yes I'm going to take it back. The coding is M - Michaels and D - Dollarama for the following:

1. Price: M - $14.99 regular price (50% off coupon used); D - $2.00
2. Case: M - nice and clear even to see into the jars; D - semi-clear and not so easy to see in
3. Closure: M - more durable and better hinge system; D - not good clasp for closure and horrible hinge system
4. Jars: M - nice quality and clear and easy screw tog system with top jar lid closure; D - real cheap like jars and not easy fit tog screw system AND the clincher was the top jars has no LIDS - DUH???

So yes it was a bargain dollarwise but quality wise a total bummer! Now I just hope I can get my money back on this as I will truly wait for the next 50% off coupon and then pick up another of these Michaels bead boxes instead.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Promoting the Bead Journal Project for Year 3

The following is copied from the group I belonged to for 2009 but which I have been very tardy and after such awesome intentions and a 12-month plan drawn and even written up, I didn't make it past the second month. I still plan on completing my 12-month beaded postcard project but obviously not in the near future.



"Last year we found that the best way to get the word out about the bjp was to mention it on your blog. Whether you're continuing or not, if you can let readers of your blog know that the project is continuing, it will be greatly appreciated.

Important info:

The Bead Journal Project starts in January, 2010.
Registration starts October 1, 2009 at beadjournalproject.com/reg.htm.
No experience is necessary!
The goal is to create one visual journal piece a month for a year that includes beads.
Participants work can be seen at beadjournalproject.com/bjp.htm.
Thanks for all your support!!!

Susan "

Beading Box

Well all I can say is slowly but surely I may get myself some organization in regards to my beading and who knows maybe other areas of my hobbies and life too!!!

Yep today I went to Michaels to use my 50% off coupon and came across this Storage Bead Box by "bead landing" which retailed for $14.99 - which I would not have paid. This box is 10.5 wide x 4.5 tall x 1.75" deep and holds six stackable jars with 5 compartments each - so that's like 30 different beads in one box!!!

I think I'll pick up a few more off and on and try to get all my regular beads into these and then the two boxes of Tic Tac like holders can be the fancier embroidery beads and crystals for my "needlework" pieces. Then those larger stackable jars will be used for the larger sized accent beads to go with the seed and bugle beads. Yep, then I just need to find a tote back in my stash to cart these in!!!

Charity Work Today

Okay, our Aurora Quilters group met today and we serged/sewed various sets of PJs and nightshirts that one of our members while housebound (hopefully temporarily) has so graciously cut out for us as a "jumpstart". Gosh this sometimes very noisy group sure was quiet when we were a stitchin and concentratin on our projects!!!

Dianne (who had to leave early) continued to cut out while others stitched away and we've found out this worked well with someone doing the serger part and then the finishing was done by a partner with a sewing machine.

Something we'll have to keep in mind for next time around - as it was suggested to do this assembly line wise but with various sizes and mixed colours I dreaded that scenario and keboshed it. Considering the limited time we had we did complete 7 sets and 2 nightshirts and have 7 sets out with members for finishing and 4 sets in the cupboard for the next meeting to finish off. Not bad I say for eleven ladies and not all stayed to the bitter end.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just Ramblin'

Well for some reason my groups are sooooo quiet that I found myself posting various messages just for some activity and maybe generating some replies!!! Darn it - it didn't work!!! Guess everyone is outside enjoying the last hurrah of summer and it's well into September???

Yep and tonight because it's still 22C outside at 8:30 pm I'm inside boiling ribs and now they are in the oven with sauce - must be crazy!!! Oh well I'll have my favourite for potluck tomorrow for the Aurora quilting group gathering - YUMMY!!!

I've nothing to show you stitching wise but I can tell you that I've planned out my next Faces RR block for Debbie and I think it's just going to be lovely!!! At lunch I drew out my plans better and even gathered my fabrics together last night so I'm set to get home after the meeting tomorrow and stitch, stitch and more stitching so I can get to the beading part!!! Yep I've decided that will be the bestest part of this block - well I sure hope it turns out like that!!!

Then Gerry mentioned that she's finished Diane's block and it's in the mail to me too because she'll be away at the CQI second annual CQing retreat so I'll have a bit more time to stitch on that baby. And being "art nouveau" which I had no idea at all what that was about I had to do some research and I think I found what I'll be doing with the help of the Library!!! I've even drawn up my initial sketch and will just wait till the package arrives before making more plans!

Yep this Faces RR sure is stretching my CQing boundaries and it helps having such talented ladies within this CQI group to bounce ideas off too! I can't wait to see the next block in my set too!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

CQd Block is Finished

Okay this year I was lucky enough to sign up to make an 8 inch fancy fabrics CQd block for the Breast Cancer Quilt project with the Crazy Quilting International Yahoo Group. Last year our group participated and had enough blocks to stitch up "three" donation quilts, but I had joined up too late to stitch! So this year's the theme is Butterflies and Dragonflies but no beading - only jewel toned silk ribbon, dimensional and traditional embroidery with motifs of butterflies/dragonflies along with laces securely attached.

So here is what I came up with and I pray it is acceptable and fits in with the other blocks for this quilt and well worth project.

naked block

finished block

top half

bottom half

In these closeups you can see my so-called signature spider and web in metallics, the two crocheted butterflies I made along with my first attempt at an embroidered dragonfly (bottom right corner).

Here are detailed closeups of the Bullion Knot flowers on left and on the right my first attempt at Hedebo embroidery or Venetian rosette or Casalguidi as listed in Embroidery Techniques Using space-Dyed Threads by Via Laurie book I borrowed from the library.

I'm not sure when this quilt will be completed, but when a finished picture is posted in our group, I will do a followup posting too.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Beaded Project

Thanks for all the wonderful comments I've received on this workshop project. And thanks Ruth for asking what was also voiced and here are the various "finishings" for the back that were discussed.

1. Just leave it as is and if you kept your travelling threads short and to match your fabric it sort of looks like scattered quilting. You can "block" it just like needlework pieces - spritz with water, lay the piece flat and pin in place till dry. Most puckers will shrink or flatten out.
2. You can sort of hide it by going through to the back and tug to adjust tension and an anchor stitch if needed, then move over a thread or two and travel within the batting and come up on the back where the next bead starts. Repeat this and you'd have then dots on the back.
3. You can hand applique another back in place and using some of the embellishing on the front to hide the sporadic quilting you can anchor the back in place. (or what I'm thinking to do is stitch a design from the back but don't go through to the front, just into the batting to anchor in place)
4. It was suggested to "bond" this false back in place but the instructor was hesitant about this (the front is 3D).
5. My favourite is to make another quiltlet and hand stitch to the inside of the back binding on the sides and bottom and VOILA with cording it becomes a fancy neck pouch!!!

The other display option that I just loved is to find a piece of glass, centre your quiltlet and mark where the inside top corners are on the glass and drill two holes. Anchor your quiltlet however you'd like through these holes and then attach appropriate hanger hidden by the quiltlet or another set of holes near the top corners and a visible hanger (guess you can put this into a frame somehow too). I'm sure there are other ways too so just check out a "framer" for ideas or even your needleworks shops.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Beading Done

Okay enough for tonight, but I just wanted to post the pics of the finished edgings on my quiltlet and a better 3D closeup too. I just love it!!!

You can really see the stitched heart here!

Eileen's Beading Workshop

First off thank you Roberta for sharing your friend from Vancouver Is and her talents with your friends here in Winnipeg! Like Corina said please bring her back again!!! I will have to post again some of the tips learned as I seem to have drawn a blank on this - DUH!!! The one thing I do remember is instead of using the beading threads Eileen uses the Coats green label or spool of Hand Quilting Dual Duty plus thread and runs it through beeswax twice and then the blue boxed Thread Heaven to help stop the bearding after a half dozen beads or so!!! Then using the beeswax again you flatten the end and voila it passes through the eye of the needle lickety split - well for me it does!

Okay, after supper I got my second wind and tackled the pics so thought I should upload them before I flagged again! So without further ado here are my pieces along with Dianne's and Corina's and a few of Eileen's samples. DUH me I didn't think of taking pictures of the other participants in the workshop - SORRY!!! There were eight of us and I think one ot two unable to attend last minute besides Roberta and Eileen.

My two quiltlets, basically 4 inch squares and yes I did mitred corners rather than the lapped bindings. Yes that is a glow in the dark DMC floss embellished heart that was in the batik to start with and I just ehanced it. I love it!!!

My nice clean workstation - sorry no after pic taken - not that you would have wanted to see it and let me say it took ages to pack up!!!

And here's the beginning of basic beading, backstitching (zig zag at top), couching curves and the picot edging. Let me tell you when "picot" was mentioned I was cringing - I had recently been taught the torturous "picot" stitch in tatting!!!

And here is attaching the feature piece with metallic thread and a sort of spider web stitch in the centre to anchor a picot top along with the finished picot and lace stitch edgings and just starting the double picot edging.

Here is the dimensional beading in the centre using the stop stitch and the branch stitch along with various size/type of beads and sequins. Now this to me was the coup de Resistance of the workshop - it was awesome to see these towering beads just standing there and not flopping over!!! The various fringe stitches were a bit tricky to do but got them and the start of the netting for the rest of the bottom. This is where I ran out of time and will have to finish on my own at home, but then I still have lots of the dimensional beading and especially the bugle bead fan stitch to incorporate here too.

And here I'm trying to show you the 3-D effect of the beading. Maybe I'll get another pic in the daytime and it will show up better.

And here is Dianne's green and Corina's blue quiltlets.

The following are some of Eileen's samples that she had on hand. If you have any questions please contact her by email eileenneill@shaw.ca at Eileen's Studio from Qualicum Beach BC.

I think a lovely time was had by all BUT I can tell you that about 3:00ish I hit the perverbial brick wall (and I went to bed at a decent time and even slept in some) and just about had no ooomph to learn the remaining stitches! It wasn't a hard workshop but it was very informative and I think all of us were geared up to do all we were shown and ready to soak up more! LOL!