Monthly Archives: December 2006

Happy Holidays everyone!

like most everyone else, I’m taking a computer/blogging break til after Christmas. I made an adorable little tree to show off, the scarves are finished, and I hope to have three hats far enough along to photograph and show off too, when I get back. In the meantime:

Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night! 

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Learning embroidery stitches

Isn’t it amazing… every time I think of something I’d like to add to my blog, I find someone else has already done it! I have been wanting to make videos of basic stitches, and just found Mary’s Needle ‘n Thread with a video stitch library. Really clear instructions, using video/audio; a really great resource for beginning stitchers.

Be sure to check out the rest of Mary’s blog, as there is an incredible amount of information regarding stitches, tools, patterns, books, and a nice list of links for shopping and more information.

My next postcard

This is what I aspire to, for my next postcard: Squid! Okay, maybe I’ll just use a squid for inspiration…

UFO/WISP Challenge 2007

Sandie of abeautifulcraft has issued a UFO/WISP challenge (UFO=UnFinished Object; WISP=Work In Slow Progress). Just what I need! A few weeks ago I piled my closest* UFO/WISP objects on my sewing table (remember Finish-It-Sunday?), and until I started working on Christmas things, was making a little progress on them. In January I’ll get back to them! I’ll have to post things on Sunday evening or Monday, so I guess… Finish-It-Sunday works for me!

*the ones that are actually in my cabin; I also have a 12×12 storage shed in the back with all my fabric, the kitchen stove (don’t laugh! I don’t have room for it right now!), my parents’ dining room table (too big for the cabin), and boxes of UFO/USO/WISP items, and a few (snort!) other items.

Update: Sandie has moved to Delightfully Crazy.

Little Christmas Tree

Christmas tree

I showed off the pattern to the little Christmas tree, from Stephanie of Little Birds Handmade, at UFO night at Material Girls on Firday night. So I’m keeping my promise of providing the link so everyone can get their own pattern! Here’s the Santa Claus image, from Soule Mama, using a similar shape. And someone suggested making a snowman too. These are stuffed; Vicki suggested using something stiff, like Fast-to-Fuse, which I’m going to try. As soon as I get one finished, I’ll post a picture.

Many thanks to Stephanie for kindly posting this adorable pattern!

July ‘o7 update: A cone bunny! What other kinds of critters could we come up with??

Make a scarf without knitting/crocheting

scarf sample I have long refused to learn to knit or crochet, because my UFO/USO* pile is already far too large and I don’t need more excuses to buy those lovely specialty yarns. While doing some Christmas shopping last weekend, I saw a number of lovely scarves priced well out of my reach. Great gifts, too expensive! The most recent issue of Stitch Magazine came to my rescue, with a method of making a scarf using yarn and water soluble stabilizer.

It’s really easy; you layer stabilizer, yarn, and another layer of stabilizer, then sew like crazy over the sandwich. The magazine recommended Aquatics Bond stabilizer, which is sticky on one side. I couldn’t find that, so I used OESD, which worked fine, even though it’s not sticky. Starting with the bottom layer of stabilizer, I taped it to my door. Then I taped the yarn, one strand at a time, to the stabilizer, and smoothed it down, working my way to the bottom. The yarn clung to the stabilizer, so all I really had to do was make sure the yarn was hanging straight. Once I had all my yarn cut and hanging, I covered it with another layer of stabilizer, then pinned the edges, placing pins about 4 inches apart. I sewed across the yarn in a zigzag pattern, using a combination of straight and zigzag stitches. Tomorrow I’ll take both pieces into work and rinse the stabilizer off under running water; it takes too much water* to do at home.

You can see the sample I made first, to try out the technique. The scarf is about 8 inches wide and 5 1/2 feet long; the sample is about 8 inches square. I think it’d be really fun to try a hat or a vest using this technique. Well, next week maybe!

*UFO – UnFinished object; USO – UnStarted Object

*Like many Fairbanksans, I don’t have running water; I haul it in 5 gallon jugs.

Kanzashi/Tsumami

kanzashi-first flower kanzashi-first flower
I saw a post on kanzashi at One Hour Craft awhile back, and while it interested me, I didn’t have time to act on it. Today I took a little time out at work, and investigated kanzashi. I brought a little square of fabric with me, so I could figure out how to make one petal. After looking through several tutorials, I finally got it! Tsumami is the art of making kanzashi, by pinching a square of fabric together. Kanzashi is the hair ornament.

Here’s a list of the tutorials I looked through:

Video #1 .wmv file; recommended by a couple different people, but I couldn’t view it on my Mac. Edo hair ornaments, from a Tokyo tourism website.

Video #2 .flv file; viewable on a Mac; now I understand how to make kanzashi! by Jen’s Mum, aka SpanglySpangle.

Tutorial #1 good directions; I found this one easiest to follow. By Nocte, at Everything2.

Tutorial #2 the first one I found; Flickr photos, by SpanglySpangle.

Tutorial #3 an illustration; .gif file, from Bara Design.

Tutorial #4 very easy to follow; from Beastbunny, at Craftster.org.

A few suggestions: I did use silk fabric, and not all the tutorials mention that the fabric needs to be stiff, which silk is definitely not. I used a medium weight iron on interfacing that was probably too thick. Rice paste is what is traditionally used to stiffen the fabric, which I didn’t have and didn’t want to make. Next time I’ll try a lightweight interfacing and some sort of starch and see which one I like better. Cotton fabric may be stiff enough by itself, so I’ll try that too.

I did sew the petals together, first by going through each petal as several of the tutorials suggested, and I also tacked the top of the petals together. Then I sewed a circle of felt to the top to cover the hole. I just didn’t like the idea of hot gluing a button onto the silk. Embroidery, beads and a button embellished the felt. I sewed another felt circle to the back, with a pin back sewed onto the felt. Now it’s a gift for a friend!

I hope you’ll try making one; they’re pretty easy, and so fun!

P.S. I entered it in the One Hour Craft brooch/boutonniere challenge; check out the Flickr site!