Monthly Archives: January 2007

Another angel

Miss Purple

Here is Miss Purple. She will be staying with my PPA at work (Marty is in charge of human resources at the Institute of Arctic Biology, where I work). I just got a raise and a new job title, which she was instrumental in helping me with, so I thought a little thank you gift was in order. She’s also helped so much with all the confusing UA paperwork in the past, and made sure I got paid (even though I almost always turn in my timesheet late!).

Her wings are some scraps left over from a friend’s quilting machine. I found tiny eyes that are glued on, and her buttons down the front are from a blouse found at the transfer station (garbage dump; there’s a recyclables section and I found the blouse there). Embroidery around the buttons and on the face is very simple; I used blanket stitch, french knots, and single chain on her dress. Blanket stitch edges her face, dress, and a very tight, close blanket stitch edges her wings. Cretan stitch holds down the blue yarn around her face.

Read more about the flat angel project here or select the category, Flat Angels, to see more of them.


Little forest

all 5 of my trees Litttle green tree Little forest

Here are all my trees, my little forest. I tried several different ways of making them. The original instructions (from Stephanie of Little Birds Handmade) tell you to stuff the trees, but I used Fast-to-Fuse/Peltex/Timtex or Heat and Bond.

For the green tree, I made a cone shape out of Timtex, and pulled the embroidered tree over the cone. I made a circle out of the same stiffener, ironing some unembellished gingham to it, and sewed that to the bottom of the tree. For the other trees, I used Heat and Bond, fusing a piece of plain white fabric to the inside, and left the bottoms open (trimming the fabric to the edge, but not turning it under). I used a feather stitch on the two of the small white trees and the green gingham tree, herringbone on one, and a blanket stitch on the large tree. The large tree also has two pieces of rickrack intertwined and sewn to the bottom.

And p.s., the ornaments on the green tree are a &%$@! to keep on! They’re attached with little tiny S-hooks that have a just-large-enough opening to slip onto the feather stitching and fall off as soon as you tip the tree. I’ll have to take the S-hooks off and attach the ornaments with thread.

I found it difficult to sew the very top of the tree closed; it’s much easier to turn the tree inside out, sew the top for a couple of inches, then turn the tree right side out and finish sewing the seam. I think stuffing the tree would be much easier, but I was curious to try this other method. And the trees are stackable, easier to store if their insides are open (as opposed to being full of stuffing).

I found a number of ideas, using this conical shape:

And just in case, I wrote about the little trees here, here, and here. So enough trees already!

TAST – webring

There’s now a webring for Take A Stitch Tuesday, run by Debra Spincic of Debra’s Design Studio. I haven’t figured out how to add the webring image and coding to the blog yet, so for now you’ll have to go to my website to see that. But you can get to the ring by going here.

Aha! In WordPress, you have to add a text widget, then put the code for the webring in the text widget box. Add the image in the appropriate spot with “img src=”http://…”. Save the changes, and voila! The webring link is in my blog!

TAST – Single chain stitch

needlebook vest needlebook vest, back needlebook vest, front
This little needlebook, shaped like a vest, is heavily embellished with a variety of single chain stitches (as well as herringbone, cretan, feather, chevron, and french knot stitches). If you click on the lefthand picture, the enlargement has the single chain stitches highlighted.

The edge is one of my favorite bindings for small pieces. First go over the outline with a chain stitch. Work a very tight buttonhole stitch over the raw edge, clipping the excess fabric in a small section of the edge as you go. It works better to have just a small section of the edge clipped, as the raw edge frays as you work.

The inside of the vest is a wool/polyester felt, perfect for holding my favorite handsewing needles. The pattern is from a very old issue of CQ MagOnline, and is no longer online.

Update: the completed vest has been accepted into the Fairbanks Arts Association show (Patterns of Influence: Changing Times) for February! And naturally, I didn’t get a photo of the finished vest before dropping it off, but I stopped by the gallery today and was able to grab a shot.

3/28 – update

lampwork beads

About 2 weeks ago, I spent my Sunday at the Fairbanks Arts Association Arts Expo, touting the local needlework guild, North Star Needlework Guild. Lots of artists and arty things going on! Another artist wandered by my booth and took a fancy to the little vest, and she ended up trading me several lampworked glass beads for it. I was so thrilled! Not only did I get some major ego strokes, but I got some wonderful beads in exchange!

TAST – Blanket stitch

blanket stitch tree small tree

Here is my blanket stitch TAST. It’s another small tree. The squarish ornaments are close blanket stitch around a piece of metallic confetti, with metallic machine embroidery thread woven over the confetti. The little stars are blanket stitch worked in a very tight circle. I wrote earlier about the trees, here, and here. I think this is going to be my last tree, at least for awhile.

Explore, inspire, experiment, and share COLOR!

Here is a really cool, “free for now” app from Adobe called kuler.

kuler is the first web-hosted application from Adobe Labs designed both to stand alone and to complement Adobe® Creative Suite® 2 components. Built using Macromedia® Flash® and ActionScript 3.0, kuler is all about color: color for exploration, inspiration, experimentation and sharing.” You need to have the latest version of Flash installed on your computer, and that’s about it.

Read more about kuler at Adobe Edge, Adobe’s online magazine.

It’s fun! Go to Create, where there’s a color wheel with little sticks that you grab with your mouse to choose a color. You can create your own color harmony, or choose one of the standard color harmonies (analogous, complementary, monochromatic, etc.). Below the color wheel are 5 squares of color, each with three sliders to regulate the hue. And below the sliders, are the RGB, CMYK, HSV, LAB, and HEX codes for those of you that do graphic design/web design.

Inspiration for embroidery and journals

Bibliodyssey, illustrated herbal

Some beautiful illustrated herbals at BibliOdyssey. I love looking at all the old illustrations this guy digs up. Muted colors, but I assume that’s because of the age of the illustrations.