Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I started stitching this sampler in an idle moment before the bobbinlace class and haven't gotten back to it yet. It makes a little bar so makes the usual Brussels look squarish. I don't remember the name of the stitch. I keep running out of thread so might just snip it out anyway.

I also couched down this oval shape to make a petal. It was easier to use an embroidery pattern than to draw my own perfectly shaped oval. The little chick makes it kind of fun while I'm waiting to stitch!

I'm still working on some tatting projects but will try to get back to these some time over the weekend.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bobbin Lace Workshop 6-19-10

Yeah, I gotta show the spangled bobbins again! Painted and spangled. Even though I'll need to respangle them at some point, they are pretty for now and functional.

A year or so ago, I showed my lace guild how they could make their own pillow. I took a round cork board I found on clearance at Walmart, added circles of polystyrene in graduating sizes smaller, then topped with raw wool. Well, actually - the one I showed them didn't have the polystyrene and it ended up way too soft so I had to redo it. NOW it has the polystyrene at the bottom and the wool on top.

It's nice and tight now. I'm actually pushing down so you can see there is no give.

Then I stitched a dust cover on the bottom which also covers up all the staples.

And here's the result of my bobbinlace bookmark workshop on Saturday!

I was so busy getting my tools ready that I didn't review basics or even read through the instructions. Somehow I reversed the colors that were to be wound on the bobbins which made it confusing for the helpers. A big thanks, btw, to Janice Blair and members of the L.A.C.E. guild for hosting and helping with this workshop. There were 5 beginners but I wasn't counted as a beginner since I've done this before. Even so, I was very confused. I realize now that not reviewing the basics and looking through the pattern was a drawback, as was trying to focus after driving 3 hours there. Even so, I had fun.

I tried to finish the bookmark last night after taking the photo, but I messed up the left side fan and I'm totally confused about the bottom point. I'll finish it up the best I can and then cut it off the pillow and try again at a later date. This isn't my favorite form of bobbinlace to begin with but it's a good technique to learn. I'd like to get my books out and start from the beginnign again as I feel like I'm learning more and more all the time but, like anything, you have to consistently practice.

I hope to finish the embroiderd purse this weekend but I'm catching up on other stuff too. I took vacation Friday and Monday so I'm trying to pack in as much as possible while I'm off!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Embroidery done! Here's the fabric it's going with. I read through the sewing instructions and have decided to add some interfacing to give it body. I also haven't decided what I will do about the fastener. Even though it shows a button, you use a snap. I'm not sure I want to do that so I'll think on it some.

I got my bobbins spangled last evening after I finished the embroidery but I'm not sure they're done right since I didn't have any instructions. I used wires meant for wine charms but I may have to change those out. One set of bobbins that I have from someone else looks like it has thread used and another set appears to use wire. I may have to use fishing line. So now I need to wind the bobbins, finish the pillow, and prick the pattern.

I also need to try to get in to see my doctor for this continuing sore neck and back issue. It comes and goes. I'm thinking the neck is probably an ear infection or sinus since the last antibiotic from months ago never did really clear it up. It's interfering with my sleep now. That's why I'm up in the middle of the night posting! The tylenol is kicking in so I can probably go back to bed now.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I've been itchin' to do some stitchin' along the lines of embroidery! I've also been wanting to do this small purse for ages and happened to pick up the book again at the weekend, so I made copies of the pattern since I don't like to cut up the patterns they include (I know - that's what they're there for!) and last night I tracked down my light box and traced the embroidery onto a piece of muslin.

Now ~ I really had a different fabric for both the purse and the embroidery in mind but since it's been a very long time since I embroidered, I thought I'd do a test piece first. LOL! I used a thread sample someone sent me once of a Quilter's thread for tatting. It was the closest match to the fabric I'm using with this and I love the way it's turning out so far. The petals are simply blanket stitch. The face features and stems will be the same thread and I'm going to use some thread I dyed green in May. I'm not sure what size it is as I lost track of which threads I was dumping into dye but I think it will look alright. I finished the petals right before 11:00 p.m. last night and was tempted to stay up and do the faces and stems but knew it would take way longer than I estimated so I put it away. Tonight I'll finish the embroidery and then cut out the pattern and sew it. Or maybe on Friday since I took Friday off but either tonight or tomorrow I need to finish up my bobbin lace pillow, spangle my bobbins, and wind them for the class.

Here's the photo from the book. I'm making the smaller version and the fabric for this test one has a dominant color like the brick-reddish one on the bottom right. My fabric has flowers on it though with cream and green and a touch of yellow gold in it. I'm thinking of adding a second layer of the muslin since it seems thin and will show through over the darker fabric. Then I'll probably put some tatted lace along the scallops and along the bottom edge of the embroidery, probably the same green I'll be using for the embroidery. This is actually the first time I've embroidered with something besides floss or crewel yarn.

I just love these little flower faces and plan to use the white flower pattern too at some point. What will I do with them? Well, as a member of Etsy, I've only been a buyer but I realized I could sell there too and that might help alleviate the piles of motifs and such that I keep accumulating. I give a lot away but I'm finding I'm short of cash to go to lace days and workshops so this would help me fund those again. I might also sell them at the art center not far from me as I want to support them and get involved there. I plan to teach shuttle tatting there before the year is over.

But most of all, I'm excited and enthused and having fun planning and playing, experimenting, dreaming.

One additional photo! I didn't scan the front of the book at home so I had to look it up online. I bought it used somewhere forgotten now and certainly didn't pay the price I see it advertised for! Lots of good stuff inside though.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I have to show this elegant embroidered silk purse that I bought from Karen Ruane of Contemporary Embroidery!

Exquisite, isn't it? Need I say more?

While I am most active with Lafayette Lacers, I do belong to a few other lace groups and one of them, L.A.C.E., Lacemakers of Illinois (link isn't working right now) has a beginner's bobbin lace program at this weekend's meeting so I'm preparing some of my unfinished bobbins.

I don't have a lot of bobbins and what I've bought were unfinished. I can use them that way but when I took the thread/ribbon dying class in May, I ended up using some of the dye on the unfinished bobbins so I really needed to finish them up, adding embellishment and varnishing them. I still need to spangle them. I also need to redo my pillow. I have three pillows in process of being made and haven't completed a single one! I really like the ethafoam I have so that's what I want to replace the wool in the one that is almost done.

Janice Blair will be leading the lesson and I took one last year at their Lace Day with her which I found very informative and helpful. Let's hope i haven't forgotten everything I learned!