Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Turtle Needlecase

It seems like it must be the year of the turtle. Lately, everywhere I turn I see something with a turtle motif. Last night the woman in front of me in Jazzercise had a T-shirt on that advertised the Green Turtle sports bar. Another woman had a tote bag with a sea turtle print on the fabric. Somehow, I caught turtle fever and got the idea of making a crocheted turtle needle case. I think it was partly based on seeing this cute cross stitch set and partly based on this cute potholder. I couldn't find a pattern that I really liked, so I kind of invented my own. Note the snap on the tail to close it. Kirsten says it must be a snapping turtle!

The needlecase was a little birthday gift for a stitcher friend and I sent it with this card I made. It's an Archie Bear by Margaret Sherry from the UK Cross Stitcher Issue 210, done on an 18 count hand-dyed Aida from Enchanted Fabrics. After the rinsing, the fabric shrinks a bit so the count is really a little higher than 18. Those fractionals and back-stitching were quite the chore. But he's pretty cute, I think. He stands out better from the fabric in person.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Garden Altoid Tin

My latest tin gave me a bit of trouble. All my others were done using Monaco, a fabric with substantial weight, but still very flexible. This one is done on linen and maybe that was the problem. It's a pretty piece of 36 count hand-dyed linen from a Vikki Clayton grab bag. I stitched a cute little garden theme from an old Oakhaven Designs freebie by Tonia Pappen. Very difficult to get the ribbon trim on properly. This is for a little gift to someone, and I hope the flash drive will make up for the imperfect job on the ribbon gluing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Birds Bookmark

I finished the companion piece to my Squirrel Bookmark. This is from the same Donna Kooler book. I think I actually like this design better. It was fun to stitch and a bit of back-stitching made the birds pop better.

Someone asked how I do these. I fold the short ends to the back and use Stitch Witchery to fuse them to the back of the stitching. Then I do the same for the sides, but turn down each of the 4 corners diagonally first (just as if you were wrapping a package). The sides are wide enough to cover the back and meet in the middle. Then I use Stitch Witchery to fuse the ribbon to the back. Quick and simple. No raw edges or stitched back is showing.

Both bookmarks are now at the Stitching Post, the closest LNS to me that is participating in the Stitching for Literacy campaign.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Purple House on the Hill Altoid Tin

Nail biting time is over. My gift for Wendy arrived safely. For this tin, I chose part of the House on the Hill sampler by Barbara Ana. One of Wendy's favorite colors is purple, so I changed the color of the house and one of the birds to be more to her taste. This was done over one on ivory Monaco.

I find that I'm always on the lookout lately for suitable patterns for tin tops. The fixed size makes it a challenge sometimes. Over-one allows for a more detailed design in a small space, so that means designs that fit in 56X90 stitches are always on my radar. I was just lucky to spy Barbara's design and discover that the motif is just perfect. Luckily, Barbara's designs are light on fractional stitches which is critical for over-one stitching.

Wendy may decide to store a tatting shuttle in the box if one fits, but I tucked in a little scissors she can store in it if she likes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tatted Treasures

When Wendy suggested that she and I do a personal exchange, I was honored and delighted. Wendy asked that I make her a decorated Altoid tin, and I asked Wendy to make me something tatted. I love tatting, but it's not something I've devoted enough time to so I really can't do it myself. Only time for so many crafts!

Wendy's package arrived here yesterday. My gift for Wendy is still in transit so I won't show any photos of it yet. But I wish I had some photos of my eyes bugging out of my head as I opened the little envelopes inside with all of Wendy's beautiful tatting. She used so many gorgeous threads and her work is so perfect!

First, we have this lovely book mark (or book thong as Wendy calls it):

Next, the cutest little Easter motifs. Is that bunny a sweetie or what?

Now check out this collection of beautiful motifs. I love the richness of color in that red/purple/blue heart!

Finally, we have these gorgeous frames. Can't you just see an x-stitched ornie finished inside one of these beauties? Plus my tatted name to use any way I please. It's shown inside the clear envelope and works as a book mark on its own!

Thank you so much, Wendy and I hope my gift for you arrives soon!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Scallop Potholder

Still in the mood for a bit of crocheting, I worked up this pretty potholder. It's sturdy enough to use as a trivet too. This is another one from the Ultimate Book of Pot Holders from Annie's Attic. I've seen a lot of variations on this pattern and I was curious to see how those petals worked up.

I made some chocolate chip macaroons today to take to a Final Four party tonight, but I didn't have the heart to use the new potholder, at least not yet. Too soon after the finish to see it covered in chocolate stains!