Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crochet Ric-Rac for Ornament Trim

After a long-need rainy day yesterday, the sun finally peeked out long enough to let me take some photos of two ornaments I just completed. My crochet guru Kirsten pointed me to this tutorial to make ric-rac by crocheting. It's easy and fun to do and the ric-rac made this way is very flexible. I'll definitely be using this more in the future.

The first try combined the ric-rac into the trim and hanger for the "Cool Christmas" design by Fresh Threads Studio from the JCS ornament preview magazine. This style seems similar to Monster Bubbles designs and I was expecting it to be one of theirs. I liked it because the color scheme is so unusual. I think it will make a perfect gift for someone in Florida.

Next I made this Day of the Dead design that really is by Monster Bubbles from the JCS Halloween issue. This time I used the ric-rac for the edging only. Then I added a couple of crochet motifs on the back. The crocheted skull pattern can be found here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thanks to Lazy Girl

I feared that the sampler I stitched was going to become one of those 'stitch and stow' items, the kind you put in the closet and never really turn into something useful. For inspiration, I ordered the Lazy Girl Runaround Bag pattern even though I've made a couple of different variations on this type of bag and really didn't need it. I was curious to see if there might be some helpful hints in a real pattern. Pink Chalk Fabrics turns out to be a good online store that I never knew about before. Fast service and decent pricing. Sure enough, the zipper insertion technique is so clever and easy. Didn't even need a zipper foot. It's one of those, "why didn't I think of that" ideas. I didn't follow the rest of the pattern exactly, but the pattern directions did provide a few other construction tips. I used fusible craft fleece to give it a bit of padding and cut it small enough so it isn't in the seam to reduce bulk. I could really have used a walking foot to make sewing through multiple layers a bit easier, but I hate to buy one for my machine since it's so old and the only one available was made my a third-party, not the original manufacturer. But they aren't very expensive, so I may decide to try one anyway for next time.

I finally decided to go with the darker fabby on the outside and the lighter one as the lining for the stitching side. And then since it looked a little bare, I added two little butterfly beads from my stash that had been quietly waiting for the right moment to make an appearance. The photo of the back makes the print look blurry, but it's fine IRL.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Marquoir Annie

I had hoped to have a completed project to show by this time, but only the stitching is complete on this. Dany designed this lovely sampler for someone named 'Annie' (see the Aug. 25, 2010 entry). She stitched in the name and the birth date. The date was not all that much before my birth date. So I considered it my destiny to stitch this piece. I used 32 count "Mottled Magpie" linen from Vikki Clayton. It's not quite as bright a blue as in this photo. And I didn't stitch in my own birth date! I'm still trying to figure out how I want to construct a zippered bag from this. You can see the two complementary fabrics I bought last weekend that will be used in some way. Hopefully I'll get inspired to do the finishing soon.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Halloween Greetings

This design by Paulette Stewart of Plum Street Samplers from the Halloween issue of JCS just reminds me of the place where one of the 'Real Witches of Salem' would hang her hat. This is not a color palette that I am generally attracted to, but it was so perfect for this piece that I really enjoyed working with it. I love the look on the 36-ct linen from Vikki Clayton. It was from a grab bag of assorted colors and sadly, no longer available. I stitched it all in DMC and the main change was to replace the date on the lower left with a flower that is more or less in the same style as the other motifs. The little leaf buttons came in handy to dress it up after a quick finish.

The colors are more true to life on the indoor photo, but the flash insisted on making an appearance, so I took and an outdoor shot too.

My crocheted elephant and giraffe motifs found new homes. I appliqued each of them onto a batik fabric and sewed each one up as an envelope style needlecase. If you call your blog "Giraffe X-ing", as Theresa does, you clearly are meant to own the giraffe needle case.

And if your son is fascinated by elephants and is also learning to x-stitch like Dawn you are perfect for the elephant case.