Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Holiday Altoid Tin and Regency Lady card

I'm really not one to stitch Christmasy Christmas ornaments.  Goes against my upbringing.  I usually choose winter scenes, birds, etc.  And I usually avoid Santas.  But out of curiosity I joined the FB Candy Cane Stitchers group and the first freebie offered was  "Silent Night" by Barbara Ana.  It's a cute pattern with a row of houses plus Santa and reindeer flying over the rooftops.  It has a lovely border as well.  I really adore Barbara's designs  and when I saw that with some mods I could fit it on an Altoid tin top, I decided to stitch it up.  The little red nose below was Vonna's idea that I copied.  I crocheted an Attic 24 snowflake for the inside and added a couple of snowflake buttons.  The design is stitched on 36 count linen over two.  With my abbreviations, it just about exactly fits the top... a close call.   Came out cuter than I expected actually, and I'll give it away in a couple of months.

My SIL, who really likes Downton Abbey, is having a birthday shortly. I searched around to see if I could find a card-sized pattern with a woman dressed in Edwardian finery.  Missed the mark, but I did find this Regency Lady by Barbara Westhoven in the Gift of Stitching Issue 55.  This is the Jane Austen period, but  old-fashioned elegance all the same.  Too windy to take pictures outside so the photos really don't do justice to the piece.  This is also on 36 count linen over two.  For the eagle-eyed among you, you may spot two half crosses that are missing their '\'s.  I've since repaired that more or less as you can see in the 3rd photo if you get your magnifying glass out.  Not easy to do once the card is assembled.  I think my SIL will like it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Crochet Airplane and L'l Fairy

People who don't do any of the needle arts often assume that they are all the same and if you do one type, you do them all.  That's kind of the case with a friend of mine.  She's a fabulous party planner and it was her idea to do a baby shower for a co-worker.  She picked a 'travel' theme because the prospective parents do a lot of traveling.   While she was browsing on Etsy for ideas, she discovered a crocheted soft-toy airplane that she liked.  It seemed pricey to her, but when she showed it to me, I didn't really think it was over-priced for a hand-made item.  However, without her asking, I knew she was hoping I would volunteer to make one. 

I'm really not into crocheting little toys like that, especially an airplane!  A princess.. maybe.  Although instructions for these things look simple enough, I know there can be hidden gotchas once you start trying them out.  But I said I'd give it a try and cautioned her to have a Plan "B" ready. 

The cutest patterns looked way too difficult, but I found this free patten on The Craft Frog.  It looked like a good compromise --- cute and a good chance of coming out right.   I used a cotton dishcloth type yarn because I already had some.  It was definitely a challenge and something I don't intend to ever do again!  The pieces are fiddly and it's tricky to sew them all together.  But in the end, I think it worked out pretty well.  My friend liked it a lot and that's what counts.  Actually, that smiley face on the windshield is pretty endearing.

I couldn't resist signing up for a WOCS Fairy quilt square.  I had a pattern in my stash Li'l Fairies by Pine Glen Designs, with several funky little cuties that were just the right size.  I had stitched one of them a number of years ago, and now I know why I didn't do more.  The charts are very hard to follow.  The backstitching lines obscure the edges of the stitching so you have to guess which stitches are whole stitches and which are fractional. And I find it difficult to count when using charts that don't have a darker line every 10 stitches.  So she took a little longer and I did my fair share of frogging, but I do like the result for this quilt.  It's stitched on 32 count lugana.

While looking for something else, I came across two completed Paula Vaughn pieces that I completed a hundred years ago.  I never knew what to do with them and I decided they needed to come out of hiding.  So they have been donated to WOCS as well to use as they please, possibly on a "Ladie's Accessories" quilt, on a tote bag, or on a pillow.  I leave that to the sewers.  They are both done on 18 ct ivory Aida.

Paula Vaughn Reflections of the Past

Paula Vaughn Cameo of the Past