Monday, 23 September 2013

Mystery project A complete

This was made for the #stitchingpirates Sailing the fruit contest however as the rules say that there must be 2 pieces of fruit this is not my final entry - I need to add something else before it is eligible hehe. That said I just couldn't wait to share as I'm rather pleased with the end results.

When I first saw the competition my eyes lit up as I have been wanting to make the patter for this ever since I saw the pattern in a magazine called Ariadne way back in September of 1989 and I've been keeping this magazine for this very pattern ever since. I always looked at it and thought - this is too difficult - I can't do this. The main reason being that it's 3 threads over 2 on 28 count even weave, not just any old 3 threads but 1 - 3 different colours of floss per 3 threads that get used. with just 11 base colours I created 30 colours of blended thread and only 2 were 3 the same colour together. As a result it used a LOT of thread and I used more than 1 1/2 skeins of one of the reds and used a lot of all the other colours too. Towards the end when I had again ran out of red I was looking at the bits of leftover floss from the other combined colours to find enough to finish - I had the same issue with the orange, however I wasn't able to find enough of that so, as I didn't want to wait till Wednesday when I'd have more money for floss I decided to look at what I did have and use an alternative to the orange 
Before It looked like that it looked like the picture above - reminded me a bit of those Caribbean hats with fruit on them that they used to do on adverts.  and I was wondering if it would ever come out right - fortunately it did but it was really fiddly to do.

I dyed a bit of leftover corset rope (as I call it - it's a really thin cotton rope) with coffee to make it brown and used that as the "stalk" I used black floss to make the "fluff" you find at the base of apples.

Size: 2 1/2" wide x 1 3/4" high / 6,35 x 4.45 cm

Sunday, 22 September 2013

IHSW update

 I got quite a bit more done during the IHSW this weekend. So much more that I actually finished something stitching wise - just need to make it into what it needs to become. I also had a great time chatting with my friend Carla, so much so that time just flew!
This is the completed embroidery part of my mystery project A which I finished today. I had a spot of bother with being able to finish as I'd run out of the orange 741 with just 20-30 stitches left so I decided to use 740 instead for those  last stitches instead of waiting till Wednesday when I had money to get more.
In the mean time I finished this little mini quilt top made of leftover squares that didn't make it into my hexagon quilt or were too small for the hexagon quilt. The smallest squares are 1" /2,54 cm square. The quilt is 14 inches / 35,56 cm square

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Recycled plastic... Part 2

Having used part of a large red plastic bag to complete my recycled plastic bag earlier this week I had a good chunk of it left. It seemed a huge waste and contrary to the theme of recycling to have such a large amount of the bag leftover to just throw it away, even if it was into the plastic recycling bin, so I decided to cut what was left into 3/8"/ 1 cm strips and crochet them into a little basket. I used my size 10 hook, which is a size P in the USA and a 000 in the UK

Crocheting plastic strips is hard work, even when they are as skinny as the ones I was using so my hands soon complained about life so it took a bit longer to make than it would normally have done to make a same sized basket from yarn. I have no idea how many strips i used but I used a large expensive clothes shop bag so it was rather on the large size and quite thick. This did result in a fairly sturdy basket which can be used to keep things in.

The basket is roughly 4 inches / 10 cm in diameter and 5 inches / 12.5 cm high.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Finish it in 2013 Update blog and WIP update post

It's been a while since I last made an update post like this so here is an overview of where everything is:

New Projects:

I started a "large" and complicated new cross stitch project this year based on a photograph by a really talented Alaskan photographer who was incredibly kind and said I could make a cross stitch of it. The photographer is Mike Gates, go check out his site - his work is amazing!

The pattern was made for me as a prize for winning a competition on dA. It's 10 inches wide  x 14 1/2 inches high = 180 x 261 stitches on 18 ct Aida and it uses 147 colours. I am truly intimidated but I did ask for the pattern to be as close to the photo as possible and didn't limit size or colours and I certainly got what I asked for!

In February I dyed the fabric for this using coffee. I started stitching in March

 Update: The first 3 sections are complete and part of the 4th section has also been done.

Mystery project A and B:

New completed projects:

See the Finished in 2013 tab of the blog for my finishes :)

The Current WIP's:

8th century tile floor embroidery in greens and blues. 
 Update: I have finished the outlines for the border and done quite a bit of the filling in.

The UFO's:

2 sleeping bunnies - a Priscilla babyland embroidery - about half done but I *so* hate doing 1/4 and 3/4 cross stitches.

Dog embroidery (portrait) made from a photo years ago by a company - about 1/5th done.

Dog embroidery (standing) made from a photo years ago by a company - barely started.

Autumn leaves needle book WIP - embroidery is 1/2 finished.

Sampler - started
Update: I am behind with the TAST (see side bar) and haven't worked on it since the last update so added to UFO list.

Sagittarius star sign by Lanarte - central area complete
Update: No progress made on this.

Recycled plastic...

Yet another contest entry (I've been doing a lot of them this year too) This was created for the recycling and reusing contest at #projecteducate on Deviant art, as part of the the Artisan Crafts fortnight and I got it completed at the very last minute (I seem to be making a habit of that too hehe)

I had learnt how to do this at the arts centre last year when they had an open day and you could sign up for several free classes - I chose this one as it looked like fun and seemed simple to do - which it was!
I'm going to save my hands and do a copy paste from the post at deviant art to show how I made this.

What I did:
  • I took a lot of plastic bags from shops and cut out shapes I liked the look of or colours that matched what I had going.
  • I took a large plastic bag to use as the base and cut off the side seams and handles.
  • I took all my bits to the ironing board I'd already previously covered with greaseproof paper and turned the iron onto a low setting.
  • I then placed another sheet of greaseproof paper on top and started ironing the layers together, trying to take care not to melt the platic too much but also not too little.
  • The resulting sheet was trimmed straight along the sides and one edge and the top edge that was to be the flap was cut to echo the shapes along that edge. (which is why it looks a bit crooked - It doesn't help that I'd slightly overheated the plastic there lol)
  • Then I sewed some decorative lines on the plastic using black thread.
  • A strap was made from a thick red plastic bag that I'd cut 2 strips from the base without cutting the side seams - I cut one side open on each and cut the folds of the base of the bag so that I ended up with 2 long strips that were 4 layers thick each.
  • I placed them on each other and sewed them together along the sides.
  • I sewed the side seams of the bag closed and, by folding the bag so that the side seam was against the middle of the base I sewed a line to make the base of the bag.
  • Last of all I added the strap to the bag.

Size: 11 1/2 x 13 1/2" / 29.2 x 34.2 and will take an average sized laptop.

Hexagon flowers

On Deviant art the Artisan Crafts Community Volunteers hold a monthly challenge The august challenge was "memories" and we were free to interpret the theme any way we wanted. This entry was made for the August #CRArtisanCrafts's challenge. This is what I wrote on my entry:

I had a long think about it and decided to make the first patchwork thing I had ever made: An English Paper Pieced hexagon patchwork pincushion.

The reason I chose this as the project for the #CRArtisanCrafts August Artisan Crafts Monthly Challenge theme was because I still remember how pleased I was when I was finally given the Habitat kit to make it that I'd been looking at longingly for so many months before for my birthday. This was waaaay back in the 70's when Habitat sold such things and they had a tall rotating rack with crafty things one could make. The patchwork hexagon kit caught my attention and I wanted it *so* much but I didn't have enough pocket money to spend on it. So every time we ended up in Habitat I went to that rack to see if they were still there and every time I was relieved to see this was the case. I kept on saving my pocket money to buy it but in those days I didn't get much so it was taking a long time.

I had some trouble learning how to do the corners and as my mother insisted that I basted through the paper and I wasn't so good at removing them then I wasn't able to re-use the papers but I enjoyed making it and am sad that I no longer have it as it was lost in one of the many house moves we had back then.

I started with just the one - the white one but had so much fun picking colours and sewing them together that I soon had a few more sewn and ready to stuff. I needed to get a new bag of stuffing so it was some time before I got round to finishing them but I managed to do it *just* before the deadline.

I ended up winning one of the two prizes for this challenge which was a bit of a surprise as I was sure someone else would win as there were so many wonderful entries.
These are completely hand sewn 1"/2.54 cm sided hexagons made with 14 different fabrics per pincushion and are stuffed with poly stuffing

Summer 2013 souvenir...

As always when I've been off on holiday I pick up a stitching magazine with a kit of some sort to take home and embroider. This is the result of the Issue 268, Holiday 2013, Cross Stitcher magazine, free kit called Rory Raccoon. The flowers in the magazine were not yellow and gold but 2 shades of pink, however my pink aversion got the better of me and I changed it to 2 shades of yellow instead. I swapped dark pink (DMC 602) for the lighter yellow (DMC 973) and the lighter pink (DMC 604) for the darker orangey yellow (DMC 972)

I also didn't like how much empty space was at the bottom of the pattern so I added some additional flower buds, stems and leaves to fill it out a bit.When it was time to put the embroidery in the frame that was included in the kit I again did my own thing as I didn't have any fabric glue so couldn't glue the parts together as instructed.  I first stitched the embroidery with a running stitch (after putting a bit of muslin behind it to stop the green from showing through) to the back of the frame which is also felt. I then used some yellow floss and french knots to fix the front of the frame to the back of the frame which really ties the whole thing together in my opinion.

Number of colours: 7
Size of embroidery: 3 1/8" x 2 1/4"/7.9 x 5.7 cm
Frame: 5 1/2" x 4 1/8"/ 14 x 10.5
Design by: Lucie Heaton

Needle tatted flower

Way back in June I made this needle tatted flower as an entry for the Get Crafty Contest over on Deviant art I had never needle tatted before so it was a challenge to make something using one of the tutorials offered as part A of the competition.

It was supposed to be a flat flower but as I didn't count properly or check to see how things were going as I cheerfully worked on this I eventually discovered that it was anything but flat. This was where the green bit and the wire came as as I decided to just make a more realistic flower from what I'd made so I made a spiral out of florists wire to help hold it up and joined that bit to another bit of florists wire, that I'd covered with more tatting + some wire tatted leaves that I'd fixed in place while tatting the stem, and made a loop of each end to join them so the head of the flower moves independently to the stem. I then fixed the flower to the stem with some green loops and added some yellow stamen in the middle for some more realism.

I'm really proud of this flower, it doesn't live in the garden any more but on my desk in a cleaned jam jar.

I did not win this competition but it was fun joining in!

The border strips that are not...

Last January I was happily living in the blissful dream that I could do a gazillion tiny 1/2" diamonds to be able to attach the border strips to the quilt, I have awoken from this dream and realised that this will be too difficult for me to achieve. So I decided to use up the strips of hexagons in other ways. First I made a lovely reversible cover for the nook my darling bf had given me because he wanted me to enjoy even more books.

I had to do quite a bit of seam ripping to get the right lengths of strip for the cover + do some creative adding of the hexagons to make the flap. I made it reversible as it seemed a shame to waste the opportunity to do so as it's quite easy to make reversible when you are joining hexagons together by hand.

The entire cover is made by hand and contains 350 1/2" mini hexagons, 175 for each side, the flap is weighted with an old Belgium 0,20 Frank coin I had lurking in a drawer.
It's 6 3/4"/17.14 cm square

I still had some of the strips left so went on to make a matching reversible pouch for the cable, which certainly makes it easier to find the cable in my drawer of cables - I think I'll be making more cable pouches now hehe.

The entire cover contains 96 1/2" mini hexagons, 48 for each side.

It's 4 1/2" x 3 1/4"/ 11.4 x 8.5 cm

Having finished the cable pouch I still had the rest of the rather longer greens, blues and whites left and I sewed some of them together - this project isn't complete yet but I did use the scraps to make the little coin purse you can see above. It's just the right size for a few coins, a Lego minifig or 2 AA sized batteries.

The entire cover contains 40 1/2" mini hexagons, 20 for each side.

It's 2" x 2 1/2"/ 5 x 6.35 cm