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21  Stitcher's Alphabet in Needlework: Completed Projects by elderflower on: May 17, 2015 07:22:53 AM
This was my entry for this year's Needlecraft Guild competition. We were having a fun competition this time to celebrate our 25th anniversary. So the theme was just '25' and people interpreted it anyway they wanted.
I decided to do an alphabet using the Gothic Alphabet which has 25 letters, making one letter do the job of 'I' and 'J'.


Technical details
Most of the squares came from the wonderful Stitcher's Alphabet by Brooke Nolan at http://www.brookesbooks.com/CrossStitchFreebies.html 
 


I had to design the I/J square myself of course, as hers was a 26 letter alphabet. I made a filet crochet Gothic I/J in variegated blue machine thread.  I stitched it into the centre of the square, first with a blue cross stitch that was pretty invisible and then with the decorative stitching and then I cut away the fabric behind the crochet. (And used lots of Fray Check because I just didn't trust my join).  Around the crochet I drew out threads and wove them back into the fabric at the corners and inserted a 2mm wide silk ribbon.



I also made a different design for 'O' as she had O for Over-dyes and I thought O for Openwork was more interesting although I did use over-dyed thread for the Hardanger. It was also a more difficult square  as aida-type fabric is really not the best for cut work.  Again I used a lot of Fray Check. 

The upper case letters I got from a sampler my grandmother did in the 1920s at a college for missionaries' wives.  Her work didn't have all the letters so I had to design  some in a similar style.  The lower case letters in the title are from an antique DMC booklet 'Bibliothèque D.M.C. - Alphabet de la Brodeuse' downloaded from  http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/

The hem has mitred corners and is done in what is called by some, Danish hemstitch.  There is a picture of the stitch here.  https://theshopsampler.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/new-years-resolution-so-far-so-good/blackwork-danish-2a/

The fabric I used is not actually proper Aida. I've no idea where I got it from as it has been in my fabric hoard for years. The thread count is wider than it is long which worked out okay because the individual images were actually oblong so in my version they came out more square.

I include thumbnails for all the other letters in case anyone else is doing this design, because when I was stitching this I would have liked to have been able to look at clear pictures of how some of the designs would look when completed.  I did change some colours and I didn't use as much beading as the pattern called for because sewing on beads takes forever and I got bored with it Wink

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22  Re: Yet Another TM Patch Swap R3!- Gallery in The Swap Gallery by elderflower on: December 18, 2014 03:20:11 AM
My fabulous package arrived today from madcrafter.
She posted it on 22 November and the notification arrived yesterday - so I guess airmail  isn't what it used to be  Wink
But it was truly worth waiting for.  She made patches on my theme of sunsets and had the most beautiful fabrics and embroidery.
I love this one with its fire at sunset. The fabric just brilliantly evokes a bush fire and the chenille stitched sun is glorious.

The other patch she sent is this beautiful Van Gogh style sunset in chainstitch.  I am so in love with the colours and the way the stitches flow around the sun and across the sky.

She also sent me one of her stunning paper cuts.
I am so thrilled with this and love all the little details that I keep finding the more I look at it - like the cats on the fence and the rabbits in the grass.


And as if all this wasn't enough she also sent me a wonderful patch making kit with fabrics in my favourite colours and needles and threads and beads.  I'm particularly intrigued by the unusual threads as I can't find that sort of thing here and I'm really looking forward to using them
 Altogether a fantastic Christmas present. Thank you so much madcrafter. Definitely worth the wait.
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23  Red-checked apron with crochet motifs. in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by elderflower on: December 08, 2014 06:38:18 AM

I made this as a gift for our Needlecraft Guild Christmas dinner where we each bring a hand-made gift and these are randomly assigned to guests.
The fabric is not a true gingham but a fabric printed to look like gingham.
The hem is finished with five motifs crocheted in Coats Red mercerised cotton size 8 with a 1.25 mm hook. I ran out of red and used white to finish the bottom edges of the motifs. 


Close up of one of the motifs.
The pattern comes out of an old handicrafts book that I borrowed from our Guild library.  Unfortunately I can't remember the name of it but I can find out if anyone is interested.
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24  Re: Little matchboxes made of ticky tacky... in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by elderflower on: November 29, 2014 12:17:43 AM
I love your little matchboxes.  I need to make a couple for my zebras.
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25  Re: Yet Another TM Patch Swap R3!- Gallery in The Swap Gallery by elderflower on: November 13, 2014 10:17:54 PM
I collected my patches from goktrose yesterday. I wanted to get these pictures up right away so you could see them all but didn't have electricity until this morning.
She has sent me such beautiful patches on my themes and a lovely kit with some gorgeous fabrics and threads and buttons.

First of all on my Science theme she made me a lovely 3d flask full of beaded bubbles.

I love the  colours of it and the shimmering blue beads she used.

Then for my African Wild Dog theme she did a truly beautiful reverse applique of a Wild Dog head with yellow French knot eyes.

She really captured that distinctive silhouette. Instantly recognizable, I love it so much and I also love the fabrics you used.

On top of all this she included a generous kit on my Thunderstorms theme.


Thank you goktrose for the gorgeous fabrics, threads and buttons. I want to start making patches right away.

I also love the different techniques you used. You inspire me to try them myself.  Thank you for an altogether wonderful package.
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26  Naartje Candles in Halloween Decor and Parties by elderflower on: October 31, 2014 11:02:04 AM
I hadn't done anything for Hallowe'en and carving pumpkins takes too long so I made a couple of naarjte candles using this tutorial



She advises using olive oil but I used ordinary cooking oil and it worked just as well. 



It did take a few matches to get started but once it got going it was fine. 
Obviously, as with any naked flame, you make sure it is on a fireproof surface and don't leave it unattended.

I think they would be nice for Christmas too.

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27  Trillium bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by elderflower on: October 26, 2014 08:21:43 AM
At our last needlecraft guild meeting one of our members, who had recently returned from the UK, gave us a class in these little triangular bags.  She had been introduced to them in England and said they are called Trillium bags over there because they resemble the trillium lily.



I stitched most of my bag in the meeting so I don't have many in progress pictures.
The kits for the bags comprised :
2 equilateral triangles of fabric  -   each  side about 25 cm long
2 pieces of ribbon  35 to 40 cm long for the 2 drawstrings
2 large beads for slipping on the drawstrings.
3 sequins/buttons/beads to decorate the folded down corners.

We took the 2 triangles and put them right sides together and sewed all around leaving a small gap for turning. Then turned right side out and slip stitched or mattress stitched to close the opening.




Then we folded the points down to the outside and stitched them down with sequins/buttons/beads leaving a gap for the drawstrings to run through.



Next step was to fold up each edge of the triangle in half so that the points come together and stitch the edges together using slip stitch or mattress stitch from the corner up to about two thirds of the way so as to leave an opening at the top.



To finish we threaded the drawstrings through the loops at the corners in opposite directions and slipped the large bead over each string and knotted them.

Sliding the bead down the drawstring closes the bag.

I think these will make neat little gift bags and can also be hung on a Christmas tree with gifts inside.  They are a great way to use up scraps of fabric and ribbon and odd beads.  I plan to make several for Christmas.
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28  Re: Bookmark Swap 6 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by elderflower on: September 26, 2014 11:44:45 AM
These are fabulous bookmarks. I love the Narnian sword and the little rhyme on the bookmark with the green tassel is lovely.

Today I received this lovely bookmark from Acadian Driftwood.  I sometimes think our postman saves up our mail all week so he can deliver it at once.  Wink  Anyway here it is.


 I love the quote from Thud  and the way she has illustrated it.  Beautiful colours and the font is exactly right.  Thank you so much Acadian Driftwood.  I am so thrilled with this and the way you interpreted it. I keep looking at it and admiring it.
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29  Re: Bookmark Swap 6 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by elderflower on: September 17, 2014 05:38:20 AM
What great bookmarks these are. So lovingly thought out and executed.
And mine arrived today from blupaisan.
She chose a quote from Thud, my favourite book by Terry Pratchett and did a wonderful drawing of a troll to illustrate it. 
I happen to be particularly fond of that quote because it has relevance in our world outside the books.  I also love the font she used, that lettering just looks so right.

Thank you so much blupaisan. You are such a talented artist. I was so thrilled to receive this. It is in my copy of Thud right now. And thank you for sending it early so I didn't have long to wait.
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30  Re: Werecat!! - Stuffed cat with a dark side in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by elderflower on: August 23, 2014 12:56:57 PM
I found a picture of a soft toy African wild dog puppy I bought for my sister a while ago. I think the fabric is very similar to yours.
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