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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Gone Fishing on: August 03, 2016 03:36:24 AM
Our Needlecraft Guild competition theme this year was Around the Pond.

This was my entry in the Miscellaneous Category.
He is a soft bodied doll with button jointed arms and legs.
His fishing rod is a bamboo skewer and the fishing reel is a press stud - the kind with a hole through the middle so it can be held on with a pin and with a beading pin cut and bent to shape and glued on with super glue to form a handle. So it does actually turn - a little Wink
His fold-up seat was made from ice lolly sticks (Ours have Childline numbers stamped into them which took me  long time to sand off) and bamboo skewers cut to size.
He has one fish on his line and one in the catch net in his pocket. I filled their bodies with fine sand to weigh them down a bit.
The frog trying to escape from a pocket is made from beads and is a little two dimensional.
The jersey is knitted from the top down more or less from the pattern I posted here
and the hat is a circle cut from the woven raffia you sometimes get wrapped around a bunch of flowers, stiffened with diluted PVA glue and shaped over a ball in a cup.
The judge liked the piece and gave him a first.
2  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Around the Pond lap rug on: July 29, 2016 08:38:05 AM
The theme for our Needlecraft Guild competition this year was Around the Pond.  For my crochet entry I took inspiration from A Blanket for Squiggle by Vicelikeplague.

My inspiration for the terrapins came from http://www.crochetbug.com/all-roads-lead-to-fresno/;
for the rabbits from http://lovethebluebird.blogspot.com/2012/04/spring-bunny-tutorial.html; and the water lilies were modified from http://www.hopefulhoney.com/2015/04/dahlia-hexagon-crochet-pattern.html;
The fish I made up myself using a standard pineapple for head and body and the snake was an exercise in crocheting a two colour spiral.

3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / organza applique cafe curtain on: July 25, 2016 10:36:36 AM
The theme for my Needlecraft Guild challenge this year was Around the Pond and this was my entry in the embroidery category. 

I made a cafe curtain because I needed one for a bedroom and also because all my embroidery has to justify its existence. so even a competition entry still has to be useful.
The background is white organza for the sky and blue for the water.  All the plants  are organza, fixed with fusible web and blanket stitched around the raw edges - apart from the iris and bulrush leaves and stems which are organza ribbon that was slip-stitched into place. The dragonflies wings are white organza with a silver print and they have bead heads and bodies.

I got the applique design for the irises from http://www.quilterscache.com/I/IrisWreathBlock.html nd the design for the frog from http://azcoloring.com/coloring-page/19879?album=frog-prince-coloring-pages

The curtain is lined with white organza and I used white satin bias binding to finish the loops for hanging.
There are a lot of mistakes. In particular one of the irises is concealing a large hole that I melted with the iron when applying fusible web.  Tongue  And my stitching got rather uneven towards the end.  But the judge liked it enough to give me third place which I was glad to have as it was rather more than it deserved.
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Jacket from vintage pattern on: July 24, 2016 04:44:56 AM
I've been away from craftster for a bit but I have been busy making things - just haven't gotten around to posting them.

This is from an old pattern that belonged to my mother-in-law.  The pattern is by Lux and just calls for Double Knitting wool of any make.

I dont know the date of the pattern but Lux were still using the "If it's Safe in Water, it's Safe in Lux" slogan. I guess they hadn't heard of goldfish.  Roll Eyes

The stitch is a bit like a moss stitch but with slipped stitches carried up to the row above.

I used acrylic yarn from an ugly twin set I  had made years ago where the tension had gotten looser as I knitted so the whole thing ended up very shapeless.  I did wear it occasionally but decided I could make something better with the yarn. After unravelling and washing to remove the kinks I soaked it in a lot of fabric softener and that made it much easier to roll into balls and to knit with.
If I make this pattern again I won't do the pockets as they don't hold their shape at all. Also I need to learn how to stitch up seams.  Mine turned out very lumpy especially on the cuff which is knitted in one long strip and I had to sew the cast off edge to the cast on edge.  Sad

I much prefer knitting in the round and no seams, but that wasn't entirely possible for this design.

5  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Mat for animal shelter on: September 30, 2015 11:23:31 AM
At our monthly Needlecraft guild meeting a couple of months ago we set aside the whole afternoon for making these mats to go under the dog and cat beds at a our local Friends Animal Welfare foundation.
Someone had donated bags and bags of fabric off cuts.  The non-knitters/crocheters cut the fabric into strips and looped the strips into continuous lengths of yarn and rolled them up into huge balls.
Those of us who had large knitting needles or crochet hooks knitted or crocheted the yarn into square mats. They will go under the pet beds and will provide insulation during the cold weather.

This is a picture of mine.  It took a lot of yarn and was very hard on the hands. Just as well there were so many of us. Wink

And here it is half way through showing the large needles I used for it. They are about 13mm diameter.
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bargello-work bag on: September 22, 2015 12:29:34 AM
Every year the Needlecraft Guild, to which I belong, has a year long project where we work on a sampler or similar and learn new techniques or stitches every month. Last year it was a strip of bargello work and when it was finished I turned it into a small bag.

My colour choice was a bit eclectic as I wasn't thinking of what I would use the sampler for when it was finished but was merely practising the technique.  So the design on the flap was not part of the project but was a design I found in one of our Guild library books and used to finish off the rest of the canvas and also to try and pull together the random colours I'd used.
The other stitches are all the stitches that we worked on over the course of the year.

  The Back

   The Front

The crochet butterfly was added because after I had done the lining I discovered a flaw in the fabric.  Embarrassed

I found it quite difficult working with canvas to make it into a bag.  I'd love to know how other people manage to turn their  tapestry into something useful as the canvas is very stiff, bulky and unwieldy.
7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Frozen style Ice princess hat on: September 16, 2015 08:39:32 AM
A lady I know is undergoing chemo and friends have been making hats for her.  Her little daughter said she would like a hat too to be like mum so I crocheted this ice princess style hat for her.

The blue crown is held on by two buttons so is removable.

I wanted the hat to look as if it was made of snowflakes so I used the row of daisies pattern that sonnetbird used to make an afghan and modified it to work in the round - which was a bit of a mission and the start of each row spirals round the hat but it isn't really obvious so I think it works.  Except that it doesn't really look like snowflakes. They still look like daisies to me.  But she likes it which is the main thing.
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bird silhouette on: September 04, 2015 08:38:09 AM
At last month's Needlecraft guild meeting we got a little kit of a piece of calico and an outline shape to trace - either a bird or a butterfly.  Then we practised the technique of outlining the shape in french knots that start out very close together and then move further apart.  Changing  the shade of embroidery thread also adds to the effect.
   This is the bird I made

but since I am never happy unless my embroidery has some purpose in life, I turned it into a child's apron using some spare calico I had in store, with a scrap of green satin ribbon to prettify the waistband

I also embellished the pocket by inserting some green embroidery thread using the pulled-thread technique.

9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / 25 squares cardigan on: August 30, 2015 04:20:12 AM
Our Needlecraft Guild competition this year had the theme of "25" as it was our 25th anniversary.  For my entry in the knitting/crochet class I devised a square that was knitted from the centre out so that it had exactly the same number of stitches on each side and the squares could be grafted together instead of sewn. (I do not like sewing up my knitting.  I always get it wrong and it looks lumpy)

This jacket/coat/cardigan  is made of exactly 25 squares. Here it is modelled by my daughter, although it is way too large for her.

Technical details
The yarn I used was Elle Escapade DK  col. 371 Ginger Glow. I don't think it is available any more.  This yarn is 100 % Acrylic  and the cardigan took 5 x 100g balls.
I used two 4mm circulars needles for each square and I used  a very long one for finishing the edging.

Although I carefully knitted a tension square and calculated all the dimensions it turned out rather larger than I intended.

Here it is laid out flat.

The buttons are Dorset buttons made from slices of pvc pipe, sanded smooth and wrapped with the same yarn as the cardigan.

As I promised I have attached a pdf of the pattern for the square.  I hope I have made it clear enough but my notes were a little scruffy.
10  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Somerset Star pot holders or hot mats on: June 04, 2015 11:34:46 AM
At one of our monthly Needlecraft guild meetings a few months ago we had a tutorial on these Somerset stars.  Our committee members had put together kits of ready cut pieces in lovely fabrics. The kits were $3 each for guild funds and were very popular. Lots of people wanted more than one kit.  I ended up making 3 of them.  

It is a very simple pattern and can mostly be done by hand. The only word of warning I have is to be wary of using thicker fabrics particularly on the pieces that will be around the edge.  My dark blue with the pink bias edge had thick chintz pieces for the outer edge and although they were a very pretty pattern they were murder to sew through all the thicknesses. And I had to stretch the bias tape; as you can see it does not look very neat at all.

This is a great way to use up scraps of leftover fabric from other projects.

(The pictures jump around between the three stars as I didn't always remember to take in-progress photos for every stage.)
Two Circles: Cut one large 19 cm or 7 inch diameter circle in any plain fabric such as calico, to be the foundation.  Cut another large circle in pretty fabric to be the back of the Somerset Star.
Optional : Cut one small circle (9 cm or 3 inches diameter) in pretty fabric. This will go in the middle on top of the foundation circle and underneath the central four points to show through any gaps between the central points.
Oblongs (20 altogether):
small  10.5 by 6 cm (4 ⅛ by 2 ⅜ inches)
medium    11.5 by 8.25 cm ( 4 by 3 inches)
large  13 by 10 cm (4 by 5 inches)
In three contrasting fabrics:
Cut four of the smallest oblong and 8 each of the two larger oblongs.  Using different fabrics emphasises the star especially if you choose alternating dark and light or patterned and plain fabric.
Tack or pin the small circle to the centre of the foundation circle.

Fold each  rectangle in half lengthways and then fold to a point in the middle.  I tacked mine down but you could probably get away with just ironing them flat.

The small circle is pinned to the centre of one of the large circles and then the four smallest points are placed in the middle with the tips  meeting in the centre. Catch each tip down in the centre with one or two tiny stitches.  Catch the pieces down again at the centre fold of each point and where the edge of each point touches another.
The picture shows the centre points stitched in place with the second layer being pinned into position.

Pin the medium points with their tips about 1.5 cm ( inch) out from the tips of the centre points. The tips lie along the folds or between the edges of the centre points and can either overlap clockwise/anti-clockwise or in an alternating pattern. These are caught down with tiny stitches at the tips, folds and edges.

The last layer of the large points is again placed 1.5 cm out from the tips of the medium points and caught down as before.

The square edges of the large points will stick out beyond the edge of the circle.

This picture shows the back of the work after all the points are stitched down and before the overhanging edges have been trimmed off.

Tack or pin the backing circle to the back of the foundation circle and trim off the overhanging edges of the last layer of points.

Machine stitch bias tape around the edge on the front and finish off with small hemming stiches on the back.

I attach a pdf of the templates.
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