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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / F*** Patriarchy [mildly NSFW] on: August 24, 2010 09:23:25 PM
I've been wanting to do a cross stitched sampler for a while, but I decided I better start small in case I feel about cross stitching the way I do about knitting (simultaneously violently angry & mind-numbingly bored).  I got the pattern from Radical Cross Stitch.  It was super easy to understand & I finished it in just a couple of days, so I think it's official- I have a new craft!  

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2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Embroidery hoop without screws on: August 24, 2010 06:10:32 PM
Can anyone recommend an inexpensive embroidery hoop without screws/ fasteners of any kind?  I've looked on a lot of craft sites, but I can't seem to find any.

My favorite hoop is one that belonged to my grandmother, or possibly my great-grandmother.  It is just 2 wooden rings with a felt band on the inner ring, labeled with the word Duchess.  A quick google search showed me that it is considered "vintage," and they run $15-$20 each.  There are several ebay sellers who have them, and I'll probably end up buying some of those.  But I'd really like to find a cheaper version that I could buy a lot of & use for permanent framing of some of my goofy little pieces that don't really deserve an expensive frame.
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Autumn Tree Lady on: May 30, 2010 08:08:50 PM
I have pretty much been away from Craftster & the internet in general since I got a job & went back to school & I haven't posted anything for a while but now that finals are over, I'll put up some of the stuff I've been working on.
Cate Simmons, who does some gorgeous stuff found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/steeringfornorth/, was kind enough to let me embroider one of her drawings as a gift for my sister.  So here it is.

You can't tell from the photo but the fabric has a white on white design of leaves that looks very pretty in real life.
4  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Zippered Case for a Kindle (first draft) on: January 03, 2010 07:07:55 PM
So I got a Kindle 2 for Christmas & my brother got me the standard Amazon cover.  I like the cover but I after looking at some of the expensive cases online I thought I'd try to make one of my own.  I wanted several things: 1) It had to close completely to keep out dirt, 2) It had to open like a book so that you don't have to take out the Kindle to use it.  3) It had to have more padding than the amazon case.  4) It had to fit snugly so it won't take up much room in my purse.

My first draft doesn't really fit the bill.  At first I thought I would use just the two rectangles (outside & inside) but putting the zipper on was almost impossible.  After looking at some zippered bible covers, I added the gusset with the zipper.  So now it is too big, there is a gap at the ends of the zipper, and it doesn't open completely flat.  I wanted to add 2 pieces of book board to the inside for protection, but seam allowance is too thick for it to fit smoothly.  The plan was also to put four pieces of elastic at each corner to hold the Kindle, but I left those out when I saw it wasn't working.  Without any padding it fits around the amazon case nicely, so together the two cases work well, but  it's still not quite what I want.

For the next one I think I'll have the spine as a separate piece & extend the zipper to the spine, which may solve the gap problem.  Anyone have any other suggestions?

5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Toadstool House Ornament [lotsa pictures] on: December 23, 2009 04:59:45 PM
I made this as a Christmas present for my sister.  She loves mushrooms & one year when she was little she asked for a "stuffed house" for Christmas.  It took forever but I think she will really love it.

I used Little House by the Sea's Tutorial and added some of my own ideas.

The house before I sewed it together.  I think you can see the details a little better.
6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Felt Bird Ornaments on: December 23, 2009 11:00:55 AM
Made this Christmas ornament from A Greener Christmas for my ex-mother-in-law. Hope she likes it.

7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Owl Messenger Bag on: December 23, 2009 10:32:28 AM
I made this messenger bag for my sister for Christmas.  She wanted a green one with a dryad embroidered on it, but I couldn't find a dryad picture I liked (really I just wanted to buy the purple fabric).  Hopefully she will like this one instead.  The bag pattern is from The New Handmade by Cassie Barden & the owl applique came from 100 Applique Motifs by Deborah Green.

8  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Choosing a Serger Elna or Juki on: November 23, 2009 05:27:20 PM
I'm having a frustrating time trying to decide which serger to buy.  I've gone to 4 different sewing machine shops, and the salespeople are not at all helpful.  They don't even know what their machines cost, let alone how to use them or what features they have.  It's like pulling teeth to find out anything. However, they all assure me that whichever brand they sell is "the best serger out there."  So anyway after much looking I'm trying to decide between the Elna 654 ($600) and either a Juki MO-655 ($400) or MO 654DE ($500).  I also looked at a floor model of the the Brother 1034D for $300.  Mostly I like the Elna & the Brother because the sales lady at that store was the only polite and helpful one.  Whereas the salesman for the Jukis was a real jerk, but they both come with starter kit that includes 100 needles, 12 cones of thread, a carrying case, and 6 extra feet.  Anyone have one of these machines or an opinion on what I should go with?

Just to add, I sew weekly, sometimes daily-- lots of crafty stuff.  I don't do much garment sewing lately except for costumes, but I'd like to get back into it and I've been thinking about making my own lingerie with stretchy/ thin fabrics.
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / The Spider and the Fly on: November 14, 2009 11:52:39 PM
I love this picture book The Spider and the Fly that Tony DiTerlizzi (of Spiderwick fame) illustrated based on the poem by Mary Howitt. I thought this would be the easiest page to stitch up, but it was still hard.  And I wasn't as careful as I should have been, so it's a little messy.  Now what to do with it?  It's on an 12" x 12" piece of white linen and I can't decide whether to put it in a hoop for hanging or incorporate it into another project.

Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, "Dear Friend, what can I do,
To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome-- will you please to take a slice?"
"Oh no, no," said little Fly, "kind sir, that cannot be,
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

The original illustration is here http://www.flickr.com/photos/saysayohplaymate/4105257856/
10  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Two different pleated handbags on: November 07, 2009 10:48:33 AM
I've been a handbag making fool lately, so I thought I'd share two more that I made for a local contest.
The brown handbag was a test run for the contest.  I've made several different versions.  I love the design, but it takes forever to put together no matter how many different ways I tweak the pattern.  This last one turned out nicely I think, but I decided to give up on the pattern.

The grey plaid wool is the one I entered in the contest.  It had to be made entirely from fabric purchased from this discount fabric store, and I had a hard time finding inspiration.  I ended up just lining it in plain white because I wanted a really exciting red print for the inside, but couldn't find anything like that in the store.  After I get it back I'll probably change it.  I also took the leaves off the flower before I turned it it because my sister said that with the red and green it reminded her of a little girl's Christmas dress from the 1980s.

What do you think?
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