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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Feathers & Chirp Fine Tailors, est. 2014 on: July 19, 2014 02:11:38 PM
I was making something for Im Sew Silly and her daughter for the OWS. She really wanted a small diorama, and some of her themes were whimsical, sewing, and birds. So I made her a miniature avian tailor's shop.

They have a tree for growing their own buttons. I think the portrait on the back of the door is of Great Uncle Chirp.

They have a nice window that opens onto the garden, so they can enjoy the view while they work.

It's very different from most of what I make - it was a lot of fun to do! Smiley
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Revenge of the Stumpwork Tentacle: Tentacle Twinchie!! on: July 10, 2014 02:18:45 AM
I was making something for the lovely sheepBlue for OWS. She asked for an embroidered twinchie, and she also had MissingWillow's marvellous miniature crime scene on her list of inspiration. Plus, some of you may remember a previous incident with a tentacle, which I knew sheepBlue liked. So all these things came together in my brain .....

It is made of silk fabric, felt, wire and embroidery thread, and tiny 00 model figures. I mounted it on a 2" x 2" artist canvas (just stitched on, no glue). It was a lot of fun to make!!

Poor little sailors .... there is no escape from the Tentacle ....
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Book into stationery folder on: July 04, 2014 01:55:25 PM
A dear friend moved overseas and we plan to write actual  letters and make mailable art for each other. For my first mailing, I made her a folder to put stationery in.

I had this great old "the Book of Craft" with a purple and orange cover from the 1970s. Unfortunately, someone had already cut out the best pages... So I felt no guilt at all about turning it into this.

I gutted it and painted it with acrylics, and then sealed it with spray varnish. I turned the title into "the book of crafty arty MAIL". I forgot to get a pic of the interior. It's lined with purple fabric that incorporates several pockets and elastic pen holders. My friend loved it!!
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Some knitted accessories on: July 04, 2014 01:42:43 PM
I've been doing some knitting this year. These are some of my favourite projects so far Smiley

I love these grurple (green + purple) mitts! My sister loves them too though, so I may have to make some more. Lovely free pattern Bisontine.

This Distant Hours shawl is made of silk. A bit of work, but so worth it! I omitted the picot bindoff for a spikier look.

This chevron scarf is a super easy free pattern - great way to use up scraps!

This Stringband can be worn as a cowl or a funky hat.

Yay for knitting!!
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Communicator Cosy on: July 04, 2014 01:10:04 PM
My hubby got me an awesome new phone for my birthday  Kiss

A fantastic new communicator deserves a fantastic new home! So I made one Smiley

My sewing machine is in for repairs, so the whole thing was made by hand (no pattern required, just made to fit the phone). It is made of silk, with a felt lining. It was such a pleasant small project to stitch while watching my Next Generation DVDs. I am very pleased with it.

It has velcro dots for closure (stitched down for security). I used fusible web for the applique, but because it will be handled a lot, I also stitched it all down (just with sewing thread), and couched perle cotton around the silver part. I also tried out cutting the lining a smidge (4mm) smaller than the fabric, and stitching the edges with raw edges lined up (need to ease carefully around the curves). This way you get the lining sitting perfectly just inside the edge - it worked a treat!!
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Bee and berries stumpwork on: December 16, 2011 05:24:45 PM
This was stitched for the marvellous miknessevie in the IYP swap. She said she would like some embroidery, so I decided it had to be stumpwork Smiley

It is all made of thread, fabric, beads, and wire, with traditional stumpwork techniques. I used components from a Jane Nicholas book to create a design for Jen - she likes bees and berries. The hoop is just a little one, the embroidery is tiny.

Stitches include stem, feather, cretan, french knots, ghoirdes/turkey knots, couching, satin. The berries and wings are stitched separately, then applied, the wings are wired, the eyes are beads.

Hope you like it!
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Sea Treasure Box - freehand machine embroidered little box on: December 11, 2011 06:22:49 PM
I made this for the awesome alwaysinmyroom for the Scrappy Swap. She likes things inspired by the sea, so I made her a little box for tiny treasures. It is made out of mostly silk scraps, a little organza, machine embroidered and hand sewn, with a few glass beads too.

Each side is similar.

The little shell rings slide down to open the top, the inside is plain silver silk.

It's probably more decorative than practical. but I think alwaysinmyroom likes it anyway Smiley  I'm looking forward to doing some more freehand projects soon!

8  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Reverse applique Union Jack mug rug - with tutorial! on: December 07, 2011 03:16:07 PM
I was making a mug rug for jtlhmmwabodf for OWS. She likes Union Jacks, and so I decided to try something new with reverse applique! I had a lot of fun sewing this, and I thought some of you might like to try it out.

This is an easy design for this technique as it's all straight lines, only three colours, and the lines all go to the edge (for easy cutting). But you could adapt this technique for all sorts of designs.

I wanted to get my shapes quite accurate, so I decided to use Glad Press and Seal. This stuff makes it very easy! I printed a Union Jack image, and traced over it (use a waterproof pen so it doesn't smudge).

I cut 3 fabric rectangles, and left plenty of room around the edges.

Then I made a sandwich with the Press N Seal on top, and pinned it nice and flat.

I sewed over the lines with a straight stitch, and then peeled off the Press N Seal. (Don't zigzag over the Press N Seal unless you want to spend FOREVER picking out tiny bits of plastic. Ask me how I know  Roll Eyes)

If you don't want to use the Press N Seal, you can just sew directly on your fabric sandwich. You could mark your design with tailors chalk or a vanishing embroidery marker, or work freehand.

I went over the straight stitching with a narrow, close zigzag. (You can just leave it with straight stitching, but I liked the thick stitching, and also it makes it much stronger, especially if it's an item that you want to wash.) Then I carefully cut out the layers close to the stitching.


I backed mine with batting and fabric, and top stitched around the edge, to make a mug rug. But I think you could turn a panel like this into whatever you wanted - cushion? pocket on a bag? patch on clothing?

I like the texture the raw edges and stitching give - something a bit different from traditional applique. I like the second colourway even better:-

For this one I used darker and more muted colours. My fabric sandwich was blue/white/red, and I stitched with navy thread - I like the outlining effect a lot.

Hope you like it! Smiley

(I was a bit unsure which board this should go on, as I'm not sure this technique really counts as quilting. Since this is a mug rug, and since there are lots of mug rugs here, I thought this would be the best place. But if you think it would fit better somewhere else, please let me know!)
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Paisley Power! Embroidered Silk Cuff on: November 28, 2011 07:06:53 PM
This was a gift for the lovely luckdragon Smiley

I found the basic paisley shape in a non-needlework pattern, and then just did my own thing with selecting stitches and colours.

It was stitched using silk thread (soie d'alger, 2 threads) on a coarsely woven silk fabric. I used a variety of simple stitches, including chain stitch, coral stitch, blanket stitch, colonial knot, and cretan stitch. It was fun working with a non-rectangular shape. I tried to keep the stitching fluid and casual rather than being too precise about measuring everything out. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and I think luckdragon likes it too Smiley

More pics:-

I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions for future cuff-y stitch-y things!
10  California / California: North / visiting San Francisco on: October 30, 2011 09:09:51 PM
I'm visiting San Francisco soon, woohoo! I have been there before, so I know my way around a little, but I won't have a car to go very far. Where are the crafty places that you would recommend?
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