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1  Re: Supplies. Articles, Deals in Needlework: Discussion and Questions by TreeCactus on: May 20, 2009 04:55:25 PM
For those of you who like embroidering on - or silk screening on - or whatever - flour sack towels, American Chair store has their Deluxe flour sack towels on sale right now, $15.90 for a dozen. Now, I know that makes them over $1.00 each, but - they are the best flour sack towels for embroidery! They're 30x30 square (they have other sizes, but I like the square!), pre-washed, pre-shrunk, pre-ironed, so you can set to work on them as soon as they arrive, they're a nice weight of fabric with a fairly dense weave - all around great for flour sack towels! (And oh-so-much nicer than the ones I've found at Target, Hobby Lobby, etc., that feel like cheese cloth more than flour sack...)

So, if you use flour sack towels for crafting, you might want to check out the ACS:


I used one of their towels on this project:

and it was really nice to stitch on!

So, if you're looking for flour sack towels, and want some good ones that are on sale right now, you'll save about $3 if you get them by the dozen from ACS while they're on sale!
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2  A few new patterns posted... in Needlework: Discussion and Questions by TreeCactus on: December 05, 2007 04:17:13 PM
I posted a few new patterns lately on needle'nthread, if you're interested. You can browse through the small images to see if there's anything you're interested in. Click on the link to go to the larger image, which you can then save to your computer.






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3  Embroidering With Beetle Wings! in Needlework: Completed Projects by TreeCactus on: November 26, 2007 05:14:32 PM
I've discovered that beetle wings are a great way to embellish embroidery! These wings of the jewel beetle are gorgeous, and they're pretty sturdy, too, so they work well on textiles. So I thought I'd post the "almost" completed project I'm working on.... it isn't 100% complete, simply because I keep thinking of other things to add.

The last thing I did was fill in the two side leaves on the little flower on the right with little gold seed stitch, to give it a kind of filled-in, dusty look.

I can't decide if I should work something around the wings in the top flower!

Anyway, I've been tracking the progress of this project on my website, with directions on how to prepare the wings and use the different types of gold. Eventually, I'd like to do some video tutorials for some of the goldwork stitches - when time allows!

Any ideas for the any further embellishment??
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4  Awake : Asleep - Opposite Faces Pillowcase in CHALLENGE 22 ENTRIES by TreeCactus on: November 05, 2007 07:59:29 PM
Sorry about the last minute - I didn't think I'd finish, but here are my opposite pillowcases.

My theme is "awake : asleep." No great inspiration here - just the question "what are pillowcases used for?" and I generally either go to sleep on them, or lie awake on them.

I actually had some text I thought about using on the cases. One is from Plutarch, to this effect:

When we are awake, we are in one common world;
When asleep, we are in a world of our own.

And the other line I considered is from a sweet little poem by Thomas Dekker:

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes, Smiles awake you when you rise.

It was the second quote that won out, since there really is nothing better than awakening to smiles. But then I skipped the text idea, because I wanted to do faces. The faces are actually "inspired" by a line of stationery and notecards drawn and copyrighted by me when I was in college. One summer, to help raise money for school, I "marketed" a bunch of notecards and stationery similar to these faces, called "A few good laughs" (because everyone needs them). Since then, they've kind of been a "typical" item in my family's correspondence. The faces were made by tracing pennies.

For the pillow cases, I merely traced a plastic vitamin lid to make the circles and free-handed whatever came to mind for the faces. I used a pencil and a lot of spray starch to draw the circles, and I used regular DMC cotton and 19 different embroidery stitches.

Actually, I'm editing to start with the close-up of one, and then I'll show both and so forth...

Here are both pillow cases:

And here's just the white one followed by some close-ups:

And here's just the black one, followed by some close-ups:

I tried to keep the images "small"... sorry for the bulk! And sorry I couldn't do a close-up of each face - there are 46 altogether!

Let me know what you think!

And thanks for looking!
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5  Finished flower.... what to do with it? in Needlework: Completed Projects by TreeCactus on: September 27, 2007 09:35:53 AM
Well, I've never posted an image on here, but I thought I'd try it for the fun of it! (not to mention it's been ages since I've been on, and I don't want to bore everyone to death!

I finished this flower last week - it's from a kit from Tanja Berlin at www.berlinembroidery.com. I love her needlepainting kits!

So the question is ----- now that I'm finished, what to do with it? Framing it seems very... ordinary. The whole thing is about 3 1/2 inches high (so it's not very big!)

A lot of people like the look of needlepainting, but they think it's hard - it isn't! I'm going to spend some serious time this weekend working on my long-and-short stitch video tutorial, so I hope I can get it online soon!

I've got some closer up images of the flower here:


So, what think ye? Any ideas for the "finished product"Huh!


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6  Re: Eyes? in Needlework: Discussion and Questions by TreeCactus on: December 22, 2006 07:22:21 AM
Well, I don't know if it's too late or if this will help, but here's a piece of a dragon with an eye. You could modify the brow - on this one it's white, so it looks like he's old with bushy eye brows. But notice that the eye is round, white with black pupils. This is a typical dragon found in heraldry.

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7  Re: French Knot Tutorial (with pictures) in Needlework: Discussion and Questions by TreeCactus on: November 02, 2006 11:29:47 AM
By padding under satin stitches, I mean working in a layer of stitches (they can be satin stitches or just straight stitches) before doing your final layer of satin stitches. You would always work the padding layer perpendicular (more or less) to the direction that you're going to work the final layer of satin stitches. Doing this raises the embroidery a little bit (more or less, depending on the padding - you can work one layer of padding, or multiple layers), and it also provides friction for your top layer of satin stitches, which will help them lay better.

Let's see if I can find a photo....

Ok, here's a photo of the technique, though there are a couple things I'd do differently:

First, unless I wanted a very thickly padded motif that really stands out (which would be typical for Mountmellick embroidery), I would not pad with this many layers.

Second, on the #3 image there, I would not space the padding stitches, unless I were trying to achieve a certain effect. This can cause a bumpy motif - unless you work over that layer again, with yet another layer.

Third, I'd outline the motif first with tiny back stitches or split stitch, then pad inside that, then I'd stitch the top layer of satin stitching over the backstitch or split stitch outline - very close to the line, or even working "under" the edge of it, like it shows in #5 on the photo - the needle angles back to cut under the edge of the design.

I'll have a satin stitching video up in a couple weeks - that one will take a while, because I'll have to do it in stages. I usually pad all my satin stitches, at least with one layer, unless I'm working very small leaves or something, or unless I'm satin stitching small dots.
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8  A Christmas Stocking - underway - half a tutorial (complete w/ photos) in Winter Holidays by TreeCactus on: October 22, 2006 08:41:35 AM
Here's a Christmas stocking I've been working on - just mostly as an experiment. It's relatively small, would be perfect for a tree ornament (to hold a special gift or goodies on the tree), and it's simple to stitch up, since it's only backstitch. I like the look of it - I'll be adding a white linen cuff to it this week.


My dilemma is whether or not I should stitch the back identical to the front, or just use plain velvet...Huh?

Let me know what you think!!
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