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1  Stuffed Platypus in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by panul on: June 03, 2009 05:30:14 AM
I actually made this guy last Christmas, but once I did, I knew I would be making another for my grandniece's birthday, and I didn't want her mom (littlebiskit) to see it on here. She got hers on Saturday, so now I can finally show him to you.
A friend was going to be dropping by with her baby grandson, and I wanted a little present for him. I found the pattern here http://www.craftbits.com/viewProject.do?projectID=1359 It called for fabrics I didn't have, but the fur, corduroy and flannel I found in my stash worked just fine.

The original called for pellets in the stuffing, but I used all fiberfill. The eyes are embroidered for safety, and except for a few finishing things he is all machine-stitched.
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2  Re: Big Project Stitchalong 2009 in Needlework: Stitchalongs by panul on: May 29, 2009 11:03:29 AM
I am so glad you are doing that stocking, littlebiskit! It's going to be really cute.
I thought I would share my next big project. Some years ago I made a picture of roses on black aida for my daughter. I used a Marc Saastad pattern (from The Silver Lining) which called for 12 reds and 7 greens. It was challenging, but not beyond me. At that time I also looked through his other designs and fell in love with Lavendar Lilacs: http://www.goestores.com/catalog.aspx?storename=thesilverlining2&DeptID=209025&ItemID=9307881&detail=1
A couple of years ago I decided to buy the pattern, but since I was working on my Christmas picture then, I didn't even look at the pattern.
So I decided to do it next and opened up the envelope and nearly passed out. The pattern is ten pages long! It calls for 28 different purples, so many that you have to use both DMC and Anchor colors! And it's supposed to be done on 25 or 28 count Lugana...over one thread!
But I love this picture, so I jumped in, and here is my progress after about 7 hours work. It's only about one-and-a-half inches by one inch.

I'm doing it on 25 count Blush Lugana, since I thought the tinge of pink would set off the lilacs.
And I am so glad that some years ago I got enough Joann's gift cards for Christmas to be able to get myself an 18 watt Ott light with magnifier!
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3  Re: Big Project Stitchalong 2009 in Needlework: Stitchalongs by panul on: May 19, 2009 03:22:11 PM
The last time I posted on this thread was July 6, 2008, but the project I updated then is now completed, so I thought I would put it up here.

It had a lot of tricky techniques like blended needle work with pearl blending filament,
backstitching with gold blending filament, and beading.
The first two techniques are used on the wings, though it's hard to see how sparkly they are:

And here is a shot of some of the beading:

There are also red beads used in the vinework on the frame:

 I'm not sure what I will be doing with it, so it isn't framed or anything.
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4  Something to do with a swatch in Knitting: Completed Projects by panul on: April 18, 2009 10:10:03 AM
Both my daughters are avid knitters and have been encouraging me to get more into knitting too. I just finished my first sweater (Sad story... turned out to be too big  Sad) and I started a baby sweater next. It called for a cable twist, which I had never done (I have been doing only the very basic stitches) and after I did the swatch, I fell in love with it and wanted to use it. Here's what it looked like:

See, pretty yarn, pretty pattern, ought to be something.
My daughters don't do much with their swatches, other than post them on a bulletin board, so they had no suggestions. But I decided to make a knitting project bag decorated with my swatch.
I raided my stash for bag fabric and lining that worked with the yarn color, put in some pockets, hand stitched the swatch to the outside pocket, and here's what I came up with:

And here's a picture of the inside. (How do people take such lovely photos of the insides of their bag? This was really hard to do!)

I also made a pouch for my knitting notions, using the only zipper I had, which just happened to be exactly the right color!  Shocked

I'm so happy that I have actually used my pretty little swatch. And now when the yarn comes for my throw pillow covers, I have a bag to keep that project in.
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5  A Farewell Gift - Teatime quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by panul on: September 13, 2008 04:39:52 PM
One of my very best friends is moving about a thousand miles away in order to be nearer her family. I'm going to miss her so much, and decided to make her a little lap quilt in memory of our many mornings of tea and heart-to-heart. The embroidered blocks are done in "redwork", only this time it's blue.
Here is the quilt:

And here are a couple of the embroidered blocks:

It's about 48" x 52", and tied with white pearl cotton.
I gave it to her a couple of days ago and she liked it very much.
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6  Re: Help! I can't see! in Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions by panul on: September 13, 2008 12:01:31 PM
Well, my daughter and I went to Ikea and looked through all they had available. It was hard to find anything that would accomodate a higher wattage bulb, so I had a rethink and decided to go with several lower ones. It may not give me the "operating theater" lighting I would like to have, but really that might even be too much light and be just as exhausting as too little.
So here's what I got.

You can see the clamp lamp over on the left hand side. It has a wing nut to make sure it is really securely clamped, which I really appreciate. Then over to the right is a two bulb wall fixture. Today is another cloudy day (September gets like that) and if you compare this with the photos from my first post, you can see that the lighting is better than it was. Not a lot, maybe, but some.
And it cost me less than $30!
Thank you again for all your suggestions and encouragement.
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7  Help! I can't see! in Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions by panul on: September 11, 2008 09:16:15 AM
This particular problem might be completely alien to most of you young Craftsters, but I'm hoping someone will have a good idea to help me. I live in a very small apartment and have dedicated a section of my (not very big) bedroom to my crafts, which occupy a lot of my day. The frustration for me is that no matter what I do, I can't seem to get enough light into my sewing area to accomodate my aging eyes.

This is my sewing area. As you can see I have a 13 watt tabletop Ottlite that I use to supplement the sewing machine's highly inadequate bulb. The only other lighting in the room is a pole lamp with a 50-100-150 three way bulb that I, of course, set to 150.

This shot is to show you there is no extra floor space in my sewing corner to fit in another lamp. I can't hang anything from the (very high) ceiling, since they seem to have used some kind of metal or something else impenetrable, presumably for fireproofing.
I am quite at a loss as to what else I can do. And on cloudy days like today it is extremely hard for me to work in there. Do any of you brilliant Craftsters have anything to suggest?
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8  Re: Let's see your sewing machine!! in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by panul on: August 04, 2008 07:09:36 AM
I have loved seeing everyone's machine on this thread, but I have never posted because I don't have a cool reclaimed machine from the thirties or anything. Mine is not a brand new machine either. I love it a lot but thought no one else would be interested.
Then I saw IamSusie's post and her story was so much like mine that I just had to jump in.
I started sewing on my mom's old Singer in high school (after miserable failure on all my home ec projects in school) and then went on to a rather quirky Vigorelli my siblings gave me for a graduation present. Later I bought a Necchi that worked beautifully except when the plastic camshaft was broken, which was WAY too often. Then it was a series of Brothers that lasted only a couple of years a piece with the vigorous workouts I gave them.
Then when my youngest was a year old we suddenly had some extra money and decided to splurge on my dream machine, the machine Nancy Zieman was using on her show at the time. And here it is:

It's a Pfaff Creative 1471, one of the first fully computerized machines and  twenty-one years old now. It has made clothes for my children (while they'd still condescend to wear such things), clothes for me, countless quilts, pillows, tea cozies, bags, etc. All three of my kids learned to sew on it. It has lived through several moves and an apartment fire. And in the last few years it has made wedding dresses for both my girls. Just like IamSusie, I don't use every function it has, but I keep it at the ready, because I use it all the time. It's my good old friend.
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9  Re: Big Project Stitchalong 2008 in Needlework: Stitchalongs by panul on: July 06, 2008 11:28:37 AM
MissKerouac, I love the way your piece is coming along! It looks gorgeous!

I figured it's time that I updated you all on my progress since I posted this project on June 20.

As you can see, I did some more of the straw ( Tongue) and then veered off into the fun, colorful robes of the angel. I'm pretty happy with the amount I've gotten done, so thanks to all of you who are keeping me on track.
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10  Gift Bag from the Sunday Comics in What the heck can I do with THIS? by panul on: June 22, 2008 12:39:34 PM
I like to do my part to make my carbon footprint small, but I also like to make the gifts I give look nice. So I buy gift bags at the Dollar Tree and reuse them over and over. But my son's birthday is coming up, and all the gift bags meant for the Y-chromosome gender are aimed at little boys or older guys, and he's just 25.
So I decided to make a reusable gift bag out of the Sunday comics. I had some large lunch sacks lying around (I use them to make microwave popcorn), so I used one of them for a pattern and as reinforcement, since newspaper is none too strong.
I carefully pulled the bag apart, glued it to a sheet of comics, cut around it and folded where the bags creases were, and glued. Then I folded the top down inside the bag and glued it for a nice top finish and further reinforcement. I took a single page of comics, cut it in half vertically, folded those strips over and over, until they were a good size for handles. Then I covered those with packaging tape and used the same tape to attach them inside. And here's what it looked like:

It seems to be pretty sturdy, so I think we'll pass this puppy around the family for a long time.
And what will I use instead of tissue paper to cover the gift?

Shredded comics, of course!
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