Monthly Archives: May 2015

Sometimes a Little Crazy Goes A Long Way

Gloria McKinnon  of Anne’s Glory Box in Australia has some stunning crazy quilt embroidery kits…her work lends towards the Victorian and Asian influences….

    One that I purchased a number of years ago was “Asian Riches”…Gloria was teaching at the “Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion In Huntsville, Alabama. I needed to do some handwork and these classes were just the ticket for me….they transformed my sewing life.  

    Beading, ribbonwork, embroidery, lace, dyeing, fancy fabrics, sequins, special trims, knotwork….I was in heaven… working on these Asian blocks gave me respite from a stressful life going on at the time…ahhhhh!….below is just one of the blocks …..Could I have added more to them….yes…. but being that the Asian influences have a simplicity in their lifestyle …these blocks were just right…. this is the only block that is missing a spider and web….what elegance beading around the cabachon to hold it down…the ribbon flowers were wonderful to create..Each seam had its own treatment that might have included beads or silk ribbon….

Thankfully I embraced my times at Martha Pullens School of Art Fashion….I will miss them dearly as those were the times that mended my soul….


An Embroidery Design with Extra Effects

    This design was purchased from Follow the White Bunny back in 2013…the Hedgehog in a Teacup was just to cute to resist and of course one needs to have a simpler embroidery to do once in awhile… This project was made with  two strands of floss and using just a straight or back stitch… fairly straight forward… 

     When I finished the main stitching I decided to use a diluted blue paint to give the water a bit of color beneath the cup which helps to give a extra enchantment to the piece.  The one other thing I did was to add the twisted ropes around the embriodery. The larger one is blue and the smaller is a twisted red and white…These all were hand done and then attached by couching…came out very cute….

Satin Stitch

On the Mane of Katerina the Cat…you can notice the satin stitching….stitched in…taken out…stitched in again..Using White Broder I saw it looked good then later on not so good..Was the underlayment the problem or just the design…it was hard to get this to lay  nicely as my other satin stitching looked a lot better…do you ever give up? Finally it was decided to just leave it..Looking at the mane from different directions had it looking nice and then not so nice….making up ones mind to tear it out again…we shall see… just not to ready to do that again…”yet”… sooo I am taking a break to move onto the tail…..!


My Homemade Sewing Bits ….Mermaids

As a change of pace since being stuck on thread and needle painting for awhile …sharing another passion is the love for small stuffed creatures “not super tiny” just smallish…there are absolutely wonderful designers out there…For myself I can just drool at their creativity when it comes to these designs….Often taking the pattern and sewing it up then admiring the uniqueness of it all. 

Today  I am sharing the picture of a couple of “mermaids”, that were requested by two of my grandaughters…the pattern is called “Little Mermaid Sewing Pattern” by Dolls and Daydreams.

Manipulating the fabric was the goal for this project deciding to use a very shiny fabric and fusing fleece and then using a decorative stitch on the sewing machine to make the piece look like fish scales….next I placed the pattern piece on the prestitched fabric and cut out the tails….I must say the girls loved them and they came out cute…. 


Whiskers…Those Fiendish Little Buggers…

   Finishing the face of Katerina the Cat was quite refreshing…the cat has character now!   Whiskers were my problem this time…eye lashes…not so much… these whiskers were put in…taken out…put in….taken out…put back in…then finally they looked happy the way they were…Even trying to use my “air erasable marker” to help with placement on these buggers was a bust…but I finally got there….Sometimes I just say “I’m glad that is overwith….I can relax now… 

   Making sure there was a looser tension when I stitched a whisker…that alone allowed me to manipulate where I couched a curve in it…a tiny stitch of the same color was used just to help hold the whisker in place.  Unable to see the printed lines for the whiskers also created a bit of a trial to make sure they were placed in a nice manner. Using the original picture from the directions and just eyballing where they should go was difficult  for me but after the many trials I finally am satisfied….

   There are sometimes certain aspects of my sewing that drive me nuts….I still have a hard time with “gathering” by sewing machine…albeit…I am better at it then I used to be….so simple “whiskers” aught to be easy right… I was kidding myself….I am glad to be blessed with the ability to walk away from a project so I can prune my ruffled feathers and feel myself again…to continue on….

Katerina is really  starting to look good now…next onto the “Mane”!


Katerina the Cat’s Eye

The eye …hmmm…using a magnifying glass with plenty of light for these very old eyes…(of course wearing glasses also)…. these were some small stitches…unfortunately some of the white was redone because my underlay was just to bulky…and that needed to be adjusted… how did I figure that out?  Well, the underlayment just ended up making a “mountain of thread instead of a molehill….it looked to high…that said the eye looks pretty sweet right now…Still in the process of the face and the “whiskers, eylashes and the outline will be added last…when that is done it will be onto the back and the tail….that cute little butterfly will be last….

You will notice in the picture below …that since the outline is missing you can see some bits of the underlayments outline by the pupil which gets covered up….It is exciting waiting for the final outline so that the piece just kind of flows…and flows…..


Filling Shapes and Long and Short Stitch

   Trish Burr gives a choice to fill the little  shapes or “not”…as she says they can be quite fiddly…I agree…however since these shapes are supposed to be outlined I decided to go one step ahead of the “long and short” stitching and just “fill in the shapes” without the outline…then proceed to do the “long and short” stitching…followed by the outlining of the shapes….For me this worked quite well…it is always a good thing when you find something that works for you…. 


   The long and short stitch as I have said always can  use some practice….below is a picture of that finished area on the neck of “Katarina the Cat”…she is coming along beautifully…and it is nice to have written memories of working on this project…. One thing about this stitch is that it will never ever be the same as the one you may be copying from as it is more of a “random” feel with a bit of structure intertwined…love it…