Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Sketchbook Challenge - Week 1

Well, I have been off in non blogging mode again for a little over a week...which I didn't intend to do, but life seems to get in the way of the best of my intentions.  Had a 4-H Leaders conference (Western Regional Leaders Forum in Cheyenne, WY) which I attended, got a new washer and dryer ordered and installed, and am just about caught back up on the house for the most part now!  Should get more time for the fun things, like tatting and stitching and blogging, going forward here... 

The Sketchbook Challenge is the fourth and final challenge I have chosen to participate in this year.  I once sketched quite regularly but have gone from three or more sketches a day in my early 20s to zero in my mid 30s.  I feel like I have lost a part of who I am, so this challenge will hopefully bring sketching back into my life.  This months theme is "doodling"!  I am really enjoying that, because it has been so long since I've sketched I don't feel like I know how anymore...but I can doodle!  Here is my first week (trying for one a day right now)...

I only like a couple of these (the 5th and 6th)...but want to keep this real so that in 52 weeks I can look back and see what progress I have made! The theme is "doodling" so I feel okay with these, even though they aren't particularly outstanding in any's getting my pen moving!  Doodling to me, is something created without overthinking it...anything from repetitive graphic designs to mindless sketching done without an end purpose or any fore I think these qualify.

I am using some Elements permanent markers, they are just plain fun....and you can't "fix" the marks you make, you just have to keep moving.  Not being able to erase is good for learning to draw what you see, either in front of you or in your minds eye.  It makes you just draw instead of striving for realistic perfection.  These markers are metallics that build layers on top of each other, as paints would...very enjoyable to play with.  My sketch pad is a bound one that I have had for years, no point in not using what I already have there...time to put something on all of those beautiful blank pages!

I'll post the second week tomorrow, I've kept up on the sketching/doodling but not the I'll have to play catch up on that end of things this week!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Antique Doilies and Crazy Quilting...

Here are two more doilies that I found at the same shop in St. Regis, Montana this summer...they were too pretty not to bring home with me.  I am developing quite a collection.  At least tatting doesn't take up much space...I'm afraid that it is very easy to want to bring home any that I find!  I enjoy the doilies and things for themselves, but I also like to have examples of different types of tatting styles that I can touch and look at, as it helps me to learn.  These two are lovely...

The smaller doily is in the same pattern as the larger, just completed only to the 1st row that uses chains.

The netted lace effect of the bare thread and small rings is really lovely.  I have read in Elgiva Nicholls Tatting Technique and History and in a couple of other places about this type of tatting, it is referred to as Mignonette.  

Mignonette is achieved by long thread spaces being left between each ring, subsequent rows rings are then attached to the thread spaces as one would attach to a picot. The result is very lovely, though I do think this would likey be tedious to tat as one would need to be accurate and careful with the size of the thread spaces to achieve a uniform look.

There...I have provided you some tatting eye candy!  I know many of you are primarily interested in tatting, but some of you also embroider and quilt as well and will be interested in the rest of this. 

So, now I will draw your attention to what rests behind those lovely crazy quilt square!  This was what I spent my precious crafting time on today.  This is a 12.5" crazy quilt square of velvets in a variety of colors.

I signed up to take part in the CQJP 2012 (Crazy Quilt Journal Project)...and it has taken me quite a while to decide what I wanted to do for that.  I finally settled on blocks like the one I put together today...I just need to put together at least 11 more as I will be completing at least 1 per month this year as part of the CQJP challenge.

Now...Crazy Quilting is a new to me thing.  I have never done this before.  However, it is something I have been fascinated with for years.  The impetus for these particular blocks is my having been given an entire, very large, box of velvets in all manner of colors that my Grandmother had saved for years.  It is my thought that she had planned to make a crazy quilt with them someday. 

I remember reading somewhere that velvets were a much desired fabric for creating crazy quilts during the victorian era.  Being fancy and formal enough for the parlor, these quilts were often displayed there.  They were saved from dresses, and remnants from furniture coverings and curtains and whatever else might have desirable fabrics.  Grandma's assortment has pieces that are obviously part of garments that were taken apart and scraps from other it seems right to me to use them in this way.

I intend either 12 or 16 blocks, depending on how this goes for me.  In the above photo, you can see also a textured fabric in a cafe au late color that will be a part of the borders.  Below, you can see a cream/ivory fabric that is also textured and has some sheen to it which will make up the rest of the borders.  As you can see, I am not going an all cotton route at all here...

These are my choices for the border around the crazy quilt squares. can see something of my proposed design...if I can manage 16 crazy quilt squares, this will become a 110" square bed size (queen/king) quilt that will be displayed in my guest room. 

Due to that intent, and my newness to the art of crazy quilting, my plan is to do primarily seam treatments along with a few embroidered motifs, attached tatted motifs, and tatted lace edging beads nor buttons nor complicated couched laces and wire edged 3-D flowers and other such amazing things that I have had the pleasure to view on the blogs of other's.

Tomorrow...well I hope I can cut and attach some border pieces so that I can get this in my big hoop and start playing with the embroidery!  I am very excited to have a start...I've also signed up to do TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) on PinTangle and I'm behind a week there already as I couldn't decide what I wanted as a format there either.  I think stitching on my CQ blocks will be just the right thing for both challeges and an excellent place to try different things with the new stitches to be learned through TAST.

I used to love embroidery and do quite a bit of it. But, I got bored with it as I always did the same stitches...lazy daisy, french knots, spit stitch, satin, etc. I think that CQJP and TAST are going to be a wonderful opportunity to expand my stitching repertory and try something new that I've always been interested in. As well as creating what, I hope, will be a lovely quilt that will honor my Grandmother's love of fabric, tatting, and the process of creating something of beauty.

The little one's pretties...

Well...I simply haven't gotten time to tat much of anything at all since Wednesday.  My daughter had a Birthday party on Saturday...she turned 12 right before Christmas.  The house had to be cleaned before the party, a cake baked, and little pizza crusts made for them to top with toppings of their choice.  Crafts had to be planned and supplies purchased (yeah, trips to the craft stores!) for the girls at the party.   The dryer decided it was done after 12 years right about then as well, so I've been hanging the wash out and trying to decide what kind of a new machine is in order.  Oh, and there was a girl scout meeting with cookie sales to discuss (I'm the leader) and a 4-H meeting (also one of the leaders) in there somewhere this weekend as well. 

Hence, a severe lack of crafting time for little pair of tatted hair clips is it for the tatting over the past 3 days!

I did think you all might like to see the little Rosie Posie with her pretties here she is...

I think these are my favorite yet.  The bottom rosette is R: 6-6-1--1-6-6, then 3 rings R: 6+6-1--1-6-6, finally R: 6+6-1--1-6+6 to the first ring.  The top 3 rings are simply 6-6 each.  It creates a pretty little floral clip for a pretty little girl...

Isn't she sweet when she's asleep...not nearly as impy as in these ones...

But, she is wearing a tatted clip there too...and yes, there is tatting on that shirt.  That little shirt was the second bit of tatting I ever completed last is a picture of it when it was new, not in the best of shape now after many many washes!  Not that it was perfect new either as I had just begun...

...she still loves that shirt!!!  Makes it all worth it when they love something you make! 

I bought a few more of these shirts recently to add some tatting to...a few of Mary Konior's edgings that I just want to try out and the 6 to 8 inches needed for one of these shirts is very manageable!

Well...I started out to show you Josie's tatted pretties, I quess you've gotten to see two varieties now.  She calls them all her pretties and wants more to wear always.  I think it's safe to say that little girls need tatting (like we "need" more thread)!  I personally LOVED it when Grandma would add tatting to my Christmas Eve nightgowns or when she gave a heart motif to Mom to embellish our Valentines Day dresses...they might mush it and stretch it and it'll need washing many times in a machine no might not stay perfect, but tatting is far better loved by little hands than tucked away! Aren't you convinced? 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Old lace found...

Here is an interesting piece of tatted lace I found and brought home with me a from a trip back home to Montana this summer....

This was found at an antique shop in St. Regis, Montana that my Mother and I are fond of and purchased for just a couple of dollars...I was intrigued by it, in spite of or perhaps because of it's condition...there is quite a bit of damage to 3 of the 4 corners and some rust colored stains in those areas as well.  However, it is still a lovely and interesting piece of tatting...

I find the amount of bare thread in the individual motifs interesting, as well as the fact that each motif would be circular on it's own...but creates a square shape when joined as in this manner.  Also interesting is how the outside motifs create a half circle on the outside while the interior edge becomes pointed.  It must be an effect of the bare thread spacing that this is possible. 

The long picots must have created a lovely fringed effect to the edge of each motif, though they are now curled pretty badly. 

It's really quite pretty, I like the effect of the piece overall.  The open spaces create a nice contrast to the overall piece that is very beautiful.  This probably measures about 16 inches, each motif being about 2 inches.  The thread is probably a size 30 and was originally a white thread. 

I am still not sure what I will do with might be difficult as the thread would be hard to match well enough for it not to be noticable, but I might look through my vintage thread stash and see if there is something close.  I could remove the damaged portions and create more of a hexagon, but I like the diamond within a diamond effect...always seems attractive and well balanced to me when the small motifs within a design are matched to the overall design.  I also could simply keep it as it's rustic appearance is somewhat endearing I think.  Any opinions as to what would be the correct route?

At any rate, thought you all might enjoy seeing this!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Grandma's Star Doily...

One of the other things I want to do with this blog is to share what I have or can photograph of my Grandmother's work, as a way to document it to preserve and share it...she created so many beautiful things throughout her life.  I am not going to attempt to wash these and pin them out and make them perfect.  I like them as they are...loved and treasured and used in my home or in the homes of others.  Additionally, sometimes I will be sharing photos of pieces of her work that are in someone elses possession and so am limited to a few photos at best of those items.

This is a beautiful doily that was given to me after Grandma Stella passed away...

This doily measures 15 1/2 inches from tip to tip, so it is fairly substantial.  I love that it is made up of individual motifs that replicate the overall shape of the doily.  I suppose it is more of a snowflake, since it has 6 points...but I have always thought of it as Grandma's Star doily.  I do not know the source of the pattern, but it is lovely. If anyone does recognize it, it would be fun to know.  

I don't imagine that this doily would be a popular tat anymore, with our penchant for hiding ends...there were many of them in this doily  It was perfectly acceptable to just tie and trim the ends when Grandma made these beautiful things.  Sometimes I think that this devotion to hiding ends for appearances sake is overrated when it makes tatting an item this lovely too frustrating to contemplate! 

At any rate, hope you have enjoyed my sharing this beautiful doily!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

"Arches" Doily...Round Four and done

Here is the "Arches"doily by Marilee Rockley that I started yesterday.  I completed the 2nd round early this morning...

Zipped through the third round before lunch...and launched into the fourth round...

...notice anything there?

I didn't...not until I had that fourth round where to join the final round...what???  I did 3ds not 3-3ds...kept thinking it looked wrong somehow but I sure didn't clue in to what was wrong, I guess we'll blame the head cold!

Oh well...I'm not going to cut it's pretty as it is, and remember I said I wasn't real excited about the thread...I think this was my brain's way of telling me it was done messing with that soft thread!

Diane the Lace Lovin' Librarian said "...if you don't like the thread, why not finish the round and move on to a thread you really like? I've given up finishing pieces that don't work for me... much less stress!" in the comments on my last post...I guess that really does work for me!

 I'll just have to use that thread up in a crochet project, it would be fine for that.  I am still going to count this as motif #22 in my 25 motif challenge though.

You may have noticed that I am posting a lot more. I am going to continue to try to post more this year...some of it may not be perfect, as with my "Arches" doily attempt, but I am going to post it anyway. Some of the posts may be brief and done via my phone when I am limited time wise or not within easy access of my computer. But, I will try to post...

I would like this blog to be a record of my creative work, and it can't be that if I don't post all of what I do. I am also not good at posting tatting on Tuesday and sewing on Wednesday and gardening on Friday...because that isn't how I work. I tend to do what ever I am in the mood to do, or I end up doing nothing at all if the something I'm "supposed" to do isn't what I want to do. So I hope that you all will enjoy what I share and the spontaneity or randomness or whatever you would like to call it of my posts...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Arches Doily...Second Round already

Here is what I have been working on today...this is Marilee Rockley's "Arches" doily.  I am about 1/2 way through the second round.  The thread is some vintage Clark's size 30 color 42, an ivory color.  I am sort of wishing I had used a different thread, it's soft and a bit fuzzy...nice color though.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Tatted flower hair clips..."pretties" for my little one!

No snowflakes tonight, I've come down with a head cold...but I thought I would share what I do with extra thread on my shuttles.  These are little tatted rosettes tied on a hair clip, it's fun to play with different combinations and come up with different little designs.  I could only find four of them tonight, though I'm on my second package of 24 clips so there has to be more of them around here somewhere!

The white one I did tonight...I have to tat something each day, but some days it's not much!  You can see the improvement I've made though, the blue/green/purple variagated clip on the right was one of the first ones I did last February or March when I first began tatting.  Twisted picots, messy looking stitches and all.  The blue variageted on the left was probably around May or so.  The middle two are the most recent two I've made. 

I use these little clips with 3 holes on the end and just tie the rosettes on with a good tight square knot.  You can tat a single rosette and attach just that or layer 2 together.  Sometimes I combine threads, tatting a rosette in each color, sometimes I tat two rosettes really depends on how much thread I have left on the shuttles.

Anyway, there you go...tatted flower hair clips...My little Rosie Posie loves them all, she likes her "pretties".

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Kira's Star and a SCMR Snowflake...

Here are two more snowflakes I have completed.  Both are tatted in LizBeth size 20 "Snow White" thread. 

This first one is Kira's Star designed by Birgit Phelps.  The pattern is available on her blog here.  I really enjoyed this pattern, it makes a lovely snowflake.  I do think one could probably make a five pointed star out of it with no changes to the stitch count, simply by deleting one repeat.  This one did have to be pressed a bit, it didn't lay quite flat on it's own.

This second snowflake is another by Sally Magill.  This is her SCMR Snowflake 1 available on the Ring of Tatters website.  This flake is really another version of her quick snowflake patterns shown in my last post. 

The SCMR Snowflake just utilizes a mock ring on each arm to extend the arm further and create a more pronounced point.  I like it, it was fun and quick to tat.  Self Closing Mock Rings (SCMR) can seem like they might be a difficult technique to master, but are really quite simple and certainly expand the design possibilities of a piece. 

This one did not need pressing, but I went ahead and starched it a bit...just because the arms are a little longer and I thought it might help it to stay put nicer while hanging.

These two snowflakes will count as numbers 20 and 21 of my 25 motif challenge...with more to come tomorrow.  I have been really enjoying tatting all of these little snow beauties...the variety of designs available for snowflakes is a real joy!

Simply Lovely Snowflakes...

Here are two more snowflakes that I have tatted recently.  They are both designed by Sally Magill and I found them on the Ring of Tatters website.  These are listed as Quick Snowflake Patterns there. There are two variations...they are both fairly simple, but also simply lovely...

This first snowflake is the Kim Picot Snowflake.  I had never seen nor tried this technique before, but I rather like the effect.  It is also called a Triple Picot.  Slightly fiddly if you don't have a Picot gauge (which I don't) or any kind of handy object to measure's a bit of a trick to figure out the length each time.  I think it would be wise of me to find some object to use as a gauge the next time I tat this one.

This snowflake Sally Magill calls the MHC Snowflake.  I really like this one, a quick little tat, have made 3 of these thus far.  I was tatting on the plane while traveling with both of my daughters this past week, so this was a fun little snowflake that didn't take much concentration and really had no chance of one's losing one's place in the pattern.

Both flakes are tatted is size 20 white LizBeth thread.  These are both unblocked, not pressed, straight off the shuttles...and I don't really think they need anything done to them...they are lovely as they are.  I will count these as numbers 18 and 19 in my 25 motif challenge.
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