Norma's Needleworkz

Sunday, September 30, 2007

More TAST and Tatting

TAST week 39 was for the Reversed Buttonhole Bar and it was a new stitch for me. Since the Buttonhole is one of my favorites I enjoyed playing with this one. Taking a clue from Sharon B. I did this with two different colors so that I could see how the stitch actually looked. My fabric of choice was 18ct Aida and on the bottom row I used #5 DMC perle cotton dark gold as the foundation and then an olive green as the reversed bar. The next row up is just a small sample and the results would make a wonderful woven basket look on cq. For the top row I used the center of a roll of Tiger Tape to draw my circles ..... it was a little handier than a quarter LOL I really enjoyed doing the 'inward' bar and in the right colors would make a wonderful chrysanthimum (I don't think that is spelled correctly but I couldn't find my dictionary .... anyway I think you know the flower I mean).

I've also added three more pieces to my 25 motif tatting challenge.

The first piece is #5, a "Simple Flower Heart", and is from the newest book TAT'S AMORE by Martha Ess. Many of the patterns in her book use a technique I need to learn so this book will present challenges for me. I used #20 Anchor crochet thread in a deep pink and was photographed on black felt.

Challenge piece #6 is a tatted fan and I used two Anchor #20 pinks. The fan was designed by Connie Strobel and was a Be-stitched Contest Winner! Although the pattern called for two shuttles I used a shuttle and ball only because I didn't have an empty shuttle for the second color. I thoroughly enjoyed doing this pattern and for my cq work I think using a smaller thread will be very effective. This was photographed on a dark green felt and the darker pink is the same thread I used for the heart and for piece #7.

Challenge piece #7 is Elegant Coaster designed by Linda S. Davies. Several people on the Here-Be-Tatting list talked about this pattern from Linda so I decided to try it also. As you can see the background for this piece is white felt but the motif color is the same as in the previous two pieces. A deep pink #20 Anchor thread. The different backgrounds makes a big difference in how a color comes across.
Til next time have a blessed week.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

TAST week 38, etc.

This weeks TAST adventure was Knotted Buttonhole Band and I used 14ct Aida as my fabric of choice. Since the Buttonhole is one of my favorite stitches I figured this shouldn't be too difficult. Beginning on the far left with the "ladder" Sharon's sample used red as the straight stitches and what looked like a blue/grey for the wrap and knot portion. Following the teacher's lead I also used red (#5 DMC perle) for the straight stitches and again the #5 DMC perle slate blue (this is my color name) for the wrap and knot portion. The left side worked just fine but when I went to stitch the right side in reverse order I had a bit of a problem and had to re-do that side a couple of times as I wanted to do the right side just as I had the left and of course that would not work .... at least I didn't think it was correct. For the middle sample, again using #5 DMC perle cotton I stitched a bit closer together and was very pleased with the result. For my last sample I threaded up some gold ribbon floss and stitched until I ran out of thread on the left wrap and knot. For the right wrap and knot portion I used a dark gold #5 DMC perle and felt more comfortable with the end result. I think I'd like to use at least the middle sample although I can see possibilities if I stitched the straight stitches closer together as in my third example.

This cq square is still incomplete but I've been practicing some different stitches and of course some of them are not showing up too well here. They always seem to look better in real life. I've been tryng to empty up a couple of my tatting shuttles to begin a doily so I made good use of a snippet of tatting on this square. I've also included a counted cross-stitch angel stitched on a wide piece of Ribband. In one of the fabrics I used a piece of knitting ribbon in a buttonhole wheel flower with each "spoke" fastened with an embroidery floss colonial knot. Two of the rosettes in the pink satin section are made of satin ribbon and the middle one is a small plaid fabric ribbon. All three rosettes were received in a swap. The green leaves on the right side of the square are stitched with a connecting fly stitch which gives a kind of honeycomb effect. I used tiger tape in several of the areas to help keep an eveness in my stitches.

The other week I mentioned that I attended a special ceremony at VMI (Virginia Military Institute) where my granddaughter is attending. The actual ceremony took place in New Market, Virginia eighty-five miles north of VMI. New Market is where the fourteen to sixteen year old boys attending VMI in 1865 participated in their first battle of the Civil War.

This is a photo of the back of the house where those first cadets rested after marching the eighty-five miles and this is where each class of freshmen take their oath and become full-fledged cadets. The first photo is of the company in which my granddaughter is a part.

After taking their oath they march to the foot of "Lost Shoe Hill" where a re-enactment of that first charge of 1865 took place. A platoon of soldiers in military garb and full packs left VMI on Tuesday evening and marched the eighty-five miles to arrive and participate with the new cadets in a "charge" up "Lost Shoe Hill".

Following all the ceremonies the new cadets were allowed to eat a picnic lunch with their families. Here in the shade of a tree on the actual battlefield my granddaughter, Aquisi, and one of her room mates had lunch with us. The picture doesn't show the curly ringlets, but her once long beautiful hair has now been cut military short! I do like the ringlets though.

This last photo is taken in front of one of the buildings at VMI where Aquisi takes classes. My grandson took this photo of his two sisters, his dad and "grandma" (me)!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

TAST week 37 and Tatting Challenge

After lots and lots of new stitches to me, Sharon's stitch for week 37 I know as Rice Stitch or Crossed Corners because I have used this stitch as a border for my needlepoint. Naturally I had to work my first sample as a border. I used 14ct Aida and the outside and inside border stitches are just the simple half cross-stitch as it makes a nice frame for the Rice Stitch. This part was worked in DMC #5 perle cotton in a bright blue. The inside portion was worked in DMC #5 perle cotton in a light blue color and then the Crossed Corners were stitched with Finca #16 royal blue. It really does make a wonderful border and would work nicely as a picture frame. I then worked a portion of the stitch as a "background" although the colors I chose would not necessarily be the ones I would use for a background LOL For this sample I used DMC #5 gold perle cotton as the base cross-stitch and then used Anchor #8 red perle cotton as the crossed corners portion.

I really worked on some tatting the past two weeks since I'm trying to do 25 motifs before August of 2008. I'm trying to empty up some of my shuttles so I can get down to brass tacks and learn some new techniques and try something a little harder ..... I'm not going to say complicated because I don't think I'm quite ready to tackle anything very complicated at this time. For motif #3 I have three small pieces completed this past week and two of the designs were new to me. The Christmas tree and the shamrock were new patterns for me and they were worked in DMC #8 perle cotton. The insertion or lace piece was stitched with a new thread for me to use .... Superior Threads #100 .... a thread basically designed for machine quilting but I loved the varigated purple and just had to tat with it. Up to now the smallest thread I'd used for tatting was #80 but I like the delicateness of the #100. I have several other colors of this thread and I expect I'll use them for tatting also.

For Motif #4 the top three pieces were worked with DMC Cebelia #20 .... one of my favorite threads for tatting. The angel on the top right was the only "new" pattern. The bottom two pieces were worked with DMC Cebelia #30. The four "snowflakes" will probably be included in the wares I'm putting together for the bazzar sale the senior citizens group will be holding in November. The angel will go on a round robin square I've just signed up for on my CrazyQuiltingSisters group. This is a Christian group of women who share not only their love for crazy quilting but their love for Christ.

Next week I hope to share with you a photo or two of my granddaughter who is now a full-fledged cadet at VMI (Virginia Military Institute) and tell you a little about my experience with her family on that very significant day in her life. Until then ......

Monday, September 10, 2007

Vintage stuff and TAST week 36

TAST week 36 brought forth the Cable Chain Stitch which is one I had not tried before so I really enjoyed playing with this one. My fabric of choice is 14ct Aida in a rust color so I decided lighter colors of thread would show the stitches better. The left vertical column was stitched with two strands of DMC floss. The top of the middle section was a double Cable Chain using two strands of DMC floss and then I whipped the inner loops with a single strand of DMC floss and added a row of detached Fly stitches using a double strand of the floss. For the middle section I repeated the double Cable Chain using a white #16 perle and whipped the inner loop with EdMar Nova in a lilac which I also used for the Fly stitch. For the zigzag row on the bottom of the middle section I again used two strands of DMC floss. For the top grouping on the right side I thought some flowers in the Cable Chain would look nice so I used a white #8 perle. For the "leaves" I 'slipped' under the cable first with a dark green #5 perle and then with a lighter green #8 perle. The two greens give the look of a Lazy Daisy or Detached Chain. Wondering if I could curve this stitch I worked some of the Cable Chain with #8 perle and added the slip. I then filled the centers with Colonial Knots worked with two strands DMC floss. I really enjoyed playing with this stitch.

A few weeks back one of my Aussie friends, Vivian of anlabyhouse, purchased some lace collars on ebay and was willing to part with some of them so I was able to purchase two of the collars. In the middle you will see one of the 'original' pieces and around it you will see how I picked it apart to use on various cq projects. I may do some more picking before I begin to dye some of the parts. The second collar will also be picked apart.

Yesterday (Sunday, Sept. 9) My #1 son and I attended the last of the family reunions for this year. We had previously planned to stop at an antique mall on our trip back home. The reunion was about 45 minutes from home. I am sooooo glad we stopped and am doing a happy dance!!!!!!!! There among all those booths we spotted a box of vintage "floss" ..... I was really looking for antique tatting shuttles and the one they had was not in too good a condition and since I already had two of that type didn't see the need for this one. Besides one I had was from my grandmother and the other from the mother of a family friend - both shuttles being 95 years old.

In this box of threads were full and partial skeins of Royal Society Celesta, some Persian Floss, and some Roman Floss. The ticket on the box said "17 skeins and 13 spools" for a cost of $24.50 plus tax. Somebody doesn't know how to count. When I got the thread home, and while my son was looking the companies up on the web, I started sorting and counting. There were two partial skeins of Cortecelli silk, other partial skeins were wound onto 14 wooden spools and others onto three styofoam spools. There are 80 full skeins of "washable silk". The manufacturer of this gorgeous thread was Heminway & Bartlett's a company established in 1888 and in 1922 they added Cortecelli in 1932 the company was bought out by what is now known as Coats & Clark. The labels on all the Persian and Roman floss read Heminway & Bartlett's and give washing instructions "Use warm suds made with Ivory soap or other pure neutral soap, rinse well in warm water, squeeze dry as possible between clean cloths, shake out then press face down on flannel. Do not fold or roll up the article while wet. Avoid cheap soap, boiling water and hard wringing." The skeins contain 10 yards. The 12 Royal Society skeins are 4.5 yards each and say "Ivory soap recommended for washing colors".

Just that morning before picking me up, my son put in a bid on some of this type of floss on ebay of approximately 45 skeins. After he returned home he checked and that lot sold for more than $100. Didn't I get a bargain!!! I have pieced a crazyquilt vest and these threads are just the right colors for that vest .... just how lucky can I get!!!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

TAST week 35 SHISHA and tatting challenge

Although I've been busy this week I don't have that much to add. The latest TAST stitch was new to me even though I'd been looking at it for quite some time. Shisha mirrors are not available in my area but I finally found a bag of "spangles" that I thought would work. So for this sample I decided to show my "progress" of this stitch. I stitched on 18ct Aida and for the frame work I used a brown spangle and #8 perle cotton in gold. The middle stitching is the completed step and here I used a gold spangle with persian wool as I felt the #8 perle cotton would not cover as completely as it should. The framework was stitched with one strand tan persian wool and the edging stitches were done with one strand red persian wool so I could see if the coverage was correct. Because the second attempt was not quite what I thought it should be for my final attempt I used a red spangle and a single strand of red persian wool for each step. The third try was better but I still need to work on this stitch. I do have some smaller spangles and I think I'll work with them for a while.

Since I'm trying to empty up some of my shuttles to tackle a slightly larger project, I decided that for my second piece in the 25 motif challenge I would do one of my favorite butterflies and a piece of basice edging known as "hen and chickens". The butterfly is worked with a multicolor #20 Anchor crochet cotton and the edging is worked with a #20 Anchor shaded blue crochet cotton. Somewhere along the line both of these pieces of tatting will be attached to a cq square or heart for a swap of some type. Hmmmm wonder what I'll do this week?