Norma's Needleworkz

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Round Robin, Shuttles and Tatting

Last week I really didn't have anything to say or post but I think I'll make up for it this week LOL The first photo is from the Bible Round Robin with the Christian group I'm in and I just received it this past week so have not yet put any stitching on although I have several ideas and one I will share. You cannot see the Bible verse stitched across the top which comes from Psalm 96:12 and says "Let the fields be jubilant. and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the LORD, for he comes." I wish the photo showed the gorgeous stitching by the others in the group. One of the things I want to add are some clouds in the sky ..... I just love looking at clouds and I think this piece needs a few. Okay, that is all I'll say about this piece now but I'll show you when it is finished.

The idea for the round robin was to illustrate either a favorite verse (or verses) or favorite Bible story. I chose an Old Testament story that the women of our church are studying this year - Jonah and the big fish!
This week brought home my square and it is absolutely gorgeous!!!!! Kim added the gold and aqua fish, the featherstitch seaweed, the sand dollar charm and the blanketstitch blue flower seam treatment. In the upper right corner Sonia added some shells that were brought to her from Hawaii and added her twist to some of the traditional stitches. Jill added some fish, fiber seaweed, lots of beads for shells as well as some beaded SRE plants. Lindy, in Australia, added a nice "big" crocheted fish in the center and some starfish, beads and lace for plants. Now when I sent it out I sent it out nekkid so I want to add a few touches of my own. Under my square is a seashell necklace that was given to me several years ago and I will take it apart to put some of those shells on my square. I will then mat and frame it to hang at home AFTER first taking it and sharing it with the womens circles at church.

Oops! I left out the photo of the Season to Season Spring Swap block I'm working on ..... well, that's okay since I haven't finished my half. Will show that another time LOL

On the HBT group I'm working on 25 motifs to be tatted in a years time and at the same time I'm trying new threads. You know how for certain techniques you have certain threads you prefer to use. Well, this bookmark (motif #12) is a pattern I usually use for my beginners as an easy project so I decided it would be an easy project for a new thread I had ordered. The thread is a hand-dyed #20 cotton and was purchased from Yarnplayer Arts ( one of the members of the HBT group. It is a wonderful yarn to tat with and I'm also going to do some embroidery with it as well. I must tell you I have two new tatting students. One of them is 11 years old, a home schooled student, who is using tatting as part of her art class. Her grandmother is learning right along with her. They are really excited about learning.

This is another of my 25 motif pieces. It is #13 and my attempt at tatting a "cloud" to use on the nature round robin I showed at the beginning of this post. I need to modify the design just a little and make a couple more clouds. I'm using a size 50 thread as I didn't want anything too heavy nor too light.

I just received a couple of new tatting books and in the first one I saw this pattern called "crooked mile" and right away I thought it too would make some good clouds for the round robin. It is a very easy beginner piece using only one shuttle ... you just have to watch how you space the rings LOL

One of the recent topics on the HBT list talked about tatting hankie edgings so I thought I'd show one I did quite a few years ago. The thread used is a #70 tatting cotton in shaded greens .... if I had participated in the CQ4Newbies green color study rr I could have used some of this thread there but alas I didn't want to spread myself too thin as I am currently in two rr's although the Bible one is finishing up. This is one of those linen hankies that has the holes around the edge to attach edgings so I just tatted around the edge without having to sew on the edging.

Here are a couple of older pieces .... a tiny doily and a collar. The thread for these is a #30 DMC. Believe it or not the collar is a combination of techniques. The center of the collar is crocheted with tatting on both the inside and outside edges.

Two views of a rare three sided antique tatting shuttle. The top photo shows the side view wherein the bobbin, which is shaped like a sewing thread spool and is inserted in a case much like a sewing machine case for a bobbin. In other words you can only see a portion of the bobbin. Looking at the top you can read the name of this shuttle - "Detach-A-Bobbin" PAT. APPLD. FOR

Here are a few of the shuttles I tat with as well as some I use for demonstration. The three red shuttles at the bottom are Boye and the first ones I bought .... I don't use them unless I have to. The blue shuttle is a TATSY and I use it to demonstrate when I have a large class. I use a #3 perle cotton on that shuttle so my students can see how to make the stitch. I still haven't found all my shuttles as I have another that goes with the three colored shuttles. I also have three more of the cream Clover shuttles and between the Clover and Boye is a tortoise Clover and I've misplaced the mate to that one. To the left of the TATSY are two special shuttles. The one on top is antique and made of bone. Just below that one is a brand new Cluny tatting shuttle. I haven't tried Cluny tatting yet but hope to sometime this year. As to the shuttles on the white background - well, the small one is black plastic with white plastic on the inside and is supposed to come from France and with its own tiny crochet hook. When I bought it from the antique dealer he said the hook was not with the shuttle when he purchased it along with several others from an estate. The next black shuttle which is wound with #3 perle cotton came in a tatting kit. About 15 years ago one of my sisters-in-law had purchased a tatting kit hoping her mother would tat the 3 dimensional snowflake patterns for her. Well, the kit came to me instead and my sister-in-law said I could have the shuttle if I would tat each of her three children one of the 3 dimensional snowflakes. I was glad to get another shuttle for my collection and I had enough thread in the kit to tat three of each of the three patterns ..... I got all the other snowflakes as well as the shuttle LOL The last wooden shuttle is known as a Lael Morgan Shuttle and is made similar to a weaving shuttle. It, too, came in a kit that was given to me. Oh, the ball of thread is attached to the bright pink shuttle for a "continuous tatting" piece I'm about to start (sometime this year LOL).

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Ack! I was tagged!

I've been tagged by Candi for the You Make My Day Award. Thank you Candi, I feel very honored.

The Rules are to "Give up to 10 people whose blog brings you happiness & inspiration and makes you feel happy about Blogland." Beware! You may get the Award several times! Let them know by posting a note on their blog so they can pass it on. Here is my list of Blogs that make me happy and make my day!

It was very hard to stop at 10 and I kinda drew the names out of the hat, so to speak. Thus, in no special order:

Maureen B


Rose Anne

I had LOTS of help with this so don't ask how I did it because I didn't do it!!!

Friday, January 04, 2008

A New Year and some Tatting Shuttle Tales

The year 2008 is not off to a bang of a start with lots of quilting sane or crazy LOL Instead I've chosen a completed WIP to begin the year with .... a denim bag with embroidery. On my CQ4Newbies group a recent discussion developed on how hard or easy was it to embroider on denim and what kind of patterns would you use. Although the discussion was aimed mainly at children's denim wear I decided to post the pic of the bag I had finished. This happened to be a DMC "Denim Bag" kit that was on sale at Michael's and included all the materials needed ..... the finished bag with the pattern marked, two different color skeins of DMC #5 perle cotton and a #22 chenille needle. Diagrams and instructions for the stitches were also included. I must say that this weight denim is not the easiest to stitch on and had to resort to using my thimble. Now the only times I really use a thimble is when I am actually quilting, doing handwork on garments (hems, buttons, etc.) and embroidering on denim! BTW the two stitches on the bag were: pumpkin color - stem stitch and green - running stitch. Suggested patterns for denim embroidery - very simple and use basic stitches such as stem, running and lazy daisy.

Also with the CQ4Newbies group I'm working on a "Season to Season" block and my partner for the winter block was Ati. The one guideline she suggested was to "think snow" ..... therefore most of what I added does not show up here as I used lots of tatting, and clear beads. I'd not used a monogram before so thought I'd better not get to complicated with that and used a wintery looking Wildflowers by Caron for that bit. I also used some blue/aqua beads on one seam and a bit of beige silk ribbon with pale pink and clear beads on another seam. In the center I stitched some snowflake patterns and used some purple beads. For the longest time I could not get anything to work in the upper left corner and I had some #16 Krenik blue metallic braid that kept calling "use me". So finally, one morning when the wind chill factor said 5F. and the wind was howling, the braid became whirling winter wind and was couched with a single strand of pale blue YLI silk thread. Hee, hee, you can't see it because it was added after the photo was taken so only when it shows up on the CQ4Newbies StS winter swap album will it be seen by anyone other than Ati.

The HBT group has recently been sharing pics of their shuttles and so I thought I'd share some of mine and include some "tales" about some of them. Now in a previous post I showed the shuttle that had been given me by my grandmother ..... well, that was the start of my shuttle collection. So how do I describe some of these shuttles ..... the two on the left that look different from the rest are made from buffalo horn and the design was "invented" by Lady Katharin L. Hoare, lady-in-waiting to the Queen of Roumania during the WWI time frame. Lady Katharin designed this shape for her mother who had become blind and was finding her traditional shuttle most difficult to use.

The top shuttle on the left is in very delicate condition as it is made of tortoise shell which is on the endangered list. It is the only shuttle in my collection that I have not used and will not use due to its condition. Directly under the tortoise shell is my ebony shuttle. Directly under the buffalo horn shuttles is one made of Gutta Purcha (from the rubber trees in the Phillipines), the same material that was used in making framing material in 1898. Of the remaining two in this group, one is celluloid and the other is a highly polished wood.

The next group of shuttleswith the exception of the tiny wooden one at the bottom left were all hand made especially for me. The tiny one is an unpolished hand made child's shuttle that I purchased at an antique show. The hand made shuttles were made by a young lady living in Washington State who learned how to make them from her grandfather. After he could no longer work with the wood she took over and used the monies earned for college spending funds. Beginning on the left side reading from top to bottom the shuttles are made from: Black Walnut, Maple, Zebra wood (tropical America), and Holly. I'm using the holly shuttle with some #70 shaded yellow/brown Star thread that I purchased when it cost 19 cents a ball so you know how long I've had that thread!

The shuttles on the right hand side are made from: Hawaiian Koa, Vermillion (a hardwood from the Andaman Islands off the southern tip of Burma in the Sea of Bengal). Note: I believe that Burma is now known as Sri Lanka (???) The next shuttle is made of Cocobolo, another tropical American hardwood that is only sold by the pound. The final shuttle of this group is made of Bubinga, a hard heavy wood found in western Africa. It is a wood widely used in archery bows.

Now one of the shuttles in this photo is not a tatting shuttle .... it is a weaving shuttle, but I have often wondered how it would do to tat with! Let's look at the left side first - the top shuttle is made from Purple Heart, a hardwood found in British Guiana, below that is another ebony shuttle then the weaving shuttle and the last one in that row is made of Rosewood. The weaving shuttle and the rosewood one were purchased at an antique show. All the right hand side shuttles were again made to order - Oak, Myrtle ( this wood grows only in southwest Oregon and Palestine), Olive wood (from southern Europe and not readily available), Ziracote (an expensive hardwood from Central America and the West Indies), and the last in photo is made from Teak (a hardwood from southeast Asia, said to be acid and pest resistant - the sailing and clipper ships were made of teak).

Most of these shuttles were purchased at antique shows while I was still working .... I "retired" in 1996 for health reasons - my job as a "Special Education Teacher's Aide" proved to be too stressful for me after 11 years. Again, starting on the left at the top - the first shuttle is brass and is engraved on both sides. When I purchased it it was totally unusable ..... the tip had been bent up in a 45 degree angle. At the suggestion of my hubby, who said brass is a soft metal, I used one of his cigarette lighters and a small needlenose pliers ... repeatedly heating and gently bending until the point was at last in its proper position. This is one of my favorite shuttles. The second shuttle is a small shuttle possibly made of German silver and is engraved only on one side, next is my sterling silver one and is engraved on both sides. My abalone and mother of pearl shuttles complete the row.

On the right hand side the first shuttle was a gift from a former member of our church who said it was made for her mother and it is definitely handmade .... I believe the material is aluminum as it is very light weight and the post is made of wood or possibly gutta purcha. The next shuttle is a "BOYE" IMPROVED
Pat. applied 7.'23 MORE THREAD-LESS KNOTS and has a removeable bobbin. The next shuttle has no markings of any kind anywhere on it but came in a "package deal" with two of my antique shuttles. The next shuttle was one of two owned by my MIL and is a Susan Bates .... it was broken and I repaired it with some fine wire. My niece was given the "good" shuttle which she still uses. The last shuttle is a scrimshaw shuttle that I purchased from LACIS, a speciality needlework shop located in California. I still have more shuttles but they will wait for another time.