Norma's Needleworkz

Monday, June 30, 2008

My Stitchin' on Round Robins and Other Bits

A couple of weeks ago on my HBT tatting list a discussion began on attaching tatting to a garment. Some years back I had attached approximately 100 tatted snowflakes to a sweatshirt which I no longer wear. Sooo I removed those snowflakes and added them to my Christmas tree collection. Now I did not want tatted snowflakes on a summer time shirt but wanted some tatting on a to-wear-now garment. While on a thrift shop excursion looking for "possibilities" for any cq stash additions I came across this almost new blue chambray short sleeve shirt .... an AHA moment!

Early in my cq online ventures I participated in several "motif" swaps and acquired several very different butterflies .... one of my very favorite designs. Ahh, a chance to use some of them in a most enjoyable way! Looking at the shirt and beginning at the collar I attached a plain white butterfly like those I usually hand dye .... not visible are the french knots across the bottom portion of the wings. I may change that and add some beads instead .... we'll see. Three of the four butterflies on the same side were received in the motif swap .... the blue one is a tatted button butterfly (and I now have the pattern to make some of those), the pink one is also tatted; the pale green one beside the pink butterfly is hand dyed and I added a perle cotton darker green running stitch to attach it with as well as using the darker green to add some single stitches across the body. On the pocket (and I had a really difficult time attaching this one) is a dimensional machine embroidered white butterfly.

On the left side as you look at the shirt and beginning at the top is another white machine embroidered dimensional butterfly. On this one I added bright pink beads around the outside and with matching perle cotton thread added colonial knots on the body. The very beautiful bright blue butterfly is hand crocheted and although I don't remember where all the butterflies came from I do remember this one ... it is from the Netherlands and was crocheted by Cobi. The wings are the familiar pineapple pattern (for crocheters). I outlined this one with some of my Sassa Lynne threads and for the beads used gold oat beads, with copper colored seed and bugle beads with larger copper colored beads. The body is a blue bead with "gold" lines. Can you tell this is one of my "favorites"? Next is a green and brown machine embroidered butterfly without any "additions". The last one on the front is another three dimensional machine embroidered butterfly. On a note with one of the dimensional butterflies was the "process". I don't have an embroidery machine but if I did I would love to try making some of these butterflies as they are really gorgeous and I wanted to show them off.

Now acrosss the back of the shirt ..... I'm not quite finished with the back yet BUT since I tatted the purple butterfly (from a very old pattern) and I will be adding it to my HBT 25 motif challenge it is for the moment unadorned. On the yoke is a strip of tatted butterflies (and I do remember this came from a tatter in Texas) ..... I have acquired the directions for this and am looking forward to making strips of butterflies. This dark blue butterfly is also crocheted. I added white pearl oat beads on the bottom wings and pale blue beads on the top wings. The white butterfly at the bottom is crocheted from handspun silk. I attached it with Sassa Lynne thread using the buttonhole stitch. I used aqua silk ribbon and worked detached chain stitches on the wings plus a straight stitch for the body. I embroidered the antenna with the same Sassa Lynne thread. I think I've "got" the clothing enhancement "bug" LOL

For some reason this cq square turned out blurry and I wish it was clearer .... but maybe when this one returns home to its owner a better photo will appear on her blog. This is one of the Basket of Flower squares I've been priviledged to stitch on and belongs to Lindy in Australia. My work is kind of scattered here. Across the top is a piece of my hand-dyed lace with some embroidery across the top and bottom along with some pearl beads. Below that I added one of my tatted baskets, a few scattered tatted flowers and a gold "bee" charm at the top of the basket. I also added a small herringbone seam using Sassa Lynne thread and then added gold perle cotton detached chain stitches top and bottom. The last bit I added is in the center at the bottom .... a hand-dyed basket with bead flower centers. On the handle is a silk ribbon bow with beads and a gold butterfly charm. I sure hope Lindy likes what I've done. This was a very delicate "lady-like" block and a joy to stitch.

I received TWO basket rr squares at one time and this one is going home to Wendy to be made into a pillow for her daughter. I added a seam treatment of tatted flower baskets with lots of single tatted flowers below the baskets. Beads are used to attach the single flowers. In the large basket I added some "original" tatted flowers using basic embroidery stitches for stems. I just had to add a tatted pink butterfly. Wendy this will be such a delightful pillow for your daughter and I'm looking forward to seeing your additions as well. A fun block to work on!

Back earlier in the month a stitching friend commented on my lace knitting and mentioned she would like to try the tecnique. I offered to send the pattern I use for my beginning lace knitters but found that it had decided to hide from me. So looking around I found this one and knitted it up in 100% cotton worsted (the yarn I usually knit wash/dish cloths). To make a dainty doily it would be knit from a size 10 bedspread weight. If she likes this pattern I'll send her a copy along with directions to make the center without a big hole. Most circular knitting has a hole for the center but thanks to a technique I learned from Elizabeth Zimmerman's KNITTING WORKSHOP (Emily Ocher's beginning) I don't have those center holes!

I believe I mentioned earlier about using Carole Samples TREASURY OF CRAZY QUILT STITCHES to make myself a stitching journal .... well, earlier this month I was working on the "snowflake" stitches using Sassa Lynne thread on 18ct Aida. I found the thread a bit heavy for the fabric so decided to try the same fabric but use a single strand of DMC floss .... much happier with the results although I'm still working on this sample. Some time I'll post other of my journal pages but this is it for now!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Since my last post the weather for June has been "off the wall". For instance on the evening of June 3 a small tornado touched down not far from where I was. The first tornado in our sheltered area since 1974. For the past several days the temperature has been between 98F and 100F. Way too hot for this time of year since the calendar says it is still Spring. Whew! Wonder what Summer will be like????

So to think "cool" I'm tatting snowflakes LOL This one is number 22 in the 25 motif challenge I'm doing for my HBT tatting group. Only three more to go to finish the challenge. This has been encouraging me to try new patterns so I'm thinking about doing another challenge when this one is completed.

Several posts back I mentioned that I had joined another Yahoo group .... this time a knitting one that is working on the patterns of Elizabeth Zimmerman. When I joined some were working on the Mystery Blanket and so that is where I started. The second "square" turned out larger than the first and by the time I had finished another one this "square" was back on the 16" circular needles and turned into a hat LOL

Another view of the hat. Several people have commented on this hat as to the fact that I should make more of them to sell in the fall bazzar. Hmmmm just might consider that!

Another square that will fit the blanket.

Last post this was still on the needle ..... no more pics of the Myster Blanket until some of the squares are sewn together.

Back in 1989 after I had been teaching knitting for a few years I came across a book by Jacqueline Fee entitled The SWEATER WORKSHOP. It began by knitting a hat using multiple techniques. Yes, that pink and white object is a knitted hat. Not to be worn of course but teaches, on a smaller scale, many sweater techniques such as various ribbings, two color ribbing, pockets, buttonholes, two color pattern knitting, lace edging, eyelets, idot cord, knitted hem with initials, etc. It is a great teaching tool for my classes and was fun to make. The reason I'm showing it here is that several of the members of the EZ knitting group have completed this project so that is another "hint" that I've found the right group for me. Must remember to post the Mystery Blanket hat and this sampler to my group album.

A way to use up those "hate to throw away little bitty scraps". This shows three steps for a crazy quilt bookmark. I'll post some finished ones another time. On the right the pieced strip, in the middle the embellished piece with seam allowances basted and on the left the backing with basted seam allowances. I only use flat sequins and bits of tatting besides embroidery for the embellishments so as not to cause harm to the book. Directions for the cq bookmark are found here: for anyone interested.

Although this could also be used as a bookmark I've made it into a small bellpull .... the hardware was on sale! This is a wide piece of Ribband with some very basic embroidery stitches.

The back of the bellpull shows my finishing. The ends were turned under and hemed. The backing is grosgrain ribbon not quite the width of the Ribband and fused with Heat 'n Bond a double sided fusable interfacing. Hope it is cooler the next time I post LOL

Monday, June 02, 2008

More Round Robin blocks And Other Things

A couple of weeks ago I joined another Yahoo stitching group ..... this time a knitting group. It is a group honoring Elizabeth Zimmermann .... I mentioned it on my last post. Well, one of the "projects" for this year (a different project each month) is the Pi Shawl. A project I completed a few years back. There is a different Pi Shawl pattern in the book that I will also knit. Anyway this shawl was knitted with a lace weight yarn that was discontinued about the time I purchased my yarn and fortunately I planned ahead and had sufficient yarn to complete my project. I haven't measured it but it hangs over a full size bed and I thoroughly enjoyed the knitting process. I love lace in any form.

I just had to show you my "Food Fight" exchange block from the CQ4Newbies group. I sent in my "Grandmother's Pumpkin Pie" block and received back "Blueberry Muffins" stitched by Debbie in Maine. I haven't yet had the opportunity to try the receipe that accompanied the block. Debbie shows all the ingredients plus a couple of "baked" Blueberry Muffins. She even found some "Always KISS the COOK" bits to sew at the top. The sugar and flour sacks are stuffed with batting to look like the old time sugar and flour sacks. A really delightful block. Thank you Debbie, I really enjoy looking at my muffin block.

In the mail this past weekend I received TWO not one but two blocks for a basket round robin that I'm participating in on another of my cq groups. When they leave me one will be going home and the other has one more stop. The owner of the pastel basket block is Lindy from Australia and has one more stop to make before going home. I hope to post a photo after I've added my stitching bits.

This bright colored basket block is entitled "Cute Bugs in My Basket of Flowers" and is owned by Wendy in California. I believe she is planning this square as part of a "Bug and Flower quilt for her daughter. This is a bright cheerful block and I've already one idea in mind. I do need to remember to leave some room for Wendy to add her personal touches. Like me, Wendy sent her block out nekkid in order to put on the finishing touches. I'll try to post a photo after my stitching bits have been added. I need to get started on these as I'll soon receive the fourth seasonal block from CQ4Newbies that has a deadline. Well, the basket ones also have a deadline but since I have two I'll be allowed a little extra time (I hope!).

Back to my knitting group. On my last post I showed two squares of a Mystery Blanket that was the project of the month for the group when I joined. As I had always like the looks of this blanket I began working on it right away. Well one of the squares was slightly larger than the other and when I did this first square it matched one of the others. So, the "too big square" went back on the needles and I'm adding ribbing to make it into a hat. I'll show it in a later post after its completion.

Square #4 .... in reality square #3 is almost complete. As you can see these squares are knitted on circular needles .... I think that is part of the mystery - how can something knitted in the round become square!!!!!! Hee, hee, it does!