Friday, 15 December 2017

Christmas Deer

I bought some linen fabric for stitching on some trip or other (UK knitting tour or Irish knitting tour). One of the pieces was 36 count linen which I thought would make a nice background for a Christmas deer.
I bought a locking embroidery hoop at the big box craft store with a coupon. It was recommended for punch needle projects and it works great for regular stitching, too.

I stitched over two threads with one thread. I didn't use a magnifier because I was in a semi-reclined position and watching TV whilst stitching.
That's 18 stitches to the inch, folks.

Not sure I'll get it finished into an ornament before we leave for our cruise.

BTW, I got final confirmation from the cruise line today that we will be on the scheduled 14-day sailing. I'll be teaching on every one of the 'at sea' days and possibly one or two days more, depending on when the ship sails from some of the ports. As far as I know, there won't be an art teacher so I may have more people in my classes which used to run at the same time as the art class. However, the iPad class is also at the same time so the art students might all flock there.

Trillium Embroidery Guild Christmas Potluck Meeting.

Traditionally at our Christmas potluck, we have an ornament exchange. This year we had 9 ornaments!

I really liked the blackwork pattern done with green thread and the rick-rack around the outside.
This is the one I picked. Jeanette stitched this blackwork design with variegated pink thread and embelished with beads.
This beauty was stitched by Barb. She said she purchased the tassel. She has really gotten into stitching with great enthusiasm.
This is a cute way to finish an ornament
This image better shows the white stitches and variegated red threads.

 Jen stitched this one. It was one that she finished on our finishing day at my house.
This little one was so cute!
 Bernie also stitched her name and date on the back. Tying off the cording at the bottom that way created a little tassel. Very clever.
The lace was stitched on an embroidery machine with soluble stabilizer. Finishing it like a little pillow was very effective.
Sue stitched this one.

I contributed my Joy ornament.

Thursday, 14 December 2017


I wanted to knit the Veronika Cardigan by Shannon Cook the moment I saw it. I had 6 balls of Patons Classic Wool in my stash in the right colour so I bought and downloaded the pattern and jumped right in.
I started with 5mm needles but frogged and switched to 5.5mm to get the gauge. I then blocked the finished item to size.

The only seaming (which I don't mind doing at all) is on the ribbed on the sides.
The pattern is interesting. You start on the bottom of the right front with 3.5" of ribbing, then begon the 4 row pattern. The shawl collar is knit as you go with increases starting about 8" up from the bottom. Then increases are made for the back and knitting continues across the back. Then stitches are bound off to knit down the left front with the shawl collar decreases before the ribbing finishes that side.

Then stitches are picked up along the stitches at the bottom of the back for the ribbing. Once that is done, simply sew the sides up along the ribbing only.

The sweater is nice and 'drapey' and looks great as is or with a shawl pin closing the front. Beware, though -- the armholes are exactly at the right height to catch on doorknobs!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Shuttlebug December Potluck

Our December potluck meeting was held at our usual meeting place at the Greenwood Recreation Centre.

Jacki showed off the socks she knit with the yarn handpainted at a spinning and knitting retreat a couple of years ago. We handpainted sock blocks that were knit with two strands of sock yarn. When the yarn was unravelled, two identical balls of yarn were yielded.
This was a beautiful wet-felted flower from a workshop at Gemini Fibres.
This bag was also created. The closure at the top is made from metal tape measure.
And here's the back.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Pyjama Pants

I usually make Scooter and Skip pyjama pants for Christmas or birthday.

I've used this pattern for Scooter several times.
I was smart and wrote pertinent info on the pattern envelope.

I always pre-wash and machine-dry flannelette because I want the final sewn size to be right. This pattern calls for elastic across the back and twill tape ties attached to each side of the elastic. I also anchor the elastic by stitching through it and the waistband down the centre back seam. I usually try to match the horizontal lines but this fabric only had vertical lines so I didn't have to do that.
I also ironed in this label, created for me by Jen1's dad for a quilting project they worked on. I hope the ink doesn't wash out.
Skip wanted pockets in his pyjama pants so I used the same pattern for Skip's pants. I just made them a size larger by just eyeballing extra width when I was cutting out the pieces.

I liked the Thunderbird motif and again, didn't need to worry about matching horizontal lines. Skip also got a nifty label for the centre back.

More Sewing Lessons

Jen1 came over on Friday to learn how to make a lined, zippered bag. She brought her sewing machine so I could make sure it was in proper working order and could show her some of its features.

She was very happy to finish the bag so quickly and easily.
She learned that directional fabric should always have the top at the zipper. She picked really cute fabric.
Then I taught her two ways to box the corners so it would stand up on its own. To give it some stiffness, we ironed fusible medium weight interfacing onto the wrong side of the outer fabric.

I then made a really skinny folded strip (like double fold bias tape but on the grain), poked it through the hole in the zipper tab and tied a knot. It's a perfect pull tab for the zipper.
After lunch Jen wanted to make a grab bag. She did a great job and learned that clipping the curves makes things lie nice and flat for topstitching.
She only stabbed herself once so a minimum of blood was shed. Here she is proudly showing off her reversible grab bag/project bag.
She went back to the fabric store and bought some more fabric to make more bags. She's on her way!

I had a scrap of Star Trek fabric left over from another project so I made Jen a pincushion for her wrist.
I used two juice can lids and some 25cm elastic. I cut a circle of the yellow fabric and stitched around the edge, inserted one of the metal lids and then pulled on the thread to encircle the lid with fabric, pulling tightly. I cut a larger circle and ran stitches all around its edge. This time, I stuffed it firmly with fibrefill and then inserted the other lid and encircled it by pulling on the running stitches. I then criss-crossed the stitches to make it really secure.

Using the yellow lid, I cut the elastic to fit around my wrist and added 1/2". I then sewed it into a circular band, zigzag stitching the ends together.

I then glued the two lids together sandwiching the elastic between them and set them between two books to dry. It was really easy and turned out great.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Another Finished Ornament

I've been wanting to finish this ornament for a while. It's from the 2004 Just Cross Stitch Christmas issue. I stitched it last winter when I was in TX. I hunted high and low for styrofoam so I could wrap the stitched piece around the front and the accent fabric around the back but couldn't find any to buy.

Since I had 9mm ribbon to wrap around it, I decided to cut two pieces of 5mm foam core and glue them together, then wrap the fabrics around them. Then cover the edges with the ribbon.
I like that the beads of the notes are actual beads.

I'm glad I finally found all the things I needed to finish this one.

I'm still trying to decide if I'll participate in the ornament exchange with my embroidery guild and if so, what ornament I'll part with.

Monday, 4 December 2017

I Thought This Only Happened in Movies

My sister's first husband and father of her children, Jaime, was up from Mexico visiting their daughters and and families this summer. It was a pretty long visit but Skip and I never got to SW Ontario to visit the family at all because I had many monarch larvae to feed and no one to look after them during our absence.

About a month ago during an exchange of Facebook Messages my sister, Valerie, mentioned she was working on some paperwork and anticipating a return visit from Jaime. When I enquired further, she informed me that they were remarrying - pronto. It was a BIG surprise for me because I had no inkling that this was even being considered as they'd been divorced for 40 years, and I'd not seen them interact in the summer.

So this weekend, Skip and I attended the remarriage of Valerie and Jaime at the home of their elder daughter, Tay. They have a lovely, spacious, new house which accommodated all of us comfortably.

The Mexico relatives didn't come up (the wedding couple's son, wife, and their three children) but all of the Canadian family except one of their grandchildren who is away at college were able to attend.

Here was the lovely couple exactly 50.5 years ago. The civil ceremony had taken place a month before. The traditional Mexican church wedding took place on May 4, 1967.
And here they were on Saturday.
Their two daughters stood up for them and acted as witnesses.

We took the opportunity to take a family photo afterwards.
Although it's taking us a while to get used to the idea of Valerie and Jaime being together again, we are happy that they are happy.

And it's always nice getting together with family.

Ornament Finishing

Many stitchers have lots of ornaments stitched but not finished into anything. Last week I had a couple of people over to finish some Christmas ornaments.

Jeanette showed us a bin of her finished ornaments. She also provided lots of useful tools and templates.

Barb is a new stitcher and did a beautiful job on this snowflake ornament.
Marilyn stitched this cute Santa. I love the different texture of his moustache.
She also got the hardware onto this bellpull sampler from Prairie Schooler.
I was so busy I didn't get any pics of Jen1's  ornaments that day but she went home and finished a bunch of other ornaments that could be used as gift tags. The dove on the bottom centre is the one she did at my place.
The next day, I finally got one ornament finished. It has a little bit of Hardanger on it so it needed a fabric behind it.
I used this nice burgundy fabric for that and also the back
and made cording out of DMC floss using my fringe twister.
As you can see, I stitched it in 2011. It's about time I got it finished.

I think we should have a couple of finishing days every fall. It was lots of fun and we got a lot accomplished.