Friday, 29 June 2018

Sale on Cute Fabric

I made another trip to Fabricland today for their 50% off (almost everything) sale and found some very cute fabric with a cottage theme on sale for $6 a metre, down from $20. For you math phobes out there, that's 70% off. Wheee!

I made a nifty pillowcase using the Muskoka chair (Adirondack chair in the US) fabric and its striped companion fabric.

I used the 'burrito method' using only two fabrics.  I finished with French seams where I put the wrong sides together and sewed 1/4" around the two sides. Then turned it inside out, and sewed 1/2" seam on the same sides, encasing the raw edges. It makes for a very neat, professional-looking finish.
The original pattern calls for 27" of the main fabric and 9" of the cuff fabric. I bought 0.7m of the main fabric and 0.25m of the striped fabric. With tax, the entire project cost $6.44 CAD! You certainly can't buy a cute, well-made pillowcase for that price anywhere. And the project took under an hour.

I've been in invited to my friend's cottage next month so it may be a gift for my hostess. I think I'll go back tomorrow and buy more of the same fabric to make another one for me to keep.

Wouldn't pillowcases be cute gifts for little kids? Or friends and loved ones using a fabric they'd like?

20 Years Ago Today...

...we got married in our back yard. It was the third anniversary of us 'going steady'.
It was a really hot day - kinda like today.

Fred's parents were the only family we invited. We had originally planned to get married at city hall. Very close to the date, I told a couple of friends and they all wanted to be invited. We ended up having a very small gathering at our home.
Archie and Jennie Watson with the bride and groom

It wasn't a 'convenient' time and date - 4:30 on a week day (rush hour) but my long-time friends made an effort to get there. Francey and her husband, Rich, came all the way from Gainesville GA for the event.
Sue, Francey, Lorna, Marilyn, Wendy
It was a lovely day and the last 20 years with this guy have been terrific.

First Monarch Egg of the Season

Yesterday, Skip brought home a milkweed leaf with a monarch egg attached. He was very pleased with himself that he now possesses the skills to spot the eggs. It's our first of the season.
About this time last year, I spotted 8 larvae. Hopefully because of the delay in good weather, the monarchs will only be delayed a little bit.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

A Fun Stitching Day

Yesterday, Barb and I met Laura at Jeanette's place for a stitching day. We admired and encouraged each other on our projects, looked through Jeanette's pattern stash, enjoyed a delicious lunch (great 30 minute chicken soup, Jeanette!) and raided Jeanette's fabric stash. Jeanette shared some blue fabric that was perfect to back the open work of my second Hardanger set and I got both pockets attached to the inside of the needle book.

I came home with several patterns of fabric and lining to make Barb and Jeanette some zipped vinyl bags with their preferred fabrics from the stash.  Last night I cut out three projects and assembled as far as I could before attaching zippers.

I made a trip today to Fabricland to buy zippers to match the projects and more fusible interfacing and vinyl for future ones. Hurray for 50% off sales!

I got two done today.
This pretty, blue fabric was Barb's favourite.
Jeanette really liked the turquoise and blues in this fabric. I found zippers that matched perfectly.
In my enthusiasm, I made a measuring mistake when I cut the fabrics out, so made the vinyl windows two inches larger.

 I double folded narrow strips of fabric to make the zipper pulls. It was tricky getting them through the eye of the zipper tab. I may try another technique next time.
I picked up the rest of the colours of DMC floss I needed to work on my Winter's Eve cross-stitch project from the cover of the 2006 Just Cross Stitch Christmas issue.

Yes, it's the ornament right in the middle with the house and sheep. It's called 'Winter's Eve' and is a Country Cottage Needleworks design.
That will be my stitching project tonight.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Intarsia at Rowan

Back in 2011, my friend, Marion, and I went on a knitting tour of the UK. One of the very cool things we did was spend a day at the Rowan Head office. It's outlined here.

The other day I unearthed the Union Jack intarsia piece that I knit on that day and finally blocked it.
The pattern used to be free on the Rowan website. It is no longer available. If I were to knit it again, I'd use smaller needles.

I'm not sure what I'll do with this piece.

Hardanger Trio

I assembled the needle book of the Hardanger Trio last night.
I made twisted cord ties from the #5 perle cotton and two layers of felt for the needles.
The pocket fits a rather large pair of scissors. Closed, the needlebook measures 10cm (4") wide and 13.75cm (5.5") long. If you wanted to make it smaller, just use fabric with more thread count.
The pin cushion has the same Hardanger pattern as the large pocket.

The scissor fob is from the other set I'm working on. I'm not sure what I did with the one that goes with this set.
I stitched the felt rather than stitch a line on the fabric and whip stitch the felt to it. The other modification I did was to weave the bars rather than wrap them. I liked the look of them woven better.

I have the other needle book to complete now.

Our little stitching group is starting to do a search for another little project we can work on. 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

June TEG Meeting and Pot Luck

Last night was the last meeting of the year of the Trillium Embroidery Guild.
We had a meeting, determined officers and other positions for next year, voted on the embroidered pieces for the three prizes, had 'show and share', and ate goodies.

Our TATA (Trillium Annual Themed Award) theme this year was 'animals'. There are two categories:

Charted/Adapted pattern
and Original Design
Jennifer's design won the Technical Award. Her design incorporates many of her passions: cats, music, Star Trek. thread painting, embroidery, etc. It is so creative and beautiful.
Diane's punch needle and embroidered pillow won in the Original design category.
Jeanette's peacock piece "Maxim and Zoya" won the award for the Charted/Adapted design. It is stitched over 1 thread on 32? count fabric.
Other entries included Bernie's sheep mounted on a badge.
Jennifer's painted thread Bee Eater designed by Trish Burr. Jen stitched this in one day at the last Elim retreat!
My 'Red Bird' punch needle piece designed by Karla Gerard and adapted to punch needle by Loretta Moore of 'Hooked On The Lake'.
Alda stitched the Red Macaw.
 This 'Heart of My Heart' piece is a Shepherd's Bush design.
Jen brought in a stitched piece of her beloved cat, Abby, from when Abby was a kitten.
She also brought in a kitty cat biscornu.
This is the back of it.
She finished up this one recently.
The detail on Marion's thread painted piece is exquisite.
Jeanette brought in her luggage tag made with embroidery stitch fabric.
It opens up to reveal the address or business card.
Alda shared this beautiful floral piece stitch on rather fine fabric.
Jen also shared this blackwork frame she stitched for this photo of Abby. The letters on the bottom are a 'kitty cat' font.
Jeanette shared her idea of using a decorative notepad with the magnetic closure for a needlecase. She took out the notepad and glued in several 'pages' of felt, cut to fit.
Our theme for next year was decided upon. It is 'smalls' - any small or miniaturized items such as needle cases, pin cushions, scissor fobs, etc.

I am always so inspired by my stitching friends.

Luggage Tags

A while back I made a couple of luggage tags for Jen1 and Jeanette who will be attending the Embroiderers' Association of Canada seminar in July.

Jen is a Trekkie. I've made several items for her from this yard of fabric and was able to fashion a luggage tag with some of the last scraps and some yellow fabric from my stash.
Inside is a vinyl window for a business or address card and is concealed by folding the piece in half and threading the loop through a buttonhole. The long loop attaches it to the suitcase.
For Jeanette, I used this fabric I'd had in my stash for a long time. It has embroidery stitch diagrams on it.
It was a big hit when she showed it off at her Toronto embroidery guild.

Here you can see her business card in the vinyl window.
I need to make a couple more for myself and some other special people.

Monday, 18 June 2018

New Project Bags

Jeanette loaned me a zipped project bag to deconstruct so I could recreate more for myself. It had been made for her by a stitching  buddy from the Toronto Embroidery Guild.
I figured out how to reconstruct it. Everything was in my stash, including the zipper and vinyl.

I had purchased the lining fabric on my trip last weekend.

I had also purchased some Star Trek themed fabric with one of my stitching buddies in mind.

I have a vast stash of Asian-themed fabric, mostly dark. But I found two companion fabrics, one of which was a bit lighter.
It's the same pattern, just a lighter colourway.
The finished bag is 30cm (12") by 35cm (14"). It can easily handle stitching patterns and all the materials. Or equipment - in this case, my punch needle stuff.
 And then can be zipped up, safely holding all the contents, easily visible through the vinyl window.
I had purchased the vinyl in a roll a couple of years ago and had used it for various projects. However, any thick plastic would do like the bags in which comforters, duvets, linens, etc. are bought. If they're a bit creased or wrinkled, they can be smoothed out with a warm iron and another piece of fabric in between. Do NOT use the iron directly on the vinyl.

Now that I have the pattern figured out, I'll be making a few with several of my stash fabrics. I'll just need to wait until fabric is on sale to pick up some more light-coloured lining fabric.