Saturday, December 17, 2016

Finishing A Tiny Dandelyne Hoop

In my last post, I shared about the tiny embroideries I've been working on to fit in these cute little hoops.  


Having finished the two little embroideries, I cut them out a little larger than the piece of wood that goes behind them.


Using my hot glue gun, I ran a small line of glue around the edge of the wood piece. Then I placed the embroidery over the non glue side and carefully eased the linen over the edge and onto the back and the line of glue.  There are several videos on YouTube showing how to do this.


Next I positioned the hoop around the piece of wood and fabric, put the little screw and nuts on and tightened them.  


This wooden back plate was glued on using white glue and clamped.  This hides the scrappy edges of fabric.  I used Tacky Glue which dries pretty fast.



I'm still trying to decide whether to put these on a chain or on a beaded necklace.  







Friday, December 16, 2016

Making Tiny Hoop Embroideries

It's tough to keep a blog fresh this time of year when so much of what you are working on is a surprise for someone, a family member or it is a custom item purchased as a gift from my Etsy shop.  So although I've been quiet here, it hasn't been quiet in real life!  

My Etsy shop has been really busy.  I have such awesome customers and it's been fun to work on a few more custom things this year.  For the last couple of days though, it's gone quiet and I have to say it's been nice.  I don't have time to make more of anything for my shop before Christmas now and so the pressure is off.  I'm finding that I'm full of ideas and inspiration and having to jot things down so I don't forget - I have my sketchbook permanently at hand.  I'm one of those people who is at their most creative late at night and I guess as I'm tired from all the busyness of the season, my body thinks it is late at night all the time!  

A few weeks ago I bought a package of these small embroidery hoops from this Etsy shop in Australia.  I bought these round ones and a package of tall oval ones.  They are so cute I can hardly stand it, what is it about tiny things?


I haven't had time to experiment with them till now.  Earlier this week, I pulled out some close weave oatmeal colored linen and did some quick little sketches before diving in.  




You can't really get a feel of the size of this from the above photos but these next photos will help.....yep, this is really tiny work.  And yes my scissors are very sharp.




Here are the components ready for assembly.  I'm planning to make this into a necklace but I haven't decided yet whether to use chain or something with tiny seed beads.



Last night I decided to try a tiny tree stump.  It's on the same linen which just looks different because of the different light.  I can't wait to get these in their tiny hoops.















Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Custom Pincushion

I'm back!  We've had family from Scotland staying with us so I've been distracted from writing and sewing!  This is the best kind of distraction though.  My little Etsy shop is busy with people buying Christmas gifts and I've been working on several custom orders.  

I just popped this one in the mail today.  My brief was to make a cat pincushion from some photos sent to me by my customer.  The colors and design were picked in collaboration with  her.  As usual I began with a sketch, moving on to making paper pattern pieces.  I keep all my paper pattern pieces in little labeled ziplock bags but I'm getting so many different ones, I really need to come up with some system for filing/storing them.






The cat is a long haired black cat with some brown here and there too.  To embroider the cat and get that variation in color I used my regular DMC black floss and also some hand dyed black floss which by nature has a variety of shades.  



This is my box of hand dyed floss.  I don't used it often for pincushions because it is a lot more expensive than the DMC floss I usually use but for a project like this it is perfect.  


The side band is red, a lovely proper Christmassy red with white flowers and green leaves and swirls.  It is very pretty, the colors all work together beautifully.  The underside of the pincushion is dark grey.  



These colors are hard to photograph!  I always have trouble with reds and I also had to lighten the photo a good deal so you could see the embroidery stitches on the cat itself.  It is prettier in real life!  My customer is happy which is the most important thing of all.  











Monday, November 21, 2016

Post Rain Walking

It rained here this weekend.  I know we badly need it but I still don't like it.  My kids like the smell but not me.  I just look at it and see wet, muddy shoes tracking in all kinds of mess into the house, a miserable soggy dog, miserable walks with said sad soggy dog and wet coats dripping puddles wherever they've been hung to dry.  


An early morning walk after the rain rewards me with lots of color and sparkle from the water droplets.  Tia always likes walking when the rain has stopped, I think the rain must wash away the stale smells and make everything fresh and interesting again.  Our first walk after rain is always slow as she needs to stop and check everything out.  As she does, I have time to look at details.





There are lots of berries on trees and bushes this Fall.  In England we always used to say that would be a sign of hard Winter to come....I wonder if the same is true here?


And then I came across this tree full of Springtime blossom.  So strange, it is one in a row of the same trees and all the others are shedding vibrant red leaves.  





Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Folk Art Pincushion

A while ago I was finally able to find a copy of this book of American Folk Art for sale.  I'd borrowed a very tattered copy from our local library multiple times (always I sign I should really buy a copy!) and really wanted to translate this inspiration into a pincushion design.




I did my usual sketches and then picked out colors.  


I didn't cut pattern pieces for this but simply cut the shapes freehand.  I like that the shapes aren't all perfect.  This is the difference between handmade and mass produced.  



I'm very happy with how the colors all worked out in this design, that light coral color can be tricky to use but it looks right at home next to the pale blue.  I added this finished pincushion to my Etsy shop and it sold quickly but I will be making some more soon. 










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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sometimes My Car Is My Sewing Room

I often sew in the car when I'm waiting somewhere for my daughter.  The light is usually better than in the house but it is not quite as comfortable or as spacious.  I spread everything out over the dash, the center console and the passenger seat but I'm always afraid I'm going to knock over my box of embroidery threads.  

Today I was sewing up a batch of Union Jack pincushions while my daughter had her riding lesson.  I'd forgotten about the time change though, and I lost the light too quickly.  It was an hour of unexpected loveliness, I watched the sun sink behind the hills followed by the subtle changes in the sky as the evening settled into twilight...so peaceful after the turmoil of this week.