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Showing posts from March, 2010

What I Did

Back in February I wrote "What am I Doing?".
Here's a slice of what I did.
OK, here's a bigger look, but that's all you can see right now.


I learned to make a knitted picot yesterday but at the time I didn't know what I was doing.  I was struggling to follow instructions that where perfectly clear and yet didn't make sense.
The pictured example was small so I wasn't sure what the end result would look like.
As I finally "got it" the lady next to me looked at my work and said "a picot".  Then it made sense.  I've done many picots before, just not in knitting.
When I think of a picot my definition is "that bumpy thing".  That's not very technical so I just looked it up and the paraphrased definition is an embroidered loop.  That makes more sense than "that bumpy thing".

My favorite picot is done using beads.  It makes a great edging.

Tatter's do a lot of picots but I don't tat. 
The next picot I discovered was in lace making.  They are very small and hard to make and hard to make look even.

I didn't make this picot, it is from one of my antique store finds.

Paper Easter Eggs

My Paper Easter Eggs are all finished and the pattern is available on
It has been a fun journey.  It started out with the idea of painting perforated paper.

All I did was take basic "school supply" watercolors.  You know what I'm talking about - 8 colors.  I skipped the brown and black so that left 6 colors.  I just painted narrow stripes along the perforated paper sometimes close enough to allow them to blend.  I didn't get the paper too wet because I didn't want it to warp.  I did warp slightly, but not enough to affect the stitching.

Next, I had to come up with some egg outlines so I traced plastic eggs (thats slightly less hazardous than tracing real eggs).  Then I got to make up some bizzare patterns to fill the eggs.

Once stitched, the designs don't look too exciting.  The magic appears when they are cut out and the backing is applied.

I tried not to stress too much about cutting them out.  I just did it free-handed with my go…

Making Paper Eggs

I've been stitching paper Easter Eggs as fast as I can.  Which, actually hasn't been very fast these last three weeks.  I can barely find any time but the deadline is looming.
I have one more eggs to go and then I'll be done stitching, that is.  They will still need to be finished.  Hopefully then can be revealed next weekend.
I can report that the painted peforated paper experiment has been a success.  The paint does not want to come off the paper and there is really no difference stitching on it or unpainted paper. 
I have many ideas for this technique.  First, I'd love to drop everything else and paint a simple landscape and then stitch on the details.  But, then I won't finish my eggs!

Making Changes

I woke up this morning and decided the blog needed a new look.  I hope you like it.  I'll probably be tinkering with it all week until I decide it's just right.

Flower Watch

I found my rarely used diary.  In it I've been noting seasonal changes ... when certain flowers bloom, extraordinary weather, when frosts come ...
The pasque flower season is right on schedule.

I found years where the pasque flowers have started blooming by now and during other years they are later.  Yesterday I found some just poking out of the ground.

They are not easy to see and I don't catch them this early every year.  It may be a week or so before they bloom.  If I waited until today I might not have seen them at all - it's snowing again.  But, spring snow doesn't last long. When it melts, more pasque flowers will start appearing.
The main garden area has been under snow for months now and it has just begun to recede. 

It doesn't look like much now, but give it a few months.

Diverted by Dorset Buttons

I learned how to make Dorset Buttons yesterday at our monthly EGA meeting.
These little buttons are so much fun to make!  We only got three rings so that's how many I made.  If I would have gotten more I'd probably be still making them.  One nice thing is that they are very forgiving.  I made countless mistakes on my first one and you can't tell.
A quick google revealed lots of websites with historical information and tutorials on how to make them so I'm not even going to try to describe the process.

Some people made their buttons with yarn, others used perle cotton.  One of the examples had beads on it, so once I got home I had to find some beads to sew on.
That's it for now.  I'm going to be keeping my eye's open rings to use.  I'm also going to have to go through my yarn stash.  Using yarn gives a totally different result and I want to try some yarn ones too.

90 Blocks Completed

I started piecing these blocks in August 2009 and I finally finished the last one last weekend.
The task for today was to get them arranged.  Right now, the quilt is bigger than the largest piece of floor that I have.  The last two rows are squeezed together outside of the photograph up against and under a couch.  Once they are sewn together and the seam allowances aren't there anymore they should fit on the floor. 
Luckily they came out in a good order, because there isn't enough room to swap around blocks.
I've labelled them using Glad Press 'n Seal.

That method works very well for me, as long as I keep the iron away from the label.  I've learned to place them away from the seam and where I'll be ironing.  My favorite block - I ate!
Now the floor is clean and the blocks are stacked and ready to piece into rows with A1 on top.  (Hmm, I've got a food thing going here)

Tomorrow I drop my sewing machine off for its slightly overdue annual cleaning.  Then it will be…

Snowflake Flowers

My friend Pat just went through a few months worth of this blog and asked me "How do you make those snowflakes?"
For me, they are easy, so I thought that I'd demonstrate.  Since, spring is coming, I thought I'd use brightly colored origami paper and try to make the snowflakes look more like flowers.

First, you start with a square of paper and fold it in half and then in half again.  Pay attention to where the center of the paper is and then fold diagonally going through the center corner.

At this point I pick up the paper being sure to hold it at the center.  If you start at the wrong corner you won't end up with a snowflake - just pieces of paper.
The two sides radiating from this corner will become the spines of the snowflake.  You need to cut a random pattern into the third side (a very fancy V) making sure you don't cut the two sides coming from the center.

Now, you may cut off a piece of the center and pieces along the two sides.  These will become the holes …

Watching for Spring

I'm ready for spring to come so I got out some springlike overdyed floss and played around.  I ended up stitching a woven grid.  I started putting an eyelet stitch in one of the open squares but I didn't like the way it looked.  Maybe I'll just leave it as it is for now.
Here in Colorado we don't really get spring.  We have three seasons: dust, ice and mud.  Right now we are midway between ice and mud (with some of each).  We could plunge back into ice for a while or go straight to mud.  One thing is certain.  It's almost time for pasque flowers.  They are the first flower of spring to bloom in the area. 
Somewhere I have a diary noting when they've started blooming since we moved.  I can't find it.  I think mid-March is the earliest that I've seen them bloom.
We've had warm weather - in the 40's and 50's - and the ground is getting spongy in areas so I think it's getting close.  However, it may need to get a bit warmer.
  Pasque flowers ar…

Sometimes it just doesn't happen

I've been working on a St. Patricks Day's Sampler on and off since last December and it did not want to happen.
None of my ideas looked right when I started playing with them.  When I tried re-arranging them they looked worse than the original.  Arg. Once the design transformed into something I liked, but it was no longer a St. Patrick's Day design.  I will be stitching that design soon.
Sometimes designs just seem to happen magically.  You come up with the right combination of shapes and color.  Not this time.  So, I'll put it aside for 6 months to a year and work other designs.  Maybe later on the time will be right and I'll come up with something.
I did make lots of clover shapes, both with three or four leaves.
Here is my favorite four leaf clover shape.  I like it on it's own and I think I'll make a scissors fob from it.  Why not?  It just wasn't working as part of a bigger design.