25 February 2013

One Step Forward - Two Steps Back

I think I might get in trouble with some of my stitching followers with this weeks reveal of stitches. But ...(why does there always have to be a 'but')...  there is a reason I have done what I have done.

I'll start by showing you all the stitching that I have achieved this week, just to soften you up a bit before I reveal my snafu.

Working on my CQJP 2013 project.
So, forget I ever mentioned Minimalist, because at this stage I just cannot DO minimalist, lol. 
here are the pics.

And the "sarcophagus" shapes with the stitches on.


~ now here comes the part where I had my "snafu" moment ~

.......this is NOT how I envisaged the project. It is NOT what is in my head, and I do NOT like it.

So what am I going to do about it, you may be asking.


I have just frogged the lot.

Happy Stitching 
or "un-stitching"

19 February 2013

Free Form Crochet - Hyperbolic Tutorial

The Hyperbolic Scrumble


Free Form Crochet

Join me in an online Scrumble making frenzy of crocheting freedom and enjoyment.

Rules -
  • You can alter and change the stitches whenever you want to
  • You use whatever wool. yarn, or thread you have to hand
  • Feel free to do your own thing
My most important Rule for Free Form Crochet Scrumbling is this:- 
  • Adapt, change, disregard, add, adjust, customize, harmonize, modify, turn, change colour, reject, change hook size, use weird or unusual thread combinations......... (do you get the idea?)
I'd love to see photos of scrumbles you create from this "Scrumble-Along" event. 
Leave a comment below to let me know where I can find your photos.

Scrumbles do not usually have instructions or a pattern to follow as they are meant to be totally innovative, unique and have a "free-form" style.
I have included the stitches I used to make my scrumbles only as a guideline for you to follow as much or as little as you wish.

 You do not have to follow my instructions exactly as written. Feel free to alter, change and modify to suit yourself.

  The Hyperbolic Scrumble

These instructions are using English crochet terminology. I have included the American crochet terms at the end of the article for your convenience if you should need it. 
Abbreviations key is at the end too.
This scrumble uses one colour and creates a highly textured 3-D scrumble to your collection and is one of my favourites. Very "organic" looking.

Don't worry if you loose count of what st to do. The exact number of stitches does not matter. The idea is just to increase the number of stitches on each subsequent round.

Ch5, sl st to 1st ch to make a ring.
Round 1: 16 dc into ring. Close round with a sl st to 1st dc made. (Do not turn)
Round 2: Ch3 (counts as 1st tr, throughout). 1 tr in same st, *1 tr in each of next 2 sts. 2 tr in next st*. Repeat from asterisk * to the end of the round and close this round (and all following rounds) with a sl st to top of the ch3 starting stitch.
Round 3: Ch3, 1 tr in same st, *2 tr in next st, 1 tr in next st* repeat till end of round and close round as before.

Round 4: Ch3, 1 tr in same st. 2 tr in each st to end of round. Close round as before, cut yarn and finish off.

You can, if you want to, make a "fuller" ball by carrying on with more rounds (repeat increase rounds and/or 4 as many times as required).

Have fun.


If you want to use American terminology you will have to change my stitch names for the following:-

dc (double crochet) ......  =  ........ sc (single crochet)
tr  (treble)........................  =  ....... dc (double crochet)

sl st (slip stitch)
ch (chain)
st (stitch)
sts (stitches)

Happy Stitching

18 February 2013

A mixture of sewing projects

 Embroidery of Chance 

I started with a velvet square in a dusky pink colour.
 Added random wool tops with needle-felting just to add a bit of colour to start with.

Then, using the TAST stitches and a dice roll #5 for which box of threads I will use.
A coin toss gives me Regular or Irregular stitching.
Other rolls of the dice give me - Design Shape, Line Design, and Decoration or Embellishments for the whole piece.

Knotted Feather Stitch - Irregular, curved
Inverted Feather Stitch - Regular, haphazard
Raised Herringbone Band - Regular, triangle, vertical

The CHANCE part is working out fine so far. I think I might change the way the threads are randomly chosen though as I wasn't too pleased with the bright green on the back of the raised herringbone band. The best way to get a cohesive colourway would probably be to choose perhaps a dozen or so threads that would actually look good on the background, and then have the dice choose which one to use next.
I will PLAY with that idea on the next roll of the dice.

 Ear Ear Project 

The soft spongy ear-pads on my headphones disintegrated two weeks ago and it's a bit painful trying to use them without the soft pad, so here is my solution to that problem.
I am very pleased with the result. Rather snazzy I think.

 My Mum's Steam Engine Cross Stitch 

Here are the photo's of the large cross-stitch project that my mum started but had to give up on due to failing eye-sight.
As mentioned on a previous post, I shall be finishing the last 3 carriages in her memory.

The whole thing when finished is 1.6 metres long (yes, over one and a half metres) and about 200mm high.
That is quite a large cross stitch panel.

I'm not sure when I will have time this year, but it is on my TO-DO list.

 Learning Lace Making 

This is the treasured lace-making equipment I have.
All of this was my mums, and I have inherited quite a few of her books on the subject as well.

The domed cushion for pinning the projects.

Her best bobbins in her custom made case for them.

A collection of her other bobbins in another case she made.

A few of her special pyrography bobbins.

And a pair of very special bobbins in a box.

Well that's it for this week's show-and-tell.
Hope you enjoyed the eye-candy.

Happy Stitching

11 February 2013

Crazy Quilting Update & 2013 Goals

Crazy Quilt

This week I have added the inner border and the outer border to my crazy quilt.

This is where I am with it at the moment.

The thin black border is only 3/8th's of an inch wide.
The white border will be about 3" wide.

But now here are two reasons why I am putting this quilt ON-HOLD for a little while.
  1. Working on this quilt all though January and almost half of February has put me way behind on my main projects for this year, and I really need to get going on those before I end up NOT ABLE to do them because I have run out of time for certain deadlines.
  2. This crazy quilt is extremely heavy because of all the jewellery, beads and other embellishments, and I am having trouble with my (bad) shoulders again. So trying to 'heave' this quilt around now it is all put together is not helping my situation,and has prompted me to take a break from it.

So.... I am sad that I have not had a more productive stitching week. 
I was hoping to have this quilt finished by now, but I must accept the fact that I will never have 100% use of my arms again (since my unfortunate shoulder surgeries), and I have to put up with whatever I can manage on a day-to-day basis.

Looking on the bright side of it though....it's a great excuse to get someone else to clean my windows, hahaha.

Goals for 2013

I have already posted about my crazy quilt goal for 2013, and a little bit about how I am approaching the TAST challenge this year too.

You can find that post HERE >>

I mentioned the Crazy Quilt in bright colours, a different shape and minimalist stitching.
A reminder pic of the crazy quilt blocks.

This is going to be a stained-glass rose window quilt of my own design and will be machine embellished.

The TAST project is not the same as the Rose Window Quilt.

And now here is Part Two of my GOALS

I have found this book of velvet fabric samples in my craft stash. It's been there at the back of the cupboard for many years just waiting for a chance to shine.

It's time has now come.
This is what I shall be using for my TAST project.

At the moment this project is called: "An Embroidery of CHANCE"

After reading the next sentence here, you will probably be thinking that I have completely 
LOST MY MARBLES (and you may be right, lol)

My 2013 TAST EMBROIDERY project commences with 3 DICE and a coin-toss
(or is 'die' the correct plural for dice?) 

It will be a true Embroidery of Chance and I am expecting to have a lot of fun along the way.

And to quote my previous post about this project -
CHANCE will determine every aspect of embroidery.
I will take whatever TAST stitch occurs each week - that is the first RANDOM aspect to happen that I have no control over.
And then.......every placement, every thread, every fiber, every stitch, every characteristic, every style - will be taken by chance, and will be innovativefresh and contemporary.

This project will be FREE FORM embroidery. No plan, no design, no barriers, no idea what is coming up next.
There is also NO finished item planned. The stitching IS the project. '
I will expand on this in the next post when I ROLL THE DICE.

Other Goals

I have a very large cross stitch of a steam engine with about 6 carriages to finish. My mum stitched most of this before poor eyesight made it too difficult for her, and I want to finish it in memory of her.

Learn to make Bobbin Lace.

Create a Mixed Media and Free Form Crochet piece for an annual challenge in the International Free Form Crochet Guild.

Happy Stitching

04 February 2013

Crazy Quilt Top Progress

I have only managed a little bit of progress on the quilt for this week.
I had fully intended to have this quilt finished by now, but you know how life sometimes has other ideas - well this week LIFE has intervened yet again.
My poor little miniature Jack Russell managed to get a sharp pointy object (probably a stick or bramble)  pierce one of his eyes.
I have visited the vet with him almost everyday during the week, and we are desperately trying to save his eyesight (and his eye), but it does not look good at the moment.
He's on pain killing injections & tablets, antibiotics, and eyedrops.
A rather poorly little boy feeling very sorry for himself and needing lots of TLC.

But, on to the stitching for this week.

All 16 blocks are sewn together. 
This week I'm hoping to get the white border on, and the backing, and if I have any time left I might start the thin black binding.
I haven't decided how to join front and back together yet.
The options so far are:
  1. Tie with threads in corner of blocks.
  2. Quilt along the seams.
  3. Randomly stitch with hidden stitches.
Any other suggestions most welcome
What would YOU do?

Happy Stitching