February 27, 2013

Finally Lace!

After making pillows and spangling bobbins and several tests to dust off my old brain and find a decent thread (without spending more money) I am finally making some lace. The pattern is a fan edging done in a circle for a round mat. I had to undo a bit, but I'm learning all the time and not too deterred by the humbling feeling that comes with learning a new skill.

Here's the rack I made for my bobbins when the number became jumbling:

Starting the lace:

And a few Thank You cards I made for my daughter this morning:


February 22, 2013

Amy Butler Bags

One of the knitters in my knitting group showed up one night with the cutest handmade bag and I was green with envy. I love bags! It was a soft pastel in peaches and pinks and she told me she had a friend make it from an Amy Butler Pattern. I purchased the pattern and made one right away. They are not for the faint of heart, you have to be pretty good with a sewing machine, but well worth the work and very professional looking and sturdy.
For the first bag I used a remnant I had of a pretty floral. 100% cotton. It is still a favorite.

I then decided to make one in silk for an evening bag. It has since found a home with a friend since I found I never used it, but it was too pretty to be shut in the closet.
The third bag I made in more earthy tones for my daughter.
The most recent version is made from corduroy, gingham and my favorite... polka dots!
This is the Sweet Harmony Pattern here:

February 19, 2013

Starting lace

I have put together the tools and modified my quilting stand to hold my lace pillow, now it's time to make the lace.


The stand has a bolt through the top that holds the quilting hoop from the middle and below. I cut a piece of wood to fit in the stand, drilled a hole for the bolt and replaced the hoop with the wood, with a peg for the bottom of the pillow. I made no changes to the (expensive) quilt stand. It works great!
I put together my pricking. I found that my Memory Keepers Piercing Mat from my card making works great for making lace pricking. I got the pillow dressed and soon discovered that my lace making skills are very, very dusty. I remembered the stitches, but any recollection of working a footside edge is completely melted away. I pulled off the pricking, worked a test and then went back to the original pricking. I got through the fan, slowly and I'm sure not perfectly, but it's coming back.


February 17, 2013

Spangling Lace Bobbins

I have all the new bobbins spangled and the hat pins beaded, the cover cloths all sewed around the edges. Next I need to modify my quilt stand to hold the pillow and then start dressing the pillow to actually make some lace!

Beginnings of Bobbin Lace

My new cookie pillow and bobbins finally arrived yesterday morning and it was waiting on the step when I returned from my Saturday morning errands! It took a whole week to get here (I'm so impatient!).
The pillow is ethafoam, something new for me. My original pillow was one I made years ago, before the help of the Internet, with stacks of felt from an old blanket. I decided to cover the new pillow in several layers of felt too, cut in larger and larger circles, starting at about 10". I put the smallest circle against the ethafoam, then larger circles, by about an inch, until the last 2 layers went a bit past the edge of the pillow. I used about 6 layers. The ethafoam looked like it might dent if banged or dropped. I am hoping that the felt will not only be a great working surface, but also protect the foam somewhat. I put a pin in at 12-6-9 and 3 o'clock on the circle and cut my cover fabric.

I did order a hardboard base with the pillow. It's like a pegboard, nice and hard and thin. My plan was to wrap the pillow and the base and staple, but alas staples don't go into hardboard, at least not my staples. I decided to staple the cover directly to the foam pillow. Then I covered the hardboard with tacky glue, put a band of hot glue close to the edge and glued on the base. I didn't think the staples would stay in the foam, but this seemed to work fine. I then glued my braiding around the edge. The pillow is light, but very firm and the pins stand right up! I love the color!

The first thing I did when I opened the box was put a finish on some of the bobbins I had ordered. They are beautiful and delicate and lightweight! I had only used bobbins I made from wooden dowels before. These are magical.
I wanted them in several different finishes. I have seen so many beautiful bobbin collections in such gorgeous arrays of colors. I stained a few, saved a few to keep natural, sprayed a few black and a few in white. Then I put a clear finish on all of them. As I spangle them I am rubbing some wax paper on each one.

I used an open paper clip to hang them to dry.

My first spangled bobbin!

Today I hope to finish spangling the other 23. 

February 13, 2013

Bobbin lace plans

When my new bobbin lace pillow arrives my fabric and finishes are all ready!

Tatting take-along

I take my tatting with me almost everywhere I go. It's small and easy to transport and I love things that inspire me like pretty packages.

My larger tatting bag has pockets surrounding the inside, perfect for shuttles, and my tatting press keeps pieces under construction from getting crumpled.  The pattern for the press comes from here:

A slimmer way to tote my tatting is the hard case wallet I redid. I pulled out the lining, covered some stiff cardboard (cereal box), after poking holes to put ribbon through it. It holds several bobbins in the pocket, two shuttles I can tie in with the ribbon, scissors, a seam ripper to pick out mistakes and a fridge magnet painted with nail polish to use with a magnetic board to follow a pattern. The coin purse (from Claire's) holds a mid-sized ball of cotton perfectly and has a little zip section on the bottom side for thread bits.



More from the past...

Baby blankets for gifts...

A felted knitting bag with tulips...

A birthday cake for turning six!

Things in the past, knitting, and crochet and cakes and such...

I am currently shifting gears a bit with my crafts, moving around some supplies and such and waiting for some new supplies in the mail. In between the plans for something new in the future here are some of the things I have made over the years.

First is a little bag crocheted in lacy squares. (Followed by a close-up of the squares).

and in black...
A little cat purse...

An Op art blanket for my oldest grandson...

Baby sweaters...

A bag crocheted from cotton...

Fun socks with yarn from a yarn show...

A felted hat from wool I have spun...

February 12, 2013

February 11, 2013

Red Cards

Not necessarily Valentine's Cards, but red nonetheless...

Valentine Sachets

Little somethings filled with handmade heart soap for gifts.

Some kitchen pictures along the way.

We (my husband and I) have lived in our home for about 11 years. I started posting pictures of the kitchen because it's red, not too far from Valentine's Day and it's a place to start. It is also probably the room I least like in the house. Someday I hope to change that, but for now it is what it is. Here's a couple of photos of the kitchen through the years...

When we bought the place...

Before the spice jars....

February 9, 2013

Tea baskets and Pie birds

More from my kitchen, and other ways I store things without cabinet space. This is my tea basket. Nothing so fancy really. The day I made wooden tags for the dry goods I made a bunch for other things around the house.
There's a big ole radiator in the corner by the stove, a good place for some things, my little Russian doll measuring cups, some small canisters, a pie bird and more tatting.