Sunday, December 12, 2010

More Xmas—

Yesterday afternoon I worked on one of my "neighbor" quilts. Decided that the white white fabric that I had chosen for my checkerboard borders was too white. Brewed up some tea this morning and dunked all 4 borders into the tea bath—voila—the perfect ecru color. I ironed them and they are drying in my sewing room. The black fabric did not run because I had prewashed it as I do with all the fabric I bring into my house. Am reading the Lee Child book. It is a thriller with lots of twists and turns. 

More Ornaments—

I purchased the painted canvas for some of these ornaments probably 25 years ago and stitched them as painted. Then a friend of mine gave me some of hers that she said she would never stitch, and I made these my own. I got out my acrylic paints from Joanne--in the squeeze bottle--and repainted the canvases. This is very easy. You just have to use less paint than you might think. You don't want to clog the canvas holes. In the past I had just glued felt to the backings. A few summers ago, I pulled off the felt and finished these in the proper way under the direction of my friend Edie. Made new beautiful cording and trimmed off the excess canvas. Now they look beautiful. 

I actually cut off most of the background stitching on this little girl with the wreath. Couldn't do that with the teddy bear and cat, etc. I like her with the close-cropped look.

This is the front of an ornament that I probably learned at ANG.

This is the back of the same ornament--interesting way of finishing it! Sorry it is blurry. I just laid it on my daughter's floor to photograph it.

This little pulled thread and shadow work stocking was a class at my EGA guild taught by my friend Joan McAuley. It is a very delicate piece. I lined it with a light green fabric. My biggest error in finishing ornaments is making the hanger too long. I really should go back and fix this on many of my ornaments which have scraggly double knotted hangers. One pair of scissors would do the trick.

Several years ago I tried punch needle "embroidery." I have the word embroidery in quotes because I really do not believe that this is embroidery. It is a fun and very fast technique that uses up floss like crazy which is sometimes good if you have loads of one color or another and want to get rid of it. You need a pattern, the punch needle tool and threaders, fabric that you can purchase at Joannes--weaver's cloth—floss, and a small hoop with a lip that can be tightened very tight. It took more time to put the backing and make the cording than it probably did to punch the ornament.

I saved a copy of the pattern above and made a second in different colors.

This cone was made at an ANG meeting years ago. It is lined in red taffeta. 

This is a Kathy Shenkel (sp?) needlepoint design. Several of us made them as a group. She has them for different states. The red cardinal came with the painted canvas.

I bought the kit for this little sweater at Lizzy Ann's knit shop in Holland, Michigan. She has quite a few different patterns and they are not difficult to knit.

This Santa was a design in probably the ANG magazine several years ago. Fun and fast.

These geometric ornaments are different designs. I think they each were a free pattern from one of the thread manufacturers. Don't overlook free patterns. Sometimes they are terrific.

I made two of these Santa's last year—one for each of my daughters. They were supposed to be stitched on perforated paper—too much work for such a fragile base material. They are about 10" tall on 18 count canvas.

This is a tiny cross stitch design—also a free chart as I recall. Fast and cute.

I'm going to go now and work on my "neighbor" quilts. My tea-dyed checkerboard borders should be dry. It snowed here in the Chicago suburbs this morning, and the wind is now blowing it all around. It's a good day to stay inside and work on my projects. Tonight I'll continue knitting my second shawl. Will take pics soon of the shawls and the quilt.  --Nancy

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