Progress On the Pillowcase

Pillow Flower Basket 06Today I am sharing the progress on the new pillowcase of the flower basket with a blue ribbon. In my last post about this guy, we had just finished with the majority of the satin stitching on the blossoms. The basket line work and the blue ribbon are also complete. Beginning with the right side and working to the left, the vines and leaves have only just begun.

Pillow Flower Basket 07Satin Stitch

You can see up close here, how the satin stitching is beginning to work together. If you have problems with your hand satin stitching check this site out. It is kind of exciting to see how the satin stitch works, isn’t it? Sometimes, I haven’t done a stitch for a while and I get lost. When that happens, I just look it up on the world-wide-web. It is amazing how many high-quality little lessons are available to learn better techniques.

Pillow Flower Basket 08 Details

Progress is made on this as more detailed work gets done. Gradually, it becomes easier to see flowers as they come to life.  The Flower stamens, then outlining begins on the flower petals. I am actually using some really different outlines to see what it would look like. For example, see the maroon blossoms outlined with pale yellow. Hmmm.Pillow Flower Basket 09 In all honesty, there are so many shapes in this pattern that it is a little confusing at times. Am I stitching on a leaf or a vine?Pillow Flower Basket 10 Now, you can see that as more and more of the objects are filled with color it then gets easier to differentiate between a leaf and vine.

My plan of attack from here will be to work on outlining and details. Little touches here and there will get it to look exactly the way I want it to. Zing! a pillow full of love, to lay your head on and sleep.

New Pillow Case

Pillow Flower Basket 01Embroidering a new pillow case in the evenings. It is a “Flower Basket” pattern from one of my many iron-on patterns purchased over the years from (Aunt Martha’s). I love the way this one has a little ribbon tied to the basket handle.

Pillow Flower Basket 01Really, I don’t know what kind of flower is portrayed in this design. Not taking the time to research it, I am using any color that I feel like for the flowers. If you do know what kind of flower this is, please let me know. In the flower petals, there will be lots and lots of satin stitches happening.

Pillow Flower Basket 03Now, you can see some of the gold flowers have the stamen (anther & filament) done in black lines and french knots, coming out of the middle of the flower.

Pillow Flower Basket 05I am using all kinds of different greens on the leaves and vines and a good mixture of reds, yellows, and pinks on all the flowers. This is the most enjoyable way for me to paint with thread, just do whatever I feel like. How about pink? Nah, Yellow-orange, yeah that fits right here.

Pillow Flower Basket 06You can see that the ribbon is one of my favorite blues, I have a lot of shirts in this color. We all know it takes some time to finish one of these pillowcases. But, embroidery is a lot of fun for my hands in the evening. A repetitious movement calms me as I take one stitch after the other. I almost can feel the presence of my Mom, Grandma, and Great Grandma in the room sometimes. We enjoyed sitting in the living room doing our crafts together and visiting as we listened to music.

Completed Wedding Arch

Wedding Arch 14Peter completed the wedding arch frame this morning. It is sitting out on the deck being tested by light breezes in this picture. It has passed the tests we could think of to test how well it will stand in place. It definitely will NOT BE OKAY to have kids climbing on.

K A P U!

Should be easy to setup and take down. Yay!

Wedding Arch 13We put it together here so if it had any problems we could correct them here and now instead at the wedding venue.

Isn’t it amazing what parents will do to make their children feel special? Love and family are truly the most important parts of life, aren’t they? Special days for special people.

Macrame Office With a View

Wedding Arch 10 Here is my macrame office with a view. See how the branch wood is hung on the window curtain rod using a motorcycle tie-down strap on each end? These work out great for letting me easily raise it up as things progress.

Wedding Arch 11After attaching the cords, the longer ones on both sides have to be wound around my fist and then rubber-banded to make them manageable. The shorter lengths in the middle, are able to remain full length without causing any hardship as I do the knots. The knot-tying begins and there are many times that I asked myself that silly question. “What was I thinking?”

Wedding Arch 12Over a period of 20 days, a custom macrame wedding arch is completed. Wishes for true love for our children crossed this Mother’s mind during the creation of this wedding arch gift.

Macrame Necessities

There are a few macrame necessities that people don’t often think of, like tape and rubber bands. A really time-consuming but absolutely necessary step is shown here, where the tape is needed.

Wedding Arch 08Wrapping tape around each rope end will stop it from fraying as I tie the knots. You can end up with a real mess and many tangles if you skip over this step.Wedding Arch 07As the ends are secured the different lengths of rope are stored.

Wedding Arch 09With the ends all taped, the ropes await being started on the branch.

Knotty Supplies

Other knotty supplies are needed. Besides the rope, an appropriate natural stick is needed to tie all the cords to at the very start.  Specifically a wooden curtain rod. Luckily, we are well stocked with forest-type products outdoors here in Elk WA. Wedding Arch 04Having an expert in forestry is always handy too. Peter, finds a perfect dead limb and cuts it to the right length for me. Wedding Arch 06Wedding Arch 05Thank goodness for the handiest man in the world. Not only is he capable of finding just what we need, but he also gets it ready without even using electricity. A green deal magician accustomed to using his common sense and old-fashioned hand tools. Move over Biden. I really scored with this keeper dude. Love him!

Tying the Knot

Tying the knot, literally, is what started this next project. Our daughter is getting married and she asked for a macrame wedding arch curtain for their ceremony. It has been decades since I did any macrame so I was a little nervous about taking on a large project like this.

1,200 linear feet of cord is needed for her wedding arch. Initially, we went into shock at the craft store when we discovered how high the price is for “macrame” cords. An average of $40 for 150 ft which works out to about .27 per lineal foot or a whopping $324. Whew! We ordered a simple “shipping rope” from Uline.com for approximately .065 per foot or $78 instead.Wedding Arch 02 I bet that no one will ever guess that we did not use a macrame cord from the craft store. Besides, if they do notice I would wonder if they really had a life.Wedding Arch 01

You can see my plan drawing and record of cord lengths as we pull out 23-foot long and 13-foot long cords for this project. There are two sides 2×7 and the middle 2×4 with an outlined heart shape at the center of the arch.Wedding Arch 03 See how the rope stretches across the dining room and kitchen on the floor as we measure it out. It takes lots of cord, space, patience, and lots of persistence to begin this large a macrame.

Finish This Pillowcase

Pillow 3 HummingBirds 10Here are the gradual steps that are taken to finish this pillowcase with 3 hummingbird iron-on patterns. Three different arrangements of birds, flowers, and foliage across this single bed linen.

On the left side is the close-up of the side view of a hummingbird hovering over a satin-stitched orange/yellow blossom on the pillowcase. I start off stitching him by using green threads on his main body with some white area around random short stitches which makes a cool feathery pattern.
Pillow 3 HummingBirds 03

I add horizontal feather stitches on the wings and tail in a deep purple. Then add random red stitching for his head cap area. Black lines emphasize the underside of his body shape, his beak and eye, and the individual feathers. Then turquoise blue is used to outline his upper body shape and wing tops. This hummingbird flying toward us is showing his underside to us with flowers behind. His wings and tail feathers begin in blue stitching.Pillow 3 HummingBirds 06 He is satin stitched in greens on his body and the wing tops along with a light amount of yellow highlight. His chest is a brilliant yellow and the underside of his throat is left white. Dark royal blue is used to outline the feathers on his outstretched wings.Pillow 3 HummingBirds 07

The third guy is a side view hummer sticking his beak into some pink and orange honeysuckle blossoms. His body is done in dark green with a small under-the-neck area of red. his wings are done in medium green with light green tops. Black is outlining his body shape and between his wing feathers. This has been a fun project for early spring as I wait for the real hummingbirds to arrive.

Pillow 3 HummingBirds 09

Pillow 3 Hummers Begin

Pillow 3 HummingBirds 01This pillow has 3 hummers (hummingbirds) on it from iron-on patterns (Aunt Martha’s). These are three different arrangements of birds, flowers, and foliage. I have forgotten to get a picture of the patterns before I started stitching, but here it is with just the foliage done and the birds not so much. A closeup of the side view of a hummingbird hovering over an orange/yellow blossom is on the left side of the pillowcase.

Pillow 3 HummingBirds 02Close up of a humming flying toward us showing his underside is in the middle with some maroon and purple/pink petal flowers in the background. I have only started to stitch the underside of this bird’s wings and tail feathers in blues.Pillow 3 HummingBirds 06

The third is a close-up side view again of the hummer on the right who is sticking his beak into some pink and orange honeysuckle blossoms.Pillow 3 HummingBirds 08

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Buyer Beware

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Lots of fun, NOT!

Tatting by Dilly

Dilly Great GrandmaTatting by Dilly is what this post is about. My Great Grandma was half Scottish and half Indian and her name was Sedilla but everyone called her, “Dilly”. While I was growing up, we would sit around doing needlework. She did Scottish tatting, Grandma and I did embroidery, and my Mom did crocheting. Dilly is pictured in the back center row above in the early 1900s. From left to right are her sister (Beulah), her Mom (Pernetta), and her sister (Bernice) in the front row.

Dilly Tatting 01tatting-tat·​ting – a delicate handmade lace formed usually by looping and knotting with a single cotton thread and a small shuttle.

Dilly Tatting 02I should have paid better attention because as I look at this piece that she did, I have no idea about how it was actually done. I remember her sitting in her chair with a white cloth on her lap stitching away. She would finish a piece and then my Mom would sometimes crochet an edge around it she wanted it.

Dilly Tatting 03The material is that cotton that was loosely woven, maybe flour sacks, so I wonder if she clipped openings to stitch lace into the middle or did she pull threads into groups to make the lace? Her hand stitching around the edges is so totally even and I know that it was all done by hand.

Dilly Tatting 04The patterns in the center are amazing with the details so beautifully finished.

Dilly Tatting 05Very steady hands, and so much patience, she loved to chat and stitch with her beautiful white hair.

Sedilla 1960s

Pillowcase Two H Birds

Pillowcase Humming Bird Two 01Just finished embroidering a white Pillowcase Two H Birds. Usually, I draw my own pattern but these two hummingbirds are from an iron-on pattern by Aunt Martha’s Transfer iron-on patterns.

Pillowcase Humming Bird Two 02Here is the pillowcase all washed, ironed, and folded on the dining room table. I really took the easy way out on this, with the pattern and also failing to take pictures as the project gradually progressed. You’ll have to use your imagination.

Pillowcase Humming Bird Two 03This hummer on the left side has his beak inserted into the middle flower on the vine where I went with orange or pink petals with a dark maroon center. I used some unusual colors to show his feathers underneath his body in purple. His wings match some of the vine greens with the addition of turquoise in his flying feathers.

Pillowcase Humming Bird Two 04This hummingbird on the right started out as a basic green feathered dude. I added dark blue for shadows then a red under his neck, adding the black outline and feathers for his beak, feathers, and eye outline. Finally, I put some random golden brown scattered across his whole body. I like the way that the flecks of golden brown kind of make it look like his body is shimmering. I think I will use this process in satin stitching in the future again. His flowers utilize the same color as the bird on the left but there is only one blossom on this side.

Cutwork Flower Tablecloth

Cutwork Flower Table 13This Cutwork Flower Tablecloth was a discovery at a garage sale. It was sitting on a table full of miscellaneous craft materials. When I unfolded it, there were stains all over it. Would I be able to get them out? I could smell cigarette smoke and the stains were brown. The lady offered it to me for $2 so I thought, what the heck, why not.

I always keep my eyes open at garage sales and thrift stores for treasures!

When I got home I put it in the washing machine and let it sit overnight soaking in “Oxy 10”, then washed it in the morning and it came out sparkling clean.

Cutwork Flower Table 03You can see that it was machine stitched (embroidered) in a simple flower pattern with leaves between the blossoms. I have already added a darker pink outline to the interior of the petals of this flower. The edge of the cloth and some of the areas between the leaves are cut out and edges are reinforced with stitching. This is called, “Cutwork“, and here is a good definition of it if you are interested, this style of working makes a wonderfully interesting edge. BTW, I did not know the proper term to call it so I had to look it up myself for this article.

Cutwork Flower Table 04However, the machine stitching is just boring, so, I intend to “spiff it up” with some bright lines and satin stitching until I can say I love it. See the blue flower on the left where the original machine stitching pattern makes you feel like yawning? On the right is a yellow blossom that has had orange outlines added to the yellow blossom petals and red french knots added to the center. Okay, now we have some pizzazz going, and we are on a roll.

Cutwork Flower Table 07I added embellishment all around the edge and then thought that the center of the tablecloth needed something more than the two little sets of a pair of pink blossoms. So I added some vines, and daisy’s in many colors. Yep, yep, yep.

Cutwork Flower Table 05This idea spread to the corners and sides until I had all kinds of flowers and plants around the entire border of the tablecloth.  That is what happens when you go weed in the garden and all of the flowers are blooming.

Cutwork Flower Table 10Okay, a bit excessive but it was so much fun. It is a colorful addition to our tablecloth family.

Mary Did Splendid Crochet

crochet tablecloth 01This round tablecloth is my Mom’s favorite color. Whenever I see this beautiful blue, I remember her. Mom, MaryMy Mom, Mary did splendid crochet work. She did a lot of crochet using small needles with thin cotton thread as I was growing up. She also made afghans, sweaters, and other things out of regular yarn.crochet tablecloth 03 Her hands were busy in the evenings. Mom made tablecloths, table runners, pillowcase lace, and doilies. Here are some of the tablecloths that I still have that she made. This one is made with off-white thread, it has a star pattern in the middle with netting going out to the lacey edge.crochet tablecloth 05 This tablecloth is done using white cotton thread with a flower-type pattern in the middle, with a small row of netting and then a thick lacey pattern at the outer edge. The outer edge lace is almost like a ruffle.

I shared previously about how we all learned how to do needlework in my family in a post of 8/2018. Wow, that is a while ago, isn’t it? I hadn’t realized how long I have been writing in this blog. Whew.

Rose & Flower Tablecloth

Rose Flower Tablecloth 4First Tablecloth

This was the first Rose & Flower Tablecloth I embroidered. It was a Christmas present from Grandma in high school. She had taught me how to embroider on pillows, towels, and table runners before this project. It was a graduation present in the real world of embroidery for me. We still use this cloth on special occasions and I love the colorful array of flowers in the pattern. It is a “Rose and Daisy” Bucilla tablecloth kit.

Rose Flower Tablecloth 3 You can see a row of flowers in a circular-shaped arrangement down the middle of the tablecloth that is bordered by curvy rows of daisies along each side. Each corner has the same rose that goes down the center. Spaced on the edges are a few rose buds with daisies. This took me a full year to finish, and there were many times when I thought I would never get it done. Doing a project like this teaches so much patience and perseverance. Believe me, it is quite an accomplishment to be able to finish this.

Rose Flower Tablecloth 1The more open rose bloom is a beautiful line drawing and the change in color from the darker red interior to the pink exterior is just classic. The leaves are expressive among the scattered daisies all around it. One of the difficult things to figure out was how to do the thorns on the rose stem. If the point is not done right, they curve instead of coming to a good point. Do you notice how many times the color of the embroidery floss changes?

Rose Flower Tablecloth 2Here is the smaller budding rose and daisy arrangement that is spaced along the side edges. It was great to have a smaller area every once in a while. Whew. The stitches used in this one are outline, line, lazy daisy and french knots in many, many, many colors.

Rose Flower Tablecloth 5

 

Brown & White Tablecloth

Brown White Table Cloth 05This is a simple brown & white tablecloth with off-white embroidery to embellish the edge and corners. The reason I chose this kit was, that I had just completed a tablecloth that had many different colored flosses throughout. I thought having only a single color would simplify and speed things up. I would not be stopping to change colors all the time. Ha, ha.

Brown White Table Cloth 01You can see that this table spread does only have embroidery on the edges and at each corner so the center of the table is plain. Consequently, I select this cloth whenever I want the food to be the star on a table or if I have a decorative doily or runner in the middle.

Brown White Table Cloth 04What I failed to take into account was the complex type of stitches utilized in this particular pattern. There is a lot of satin stitch and curvey outline along with mucho chain stitch. The most difficult stitch for me on this tablecloth was the “fishnet”. The fishnet starts with laying down thread then tacking it down at all of the intersecting points. It is a bit tricky and took a while for me to get comfortable with it.

Brown White Table Cloth 02All the edges of the tablecloth have a border of flower blossoms on curved stems with two leaves. The corners have a larger blossom arrangement with seven different shapes. Each blossom has 3 petals and a base filled with solid satin stitch. There are two lower petals in fishnet and outline stitches. There are 3 french knots inside of each flower. The curved stems connecting the flowers are done with a chain stitch. There are two leaves on the stem, one combines the fishnet with satin stitch, and the other is all satin stitch.

Embroidery Guides

There are many free embroidery guides on the internet if you search. I look them up whenever I find myself wondering about how to do a specific unfamiliar stitch. Two of the most complete and clear articles I have found recently are below.

Better Homes and Gardens

Good diagrams. Backstitch, Outline stitch, Blanket stitch, Chain stitch, Circular Couching stitch, Cross-stitch, Fly-stitch, French Knot, Lazy Daisy stitch, Offset Backstitch, Crossed Straight stitch, Pinwheel stitch, Running stitch, Satin stitch, Split stitch, Star stitch, Stem stitch, Straight stitch, Whipstitch. Seed stitch.

Baby Blanket 05

Our baby blanket is full of entertaining characters. We have done quite a few, but let’s not forget all the numbers. The numbers count. Haha.

By the way, I discovered that the spelling of the baby’s name was incorrect. Thank goodness for family texts that showed up with her name spelled differently. I had to rip out the embroidery and redo two of the letters. Luckily, this was just before getting ready to finish stitching the binding around the edges and quilting it on the sewing machine. Here is the initial layout design where I spelled her name Liera.

LA Baby Blanket name 02LA Baby Blanket name 03It fit with the letters between the leaves and vine.

LA Baby Blanket name 04Here it is redone with the “i” and “e” changed around. Whew.

Baby Blanket 03

The baby blanket embroidered characters start with a ladybug and ends with a lucky shamrock to fill this blog page.

LA Baby Blanket LadybugL is for ladybug,

LA Baby Blanket Lizardlizard,

LA Baby Blanket MoonM is for moon,

LA Baby Blanket OctagonO is for octagon,

LA Baby Blanket Octopusoctopus, orchid (already shown on the previous page),

LA Baby Blanket PuppyP is for puppy,

LA Baby Blanket RectangleR is for rectangle,

LA Baby Blanket ShamrockS is for shamrock,

You may have noticed that the red checker binding on the blanket was covering part of the shamrock image. Darn. When I quilted the backing onto the sheet I discovered that the backing wasn’t as long as the embroidered sheet. Ooops.

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Baby Blanket 02

The most enjoyable part of making a baby blanket for me is to draw the creatures, you know, the alphabet suggestion images for learning to read. I came real close to getting the majority of the alphabet on the blanket when I was done. Only missing 7 of the letters –  E, G, J, N, Q, V, X, and Z. Maybe I should plan better the next time to get all the letters in. Forethought and planning. Hmmm.
LA Baby Blanket Fish

F is for fish, LA Baby Blanket Flamingo

flamingo, LA Baby Blanket Frogand frog,

LA Baby Blanket HandH is for hand,

LA Baby Blanket Heartheart,

LA Baby Blanket Horse

horse, LA Baby Blanket HumBird Orchid hummingbird, (and orchid above it)
LA Baby Blanket Ice Cream ConeI is for ice cream,

LA Baby Blanket KittenK is for kitten,

The characters continue on till the blanket is full of fun things to point at and talk about.

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