When I’m not doing something with needle and thread, my other hobby is creative writing. Like everybody else it seems, I am writing a novel. It’s set in an alternate universe, which meshes very well with my spouse’s hobby of designing flags. He’s been begging me for a while to make the flag of Arcadia, the country where my book is set, and I finally did it!
The flag is 3 feet tall by 5.5 feet wide (about .9 by 1.7 meters) and made entirely of nylon. The stars are appliqued onto the background fabric (a tutorial on that is coming later).
I must say that working with nylon is a pain in the butt. I couldn’t cut a good straight line with a rotary cutter, both because of the size of the pieces and because this fabric frays when you just look at it. I read a lot of different opinions on how to cut synthetic fabrics, and ultimately went with using a soldering iron. It melts through the fabric, so you get a clean, finished edge. You need a heat-proof cutting surface and rulers for this to work. I cut it on a concrete garage floor with a metal yardstick. Ventilation is also extremely important, because it smells as good as you would imagine melting, burning plastic to smell.
The sewing was also a challenge, because the fabric is very slippery and won’t hold a crease. Pinning was right out, so I ended up gluing each seam down with a washable glue stick before sewing (but you have to let it dry, or else explain to the sewing machine repair shop why there are blobs of glue inside your sewing machine).
I didn’t want to spring for a grommet setting device, so right now there isn’t a way to hang it from a flagpole. I just hung it on the wall behind my sewing table with some binder clips.
I put a lot of pins and needles in our couch’s armrest, and it doesn’t seem fair to the poor thing. We do celebrate its birthday, after all, and it is just rude to be poking it all the time. So I made a little pincushion and sewing caddy to keep all my sewing and cross stitching supplies in one place, and out of the cushions.
I roughly followed this tutorial that I found on a blog called During Quiet Time, with some extra inspiration from Poppyprint’s rendition of this armrest pincushion.
The thing I like most about this is the big pocket for holding bags of embroidery floss while I cross stitch. No more will they be strewn all over the table next to the couch!
Pictures of the work in progress, and notes on what I changed from the original tutorial, are under the cut.
Happy Friday everyone, I’m back with another politically-minded embroidery project.
This one is done with three strands of floss in different shades of blue on what I think is cotton (it’s a random fabric from my stash). I intended the concentric circles to represent ripples on the surface of water. I also learned that I can’t freehand draw very even circles.
The finished hoop is available for purchase in my Etsy store. If you like this project, consider donating to Earthworks or Charity:Water, which both work to provide clean and safe drinking water to people throughout the world.
Following up on my No Ban No Wall cross stitch pattern from a while back, I decided to get back into freeform embroidery and make something similar. I stitched this on some loose-woven linen from my fabric stash with cotton embroidery floss.
There’s nothing quite like stabbing something a bunch of times to sublimate rage at the state of the world. I stitched this in late February, mostly while watching old (pre-election) episodes of Last Week Tonight. Who knew I would have nostalgia for the summer of 2016?
This completed hoop is available in my Etsy shop.
I finished another installment in my Kitty Committee series: the orange tabby. I’m not quite as happy with the colors on the orange tabby as I was with the other kitties, but it’s still pretty cute.
This orange kitty is available in my Etsy shop as a completed hoop and as a DIY pattern.
Second finished project of the year! This one has been on my to-do list probably 100 times longer than it actually took to complete it.
It’s Milhouse! I framed him up in a 5 by 9 inch wooden hoop painted gold. The pattern is self-made and available on Craftsy. The finished hoop itself is destined to be a gift.
Here it is, my first finished project of 2017 — and it certainly took me long enough! I made it my New Year’s resolution to finish this Adventure Time inspired needle felting project. All I had to do was felt the fire pup; I kept putting it off because I was intimidated by how small he is. And yet, it turned out great!
I made it into a bag and lined with this cotton Adventure Time print from Joann Fabrics.
It’s just the right size for a couple of books or to hold sewing projects, except I don’t really want to use it in case it gets dirty. My husband wants to frame it, but if we put it behind glass, he couldn’t pet the soft felting all the time.
In other news, summer can’t come soon enough, because when the sun barely gets 23 degrees into the sky and it’s always overcast or actively raining, it is impossible to take decent pictures — even if you turn on every single light in the apartment.
Last year when my dad visited us for Chanukah, we used a piece of cardboard under the menorah to protect the table from wax drips. This year, I thought maybe we could be a little classier and use something nicer than diverted recycling, so I made this star of David mini quilt to put under the menorah.
This was my first attempt at paper piecing, which I had read a lot about and still only vaguely understood. The pattern is from Leisure Arts’ 1,000 Any-Size Quilt Blocks, which gives a brief tutorial on how to paper piece, but I think it’s really a technique that needs to be done to be understood. The 60 degree angles were a little hard to wrap my head around at first, but once you figure it out, paper piecing is great. I love the tidy seams and matching points on the triangles.
I made the mini quilt with Modern Background Paper & Ink Collections from Fresh Modern Fabrics on Etsy for the star, and Robert Kaufman Blueprint Basics #14539 in Indigo for the background & backing.
And here it is in action, with fancy beeswax candles from Big Dipper Waxworks (I’m really excited about these).
Chag sameach (happy holiday), everyone!
I finished these hoops ages ago but never posted them, and that is a crying shame because look at how adorable these little kitties are!
These peeping kitten hoops are just 4 inches wide. My favorite is the calico, it just turned out so well (and I love calico cats in cat-form, too). They are quick to stitch, too, because they are so small.
The patterns & the finished hoops are available at the PDXstitch Etsy store.
In anticipation of holiday-related social calls (read: people coming to our apartment), I’ve been cleaning up around the place. Last night I went through the big bookcase, finding treasures (and plenty of junk). Among the treasures: a tiny dried out gingko leaf, and these embroidered notecards I made back in 2012 or 2013.
I completely forgot that I made these until I found them in a paper bag tucked inside a book. I’d already done the hard part of embroidering through the paper; each card just needed a piece of cardstock glued on the inside to hide the messy backs of the stitches. I took care of that and now they’re ready to go!
Each card is about 4 by 6 inches, typical notecard size. The elephants, tortoise, and single sloth are my own design; the sloth with baby is a free pattern from Wild Olive.
Hooray for cleaning up!