Category Archives: 2017

Finished Project: Fun with Flags

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!

photograph of green, blue, and white flag with eight four-pointed stars arranged in a circle in the center

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).

a close view of four of the stars on the flag

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.

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Filed under 2017, Finished Projects, Sewing

Couchside sewing caddy

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.

A photograph of a sewing caddy with pockets and a pincushion hanging over the arm of a couch. There are pins stuck in the pincushion, and a pair of scissors and pens in the pockets.

a photo of a quilted sewing caddy with a pincushion and pockets. Inside the pockets are embroidery thread, small scissors, and pens.

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.

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Filed under 2017, Finished Projects, Sewing, Sewing/Quilts, Tutorials

Finished Project: Water is Life

Happy Friday everyone, I’m back with another politically-minded embroidery project.

A photo of an embroidery hoop on a green background. The words "water is life" are embroidered in blue and surrounded by concentric circles embroidered in various shades of blue.

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.

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Filed under 2017, Embroidery, Finished Projects

No Ban No Wall Embroidery Hoop

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.

picture of wooden embroidery hoop with embroidered brick pattern and the words "no ban no wall"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.

 

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Filed under 2017, Embroidery, Finished Projects

Kitty Committee Continued: Orange Tabby

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.

a cross stitched hoop showing an orange striped tabby cat

This orange kitty is available in my Etsy shop as a completed hoop and as a DIY pattern.

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Filed under 2017, Cross Stitch, Finished Projects

Finished Project: Everything’s Coming up Milhouse!

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.

milhouse-finished

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.

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Filed under 2017, Cross Stitch, Finished Projects

Finished Project: Snow golem & fire wolf needlefelted bag

snow-golem-whole-better

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!

firepup-detail

snow-golem-detail

I made it into a bag and lined with this cotton Adventure Time print from Joann Fabrics.

lining-fabric

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.

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Filed under 2017, Finished Projects, Needle Felt, Sewing