September 9, 2017 · 1:13 pm
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.
July 21, 2017 · 12:00 pm
It’s taken me awhile to go through all my pictures from the 2017 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, but here are my favorite quilts from the show. I didn’t spend as much time there this year as I did the first time I went in 2015, but it was a good show nonetheless.
In case it wasn’t obvious, this is going to be an image-heavy post.
Continue reading →
July 19, 2017 · 1:12 pm
It’s been two months since the last Helix Nebula stitch update. I haven’t finished the second page of the pattern yet, but not for lack of trying.
I’ve also been trying to finish the quilt top for my cat-block quilt. I have to finish it so that I can put the big ironing board away and we can get our living room back.
I have three (of six) rows sewn with sashing. Today I don’t have classes or any pressing homework, so my goal is to finish the rows and (maybe?) start sewing them together.
(Cat-block pattern is from here.)
June 19, 2017 · 6:16 pm
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.
Continue reading →
Filed under 2017, Finished Projects, Sewing, Sewing/Quilts, Tutorials
Tagged as hand sewing, notions, pincushion, sewing, sewing caddy, sewing tools, tutorial
May 24, 2017 · 10:50 am
With just a week left in #30for30crafting, it looks like I am going to meet my goal of finishing the first page of my Helix Nebula cross stitch.
Incidentally, it is nigh impossible to photograph this thing because of how much black is in it. Unless the light is just right, it looks like a big dark blob.
But I’ve only got a few big sections and all those scattered stitches left to go to finish up the first page! At the current rate, I could probably finish the entire thing in less than a year. Even though it’s as large as the X-Files project, because there’s so many different colors and shapes, so it keeps it interesting.
April 26, 2017 · 2:57 pm
Happy Wednesday everyone! I know it’s been a long time since I last did a work-in-progress Wednesday post, but I’ve started a big new project and I’m gearing up for May’s #30for30crafting challenge, so I thought today would be a good day to start posting my WIPs again!
Introducing my latest cross stitch project, the Helix Nebula:
This is just (part) of page one (out of 12).
The finished piece is going to be as big as my X-Files cross stitch, 270 stitches tall and 234 stitches wide on 18 count Aida (that’s 63,180 total stitches). It uses a lot of colors. Not sure exactly how many but this is my box with threads just for the project (and there’s about 6 more that I have out on my worktable and not in the box):
The pattern is self-made, based on this image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX).
As you can see, I’m still working on the outer edges and haven’t made it to the nebula yet. Here’s a close up.
Lots of confetti stitches!
April 7, 2017 · 4:04 pm
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.
March 28, 2017 · 12:00 pm
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.
March 26, 2017 · 6:26 pm
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.
February 24, 2017 · 9:00 am
It’s been far too long since I posted anything for free pattern Friday, but I’m back with a vengeance this week, with the first in a series of resistance-minded cross stitch patterns.
Click here to download the PDF from Craftsy. The pattern download includes both a full-color and a black and white version of the chart.
Although you can download it for free, if you enjoyed this chart, I encourage you to show your appreciation by donating to the American Civil Liberties Union, Border Angels, or the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Keep fighting & keep stitching.