Thursday, April 27, 2023

Old Embroidery Pattern on New Bag

I am still planning on getting back to my scrap bag pattern but haven't settled which stitch to use for the strap, so that is yet to come .. in the meantime I am working on some cloth drawstring bags.

I ran out of the ribbon I use for the drawstrings, but had a dozen more already cut out... so....

 While waiting for the next trip to town to get more, I added some embroidery to a couple of the bags using floss I had from cross stitch kits I did years ago, lots of different colors but typically not a lot of each one.. perfect for small projects.. and keeps with the theme of using scraps

Looking for some inspiration on Pinterest I came across a funky little bird image that I had also seen in an Etsy shop. 

I was so tempted to get it from the shop, but was having issues with the download I already purchased......  a copy of a embroidery book dating back to the 1880's....

I couldn't open the PDF, turns out it was a link to a site to download it there, instead of the book. I didn't find this out until trying to download it on my phone hours later.. my PC just wouldn't open it

 I tried contacting them but didn't get a reply for over 12 hours ( they are overseas from me ), when the seller replied, I was given another link to download it that my PC was cool with.. no more issues with it.. but this gave me the time to go looking on Pinterest in the first place

 When I found the image of the funky bird on Pinterest it had a link to free internet archive site ( donations are welcome ).. link is at the bottom of this post... they are saving copies of books that would be lost for the most part..

I downloaded this book while waiting and a few others by Briggs & Co. this one is dated 1917... COOL

 So in keeping with using scraps.. I grabbed a small piece of scrap fabric ( from the drawstring bags as it was on top of the pile lol ) and some scrap thread, the kind friendship bracelets are made of... in small hanks like embroidery floss but thick like crochet thread ... I had left over from market days ( made them to hand out to kids ) matched up pretty well... 

 the ribbon is some that was gifted to me, that was some of their scraps and is clearly well over 20 years old, seemed fitting .. 

I used a B 2.25mm hook, standard increase of adding one extra stitch per repeat per round starting with six stitches in the round, until I reached 8 stitches in between increases,

 then just continued with straight single crochet ( US terms )  until I reached a size I liked, working in a spiral .. 

the ribbon is thin so I just did a round of double crochets after a slip stitch to even out the round..

 topped it with a couple of rounds single crochets, used a yarn needle to weave the ribbon through... 

with the color changes of the thread I used a simple knot, a few of inches from the end of the thread, leaving a good two inch tail of both threads,

 I simply worked over both for a bit, keeping my tension on the tight side so it would blend in better.. snipped the ends off close to the stitch after a tug to pull smooth, giving me only the start and finishing tail to weave in.. 

I just did a simple stitch to attach the embroidered fabric to the bag after a rough round cut, keeping it wide spread and uneven.. no fussy cutting or interfacing.. 

I want a bit of fraying to happen as it ages .. the stitches are deep enough to keep it from affecting the embroidery .. oh I did use embroidery floss to stitch it down.. one strand was used throughout. used a back stitch for the inside feather lines and the outline wrapping the outline.. head I did a single wrap french knot..the eye, feet and branch were done with a satin stitch 

as you can see from the photo taken off of Pinterest, I did change it up a little, a few less feather lines due to size and well because I don't normally like coping anything exactly .. even from pattern books.. got to put your own flare on your work 


check out those other birds... that owl.. sweet ..

side note.. while I was getting a photo of this bag and the drawstring bags I embroidered, one of which I did a "sketch like" black bird ( see photo below ) .. this guy shows up right outside of my window sitting in the same pose..

this photo is before ribbon was added, did get some finally but as yet to take a photo


Link to embroidery book download  

Monday, April 17, 2023

My take on chill pills

I was asked if I could make a chill pill by a friend.. I hadn't seen any up to that point but knew right away how I wanted to make mine.. quick and simple... what a fun idea to use up some scrap yarn.. so I set down my embroidery and and made a few ..

I have since seen some really cute ones, some with little faces, but much bigger than what came out with, so if you're looking for a bigger one do a quick online search, there seems to be quite a few out there..
They can be made with just about any size yarn and coordinating hook.. most of my scrap yarn is worsted weight so that's what I went with.. I had started with blue and white but the blue came up a bit short so I grabbed the next larger ball in a solid color, pretty sure it's mulberry by Red heart.. mix and match all your scraps


10 yards approximately of worsted weight yarn for both colors

G / 4.0 mm hook

yarn needle

exact gauge is not essential to this project

worked in a spiral so don't join throughout 

written in American terms

ch = chain 

dec = decrease, I use a invisible decrease described below with photos however you can use any decrease you like

inc = increase, two stitches in indicated stitch

sc = single crochet

sts = stitches

* * = repeat instructions between as many times as indicated

1 ) ch2, sc 6 times into the first st to form a circle ....( you can use a magic circle or any other startup for circles that you prefer) place a marker for easy   round counting, moving it along as you go

2 ) inc in each stitch ( 12 stitches )
3 ) *inc, sc1* repeat to end of round ( 18 stitches )

4-10) sc all stitches .. I tried making some with 8 rounds of sc but personally I think the slightly smaller one looks better..
after you reach the last sc,  stitch slip stitch into the next stitch, cut yarn and fasten off .. keep yarn tails on the inside, no need to weave in these
11-17 ) Picking up the next color put a slip knot on your hook, place your hook through the stitch three stitches before your last stitch, this will be the new starting point of each round so place a stitch marker in this stitch when the stitch is completed

                                              yarn over and pull up a loop,

yarn over and pull through both loops on your hook to complete the stitch
sc until you get to the slip stitch of the previous round,sc in the top of that stitch
  being careful not to single crochet in the bottom of that stitch but going to the next stitch, for beginners it can be a bit harder to spot and easy to add an extra stitch here, sc as normal for the rest of the rounds

This round starts the two decrease rounds
18 ) *dec, sc1* to end of round ( 12 sts ) see below explanation of  dec
I use a invisible decrease, do this by sliding your hook through the first loop only of the next stitch then repeat with the following stitch without doing a yarn over for either,

then yarn over and pull the loop through both loops on your hook
Yarn over and pull through both loops on hook decrease completed

After the first decrease round add your stuffing
19 ) dec to end of round, cut yarn leaving about 6 inches, fasten off, place yarn tail on yarn needle,

weave with through front loop of each stitch, pull snug 

Take your needle down through the center of the stitches you just pulled tight and pop out the side, go back in ( keeping to the same color as tail ) and pop out again on the other side, cut yarn close to the side of chill pill

I did a quick back stitch in contrasting color to spell out chill

That it your done

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Cap repair

A few months ago my son's favorite cap started to fray around the brim/bill..
 I got some bias tape and was going to stitch it on when I realized the brim was made out of heavy duty plastic.. 
so I used some mod podge instead...

 Worked out so well I did my husband's favorite cap as next.. they have been holding up really good.. washing them by hand now but still looks good..
Went over by my dad's place and saw one of his favorite caps that he had just washed looking rough.. he was delighted to hear I could fix it as mom had been telling him to toss it.. he wasn't about to lol 

The bias tape was what was left over from fixing my son's darker tan cap but Dad was happy to go with a slightly darker color if it meant I didn't have to buy anything extra

First I trimmed off all of the frayed edges

I folded the bias tape in half after measuring it to make sure it would go around the brim/bill.. with a little extra to spare as it tightens up a bit
I just finger pressed it.. I got tape that was fairly wide so I could fold it in half making it thicker and hopefully more durable

The mod podge is kind of hard to see in this photo but I applied a even layer with a small craft paintbrush...
 apply the mod podge to the bias tape only on the layer that would touch the brim/bill ... using sewing/craft clips as I went, a couple of inches at a time so it wouldn't dry out before. I used just enough mod podge to cover it evenly, it will soak through to the top layer when clipping it down as I found out with the last two.. but I didn't want it too saturated as it changes the look. 

I placed the clips touching each other to make sure there's a good secure hold all the way across 

I removed the clips after a couple of hours and let it dry over night  

Good to go .. a little less going to the landfill and they are happy to be able to keep their favorite caps 

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Dollar Store Sequins

Look what I found at our local dollar tree.. 

Sheets of sequins.. after a little time with a seam ripper 

I got quite a few off of every sheet.. most were very easy to remove.. one gave me a little bit of trouble but then I realized it was because the rows were so much closer together.. at least a third more on that sheet.. worth the extra effort

I also found a set of ears that looked like they would make a fun photo with our doggie...  Plus a different color of sequins .. sweet

There are a good amount on each set.. the next time I went shopping there they had a pink set so I grabbed one of those as well but forgot to take a photo 

They also have cup sequins 

 It would be nice if they carried flat in packets as well.. although I have been using the harvesting process as a mindless activity.. mostly in the morning with a cup of coffee, I see it as a relaxing thing to do.. and love the fact that I am getting them at a lower cost than I could get they online for.. 

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Raven brooch

I finally got the finishing touches done..

This is actually a fairly large piece.. almost 6 inches from top of head to tip of tail...

I needed to order larger pin findings as well as sequins for the trim along the edges before I could finish it.. 

 back to the beginning.. 

I have been wanting to do a raven applique for some time now
 however it is going to be large as it will have outstretched wings .. planning on putting it on a bag/purse so about 10 inches wide..

I wasn't sure what medium I wanted to use... so many ideas floating around in my head.. Pinterest doesn't help limit the choices one little bit by the way.. 

Should I stick with beads.. do just fabric layered with yarn embellishments,
 or should I try sequins... 
or a mix of all...
before I really could decide I wanted to see what each style would look like and the amount of work involved in each.. the sequins are the only ones left to see what would look like as I haven't played with them much..
so I decided to do a practice piece.. 

I started with two layers of tulle netting in an embroidery loom..
 I didn't want to use my normal beading foundation Pellon 70, as I was fairly sure the background would show through in some areas and didn't want to bother painting it.. during the summer when I can easily air out the smell that would be easy enough.. with below freezing temps not happening..
 so I went with a regular piece of felt although it was on a thicker side it was definitely not going to be enough.. I was careful about stitching as to not overtask the felt.. going around the tulle strands to add strength to them..

For the image I checked a few sites that offer free cut outs.. didn't find what I wanted..
I ended up kind of piecing together some of my favorite parts, but I wasn't happy with the feet

 throughout the piece I changed the shape as I added to it fine tuning to what I wanted, my drawing skills are very limited..
 I actually removed the foot and reattached it in a placement that I liked better ..  but still needed adjustment as I went along 

I try to keep waste to a minimum so I use every bit of space I can normally.. I realized that it would be a real test of patience.. something of which I normally do not possess 
especially with my crafting so I limited how many pieces I put on the loom.. 
I could have easily added a couple of smaller pieces but it was really testing my limits as it was LOL

I wanted a higher textured look, I do like some very structured pieces but not for this one.. so I went with uneven beads again .. 
Around here we don't have many local choices in crafting supplies.. 

Our only locally owned bead shop doesn't carry truly uneven beads, they do have a really nice selection of Czech beads so you can find a couple of uneven ones, at least that's what I think they are.. they self package them so not 100% sure, never stopped to ask as I am very happy with them no matter where they are from plus it's a dangerous place for me to go I get lost in there I keep forgetting to ask lol .. beautiful shop so many gorgeous beads in such a tiny area..
Our JoAnn's is on the small side, the beading section is limited as well as the sequins.. still one of my favorite places to shop..
Walmart has really cut back on crafting supplies over the last few years but did have the felt I wanted..
At hobby lobby they do have a reasonable selection of beads.. they have large containers of uneven seed beads at a good price as well as sequins in black with multiple sizes..

I forgot to take a photo of the sequins before opening the package.. so this is a screen shot of them off of their web page.. really a good deal, too bad they only have one color in the multi-sized packages however it did work out for me this time..

 I did use all three sizes plus another size I got from JoAnn's 

Backside after finally getting it off of the embroidery loom,

 Side note.... I had made a soft "fabric" toy using small safety eyes for a give away but my puppy desperately needed to have it... so I removed the eye and replaced it with a small amount of embroidery floss..
 I saved the eyes.. had no clue what I was going to use it for, as once it was removed it was no longer going to be a safety eye.. in the sense that it wasn't ever going to hold as tight again.. at least not without glue.. 
I decided that it would be a perfect eye for this raven as it wasn't going to be a toy possibly given to a child so no worries.. 
I had used a thinner beading material so adding extra backing to hide the back of the safety eye with the now trimmed off post wouldn't make it too thick..

I still wasn't happy with the feet..... This is after replacement 

So when I added the center layer of felt I adjusted them a bit more while gluing leaving the back uncut.. 

I did add extra backing behind the eye after that as well 
to glue I used mod podge matte at this stage.. I wanted the extra stiffness it adds especially with the thinner beading material used.. it is still slightly flexible but a nice firmness

I went with a vinyl backing that is on the thinner side, it has a mesh backing for strength 
I'm pretty sure I got it at Walmart.. awhile back

  while gluing I realized the the backing was holding but not the vinyl in some places, so I finished it off with a white crafting glue where I could reach without damaging it

this time while it set I added a layer of tissue,  folded a few times for thickness,  between the vinyl and clips so it wouldn't damage it..

 I added some extra weight to the center hoping it would help it hold better

oh I had added the pin finding before the last stage of gluing.. didn't think to take a photo.. I stitched it down with the same Nymo I used for everything.. size D

 I added 3mm sequins along the edges.. 
I did this before the glue was completely set in the center as by then I was completely out of patience lol it did stick down a bit better than it shows in the photo but still not quite as much as i would have liked.. I knew I was going to stitch everything in place so didn't want to mess with it too much..

This was the first time I added sequins as the edge trim.. I normally use beads or floss 

These things are tiny and full of static ..they were sticking to everything.. even under my fingernails ugh..
 I'm sure the lack of moisture in the air with using an electric heater didn't help this process at all.. living in the desert the air is normally pretty dry
I'm sure or at least hoping they will be smoother it work with come summer while using our evaporative cooler..
Combine that with needing to be extra careful to not pierce the vinyl more than once per stitch, it was a very slow-moving process
 but the overall look was definitely worth the effort.. 

The before backing photo shows the difference in the feet compared to the final photo

Overall I learned a lot from this practice piece.. 
originally I was planning on using it as an applique on a bag.. so I didn't want to add hard material for the feet 
however next time I make a brooch I will definitely give that a try.. as soon as I figure out how that's done LOL 
It definitely took more materials then originally planned so that's a good thing to know before starting a even bigger piece..