Monday, May 31, 2010

Miniature knickers for a friend in need: The Secret Knicker Gang, designers

(Created by Catharine)

Project: Miniature knickers for a friend in need

Designers: The Secret Knicker Gang

Type of needlework: Mixed media and Sewing

Photos: 8

Comments: I bet that some of you are wondering what miniature knickers are doing on my blog.

I sometimes  mention that I used to co-own a crazy quilt group with a friend. Well, it all started back then as a big joke concerning my good friend Terry.

I am a big teaser and there is something that happened during that time that just got my imagination going. She often said to me and also to the group after someone wrote something especially funny that she almost peed in her knickers while reading it.

Oh yes, they use the word "knickers" in dear old England, so everything started from those innocent enough words, at least in her own mind. BUT, I am French speaking (Canadian) and down here knickers is not quite the word we would use for such item. When I first encountered the word, of course nobody had to draw me any picture, I  knew what she was talking about, but somehow the visuals I got each time, in my probably much too fertile imagination, were of those old fashioned undergarments. I am talking years ago here and of course each time that I visualize any of them, I laughed myself something silly.

I started chatting about this to some other friends in that group and can't remember exactly the sequence of events, but some of us thought it would be such a funny thing to just make her some miniature knickers and just put them in the mail one by one as we each completed ours. I could almost envision the expression on her face (strong imagination helping here) when she would be opening the first little package, then the second, then the third ..................... well, you see the picture I am sure.

A few friends thought this would be fun too and wanted to join me in this little adventure and they in turn talked to a few of their friends and we ended up a nice little group of friends all wanting to participate in this little joke. 

In order to keep our emails back and forth secrets, we decided it would be better to have a special place where we could exchange ideas and jokes and we created a special group just for that purpose and we called ourselves "The Secret Knicker Gang". I must say that we had the best of time making them (I know that I sure did) and joking amongst ourselves about them as we were working on them. Oh yes, almost forgot, the idea of the joke was that Terry would have lots of spare knickers to change when .......... well I am sure that you are getting the idea and I don't have to spell it out, right?

You will see the photos of the knickers made by our little group with the names of the person who made each one of them.

(Created by Denise)

(Created by Elaine)

(Created by Jackie)

(Created by Jill)

Well she made one for me after I had seen the miniature one here and loved it so much.

(Created by Kerry)

(Created by Linda)

(Created by Pierrette)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

All dressed up: Bookmark

Project: All dressed up

Designer: A composite of drawings that I put together
 to create a bookmark for the son of a friend who was studying Arts

Type of needlework: Embroidery and painting

Photo: 1

Comments: I was looking for something special to make as a gift for the adult son of a dear friend of mine who had returned to university in order to study Arts. He was doing lots of paintings and I suddenly thought that it might be fun to create a special bookmark for him. I started searching around and found some drawings at different places on the web and made a composite drawing, sized it to fit the dimension of a regular bookmark and then transferred my design on fabric with a pencil.

I did a lot of painting on the design, adding a bit here and a bit there, trying to create the impression of an oil painting with watercolours of course. When I was relatively happy with it, I then stitched the outline. The focus on this project was primarily painting on fabric. Of course being a stitcher I had to do a bit of stitching on it and by stitching an outline it defined better the contours.

This is a project that I have really enjoyed working on. It was pure experimentation from start to finish and I had absolutely no idea how the whole project would end up.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tara: Devaki Parasuramar, designer

Project: Tara

Designer: Devaki Parasuramar of South Australia

Type of needlework: Ribbon work, silk ribbon and embroidery

Photos: 2

Inspirations magazine: Project comming from Issue #23, pages 52 - 55

Embroidery Canada: Framing article from Susan Donn called "It's time to display"
(Issue Spring 2007)
Comments: This is another of those projects that when I saw it, I wanted to make it. Devaki, the designer, said that one evening she was watching the movie "Gone with the Wind" and got her inspiration to create Tara. Perhaps that is exactly the reason why I felt like I just had to make her for myself as I just love that movie.

The instructions are very well written and it was not difficult to make except that some pieces were rather small and a bit difficult to manipulate but I managed in the end.

For the framing, I had read an article from Susan Donn in Canada in the EAC's Guild magazine about doing finishing with fabric. It is a wonderful idea as it looks good and saves a bit of money from having to bring the finished piece to the framer. Anyway, I think that the more ideas we can get about how to finish our pieces, the better.

That is one of the reason that I belong to lots of Guilds as you just never know where you will find great ideas about projects, finishing, meeting new designers, correspondence classes, etc.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wild Rose: Patricia Hartman, designer

Project: Wild Rose

Designer: Patricia Hartman

Type of needlework: Bargello

Photos: 2

Other designs from Patricia Hartman here.

Comments: This is a free project that came from the Chapter Project Booklet that as a member of CyberPointers I was able to obtain and stitch with fellow bargello enthusiasts.

I have used the same colors that Patricia Hartman has used for hers, but since none of us have actually seen a color photograph of the initial project, my placing of colors is in all probability different than what did Patricia with hers.

Those are not quite the colors that I normally work with but decided to use them anyway since the name of this project suggested it was a "wild" rose. I must say that I am glad that I followed my instincts and went with her colors instead of changing them as I really love how it looks.

(Close-up of a section with the Jessica's mistake)

I realized that I had made a mistake with the Jessica after taking this photo
and have corrected that mistake afterwards.

UPDATE: JUNE 30/2010

Well, strange things seem to be following me these days. A bit of story here. First of all, I would highly recommend for anyone stitching this piece to stitch it on a bigger piece of canvas than recommended. It will make things much easier for framing.

There was a bit of a mix up between my framer and what my husband had asked her to do with this piece. I requested it to be framed diamond shape. In the past when I made special requests I took the precaution of cutting the canvas according to the orientation I wanted. I did not do it this time around as I felt there was not a whole lot of canvas surrounding the stitched piece, so I just left it as it was after stitching.

They decided to put a black mat under the black canvas and it does look absolutely wonderful. The two frames selected I also love. There is a tiny one inside the bigger pink one.

The only problem is that I ended up with it framed like you can see below, which is not bad at all since this is not a big piece. My framer said that she would redo it if that is what I wanted but I would end up with a smaller frame, which is something that I really don't want, so I have decided to keep it like it is.

Things would have just been so much simpler if my canvas had been bigger to start with. I am one of those stitchers which prefer to have a bigger piece of canvas than a smaller one. Unfortunately for me I had no idea of the dimensions needed when I started working on this project. Anyway, I do like it just the same. It is just one of those things but have learned a few lessons out of it. 

(Framed Wild Rose)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rose Vine Christmas ornament: Wendie Young, designer

Project: Rose Vine Christmas ornament
(adaptation of Windie's pinwheel project)

Designer: Wendie Young

Type of needlework: Embroidery

Photos: 2

Wendie's project can be seen on this website here.

Project found in Embroidery and Cross Stitch magazine, Volume 10, No. 2, pages 16 - 21

Comments: When I came upon this design it was at a time when I was thinking about making Christmas projects. I thought that it was such a cute design and all I had to do was to adapt it a little to make it look Christmassy, so I changed the word "Pins" to "Noel" and made the bullions for the roses red instead of pink.

(Photo showing the finished ornament)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stitching Accessories Trio in Brazilian embroidery

Project: Stitching Accessories Trio

Designer: Created by my friend Terry as a gift for me

Type of needlework: Brazilian embroidery

Photo: 4

Comments: My friend Terry created this little trio (needlecase, pincushion and scissor fob) as a gift for me for a special occasion like a past birthday or Christmas. I can't recall exactly as we have been exchanging gifts for years.

To make the trio, she used some silk dupioni fabric with some Edmar threads. She then outlined the letter "P" on the needlecase, a circle on the pincushion and stitched everything in Brazilian embroidery. The little scissor fob has a different flower on both sides.

(Pincushion close-up)

(Letter "P" closeup from the needlebook)

(Close-up of a corner flower on the needlebook)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mauve Flame Credit Card Case: DebBee's Designs

Designer: Debbie Rowley

Type of needlework: Bargello

Photos: 8

Comments: I remember looking for both a checkbook cover and a credit card case at the time and asked around for anyone who could direct me to some lovely designs and that is how I found out about DebBee's Designs. I purchased both the bargello checkbook cover and the credit card case. You can either purchase the kit or the pattern and choose your own colors.

So far, I have only completed the credit card case, but I will be stitching the checkbook cover a bit later as they will make a nice set to carry around in my purse. I have actually put my driver's permit in mine with a few other cards.

Above additional photos showing different steps of the stitching.

(This photo shows the finished credit card holder in its clear plastic case before folding in two)

(Photo showing beginning of the bargello design)

(3 different colors have been added to the bargello pattern)

(Close-up of those 3 colors)

(Here a close-up of the credit card case has all been stitched but not yet finished)

(All stitched)

(Photo showing the finishing completed)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Patches of Snow: Kaitlyn Marie Designs

Project: Patches of Snow
(Mini Stocking)

Designer: Kaitlyn Marie Designs

Type of needlework: Beading and needlepoint

Photos: 7

Comments: I think that mini stockings are such a nice addition in any Christmas tree and the more the merrier.

This is actually my second mini stocking that I have done from Kaitlyn Marie Designs, the first one being called Fancy That: Emerald Gold Mini Stocking and you can see it here on a past blog entry.

Contrary to the Emerald & gold mini stocking which was about half needlepointing and half beading, this one was mainly beading with a tiny fraction needlepointing.

Some sections went pretty quickly and others took a bit more times depending on the size of the beads. There was also 3 Pearl Cabochons included in the kit.

Instructions for finishing the little stocking were included and were easy to follow.

(Photo showing the divided patches)

(On this photo, patches 1, 2, 3 and 4 completed)

(Photo showing patches 5, 6, 7 and 8 completed)

(Photo showing patches 9 and 10 completed)

(Patches 11, 12 and 13 completed)

(Photo showing the cover page for this project)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Florentine Holiday: Susan T. Kerndt, designer

Project: Florentine Holiday

Designer: Susan T. Kerndt

Type of needlework: Bargello

Photos: 3

Designer Spotlight here

Gorgeous Florentine needlecase freebee here

If anyone is interested in this design it can be found here on the Stitchers Paradise website.

Comments: This is one of those projects that when I saw it the first time around I immediately fell in love with it and promised myself that one day I would stitch it.

Bargello is one of the thing I love the most stitching and this project was no exception. It was just a delight. The colors are just so pretty and of course Chrismassy. Unfortunately the photographs do not quite do it justice. We can't really see too well the gold metallic thread used here and there in Florentine Holiday.

I have taken a few close-ups for you all to see some sections better.

(This first close-up shows the garland with the four bows at the top)

(Photo showing a Hungarian Point design)

UPDATE: October 20, 2010

This is my framed Florentine Holiday.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Cottage surrounded by bird, insects and flowers

Project: Cottage surrounded by bird, insects and flowers

Designer: A gift received from my friend Terry
(She says it is probably either a DMC or Anchor kit that she purchased ages ago)

Type of needlework: Embroidery

Photo: 2

Comments: This is a little cottage that my friend Terry said that was either a DMC kit or an Anchor one but she can't be certain as it has been way too long ago that she has stitched it.

I think that this was the very first cottage that she stitched and she used two threads in her needle instead of the one that she has been using afterwards, so she ended up not being as happy with the results as she would have been if she had used only the one thread as it gives a more delicate appearance and this one has a little more bulky appearance than the first one but I love it just the same and I am happy to have it.

After giving me the Ivy Cottage and seeing how much I love it, she decided to give me this one too, one that she had already stitched a while back, but had not yet done anything with it. I had it framed like I did the other one and now I can move from one cottage to the next, at least in imagination.

(Photo showing the stitched cottage still on the hoop)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Little Horse Scene needlecase

Project: Little Horse Scene needlecase

Designer: Drawing taken from "The Crafter's Design Library: Animals" by Sharon Bennett
(photo of the book below)

Type of needlework: Embroidery and Painting

Photos: 4

Comments: I need to start by saying that this little project was so much fun to do.

My goal with this project was to make a little something for my very good friend Terry, something that would have meaning for her. She absolutely loves horses and had many during her lifetime, so I decided to embroider her this little horse scene.

I used some white silk dupioni, traced the design from Sharon Bennett's book and started stitching, chosing colors as I went along. I also wanted to put some color inside the embroidered outlines, so I tried some watercolor paint using Neocolor II, which are basically some water-soluble wax pastels.  I had to order some little brushes and I found some miniature ones from Silver Brush.

Having never done much painting of any kind and certainly not on fabric when I did that project, I had no idea how things would turn out. After using the wax pastels, I added a little water with the tiny brushes and the whole scene turned into a watercolor one in front of my amazed eyes. That was a great learning experience and I promised myself then that I would be using more painting on future projects. One of the thing I love the most is to marry many different techniques on the same project.

When the painted and embroidered little horse scene was completed, I turned it into a needlecase for her.

For the inside of the needlecase I remember trying to find some appropriate fabric in my stash that would match the color of the fence, but of course I could not find any, so I decided to dye some. The fabric was originally all white with little miniature flowers. I did not want the dye to be uniformed all over but with spots darker and others lighter and one of the photo below shows the top of the needlecase with a peek of the inside fabric.

(Photo showing the little horse scene after it has been watercoloured and embroidered)

(Photo showing the dyed fabric inside the needlecase)

(Drawing from this book used for this project)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ivy Cottage: Di van Niekerk, designer

Project: Ivy cottage

Designer: Di van Niekerk

Type of needlework: Embroidery

Photos: 6

Comments: My friend Terry stitched this lovely Ivy Cottage for me for one of my birthday. She knew that I had always admired them so much that she could not go wrong with this gift. As you can see here, there were many cottages to choose from and I love them all. She could have picked anyone of them and I would have been just as happy.

 I often wish that I could actually live in a real one. These cottages just seem so cozy and so beautiful, surrounded by lots of flowers, shrubs and trees. If only I could that would really be a dream come through for me, but for now I can always look at Ivy Cottage and dream, dream, dream (grinning). It is hanging in my stitching room on the wall behind my computer so I can see it while typing this. Isn't life good?

(Photo showing the little Ivy Cottage all stitched before framing)

(Cottage before stitching)

(Beginning of stitching)

(Another photo)

(Coming along)