Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking Back at 2016

Looking back over this year I managed to finish 8 projects (2 more than last year!).

Many of them were small projects or WIPs from the year before, but two of them were quite big so I'm happy. I also did a lot of kumihimo projects. Mainly bracelets since I don't really like necklaces.

One amigurumi this year. I'm not making as many as I used to. This one I made for my sister.

So here's a final count: I have 6 finishes this year and 7 WIPs left of which 3 are from the year before. Again I'm not including the Creative Festival projects as WIPs.

This year I learned that:

I still love whitework and Seminar is amazing.

Bead! I love beads. I've bought so many is the last few months, I just hope I get the chance to use them all.

I managed to work on all my WIPs, including Tracery Dragon which last year, didn't see any action at all.

I've kept up the tradition of stitching on Bramble and the Rose on the last week of the year. We've been watching all the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies (extended edition) all week so I had lots of time :) I'll post pictures after the new year.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Hana Beaded Fob & Case

We finally got some sunlight and I can now share my finished Hana fob and case. This project was a lovely introduction to the Japanese Bead Embroidery Technique. I can't wait to do more of it next year.

The original project from Inspirations is by Merrilyn Whittle and was only the fob, but I had decided very early on that I wanted to make a scissor case as well. These two are actually my first fob and case. Before this I'd never made one before.

I had to take a picture of Hana and Fandango together. They were two of my favorite and best projects of 2016. I will be taking both of them with me to Seminar for the member's exhibition. My next goal for this piece is to find a lovely pair of gold scissors to display it at Seminar. The ones in the pictures are my first pair of Nogent scissors. They are my favorite for doing the cut work in Hardanger. So I definitely can't take them with me for Seminar.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

December TUSAL Finale

I'm kind of confused on which month this is supposed but it's the last one so it doesn't really matter. My TUSAL jar this month is VERY full. It contains all the scraps from finishing Hana and a whole bunch of other things below it that I can't remember. I can tell you that all the blue thread at the top is from a new start. I was originally supposed to wait till the new year but I couldn't resist the temptation. I will blog about it later, but if you are curious you can check it out on my Instagram.

Above is the final picture of my TUSAL jar with all the ORTs from the year. It's crammed full this year. I hope it will be just as full next year :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Finishing Hana

I've finally started finishing Hana. When I'm finishing something I usually do it over a period of a few days since it's not a process that I enjoy. So even though I'm writing one post, this actually happened over a period of six days. I'm finishing both the fob and scissor case at the same time, so I was constantly jumping from one to the other. I hope it doesn't confuse anyone.

Tuesday, December 20: The first step was cutting out the fusible interfacing and fusible wadding for the fob. I basically measure out the stitched beading area and created a template on tracing paper. This was used to cut out the proper sizes. The instructions also said to cut out two smaller fusible wadding square, which I did.

Wednesday, December 21: Before cutting out the embroidery, I read the instructions on the scissor case (I'm using the instructions from Inspirations issue 89 for the Chatelaine by Susan O'Connor). The instructions said to do a running stitch (I'm using quilting thread) around the piece before cutting it out and leave 5 cm of thread at the beginning and end. This was not how I learned to finish items, but I figured I'd try it.

At this point, my measuring tape broke and had to hunt down a ruler :( I'm hoping my dad can doctor it. Again.

Once I stitched the running stitches, I FINALLY took Hana off the hoop.

I started cutting out the pieces and while doing that I kind of wished I had stitched them closer to the edge so as not to waste the fabric. Lessons learned for next time.

The pieces cut out!

Jumping into the scissor case, I used the template to cut out the thin cards. When I bought toe socks they came with these thin boards. I kept them just in case (2 years ago :P) and they have proven themselves useful :)

Using the cut cards, I traced the fusible wadding

Here they are all cut.

I've never used fusible interfacing or wadding before. It turns out you have to put the iron at maximum heat for it to really fuse. I learned something new :) Here is everything all fused up.

Note: The next day, as I'm driving to work I remember I shouldn't have fused the thin cards for the scissor case before using them to trace on the dupioni Silk. Oh well!

I placed the smaller fused card wadding facing down on my embroidered piece and started pulling on the quilting thread and tried to knot it to finish it off. It wasn't working, so I called my dad to help me do the second knot over. We pulled so hard the thread snapped.

I ended up redoing the running stitch and this time I laced the back of the piece the way I learned how from Katherine Drummond. That worked out much better.

Jumping back to the fob, the instructions said to use craft glue to miter the corners. I started with the dupioni silk.

I gave it a go, but found that the corners are not as they should be. That and using glue kind of bothered me.

So I took out some black sewing thread and made tiny black stitches at each corner to properly finish them off.

I was supposed to use glue on both sides of the fob, but no way I was going to do that to my embroidery, so I just sewed the corners again.

Here they are. The next step is the black cord and cutting the dupioni silk for the scissor case.

Thursday, December 22: I'm making the cord today. A friend on Instagram had suggested trimming the scissor case with a cord to match the fob. So made a small one for the fob and a really long one for the scissor case.

Friday, December 23: I needed to decide what fabric I was going to use for the back part of the scissor case. So I posted a picture on Instagram and left it there for the day to see what the reaction would be.

While I left that to percolate, I started finishing the Hana fob. The pieces are stitched together using a ladder stitch. The instructions said to stitch 3 sides and at the end when nearing the end attach the cord. I decided to attach the cord first to the black fabric and then start ladder stitching the pieces together. This gave me more space to move around.

When I had one side left, I started stuffing.

I found out this summer what the true intention for the fob was. It's to protect your scissors when they fall. Your fob is always supposed to be heavier than your scissors, that way when it falls it will land fob first protecting the tip of your scissors. The instructions suggested a heavy coin. I was lucky enough to find a 2016 Canadian loonie in my wallet :) which is great since this project was started and will be finished in 2016.

I checked Instagram at the end of the day and found the black on black was the popular choice.

So I started marking the black dupioni silk to cut.

The markers I'm using are Gelly Rolls by Sakura. They are recommended by Mary Corbett for transferring designs on dark fabrics. I couldn't resist getting more colors. Especially the purple!

I also marked one inch away from the edge to give me an idea of where to cut. I'm really bad at judging distances.

The instructions I'm following for the scissor case weren't clear on this next part. I'm supposed to tack around the shape, but I couldn't figure out a way to do this properly and get the right shape. So I ended up cutting some fusible interfacing and fusing it to the back of the three fabrics.

And then I did something I said I wouldn't do again, I used craft glue on the edges to glue them to the back. They came out really flat. Thinking back I realize that maybe I shouldn't have fused both pieces of the fusible wadding to the thin cardboard for the back piece. I think I will look for a better set of instructions next time.

Saturday, December 24: I didn't get a lot of chance to stitch, but I did get the front piece done.

Sunday, December 25: I finished stitching the back piece and sewed it together to the front with the cord. Unfortunately, I was struggling too much with sewing it together to remember to take pictures of this. Suffice it to say it was hard. I need to find a better way to end cords than knots. They are really hard to shove into a tight space and they leave a bump. You can't just cut the knot off without the whole thing unraveling. I did that, but I was sweating bullets hopping I'd be able to sew everything away without it affecting the parts that have already been sewn down.

The final product is lovely though. Unfortunately after days of sunlight, we've had zero sun once I'd finished it. I'm hoping we'll have some good light early tomorrow morning and I'll be able to take pictures to share with you.

Monday, December 19, 2016

More Grays

A short post today. I'm still working on Tracery Dragons, but I didn't get much progress last week. I've been too busy baking for work and for home.

Luckily, we had a snow day on the weekend and so I got loads of time to stitch. It doesn't look like much, but for Teresa Wentzler it's a lot ;)

I was hoping to stitch some more on it (until the end of this week), but I've had to sideline it. I received my order of silk fabric for Hana and so I will be working on that this week when I get the time. For someone who doesn't celebrate Christmas, I sure do get busy around this time of the year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

WIPocalypse 2016 – December

I'm doing things in reverse this time, starting with updates.

I finished all the stitching for my Hana scissor case. Now it's just a matter of waiting to get the fabric to finish it and the fob. I think after Fandango this is my favorite piece this year.

I didn't get those olive green leaves done this month on Fleurs de Sakura. This piece will be one of my pieces for WIPocalypse next year.

No update on Fantasy Lace.

No Update
Satin Stitches - Donna's Fantasy Lace

No update on Bramble and the Rose.
No Update
Ink Circles - The Bramble and the Rose

My dragons are back, but still invisible. I decided to concentrate on stitching one element of the piece so that I'm not constantly threading and un-threading needles. So for now I concentrated on the stonework. I'm going to keep at this piece until we break for the holidays.

Teresa Wentzler - Tracery Dragons

I didn't touch Sfilati Fantasia.

No Update

This month's theme is: Recap your accomplishments for the year! (Your finishes, your final before/after photos, etc)

I reached all the goals I had set for this year. It helps that I kept them very small ;)
  • Finish one page Ink Circles - Bramble and the Rose - Done
  • Finish beading Mirabilia - Tree of Hope - Done
  • Stitch on Teresa Wentzler - Tracery Dragons - Done
  • Finish eyelets on Donna M. Olson - Fantasy Lace - Done
For my finishes of the year, I will do a post for it closer to the end of the year so look out for it :)