Saturday, December 22, 2012

Stitching, Needle Felting, and tea dying fabric, stuff

I'm back!   I just spent about 2 hours going through photos to post here.  While at it, I decided I better change the photo that appears under the title "ohohstitcher" above as it was way too big and took too long to open up.

So, I picked a lovely photo of a bee/wasp/some stingy bugs nest and just now realize that it looks like a skull.  sigh...  

If you are here for stitching, I will post that first. 

I finally finished the Mary Wigham sampler in October while on holidays. 

I liked it but it was just a bit too stark looking.  It was too new and didn't have the look of an old sampler, which is what it was.   While I was deciding that I wasn't too crazy about this finished sampler, a friend asked me if I had ever tea dyed a completed piece of stitching, and I hadn't.  That got me thinking.  So yes, bravely, I got my tea dye all set up in the kitchen sink and into it went Mary Wigham.  I even threw the tea bags on it for some extra "aging".

And I admit the lighting isn't the best in this next photo but this is the tea dyed Mary Wigham.   I find it really weird that the white DMC floss did not turn colour?   I find that really really weird actually.

The tea dying didn't change the fabric colour too much but I do believe that it toned the thread colours down a bit.  I like the few darker spots, which to me, gives the sampler some age.

I have this next photo to show the difference between the original fabric and the tea dyed fabric.  Again, not the best lighting conditions.

As well as finishing the Mary Wigham sampler while on holidays, I also finished, Fine China.  What a pleasure it was to stitch!  There was just enough variety to make it really interesting to stitch.

Fine China is truly one of the nicest pieces I have ever stitched.  I've had the pattern for years and years and was just too intimidated by it to start it but it turned out to be so easy and the instructions were great!  I love it!  Now, to get it framed!

One other piece I finished while on vacation, is this one.  It is "The Crowsline" by Cedar Hill. It was a very easy and quick stitch and I just loved the crows!

That is almost the end of my stitching.  I have gone back to Jane Greenoff's Hedgerow Sampler which I started about 2 years ago and hope to finish that in the New Year.  I am about 2/3rd's or more through the sampler.  I am stitching the sampler from this book of hers, but don't know if the pattern is available separately.

Stitching isn't all I have been doing.  Though perhaps, with the luck I have been having, maybe it's what I should stick to.

I decided to make my Mother something needle felted for Christmas.  I thought that maybe I could make her some poppies in a field, that I would frame for her.  

I took some stabilizer, 

added to it some merino wool,

and after much hand needle felting, came up with something I was totally not pleased with.  I disliked it so much, I was going to throw it out.  At the last minute, I decided to sew it onto a bag and give it to my Mom.  I added a few black beads for the centre of the poppies and some stitching near the bottom half.  This is how it looks on the bag:

The handles aren't complete.  My Mom is 88 years old and gets around with a rollator/walker.  I was trying to figure out how to make the handles so she could put them around her walker handles but I really should have thought of that before I sewed the felting on the bag.  Anything I try with do to try to make detachable handles will interfere with the felted poppies.  So live and learn.

So, because the poppies did not turn out, I decided to try something else.  I went through my photos and found some pictures of wild roses taken in the yard.  Again, I started with a small piece of stabilizer, about 4 inches by 5 inches and added wool and hand needle felted till I felt it was complete.  I learned something valuable here.   I suck at needle felting flowers!!!  LOL

I made a needle keep out of the wild rose.  My Mother has degenerative eye disease and can't see very well.  I am sending her some threaded needles so that she can repair any loose buttons or any small tears, etc.  This is how it turned out.

And finally......  with a very very deep sigh....   Do I post this or not???   

I was looking through blogs, and one that I follow showed a little demonstration on how to make felted Christmas trees for Christmas cards.  Well, I thought to myself, how difficult can that be?  

Please keep in mind that this project was done between the poppies and the wild roses above.  

Click on Christmas Trees to see what they were supposed to look like.

And this is where Judy shows you how she made them.

I did not want to copy what Judy did and decided I was going to put my threads on an angle instead of straight across to make them different.   Of course this was before I REALLY thought about it rationally.   How was I going to cut the trees out?  Well, I do not have a felting machine, not that it makes any difference, but this is what I ended up with after all the felting.

And it wasn't quite as ugly as it looks in the photos, but, not too far off!!  LOL

And when I cut it up to look like Christmas Trees, did it look any better?

NOPE!!  Do I threw them out!

Family and friends got purchased Christmas cards instead of home made ones.  I think it's a good thing otherwise, they might have thought I hated them!   

I have no idea if I am going to needle felt again after this.  I have to say that I don't mind the process of hand needle felting, but it is long and you end up with stuff that is much thicker than you want it to be unless you spend days and days and days needle felting it.  I would really like a new sewing machine and am not able to get a sewing machine AND a needle felting machine, so, I will figure something out.

And all during this, I have been trying to take Sharon's GIMP class.
It just finished.  I was able to get almost half way through it when my new laptop encountered some problems with the mother board so back to the manufacturer it went.   I did have the use of a loaner from my great local computer shop, Sites and Bytes, but I no sooner went through my photos (a second time) to find photos for the class, when my laptop was returned to me.  I will have to finish the course on my own in the New Year.

In the meantime, besides the great web sites listed at the right, here are some new ones, I think.

The Wilderness City Quilter

My Sweet Prairie

Kitchener Quilter    (for my sister) 

Laurie Swim    Whose workshops I hope to be able to attend one day
If you made it down this far, I wish you the most Merry of Christmas's.  May your New Year bring you and your family a host of Blessings and all things good.

May there always be JOY in your life.