Thursday, September 30, 2010

Black, I Say, Black!

The theme for this time was black, and as you can see, I made a bit of progress on the dragon/salamander's body.  I'm almost done with the first of two and a half pages.

Closing on the Center

I'm working on the second side still.  It's almost to the center being done now. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thank You Magela!

Magela made this lovely placemat for me and gave it to me the first time we met!  The ribbon embroidery's sooo pretty and looks even better in person.  She is one of my temari students and is making great progress.

Yet More Skirting

Still all brown again this week.  Some more of the ribbon and some of the skirt got done too.  I -am- working on the bottom skirt border at least.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Legging the Fifth

I am still working on the fifth jellyfish.  There's a lot of work to do on the tentacles downward.  Lots of color  changes, too.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Still working on the last row now.  The end is in sight.

Received from Nancy

 Here's the package I got in the mail last week.  Nancy wrapped it in quilting fabric, which is impossible to get here.  Love the color, too. 
And here is the insides!  Lots of lovely threads and a beautiful biscornu and a great bookmark.  Thank you Nancy!  This was part of the Friendly Stitchers secret summer biscorno exchange.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bagging It

It's getting more baglike as I start in on the third side.  And it's getting more done!  Yay, maybe I'll finish it before the end of the year.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Gift from Adriana via Ana

Last week when I went to her house, Ana gave me this lovely fob.  I'm going to use it on my temari scissors; it seems appropriate!  Thank you so much, Ana.

Correction:  Ana tells me that my Spanish wasn't up to the job last week and I misunderstood.  The fob is actually from Adriana, whom I have not met.  I was supposed to meet her and some others at La Pasiva downtown last week, but the weather was awful and my asthma was acting up.  I can't wait to meed Adriana in person so I can tell her how much I appreciate it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Diamond Fill

I finished the top diamond motif this week and started some more down the sides with Rhodes stitches. 

Starting a Star

Yup, another Sticklounge stitchalong.  This one's called Quaker Star.  I'm doing it over one and like how it's turning out so far.  The floss is Ethereal Ice from Hand Dyed Fibers.  I'm doing it in tent stitch instead of cross stitch because it's over one, though.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Make a Mari Tutorial

I decided to write this tutorial because several people have asked me how I make my maris.  There are several methods talked about; here is mine.  This picture is of the materials you will need: three spools of the same color of thread; shredded paper; about 25-30 yards of worsted weight yarn; a heavy, large glass; and the toe of one leg of pantyhose.  You can also use hose higher up and tie off the bottom.

First, take the glass and stretch the mouth of the pantyhose over it, dangling the toe inside.  This makes it so you don't have to have someone else hold the hose for you.

Depending on the size of mari you want to make, stuff the hose with between one and three cups of shredded paper.  What I use is quarter by eighth inch cross cut shred.  We do a lot of shredding here, and this is a nice bit of recycling.  Stuff it in tight and push it down to the bottom of the glass.

Remove the hose from the glass and bring all the paper to the toe of the hose.  It'll be lumpy and not spherical.

Twist the top of the pantyhose  to close it.

Bring the top of the hose back around the outside of the ball part.  You now have your paper covered in two layers of hosiery.  If there's extra hose, cut it off.  This is the core of your mari.  At this point, it's probably not too round.  Shape it a bit with your hands to make it a bit more spherical.

Take one end of your yarn and start wrapping the core.  Turn the core slightly with each wrap of yarn.  The idea is to be random and cover all the core equally.  The core should naturally start rounding out.  Make sure you don't wrap loosely with loops falling off the core, but don't wrap too tightly either.  You want it firm but not hard.

Here is the core a bit more wrapped.  You can see how random the wraps are.

And here is the core nearly totally wrapped with yarn.  Notice that you don't see any of the hose peeking through and that the wraps are still random.  Also, see how much rounder it is that when started.

The completely yarn-wrapped core.

Put your three spools of thread between your feet to hold them in place.  Gather all three ends in your wrapping hand.  This next part is called "power wrapping", a term coined by Barbara Seuss.

With all three threads, start wrapping the ball in the same manner you did with the yarn.  Not too tight, not loose and dangly.  Your ball should be firm but not hard, and definitely not squishy.  Randomness is the key here.  It's important to turn and keep turning with each wrap.  Cover the yarn completely.

Once there is no yarn showing, cut two of the threads, leaving one still attached to the mari.  Wrap this one thread all over the ball again, covering the layer with three thread showing.  You should have a mari with only one thread showing all around at the end.

Using a needle, you can tuck in the end of the single strand when you're done with it.  You now have a complete mari ready to mark!

If your mari isn't quite round, roll it on a flat surface with the palm of your hand.  The insides should shift some to make it round.

Crawling Along

Still working on the first page, but now I'm well over halfway done with it...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Made for Exchange

Friendly Stitchers had a biscornu exchange over the summer.  This is what I sent to Jo a couple of weeks ago.  It started off as a Faby Reilly design and then I did a lot of changes on it.  Jo says she likes it and the goodies I included with.  Yay, success!

Seams to Me...

In the Seamwork Only round robin, this is my first block to work on.  It's Jeanne's.  She used really bright colors.  The top picture is it at the beginning.
And here it is after I got done with it.  I never realized how much I use beads until I couldn't!  She requested no beads.  I did use a bit of ribbon and made the block even brighter.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Last of the Alphabetting

I'm almost done with the alphabet for this sampler.  Can you tell the other missing letter?  Once I'm done with the letters, it's a half band at the bottom and another finished project.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Birthday Present

One of our friends had her birthday a couple of weeks ago.  She didn't tell us until a couple of days beforehand though!  So, since I'd already stitched up this quaker sampler, I made it into a pillow for her.  I'm glad to say she loves it.  Unfortunately, though, she and her husband will be leaving next week. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Starting the Fun

I got to start the fun stuff this week.  Yay!  It's good to be able to actually not be making lines and lines.

Planting and Walling

A bit more done on this; at least one more column.  I also got a bit of the upper story's stonework done and even a bit of roof.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Buildings and Flowers

Three quarters of the flowers on part four are done and I'm working on the fourth quarter.  I also got some more building work done.  The first part of part five is coming along nicely.

Mystery Done

I finished my Debbie Draper Quaker Mystery Sampler.  Now to make it into something.  I believe I'm going to do another journal cover. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Still on the Bottom

I am almost done with the first half of the bottom strip.  So close to being completely finished!

Other Gift Biscornu Part

Here's the other biscornu I made for the gift quilt.  It's an adaptation of a needlepoint design called "Captured Hearts".  I think it came out pretty well.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A New Round Robin - Asian Again

Crazy Quilting International has started a bunch of round robins again, and I've joined in.  The first I've worked on is Asian themed, and this is Darlene's blue and white block.  Since I was the first to work on it, here it is completely naked.

And here it is after my work.  I added a huge flower, a pagoda, a bonsai, and a couple of beaded motifs I made myself.  I also did several seams. 

Belated Posting

I made this a few months ago as part of a quilt for someone sick.  The idea was for several of us to come together and stitch biscornu fronts and backs for someone to put together into a quilt.  These two squares are one of my two biscornu for the project.  They were done with a French perle cotton on linen.  The recipient just got her quilt on Friday!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Exchange Temari

I sent this temari off to Jean in Canada for the Tanabata GITS.  She's gotten it, so I can post it now.  It represents the bamboo and river that's crossed in the legend.  Anyway... it's got a mix of geometric stuff and free embroidery.