Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The UGLY

Only have a moment - busy busy busy. But I wanted to share a few pictures of the things I've been working on. The good, the bad AND the ugly.

First, an update on what I've been doing. I created a bunch of teensy embroidery designs for miniature pillows. I made the pillows with fringe around the edge, because it's easier to make them that way and I think they look more elegant with fringe. I've done way-doggies more designs than are pictured below. I'll be putting them in the shop real soon.

I've also been making sheet sets, bedpillows and quilts ... basically it's a mini bed-in-a-bag. I created embroidery designs based on traditional quilts and then embroidered the design onto the little quilt "blanks". Originally I planned to stitch the design in white thread on a patterned fabric ... gingham or a tiny print ... but after I did my test stitch-out using colored thread on white cotton, I decided I like that also. I think it looks fresh. So, I'll be offering it both ways - white with a colored quilting and patterns with white quilting.

Now for the good, bad and really, really ugly.
Recently I've been experimenting with making miniature lace tablecloths. Last year I crocheted 2 tablecloths (making up the pattern as I went) and it took me several hours for each. I certainly couldn't list these in my shop for a reasonable price, so I started looking for a way to produce something similar using my embroidery machine. Ah, a QUEST!

Anyway, I took a "free-standing lace (FSL)" online class in the hopes I could modify it for my miniatures. The short version of the class is this: you start with water-soluble-stabilizer, build a grid of stitches and then apply the design to that grid. Here's my result. Looks a lot like cheesecloth, huh? The scallop stitches around the edge fell out as soon as I rinsed the stabilizer out and the grid separated into just a bunch of loose stitches. On top of that, the design is completely lost in this mess. UGLY!

My next attempt was a quickie test. I used standard embroidery stitches on tulle. Although this looks better, the tulle is so fragile that just rinsing the stabilizer out makes it feel like it's going to tear. BAD!

This is my first semi-successful attempt and I'm pretty pleased with it as a starting point. It's the same design as ugly (above) but the stitches are modified slightly and they're applied to organza (plus stabilizer). After stitching it out, I clipped the organza very close to the scalloped edging, applied fray check (because organza frays easily), let it dry and then rinsed the stabilizer out. All in all, I'm pleased! I think it's pretty GOOD!

My next creative effort will be table runners and doilies. Then I think I'll move on to lacy hats and corsets. Another QUEST!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wintry Mix

Texas has been hit pretty hard with winter weather. Last week we were in the 70's (we had a lovely Saturday at the lake).

The last few days we haven't been able to get out of the teens. And since I live way out in the country, I can't even depend on the traffic to make the roads better. I haven't been out of the house for several days and DH has been working from the house (his estimated commute during this bad weather was 2+ hours each way).

And what have I been doing? I'm working on miniature stuff again. I'm hoping to re-open my shops soon, so I'm working on inventory.

I only have a couple of pictures for you, but I'm pretty pleased with my results so far. (Please ignore the peach rug -- I was just checking out the whole effect and didn't have the correct color on hand). I used tiny gingham ribbons (50 cents a roll on close-out at JoAnn's fabric) to decorate the sheets & pillow cases and then I digitized a design for my embroidery machine for the stitching on the pink gingham quilt (made from an upcycled shirt).

In this picture you can see the quilting stitches a little better. Boyz howdie do I need to spend some time with my camera instructions so I can get close-up shots.

I don't think I'll get cabin fever anytime soon since I have so many projects to keep me busy. On the other hand, I'm running low on flavored coffee creamer. This could be a problem!