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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

All the way from South Africa :)

Hmm... What could it be?

Aaaha!! Kits,beautiful kits!!! All the way from South Africa.

The NeedlePainting kits have finally arrived. Iam a relieved girl *grin*.

If there could be an entry in the record books for the first purchase of a needlepainting kit in India from abroad - I guess it'll go to me :)
These are kits designed by Trish Burr who is an expert in Needle Painting with Long and short stitch. By Indian standards the kits and shipping is a bit pricey,but her works were so beautiful that we decided to go for it. One kit without the threads will come to about 700-800 Rs. Would you believe if I said that the above bunch cost us almost 7000 indian rupees (140 $)!!!This was a group buy and so the shipping cost was shared.

Let me give you a glimpse of the contents - The kit has two pieces of fabric,one with the design printed and another scrap of fabric for practice. Additionally, there are the stitch instructions ,couple of fine quality crewel needles and the thread chart. One has the option of buying the threads along with the kit.Otherwise, anchor/dmc threads could be bought by oneself.

The first view of the printed fabric gave me a jolt - after seeing the closeup image of the stitched piece while ordering, I didn't expect such a small design.But then it made sense - imagine doing long and short stitch on a gigantic flower - wouldn't be fun at all.Small is beautiful :)

If you are not aware of Trish Burr and her works, check out her site. You can order the kits from this page. Her works continue to amaze and inspire me everytime I visit. Check out the free project in this page.

Happy viewing,
Love,luck and sunshine,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Series on Outlining techniques

Iam indexing the links to the whole series on outlining techniques for easy reference.This will appear on the sidebar . These are not actual tutorials, but hopefully these will help you in case you're looking out for a suitable outlining stitch to use in your embroidery.Each of these posts has a link to whichever stitch tutorial I referred to for doing the same.

Part 1 - Stem stitch and Outline stitch

Part 2 -Split Stitch

Part 3-Chain stitch

Part 4 - Couching

Part 5-Knotted Outlines

Part 6 - Back stitch,running stitch and variations

Part 7 - Cable stitch, blanket stitch and couching

Part 8 - Overcast stitch

Embroidered Bed Linen - pattern tracing and thread color selection

Yesterday, I transferred the pattern to the fabric . It was a rather tedious job,considering that this is the 4th or 5th time Iam drawing the whole thing. Initially, a rough sketch of the whole design was put togther in 4 parts.Then, the actual design was created again in 4 separate sheets for each part of the circle.Later it was combined and traced on to a big chart as shown in this post.And finally, the whole design was traced onto the fabric.

I used dark yellow Kores carbon for tracing. Unlike blue or black carbon, these do not leave marks on the fabric.We don't get iron on transfer papers or patterns here-not even transfer pencils or washable fabric markers. Hopefully very soon these too will be available in the market.


Now for the colors.

I've been pondering over the color choices to be made. Heather's suggestion of using the same tone made me just put together the little stash I've for a decision to be made.

I've separated the stash into three bunches and kept on the fabric just to analyse how it looks.

The silks- these colors go with green,don't they? That orange seems to be a little too bright.

The bright colors - they'll stand out anywhere.We Indians love these, but does a bed linen need these colors?

The subtle ones - cool colors that calm you,except for the one without tags in between.

Hmm... If you ask me what my decision is - duh!!! *sigh* I think , I'll go with the first and the last bunch. And...may be a li'l bit ...just a teeny weeny bit...of the second to feel "bright" in between :)
What do you say?

Love,luck and sunshine,

Monday, August 17, 2009

Latest Project - Embroidery on Bed Linen

Well, as the title says, this one is going to be the latest attempt to learn and share. The design is ready and the cloth too. Thought I'll let you see what Iam upto. The pattern is a floral wreath .

Sorry for the rather blurry image. Its a carbon trace,and hence very light. Once I trace it onto the cloth,you'll get a clear shot. I'll show you the different parts as I progress. But you can click on the pic for a still better view. I've exhausted all my floral patterns to put this one together.

Once the design was satisfactorily finalised, I started with the cloth preparation. I marked the centre of the sheet and drew a circle of the same size.Then, the four sides were folded and tacked down with very long running stitches. I don't want the cloth to look like an old rag by the time I complete this , which I think may take a few years ;), you'll be around,right? Besides,this makes it easier to carry around.

Now for the next set of tasks - finalising the stitches and the colors.The stitches have been already listed and written down. Iam yet to decide the places where they should be used. But the colors are yet undecided.I think I'll need suggestions from you.
The color of the sheet is light green - should I follow the 3 or 4 color policy or should I just go for it ? - I mean, use all the colors and the different threads that come my way? What do you think? I just can't seem to make a final decision on this .

Wish me for a successful completion. :)

Love,luck and sunshine,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First ATC and pattern for mini crochet flower

While you're waiting for some serious embroidery posts to start, let me entertain you with some bits and pieces of handwork.

I've attempted to make an ATC this time. Sounds familiar?? No ?

For the sake of majority Indians, who are unfamiliar with this concept,let me tell you a sentence or two about ATC or Artist Trading Card. ATCs are cards made with different mediums (paper,fabric,felt etc) of the size 2.5 X 3.5 inches and are unique .As an artist, you can use that small piece to express your creativity--i.e you can do a collage over a paper card or embroider over fabric or paint over it and so on. These cards will have your name and some details about yourself on the other side and are usually swapped between artists. Collecting ATC is a major hobby. Let me show you mine.

When I tried to learn making ATC through the tutorials, I found terms such as iron on interfacing,timtex,fusible web etc. I was hundred percent sure that these things will not be available India. Luckily, I managed to find iron on interfacing in a tailoring shop - it makes fabric stiff like card. So with that item and two pieces of fabric ,a card like shape was created. A dab of fabric paint on the white cloth ,and the flowers and leaf were stitched on to it using single strand.

The four sides were then stitched with blanket stitch. Perfection seems to be distant dream,but a few more and I'll be on my way. Iam still not sure how much stiffness should be there for the fabric card. The interfacing I used was a paper one and so not too stiff. There's another kind available with me which is still harder (used for collars of shirts) .May be I'll try that too.

Aren't you curious about the flowers? Those are crocheted mini flowers. I love them!!! The ATC gave me a chance to pick up the crochet needle after a long long time. My skills are kind of rusty,but not too bad,right?

These are made using embroidery threads and will take about 10 minutes of your time :) Here's the link to make these . A lot of possibilities with these flowers,don't you think?

What do you think about my first attempt?

Love,luck and sunshine,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Give away winners...

Time to announce the winners!!!

The Indian stuff goes to ....

Make the impossible...possible

The BE threads go to...


Congratulations,both of you!!!

Please mail your addresses to me. I'll be sending these to you in a few days time.

Thanks to all those who took part.I wish I could send you all a little something. Hmmm... may be I will. Wait and watch :)

Thanks for the B'day wishes too. Every year,from my childhood this day comes and goes unannounced,I mean no one makes a big fuss about it. This time I had something to look forward to.
Its time for me to move on with the next couple of needlework projects.A little more background work and I'll let you know what it is all about.

Love,luck and sunshine,

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

August Give Away

Hello everyone...

As promised,here's the giveaway. Though I've stated the reason for giveaway as a birthday special, it's infact more of a thank you to all my blogland friends for visiting, reading and encouraging the rather hesitant steps I take towards better embroidery.

Going back in the memory lane... Books and all kinds of crafts have always fascinated me. My parents did encourage me to read ,but crafts were limited to the ones taught in school. With the help of my mother I did learn some knitting,crochet and embroidery-may be for an year or so. Iam grateful for that effort from her side which sparked an interest within me.But soon studies got prioritised and the last time I touched a needle for embroidery was when I was 15.

Exactly 15 years later,after the birth of my daughter, I (re)started the journey and here Iam ...between so many embroidery enthusiasts,watching each step of mine - stumbling,tumbling and getting up to learn as well as teach..I hope you all will remain with me for a long time to come :)

O.k,memories's what I've in store for you...

A bunch of Indian stuff...the biggest spool is called Cone thread,used for Kamal Kadai work and Dori embroidery.You can use it for surface embroidery too.Let me show you some closeup pics.

Kundans - pink circular ones and yellow heart shaped. These are used for embellishing.

Blue leaf shaped kundan beads. I didn't bother to take them out.

Silk Zari yarn-gold and silk combined.

Rimjhim thread - It's a kind of fuzzy thread used for decorative embroidery. Jane,do you see a resemblance here?

Well, that's what is in store for one lucky person.

Wait, Iam not done yet - I've kept something for a second lucky one too...not much,but something is better than nothing, right?
This is especially for Indians - I've prepared a few strands of each type of BE threads for anyone who would be interested in trying out BE for the first time.Mind you, they are not much,but will be sufficient for a small beginner's project.

Hey!! don't smirk!! these are worth dollars ;)
Lakshmi, I think I've fulfilled your need to see different types of BE threads together.Click on the pic for a closer view. From left to right - glory,iris,nova,lola,boucle and lola. If you want to know more about BE threads,read part 1 here and part 2 here

So, that's the giveaway. To be considered for this, leave a comment here answering the below question .
What do you like about this blog? Also specifically state which one do you want -Indian, BE or both. Remember, BE threads are only for Indians residing in India.

You can comment here till August 9th,Sunday. I'll announce the winner on monday,august 10th.International entries are welcome for the first lot. Indians can attempt both.

Try your luck!! All the best!!!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Roaming around the blogs, and planning...

I haven't been around much lately,right?

Did you miss me?

You did !!! ...*smile * ,thanks...missed you all too. :)

The fact is, I've been planning a project,but the thoughtprocess and background work is taking up so much of time.I'll tell you more about it next time - but whatever it is, Iam making sure that alongwith me you too will learn somethings new and refresh some old ones.

Next week (monday to be exact) is my birthday. Iam planning a tiny little giveaway to celebrate:) So ,please lookout for the post .

In the meanwhile, I've put together a set of links for you to browse and enjoy - some tutorials,free patterns and stuff. Let me borrow ,Sharon's dialogue - have a cuppa and enjoy :)

Paula Storm of Sew much time,sew little fabric has uploaded her sleepy cat embroidery pattern .Click here for the Sleepy Cat pdf.

Mary Grace McNamara of hooked on needles is having her 400th post giveaway. At the rate Iam going , I think it'll take me five more years for my 400th post. No worries, Iam not in a hurry.

At the twisted stitcher tutorials, Vonna Pfeiffer has given a step by a step on how to frame your needlework.

For those who enjoy sewing, Rachel Griffith of P.S I quilt has published a wonderful tutorial to make a quilted bag.

Last, but not the least --- the most interesting event happening for embroidery enthusiasts - Mary Corbet's Basic Long and Short stitch lessons.

Enjoy your tour around the blogs,

Love,luck and sunshine,