I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author Unknown

Sharing a common thread with those who love the art of hand embroidery

Monday, October 28, 2013

I put down my needle and picked up a paint brush and ..............

a couple of shovels...........
old and broken shovels........that is.

This shovel once belonged to my husband's grandfather.It has long since lost it's shaft and has a little of the wood left on the handle.

and a little of the wood shaft still in the shovel back. Although it is large heavy metal, the edges of the shovel are showing signs of wear. I think the white coloring is old cement that someone never washed off after using the shovel.

I could not stand the fact that it was just lying in a pile of unusable things..........so I decided to give it another life.
I love the way the old cement makes the shovel look ,  along with the rust. Instead of painting over the whole shovel, I simply gave it a good cleaning with a hard bristle brush.............

I then decided to paint the word "welcome" onto it along with a humming bird and some flowers.

with a few more flowers on the upper edge.

(click onto photo for a better view)
Even though I just painted this...........it looks as if it was painted years ago.........
don't you think?

Now it sits by the old milk can.............
to welcome guests at our back door.
I placed the shovel handle on top of the old milk can.

The other shovel was also lying in the pile..........
 is not so old, but very broken and very rusted.

After cleaning the rust........the shovel had the prettiest natural background color. I painted a white garden gate with flowers on each side.

I then added the words "my garden" with a buzzing bee.
The wooden shaft was broken with just the right amount of wood

left to stick into my garden ground. Now it is the perfect sign for my garden.
Do you have any broken tools just lying around waiting for you to re-purpose?
Have you painted them or done something else with them?
I would love to hear!

Monday, October 21, 2013

I love to applique

and most of the time, I applique flowers,
But this time...........I decided to make myself...........
a cup of tea.
(click on photos for a better view)

and I had to embellish it ............with embroidery..........
just a bit...........
the perfect cup of tea........along with the tea bag
so delightful............

I fixed myself another cup...........and decided the bag needed some embroidery as well.
How about you?
Do you like to applique?
Do you add embroidery when you do?
I would love to hear!

I also posted a wonderful chocolate mousse recipe on my cooking blog..........
hop over for the recipe by clicking onto this link

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Embroidery and linens from the 1940's

have always caught my eye and captured my heart

so much in fact.............. that I embroidered this design this way..........
using black as the main border/trellis design color. I usually stay away from using the color black in large design areas when I embroider............
but this gave me that "40's" look that I wanted to achieve..........
don't you think??

I found this table runner with such a pretty crocheted edging..........

perfect for this embroidery design.
This is the kind of embroidery work I plan to sell when I get my vintage shop up and running!

I also experimented with a new technique..........to me.....it was something new to try.
tinting some areas with a crayon.
It is very easy to do,
1. Trace the design onto the fabric as usual.
2. Make the surface that you want to color clean and smooth on the front and back.
3 . Color all areas you want tinted heavily with white crayon.
4. With the color of crayon you want to use, tint over the white coloring, working in a circular motion.
5. Heat set with a hot iron by laying a white paper towel over the tinted area and pressing......you will smell the wax.
6. Remove the paper towel and if there is any color on it, repeat the pressing process with a clean paper towel. 
You can wash your tinted linen, but I would suggest doing so gently. The tinting will last and look beautiful for years to come!
Now back to the  1940's..............

I found this wonderful transfer at a antique/flea market.

It came from this Work Basket issue dated July 1945
Volume 10

This Work Basket transfer was a large 18x 22 inch sheet, rather than the small inserts that the later issues offered.

The peacock design is what made me pick it up.

There are also some beautiful dollies to embroider

and a wonderful cut work design.

As most of you know............I preserve any kind of vintage embroidery design I can find.............
and I spent a bit of time tracing these off to keep and to use at a later date. The transfer sheet itself was so very fragile because of the folds and age of the paper.
After I traced off the designs, I framed the original transfer sheet in a puzzle frame that was just barely large enough to do so. Now this wonderful transfer sheet hangs in my studio and gives me much inspiration throughout my work day of stitching.
How about you?
What is your favorite era...............for embroidery
or for any thing?
I would love to hear!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Grab your crochet hook..............

here is a sweet dish cloth pattern for you!
This is a nine patch granny square dishcloth.
I love it because it is simple to make and you can use up all of those little scrap pieces of yarn making it!

It is made by making a simple granny square .......squares and then stitching them together using needle and matching crochet thread.
I have made dish cloths using the peaches and cream cotton, which at times I find pretty bulky to use..........
do you feel that way??
And I love using the pure cotton yarn for it's softness and easiness to work with.
Both are very good to use in this pattern.
However, I used the regular crochet thread that one might use for doilies. I try to find a medium thread rather than a fine thread.
I have found that crochet thread does well for washing dishes and the weave just gets tighter when the cloth is washed. So you might want to make your piece a little larger depending on the size you want for a dish cloth.
I used nine squares to show for this piece, however, I think it would be a better size if you worked 15 squares if you decide to use crochet thread.
So here are the instructions:
You will need
Ecru or white crochet thread
Different scrap colors of crochet thread
0/3.25 steel crochet hook
To make a cluster
YO, insert hook in sp indicated, YO and pull up a loop, YO and draw through 2 loops on hook; repeat from * 2 more times, YO and draw through all 4 loops.
With center chosen color, ch 8, join with slip st to form a ring.
Rnd 1.  right side,
Work cluster in ring, ch 5, work cluster in ring ch 2. * work cluster in ring, ch 5, work cluster in ring ch 2; repeat from * 2 more times, join with slip st to top of beginning cluster. finish off; 8 sps.
Rnd 2 With right side facing, join Ecru thread with slip st to any ch-5 sp; (work cluster, ch 3 , cluster) in same sp, ch 2, 3 dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 2. *work (cluster, ch 3, cluster) in next ch-5 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 2. repeat from * 2 more times, joining with slip st to top of beginning cluster, do not finish off: dc and 12 sp
Rnd 3 Slip st in next ch-3 sp, work ( cluster, ch3, cluster) in same sp, ch 2, 2 dc in next ch-2 sp, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 2, *work (cluster ch3, cluster) in next ch-3 sp, ch 2, 2 dc in next ch-2 sp, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 2, repeat from * 2 more times, join with slip st to top of beginning cluster, finish off.
 Following all previous steps, make 9 squares or as many as need for desired size of dish cloth.
Putting it together
With wrong sides together, using Ecru or matching thread and working through inside loops, sew squares together, forming 3 strips of each square, and then sew strips together.
Rnd 1 with right side facing, join Ecru with slip st to any corner ch-3 s; ch 1, 3 sc in same sp. work sc evenly spaced across to next ch-3 sp corner,  3 sc in corner sp; all the way around to beginning. Join with slip stich to first sc.
Rnd 2
Ch 3, dc in same st, skip next 2 sc *(slip st, ch 3 dc) in next sc, skip next 2 sc; repeat from * around, join with slip st at base of beginning ch-3 sp, finish off.
How about you??
What type of thread or yarn do you prefer to use when you crochet a dish cloth?
I would love to hear!
How about you?
What type of thread do you prefer to make dish cloths from? I woud love to hear!