Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Greetings from Vintage Vogue!

Have a Merry Christmas with your family and friends!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas Greetings Crazy Quilt Stocking from Vintage Vogue

Here's a crazy quilt stocking featuring one of my favorite postcards from my personal collection. It's C218 from my Vintage Postcard CD.

Print the stocking directly onto computer printer fabric with your inkjet printer, then use it as the foundation for your crazy quilt stocking with the center image already in place.

To use this foundation pattern, align the edge of your fabric with the dotted line and sew on the straight line. Flip the fabric over and press toward the dotted line. Stitch three pieces of fabric together (6-1, 6-2 then add 6-3). Treat as one piece of fabric for 6. Applique the toe and heel (7 and 8).

Piece the stocking, then embellish it with threads, trims, ribbons and beads.

When you have time to browse, please visit Vintage Vogue.

And have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Vintage Vogue!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow with your family and friends!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Crazy Quilt Block from Vintage Vogue

Here's a crazy quilt block featuring one of my favorite postcards from my personal collection. It's T113 from my Vintage Postcard CD.

Print the block directly onto computer printer fabric with your inkjet printer, then use it as the foundation for your crazy quilt block with the center image already in place.

To use this foundation pattern, align the edge of your fabric with the dotted line and sew on the straight line. Flip the fabric over and press toward the dotted line. Stitch two pieces of fabric together (1-1, 1-2 and 2-1, 2-2 and 3-1, 3-2). Treat as one piece of fabric for 1, 2 and 3. Stitch four pieces of fabric together (4-1, 4-2 then add 4-3 then add 4-4). Treat as one piece of fabric for 4.

Piece the block, then embellish it with threads, trims, ribbons and beads.

When you have time to browse, please visit Vintage Vogue.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ye Halloween Vintage Postcard Image

The Old Black Cat
by the Pumpkin sat
With candle agleam
on Halloween.

Have and safe and happy Halloween!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Working on a Crazy Quilt Christmas Stocking

I've been working on an adaptation of one of my crazy quilt stocking patterns for the Pam Kellogg, the publisher of Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine.

This stocking will be made of cotton plaids and stripes, with felted wool for the heel and toe and holly appliques. I'll be using my favorite method to transfer the text for the text embroidery--Glad Press'n Seal.

There's some new rayon rick rack in stock now at Vintage Vogue. Nine colors are online now. The new ones will be available in a couple of days. The edges will be finished with that, and I may make some pinecones out of the rick rack, too, and dangle them from the hanging loop.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Robins, how can you tell the difference between your eggs and the sky?"

I was invited to be a part of Pam Kellogg's 2016 Crazy Quilt Calendar. All of the blocks feature birds. Pam assigned the robin to me.

The quote is from The Rabbit Box by Joseph Pintauro. The vintage robin's nest graphic came from The Graphics Fairy.

I used silk ribbons, silk threads and silk fabrics from Colour Streams in Australia.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Finally Finished This Needlebook

This project is finally finished. This small needlebook is about an inch thick. It has pages for Embroidery, Chenille, Beading, Milliners, Quilting, Sharps and Specialty needles. There's a page for Pins, too.

The Tools page has a small pocket to hold packages of needles or a small marking pen or seam ripper. The Scissors page has a pocket to hold a small pair of embroidery scissors.

The cover ties closed around a Czech glass butterfly bead on the back.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Not Finished Yet But Making Progress on This Needlebook

I still have more embroidery and beading to do on this before I try to figure out how to sew it together. I embroidered the pages with names of needles on opposite sides of one piece of felt. That has caused my current dilemma.

If I sew the back of one side together with the back of another side like I originally intended to do, then the pages kind of buckle when you open it up.

I may cut a narrow piece of felt about an inch wide and the height of the needlebook. It may be possible to sew the pages to it and then sew that inside of the cover. Then I still have to figure out how to sew the cover on.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Working on Another New Needlebook

Not really sure how this will be completed because, once again, I began working with no thought as to how this would be finished.

I embroidered ten pages: Embroidery, Chenille, Beading, Milliners, Quilting, Sharps, Specialty, Pins, Tools and Scissors. Both the Tools and Scissors pages have pockets appliqued to the page with the three-bead picot edge to hold some tools and a small pair of embroidery scissors.

The damask fabric used for part of the cover was cut with a rotary cutter with a scalloped edge. The fabric is raw and is unraveling as I expected it would.

When I finish the silk ribbon embroidery on the cover, then I'll try to sew the pages in as signatures. I still have to figure out how to sew the pages together to cover the backside of the embroidery. Because they'll be doubled, it will make a heavy surface to store needles and pins, too, but the cover will stay soft.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Finished the First Pincushion Sample and Now Working on a Pattern

I'm not particularly happy with how I sewed this together, but it was begun with a scrap of felt and some new thread and really no thought about anything else.  I just wanted to try out some new Valdani thread and ended up with a finished project because I hate to waste anything.

The "Pins" part of the design was centered on the fabric to begin with.  When the embroidery was finished, the whole thing ended up being off-center in the back because all of that stitching was above the text.  I sewed it together in the back with a feather stitch.  There's a small vine embroidered underneath the feather stitching with silk ribbon flowers, too.

I sewed the sides together with small Czech glass flowers and Japanese seed beads.  Not really crazy about that either.  I would have liked the sides to be cleaner, but it's hard to stitch and turn a seam in felt and not mess up the silk ribbon embroidery.

I'm working on a new pattern now that will include both the rectangular pincushion and a round one.  Still working out the kinks in it.

In the rose-colored round sample, I'm using Robyn Alexander's hand dyed wool felt with matching silk ribbons and silk threads.  It's embellished with Czech pressed glass flowers and leaves and size 15 Japanese seed beads, too.

I plan on sewing this one together with the three-bead picot edge that I learned from Nancy Eha many years ago.  I used this same finish in my Here's My Heart Scissors Sheath.  I'll have to add some of those beads to the embroidery for some continuity to the look.

Here's where some more planning would have helped.  You would have thought that I learned my lesson with the purple pincushion.  The three-bead edge needs to be worked with round seed beads (usually Czech), not the really tubular ones that are great for bead weaving (usually Japanese).  And, I need size 8 because of the thickness of the felt.  Size 11 beads will just look too small.

Fortunately, I found some ones that might work in my stash.  I LIKE IT when I find something in the stash.  I need to pare it down anyway!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Make a Pincushion Fast and Easy!

I have small pieces of pre-washed WoolFelt® that I practice new stitches and ideas on. I've been working on some projects using embroidered text, and I've been using Glad Press'n Seal to transfer the design to the fabric.

Although I love to use Ophir Silk Threads from Colour Streams in Australia, I often use Valdani Threads, too. Ophir is silk and has a beautiful sheen, and Valdani is cotton. They look totally different when stitched. Valdani blends into the WoolFelt®, so the look is very subtle.

I was trying out a new color of Valdani on a scrap of hydrangea felt with some new text. Script is easy to embroider if it's large enough. I did learn a couple of things experimenting with this: 1. Use a heavier weight of thread as the size of the text is increased and 2. Always begin with the darkest shade of the thread at the beginning of the word to give it more definition. In the stitched sample, the "s" looks like an afterthought. The text itself almost disappears into the fabric, too.

I had just received some new, Square Pincushion Inserts from the same company that makes the Round Pincushion Inserts. Because I don't like to waste anything if I can help it, I decided to finish the stitching and make a little pincushion with the new square insert. These are pre-made and filled with crushed walnut shells.

I'm still auditioning beads and ribbons to finish this, but when the stitching is done I will simply wrap it around one of the square inserts. They are filled rather loosely, so I folded it over itself to make it smaller and firmer and thicker.

I'll overlap the edges on the back, and sew it closed with a feather stitch. I'll sew the short edges closed with some of the beads that I used to highlight the embroidery to complete it.

I used these products in this project:

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Found a Forgotten Project That's Now Begging to be Finished

While I was cleaning out some computer files the other day, I ran across this project that I had begun to design in 2008.

The fans were not designed by me.  I don't remember where the original fan designs came from--probably from a vendor on eBay.  I can't even find the original files on my computer now.

From viewing the project file, it looks like I scanned, then traced the designs and re-sized them to fit into 9" squares.  Some of them are a little skewed.  Because all of the fans are set diagonally in the block it's really not that noticeable.  They were probably not all the same size to begin with.

I had gone so far as to design a crazy quilted background block to be used in all of the squares, too. After giving this a second look, I think that the squares should be bigger, too, to set off the fans better.

I got that far with it, then it seems to have been forgotten.  Giving it another look, it now looks like something that's do-able and I'd probably enjoy working on it, too.

I still have a few problems to work out before I begin.  What fabrics should I use?

I sell this beautiful line of silk velvet on my website from Colour Streams.  This fabric is hand dyed by Robyn Alexander in Mullumbimby, NSW, Australia.  It's available in 52 colors, with hand dyed silk ribbon and silk thread to match.  There are more than enough colors for this quilt.

They'll be a lot of embroidery and applique on these blocks, so I need to find something that's really stable for the background blocks.

I still need some other fabrics to blend with the velvets, too.  I'd love to use silk dupioni for the appliques along with the silk velvet, but I don't know how to get around the fact that it's nearly impossible to needleturn to get a smooth edge on an applique.  I actually prefer the freezer paper and starch method of turning edges like the block below.  It's not even difficult to use this method with very detailed appliques like this block from the Roseville Quilt that was so HOT many years ago--it's another forgotten project of mine, too.

The problem with using the silk dupioni with this method is that the silk is stained by the starch and there's no way to get around that.  The starch needs to be spread around the edges of the fabric, and it bleeds into the fabric.  With cotton, it's not a problem.  With the silk, it is.

So, I may have to make up a sample block to try a few ideas out before I begin.

I plan to probably spend the next year working on this.

But first I need to finish a block that I was invited to make for a special project.  I can't share it yet, but I will soon.  I learned a lot working on this special block.  I plan to share what I learned working on it, too.

Monday, June 1, 2015

To Dear Dad

Inspired by this postcard from my personal collection, I first posted my To Dear Dad Crazy Quilt Block on my blog back in 2008.  The free pattern is still available on the 4/15/08 post.  You can also use this postcard to design your own tribute to your father.

My dear Dad turned 88 years old two months ago, along with his twin brother, Jack.  In September, both of them will be celebrating their 65th wedding anniversaries, too.

This photo was taken a few weeks ago in Florida.  Uncle Jack is on the left, and my dad is on the right.  They didn't look much alike when they were young, but they've grown to look more alike as they age.

My father is the most loving, hard working and the most decent man that I've ever known.  I'm extremely fortunate, I know, to still have both him and my mother in my life.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Simple Needlebook is Finally Completed

Back in August of last year, I began what I thought would be a quick and easy project.  Nine months later, I'm finally finished.  I got distracted.  This got buried on my dining room table, too.

I started by cutting a 12" x 18 piece of wool/rayon felt into quarters.  Using these easy instructions from National Nonwovens, I wet the felt and dried it in my clothes dryer to give it a bumpy, vintage look.  This also gives the felt a nice edge.  It doesn't look sharply cut, and also looks fine without further finishing.

The embroidered design was from a rubber stamp that I had on hand.  I used StazOn black ink to stamp the design.  Some Valdani thread that I also had on hand matched the ribbons that I wanted to use, so I used that for the embroidery.  I thought that the Fresh Linen felt that I began with was still a bit bright when I was done with the embroidery.  I tea-dyed all of the felt (even the embroidered piece), and dried it again in the dryer. The tea toned down the thread a little bit, too.

The flowers and leaves were embroidered with Colour Streams silk embroidery ribbons.  I began with the leaves first, then added the larger flowers and bigger beads, and finished by filling the design in with French knots and tiny flower beads.  The Czech pressed glass flowers and leaves and the butterfly bead were sewn on with size 15 Japanese seed beads using Nymo bead thread.  This nylon thread has some give to it, so stretch it between your fingers after you cut it from the bobbin.  That will take the curl out of the thread, too, and make it easier to sew with.

The finished needlebook is approximately 4" x 5" closed.  The pages were sewn together with small Czech seed beads.  It ties with sari silk ribbons.  These ribbons are torn and somewhat fragile, so I sewed a running stitch down the length to give them some strength.  A few beads were sew onto the ends of the ribbons to give them some weight.

The inside front and back covers both have a bit of embroidery.  When opened flat, the center has two narrow embroidered pockets to hold needles or a very small pair of embroidery scissors that will remain securely in place when the book is tied closed.

Here's my finished project.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Greeting from Vintage Vogue

If you celebrate the season...Happy Easter from Vintage Vogue.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

To My Darling Vintage Postcard Image from Vintage Vogue

This has always been one of my favorite vintage postcards that's included on the Vintage Postcard CD Set from Vintage Vogue.  It's FF105.

Since thoughts of mine are heavy on my heart today, I thought that I'd share this with you.


When you have time to browse, please visit Vintage Vogue.