Annies Crazy World

 
 
 
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    This is Annie Whitsed's Crazy World a world where I stitch the joys and chaos of life into beautifull crazy quilts. email annie@loopylace.com
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Twin Stockings_20 and My Band Sampler 129- Details 818 to 819 and Shank Buttons December 11th, 2008

half Chevron half Cretan

This seam is a combination stitch being Chevron Stitch on the top side and Cretan Stitch on the bottom side…Along the bottom side I put star shaped beads in every second space and in the alternating spaces I used groups of Bugle beads that link to the bugle beads that I used to trim a different stitch on the same seam of the other stocking. I like the way trimming a seam with alternating embellishments gives more shape to the edge of the seam.

This is the last seam on this stocking and I have started adding embellishments, on the left a bear in a wagon button on the right a gift shaped button (a shank button) and a gift shaped charm. In this post I explained that I was choosing charms that would make a find the matches type game, the Gifts are a match up for the gifts I embroidered under the tree on the stocking you can see here.

how to attach a shank buttonI added that the gift button had a shank because when shank buttons are stitched on the surface of a crazy block they tend to wobble, normally that wobble is is of no concern to me and if I do want the button to sit still a few beads around the shank will stabilize it but sometimes, very occasionally, I do want the button to sit flat on the fabric…

This was one of those times, the the gift charm is 3 dimensional and I wanted it to overlap the gift button but the gift button is thick and has a big thick shank and the only way to get any overlap was to disappear the shank into the fabric…To disappear the shank into the fabric I used a skewer to make a hole in the fabric (if the skewer is hard to push through use a big needle to start the hole) and rather then just push the skewer through, gently twist the skewer so that it screws its way through the fabric. Most times the skewer hole is big enough to push the shank through, if it is not quite big enough use a pencil point or something thicker then the skewer to expand the hole, if the hole is still not big enough resort using scissors (only tiny snips are needed), which is really no problem because there is nowhere for the fabric to fray to. When the shank is through to the back of the fabric it needs to be held there, I used to use a short length of beading wire with the ends twisted into loops that I could stitch to the back but when I was doing this button a friend suggested using ribbon through the shank, it works well, it is easy to stitch on either side of the shank and makes for a softer finish.

Below is the combination Chevron and Cretan stitches on my sampler.

half Chevron half Cretan

My Band Sampler 31 – Tassel – Detail 578 March 5th, 2008

Buttonhole stitch top on a tasselButtonhole Stitch can be used to make a cover for the top of Tassels…

To make a Tassel wrap thread around a piece of cardboard a little longer (to allow for trimming) than you want the finished tassel to be…poke a length of thread between the cardboard and wrapped threads and tie the bundle at one end, slip the bundle off the cardboard.

I poked a small ball of batting between the threads at the top to give shape to the top of my tassel.

Cut a length of thread about 20 inches long (needs to be long enough to work the buttonhole stitch) and tie one end around the top of the tassel…use a tapestry needle to thread the short end down into the tassel and with the long end buttonhole stitch onto the thread around the tassel and then continue to work into the last row of stitching until top is covered, with the last couple of rows work into every second stitch of the previous row to shape the cover.

Form a cord by plaiting the 3 threads that are at the top of the tassel.

Cut and trim the threads at the bottom of the tassel.

How to make a tassel step 1How to make a tassel step 2

How to make a tassel step 3

Take It Further January Design on my Band Sampler 18 – Detail 545 February 16th, 2008

The January Take it Further Challenge design Concept was ‘who do you Admire’ , the answer to that question for me is that I admire my Friends, on my post card I wrote the word Friends, for something different on my sampler I googled Chinese Symble for Friends.

Chinese symble for friendship

The backing fabric prooved to be handy in executing this design, I traced a reverse image of the design onto the backing fabric and then using a single strand of black silk floss I backstitched the design through to the front which gave me a crisp clean outline which I filled with close rows of Stem Stitch.

Stitch on the backStitch on the front

My Band Sampler 08 – Herringbone Baskets – Details 513 to 515 February 3rd, 2008

herringbone basketBefore silk ribbon was available I had worked out a way of stitching baskets using Herringbone Stitch, visit this past post for what lead me to think of the idea and the first basket I stitched. (My photography skills have improve since I wrote that post.)

The Basket on the left is a sample that I stitched circa 1987…The Thread is 4 strands of a varigated stranded thread which I have seperated and put back together with 2 of the strands reversed so that I got a mix of shades along the length of the thread…Looking at the flowers in the basket I must have been using scrapes of thread and experimenting with combing different colours of thread to get the colour variation in the flowers.

I draw the basket shape that I want on the fabric and then fill the shape with short wide apart herringbone stitches that are closed on the bottom and spaced at the top…A line of Stem Stitch across the bottom to give it a base and across the top for a neat rim for the basket…The handle can be done with stem stitch, Chain Stitch or Coral Stitch, I like Coral Stitch myself because the little lumps of the stitch have the texture/look of the knobby bits on cane.

Now if you look at the basket on my sampler you will see that it looks quite different, part of the difference is the thread (size 5 cotton pearl) the other difference is because I didn’t look at the older ones first and instead of doing small spaced stitches at the top I did bigger stitches and closed the herringbone.

My Band Sampler 08 basket

basket in progressFor the flower arrangement in the basket I do leafy looking stitches with a mix of green threads and then put the flowers in on top of the green background, I filled this basket with Gathered Silk Ribbon Roses… I got a little carried away and just about covered most of the green background, so I used a thick size 3 green cotton pearl thread and added straight stitches around the edge and a couple of loops amongst the flowers.

Either side of the basket I did a pattern of 3 individual, overlapped herringbone stitches that use the same hole at the bottom but different entry and exit holes at the top…For the left hand pattern I used a Linen thread and the soft thread combined with stitches that are a little to long caused the pattern to be floppy and I had add a stitch over the cross point to hold it in place…For the pattern on the right I used a stiffer cotton thread, did shorter stitches and spaced the entry/exit points further apart.

Stitch Samplers – Details 490 and 491 January 24th, 2008

Miniature Alphabet SamplerWhen visiting Sharon yesturday she was stitching her sampler together, Have you seen Sharon’s Sampler? it is worth a look, and we were talking Samplers.

I loved samplers from the first one that I saw and wished that I had learnt on a sampler…The first samplers I saw where cross stitch Alphabet Samplers an I made a miniature one of them in 1995 but it was the long band samplers that I really fell in love with…I have started them before but not got anywhere with them and although I have made a few small samplers over the years unlike Sharon who made all of hers the same width mine are all different widths, and I have done thread samplers like the Spanish Knotted Feather Stitch sample below…
Spanish Knotted Feather Stitch - Thread sampler

Another difference between Sharon’s and mine is that most of hers are on linen, I had done mine on calico (muslin), it just doesn’t have the same ambiance as linen does…I made my Stumpwork Sampler on a nicer fabric and it is my favourite of what I have done.

The Samplers that I really, really fell in love with when I learnt about them are the 4 inch wide band samplers that where kept in the sewing boxes of days gone by to record new stitches as they were learnt because they had no books/internet to reference…These darling band samplers were not lined so that the backs of the stitches could be seen (being able to see the back can help when working out how the stitch was done)…Wanting to make one with the back showing means that I don’t want to start with knots, I did know how to start with a couple of tiny back stitches but sometimes those stitches can be seen, today Sharon solved that problem for me, she tought me about waste knots, a term I have never even heard before, which work simple by knotting the thread to hold it in place while you stitch the first few stitches, working them over the thread on the back to hold it in place, then the knot can be cut off leaving a neat start to the seam.

Waste knot how to #1 Waste knot how to #2

By the time I left Sharon’s I had a 4 inch wide lenth of linen with the edges zig zagged and threads pulled on either side to line up the start and finish of the stitches…I have got it started but I am tired and going to bed so it will be tomorrow before I take and edit those photos.

Thumb Pin Cushions January 21st, 2008

I made the pink thumb pin cushion at Nowra Crazy Quilt Retreat and have had a couple of requests for the pattern, today I have got around to writing the instructions… I had to remember/work out how to make it and got the size of the square wrong on my first attempt, the gold one, and it is on the tight fit side…
pink thumb pin cushionThumb Pin Cushion #2

I also realized that to illustrate it clearly I needed a fabric with a right and wrong side, that is when I chose the fabric that matches the work box I showed last night.

To make your own start with a 4 inch square of an even weave fabric.

Turn one corner to the wrong side as per the photo.

Thumb Pin Cushion step 1

Fold the square, right sides together, diagonally with the turned under corner at one end.

Starting at the turned under corner, use a 1/4 inch seam to stitch 2 edges of the triangle, stopping a 1/2 inch before the end.

Thumb Pin Cushion step 2

Clip the point to reduce bulk.

In the middle of the fold cut a 1 inch slit along the fold.

Thumb Pin Cushion step 3

Turn right side out through the hole, pushing the unturned corner all the way through.

Thumb Pin Cushion step 4

Stuff the central portion until it is firm.

Thumb Pin Cushion step 5

Turn the edges of the slit in and whip stitch to close the hole… This is a little finddly and you may find that it puckers a bit as you stith it, Don’t stress if is not real neat as this seam is on the inside of the finished ring.

Thumb Pin Cushion step 6

Wrap the long points around your thumb and use a pin to mark the overlap.

Thumb Pin Cushion step 7

Poke the raw point into the turned under corner pin and test size…adjust until it is a comfortable fit…Stitch the ends together.

Thumb Pin Cushion step 8

Happy Stitching.

Thumb Pin Cushion #3

The white Heart finished – Details 481 t0 483 January 11th, 2008

Last nights post was so long with so many images to manipulate that I lost track and forgot to do the final image of the finished Heart…I remembered that I had not done it this morning, when I was at the post office sending it on its way.

To Finish the embellishments I put a bride and groom charm in the centre and balanced it with the silver butterfly on the upper right and the silver heart charm on the left, I like the single spot of colour provided by the pink stone in the middle of the heart and the bow around the heart charm balances the texture of the flowers…Then the big question when is a piece of crazy quilting finished? Was it finished or not, a part of me was saying Yes the section above the bride & groom charm looked empty but any charm/bead/button that I tried there distracted from the rest of the heart so it probably is finished but that area does look empty, the best of the beads I had tried was some little stars, I tried them again, to big but what if I use silver metalic thread to embroider stars, with a scattering of stars the heart was finished.

White heart #2 finished

Constructing the White Heart – Detail 480 January 10th, 2008

Window Template over white heart

On the last seam I did a Double Feather Stitch with Colonial Knots.

Then before adding embellishments I cut a window template to help place them, which is just as well because I found that the flower trail was cramped on the edge, fortunatly I had enough in the seams to make the heart about 1/4 inch bigger which gives just enough extra space so that it isn’t cramped.

To Draw a basic heart shape Draw a square and then draw a half circle on 2 edges…to make it slightly more shapely, I then deepen the indent at the top just a little and slightly curve the point at the bottom, curving the bottom or just snipping of the very tip of the point will prevent the point poking through the fabric when you cover it.

Trace the heart onto template plastic or any stiff plastic.

How to Draw a HeartCutting template plastic

Gather around edge

I Draw the finished size of the heart onto the back of the crazy piece and Run a gathering thread around the edge, Use a big knot and start at the top of the heart…clip into the V at the top.

Layer a finished size piece of batting the the platic heart shape in the centre of the crazy piece and pull gathering to back of plastic…

Lash the back from side to side with the thread until the fabric heart is firm over the plastic.

batting and plasticLash the back of the heart

Stitch lace around the edge and add a ribbon (mine is long enough to hang over the arm and hang down.

Stitch lace around the edge

Cut the plastic template and batting for the back just a tiny bit smaller then the front and cover with fabric…I also cut a smaller piece of batting to put between the front and back to compensate for the thicknes of the gathered fabric around the edges.

make a back for the heart

Ladder Stitch the two halves together by alternating stitches through the fold at the edge of the back…

ladder stitch step one

With small stitches through the fold at the edge of the front.

ladder stitch step two

thumbnail for make my day awardMake My Day Award Update…I would like to thank the following blogs for also tagging me for the Make My Day Award, Thank you All

Rengin, Elizabeth, Susan, Marty, Julia.

Washing a Crazy Quilt Block – Changes to Detail 434 January 4th, 2008

changes to detail 434

The last time you saw this seam it had 4 of the pink herringbone shapes, I didn’t like it and couldn’t think of what I could add that would make me like it, what to do? I decided to unpick the last 2 shapes I had added but that didn’t help me immediatly because I had marked the top shape on the front of the fabric with a pencil and an eraser didn’t work to remove it…

Ironing block face down on a thick towel…more thinking time but I was at a complete loss as to what I could do to cover it and had almost decided to restitch it…more procrastination because I didn’t want to restitch it, what to do? Take the plunge and wash the block I always hesitate before washing a block but sometimes it has to be done, I massaged a small amount of dishwashing detergent into the marked area, rinsed the block thoughly, layed it flat to dry and placed it face down on a fluffy towel (the embellishments don’t get squashed because they are cushioned by the towel) and ironed it on the back.

This time I covered the center part of the seam with a soft pink bow and used 3 Stem Stitched Stems to lead the eye off center to the 3 pink Silk Ribbon Flowers, To make the flowers I used about 2 inches of 7 mm wide silk ribbon, I folded the ends to the middle, loosly rolled the ribblon and pushed and pulled it into shape as I stitched it on, tiny green detached chain stitches neaten the bottom of the flower and a dark bead gives detail to the top.

Umm despite the problem and delay of having to wash the block I am glad that I unpicked because I am happy now and the finished block is below.

The Pink Block Finished

More Christmas UFO’s part three – Detail 458 December 24th, 2007

Beaded edge on Santa Pocket #3

For this edge I stitched the gold beads on first, I stitched them a little further apart than I did on the edge I showed yesturday and it has helped the beads to sit better, It is also a more delicate edge…To form the pattern I went through a gold bead then picked up a green, a gold and a green bead, I then went back through the red bead and picked up another green bead before going through the next gold.

How to make a Santa Pocket Step 1Ho to prepare the pocket

Cut the front and lining for the pocket 6 inches square…place pocket and lining right sides together and stitch a 1/4 inch seam across the top…turn right side out and iron seam across the top.

How to Assemble the Santa Pocket

Cut backing 8 inchs square and place right side down on the table, place batting on top of it and place a 6 inch square (will be the back of the pocket)…

Stitch the first border at the top of the centre square, when stitching you are sewing through all the layers so that it self quilts the wall hanging as you go.

How to make a Santa Pocket Step 2

Place the pre prepared pocket in the centre so that the top of the pocket lines up with the seam sewing the top border on…

Sew on side borders and then bottom border.

How to make a Santa Pocket Step 3

To finish the Santa pocket bind the edges (Instructions for one method of binding can be found here) and add a ribbon hanger.