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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Trying again – Detail 187 March 5th, 2007

at the bottomAfter I posted yesturday I realized that I may have made the stitch look a little confusing because by not thinking ahead I had started the herringbone on the right hand end which meant that to have the scollops at the bottom of the seam (and still be able to stitch the underneath thread of the crossover first) I had to work the bottonhole from right to left and although doing buttonhole in the reverse direction direction is not difficult it does make the illustration look a bit cackhanded so I decided to give it another go (I like stitching this seam treatment, it is not quick but its repetitive nature makes it a good seam to do while I am watching TV).

To make this seam distinctive from the ones last night I stitched the scollops in alternating colours which also has the advantage of making the illustrations clearer…

at the topI have also added an extra image image to show how when the end of the underlapping scollop is finished the thread is sitting on top of it ready for the next scollop ….Last night I also forgot to mention that using a tapestry needle for the buttonhole stitch makes it easier to slip the needle under the herringbone thread without catching the fabric beneath.

end of scollop

Detail 187

– Details 185 and 186 March 4th, 2007

buttonhole over herringbone

Above is one of the seams on my box top below I have repeated it on mums memory quilt…It is Buttonhole stitch worked over the threads of Herringbone Stitch.

The cotton pearl thread I used for the seam above stitched up more evenly and neater than the softer silk thread I used for todays seam…I do like the way varigated thread works in this seam treatment.

buttonhole over herringbone

when working this seam treatment you will find that the buttonhole stitch wants to twist around the herringbone stitch thread but this is not a problem as the thread is stabalized at the bottom of the curve and again at the top with the seal off stitch at the end of the loop…At the bottom of the curve work a couple of stitches going under both threads of the herringbone, this will stop the twist at this point.

at the bottom...

At the top work up to the cross of the herringbone threads then pass your needle under the top thread before doing the last couple of buttonhole stitches.

at the topSee next post for more information…

TAST Week 6 Algerian Eye Stitch – Detail 149 February 9th, 2007

black and colour Algerian eye stitch is not a stitch that I will do often, partly because I find counted thread work hard on my eyes and partly because it needs a hoop and I don’t use a hoop for crazy quilting…but for the TAST challenge I found an orphan block that I could get a hoop onto and Sharon gave me some waste canvas so that I could do the stitch on a crazy block…

Algerian Eye Stitch

removing waste canvasTo remove the waste canvas damp it slightly which softens the fibers and breaks the bond holding the fibres together so that you can use tweezers to pull the threads out one at a time.

I had stitched a heart shape but after removing the waste canvas I thought that it looked to squared off on not well defined so I used a metalic thread to do a buttonhole stitch which I worked between the spokes of the Algerian eye stitch.

I liked the way the buttonhole worked but it still didn’t look finished to me…

Algerian Eye Stitch Heart ...Surrounded by buttonhole stitch

Detail 149 finishedI thought I would try a heart shaped bead in the middle…as it turned out I decided that a tiny red crystal finished it off nicely.

auditioning a bead for the centre

Day 99 – Stumpwork Head September 27th, 2006

Stumpwork Head

The Stumpwork Face is made like soft sculpture dolls…I made a padded oval shape and then I used tiny stitches, pulled tightly, to shape the face…The eyes are a blue french knot and brown straight stitches, the mouth is red back stitch with paint to add extra shading.

I used strands of my own hair, including a few of the grey ones, to finish the head…I had strands about 20″ long, I used a short quilting needle, doubled the hair and tied the ends…I started each strand on the front near the bottom and edges so that there is some hair ends in the finished piece, I came up very near where I went down…the stitches on the back are tiny so as to waste the least amount of the hair …the stitches on the front are quite long but they sort of criss cross each other holding each other in place and helping to build up the thickness…I finished each strand with a quilters knot with the tails on the front…

Day 98 – Stumpwork Hands September 26th, 2006

Tonights detail is a Stumpwork hand…I think that because of my combined loves of embroidery, applique, miniatures and whimsey it was inevitable that I would fall in love with stumpwork as soon as I saw it but it was the stumpwork hands that truely captivated me…Magnified as it is in my detail it is not the most glamorous of hands, it is even somewhat clunky but you don’t see that when you see how small it is, to help you the piece of linen in the hoop is 1″ square, what you see is a cute little hand with fingers that can be posed, I think that it is incredibly detailed for such a small size.

See below the image for how to make these stumpwork hands…I painted the hands after making them and used nail polish as the finishing touch…I attached it to the hoop by stick the thumb through the loop of the charm and wiring a finger to the hoop, leaving the wire exposed as a ring on the finger…the needle in last nights hand was the eye end of a size 12 quilting needle.

Stumpwork Hand

To make a stumpwork hand, first make 5 fingers…

Make fingers by wrapping flesh coloured thread around a piece of beading wire…I glued the start end to the wire for ease of handling.

stumpwork hand step 1

Fold the wire in half and carry the thread to the fold end.

stumpwork hand step 2

Wrap the thread back towards the cut end of the wire, glue to hold in place.

stumpwork hand step 3

When you have 5 fingers hold 2 side by side and wrap thread around once, add an index finger and wrap thread around twice, then add the little finger and wrap the thread around several times before adding the thumb and continue winding thread towards the wrist…Look at your own hand to get rough proportions of finger length and placement.

Day 93 – Stumpwork Sampler – Needlelace September 21st, 2006

Needlelace Sample

The basics of doing needlelace are to have a base to draw the pattern and work on, in my sample I have calico stretched into a small hoop with the pattern drawn on tracing paper. Thread or wire is couched to the pattern outline, I use a bright contrasting thread for the couching so that it is easy to see when it is removed at the end…The area inside the couched threads is filled with Buttonhole filling stitches which are done done on the surface, in my sample I still have the top right portion to fill…when the area is filled the couching thread is removed leaving you with a free standing piece of lace.

Tonights Detail is some of the many Buttonhole filling patterns used for needlelace.

Stumpwork Sampler strip 5 needlelace

Stumpwork Sampler strip 5 needlelace key

Day 92 – Stumpwork – Chain and Buttonhole Stitches September 20th, 2006

Stumpwork Sampler -strip 4

Stumpwork strip 4 key

Chain Stitch, Twisted Chain Stitch, Buttonhole and Blanket Stitches

Raised Chain Band – Start by doing a row of short parallel straight stitches and then use a tapestry needle or the eye end of the needle to work the chain stitch over the straight stitches, for each stitch go over and back under the next straight stitch bar, the next part of the stitch is formed by going under the other end of the bar and through the loop of the thread which is the chain stitch part.

Raised Chain Band

Day 87 – Miniature Crazy Quilt September 15th, 2006

I was a bit short on description last night because I have hurt my back and couldn’t sit for very long…Last night miniature block measured 1 1/2 inches square and is one of the blocks from this miniature quilt which measures 3 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in and is a miniature of
my first quilt Hearts and Flowers.

Miniature crazy quilts do not need to be made to any strict scale, when the fabric patches and stitches are tiny the eye doesn’t see that the lace and beads are oversized.
I piece my miniature blocks on a foundation exactly the same as I piece full sized block…the secret of piecing small blocks is to work down to the size, that is make a 4 inch block, then make a 3inch block, then make a 2 inch block by which time you will be ready to tackle a 1 inch block…A trick for manageing the tiny sized block is to cut the foundation several inches bigger and draw the finished size block in the middle and cut yourself a window template for the finished size and hold it over the block so that you can see the piecing that falls within the the block without being distracted by all the extra fabric in the seam allowance.

The embroidery is mostly single thread and whilst stitches that small might look daunting they really aren’t and can be easier in the sense that as you make each stitch it is worked exactly the same as the full size stitch but instead of making 1/4 inch stitches you pick up just a few threads and the few threads can be easier to measure by eye than the full size stitch.

For the embellishments I use the smallest laces, braids and beads that I have…since making this miniature I have accumulated quite a collection of suitable bits including miniature charms…The tiny basket of flowers I embroidered over a tiny basket that was printed with white on the cream fabric…

Miniature crazy quilt

Day 79 – Shuttle Tatting 102 September 7th, 2006

Tatted blossoms

A tatted blossom branch with attached spider web…The Butterfly was machine embroidered by Maria Vialle.

I have chosen todays detail in respose to Jenny’s comment to my post yesterday about learning to Shuttle Tat

Jenny’s said: Well done! You have mastered this art well in one colour. It is easy to learn using 2 colours, that way you can see what is happening with the “flip” snip…

Jenny is right…When learning to Shuttle Tat 2 colours is easier than one…

Tie the end of the Shuttle thread to the second colour…with the knot on your forefinger wrap the second colour around your fingers and let it fall off the back of your hand (see image below)…from there it is the same as one colour tatting…the shuttle thread is the core thread, the second colour makes the loops which will give the tatting its colour…Working with 2 threads means that you can tat straight lines as well as loops and if you work with 2 shuttles you can alternate the colours as I have done in todays detail.

Tatting with 2 colours

Learning to Shuttle Tat September 6th, 2006

This post is in response to the following comment made when one of the email lists I am on was discussing Tatting.

“Don’t knock the first tatting efforts. I remember Our Annie learning at Toorak and coming up with knotty efforts (are you here Annie) but what she did with them on her CQ was beautiful. Wonder if Annie has a pic somewhere?”

Yes I am here Maureen and here are those first knotty efforts…when the thread knotted I just started again.

first tatting

I found that when I started using a thicker thread I could see what was happening with the knot…I could see that it was the looped thread that needed to be kept slack so that it would loop around the shuttle thread when I pulled it tight, which is the flick of the wrist that tatters refer to…I practiced doing just half the knot, which is known as a Josephine Knot, it makes a slightly twisted loop which is rather nice on its own, I then practiced the second half of the knot until that felt comfortable, this also gave me practice in closing the loops and starting the next…once I had the hang of each half of the knot I was able to put them together…by this stage I had enough control to leave the space between knots that form picots.

the next tatting efforts where better

tatted butterfly pattern

Once I had mastered the knot I was able to use finer threads….That is about all I learnt about tatting because that is all I need to know to be able to tat cute little butterflies to add to my crazy quilts.

The butterfly is an adaptation of a larger one that I was given and this is the pattern as I wrote it in my visual journal…D = double knot and P = Picot….try them for yourself and as Maureen said don’t knock those first efforts.

All the butterflies below use the same pattern the difference between them is the thread used…The little pink one is a silk thread which is expensive to tat with but it Tats up lovely. I add a bead for their body when I am stitching them to a the crazy block…

Tatted Butterflies