Friday, 29 November 2013

Pyrography !

I can barely remember how to spell it but I have had a go at this craft and intend to keep trying.

Chines Dragon box
A lady at Church introduced me to this craft. She has two professional, temperature controllable hot wire tools.  She brought them up to church and I gave it a go.  Getting the correct thickness of line and darkness of burn was tricky but fun.

Later for a Christmas gift, I received a somewhat more basic tool.  It came with different tips, has no temperature control other than turning it off to let it cool or leaving it on to get very hot.

I have used it to burn the names of baking competition winners into wooden spoons (to commemorate their win) and to do simple flowers onto wooden jewellery.

Dragon box side detail

My best effort to date is adding dragons and the recipients initial onto this wooden box containing Chinese iron balls.

The are great for relaxing and strengthening hands tired from crafting..the iron balls with tinkling bells inside them, not the pyrography tools, just to be clear.  They, the instruction sheet carefully informs me are not recommended for use on human skin..ouch!  I shall be careful to avoid confirming that instruction.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Lots of little knots..

Knots, different types for the crafter and which type and when means we either love or loathe them.

Knots in thread to stop it pulling through the material as you start to sew, they are a good thing.

Knots in your thread as you work, not a good thing, unless you can get them out.  I am quite good at getting out the tangled thread comes from lots of practise.

Realising there are French knots in a pattern makes your heart sink if you find then tricky (I still do) or soar of you like them.

Celtic knots as I have previously mentioned, now those I love.

I used to take a small knot to work on when I went on holiday.  It was handy as I put pattern onto the material and so no need to carry a pattern.  I used variegated thread so only needed the one scheme. So little hoop, scissors, needle and the thread all fitting into a little travel pouch and I was ready.

This worked for holidays at home or abroad (before what you could take on a plane had to be restricted for the safety of all), I have made a few now.  

Celtic knots

But what to do with them?  I do not have an even number in either colour or design.  Not sure that I want to add to them, I take cross stitch kits on holiday now.  They are sewn so full of memories that whatever I do, it has to be for me and not to give away.

So while I contemplate it they sit folded up with just the knot showing, occasionally I get them out, line them up and hope for inspiration...nothing yet.

Celtic Knot in green

Brown square Celtic knot

Square Celtic Knot in teal

Round Celtic Knot in Green

Same knot in brown
Purple round Celtic Knot

Round Celtic knot in peach
Round Celtic knot in shades of orange

Blue square Celtic knot

Pink Celtic Knot, square or round?

Square Celtic Knot 

A tiny start on Christmas (cross stitch)

A book for a Christmas gift, it just has to have a themed bookmark to go with it.

However, I am in the mist of a large quilt (being hand quilted) which is also intended for Christmas , so very little time equals a very small cross stitch to glue on a bit of ribbon and make the bookmark I can't give a book without.

Tiny fairy, 11 stitches by 12 on 18 count.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Small, harder than it looks.( mini quilts)

A friend at work mentioned she was putting together a doll house for her niece for Christmas.

I had some scraps and thought why not, how hard can it be.

Well putting the little strips together was not too bad (but fitting with my crafting motto) but turning the edges was fiddly.
Mini quilt and pillow in yellow

Happily the little girl was not critical and was delighted with the mini quilts.  They are about 4 inches by 5.

Mini Quilt and pillow in pink

Yip her aunt couldn't wait till Christmas to show her. I have a much greater respect for the mini quilter now.

Friday, 8 November 2013


I am drawn to poppies, I am not sure why but I am.  I have a whole section of my pattern folder dedicated to designs which feature this flower.  This felt like the right month to share one on my blog.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

A baptism lighthouse (cross stitch)

I made this to commemorate a young man's baptism.  His name and the date are in the waves.

Years earlier I made a cross stitch for his uncle, it had a boat and  a lighthouse.

I guess the lighthouse could be seen as symbolic, but I chose the first one as the boy (now a man) concerned liked the sea. 

As for his nephew, he both admires his uncle so anything which reflects his tastes is good, and as his father is a sailor , so it was doubly appropriate. 

The design is from the August 2002 Just Cross stitch, it is called East-Coast Lighthouse by Julia Lucas.

Although we are not in the USA the name of the design remains fitting.

I have discovered a fondness for lighthouses, expect to see more. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

birth announcement

I have used the same basic pattern for two birth announcement cross stitches.  On the peach framed version I added flowers to extend the design into the rectangular frame.

On the second version I cut into the mount to make room for the feet as I wanted to keep the ducks on the mount which came with the frame. A yellow card behind the fabric warmed up the tone of the material and made the ducks yellow.

I like to work the child's name in so it is easy to see (I have blurred them out here for the children's privacy) but to put the birth date, time and weight into the design in a subtler way so you have to look for it.  In this case worked into the flowers. 

Little alterations can make a big difference and keep an item unique even if you reuse a favourite motif.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Mr Family Friend

So a postage-stamp-quilt. for Mrs Family Friend, but although it had blue in it, it was more girly than couple orientated.  What to do ?

football player
Answer, make him a cross stitch to commemorate his favourites sport and one time profession.  His wife mentioned that she was putting together memory album  with all the information from his time as a professional football player.  That gave me the focus, and I made the sepia footballer shown here.

I like sepia it lends a timeless quality to an image.

Martin with his card.