Friday, July 22, 2016

Garden Peculiarities

When tomatoes tell lies.

Lying Tomato

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Quilted Book Cover

I took a detour from butterflies and other projects-in progress-to make a quick gift. My sister-in-law's mom is going through some challenges, and I saw a coloring book that made me think of her. (I have no idea whether or not she will actually like a coloring book.) I also found some clever "twist up" coloring pencils. While I hadn't thought about sewing anything, it struck me to make a little pouch for the book and pencils, and the project kind of took on a life of its own over the weekend.

I had started sewing little hexagons on papers while I was on travel last week, thinking to start a "box of hexagons" using scraps. I didn't have a specific project in mind, just to start collecting scrap hexagons. However, I took them out and thought about using some of them. I had 35, which was exactly enough to make five flowers. That seemed kismet, so that's what I did. I sewed them on some fabric charms I had in my stash, added some sashing to make it tall enough for the book, and put a zipper in the side.

It occurred to me to embroider around the flowers, and then I added some French knots in the middle. (It's DMC pearl cotton in "variations" colorways.) A little tag, and it was done!

Sharons Gift - Front

Sharons Gift - Back

Sharons Gift - Blue Flower

Sharons Gift - Green Flower

Sharons Gift - Orange Flower

Sharons Gift - Purple Flower

Sharons Gift - Red Flower

Sharons Gift - Label

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Monday, January 25, 2016

Butterfly Applique'

I appliqued the butterflies to the background. The rows get further apart going down.

Butterflies Appliqued

I put on the bodies and about three quarters of the antennae. The antennae are two strands of embroidery floss using "whipped reverse chain stitch." Basically, just do a chain stitch (or reverse chain, depending on which direction you like to chain), and then whip through each chain in the link. In this case, I used the same thread for both, but I'm sure you could whip it with a different color for an interesting effect. In the end, it looks like a stem stitch, only thicker.
Butterfly Antennae - 1

Butterfly Antennae - 2

The area at the side where the stacked fabric shows will likely be covered after the embellishing embroidery goes on. In the class example version, the brown bodies were smaller than the base, and the colored base showed all around the brown body piece. However, using the templates in the pattern, the edges were even.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Previous Butterfly / Sue Spargo post, here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Butterfly Background

Mitchell and I are on a snow day, and I finished appliqueing the background pieces for the Butterfly Sampler.

The basic instructions are to use a monochrome background. I thought the "off-white" might be a bit boring, but it helps if you call it, "Champagne." Hah!

I made it a little bit bigger than instructed... and my butterflies will be a bit further apart.

Butterfly Background - Champagne

The example in "Creative Texturing" had two perpendicular rows of blocks, edged with ribbons, and a single circle. I went with three, obviously. Here are a couple in closeup. These will be fund to embellish with embroidery...

Butterfly Background - Champagne - check circle

Butterfly Background - Champagne - brown cirrcle

The book also had three little hexagon flower elements, which I decided to do, as well. I found the "English Paper Piecing" (EPP) unexpectedly fun to do. Now, I suppose I'll end up collecting little hexagons in a box, somewhere...

Butterfly Background - Champagne - hexies

I'm ready to sew on butterflies!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Previous Butterfly / Sue Spargo post, here.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Embellished Needlebook

Before diving into the butterfly sampler, I made a needlebook. This gives me a way to organize all the various needles for the embellishment, but it also gave me a chance to try Sue Spargo's Creative Stitching and Creative Texturing techniques on a slightly smaller project. The circle design on the cover was modeled after one of Sue's circle samplers.


I used a wool felt for the red book base, and then layered quilting cottons, ribbon and rick rack. The closure uses a pony-tail elastic band.

Circle 4 - Taffeta

Taffeta circle edged with beaded coral stitch using silk ribbon.

Circle 3 - Batik

Batik quilting cotton edged with rosette chain stitch using oriental linen thread.

Circle 2 - Shantung

Silk Shantung with chain stitch using Valdani Pearl Cotton #12.

Circle 1 - Wool

Wool fabric edged with bullion knots using DMC Pearl Cotton #5.


The pages are craft felt. I printed the labels on printable fabric. There is a closing pocket in the front (with another ponytail elastic) and a non-closing pocket in the back cover.

I went ahead and chose fabrics and cut my butterflies... The background will be off-white.

Butterflies cut

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Previous Butterfly/Sue Spargo post, here.