Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post-Merry Christmas to all!

Had so much fun making the Christmas garland that I asked a friend if she wanted one, too. The answer was "yes," but she wanted one not just for Christmas, but to keep out all year 'round...a fabric sculpture. So, I put together a beautiful thoughtfully composed patchwork background color coordinated with her living room onto which I sewed a few simple 'rustic' roses inspired by the wonderful works of a Scottish woman artist at the end of the 19th-beginning of the 20th century named Margaret MacDonald...More......

Margaret was married to Charles Rennie Mackintosh, a famous and talented Scottish architect, whose career and work probably felt the influence of his equally talented wife. For more info on her try here: http://www.scotland.org/features/item/margaret-macdonald/ and here: http://www.huntsearch.gla.ac.uk/cgi-bin/foxweb/huntsearch_Mackintosh/summaryresults.fwx?searchterm=manufac+has+margaret+macdonald&browseMode=on&browseSet=Margaret+Macdonald.

I love the contrast between the sophisticated fabrics and colors and careful sewing of the background with the roses, edges unfinished, a bit 'rustic.'

The patchwork, complete with roses, was sewn into a tube, right sides together, leaving a good 7, or so, inches free at each end to facilitate the sewing of the short end together.

Then the donut-shaped object was fluffed up with stuffing, and the long slit closed. VoilĂ ! It will be a garland of roses for a little abstract horse sculpture in simple lines.

I can't wait to take it to her!


Friday, December 23, 2011

A bit of Christmas sewing

Have been working like a mad woman for almost three months. Here we are just before Xmas. Offices closed and deadlines met. I'm finally freeeeeee!

What was my first thought, lengthy needlepoint aside?

Sewing and baking, of course!...More......

Baking? Makes my mouth water just to hear the word. I had promised friends real Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies, and the batch came out just fine, as proven by the very necessary taste test: http://mymilanitaly.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-promises-and-toll-house.html.

But that doesn't have much to do with needlepoint, does it?

Given the extreme lack of time...I finished work projects just two days before a lunch appointment to which I wanted to take a handmade love gift...out came the sewing machine instead of the needlepoint needle. On the TO DO sheet, a patchwork stuffed hen and a patchwork stuffed Christmas garland: http://mymilanitaly.blogspot.com/2011/12/fun-of-giving-love-gifts.html.

Sketched the hen, then cut the sketch into pattern bits, then cut those out. Didn't forget a gusset to make her tummy nice and puffy!

Sewed the two complete halves, first, comb, beak and gusset, before sewing those together, including the two long yellow wattles just under her little beak.

Then I turned her inside out, stuffed her, and closed up the long slit along one side of the gusset that I had left open just for this purpose.

The garland was fun, too.

I sewed together the green patches, artfully placed, into a long rectangle. Onto the rectangle, I top sewed (with long stitches in a gold-colored thread) the "bulbs."

Here comes the semi-tricky part.

I turned the fabric to put the long right side together, and sewed along the length, taking care to avoid sewing the first five inches or so on both sides (you'll see why in a minute).

Then I turned it right side out, and--facilitated with the opening left by not sewing all the way to the ends--I put the right sides together of the two short ends, and sewed them together, then ironed down the seam allowance of the opening.

Now it was ready for stuffing and--once nicely full, but not too stuffed (so that the wrinkles cast shadows like the uneven surfaces of the garland branches)--top sewing down the opening where I had nicely ironed the seam allowances as guides.

And...voilĂ ! (On a roll, so I made one for myself, too!)

Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Have you been good, or bad? Santa's making his list!

Santa's frantically finishing his toy list...have you been good, or bad, this year?

(Thanks, Microsoft, for the free clip art. This one is MC900285786, which I turned first into a StitchPainter diagram then into a BMP file to share with you here freely for your personal non-commercial stitching pleasure.)

Enjoy! and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Xmas gifts and candy cane

Winding our way to Xmas, here's a small do-able image of presents and a candy cane thanks to the free images of Microsoft clip art (thanks, guys!). I uploaded it into my StitchPainter program, and turned it into a BMP for your personal, non-commercial stitching pleasure.

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