Sunday, May 19, 2019

Change Of Plans

I'm now working on the lining for the special project I mentioned at the end of April, the one made of yardage woven from denim strips.

The way the jacket is made the front panels fold back to form a lapel effect and this exposes the lining. I decided to embellish the exposed area of the lining with Sashiko embroidery in the Higaki (Cypress Fence) pattern. Wanting to break up the monotony of the brick like pattern I added a few small flowers I drew myself.  

When the Sashiko was complete I could see that the flower outlines would definitely need some further defining. They were lost in the background of Higaki patterning. (See top portion of the photo). Before work began I suspected this might be the case and had a backup plan to use fabric paint to fill in the flowers. A practice piece made me realize that fabric paints were just not going to work. 

After a couple more false starts, experimenting and casting aside various ideas, I came up with the idea of filling the flowers in with a solid blending stitch known as "long and short stitch". I chose a range of golden yellows so as to not clash with the background Sashiko. As I was working the blending stitch my husband mentioned that they looked like marigolds. I agreed. With the addition of a centre of deeper gold french knots I think they look just like this particular marigold variety.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Nature's Sparkles

I received a wonderful Kaiser Baas X400 Action Camera for Christmas with the idea that it would be used to capture moments from our kayaking trips. In it's special case it's waterproof.

 Months later we're finally able to get out on the water to use it for the first time! I just let it run on until the memory card was depleted. I've trimmed one of the video segments to show you my favourite moments from today's trip to Hick's Lake, BC.

I marvelled at Mother Nature's spectacular light show upon the water. As I learn how the camera works and how to better edit the videos (sorry about the sloping horizon line!) I hope to have better snippets to offer.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Testing Testing

A peek or two at what I'm working on now.

The weaving was done quite some time ago, years perhaps. It's denim strips woven alternately with picks of an indigo dyed cotton yarn.

With the ANWG Conference (Association of North West Weaver's Guilds) coming up in June I've decided to make something of the fabric and submit it for exhibition. No guarantee that it will be accepted of course, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

These photos are just teasers. Some experimenting, trial and error and testing of ideas is going on.

The above is a testing muslin for a bound pocket. It's not perfect but I learned a few things I can carry over to the real project.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

More Hats Than Heads

I always tease my baseball hat collecting son that he has far more hats than he has heads. Seems I'm getting that way myself. I'm now storing 4 hats on just 2 wicker heads.

After a lifetime of never wearing hats I've been told, in a roundabout way, that I must wear a hat when outdoors. Yes, in part it is for sun protection after a bit of a problem with a "precancerous lesion" that needed treatment, but mostly it has to do with my eyes. My eyes are very sensitive to the sun but if I wear polarized sunglasses I find that direct sunlight on the lenses makes it difficult to see anything! I have to have some sort of hat visor overhanging the sunglasses.

I've written before about the "Upcycled Hat" made of denim patches. That was the first one. It fit so well and worked so well for my purposes that I went on to sew the black velveteen one later on. It's great in the winter but rather hot when it's not chilly out. Then came the white one with denim trim. I don't think I blogged about that one? I was hoping it would be a bit cooler, but nope. I guess with my volume of hair any hat at all is HOT.

I've added yet another hat to my growing collection. The wildly patterned pink/orange/purple hat was sewn from a loosely woven cotton tablecloth I found on sale at Value Village for $3. It's a little cooler and lighter than the others.

All four are sewn using my go to pattern, the "Gardening Hat" from "Happy Hats and Cool Caps". At one time the book was available for 1 cent plus shipping but I see it has gone up in price.

Saturday, April 13, 2019


Ever since a boring old store bought pincushion fell apart on me, scattering sawdust power everywhere, I've been wanting to make myself not just one, but three new ones.

I ended up with six, which is a bit of overkill, but I was on a roll and thought I might as well use up the main fabric.

I used the "My Favorite Pincushion Pattern" by Darcy Ashton and made four in the Jumbo size and two cute little miniatures. The decorative "leaves" on the larger ones are cut from felted wool fabric and then appliqued in place using Ashton's well written instructions. The additional embellishing stitches are my own touch, done in a unplanned sort of way.

Why do I need three pincushions? Because in my sewing and embroidery work I use three different types of straight pins, each with a specific purpose and I don't like getting them intermingled. 

My two favourite types of pins have heads that will not melt when they come in contact with a hot iron. The extra-fine glasshead pins are excellent when sewing fine fabrics. They slide through the fabric easily and are less inclined to leave holes in delicate material. The heavier stainless steel pins on the right are my go to for any heavier fabric like canvas or denim and when working with multiple layers that tend to bend the lighter pins. I do have the new-fangled clips but find I still need pins for anything that requires securing away from an edge. Cheap pins, like the multi-coloured ones at the top of the picture, will go in the third cushion. I use those when I'm stitching away from home, taking classes as there is a good chance I will lose some. They are garbage, with plastic heads that melt, but they are easily replaced.

All links in my posts are there only for your convenience. I do NOT receive reimbursement in any way if you use them.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

7 More Minis

While I've been working on a few other creative projects around here my 4 inch minis slipped to the wayside for a bit, but I'd like to get back to them as soon as possible.

It's only been a few days but already I really miss that quiet, creative time after dinner, just me and my stitching.

In the meantime here are 7 more that have been completed since I last posted about Stitching Meditations.

These are all done with no preplanning. I just dig through my scraps and see what happens.

The mini shown below is actually the worn out elbow section of one of my husbands denim shirts. It is overlapping a section of a worn out, ancient old handkerchief. Peeking through that you can just see the plaid flannel from a shirt that is used as a backing to all of my recent squares.

The bright orange mini below is the corner from a sarong I cut up for a scarf I showed recently. It is sewn to a thrifted linen blend fabric that was used as an inexpensive "muslin" for a trial pattern that failed so never quite made it as a bloggable sewing project. 

This last mini is a strip of that same bright orange-red linen blend fabric laid in a wandering path over a square of the duvet fabric I used in my heavily embroidered Les Etoiles tunic.

There will be more. Probably many more. Perhaps one day they will find themselves attached in groups to a backing and displayed somewhere where the details can be seen. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019


Squirrel! This project takes its name from the calendar picture I used as colour inspiration. 

The photo was a birthday gift given to me by my nine year old granddaughter.

I'm very pleased with the way this Nobius Cowl turned out. "Nobius" is a name given by a Saori Weaving forum member to a mobius cowl that has no twist and therefor doesn't have the classic mobius shape. I prefer mine without the twist since they look about the same when worn but are easier to fold and store flat. 

My home is decorated in the colours present in the cowl, but they aren't colours I wear, so once the year end guild luncheon with it's "photo inspiration challenge" is over I'll be selling it. I sell them for $75 - $80 Canadian, usually at the Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market in November.