Thursday, September 10, 2009

Felt Christmas Stocking Pins

When our mother, Lulu, was a nursing home resident, our family made friends with many of the other residents, and often their families. Carolyn and I planned special events for the ladies (and a few men!). Each December we gave a holiday tea, with sweets from Molly's Bakery, music, fun and silliness.

For one of the holiday teas I made many of these cute little felt stocking pins. The ladies loved them! I was touched when, at our tea the following year at Christmas, some of the ladies wore their stocking pins from the year before.

The pattern for the stocking pins is below. Trace around the pattern onto doubled felt and cut out. Join the back and front with buttonhole stitch, in a contrasting color of two strands of embroidery floss. Cut a strip of white felt to wrap around the top. Scalloped or pinking shears make a pretty cut. Glue the white felt strip to the stocking using Beacon Fabric-Tac, joining ends of the felt strip at the center back. Glue a 3-hole pin back horizontally on the back of the stocking, on the white strip.

The miniatures that go into the stocking were found at Michaels, near the scrapbook section of the store. You will find a lot of these little holiday things in the months leading up to Christmas.

Join the various miniatures, plus a leaf or two pulled from a fabric flower, using a small piece of fine guage florist wire. (I glued the florist wire to the back of the tiny wrapped presents).

Put a small amount of polyester stuffing in the stocking, to puff it out a bit. Put some Tacky glue on the pre-wired miniatures and insert in the stocking, behind the stuffing. Let dry, wear your cheerful pin during the holidays! Make 30, host a tea at a nursing home and brighten the holidays for the residents there!

It might be fun to add a little embroidered flower to the toe of the stocking. I didn't do that because I was making a lot at one time.

Here is the pattern for the stocking. You will probably have to enlarge or reduce it on your computer or printer. The dimensions of the stocking are 2 - 3/4" high x 2" wide. If it is helpful, the frame around the pattern is 2 - 7/8" high x 2 - 1/8" wide.

These were fun to make, very colorful.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beaded Button Brooch Workshops

On September 22 and October 10 I'll be doing Beaded Button workshops for RSVP in Oxford and the North Mississippi Fiber Guild in Hernando. The workshop is three hours and participants should be able to finish their embellished button brooch and wear it home!

Here is a sample of one of my beaded button brooches. To see more samples, click on the slide show of beaded buttons (on the right, the beaded cat button picture).

For RSVP participants, all you need to bring is a 1" or larger button. All other materials are provided. The workshop is from 10:00 to 1:30, so bring a lunch (dessert and drinks provided by RSVP).

(NMFG, please visit the guild Yahoo site for a list of materials to bring, though most supplies will be provided.)

What sort of button works well for this project? Well, just about any kind of button! If you have a button with sentimental value (perhaps it once resided on your mother's winter coat), bring that and wear a memory of your mother on your lapel!

Buttons old, new, plain, fancy, solid color or patterned -- they all work. The vintage button in the upper left of this photo was recently given to me by a friend. I can't wait to make it into a pin. It's so me, the pink gloved hand, holding the big rhinestone! The bottom left button was recently purchased, at M&J Trimming in NYC. The button on the right is from Africa.

Colorful and inexpensive new buttons make good beaded button brooches:

In Oxford you can find pretty and colorful new buttons at the Fabric Center on University. Ellen has a wonderful button selection there. Even Wal-Mart has a good, though smaller, selection of colorful buttons.
Lastly, if you want to spend a lot of money, you can find reproduction Czech glass buttons online.  The glass dragonfly button, below, was purchased at the big bead show in Tucson last February, and it cost about $10. I think the "work in progress" button is funny; I found it at M&J Trimming on my recent trip to New York City. The soft pink button in the center is plastic.

Remember, 1" or larger. See you on the 22nd!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vintage Monogram Forms

Our parents were in the antique business. One time they bought the basement contents of an old mercantile store in a nearby town. That means my sister and I have a lovely stash of vintage laces, trims, and other "ladies" things. I have many, many paper initials, which women embroidered over to monogram their hankies, lingerie, etc.

Several years ago I repurposed a couple old hankies to make this sweet little purse. What would you put in it? Perhaps....a hanky! Too fragile to hold much else. I used a very fine machine embroidery thread to hand stitch over the two, small paper initials. (I first tacked them down at the points.) The tatted edging was removed from another hanky and attach to the purse as the front and back were hand sewn together. I used a heavier fabric for the back.

I have paper initials for most of the alphabet (no B, G, M, S, or X's).  But I have many, many D's, I's, J's, N's and T's. And if you're name is Yolanda, you are in luck!! 

In the post below I ask for help in identifying some "mystery" initials!

Mystery Monogram Forms!

Most of the paper initials I have are pretty straight forward, but a few of them are complete alphabet mysteries to me! Perhaps someone can help identify them.

The first picture, below, shows three letters inside their packaging. I know the letter on the left is "C" and the letter on the right is an "E." But I'm not sure about the one in the middle. Is it a "D?"
In the next photo, the paper container identifies the contents as "I," which I guess it could be. The narrow vertical bar on the left would not be embroidered over, but would be removed after the embroidery was complete.  Is it a "J"?

In the next photo, the paper containers are marked "J" and "N." That is an odd looking "J." Is there a calligrapher out there that can help me identify these paper initials? 

"I" or "J" or "T?"
Maybe this will help:


Links to Free Knitting Patterns

Knitting Pattern Central is a wonderful site that links to hundreds of free knitting patterns. They are nicely categorized so you can look for something specific. Below is a link to the gloves, mittens and wristlet page:

Here is a cute pattern for cable wrist warmers that I found through Knitting Pattern Central:

Vickie Howell has an interesting pattern for wrist warmers that looks like it might be easy:

And one more pattern I found that I think is very pretty:

There are many, many more at the Knitting Pattern Central website! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Knitted Wristlets

Here is a pair of knitted wristlets I made for a friend. The cuff can be turned up and buttoned above the thumb for more warmth. Don't need these much in Tucson!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blue Felt Vessel

Here is another felted vessel. This one was felted over a "gertie ball", which is blown up, covered with silk "caps", wool, yarn embellishment, then all is covered with 3 pantyhose tops (pulled over the ball in three directions), and then felted. Very fun! I'll be teaching this at the Telarana Weavers and Spinners Guild in Mesa, Arizona next January. The same technique can be used to make felted hats or bags.

Felted Vessels

I've been having fun making felted vessels. This one was made over a pool noodle to create the long, narrow shape. I used merino-silk, mohair locks and pencil roving for embellishment.
To obtain the flat bottom, I shaped it over a can of Progresso soup! Whatever is handy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Eloise's Nuno Felted Shawl

Eloise sent photos of her dry shawl. They look much better dry! I love the detail photo, it shows the way the felted wool manipulates the texture of the silk scarf. The colors are really pretty.

Is anyone interested in getting together to do some bead embellishment on our nuno felted shawls and shrugs?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nuno Felted Wet Shawls!

Once the wool roving starts to felt and push through the silk scarf (after rolling about 600 times), it can be taken off the roll and gently tossed onto the table. Here Mary and Jackie toss the shawls. When the shawl really starts to felt, you can start throwing it more forcefully on the table. A short warm up in the microwave, in a plastic bag, also helps the felting process.

Elizabeth tries on her very wet shawl!
Looks good!
Purples and blues were popular color choices. Here, Eloise tries on her wet shawl.
Mary chose a 'spring palette' for her nuno felted shawl:
Dana models her 'western' themed shawl:
These are my kind of colors! Mary modeling her hot pinks and orange wet shawl:
Eva's finished, but still wet, nuno felted shawl:
Victoria's variegated reds came out beautifully!:
A special thank you to Cathy, who helped to find a location for Carolyn's nuno felting class and who took ALL the photos in class. This photo was taken a week later at Cathy's ranch, and so far it's the only dry shawl we have seen!
They look a lot different when they are dry. The ruching and puckering are more obvious. We can't wait to see all of them dry and embellished with beads, sequins, buttons, etc. Thanks to everyone who came to the workshop, you were really fun to work with!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nuno Workshop cont'd

Wool roving holds the mohair locks, ribbons, yarn & thread embellishments in place during the felting process. Eva's shawl is ready for felting.
Dana's artful arrangment of roving and embellishments:
Dana applying warm, soapy water to the felt 'sandwich' of bubble wrap, silk scarf & roving, and a top layer of bridal veil netting to hold the roving and embellishments in place:
After wetting the sandwich with soapy water, it is rolled up slowly and fastened with two nylon stockings. Then the rolling process begins. Roll it 200 times, back and forth. Open and check to see how the felting process is going. Roll it up again, and repeat back and forth rolling another 200 times. Repeat as necessary until you can see that the roving has migrated through to the back side of the silk scarf and the roving on the front has started to shrink and felt. Below, Jackie and Janet rolling, rolling, rolling.......
Janet checks the progress of her nuno felted shawl, below.

Next post.....workshop participants modeling their wet nuno felted shawls!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Carolyn's Nuno Felting Class cont'd

This much roving!
Applied in thin layers all around the edge of the silk scarf, underneath:
And a second layer over the scarf edge on the top of the scarf:
Use very small wisps of roving to hold down mohair locks and other embellishments.
Workshop participants concentrating.....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Felted Cats by Carolyn and friend Debbi

Here are two cute cats my friend Debbi and I made while staying at Shady Dell RV Park (vintage trailers) in Bisbee, enjoying the sun in their vintage "shell" chair outside our trailer. Mine, Tootsie, is on the right. Debbi is an expert needlefelter! They are now properly dressed in knitted clothing....

Carolyn's Nuno Felting Workshop

Carolyn came to Mississippi for a nice long visit in April. I kept her real busy (like she does when I visit her in Tucson!). One day during her visit, Carolyn gave a nuno felting workshop to members of my North Mississippi Fiber Arts Guild, plus some members of the Memphis Guild of Handloom Weavers.

It was a great class and a great group of very agreeable students. There were 11 of us. That's a big class, but everyone was patient, hard working, and knew how to laugh! Thanks all, for a wonderful day, and especially to Carolyn for sharing your knowledge and artistry with us.

Below are photos of Carolyn's "trunk show" before class. In the next post.....hard at work students and their finished (though still wet) nuno felted shawls.

Above and below, Carolyn models one of her nuno felted shrugs, front, back, and detail.

Below, Mary models a shrug.

Eva is a natural born model! Here, modeling Carolyn's nuno felted cocoon jacket. Plus a detail of the jacket.

Below, Thea's shows the versatility of a nuno scarf. Driving to class, on a cool April morning, the driver window in the van would not go up. We pulled one of Carolyn's scarves out of the back, wrapped it around my head and shoulders, and I was cozy all the way to the workshop (50 miles!).
More photos in the next posts of students designing, rolling, more rolling, trying on wet shawls, etc.