Thursday, May 15, 2008

Little Triangles Everywhere!

Apparently I have lost my mind! I don't know what possessed me to decide to start a quilt pieced entirely by hand when it's only my second quilt top. Needless to say, my fingers are as sore as can be from being pricked and stabbed every few minutes. Of course, this is also going to take forever and is much less accurate than the top I pieced on the sewing machine. The greatest irony is that I'm pricking my fingers sitting in my chair two feet away from my sewing machine. I think I'm going back to machine piecing after this if only because I'm far better on the machine than I am ever likely to be by hand. I know that on the horizon lies a great sense of accomplishment, but it's kind of hard to see at the moment.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Calluses and Stitches

Wow! So I have neglected this blog forever, huh?!

Well, I've been working like crazy on several projects. Unfortunately a lot of supplies and works in progress are packed up in the storage room and unreachable at the moment. So, my focus has been forcibly shifted from the embroidery I was working on, so I've been tatting until my calluses have formed calluses!

I have realized that one of my problems in life as well as crafting is that I'm too symmetrically-minded. I decided to do something about that. I have a huge pile of beads that I had rejected from one project or another because they were uneven or chipped or whatever. Well, I finally figured out what to do with the reject beads! I have made them the focal point of tatted pendants! Suddenly the reject beads are my new favorites!

This one was an uneven triangular shape with the most beautiful amber color. I used black DMC tatting thread and brownish-amber seed beads around the outside. I love this one. This clumsy bead has now become a delicate and delightful piece, if I do say so myself!

Of course, working each pendant around a particular bead means that each one, though the pattern may end up being simple, leads to a huge pile of wasted thread and work as one attempt after another doesn't work or just does look right.

If there's one thing I love more than the reject beads, it's buttons. I think it goes back to spending slow days in the Costume Shop sorting buttons, but I just love playing with buttons. Where the reject bead pendants are a matter of taking something odd or clumsy and making something delicate, the button pendants I've made are about taking something simple and commonplace and making in extraordinary. So, here's my favorite button pendant so far:

I call it Peaches and Cream. I know, not that creative a name, but after you spend several hours working on something, you don't always have my creativity left. Anyway, the picture doesn't really do it justice, but I love this pendant. I might have to make another for myself, but I put this one up in my shop along with all the others.

I was also finally smart enough to start a tatting journal so that I can remember all my patterns when I try to go back and repeat them. Sometimes I do organized things, I swear! Maybe some day I'll be able to publish my own pattern book instead of just buying everyone else's. Lol.