Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Linda's How-Do-I Series? How To Embroider A Basic Chain Stitch and Lazy Daisy Flower Free E-Book

Copyright ©  2012 - 2014 All Rights Reserved - Written By Linda Walsh

I just LOVE embroidering with basic chain stitches and Lazy Daisy Flowers.  Since several of my baby shower e-patterns require basic chain stitches and Lazy Daisy Flowers I thought I'd create an illustration showing you how I do this and add it to my group of free Linda's How-Do-I Series? of e-books.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Linda's Review of The Clover Applique Rose Design Mold

Before my sister's visit for our needle felting craft adventure I had decided to buy some of the Clover needle felting applique molds I had previously seen.  One of the molds I had bought was the Clover Applique Mold, Rose Design.

While my sister was working on her free style needle felted landscape design I decided to try creating a pink rose using the rose mold.

The mold contained two large front and back sheets with instructions.  The two sheets looked a little cumbersome at first until I realized there were different languages on each sheet.  So, I had to find the English section.  While I can understand the cost effectiveness of doing this it's not the most user friendly approach and makes the instructions seem way too complicated.

One of the large sheets also contained basic punching text and pictorial information for the various sizes and pieces of their molds and how to use them with the roving which I found to be very helpful.

The instructions for using the particular mold were of a text and pictorial nature and once I found the English version they were easy to follow.  They recommended in the instructions using their molds with the Clover Pen Style Needle Felting Tool and either the Clover Felting Needle Mat Small or the Clover Felting Needle Mat Large.

I soon realized that some of the pieces of the the molds were pretty tiny so only the single felting needle or Clover Pen Style Needle Felting Tool would work. I had previously bought a large foam felting block but soon realized that the molds did work the best with the Clover Felting Needle Mat Large.

I had no problem putting the pink rose together except I quickly found out that the needles for the Clover Pen Style Needle Felting Tool break very, very easily.  I ended up going through 4 needles before I was finished with all my flowers.  If you're going to embark on a needle felting adventure be sure to buy lots, and lots of replacement needles as you are going to need them.

I was pleased with the way my pink rose came out but my sister thought it was boring (plus I had used up all the pink roving - bad sister!) so I decided to try a multi-colored purple rose next.

I had bought two 5" by 5" unfinished picture frames each with a 2 3/4" by 2 3/4" opening.  The opening was just slightly smaller than my roses but I had decided that gluing them there and having them projecting out of the frame would be interesting.

So, I painted both unfinished wood frames first with pink acrylic paint and then sponge painted them with lilac acrylic paint using natural ocean sponges.  Then I applied one coat of varnish.

I added felt backing and a small amount of batting to the 2 3/4" by 2 3/4" picture opening as backing for my roses and then hot glued them to the felt.

I like how they both roses turned out and will probably create some more of the roses as the mold is really easy to use, despite the 2 page instructions.  You could make a rose to use as a corsage, to embellish a purse or vest, to decorate a large picture, to make long stemmed needle felted roses for a floral bouquet arrangement, decorate a hat, etc.  I'm sure if you give me long enough I'll have a hundred other uses for a needle felted rose.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Linda's How-Do-I Series? How To Blanket Stitch Free E-Book

I just LOVE embroidering with blanket stitches.  Since several of my e-patterns require blanket stitching I thought I'd create a blanket stitch illustration and add it to my group of free Linda's How-Do-I Series? of e-books.  Enjoy.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Linda's Review of Needle Felting Tools - They All Have A Different Needle Felting Use!

In anticipation of my sister's visit for working on her websites and learning all we could about roving I decided to add to the tools and supplies I had from a few years ago when I had done a small amount of needle felting on a penny rug picture.

If you don;t know what needle felting is it is basically using a single or multiple needle tool to mesh the fibers of roving into itself to form an object or shape, mesh the roving into another piece of felted roving to create an object, or mesh the roving into a piece of wool felt to create an object or picture.

You can freely shape the roving yourself using needle felting tools or use needle felt molds or cookie cutters to shape the roving into the desired object.

In looking at needle felting it seemed like there were a lot of different tools and supplies needed to do needle felting. I wondered if I needed them all and soon found out I did as they all have a different use.

I already had a medium size Clover felting mat but wanted a larger one so I bought a Clover Felting Needle Mat Large.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Linda's Review of Dimensions Needlecrafts Needle Felted Snowman Character Kit

When my sister came to visit one of our objectives was to learn as much as we could about needle felting and working with roving.

I had bought two mini roving kits from Dimensions. One Dimensions Needlecrafts Needle Felted Character Kit, Snowman for making a snowman (shown above) and Dimensions Needlecrafts Needle Felted Character Kit, Penguin for making a penguin (also shown above) that I thought would be a good introduction into working with the fiber so we started there.

We just wanted to get the feel of the fiber and how easy or hard it would be to work with before we embarked on our free style hand creations and working with the molds we had bought. I took the snowman and my sister took the penguin.

The snowman was a no felting mold necessary kit that came with the wool roving (white, black, orange, and blue), felting needle, felting mat, embroidery needle, thread and step-by-step instructions.  It called for twigs for arms which were not included.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Crazy Quilt Purse Is DONE!

What is it they say?  "A little rain never hurt anyone!"  Well, that's true as far as I'm concerned as a little rain today allowed me extra time to finish my crazy quilt purse.

If you've been following along with the posts on my Linda's Blog you know that I've been taking my very first online class with Pat Winter on Artful Gathering. The class is called Crazy Quilting 101 and I have LOVED every minute of the class. Pat is such a fantastic teacher. I only wish I had taken one of her classes years ago.

My head is filled with all sorts of ideas for crazy quilting creations that I can make and, maybe, give as Xmas presents this year. Who knows! My head is spinning.

What I do know is that I LOVE crazy quilting and may have found a new passion.

Does that mean I'm giving up of dolls, Victorian fashions, silk florals, history and everything else I LOVE. Of course not! It just means I'm going to find a way to combine everything I love. That means I may be creating crazy quilting things related to Victorian dolls or florals.  Maybe a little genealogy? You never know.

I ended up lining and finishing my purse with some addition iron-on interfacing being added  to the lining material as well.  So, both the lining pieces and the front and back pieces ended up with iron-on interfacing on them.  The front actually ended up with two iron-on interface pieces.

I'm also thinking that I'm going to sew two large snaps to the inside top of my purse to hold the top closed. That way no one can just reach in and steal my belongings. Not that I'd put anything in it worthy of stealing! Well, chapstick maybe!

I'm really pleased with the way my purse came out. Definitely looks Victorian which is certainly right up my alley. I may just have to keep my beautiful blue purse. I'm such a bad sister!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Linda's Review of Noel Ornament Cross-Stitch Kit From Dimensions Gold Petite Collection

Hubby liked the cross-stitch bird stamp that I had created for my sister-in-law so much that he asked if I was going to do one for us.  I, of course, said "SURE!" After all if you're a cross-stitch junkie who can resist an invitation to create another cross-stitch. Definitely not me!

I only had two bird stamps left and decided to go with the Dimensions Needlecrafts Counted Cross Stitch, Noel Ornament as it was also very festive and cheery.  Plus, since the Dimensions Gold Collection Petites were all  4 1/4" squares I knew I could make a small picture for us as well.

Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection kits I had bought the   "Noel Ornament"   kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count ivory cotton Aida, felt, needle and instructions.  They also said that thick craft glue and quilt batting would be needed.

The "Noel Ornament" pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch and outline stitching  for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch and outlining being used for artistic effect.

The pattern came with starting, stitching, finishing and even cleaning instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, and color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols. The colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow.

While I was very pleased with the end results of this design there are some things in the kit and in the instructions that can be improved upon.

As was the case with previous Dimensions kits the thread sorter was poorly designed. The embroidery threads were glued to two foam backed 6" by 1 1/4" strips of cardboard that had a picture of the color of the thread and it's number. In order to get to the threads you had to separate the foam back from the cardboard strip. Very quickly the threads separated from their section and then you no longer knew what the thread number was to tie to your symbols & legends. I had to punch a hole in the thread sorter cardboard strip just below the color of the thread & it's number and then insert the threads through the hole and tie them in a loose knot so my threads, colors, and numbers would stay together.

I also added the symbols to the strip to make reading the chart easier.  To make things even easier for the user the color symbol should have been shown on the thread sorter strip of cardboard as well. That way you would only need to use the thread sorter strip of cardboard to follow your chart.

The pattern also calls for certain areas of the picture to be left untouched so the white linen color could show through for that area:  It's the white section in the picture above surrounding the stamp border.

However, I don't like the fabric showing in different sections of the background so I opted instead to finish the white sections with half cross-stitching. My results with the totally finished white sections are shown below:

The finishing calls for squaring the back and then sewing felt onto to the back to finish the ornament.  Instead of doing that I decided I wanted to finish my stamp as a small picture.  So, I decided to add 4 additional rows of dark green floss in half-stitch around the entire picture to create the effect of a mat border and then to glue the entire picture flat to a cardboard square.   I had chosen a white frame to finish it which I think really brought out the festive colors of the stamp and really looked nice next to my green floss mat.

It took me 36 hours to complete this picture not including the framing.  Despite the problems I encountered with the thread sorter I was very happy with the way my Dimensions Needlecrafts Counted Cross Stitch, Noel Ornament turned out. There is a lot going on in a very small cross-stitch picture and it is amazing to see.

Well, hubby liked it so much he said, "So, when are you going to finish the next one?"  I, of course, was tempted to drop everything I was doing and start it right then and there, but decided I had other crafty things I needed to do to get ready for the holidays so this would have to wait.  So, I said, "Maybe after the holidays, dear."  I'm sure that came as a surprise to him!  Gotta keep him guessing!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Linda's Review of Wish Ornament Cross-Stitch Kit From Dimensions Gold Collection Petite

When trying to decide on which small cross-stitch kits I wanted to try this year for a Christmas present for my sister-in-law I knew I wanted to create something with a bird theme. You see, she's a bird lover and every year I try to give her something with a "bird" in it. So, this year I decided to buy some adorable counted cross-stitch kits that were historic copies of old bird stamps - with postage markings and all. So, I choose three and ended up making two of them.

All of the bird stamps were Dimensions Gold Collection Petites that were 4 1/4" squares. As I intended to frame this as a little picture the 4 1/2" size was perfect. So, of the three I chose the Dimensions Needlecrafts Counted Cross Stitch, Wish Ornament shown below, as I thought it would make a wonderful miniature picture and was so bright and festive.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Linda's Review of Rocky Mountain Santa Cross-Stitch Kit #MH20-8303 Beartooth Santa From Mill Hill

If you haven't already been able to guess - Christmas gifts this year were of the cross-stitch variety. Actually this year and last year and maybe even a few the year before.  What are you going to do when you're a cross-stitch junkie?

As usual, I found several kits I liked earlier in the year so, I bought a few. Unlike last year, this year I bought  a few cross-stitch patterns that utilized perforated paper.

If your remember, the 1st counted cross-stitch perforated paper pattern that I had tried was a Spirit of Quilting Angel Ornament from Brooke's Books Publishing. It was an angel counted cross-stitch ornament design by Brooke Nolan. As I was going to be giving these as Christmas gifts this year I was glad I had already learned a few tricks to working with perforated paper from my previous project.