Saturday, March 31, 2007


More embroideries today. I am a proud member of the Flickr Embroidery Group. They've started a blog. My crafting lately is split between feltcraft and straight out embroidery. The two do cross for me, though because I like to handstitch my felties.

Here's a happy spring embroidery pouch that I made. Its from this glorious book.

Sublime Stitching also has terrific patterns that are really fun and new. I got in on their Tea Towel Tour. 10 of us on Craftster are helping Sublime Stitching's Jenny Hart evaluate tea towels so she can decide what to sell from her shop. I was the first on the tour, and I stitched this rocket. The towel is on it's merry way to the 5th embroiderer. I thought the quality of the towel was excellent. I'm crossing my fingers that it is also cheap.

I do like monkeys and these are t-shirts I embroidered for my daughter and my niece. These patterns are also from Sublime Stitching. It is tricky to embroider on t-shirts. I find that using the chain stitch is best. I don't have much trouble maintaining consistent tension in my stitches so I don't use foundation, but other people swear by it.,

These were tea-towels I did for a friend who was having a big birthday party. He's an energetic Chicago sports superfan, so that's where I got the pattern ideas. For these, I just scoured the web for simple images and traced them with pencil onto the tea-towels. The towels are classic flour sack towels, but I was pretty cheap and the hems were already coming undone with my prewashing, so I used bias binding to enclose the fraying hem. I don't know how the bias binding affected the durability and absorbancy of the towels though... I'll have to make some for myself and test drive them for awhile.

And the Stitchettes. Hillary Lang designed these, and I absolutely adore them. She's released 4 for each season. These are last summer's. Currently she's designing the spring stitchettes. I plan to make all 16 stitchettes and make them into a quilt...I do have so many crafty plans. You can get your Stitchette embroidery transfers here.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Felt stack

Felt stack, originally uploaded by IamSusie.

Jealous? I finally made an online order for felt. This is the delicious wool/rayon blended kind.

At my last visit to JoAnns, they told me it isn't spring yet (!?) So I gave up on them. The prices on these were the same as JoAnns anyway and I had a better selection.

I ordered from this source. My order arrived super quickly. Unfortunately, they don't have lavender. I love lavender and the purple color range, so maybe I'll dye my own.

My photo color is a little bit too red. The yellow in the center is a lovely lemony color in real life.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thread Crochet

My 2 grandmas were both crafty, probably like most people's grandmas were. Grandma McK was about 15 years older than Grandma N who is the one who left me all of her fabric stash. Grandma McK used to thread crochet in white absolutely all the time. She made tablecloths for everyone (every girl) in the extended family. Somehow, I have 2 of her tablecloths.

We decorate our Christmas Tree every year with white snowflakes she crocheted.

Maybe 2 years ago, I never thought I'd ever do any crochet or knitting, but then I got a terrific Japanese pattern book and I tried making potholders. This cherry is the one I made for my mom. Of course, it didn't take long and I was obsessed with thread crochet.

I made this lavender flowers one for my mother-in-law when she was going in for surgery. I was still crocheting really tightly when I did this one. Of course I have about 12 rolls of various threads and all the little steel hooks you use for this kind of crochet, but my obsession did slow down. I like to do small projects, so the potholders are perfect for me.

I use the ones I didn't give away as coffee coasters. Oxyclean gets out coffee stains!

They really are useless as real potholders, but they do make me smile. Later on, I'll share the collection of Japanese books I have, including the one that has these cute potholder patterns. You don't have to read Japanese to follow them. I promise!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Happy Spring Felt

Felt Froggies! They are so happy together! I use 2 strands of embroidery floss and a blanket stitch. I like to use contrasting thread when I hand stitch. It looks more like an outline tht way. I do use fabric glue for the eyes.

This week I finally made a real commitment to feltcraft by ordering wool/rayon felt yardage from an online source. I'm tired of waiting for JoAnns to stock up. The more I use acrylic felt, the more I detest working with it. Even my scissors rebel and don't like cutting through the synthetic fibers. The green felt I used for the frogs is this terrific stuff from my grandma's stash. I think it's maybe some kind of cotton/rayon blend but I'm not sure. It's so smooth and wonderful. **sigh**

I like making seasonal felt envelopes. These are the ones I made for a swap on Craftster. I like the way they all look together. Everything is cuter in a giant pile don't you think?

I tested using paper punches for the flowers and it worked out great although you do have to use some muscle. Acrylic refuses to be punched so I gave up on it... I've got some other felt envelope designs but they are a secret until my swap partner receives them.

What a bad photo.. Sorry! These were the first felt mascots I ever made. Last Easter I made a pile and gave them out inside little plastic eggs instead of candy. The were a cute little Easter surprise. I always stitch little mascots like these onto barrettes for my daughter.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Mermaids, originally uploaded by IamSusie.

In addition to making things from felt and collecting hankies, I like to embroider. I made this little pillow from a drawing my 6-year old daughter made. I was scrambling to stay on budget for gifts at Christmas. My daughter now makes little pictures all the time for me to "'broider". Unfortunately, I haven't gotten around to the rest of them yet. She was very proud of the way she drew the purple bikini to cover the mermaid's "private spots".

That's fabric crayon filling in the large areas. I like embroidery, but not enough to satin stitch all that in. I was fairly certain that I had ruined the little project with the crayon until I heat set it with the iron. That smoothed out the color considerably.

My son has had a special resource teacher in addition to his classroom teacher for the last 2 years. This is the drawing he made of Mr.M that I embroidered into an ornament for him.

Doing this from my kids drawings was really satisfying and pretty simple. I just found some transfer paper at the craft store, traced the pictures onto it and then rubbed it onto my fabric.

I do prefer iron on transfers, but this worked great. I like to use the chain stitch with 2 or 3 strands of embroidery floss. It makes a bulky, forgiving line.

It is my dream to embroider tea towels for everyone with cute little children's drawings.
*sigh* I have many crafty dreams....

Monday, March 26, 2007

Felt Mascots

Here is Chef Piggy. I made him for a swap on Craftster for MariskaLovesCrafts. I'm still waiting for her package to come. She's overseas, so it takes awhile. It'll be worth it!

Piggy? What's in the package? It's wee felt breads.
These loaves are made like fabric yo-yos. You just sew a running stitch around the little felt circle and cinch it up, stuff, then stitch it closed. They look a bit like they were baked in a muffin cup.... The other breads are made with two matching pieces that you stitch together and stuff. I got the pattern for piggy and his breads from a Japanese Mascot book ISBN4834764184 .

Anyway, I'm co-organizing the swap with the incredible novastarlet who shares my love of Japanese felt mascots and had the good fortune of spending some time in Japan studying during college. You can see what she made for the swap here and here.

I've got some cuteness in the works for her right now. We are doing a private swap for Easter.

Hmm... do you think I can convince my husband to get us a better digital camera? Boy would that be nice...

Friday, March 23, 2007

How does this blogging thing work.....

So this is my first attempt at a blog post.. it's sort of a test. This is the duckie mascot we made at my MeetUp group last night. I'm thinking of selling him as a little kit... stay tuned! (Although I doubt anyone is reading this....) My MeetUp is the Chicagoland Craft Collective and it is really great. I always get fired up about crafting when I get home. Sarah Moore is our fearless leader and a super crafter.

Lets see... on my blog I plan to share my crafty obsessions with like-minded people. It's also my dream to photograph all the vintage linens and hankies in my collections. Here's one that was my Mom's when she was a girl.

It's by artist Carl Tait and I remember peeking in her keepsake drawer when I was a kid and playing with it. I'd practice chanting the rhyme and wonder what it would be like to have those different jobs.

Here's another super cute one by that same artist:

I adore hankies and have been collecting them for quite some time. Most of my collection features florals and beautifully detailed crochet. My mom knows just what I like and always finds great ones for my collection at antique malls during her travels. Thanks, Mom! Someday I'll photograph the basket quilt I made for her from some of our hankie stash.

So I guess I finally made the leap into starting a blog.... now if I can just remember to use my punctuation and grammar like I should, I think it'll be okay.