Thursday, March 26, 2009

Relay for Life Ribbons Are Finished!!

Here are my completed Relay for Life Cancer Awareness Ribbons. It is an impressive pile, if I do say so myself! Besides pink (breast cancer) I also made some orange (leukemia,) lime green (lymphoma,) black (melanoma,) teal (ovarian cancer,) and kelly green (kidney cancer.)

I hope the PECES Eagles team will be able to sell them all at the Relay on April 3-4th.

I have a pretty bad cough/cold courtesy of one of the precious children I work with each day. I knew I should have sprayed that Lysol around more often! Hopefully it won't last too long.

Monday, March 23, 2009

In My Project Basket

Currently I am working on cancer awareness ribbons to donate to the Relay for Life team at my school. I already made a dozen or more pink ribbons and now am working on other colors that represent awareness for other cancers. I will get these finished by the middle of next week as our Relay for Life event is April 3-4.

My Easter Bunny pins were a big hit with the lady at school who suggested them. She snapped up three of them in shades of green made from overdyed tweed. I stitched together a few more of these tonight. I just put up the flyer about them today--I will have to wait and see if anyone else wants some.

Conner and I have a new house guest this week--my sister's Australian Cattle Dog, Merle. He is sitting here right by my feet as I type this entry. I am showing his picture here.

Also pictured is my beloved schnauzer, Conner. He will be getting a long overdue haircut on Saturday!

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Sister's New Job--Hooray!

Stacey recently got a new position at UVa working with an electronics medical records firm that will build a software system to enable the hospital to have electronic patient records. Part of her new job entails travelling to Wisconsin to the Epic Systems campus to receive training. These photos are from Epic's web site. Now, I realize it is still winter in the Great North, but this place looks so cool. I encourage you to check out the link above and learn more about this company.
Congratulations, honey!! I know this new opportunity will be both exciting and challenging. What a fantastic learning opportunity for you!!

Easter Bunny Lapel Pins

A co-worker suggested I make some pins for Easter with bunnies. She purchased several of the Valentine pins I made and reported that many of her church friends thought they were great.

These little bunny pins are two layers of felted wool blanket-stitched together and accented with embroidered eyes. The fronts of all the bunnies are hand dyed. I liked the look of the tweed patterns overdyed with pastel colors of spring.

I just realized that the advantage of photographing items on my cutting board is that it is easy to see the size. These bunnies are 3.5 x 3 inches.

They are finished with a pin back so they can be fastened to jackets, sweaters, purses, hats, etc.

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon Pins

These felted wool pins are made from hand-dyed wool and sewn with pink perle cotton in blanket stitch.
My school, Prince Edward Elementary School, is sponsoring a team for the Relay for Life event being held in April. The team will be selling items at the Relay to raise additional funds for the American Cancer Society.
I am donating these pins to the team to sell that night. Right now I am making pink pins for breast cancer awareness. (My aunt Sharon is a breast cancer survivor.) I may make some of the other colors of awareness ribbons as well. (My maternal grandmother passed away from stomach cancer and my paternal grandmother passed away from lung cancer.) I hope the team is successful in raising a good amount of $$ to donate to the American Cancer Society.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More Birds in Trees

A new project that I am working on features 2 blue birds facing each other on the branch of a tree. Between them they are holding a large flower. I got the idea as I was planning my last bird project. I thought a pair of lovebirds holding a heart would be nice, but Valentine's Day is long over. Then I imagined a pair of real birds courting in the spring, preparing to nest. Perhaps one would present his mate with a fresh spring blossom. Anyway, this is the result.

This time the tree is in leaf, so that the flower could stand out in the composition. As always, the pieces are cut from felted wool and hand stitched. There was some hand dyeing involved-- the background fabric and parts of the flower were all dyed in my kitchen.

The backing of this project is a darker teal colored wool and it has been blanket stitched around the edges to finish it.

Here is a detail photo of the birds with the flower. I used perle cotton to embroider the beaks and a French knot for each eye. I get the felt balls from Handbehg on Etsy. I tried making some, but not much luck there.

Finishing Projects

It is always difficult for me to have projects completely finished. Over the weekend I spent a fair amount of time putting backing fabric on a half dozen of my penny rug projects. Some of them had already had the final blanket stitching completed and had to be unraveled. I was reluctant to put backing fabric on the penny rugs until I saw so many other projects online that people have finished with a back of some sort. In a way it pains me to "waste" the extra fabric. After all, that extra piece of wool could be made into a project all on its own.

Anyway, I am happy to report now that the backs are on the projects, it makes them look sooooo much better. My sister tells me that the finishing touches make the difference between "crafts" and "art." She is right!!

Another part of finishing that I accomplished this weekend was to design and print my labels. Stacey found this neat paper that is really cotton fabric that goes through the printer. I downloaded a cool font, typed up a sheet of labels using Word and printed them off. Then I just had to peel off the plastic backing, cut them apart and sew them on.

These labels came from the Electric Quilt Co.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bird Sitting on Flowering Cherry Tree

This is my latest completed project. It is stitched on blue wool and features a bird sitting on the branch of a cherry tree. It is about 11 x 16 inches.
The blossoms are cut from cream wool and centered with some dark pink
boiled wool felt. The stitching on the flowers is perle cotton in two shades,
pink and burgandy. The branch is cut from a brown felted sweater and is stitched with persian wool. The bird is cut from a blue lambswool felted sweater with an accent in cream wool. It is stitched with perle cotton. I used brown floss the embroider the beak and legs. You can use your imagination to determine which kind of bird it is!
I decided that this project would be finished with a back that covers up the stitches. So I used another piece of wool in a dark gray/blue and backed the penny rug. I stitched the two sides together with a neat blanket stitch in burgandy perle cotton. I am pretty satisfied with how it turned out.
The differences in color in the photo result from using or not using the flash. The flash tends to wash out some of the colors, but allows you to see more details. I have a lighting problem in the house and tend to take my pictures in the evening after work.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Glory's Daffodils

Here is a project I made for my Aunt Glory. She took me to the dr. when my back was out--for which I am so grateful. She was admiring the daffodil picture I made for my Mom for her birthday. That picture can be seen if you scroll down.
Her picture is on a black background. I used felt balls to create a flower that reminds me of daffodils. I hope she enjoys it.

My mom loved her daffodil picture.

Easter Theme Stitching Projects

Once my back pain started to get

under control last week I started to get bored out of my mind. These stitching projects helped to relieve the boredom. The background fabric is hand dyed using Wilton Cake dyes. The carrots and many of the fabrics in the flowers were also hand dyed.
The rabbits are cut from a gray flannel wool that used to be slacks from

Goodwill. Wool off the bolt is very expensive ($20+++), but a pair of slacks or a skirt from Goodwill can provide a good bit of fabric for less than $4. I wash it on a hot/cold cycle and then dry it on high in the dryer. The fabric felts up well enough so that it doesn't fray when I cut it.
Online searches for coloring pages can provide line drawings that can be used as patterns. That is how I found the carrot shapes. I do not trust my own drawing ability.

Basket of Wool Flowers Penny Rug

Spring is coming soon. Here is a basket of wool flowers to get me in the mood for spring. Originally this basket was going to be filled with wool easter eggs, but I could not get them to satisfy me.

The basket is cut from a wool felted sweater. I accented the basket with a diamond weave stitching using persian wool in a slightly different color.

The flowers are hand-dyed wool, cut, stacked and stitched together in a penny rug style. The background is black wool from a reclaimed thrift store garment. I finished the edges with blanket stitching using some cotton crochet floss.

I am selling this one on ebay and in my etsy store.

Huge Snowstorm!

We had a big snowstorm this weekend. My yard has about 10 inches of snow.
Now the weather has turned colder and the snow in my yard is in no hurry to melt.

I have not done much blogging lately due to a bad back. I have been trying to get rid of some pretty painful back spasms. I am feeling better now.

Here are some snow pictures.