Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Embroidery Obsession Continues...

...with the completion of the third kimono in the series, which I have dubbed "Purple Pinwheels."

So named because each of the spirals uses a shade of purple and another color, and of course because I crayon-tinted the background purple, or really, a strange hybrid of Wisteria, Purple Mountain's Majesty, and Plum.  Gotta love Crayola color names.

The elephant in the room: the border fabric is wrinkly.  I'd intended to use a light blue fabric to echo the two blue spirals, but the color just wasn't right.  While pawing though my scraps for alternatives, I found a long, long, wrinkly strip of fabric that was once the bottom of a tiered ruffle skirt that I decided to shorten.  I sliced off the gathered top seam and ironed the hell out of the strip, and this was the best I could manage.  The color was too perfect to pass up for a few wrinkles!

Now that that's out of the way, take a good look at the reason this kimono took me almost two weeks where the others both took only a few days:

Nothing but heavy chain stitch as far as the eye can see.  (Well, back stitch border as always, but that took me less than ten minutes, it doesn't count.)  And of course to get the spirals neat, I had to work both colors at the same time, as opposed to leaving a channel for the second one, which would have made working heavy chain stitch nearly impossible anyway.  I am officially insane now, I'm never ever doing a piece entirely in this stitch again.  Even though I really like the way it looks....

Kimono #4 is in the planning stages, but finding a complementary color palette that also meshes with a border fabric that I already have is proving problematic.  In the mean time, I'm working on finishing the needle book I started to give me some relief from the miles of heavy chain stitch, expect that one in the next few days!

Will I ever get back to my knitting again?  Who knows, stay tuned!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Totes for Tots

While I have no children of my own as of yet, I do have quite a few in my family to craft for. My one and only sibling, my dear, dear brother, has already produced five charming offspring, a set of triplets first, followed by twins.  The twins are less than a year old, and I haven't made a darn thing for them yet (they're too young to care!) but for the three-year-old triplets I have produced, over the years, blankies, various amigurumi animals, beanbags (a very big hit on our last visit) and a play mat for said bean bags.

My mother wanted to give them "book" bags for their recent birthday, since they're going to be starting those darling little preschooler workbook/coloring book things.  Her contribution to the gift was picking out and purchasing the fabric; mine was making them.

I hadn't planned to do them all in one day, but the first one went so well (only 1 h 15m, including drafting the pattern from the book measurements) that I just kept going.  Pretty basic lined tote bags, with the same fabric used for all parts, light interfacing, narrow boxed corners.

All three fabrics are Debbie Mumm for Jo-Ann; the two boys got different Noah's Ark prints (that and Disney stuff being the overarching themes of my brother's family) and my sweet little niece got Bedtime Bears, chosen for this:

The bear has a pink teddy bear, and so does my niece.  Pink Bear goes everywhere with her, though usually gripped by its tail, not feet, but close enough.

I had these finished last week and in all the embroidery excitement I completely forgot to blog about them.  Fortunately I remembered today, because I still haven't finished anything on my to-do list, though the third kimono is only probably a day or two away from completion.  And the needlebook is started.  And I'd still rather start eight more projects than actually sit down and finish anything.  Good to know, I guess, that my terminal case of start-itis isn't limited to my knitting!