Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flowers Tic Tac Toe

I like those tic tac toe boards you sometimes see in boutiques where instead of x's and o's they have different playing pieces like flowers or frogs. I figure this is a great gift because everyone plays tic tac toe. This project is no-sew because I was too lazy to get out my sewing machine and well, sewing never turns out quite the way I expect. For anyone who is good with a sewing machine this would be a great 1 hour sew project to use up left over pieces (Ric rack would make great divider lines).

10 - flowers in 2 colors (5 of each color)
2 pieces felt- color of choice but I suggest something that contrasts with the flower colors

Step 1- make flowers and stiffen them (see previous post for pattern). I use modge podge that I water down in about a 2:1 ratio of water to glue. The stiffened flowers are the playing pieces for tic tac toe.

Step 2- Cut a piece of felt about 41/2 inches square. Felt is very forgiving so don't worry if its not exactly square.
Step 3- Cut strips of felt about 1/4 inch wide and 41/2 inches long. Glue strips to main piece of felt to in the tic tac toe grid pattern.
Step 4 Find an opponent and start playing.
That's basically the pattern and the idea. I was lazy last night so I didn't sew a little pocket to hold the flower playing pieces but that would be a good idea. I put the flowers and the board into a large organza bag from the dollar store. A simple tatted edging would be lovely around the outside of the board or as lines of the grid.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Flower Sachet/Pin Cushion

Some things are in the eye of the beholder and I realised as I wrote up this project that it could be done a different way. The idea here is that you can make the flowers at any old time and then assemble the rest of the project later. There are times when easy, repetitive and portable tatting is good and single shuttle projects fit the bill. The flowers also use up thread bits and you can make these flowers with just a little thread. So while it may seem like I've created more ends then necessary there's a method to my madness!Supplies
felt in color of choice
2- 6 ring flower (a pattern can be found here:
1 inch picot gauge
green thread
beads are optional (as on pink sample)
lavender if making a sachet and stuffing if making a pin cushion

Step 1: Make 2 flowers and hide ends.

Step 2: Using CTM wind a foot of green thread on shuttle.
lp= long picot
lj= lock join
Start by joining at any outside picot of the flower:
Ch 5 lp (use 1 inch picot gauge) 5 lj (next picot on flower) repeat around flower, cut and tie. Hide ends. You should end up with something like below. Make 2.
(On a side note this looks like a snowflake to me. A little stiffener and pinning of the picots would make a really simple snowflake.)

Step 3: Make the sachet/cushion.

Using a coffee cup as a template, trace a circle onto a piece of felt then cut it out. Make a running stitch around the outside edge and gather the material. As you gather up the felt it'll make a pouch that you can fill either lavender or stuffing.

Step 4
The outside round attaches the motifs by joining at the long picots. Halfway around the motif insert the felt sachet. If you want to have beads on your sachet then load 30 beads onto the ball thread before you start and everywhere you see p add a bead. (I put a few extra beads on the thread just in case) You may also want to put beads onto the long picots. You can use any size of bead but use a consistent number of beads on each of the long picots. I recommend that you use paperclips on a few of the picots to hold the sides together, especially if you are into front side/backside tatting. All joins on this round are lock joins made through a long picot from both motifs at once. So to be really clear you are making one join to 2 picots.

Wind 1 yard onto a shuttle CTM.

Start by making a single join through a long picot from each motif.

Ch 10p2p2p2p2p10 lj (through both long picots at once) 4 times
insert the sachet
Ch 10p2p2p2p2p10 lj (through both long picots at once) 2 times, the last time joining back to where you started. Cut and tie.
If you want a loop then load about 4 inches of beads and tie back to the base of the loop. Hide ends. The yellow sachet at the top has no beads and the pink one has beads so you can see the difference.

Voila! A sachet/pin cushion.

Monday, March 15, 2010

In the toilet...

No, I'm not referring to my life but to a funny thing that happened last night. I was at a Starbucks doing yesterday's post. As usual the coffee had an effect and I needed to visit the little girls room. Somehow in the course of the usual events my necklace came undone and ended up in the toilet. I really couldn't leave it behind so my soggy mess got rinsed, wrapped in a paper towel and shoved in my purse. The wonderful thing about tatting is that it can be washed and reshaped. The moral of this story is that when you use a ribbon to hold a pendant you really need to use a double knot.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flower power bookmarks

Whenever I'm at Chapters (Barnes and Nobles for Americans) it really burns my britches to watch someone pay $6-20 for a bookmark that's mass manufactured.

This thought is what brought me to the next project. Almost everyone could use a bookmark and its a great gift. However, they may not appreciate the time and effort that goes into making a truly exceptional bookmark. Today's use of the 6 ring flower is perfect since its not going to take you hours to make but the result is lovely. I've had people overlook better pieces for this one. (I was a little insulted at the time)


Metal bookmark hook (picture right)
6 or 5 ring flower (see previous post for pattern)
3 mm or larger bead in color of choice
12-24 inches green thread wound on shuttle
seed beads are optional

Step 1. Using the green thread make the following ring with either large picots or beaded picots:
R 1-1-1-1-1 vsp 1-1-1-1-1 close ring

Step 2. So now you have a green ring and a flower (you can hide the ends on the flower I was just lazy when this picture was taken). Attach the green ring to the flower with the green thread by joining between rings on the flower and snugging up

Step 3. Unwind shuttle, add large bead onto thread and join to vsp on green ring. Pull green thread to the back which should put you between rings 3 and 4 on the flower. If it feels unsteady then you can also do a join to the thread between flower rings 3 & 4.

Step 4: Attach the flower to the crook. The way I do it is by going through the hole in the center of the crook then bringing the thread around the side of the crook and tying between the flower and crook. I do this a bunch of times on each side of the crook. I find that keeps the flower from being floppy. Glue doesn't hurt either

I used green and yellow thread in this case but when I want to be wintry I use white or blue thread with a crystal in the middle. I often put beads on the large picots of the center ring as in the red and white flower at the top. Feel free to fray the picots instead of adding beads. Finally, if you don't have or can't find a metal hook then sew the flower onto a ribbon or cord.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Needle Minder

This is the needle minder project. My sample has beads the picots because the flowers were left over from wine charms I made for my sister to give her staff for Christmas. As you can see there's no worries about the needle falling off and the safety pin doesn't show.


2- 6 ring flowers with 3-6 inches of thread left (see previous post if you don't have a pattern)
2- 6mm magnetic hematite beads (find these at a bead shop, the dollar store or a craft store) These beads do come in color but I am convinced that the magnet isn't as strong
1 safety pin (in green if you can find them)
1 yard green thread
crochet hook
Step 1 Add magnetic bead to flower by pulling excess thread through bead and joining to base of ring 4. Hide end but make sure to keep the bead hole open. Make 2 0r 3.

Step 2 Wrap/encapsulate the non open end of the safety pin. Jon at has both needle tatting and shuttle tatting tutorials on how to cover a cabone ring. Its the same idea on the safety pin.
Using the green thread make 4 double stitches.

Step 3 Add 1st flower onto the green thread. Sorry, this means that shuttle tatters will have to unwind their thread. Snug up the flower then make 2 more ds. Add 2nd flower the same way.

Step 4 Finish by adding ds until the closed side of the pin is covered. I also went about the coil with the green but you don't need to. If your safety pin is longer then add another flower, if its shorter then only add one flower. Likewise you can vary the ds to fit. Hide the thread.
Here's a picture of the finished project and pictures of me wearing the needle minder. The magnetic beads work really well and the needle stays on even when I clean.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A commitment to the 6 ring flower

Isn't it funny how you can always find time for the things you want to do? No time for cleaning but lots of time for tatting. Lots of time for tatting but no time for writing things down. I want to do a tutorial because I have a great idea for a magnetic needle minder. However, I can't seem to find the time to do the nitty-gritty taking pictures. Originally the idea was that the needle minder would be part of a series about the 6 ring flower (classic pattern). Since you haven't seen any such series you can get my point about finding time. Witnesses tend to diminish my crimes of avoidance and procrastination so here is my statement of commitment:

The next few posts will involve projects that use the famous 6 (or 5 if you prefer) ring flower. If you have thread to use up these are great projects. Feel free to add beaded picots, graduated picots, and double picots. A basic pattern for the flower is:

R 4-4-4-4
R 4+ (3rd picot of previous ring) 4-4-4 repeat 4 times
R 4+ (3rd picot of previous ring) 4-4+ (1st picot of 1st ring) leave a 6 inch tail.

You get the idea! So watch out for the next post which will be a needle minder.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Balmy day

Spring feels like its here but I know its just a March trick! The temperature here is Ottawa is almost into the double digits and it feels quite balmy. I'm anxiously waiting for a shipment of silks from Sherry Pence. I've been saving my pennies for awhile.
I love working with silk. Keep in mind that I also love Coats Opera (damn them for having limited colors and then discontinuing the line) and Altin Basik thread. I'm good with soft threads.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Suggestions Please

I am frustrated by the lack of materials available to make brooches. I can only find the standard sew on or glue on pin that has the turn and pin mechanism. The problem with that style is that the brooch will almost always tip. This isn't a new problem for me and I've asked a lot of experts but have gotten nowhere. Does anyone have any ideas?
I want to make this dragonfly into a brooch. When I've attached the standard style pin backing then the dragonfly tips and looks sloppy. Right now it works well as a necklace but I think its meant to be a brooch.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The online tatting class...

This post may also have been called: everything I needed to know I learned from Georgia (and a few others)
If you are a tatter then a must see site on the web is the online tatting class run by Georgia Seitz. I found this site when I was still in school in Minneapolis and spent many hours reading the content. I also printed off many of the lessons. Since my graduation I have continued to follow the lessons. I graduated in 2003 and its now 2010, so 7 years of learning. I am positive that many techniques that seem everyday tatting knowledge to me I learned on that site. I have never participated in the class but it is a mainstay of my tatting reading (along with many blogs but we'll discuss that another day).
I am also guilty of lurking but only at the best places. So a big thanks today to Georgia Seitz ( and the other pioneers who placed tatting on the world wide web.
...yes in case you're wondering I have donated to the site- about time eh? (see Canadians do use EH)

update: Tattingchic asked about the photos. To tell you the truth I posted them because I like to have pictures and they were the ones on hand. They also work as an example of what I am able to do now vs then.