Sunday, June 21, 2015

Now the fun begins...

... not that outlining isn't mindless fun, but it's not as much fun as embellishing...

I'm excited!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Don't be koi...

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Anyway, I've had a lighter blue denim shirt for a couple of weeks, just waiting for me to finish the sunburst. I had already decided to use a very cool fish motif from Urban threads for the design.

Cool koi, no? Rather than using one of the transfer pens, I tried some carbon-paper-like stuff to transfer white lines to the denim. The transfer pens make such a bold permanent line, which takes extra strands to cover, and I didn't want either red or blue shadows in the embroidery (and I assumed the yellow pen would not show even on light blue). The stylus I used to transfer the design is actually a nail decorating tool for painting dots. It's a multi-tasking tool.

The design transferred really well.

All of the detail came through.

I have been very careful not to rub the fabric, but the lines do dissolve and fade after awhile (I think the particles just flake off, it's not actual fading). Here and there, I've had to redraw the outlines with a disappearing marker (it writes purple but disappears after a day or so). I plan to stitch all of the outlines in white (reversing the motif for the other side of the back yoke) and then I'll embellish with assorted blues, white, and maybe gray. I don't know if I'll do anything on the front yokes or not- I'll decide if it's necessary after the back is finished.

This is the transfer paper- I am very happy with how it worked. Theoretically, you can use the same sheet more than once, but this is a pretty intricate and solid design, so I'll use a new sheet for the other side (which I won't do until after I've stitched the entire right side back outline).

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sunburst Embroidery

So, I started this embroidery because my daily photo group had a prompt for pencils.

This is a transfer pencil- trace the lines of any image (or draw your own), and then iron the image to cloth. I didn't have any solid color cloth handy, so I grabbed the first mostly white fat quarter I could find. The pencil works exactly as advertised, the lines are nice, the design is lovely (from Urban Threads, as usual). The fabric? Well, I thought the embroidery would make the dots recede.

This one was taken for another daily photo prompt: Outlined

And I knew, almost immediately, that just outlining wasn't going to do the trick.

 Nope, still too many dots.

I had hopes for embellishment stitching in other colors.

Pretty, but still... those polka dots...

Sinking feeling about it...

From this angle, it's better, but still...

I do love the embellishment stitching however.

But seriously, it wasn't going to work.

Anyone who has taken any of my classes knows how much I love Sharpies. They are miracles in pen form. If the embroidery by itself couldn't make the dots irrelevant, then I figured I would help the embroidery along.

That's right- I colored on my embroidery. With permanent markers.

And you know what? It worked! The dots are still there, but they don't matter nearly as much.

Coloring on cloth is a lot of fun, actually.

I always love this angle with embroidery.

I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but this sunburst is done now. The dots were a mistake but they were also a fascinating experiment. All in all, I'm happy with it.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Nut Hut is now in print!

I am thrilled to announce that the book that I consider to be my best writing is finally in print! The Nut Hut, the story of an 18 year old's first week of work at a state-run institution in 1971, is now available for order as a trade paperback from Amazon (the Kindle, Nook, and other ePlatform versions are all still available).

I will say that even though this is my 12th title (6 mysteries, 5 knitting books, one mainstream novel), seeing a book in print for the first time never gets old. Ever. Especially for this one, given that I finished the first draft in January 2001.

The cover looks good on paper too!

It's a hefty tome for your $11.99!

Did I say I was thrilled? Giddy is more like it!