Thursday, November 5, 2009

Handmade Holidays - grab the needles to your hands!!!

It's not much about embroidery but every needle&thread addict will love all that can be found on Sew, Mama, Sew blog. Each day there comes a post plenty with various ideas regarding handmade things. So, if you've had worries about gifts to your dearest ones you can have a deep breath now. Some scraps, a few needles and threads, a bit of sewing skills, but first of all - positive attitude and willingness to spare your time will do wonders. At least this is how it looks like...
After reading first posts about Handmade Holidays I took out the sewing machine with old fabric scraps and started to make a fabric book for my son. And yes, this means I put aside my Hardanger embroidery. But I just cannot help myself. And the more I read these posts my to-do list grows and grows.

Oh, the last but not the least - if you comment the Handmade Holidays posts you have a chance to win great books - every day brings another one. In fact I shouldn't write this as it makes my chances lesser ;).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How the fascination began....

As the "big thing" is still in progress (yes, slowly but steadily the end is coming) I thought of doing some reminiscence. And maybe it's autumn time that makes me think about the past...Anyway here's my first hardanger thing I did: little bags for Go stones. It had to be small & simple, so I could get the grasp of hardanger embroidery. This was my first hardanger lesson and I did it quite well. Not to mention that Hardanger intrigued me so much that I sank deeeeeply in it. I have ongoing plans to try out some other types of emroidery, for example long and short stitch one, I even bought some books about them, but still when I have some free time I always find a new pattern or get a new idea to do it in hardanger.

Bags for Go stones - sounds like I wanted to boast about them. As a matter of fact they can be used to store anything, but in my case I did them exactly for what they're called. More or less in the time when I got a book to learn Hardanger my dear bought this game and we needed something to store the stones used for the game. The reason was perfect, so I took the needle and produced this piece.

Now, some details about the bags. As I wrote above they're quite small: 12cm wide, 15cm long (4,7inch / 6inch accordingly). The square hardanger pattern is about 4,5cm (1,8inch). The pattern consists of woven bars only (some of them are with picots), so it's a very good one to begin with. I also did holes for ribbon in hardanger.

Friday, October 9, 2009

First Big Hardanger Project

After a couple of small projects that I used mostly as a way to learn Hardanger there's come a time to do something big. Tablecloth 217cm long and 146cm wide. I took the pattern from DMC leaflet, however I modified it a bit. The modification though meant simplifying the pattern, otherwise I'd have to spent ages doing it. Either way, It takes me too much time even when I got rid of some patterns.

All the kloster blocks are done, now it's time to do the part that in my opinion requires the most patience - that is cutting the threads and finishing it with needle weaving. There's many of these little squares that need to be cut out and now I doubt if I finish it by the end of this year. On the other hand, now when I see how this tablecloth will look when it's done I have more and more enthusiasm to finish it as quick as possible. I want to have it on my table finally!

Traditionally Hardanger is made on white fabric with white threads as well. However, once I saw the project with two-coloured threads and it made me feel - this is it. This project is a variation about pale and dark violet. And I recommend to anybody that works with Hardanger to play with two colours as the effects are really nice. So far I've always chosen to do the kloster blocks (thicker thread) with the brighter colour and the insides (thinner thread) with the darker one. Though, maybe it would also be interesting in reverse.