Monday, June 20, 2011

“Climbing Clematis” New Pattern!

This is definitely one of those designs that the picture just doesn’t do it justice. 
This looks pretty on a table, but honestly, it’s gorgeous hanging on a wall. The big splashy lifelike flowers really stand out against the trellis.  I think the living room wall is where my “Climbing Clematis” is going to go.
The finished size of this is 10” x 26”. 
The pattern is now available to purchase.
CLICK HERE to go to the website "Climbing Clematis" pattern page
The wool kit, which includes the pattern and all of the 100% felted wool (NOT wool felt!) needed to complete the table runner.
Any questions?  Just email me!
Thank you ladies!
Happy Day!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Climbing Clematis Let’s make it!

I love Clematis flowers….
For the longest time I wasn’t able to grow it.  We had a golden retriever named Trixie who found it to be a tasty snack.  I probably tried at least a dozen times to buy it and plant it only to have Trixie eat it.  I gave up … until she died.  Now I can grow Clematis, but I can’t help but think about her fond craving for it every time I look at it growing outside.
My hubby made me a pretty trellis so that it climb up the brick at the side of our house.  See how I get my inspirations?
Since I wasn’t sure that I could pull off the perfect image of this that was in my head ….
CIMG0369 I picked some of the real flowers, along with the leaves and laid them out on the lattice background.  I liked how it looked so …
Onward we go.  I’ll show you how to make this!
Now please remember, I’m doing this tutorial so that you can see it’s pretty easy to stitch and you’ll want to purchase the pattern to make it for yourself.  I really hope that ya’ll know that you will have to buy the pattern to make it and not try to make it without the purchased pattern .. that would be a form of stealing and it would make me sad….
The pattern is sold HERE ON MY WEBSITE!  The wool kit is also available.
Ok, here goes!  …..CIMG0370Starting with the background wool, I quickly basted right up the center of the wool to make it easier to center the lattice strips.
This basting stitch will be removed once the lattice is stitched on.
I lined up my first set of lattice strips, measuring according to the pattern directions to get them centered correctly.  The pattern has a layout guide which will really help with getting those first strips placed exactly right.
CIMG0372 To make it easier to keep the strips at an equal distance apart, I cut squares of paper to set inbetween the strips.   I pinned the strips in place. I lined up the center points of the lattice with the center basting stitch on the background wool. Be sure the strips overhang the edges at least 1 inch so that they can be turned under once the backing is stitched.
CIMG0380 Pinning just a few rows at a time, I blanket stitched all sides. 
Pinning and stitching a few rows makes it easier to keep the strips spaced correctly.  You can see that the strips are woven in a out like a basket-weave.
This does take some time, but if you use lots of pins, it’s really not difficult.  The spacing doesn't even have to be perfect because the flowers and leaves will cover up any flaws. 
CIMG0379After all the lattice is stitched, There are two ways to handle the lattice edges.  On way is to flip the table runner over and cut off the white lattice tails to make them even with the black background wool.  This leaves all those edges exposed and needing a lot of extra stitching once the backing is put on.

The other way, which I prefer, is to  fold the edges under and then stitch the backing over them.  This gives a little bulk to the edge, but once finished, the edges look a lot neater and smooth compared to the way they look if trimmed evenly with the black background.

The pictures for that will be shown down below along with the backing instructions.

Ok, the lattice is finished! Time for the clematis flowers!

There are 4 large clematis flowers and two smaller sized flowers that are stitched onto the background lattice.
I'm using two different shades of purple. One shade of purple for the large flowers and another shade of purple for the smaller flowers.  Purple is my favorite clematis color. Whatever your favorite clematis color is, it will look beautiful on this table runner too!

The flowers are super easy to stitch.  I pinned the first one on and just did a backstitch up each one of the flower petals.
 I pulled the thread tight before knoting it in the back so that the petal is just a bit puckered.  If you don’t want the petals to pucker, then be sure to loosely stitch that backstitch.

CIMG0394 For the clematis flower center, I whipstitched it in place and then …

CIMG0395 filled the area with french knots ….
CIMG0367 See how the flower center looks on the real flower?  I tried to duplicate that …
CIMG0396 To do that, with knotted thread, I took a stitch from the top.
CIMG0397 The knot with the little tail is pulled down and now …
CIMG0398I’ll just take another tiny stitch, knot it at the top and …. CIMG0400 then I trim the tail threads.
CIMG0401I repeated this all around the outside edge.  Make as few or as many as you wish but I found that making lots of the loose tails looked a bit too messy.  I’m quite happy with the look of them just around the outside edge.
  CIMG0402The leaves are simply backstitched up the centers. 
It’s just about done!  I just need to attach the backing.
The flowers and leaves can be arranged however you wish.  The picture on the front of the printed pattern is just one way to arrange them.   

Now for the backing!
Like I mentioned earlier, the lattice edges can be trimmed, even with the black background.  Those lattice edges all need to be securely stitched down, if done this way.

 The other way to handle those lattice edges is to fold the extended edges under, tucking it down between the background wool and the backing fabric..... 
Pin the lattice areas down.  The folded extended lattice will now be tucked between the background wool and the backing.

For the backing, I used black cotton fabric.  If you prefer to use wool for the backing, simply cut/tear the wool the exact same size as your background wool.  Pin the edges together and blanket stitch around all the edges, using ecru thread for the white lattice and black thread for the black background edges.
For the cotton fabric backing, I cut the rectangle 1” larger than the the wool background and ironed a 1/2” around the edge.  After pinning the backing on, I blanket stitched around the edges … using black thread in the black areas and ecru thread on the white lattice areas. 
I know that takes extra time to switch over and change the thread color …  if you don’t want to go to that extra effort, it could be done in all white threads or all black threads.
Either way … it will turn out absolutely gorgeous!
 Finished size is 10" x 26"
 Here's one with different colors
The Climging Clematis shown below is the first one I made.
The clematis flowers are arranged differently and there are extra leaves on it. 

Happy Day everyone!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Save Time! --->Make Pattern Templates

Gosh, I haven’t  posted for a few weeks … it feels good to be back!

Summertime is always busy for me with outdoor things but I’m still stitching in between cutting grass and weeding the vegetable garden.

Today, I want to talk about templates and how I use them.

My last pattern, “Apple Blossoms” has a lot of little leaves in the design.  

I know how much time it takes to trace out all those leaves onto freezer paper, so to save customers the time, I drew out each one of the 50 some leaves onto a sheet of paper.  Then, all you have to do is put that leaf pattern sheet into your copier and copy it onto an 8 1/2” x 11” sheet of freezer paper.  So much time is saved.

But, what if you don’t have a copier?  That’s when we need to use templates to help.

Here’s a littel sneak peak at my newest design …

CIMG0369 That’s actually a real Clematis flower on there.  Before I started stitching this, I picked a few of the flowers and laid them out just to get a better idea of placement.  but anyway…

This new design will have a lot of leaves on it so I’ll show you how I made my leaf template.

CIMG0373 I drew one leaf onto freezer paper and rough cut around it. 

CIMG0374 I used a glue stick on the back of the freezer paper leaf…


Then I glued it onto some plastic.  Here, I’m using a sheet of plastic x-ray film but any type of flat plastic will work.  I used to use the plastic Cool-Whip lids.  Cardboard or cardstock would work too but it’s difficult to cut the shape exactly and it doesn’t hold up to a lot of use.


Now just cut around the drawn leaf line and there’s your leaf template!  The freezer paper will stay on the plastic if it’s been glued well.  Take a few seconds to label  it so that you’ll know that it’s the leaf for the Clematis and not the leaf for say,the Apple Blossoms.



The plastic template makes it so easy to trace around, giving you the perfect shape each time.


Watch for my new “Climbing Clematis” tablerunner design …coming soon!