Monday, March 29, 2010

Tatting is TOUGH!!!

I do not like to sew winter clothing.  I like sewing for spring and summer the best.  So as the trees begin to leaf out and the tulips are in full bloom, I feel the stitching bug sneaking up on me (actually more like bellowing in my ear).  Last year I made a couple little dresses for Baby Doll which included some tatting.  I had read how durable tatting was and knew that it had been used extensively in the distant past to embellish clothing.  The question for me was, could MY tatting hold up to repeated washings...  The answer, so far, is YES!

These pictures were taken today of the dress I made for Baby Doll at the end of October last year.  I posted about it here.  Baby Doll has worn it quite a bit and put it to the test with markers, crayons, messy eating habits, fingers looped in the tatting, and most recently a stroll through a muddy, wheat field.  And the tatting has held up! 


I hand wash this dress because the dye from the brown fabric leeches into the wash water and I don't trust it with other delicates.  Once or twice I have had to vigorously work out stains on the tatting.  I hang it to dry and haven't had to iron it once - that alone gives it a special place in my heart...


I made this dress for Baby Doll last June and posted about it here.  It has had a TON of wear!  It was in CONSTANT demand with Baby Doll and she gave it quite a stress test also.  I have always machine washed and dried it... and again NO IRONING (tears of gratitude are coming to my eyes as I type - I hate ironing except when quilting).  It has held up well also, although you can see in the detail picture below that the picots on the tatted edging have disappeared - they've gotta be there somewhere, right?

So, in summary, I plan to add more tatting to Baby Doll's clothing.  It may not always wear this well, but  I am convinced that TATTING IS TOUGH!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Victim Falls Prey to TATTING BUG!

Please welcome to Tatland one of the latest victims to fall prey to THE TATTING BUG!!!  I found Lelia's blog through a comment she left on Gina's blog (I'm missing her while she is taking a blog break) during the One World One Heart celebration on A Whimsical Bohemian's blog (shoof, that's ALLOTA links). 

Lelia began tatting lessons with a REAL, LIVE tatting instructor (I KNOW! I had HEARD that they existed in the wild and not just in captivity on my computer screen, but I have never SEEN one myself) at the end of October last year and has been making GREAT progress!  Yesterday she celebrated quite a milestone in my humble opinion - conquering the twisted picot problem all new tatters encounter in making their first motifs.  I am SO happy for her and excited to say that she found my Twisted Picot Join Tutorial helpful (the husband and kids are tired of hearing about it, so I figured I would bend your ear a bit)!

It hasn't even been a year since I had my own AHA moment regarding the twisted picot join and my tatting confidence went sky high!  You see, I had learned the basics of tatting eight years earlier, but abandoned the art because I couldn't figure out that final join.  It just crushed me to work away at a motif and have it ruined within stitches of the end!

And that brings me to the picture above...  It is the reason I returned to give tatting another try.  I decided I wanted to start sewing little things for Baby Doll.  I didn't sew much for my older kids because I felt a little outnumbered by the three of them so close in age and honestly, at that point I wasn't that into sewing other than for hand quilting or home decorating.  Baby Doll lags behind my previous, youngest child by seven years, so during the day, when the kids are at school, she is basically an only child.  AND when the kids are home, they are very sweet about watching her so I have more time... OK - back to the point!  When I began looking for lace for little sewing projects I was very disappointed in what I found and thought I would like to try making my own.  It's taken some time to get my tatting legs and now I hope to use it more and more in my sewing projects.  The lace above was left over from the first dress I made Baby Doll using my own lace.

So here I am, a year after picking up a shuttle again, enjoying tatting for sewing projects and just for its own sake.  I guess that is why I am so excited for Lelia.  It's wonderful to see the pieces falling into place for someone else!  Please stop by her blog and give her a warm, Tatland welcome!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Butterflies Are Not Free

This butterfly about COST ME MY MIND!  If you think I am being overdramatic, you're probably right, because it was the KITCHEN SINK or lack thereof which pushed me to the edge!  The butterfly only threatened to send me fluttering over into the ravine...  

It is a simple pattern (part of edging #98 from The Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito) but it took me FOUR tries to get it done!  Besides issues like your basic forgotten picot or twisty rings, I created my own dilemma by tatting it front-side/back-side, which is still new to me.  THAT butterfly was going well until I choked on the final join.  I had been using down joins and couldn't decide what to do about the final one.  I tried to do a backwards version of the Twisted Picot Join which I usually use for the final join, with disastrous results.  It was knotted up so tight there was NO picking it back out.

SO MY QUESTION IS, what kind of join do you use for the final join of a motif like this when you are doing front-side/back-side tatting?

In the end I reverted back to traditional tatting and the Twisted Picot Join to make THIS butterfly.  I was determined to add it to a get well card I had found for my aunt.  The card was blue with a few tiny butterflies on it and a big space on the front begging for something more.  Some peace of mind returned when I was able to send it with its little blue stow away in the right direction through the US mail.

A big CHUNK of peace of mind returned when my DH finished installing a new faucet in the kitchen (the old one broke off a few days ago sending water flying across the kitchen) and threw in a new sink to  boot!  It was a learning experience though - I now know a little bit about plumbing and more importantly, that I should not strike out for the new territory in my covered wagon, because pioneer life and doing dishes outside AIN'T FOR ME...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Far and Away

This week is the kids' spring break so we decided to take them where the wind comes sweeping down the plain to visit my dad.  This is the first visit that he has really gotten to know Baby Doll.  She has always been too clingy and shy during past visits, but this time she really warmed up to him and he LOVED it.  My 84 year old dad laid down on the floor to color Disney princesses with her and talk about matching colors!  He also introduced her to rainbow Goldfish.  The first little bowl she got, she picked through, eating all the usual "gold" fish, then asked for more.  We had to show her that the rainbow fish were edible also!  Dad also took Baby Doll out to see the wheat.  He walked her about five feet into the field and asked her how she liked it.  She liked it FINE and ran about a hundred feet farther into the field just smiling and laughing.  Our oldest dove in after her because Baby doll showed no signs of stopping!  It was a nice visit for all of us.

The first picture is the view from my childhood home toward my high school alma mater.  I would imagine not many people could look out their window toward their school ten miles away and see the football field lights.  I could.  I could also look the opposite direction toward the larger town twelve miles away and see the fireworks display on July 4th.  It was in miniature of course, but still pretty...

Here I've zoomed in so you can see my high school.  It's right there on this side of the grain elevators.  Spot it?  Me neither... too bad football season is over.

As far as tatting goes, I was busy, busy, busy on the drive to Dad's house and back home... but I've got nothing to show for it... or rather, nothing I CAN show for it.  I took a couple projects with me to work on but found the car too noisy to explore any new territory, so I opted for working on the TAT Apprentice course.  I've read most of my binder and looked over the exercises SEVERAL times.  Me tackling a project like this, is sort of like Ed Norton signing a paper - lots of theatrics to get everything JUST RIGHT so I can FINALLY begin!  So after a couple of false starts and a thread change, I am halfway through the first exercise.

OK, I'm BAD, BAD, BAD and I know it's WRONG, WRONG, WRONG and I'm not really SUPPOSED to show any of my TAT work, but I CAN'T do a post without showing a picture of something I'm working on... so here it is...

It's coming along, don't you think?  I've put a penny in for size comparison...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Goodnight, Sleep Tight...

(tatted edging #83 from The Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito

One little dolly will be sleeping well tonight!  After a color change, a few weeks dawdling over other projects and then some hand and machine stitching, her pillow is done and DONE!!!

(finished sizes:  pillow 4.5"x7.5",  case 5"x9")

I went for an old fashioned look and used blue ticking for the pillow.  The case has french seams (ooh la la) so hopefully it will survive being stuffed and unstuffed by Baby Doll.  

Baby Doll was VERY excited and promptly trotted off with the new bedding to put her dolly to sleep!

So WHY are you STILL AWAKE, little missy?

OH, I SEE I SAY!!! Yes, while it IS a LOVELY ensemble, it would be QUITE impossible for me to sleep in those clothes also!  Give me a little time... or perhaps allot... just don't go all Bride of Chucky on me if I take a bit... and I will make you a nightie fit for the little, plastic, doll princess that you are!