Monday, March 29, 2010

Work Inspired by Tatting Shuttles

I find it interesting that different shuttles inspire me to do different types of motifs. I should probably say right here that I only have three different types of shuttles: Clover, Aero, and Pop-A-Bobbin.

For some unknown reason, the only shuttles I can find locally are the plastic Clover shuttles. I have come to love these shuttles because they're comfortable and have a fantastic tip on one end.

I have purchased several Aero shuttles and also love working with them. I like the fact that the bobbin is removable/interchangeable and, again, the Aeros have a wonderful tiny hook on the end. However, I thought they were a little too long so I asked my husband to snip off the extra plastic on the back tip of them and now they're perfect for me.

I recently splurged and purchased a Pop-A-Bobbin shuttle and absolutely fell in love in love with so it quickly that I've asked to be put on the waiting list to get another one. This shuttle is a little bit bigger and heavier than the other two shuttles I use but it didn't take any time at all to be completely comfortable with the differences. I actually really like the fact that it is a little heavier than the others. The little indentation where the bobbin plug goes makes it easier to hold onto and the shuttle doesn't slip out of my hand - an unexpected benefit.


Anyway, I almost always use the Clover shuttles when I'm trying out a new pattern or technique. I'm just very comfortable with it and it is often the first shuttle I reach for.

When I use the Aero shuttles, I usually pick projects that I will be traveling with. The hook is built into the tip of the shuttle so I don't need to carry an extra crochet hook, and I can easily carry an extra bobbin or two in case I need more thread.

What I've found with the Pop-A-Bobbins shuttles is that they are fantastic for edgings. These shuttles hold a ton of thread and, like the Energizer Bunny, I just keep going and going and going...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spinning My Wheels

Do you ever feel like you're spinning your wheels? I do.

I feel like I've been productive with my crafts and tatting and yet I don't really have anything to show for all the time I've spent working them. How can that be?

Maybe it's because I've done a little bit on many different projects. Let's see what I've done...

(1) Add some edgings and embellishments to a crazy quilt block; (2) Practice tatting several small motifs to use in a pendant exchange; (3) Shop for findings and embellishments to add to my pieces; (4) Work on burp cloth edging and Filet Panel by Mary Konior, Tatting with Visual Patterns; and (5) Cut out and begin sewing a couple of large tote bags for friends.

I guess I have been more productive than I thought!

 Testing some half-closed rings for crazy quilt embellishment

Filet Panel from Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns (unblocked)

Edging on second burp cloth (triple crochet then double crochet around edge)

What have you been working on?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tatting on Crazy Quilt Blocks

I know, I haven't posted any pictures of my tatting lately. I've been tatting away but I don't have any completed items to take photos of just yet. I've been working on a couple of Mary Konior patterns which I just love.

Lately, I've been drawn to edgings. Probably because I've also been doing some crazy quilting. You can purchase beautiful edgings but I prefer making them myself to add to the blocks. The tatted edgings and motifs don't require much as the blocks themselves are usually only about 10-12 inches square. It's pretty easy to work up a length of edging to fit a section of the quilt block. Many times you only need a few inches to cover a seam.

Easy ring and chain motifs can be done in all sizes. All types of thread and embellishments like buttons and pins can be used on or near them to highlight their presence on the block. Here are some plain white test ideas I was trying out.

Using BTS (bare thread space) in tatting opens up all kinds of new possibilities. You can weave a pretty ribbon or strand of beads through the BTS and create lots of pretty designs. I've even found a way to spice up plain old rick-rack so that it looks completely different than you imagine it would.

I have a sewing machine that does a lot of different stitches but I also enjoy doing hand embroidery so I may use some of the stitches for inspiration but completely change them up and add to them just for the fun of it.

As soon as I finish the current quilt block I'm working on, I'll post a photo of it.

Crazy Quilt Blocks + Tatting = joining old knots and stitches together for a new twist (well, for me anyway)