Tuesday, August 29, 2006

25 or 30 Motives

For some time I have been thinking I ought to do another book, but I want to do one that shows the design process of tatting. People will sometimes ask me how I come up with my designs and I think it's maybe easier to show the process than talk about it. So for my 30 motives I'm planning on doing snowflakes, hearts and butterflies and showing how one can lead into the other. So here are my first 3 entries.

The first is a motif that I made into a doily by joining 7 motives together. To produce a more interesting starburst shape I repeated the design in reverse from the side into the centre. Click on the picture to see the doily.

The heart is a variation of the snowflake and you can see the design repeated again in the wing of the butterfly. It may take me a while to get the next set done as I don't seem to have much tatting time these days.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Burns Bashes and Disasters

I didn't get anything useful done today due to a series of unfortunate accidents. The kettle full of boiling water got knocked over a splashed all down Rob's forearm. On the way out to the doctor the garage door got stuck and wouldn't close properly. Rob slammed the door to get it to close and the glass globe on the light above the door fell off, hitting him on the head, bouncing and shattering on the driveway. After a quick trip to the doctor's office where the burn was dressed and his arm wrapped in gauze from the elbow to the wrist, we returned home.

The shattered glass was vaccuumed up from the driveway so that we could put the car in the garage and again the door wouldn't close. It took a while to figure out what was wrong. The door is about 30 years old and the frame has rusted in places so that it doesn't fit squarely on the track. It's time for a new door, so Monday they'll be coming to replace the door.

Rob has collected tools ever since he was a kid. In addition to the wood lathe, band saw, drill press and other assorted pieces of equipment, he has a wall full of hand tools. Being the quality manager for a hand tool manufacturer, On several occasions the owner of the business sent him home with boxes of tools. Consequently Rob built a custom lock/door opener for the garage. The button inside the house that opens the door also turns on the lights in the garage and another signal light inside the house. We had accidently left the garage door open once and you can't see if the door is open from inside the house, so now we have a signal light.

The new door is a different style, so the opening/locking mechanism won't work on it. The old door left a space above it that we have used for storage. We're not sure if the storage area will be usable with the new door. If the space is needed for the new door to roll up into it, we may have to move the storage area. This area is chock full of lumber and other "stuff" that we have no other place to store. So this weekend we'll have to see about re-wiring the garage, maybe moving the lumber somewhere else and of course, replacing the broken light fixture. Rob has to do all of this while bandaged from elbow to wrist.

And a fun time was had by all. NOT.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Time for a change of direction

I've changed my mind. I think I'll change the patterns going into the newsletter and use a previously designed but as yet unpublished design for the newsletter. I'm itching to start the 25 motif challenge and I have too much still to go on the things I was planning to use. Some days it's easier to go with a whole new design from scratch than to fight with something that just doesn't want to co-operate with.

For about the zillionth time Rob has suggested I discontinue the newsletter. He hates to see me frustrated and he doesn't want to see me overworked. He still hasn't figured out that I do my best work under pressure :-)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

One job finished, 5 more to go

Yayyy. I finished my 8th strip of edging! Now I can get on to making these blasted placemats and finish of the stuff for the newsletter. I still can't decide what to do on the face of the placemats. I have some daisies done, but I may not bother, or maybe I will. I don't sound indecisive, do I?

I thought my turtle pincushion was done, but the more I look at it, the less I like it. It needs more work. Drat! I wanted to get started on the challenge and I have drawings to do yet. My snowman needs some touchups and my angel needs a halo and I still have to draw the patterns out.

I went back for more physio today and boy does my leg ache. You wouldn't think that one broken leg would cause this much aggravation, but I still feel like I'm playing catch up. I haven't managed to get one newsletter out on time since last year.

I would have been on time though if it hadn't been for the wedding album. That took a lot of my tatting time this quarter, so I guess I am getting sort of caught up. Each newsletter has been delayed which means I haven't been free to start on the next one until later in the quarter. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe I should quit doing the newsletter as then I could just take it easy and do a book, publishing when I'm ready instead of trying to keep to a deadline.

I was going to show a picture of the turtle, but I think I'll just keep you guessing till he's done.

I really did hope that I could get to work on the challenge. I have in mind to do a book of snowflakes, a book of hearts and a book of butterflies with at least 10 patterns in each book. That's while I'm doing the newsletter. Keeping up with the Challenge blog has caused me to neglect my own. How many hours are there in a day? Anybody got any extra they can loan me for a while?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My Current WIP

Having talked about the 25 Motif Challenge, you'd think I'd be one of the first to sign up, right? I haven't yet, although I will eventually, but I have some big projects on the go right now and I can't get into it until I'm done. I have a newsletter to tat for and I've just finished the lace for a wedding album that took a big chunk of my tatting time. I still have things to complete for the newsletter.

I'm working on a set of mixed media quilted placemats with tatted edging on two sides, and I think tatted daisies, and maybe a dragonfly or a turtle or something in one corner. Then I'm thinking that I'll quilt it by sewing the tatting on to the placemats and add quilted bees or something. I'm madly tatting 8 edgings to fit along the narrow side of 4 placemats. All of the tatting bits will probably go into the newsletter, but I want one placemat finished to show how it all fits together. I want the tatting on the front, but the outline quilted on the back.

At the moment I have 5 of the 8 edgings done and I'm thinking daisies because I don't have a lot of time. I'm doing all of the tatting in white because the placemats are a bridal shower gift for a couple that haven't decided on their colour scheme yet.

I want to add tatting to the placemat and quilt it to keep the batting in place, but I know I'm going to have to space things so that I can hold the batting in place in strategic locations. I could just machine stitch a checkerboard pattern on a diagonal but that seems kind of boring. I originally thought of just a spray of 3 daisies with stems on the left side, but then the whole right side would be devoid of stitching. So I though of maybe a turtle in the lower right and a dragonfly on the upper right. If I use a turtle I could do some concentric circles reminiscent of ripples in water and that would take care of the quilting in the lower right, but I'd still need to fill in the upper right.

I have been thinking that if I just scattered daisies and stems across the whole mat that would resolve the issue of spaced quilting, which may be a simpler solution, but not as creative.
Maybe a spray of daisies and a celtic knot quilt design? That's a lot of hand sewing and these things are needed for September 9th.

I'm still thinking of possibilities and what I decide determines how fast I can get the newsletter out, which determines how quickly I can join in the Motif Challenge.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

25 Motif Challenge

We've been talking about starting a tatting challenge and the more we discuss it the more possibilities there are. So that people can follow the progression of thought I thought I'd post about it on my blog so that people can offer their suggestions and input.
Here's the ideas we have been kicking around so far. We started out talking about a 100 motives. That's a lot, especially for people with busy lives. So we trimmed it back to 25 motives. We have discussed a time limit on this challenge and we considered anything from one month to the end of the year. I'm leaning more toward the end of the year personally just because of all the other things I have going.

Since the purpose of this challenge is to get as many people involved as possible we first of all need a really, really big turn out. One of the things that’s really helpful is to be able to show off what you have done and to receive encouragement from other people to keep going. For this purpose it has been suggested that each participant have their own blog where they can show what they are doing. That way everyone involved can check on each other's progress, comment on their work, offer suggestions and applaud their attempts.

Newbie tatters may want to participate but they are intimidated by the idea of creating even one new design so we have kicked around the ideas some more and here are some of the possible ways we could go.

We could break the challenge down into levels.
Beginner 5
Intermediate 15
Advanced 25
We could further add to the challenge so that for example advanced tatters need to do 5 motives one shuttle only, 5 ring and chain, 5 with 2 shuttle patterns, 5 with split rings, 5 with clunies or something similar. Intermediate could do a smaller number of the required designs.
For very new tatters, they could participate as well, not designing something new but just adding something to an existing design, such as adding beads or doing the pattern in 2 colours or other simple changes.

We haven't been talking about patterns just pictures of finished work so there's no copyright infringement to worry about. However, if we do end up with a tremendous response we could do a publication and include the designs much as was done years ago when a lot of the on-line tatters all contributed to a group publication. We haven't got that far in the discussion yet.
Where new tatters want to try modifying an existing pattern they can begin with any of the public domain designs without any concerns about copyright infringement.

What is a motif? We have kicked it around and considered that anything that is one round is a motif. So it could be a round, square, heart, cross, or butterfly shape or anything else your little heart desires. We could do 5 of each or whatever you want.

One of the other things we have discussed is that if the blogs all linked back to one another we could more easily see how each person has progressed. Blogs will let you add links down the side so each time somebody signs up, everybody else adds them to their blog links and they add everybody's links to their blog.

Anyway these are some of the things we have been discussing and I thought before a lot of mis-information started flowing through the tatting lists that it might be helpful to see what's been discussed so far.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Heart Bookmark

This is another small bookmark which can be done with size 10 thread. This design is just a little cloverleaf with a chain around the outside. The heart shape is more pronounced if you make the picot at the point of the heart a little bit bigger than the other picots in the outer chain.

The Doily that Didn't Make it

I haven't written much mostly because I picked up a summer cold. I have been working on some tatting though, mostly things to go in the newsletter. I was planning on including this geometrical doily I did some time ago. Years ago I did snowflakes for my siblings which were enclosed in their Christmas cards. I did one design which I loved, but it took a long time to complete and needing 8 snowflakes in a short amount of time I decided against it.

I started over with a much simpler pattern which worked up quickly but wasn't as lovely, so I did another variation. The second was more intricate and took longer to make. So I did a third variation and then I could decide which one to use. I had 3 of 8 variations so I either needed to make 7 more of one of the choices or keep going and make 5 new variations. Time was running out so I opted for 5 new designs.

I have a crochet tablecloth made up of motives that have a filled in wine glass shape the stem of which is created by a diamond shaped area of open work. This open work looks a lot like tatted rings and every time I looked at the table cloth I wondered if I could re-create it in tatting. What does that have to do with the aforementioned snowflakes? I drew out a possible working plan and selected one of the snowflakes as a starting point. Over the years I have taken several of these snowflakes and turned them into doilies which I call my snowflake doilies. This geometric design was one of them.

It isn't going to make it into the newsletter though. After taking several pictures of it so that I had the design recorded, I gave it away. Trouble is the pictures aren't clear enough to draw a complete pattern from. I'm going to have to re-tat it to get the picture written down and some other things have come up which have taken a big chunk of my tatting time. I suppose I will have to re-do it sometime, but it isn't something I'm looking forward to. Having enjoyed the process the first time through I'm not looking forward to repeating it.