Monday, May 28, 2007

Plus One

This has been so much fun, how can I give it up?

I've packed up my exchange bookmarks to send, so now I can post all the runners-up. The first one I made was supposed to be a repeat of what appears as my Ninth Motif, a bookmark made from "Design 39" in Christel Wiedmann's Tatting, 60 Original Lace Treasures. Must not have been paying the least bit of attention, because it came out looking completely different. Not just because it's done in green and white DMC size 30 Cébélia, either. It looked a little boring.

Moving on to something more interesting, I discovered buttons. Oh, I always knew buttons existed and that other people used them in tatting -- I'd just never bothered with them before. Yeah, before I discovered a package of about a zillion for 88 cents. (Okay, not a zillion, but a lot, anyway.) I looked over the buttons and decided my mom could use a bookmark. Her birthday's in July. Yeah, a nice red, white and blue bookmark. This time I just let the shuttle do something really simple while I got the feel of the buttons. (Signature red-white-blue variegated machine embroidery thread with DMC size 80 white tatting cotton).
That worked, but I wasn't too certain about the big gaps between the buttons. That seemed a little too flexible when I picked it up. about making the chains between the buttons cross over each other? I tried that next (Signature green ombre machine embroidery thread and DMC size 80 white tatting cotton). Not what I intended to do, because I somehow crossed them all the same direction and it wanted to untwist instead of stay flat. The second round was to keep it in control, but had to end in the same place as the first so my "magic threads" weren't wasted. The crossovers needed to be connected somehow and they should have been longer, maybe. Or maybe not.

The next incarnation has cross-overs in opposite directions which are longer and are attached together in the center. But it's as flexible as the first red, white and blue one (using the same thread combination, too). One more change to give the same effect but not actually cross the threads resulted in this little bookmark. The buttons are smaller and it's made with just one strand of Coats rainbow variegated hand quilting thread. It's still too flexible, and the thread is just too fine to make a sturdy bookmark. Without the tail, it might have made a nice fake button placket for a pull-over shirt.

The exchange bookmarks were made next, so I'll save them for later.

Finally, I made this pink bookmark on tiny little two-hole buttons I found in the scrapbooking section at Roberts. I thought it was a really weird looking thing, but my sister picked it up, turned it over, and said "Oh, butterflies!" Really?
Okay, now I have to figure out how to work it upside down. That wasn't as hard as I expected, I just started at the other end with a little clover. Then I had to figure out how to make a tail and go back up the other side to get back to the top and my "magic threads." Somehow, the chains just didn't come out quite even on both sides. I know they've got the same number of stitches. It has to be something to do with the rings on one side and only joins on the other. Both of these were made with one strand of Signature variegated and one of Gütterman sewing thread in different colors, of course). The tiny purple buttons in the second version very nearly disappear into the work.
Finally, I made my pattern piece starting at the bottom of the tail with a simple butterfly then a split ring chain into a clover (for a place to put those magic threads, you see), up one side to a little butterfly at the top and back down to the clover. This one is made with one strand of DMC size 80 tatting coton in a bright magenta and tiny pink scrapbook buttons. The scrapbook buttons don't leave much room for the three joins in each hole. I had to use my size 16 crochet hook to ease (okay, pull, tug, wiggle and yank) the thread through those holes. I've bought some other very small buttons and am going to try this again with a strand of the Signature and a strand of DMC size 80 tatting cotton. That combination should make it just the right weight.

Twenty-fifth Motif

There. That makes twenty-five. This is an original design made with one strand of Signature pink ombre embroidery thread and one strand of dark pink Gütterman cotton sewing thread. I made sets of three to decorate t-shirts. This purple on white shirt is for a friend of mine whose last day of work is the 31st. Lucky woman! A set of green ones will go on the t-shirt I got my sister for her birthday. This pink set is for my great-aunt to say "thanks" for hosting our annual family party. She'll have to attach them to her own t-shirt, but they should match the one she was wearing yesterday.