Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gallery - Mill Hill Pin Pillow & Christmas Ornament

I managed to put a couple more finishes to bed last night, and finished two more pieces out of the finishing pile. First up was a Christmas ornie I finished earlier in the week, and the second is a Mill Hill magnet pillow ... I just love all the beads in the fringe and can't stop playing with it! ;)

christmas heart finished

pansy magnet pillow 2

pansy magnet pillow

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Finish-along for Anne S - Aug 07

I made a real effort today to finish something off for this month's theme of stitching accessories for the Finish-Along. I've been taking photos ready for a needleroll tutorial for later next year, and while I was at it managed to finish another needleroll as well.

planted hearts needleroll finished

Planted Hearts by Lavender Wings

Stitched on 32ct waterlily linen
using recommended threads & beads

As well as the needleroll, I also dragged something else out of the finishing pile that's been there for well over a year now - I finally put together my Thistle Bag.

Thistle Bag by M Designs

Thistle Bag by M Designs

stitched using recommended fabric & threads

Gallery - Small House Sampler Pinkeep


Thank you Nicki for a great class!

Posted by Barbara J

Monday, August 27, 2007

Gallery - Needleworker Pinkeep


Here is my first pinkeep! Thanks so much for the class Nicki! Have loved seeing other peoples pinkeeps too :)

Posted by "Sweetana3"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gallery - My first - but not last Pinkeep

My first pinkeep

I made this pinkeep for my boyfriends birthday today. Your class was wonderful. It is a very easy way to finish projects and it looks so nice. Thanks a lot.

I´ve forgotten to say who has the copyright: the design is taken from Cross Stitch Crazy Nr. 36!

Greetings Maribel

Kudos or Complaints?

It's that time of year when we're starting to put our heads together from the admin side of things for future months of the Focus on Finishing blog. And perhaps it's time we ask for some feedback from you all whether there are parts of the blog you dislike, or don't use much - or if there are parts of the blog you love to death, and would like to see more of ... also if there is anything we haven't thought of, and you'd love to see added. We'd love some feedback, good, bad or indifferent, so we know we're on the right track ... or whether we've gone slightly off the rails ...

Over the next few weeks we'll be looking into possible tutors for upcoming classes - using the results of the survey when we first opened up the blog for business. Some of the classes we plan to teach ourselves, some we'll be asking for volunteers, and some people we think would be just perfect for a particular technique, so we'll be approaching those people directly while keeping our fingers and toes crossed ;)

A HUGE thank you for those of you who have run classes for us already this year, without whom the blog would be a tad boring! And another round of thanks go to those of you who take the time to post your finishes for us all to see - when we see people participating that way it's more motivating for us to continue, as at least we can see the tutorials are being useful.

Don't forget it's a very simple process to sign up for posting - you just need to set up a Google account (no blog at all is needed), then drop me an email (link is in the sidebar) requesting to be added as an contributor, and Bob's your Uncle!

Now, don't forget, put your thinking caps on and give us that feedback - any different classes you want to see? Any tutors you think would be wonderful? Anything you would like to see being done differently? Anything extra you would like to see? Want to know what the winning Lotto numbers are?? OK, so we can't help you with that last one, but we would seriously love the feedback :D

Hugs to you all,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gallery - A Hug Will Do Pinkeep

This is my first attempt at a pinkeep finish, and my first time following one of the classes here - it won't be the last time I do either, either :o)

I was very pleased at how the finished article came out - the picture isn't very good because it's a scan (my camera charger is missing!). In "real life" the edges are much more crisp!

I used cream dupion as the backing fabric, foamcore for the stiffening, a pale pink lace for the edging, and cream, pale green, silver and some more of the lace for the extravagant bow! I omitted the pins because I have a small niece who is fascinated by my basket of "smalls" - so maybe in eight or nine years I can finish this as intended!


Monday, August 20, 2007

Gallery - My Pinkeep

Joy of My Heart Pinkeep

Here is my contribution to the weekend pinkeep class. I finished Joy of My Heart, a design from Lori Birmingham. I'm still not sure if the bow on the corner works but it's only stuck in with a pin so of course I can change it. :-)

Thanks Nicki so much of posting this lesson. Mine turned out great.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Gallery - A Pinkeep finish


Here is my weekend finish. I started it last night and put the finishing touches on this morning. It is a Prairie Schooler design. THanks for the tutorial and inspiration. Of course I will have more later.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Pinkeep - Class

Welcome to our pinkeep class! Almost any small design can be turned into a pinkeep. They are very easy to put together and quite addictive!

For a materials list, please go here.

1. First, decide how big you want your pinkeep to be. Measure your design, allowing a little extra round the edges for a border.
Cut out two pieces of card the size of your measurement. (The card can be any stiff card - I often use cereal packets or wine boxes!)
Cut out two pieces of batting the same size.
Cut out your design, leaving spare fabric for the border plus about 3/4" extra all round.
Cut a piece of coordinating backing fabric the same size as your design piece (not shown here).


2. Place one piece of batting on each piece of card. You can glue the batting lightly in place if you want, but glue isn't essential.


3. Take your backing fabric and glue or lace it to one piece of card/batting so that the batting side is neatly covered. Try to make the corners as neat as you can.


Repeat with your stitched piece and the remaining piece of card/batting.


Both pieces can be either laced or glued. I have shown each method here but if you don't like glue near your stitching then just lace both sides.

4. Optional step. Glue the two pieces together so the fabric sides are outermost. If you don't want to use glue you must sew the pieces together as in step 5.

5. Using a coordinated sewing thread, ladder stitch the front and back pieces together along the edges as shown. A curved needle makes this much easier. Pull the thread gently to secure the pieces together and make the edge neater.


NB. Glue may hold the pinkeep together alone but sewing the pieces together makes it more secure and neatens the edges.

6. Use coordinated pins to pin ribbon or cording around the edges of your pinkeep. You can decorate with a bow at the top if you like.


NB. The pins should hold the ribbon in place without any need for sewing or gluing it on.

And there's your pinkeep finished! Easy to do.

I hope you could follow the tutorial and enjoyed it. If you have any questions, please leave a comment, and please do share photos of your finished pinkeeps with us!

Tutor = Nicki

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Gallery - Tie on Pillow

Merci Pillow

Hello all, I'm a relatively new finisher and I was easily able to complete this tie-on pillow for Karen V using her excellent tutorial (found here). If you haven't tried one of these yet, why not give it a go? Thanks to Karen and Anne for making these resources so accessible.

--Rachel V. (Willing Hands)

Gallery - Tie on Pillow

Merci Pillow

Hello all, I'm a relatively new finisher and I was easily able to complete this tie-on pillow for Karen V using her excellent tutorial (found here). If you haven't tried one of these yet, why not give it a go? Thanks to Karen and Anne for making these resources so accessible.

--Rachel V. (Willing Hands)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tutorial added - Fabric Basket

Barbara J has written a great tutorial on how to make a fabric basket - now added to the tutorials page.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Pinkeep - Class - Materials List


Our pinkeep class will run the weekend of August 18th and 19th. I hope you'll join in as pinkeeps are so easy and fun to make. Once you've tried one you're sure to be hooked!

You will need:

1. Your stitched piece. Pinkeeps can be any size but a design that is about 3-4" square is a good size for a first pinkeep.

2. Backing fabric to coordinate with your stitched design.

3. Matboard or fairly stiff cardboard. Enough to cut out two pieces a bit bigger than your design.

4. Batting. Enough to cut out two pieces a bit bigger than your design.

5. Sewing thread.

6. Glue (optional but helpful).

7. A curved needle (optional but very helpful).

8. Ribbon or cord to put round the edges of your pinkeep.

9. Pins!

Tutor = Nicki

Gallery - A pair of pillows

This pair of pillows will be a birthday gift. The tutorials were great as I am not accomplished at sewing! The stitched pieces are the beginning JDR Brazillian Elegance series. I don't think I will ever learn to love working with rayon... Ginger



Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Gallery - Another Bourse

I made my first bourse following Isabelle's tutorial. The instructions were very easy to follow :)

It was a gift for my mom and the design is Angel with Rosary by Sudberry House


Posted by "carla77"

August FAL Theme

The first theme for our new FAL themed months is stitching accessories!

This month's class is a pinkeep, so we've decided to tie the theme in with the class, so that people who want to do the class will have a chance to participate. However, we've decided to expand the theme to include all types of stitching accessories, such as scissor fobs, biscornu, needlecases, scissor cases, pincushions, tape measure covers and needlerolls, so there are plenty of finishing choices.

I'll post some tutorial links and pictures of finished accessories to (hopefully) give you some inspiration in separate posts below.

Happy finishing!

August FAL - Stitching Accessories tutorials

If you've never attempted any of these types of finishes before, here's some tutorial links to get you started. I've pulled out the most basic, straightforward tutorials with beginners in mind but there are many others on the tutorial links page:

  • Biscornu here - very clear instructions with loads of pictures

  • Mattress pincushions here - in French but with loads of pictures. I used this one for my first mattress pincushion and found it easy to do from just the pictures.

  • Needlecases here and a slightly different style here

  • Needlerolls here - nice, clear tutorial with good explanations and pictures

  • Scissor fob here

  • Scissor case here - in French with lots of pictures and scissor pocket here (Becky will be doing a class on this one at a later date too, which will have more step-by-step photos if you want to wait for that)

  • Tape measure cover here - in Japanese with lots of pictures. I've used this one myself and found it very clear and easy to use

August FAL - Inspiration

Looking for inspiration for this month's theme?

Try The World's Largest Collection of Smalls blog as a starting point for loads of pictures of stitching accessories, which are all grouped by category. Check out everyone's gorgeous scissor fobs, needlecases, pincushions, needlerolls, pinkeeps, biscornu, scissor pockets, and tape measure covers, along with all the other beautiful finishes

Think outside the box: for example, mini biscornu make wonderful scissor fobs, like this cute patriotic fob by Linda in Iceland:

and these 3 colourful fobs by Melanie in Australia:


Or why not try out a strawberry fob, like this one by Blackbird Designs in last year's JCS ornament issue, beautifully stitched and finished by Cathymk:

More thinking outside the box; needlerolls don't necessarily have to be vertical designs - here's one I made using a horizontal design, which I adapted slightly (Homeward at Last by JBW Designs):


and if you don't fancy the idea of hemstitching the ends, just use banding, like this one stitched by AnneS:


If you've got plenty of time on your hands, why not create a matching set of accessories, like this beautiful set of LHN designs stitched by Becky:

or these fabulous Quaker accessories stitched by Nicki?


I couldn't find a tutorial for a needleminder, but the basic idea is quite straightforward. Michelle has made a couple of beautiful needleminders recently (I'm totally drooling over the Quaker one):




Sarah Moon (top) and Flower of Courage needleminders, stitched by Michelle (Cozyegg)

The instructions she used came with a kit but think metal ornament finishing forms, magnets (inside and out) and any kind of trim for the edging and it's not too hard to work out how to create your own. Or you could try a basic pincushion or fob with magnets inside to hold your needles or pick up dropped pins, like these great examples by Barbara:


and Lelia:

And finally, if you're up for a challenge and want to try something completely different, what about a chatelaine to hold stitching tools? Here's an example of one designed by Guilia Punti Antichi:


and a gorgeous one created to her own design by Helen:


So what are you waiting for? Drag out your stitched pieces and your finishing supplies and get finishing! And don't forget to post your finishes to the blog so we can all admire them. If you've not already signed up to post on here you'll need a WordPress account (free, no need to create a blog) and then you'll need to email me to add you as an author so you can post. It's quick and painless (honest!)

Have fun!

Made by Lena