Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wichita Falls ASG retreat

I attended the Wichita Falls ASG retreat at Camp Chaparrel this weekend. There are not enough words to explain how much fun it was. They were so kind to us and took us in as their own : D I took a trunk load of projects and scarcely touched any of them. They kept us hopping with planned activities and there was so much going on in the room - so much to be distracted by! The members, classroom, lighting, weather, food, CHAIRS!, sleeping rooms, parking, simply everything about it.... was wonderful!
The WF ASG gals really know how to throw a party ; D Yes! I'm counting the days to the next one.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Vector vs. Bitmap

Sometime ago, I was asked to teach a class about drawing tatting designs. Son came to my rescue and created this primer on drawing vectors. I think it will be a help to the folks trying to figure out what they can do with the latest addition to the Bernina Designer Plus V6 software - CorelDRAW.
There are many mind boggling tutorials on the internet - but these pages of info are clear and concise without TMI - too much information! Anyway, it made vectors sharp and clear for me (pun intended).

Ron's Basics of Vector Drawing  ←click to download

Bernina Designer Plus V6!

Bernina has released the latest upgrade to their embroidery software. It has great new tools. I needed
an appliqué alphabet for an online digitizing challenge. So! I spent an enjoyable afternoon getting familiar with the new layout. I have shared the completed alphabet in several embroidery formats HERE. Did I mention it is FREE?!?  OH! and if you don't see the embroidery format that you need - give a shout - I should be able to convert the files for you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fiber Jewelry

This is an oldie - but a goodie that deserves further exploration...someday... So, you have a project to stitch that you can not dunk in water to remove the stabilizer... what stabilizer do you choose? Why not the burn away stabilizers?

These are stabilizer fabrics that are treated with chemicals that make them char and disintegrate when they are heated. You can use an iron... OR! a heat gun! Way more fun!

You will want to work on a heat resistant surface. I used a flat Pyrex baking dish.

The strands that make up the weaving need to be heat resistant. The black and the white pieces are made with Kreinik metallic cord. The center tan watch band was made with a rayon cord.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mitered applique

A neat trick with satin stitching is to move your needle position full right to create a near perfect miter. These samples were stitched with feed dogs to demonstrate applique stitching.

In the video from Taunton Press Pancho Martinez is using an industrial Juki embroidery machine to free motion embroider flowers. It is very similar to the Bernina 217-50 that I use. He is using his knee to control the needle width. There are no feed dogs - so the stitch length is controlled by how slowly he moves the hoop. And! he has moved his needle position so that the needle swings randomly (actually he is controlling how far the needle swings) on one side and comes back to the same line on the other side.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Laundry Service - NOT!

I stitched the letters of this little wall hanging free motion. I thought the fabric was a good fit with it's appearance of water droplets.
I used my industrial Bernina 217-50. This is a fun! machine that does not have feed dogs. It has a knee lever that swings the needle from straight stitch to 12mm! And is FAST!!! Woo Hoo!

Now here's a tip for free motion monogramming. As the needle can only swing left to right, you can turn your hoop 45 degrees to the swing of the needle to simulate calligraphy.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


I created my background - which son says is too busy and fussy - not his exact words...
Anyway, I see that it only shows up when I use Firefox as a browser. It doesn't show up in
Internet Explorer. Any of you blog gurus have an idea as to why?!? TIA

Honey Bee Sun Set

This was a sun set that I put together for a friend's grandbaby.
The t-shirt was purchased and already had the little tucks down the center front.
I added a fabric ruffle to the bottom hem and made the bloomers. The hat edge was bound in the same bee fabric.

The wings on the bees are silk and organza ribbon held together and stitched like this example. (click images for larger details) The detail of the bees and "honey" were stitched free motion.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mama's Jacket

Don't you love rescuing linens, hankies, and lace from flea markets? Ah! but what to do with these treasures? This purchased fleece cardigan was perfect for adding some of my finds. One of the reasons I was determined to learn to shuttle tat was to STOP buying every piece of tatting that I found. The tatting that is added to this jacket for my Mother are pieces that I tatted. The silk flowers are from stems that I took apart. They are held in place with vintage mother-of-pearl buttons. The magnolia on the right front is appliquéd fabric. The lace doilies were free motion stitched to the cardigan with invisible thread. I didn't want to cut the hankies for the pockets - so they are folded over the edge of the pocket top and held in place by buttons. It is so "crusty" people stop her when she wears it to get a closer look : )

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Peach Mignonette Bag

My plan was to use the SSSR round as the casing for this mignonette bag. But someone else suggested that the cords be woven in a lower round to give the bag more firmness when it closes. The cording is made with a lock stitch of peach and green threads. A lock stitch is made by flipping the first half and NOT flipping the second half. The tassels are made of the same two colors. There are two rounds of onion rings. I tend to work the rounds in groups of odd numbers before changing the count for the next texture. Sure, this one got "out of hand" and is almost big enough to be a bucket! (click on each image to show detail)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Single Shuttle Split Rings

SSSRs are fun! and so useful. Several of the bags that I have done have a ring and chain combination for finishing the top round. I wanted to have a bag that was completed in rings only. The SSSR was a way to create the casing for the pull ties of the bag. Matthew Takeda's instructions for the SSSR can be found on Bina Madden's technique page SSSR - Matthew Takeda

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fun with tatted flowers

This was a fast and fun barrette for a special little girl.
She is a sweetie and put it in her hair the minute it left my hand.

I know that GLUE is a four letter word, but sometimes nothing else will do. The tatted flowers are simply glued to the plastic barrette. (click image for large view)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


gina's YouTube silk ribbon videos
Organza ribbon and beaded dragonflies. The antennae are made with velour thread. Yes! they are stitched with the sewing machine. Here is a beginning page showing how the wings are formed. (Click on the image for a larger view.)
Silk ribbon on the sewing machine is a great technique for beginners to free motion embroidery. It is slow paced and relaxing with FAST! results.  ginabea silk ribbon videos

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tatting Pouch

This is my FAV tatting traveler. It is empty so that a pattern could be made from it. I found it at a beauty supply (now out of business) several years ago. It is not discolored - it is meant to look like tortoise.
It has been a quest to find another of these - it won't last forever! I usually keep my give-away tatting kits on one side and a current project on the other. Various pins and needles are conveniently kept in the exposed zipper fabric.

Tatting is a portable hobby?!?!

Krystledawne suggested that we post a pic of
our tatting space - unposed - just as it is found.
Scarey thought : O
Since I have my blocking/ironing board near the embroidery machine, the sewing sample was found there as well.
I have the three tatted hankies ready for embroidery.
One of my antique irons - no vent holes.
The collar I am working on.
The yards of thread that I untatted : (
BEST PRESS that smooths my tatting as
I work on it.
My fav clear, tortoise, double sided, zippered, tatting case.
Oh! it has my "diamond pin" that hubby's Grandfather made. Yes : ) it is a dime that is welded onto a large safety pin. It comes in handy as a small screwdriver for my GR8 shuttles.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fun with machine memory

Most computerized sewing machines will allow you to change their stitch attribute settings. Some will allow you to save and combine these changes to create your own "new" stitches. (click image to enlarge)
The Bernina 1630 came out in 1993 and there are many of us still in love with this remarkable sewing machine. There are a couple of newslists that offer a wealth of info about the Bernina 1630.
The first is on Quiltropolis.com
The second is the one I started on Yahoo.Groups
In the files section of the Bernina Devotee list on Yahoo, you will find info that has been shared by members of the newsgroup. In the photo sections you will find member projects as well as pics of our past 1630 Devotee seminars.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blue Mignonette

Judi Banashek published a book entitled, "Modern Mignonette". I enjoyed tatting with her when she lived here in OKC. I know I am very fortunate to have had her for my first tatting teacher. I had collected patterns and supplies for 15 years before I was able to attend my first tatting class with Judi.

This little bag is one of my early tatting projects. It was not terribly creative except for the band of tiny rings in the center of the bag : ) Judi was encouraging me to experiment with mignonette texture.

I have made several more "adventurous" mignonette bags since this one.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


©2005 gina Butler ~

Wind 2 shuttles with purple thread. (go ahead! fill them : ) you won't be able to stop at just one HuckleBear!) Starting with a thread tail from each shuttle of 4 - 6 inches, set up for a chain. Flip the first half and DON'T flip the second half. This will tie the two threads together. There is no need to start CTM because you want the thread tails for his bow tie.

Bear Head and Ears -1st SCMR:
SCMR - Chain 12 ds
Pick up
other shuttle to “throw” Ring off chain to form ear 12 ds, close ring Use first shuttle to continue SCMR Chain 12 ds (top of head) Again, use second shuttle to form ear Ring 12ds close ring Use first shuttle to complete Chain 12 ds Close first SCMR.

Eyes and Snout- 2nd SCMR:
SCMR Chain 4ds, Use second shuttle to tat Josephine Ring (this makes the eye) 6 halfs, Join into base of ear, 6 halfs, close JR, with first shuttle Ch 4ds, Use second shuttle JR 6 halfs, join (into base of second ear), 6halfs, close JR, Ch 4ds, close SCMR. After the 2 SCMRs are tatted you will have 4 thread ends. Hold two thread tails in each hand and tie into a bow at HuckleBear’s neck.

Hey Palmetto kids! In green varigated thread he would certainly be a fine Kudzu B

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Scissor Keeps

I used Bernina Designer Plus V5 to create these scissor covers.
They were stitched on a Bernina 200 and a Janome 9700.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

I was thinking... A novel idea for a Bride would be a tote bag that she could use to collect her Shower and Wedding cards.

The Wedding colors are to be black, white, and citron. The invitation had this motif in a repeating pattern. I scanned and enlarged it, then digitized it with Bernina Artista 5 embroidery software.

The little hankie is OLD and was 25 cents from the thrift store. The fabric was NEW (also a bargain from the thrift store). The motif was BORROWED from their wedding invitation. And there is a tiny BLUE
button holding the decorative bow in place.

I cut the hankie diagonally and stitched it back together leaving an opening for the ribbon drawstring. It is stitched to the inside of the bag and folded over to the outside of the tote bag to cover the raw edges. It was then straight stitched into place and ribbon was sewn over this stitching.
Two loops of picot ribbon were threaded in opposite directions through the casing. The ribbon ends were sewn together and pulled well inside the casing.
*Tip: When sewing narrow ribbon or elastic, overlap the ends and place under the sewing foot vertically to the bed of the sewing machine. Use the serpentine (or similar) stitch set at W-5-9 and L-0. The sewing machine needle will step across the width of the ribbon without being "swallowed" by the opening in the throat plate.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Single Shuttle Split Ring

When closing the SSSR. You can control the loop that has been passed over the SSSR and the shuttle.

Note: this is the same loop that you will want to pick open to untat the SSSR.