Monday, November 13, 2006


Although I haven't been good lately at updating my own blog, I do enjoy perusing others. I came across this on a blog I read occasionally. Here's the deal:

Be one of the first five people to post a comment on this blog entry and I will be thrilled to send you a small piece of original art. Then you simply must make the same offer on your blog! (So, yes... only other bloggers may play at this point.) Just make sure I can email you back from your comment. No anonymous or no-reply folks, please. Then I'll email you and we can exchange snail mail addresses.

Nothing much new here, but I'll share some embroidery pictures. This is from a very old tablecloth. It was given to my grandmother as a going away gift from her best friend, when my grandmother immigrated to this country in 1920. The workmanship is outstanding, especially when you consider that this piece is almost 100 years old, and has been laundered repeatedly. When my grandmother gave it to me as a wedding gift almost 25 years ago, she lamented the fact that she no longer had a mangle to iron it properly!

Some close ups to show the quality of the stitches.

There are four of these medallions in a circle in the center of the tablecloth. Two ladies and two gentlemen. They are linked with the spray of roses. The whole tablecloth is about 36" square.

Each corner sports this motif.

Believe it or not, the back is almost as pretty as the front.

Okay, I'm anxious to hear from you!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Comparing Ink-jet Printer sheets

This is an unscientific comparison, but a pretty practical one. I bought three different types of commercial ink-jet printer sheets, and tried printing on all three. Here are my first impressions after printing:
Color Textiles was the winner in my opinion for the best print
quality. Pictures came out just a little bit sharper, and the fabric
was the brightest white of the three I tried. It is easy to remove
from the backing. Price: $17.00 for six sheets

Second, was the sheets from Dharma, which turned out to be Jacquard.
Pictures came out almost as clear on this fabric as it did on the
Color Textiles sheet. The fabric seems to be a bit more sheer, and is
the most difficult of the three to remove the backing. There was a
bit of residue that remained on the back of the fabric, don't know how
that may affect any fusing product I may use. Price: Dharma Trading
has 10 sheets for $12.59.

Third, was Printed Treasures. They were okay, but compared to the
other two, I liked this one the least. The color was more off white
than the others, which might mean it would be best to give an antique
look. But honestly, I don't think there is enough of a difference to
really matter. You only notice it when you compare the three. The
fabric tried to shred when I took off the backing, but maybe it was
just that particular sheet. Price: $16.19 for 5 sheets.

Now, I haven't tested any of these yet for washability or
colorfastness. This is simply hot off the printer opinions! My
advice would be to splurge for the Color Textiles sheets if it is a
project that is really important to you. If you just want to play
with collage, I think the Jacquard sheets are just fine. Considering
the difference in price, it is my top pick. I wouldn't waste my money
on the Printed Treasures sheets.
BUT.......... Then I washed them.

Here they are after washing them. As you can see, the Jacquard and the Color Textiles sheets faded horribly. Plus, the Color Textiles sheets skewed. It is no longer straight. And yes, I did iron them. All three like to hold onto the wrinkles.

Color Textiles, after washing

Jacquard, after washing
Printed Treasures, after washing

Look how badly the Color Textiles one skewed. For the price of these sheets, I was sorely disappointed. Both it and the Jacquard sheet lost a lot of their color, especially in the red spectrum. The Printed Treasures did not fade as much , but it still did fade some. Black ink seemed to hold up well, so I guess if you were just printing text, these would work okay. But if you plan on using pictures with color (which I assume is why you bought these sheets in the first place) I would have to recommend the Printed Treasures sheets. But it is with some caveats. I really do not like the color or texture of these sheets. After washing, the surface appears to have pilled.

Next, I will try both the Bubble Jet Rinse method and the fabric softener method. But don't hold your breath. My daughter graduates from college this month, and we will be moving her out of state. And my son leaves for Europe at the end of the month. I have two quilts to complete, and I have not yet had a chance to play with my new Babylock Embellisher machine, which I bought almost two weeks ago. But, I do have some fabric soaking in fabric softener right now, so there is hope!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Another quilt

I love the 5 and Dime quilt pattern! It is so quick and easy to make up, and when you have terrific fabrics, it is easy to make your quilting skills look better than they are. So I went to the fabric store yesterday, and came home with fabrics for two of these quilts.

The first colorway will be a quilt for my niece, who just graduated from college.

This second colorway I bought, just because I love it!

Today's project is to see how much I get done. I hope to at least get the top together.

I'm also proud to announce I have a winner in my yarn giveaway contest! Congratulations to Jessica, who read this blog and bought a skein of yarn, to win the free skein!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Free Yarn Giveaway!

How cool is this? Fluorescent dyed sock yarn under the blacklight! I'm so excited about this new dye, it is so fun! Make your socks from this yarn and wear them dancing, and bring a new meaning to "shake your booties"! Wear them Moonlight Bowling. Everyone will be so fascinated with your socks, they'll roll gutter balls! I just know you can have fun with socks made from this new yarn.

Okay, I promised free yarn, right? Well, here's the deal. Below is the first skein I did. I got the dyebath too hot, and the yarn felted slightly, so I don't feel comfortable selling it. There really isn't anything drastically wrong with it, it just isn't up to my high standards. Here you can see what it looks like in natural light.

And, under a blacklight. Look at that glow! The neighbors will think you've gone radioactive! This would be great yarn to make socks for your next Halloween party. This is some of my self striping Team Spirit yarn. The stripes will knit up to approximately two rows of black to three rows of orange. I had originally done this yarn to honor my Alma Mater. But instead of selling it, I decided to give it away for free!

So, how do you win this yarn? Go to my Etsy store, Rooskie Dooskie Designs, buy a skein of yarn, and tell me you've read my blog. The first person to do so will win this yarn. 440 yards of fluorescent fun! Thanks for reading, and check back for more great specials like this!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Matilda makes a great model

As promised, here is the vest I made to wear to my daughter's recital last Saturday. Yes, I really wore it, you can see the wrinkles. The buttons do not line up with the fasteners. That is what happens when you sew them on at 12:30 in the morning. I was going to fix them in the car on the way over, but since I had a friend along, I visited with her instead. So I will get around to doing that, before I wear it again.

Okay, who put that leaf right there?!

The sides are hand dyed, hand pleated silk. You can adjust the size on the sides, which makes this a very wearable piece. It looks great here on Matilda, who is a perfect size six, and it looked good on me, who is somewhat larger.

I used two different shades of dupioni for the body of the vest, one slightly lighter than the other. For the inserts I used a variety of fabrics, which you can see here. Three different green dupionis, a metallic brocade in pink and gold, a green silk brocade, and a pink changeable silk taffeta.

The cording I used to create the closures also is what controls the fullness of the pleats on the sides. I hand twisted embroidery floss to make the cording.

I hope you like my vest! Tomorrow, more yarn. I've been busy cooking up some fun new things. Now, for everything to hurry up and dry!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Quite a Yarn

Okay, maybe I should have titled this entry "A Tangled Skein". I've been busy dyeing yarn the last few weeks, on the advice of my daughter, who knits. She knows I love working with dye and color, and I guess she figured I'd be a natural at creating hand dyed yarn.

It's been great fun experimenting, and I think after about ten skeins, I've hit my stride. Here are a few of my favorites.

Of course, it is so hard to capture the actual colors on a computer, but they are rich and vibrant.

Just for fun, and since I was using acid dyes anyway, I threw a piece of silk in the pot to soak up any excess dye. I used it to try another new discovery, fabric postcards!

Tomorrow I'm going to try my hand at self striping sock yarn. It is a laborious process preparing the yarn for dyeing, but now the hard part is done and the fun can begin.

Oh! Here is the fabric I ended up choosing for my vest.

I'll try to get pictures of the finished product tomorrow.

Monday, May 01, 2006


On Saturday my daughter will be performing her Senior Recital. She is a music major, majoring in Flute Performance and will graduate this June. I want to wear something special to this last concert, but what? I have a vest pattern that I've been wanting to make for a while, so I decided now is the time to make it up. It is from Purrfection Patterns, and is a perfect canvas for something fun. I really want to applique a giant poppy on the back, or embroider a peacock. But I think both of those choices would be too flashy for this occasion. Plus, time is a factor! So my plan was to modify the pattern by slashing the front and back at an angle, and adding in strips of fabric. I will use pleated silk instead of the side panels, hoping it will add a Fortuny touch. Here's my dilemma:

What colors do I choose? Ack! I don't want to go too bold, yet I look terrible in muted colors. Did I add that I will be wearing black pants? The are the only thing I have that fits right now.

Hopefully I will be able to decide by tonight, because time's awastin'!