Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Someone asked a question about using Gutermann silk on the lists. I am currently playing with the samples that Sylvia Free sent and one of them just happens to be Gutermann silk. The first time I tried it I just grabbed the nearest available shuttle and wound some on. Big mistake. The thread broke while I was trying to close a ring.

I'll tell you what I did wrong. First off I used a Peter Cua engraved shuttle (black with a phoenix). This thread will catch on anything rough so it was snagging on the engraving. Secondly, this thread has a very definite nap to it. To find which direction the nap is hold up a piece of thread (any thread) and run your thumb and finger down the length of the thread. Now turn hold the opposite end and do the same thing. One direction will be smoother than the other. When you wind your shuttle you need to make sure that the thread feels smooth between your thumb and finger as you wind. Sounds kind of elementary but for all my engineering smarts, I have to really think about which direction the thread is traveling when I pull a ring closed. For the second try I also went back to my trusty Aeros.

Anyway, having the thread going in the right direction made a big difference. I also closed some of the more stubborn rings in stages, (inch that last bit of the ring closed between picots rather than just yanking on the core thread). Here is the end result. It is a but fuzzy, but very soft. It would make a nice edging for a handkerchief or scarf.

Now for the usual particulars. This is Gutermann pure silk color 416. The pattern is from the December 1955 Workbasket. Sylvia Free lives in Pernarth, South Wales. (I had a kick addressing her sample from me. They have such wonderfully complicated addresses across the pond.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Someone on the lists was looking for a pattern for a canoe. I have done a boat but it is more of a gondola. There is a story behind this picture.

This is what happens when you are reciting poetry while trying to choose thread within hearing distance of Lily Morales (

It started with a guild retreat. We were at a conference center in the mountains. Lily made everyone a backpack type bag as part of the goody bag giveaway for the occasion (she was nuts!). Anyway, those attending were challenged with decorating it by the next event. (About a year away) My original idea was an owl in a tree branch, in keeping with the theme. But as I was musing on a suitable thread for the owl I starting saying poetry - it's a habit I picked up from my Grandmother.

So, here I'm muttering "the owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat." Lily heard me and said "Oh! Oh! I have the perfect green for that!" And, well, the rest is history.

What you see here is not mounted on that backpack. I took it off and put it on a black backing so I could enter it in the Orange County Fair. It won first place that year. (2004 if I remember correctly). After that, I had it framed and gave it to my mother (with the blue ribbon) for Christmas since she collects owls.

Now for the credits:

The Boat, Moon and Water are my own design.
The Owl and the Pussycat belong to Jane Eborall and the patterns can be found on her web page.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

I've been on another trip, so I have a bunch of motifs to post at one time again. I forgot to put the tape measure into the pictures this time, sorry.

This first motif I actually didn't do while I was traveling. I started it before I left and finished it after I returned. You can see why. I don't like the idea of juggling and chasing beads while sitting on a plane. Dorcas Newkirk gave me this very colorful Manuella with beads to match. I had to do some looking to come up with a pattern that would be suitable for just 12 beads. When I first tried this pattern, I used the beads in place of the outer chain picots, but I didn't like the way they were laying. Just too big. I finally increased the stitch count enough to I could get the beads into the rings themselves. The thread is Manuella size 20, color M202-04. The pattern is from the September 1971 Workbasket.

This next motif I did do on the plane, with just one big bead, it was easy to deal with. The thread and the bead was given to me by Sharol Thompson from Boulder City, Nevada. The thread is DMC Perle Cotton Size 8. The pattern is from the August 1990 Workbasket. It is not a pattern I have in my own Workbasket collection, Sharol sent it along with her thread. It actually calls for a bead to be used in the pattern. I'm not sure if you can see from the scan, but the bead is decorated with pretty little flowers.

Elizabeth Zipay from Schukil Haven, PA gave me this multicolored thread. It is Altin Basak Size 50. The pattern is from the May 1948 workbasket.

This is the last thread exchange motif that I got finished during my trip. The thread is Perfect Quilter color 085. The pattern is from the November 1960 Workbasket. It was given to me by Lori Oliwen-Kluger of La Cresceta, CA.

The rest of my trip was spent working on this years ornament for my holiday cards. I'm doing Jane Eboralls Celtic Wreath this year. There is a bit of story to go with this. My trip was to visit my brother and his family in Michigan. While I was there I listened to my nephews orchestra rehearsal. My niece, Maribeth, was sitting next to me watching me tat the first round of the wreath. I finished the round and on a whim gave it to her. She promptly squeezed it over her little hand and wore it as a bracelet. (It just barely fit). The next morning she proudly showed me the bracelet I had made her for her birthday along side the one I just gave her. I was just thrilled, so I quickly wound some more thread (I didn't have much with me, but I did have lots of beads) and made her another bracelet. I used the central split ring of Jane's bracelet and alternated it with just plain split rings to make a really pretty bracelet in blue thread with gold beads. I finished it just before I had to come home again. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of Maribeth with all her tatted bracelets. I should have. We were a bit rushed that last morning to get me to the airport on time.

I do have one of the clan.From left to right in the back, my father, me, my oldest nephew Andrew, my brother's wife Kim, my brother Mike. In front, my niece, Maribeth, my youngest nephew Samuel and the character on the end, with the super big grin, is my second oldest nephew Jonathan.

While I was there, we put together a little hoedown and played some fiddle tunes. Probably a first, fiddle tunes on a French Horn. (The only strings I deal with are the ones that move my valves.)

I had a great time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

This thread was given to me by Valerie Ho of Singapore. She said it was called Enjoy, 100% Cotton Lace Yarn in Size 40. It's made in Turkey. It tats very nicely, but didn't feel as stiff as a cordonnet or as soft as a cebilia, so I decided to take it apart. It separated into 2 strands then those 2 strands separated into another 2 strands making it a 4 strand thread. Very interesting. The pattern is from the January 1969 Workbasket.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I've been on a business trip so I've had a lot of time to tat while on the train, in my motel room, and the conference itself when the discussions got a bit tedious.

Here are a bunch of motifs made with threads from my last exchange.

This is the 2nd thread given to me by Jon Faizon from Malaysia. It is Olympus size 40. The pattern is from the July 1980 Workbasket. I actually finished this before I went on my trip, it's just been laying around on my desk waiting to be scanned.

This very colorful thread is the Valdani pearl cotton that is taking the tatting world by storm. It is one of 2 threads I received from Dorcas Newkirk. The pattern is from the September 1954 Workbasket.

I seem to have a number of very colorful threads for this post. This thread is YLI Quilting Thread. The color is V73 and is called Maui Sunset. I received it from Teofana Petkova of Texas. The pattern is from the October 1961 Workbasket.

This is the last of the motif's from my business trip. It is Altin Basak Size 50, color number 3053. Clyde Page of Ontario, Canada sent it to me. The pattern is from the June 1972 Workbasket. Clyde was quite generous with his thread, otherwise I wouldn't have chosen such a large pattern. This was also one of the more poorly written Workbasket patterns. I had to do a lot of guessing and looking at the picture to get it done.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I got a note that the link to the maple leaf pattern was incorrect. This is the correct link:

I've also fixed it in the previous entry.

Sorry about that.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gee, I've finished it; and before the end of August too. I won't stop though, this is a good way to share all threads I have received in my thread exchanges. The downside of this blog is that all the pictures are the same size so you don't get an idea of how fine or thick the threads are. I'm thinking of adding a small scale of some kind to show what size the finished motif actually is.

Motif 25!!!!!!!! This is the second thread sent to me by Stacey Houston. It is also King Tut. The color she wrote down was also 912 so one of them is not correct. I just looked at Debbie Arnolds site ( and I'm thinking that it is color 972 instead. The pattern is from the April 1974 Workbasket.

UPDATE - Stacey just sent me a few color samples. The color is actually 973.

This next motif is outside of my 25 challenge, so I'm going to stop numbering them. This is the first of 2 threads sent to me by Jon Faizon from Malaysia. It is Hakelgarn Size 20. I don't own any balls of this thread yet. It tats very much like Manuella. The pattern is from the October 1975 Workbasket

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Motif 23:

This is the third thread given to me by Diane Jenkins. It's called Solar Active Yellow. It is supposed to turn yellow in the sun. It did change colors in the sun a little, but it was more like an ecru to me than a yellow. I tried leaving it on my dashboard all through lunch, but it didn't get any more color to it. The thread is the size of sewing thread and feels (and catches) like silk. I had a hard time getting the rings closed because the thread was catching on itself. The pattern is from the November 1975 Workbasket.

Motif 24:

Stacey Houston from Everett, WA sent me this sample of King Tut Quilting thread along with a maple leaf pattern modified and diagrammed by Tammy Rodgers. The original pattern is from the February 1975 Workbasket. The modified pattern can be found at

The color (number 912) does very well in making this leaf look like a fall leaf.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Finally!!! My fair projects are finished and submitted. I can get back to doing this challenge. I started the challenge last August, I hope the rules give me till the end of this August to finish my 25. I thought I was close, but in counting, if I include the owl I tatted on the beach with Ruth I only have 20 posted.

Well, I do have 2 more.

Motif 21: This was the 2nd thread given to me by Polly Womack. It is size 30 Cebelia color number 801. The pattern is from the May 1992 Workbasket.

Motif 22: This is the 2nd of 3 threads given to me by Diane Jenkins. Unfortunately the card she had it wrapped on has been buried under my desk and I can't find it. If I remember correctly the thread was Oliver Twist Quilting thread. The pattern is from the May 1979 Workbasket.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ruth Perry and I spent a wonderful day on Catalina Island yesterday. My lace guild, the Hedgehog Lacers, asked Ruth to come out to California to teach a celtic tatting class. The class went very well and we had a lot of fun trying to get that ----- knot tied. I finally did it after 3 tries. YAY!

During one of those times while everyone was happily tatting away and talking, it came up the Ruth would not be leaving till Tuesday. I volunteered my house to continue the class on Monday, but, well, real life got in the way of everyone's plans. We then talked about things to do in the area since Ruth had never visited California before. Catalina Island was mentioned (not by me even though I just love the island). Well a phone call later and I had reservations on the boat for Ruth and myself. I told some other guild members during lunch and they were ready to play hookie from their Monday classes and/or work and join us. (I won't mention that both our husbands protested that they couldn't join us either).

I picked Ruth up bright and early (ok foggy and early) Monday morning and we headed for the boat. The crossing to Catalina takes about an hour from Long Beach and we both tatted our way across the water. The ocean was smooth as glass, no problems at all. After a submersible boat tour and a tour of the interior of the island, Ruth and I settled on the beach to tat. The sun did break through the fog around 1:00. We couldn't have had a more beautiful day to enjoy the island.

Ruth showed me another method of getting a bead into the middle of a ring, a regular ring, not a split ring. After watching and doing a 2nd one to make sure I had the concept, Ruth held up the 2 rings and commented that they looked like cat eyes. I was thinking the same thing, so off we went doing freeform designing.

I must tell you that this doesn't come easy to me, I usually have to think about it, but something about being with Ruth, and perhaps the magical aspect of the island (the city is named Avalon after all) just got the creative juices in overdrive. My cat rapidly turned into an owl, but it is very cute just the same. Ruth named her creation "Lina, the Catalina Calico Cat" and she is saying MEOW!

Well there you have it, the owl and the pussy cat went to sea in a beautiful catamaran (better know as the Catalina Express). We did not tat on the way back to the mainland, I think we were tired.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

To continue reposting my motif from the old blog.

Motif 11.

This is the second thread I received from Maria Silva of Alvide, Portugal. It is a very thick thread from Coats called Ancora. It is made in Portugal and if I read the tag correctly it is size 12. The pattern is an edging from the February 1952 Workbasket

Motif 12.

This thread was given to me by Faye Hunt of Clawson, MI. It is Auver a sole silk color 494. The pattern is from the July 1952 Workbasket. The silk was great to work with, but I've got to remember to not do dimpled rings with fine thread! It breaks too easily when closing a ring. I suppose my bane in life is going to be dimpled rings.

Motif 13.

This is a second thread given to me by Faye Hunt. It is Finca Size 16 color no. 30. The pattern is from the May 1953 Workbasket.

Motif 14.

This is a third thread given to me by Debbie Arnold. It is also a Valdani thread but instead of a quilting thread, which I am familiar with, it is a perle cotton! I've never seen this before. The size is 12 and the color is no. M21 (Treasures). It tats pretty much like perle cotton too; quite soft.

The pattern is from the June 1952 Workbasket. What you are seeing at the top of the chains is rickrack tatting. (4 first half of a ds followed by 4 second half of a ds and repeated)

Motif 15.

This thread came to me from Lisa Sipe of Centralia, Washington. It is Flora Size 20 in a yellow-white variegated. The pattern is from the August 1968 Workbasket.

Motif 16.

Susan Taliaferro gave me both the thread and the pattern for this motif. This very pretty heart is Susan's own design. I have her email addy if you want to contact her for the pattern. The thread is Caron Size 10 and the color is Baby Rainbow.

Motif 17.

This thread was given to me by Polly Womack of Los Alamitos, CA. It is Rainbow Linen. The thread was very difficult to tat with because it is thick and rough. The knots kept catching on the core thread as I tried to draw them up tight so you can see where my ds' are
a bit uneven. The pattern is from the September 1954 Workbasket.

Motif 18.

This is the first of 3 threads given to me by Diane Jenkins. It is Olympus Size 40, but I don't have the color number. The pattern is from the October 1950 Workbasket.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The last time I was here was April?????? Boy I've been busy. Between my fair tatting and the project I've been doing at work, I've been swamped. To top it off, I haven't done any work towards completing my challenge. I think I have 1 or 2 to go before I have my 25.

I'm going to post 10 of my completed motifs with their descriptions so this doesn't get too long. I'll leave out all the rest of the stuff from my other blog, just comment on the thread, pattern and who sent it.

For those just finding this blog:

My challenge is an extension of the thread exchange that I run a couple of times a year. What I have been doing with the threads I receive is tat them into little motif's and put them in a sample book. I started with Patty Duff's minitats. When I filled that book up, I started to make a sample of my own, first using patterns from all the Workbasket Magazines that I own, when I run out of them, work patterns from other pattern books.

Currently my sample book is in a binder. I think I will continue the pattern from what I do in my binder here. What I will record is the Month and Year of the Workbasket Magazine. The type of thread I used, who gave me the thread, and where they are from (City, State, Country). In my binder, I also print a picture of what the motif is supposed to look like from Workbasket, but I won't do that here.

Motif 1.

The thread was given to me by Angie Pearson of Stantonville, TN. It is Lion Brane Lame metallic yarn, multi #960. The pattern is from the October 1976 workbasket. This was an intresting thread to tat with. For a metallic, it was fairly strong, but very rough. I tried one standard ring with it but was afraid of breaking the thread while I was pulling the ring closed. I switched to self closing mock rings for the rest of the pattern and it worked out quite well.

Motif 2.

This thread was sent to me by Rev. Doug Marlow of Watertown NY. It is vintage embroidery floss called Peri-Lustra that was made in England. The color number is 100. The pattern is from the December 1979 Workbasket.

Motif 3.
This thread was sent to me by Deborah Craig of Bernville, PA. It is Caron, Size 10, Color - Christmas. The pattern is from the December 1982 Workbasket.

This thread is so thick that 10 yards doesn't go very far. I had to modify the pattern a bit by cutting down the number of double stitches. The pattern called for 6ds between picots, I used 3. Even with that, I was finger tatting the last chain.

Motif 4.

This is another thread from Angie Pearson. It is DMC size 80 color 109. The pattern is from the April 1959 Workbasket. In the original pattern, the outside loops are supposed to be chains that join back into the base of the chain with a shuttle lock join. I used 2 shuttles and changed the outside loop to a ring using the second shuttle.

Motif 5.

This is Omega thread size 50 and was sent to me by Kate Huttar of Duncanville TX. Kate also sent me a basket edge pattern from a 1916 needlework magazine. I took that pattern and doubled it back on itself to make a small bookmark.

Motif 6.
This thread is from Maria Silva of Alvide, Portugal. It is DMC Babylon, size20. The pattern is from the June 1959 Workbasket Magazine.

Motif 7.
The thread is from Shirley Meier of Geelong, Australia. (I hope I got that right Shirley) The thread is Altin Basak size 50 that Shirley found in a Turkish grocery store. The pattern is from the February 1985 Workbasket Magazine.

Motif 8.

This is the last sample thread I got from Angie Pearson. She said she needed to send some thread in Tennessee Orange. The thread is 2 strands of DMC Embroidery floss, color 410. The pattern is from the April 1972 Workbasket.

Motif 9.

Here is the ornament that I gave away in my 2006 holiday cards. It isn't using any exchange threads. The thread is metallic wrapped Altin Basak.

This pattern started life as one of Patty Duffs minitats (#18 to be exact). DH didn't like the look with 6 points and suggested I do it with 8 points. 8 points made it too cumbersome, in my opinion, so I eliminated one of the inner rings and came up with the design you see. For the pattern go to my other blog

Motif 10.
This thread was sent to me by Debbie Arnold of Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is Superior Threads King Tut quilting thread. Very fine and smooth to work with. In my opinion, it is one of the better brands of quilting threads for tatting. The motif is from the July 1959 Workbasket.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Since my work is blocking the blog I created with Yahoo, (it calls it personals and dating) I decided to transfer my blog to here. I'll reattach my old postings so they will all remain together.

This thread was given to my by Polly Womack of Los Alamedos, CA. The thread is size 30 Cebilia. The pattern is the September 1959 Workbasket.

This is all the threads and other goodies I recieved from my partners in the last thread exchange.