Friday, June 14, 2013

A Lot of "Wasted" Thread, New Books (and Motif #14)

So I'm slowly plodding along toward 25 motifs, just over halfway there...

Actually, I turn 30 in October so I'm going to shoot for 30 by 30, just for fun (and much more fun than what my brother-in-law did, which was lose 30 pounds by the time he was 30...)

Anyhoo, I'm still somewhat adrift in the "What Should I Tat" waters...I just can't seem to settle down to a project...also I've been busy at work, so I don't have as much time or energy to tat as I did before...

A couple weeks ago Jane Eborall was giving away a few books on her of them I already have, but the other, "Projects in Tatting" by Sheila York, I didn't have, and was disappointed (but not surprised) when my name wasn't drawn to win it. Of course, I still wanted the book, so I got on my friend the Internet and found a "like new" copy of the book for just over 2 Pounds on ebay. Done and done. With shipping I paid less than $10, one of the cheaper hard-to-find tatting books I have purchased over the past few years.

What made me really want the book was the pretty flower insert/edging shown on the front. I thought it was the perfect thing for a new project I had in mind...

You see, my mom is totally awesome, and started quilting a few years ago...she started by making a small quilt for herself, and then, as her grandchildren came along, started making quilts for them...(and her granddogs, too, I might add!) She also wants to make quilts for all her children.

During summer 2011 Mom and I shopped around a bit for the fabric for my quilt, but then grandchildren 1, 2 and 3 came along in rapid succession and (rightfully) my quilt got pushed pack in favor of the babies' quilts...until this past Christmas when she surprised me with my beautiful quilt!
The pattern is called "London Roads." The back of the quilt is made of the same fabric of as the brown squares.
 She had some of the backing fabric left over, and gave it to me as well. I decided I wanted to make a travel pillowcase out of the fabric, to match the quilt. And then, I decided that while I was doing that I would add an edging. (I maybe should have done an insertion, but I haven't done edging or insertion work before and I thought an edging would be easier to do the first time around...we'll see...)

So last weekend I hooked the old sewing machine up to the buzz box/transformer (ahh the joys of living with 220 electricity with 110 appliances!) and whipped up a not-entirely-well-sewn travel pillowcase, and then started in on the flowery decoration from "Projects in Tatting..."

It didn't go well...

 I'm not sure what's going wrong here, but the chains won't lay right, and everything's kind of turned around, and it's just a mess!! You should have seen the floor around my chair, it looked like a lawnmower had gone through a flowerbed. I just couldn't get the pattern right and it was SO FRUSTRATING!!
Apparently blocking is essential?!
So, I gave up.

Not forever, mind you, but for now. I decided to move onto something less awful.

What I chose was Motif #14:
This is actually one in a line of motifs that will (hopefully) make up the edging on my pillowcase:

I picked this pattern specifically because it is kind of vine and leafy, which mimics the vines and leaves on the fabric...right?

So now I'm working on that, and working on how in the heck I'm going to attach it to the pillow when it's done. My husband said I should have made the tatting first, attached it to the fabric and then sewed the pillowcase, but I don't think so...time will tell. :)

I also ventured out into the world of Russian Tatting books this week (when in Russia...right?) There are a couple of nice bookstores in the city center (one even has a whole shelf of English-language books!), so this past week on my day off I decided to pop down and see if there were any books on tatting (фриволите) for sale in the city.

I struck out in the first store, but did find one book in the second! Hooray!
Of course, I have to share space with macrame, but hey, something is better than nothing!
 Actually, it seems that tatting and macrame seem to go together, in Russian books at least...check out this list from Georgia Seitz's Bella Online site!

Of course, despite a lot of hard work (and actually living in the country) my Russian is still not perfect (hahahahahahahaha it's not even all that good!)...certainly not perfect enough to read all the text, but I was directed to this handy decoder sheet to help me figure it out!

So, next time I blog hopefully I'll have some lovely фриволите to show you (and a well-edged travel pillow as well)!  :)


  1. Your idea of 30 by 30 is great! I'm a bit older and my birthday is earlier in the year so I think I'll let that one go!
    Sorry to disagree with your hubby but I think you've got the order right. May I suggest crocheting your edging on once you finish tatting it? Frivole has a lovely picture tutorial for it:

    1. Thanks Michelle! We'll see if I get it done! I kind of ran out of time (I had to mail my pillowcase from Russia!) to practice crocheting (I've never been able to master the hand motion) but I appreciate the link! I will definitely look into it now that I've entered the world of edgings and insertions!

  2. Beautiful quilt. What a treasure. I love the patterns in your Russian tatting book. I have not ventured into foreign language tatting books yet. Sometimes the English patterns are hard enough to follow without the language barrier. I hope you get that flower edging figured out because the pattern is very beautiful.

    1. Yes, thank you! My mom is a treasure! I completely agree with you, especially the vintage patterns (in English) are quite confusing. I haven't started with the Russian book yet...maybe this week. (I'm trying to re-learn the shuttle...I think working in Russian will be easier!)

  3. Looks like you had a good try at your flowery edging! And I can't wait to see the new one finished!! I bet it will look fantastic!! :)

    1. Oh, thank you! I wish I had taken a picture of the pillowcase before it went in the mail...I'll have to get one and share it when I'm back home later this summer!