20 June 2019

A boring old t-shirt!

Now this t-shirt must be around 14 years old. I know because I rarely buy clothes from Lands End here in the UK as they don't have any outlets - well none in my neck of the woods.

This was bought at West Gate Mall in Cincinnati and it was when Nick and I used to go and stay with the 'kids'. Karen used to take us to the Mall as there was a department in Sears that sold Lands End clothes. 

I've got several t-shirts still that I wear from that era but this brown one was so boring it sort of got regularly shoved to the back of the drawer. I'm now trying to re-wear/re-purpose my older clothes so that they don't go into landfill and help destroy our planet. So this is what I've done to this t-shirt and I LOVE it now. 

It's really a lovely chocolate brown (don't mention chocolate to me!!!) and now looks a lot better for some TLC!!!!

18 June 2019

New DPR technique page

Now I showed you this a week or so ago. It's just a snippet from a new design I've been playing with.

Well of course one thing leads to another in my little corner of Tat Land and I realised it was about time I settled down and re-vamped my Daisy Picot page which you can find here.

I can't tell you how lovely it is to start playing with colours again!!!

I hope this page will help as the new design will be using the DPR!!!

17 June 2019

Juliana is finished

Or should I call it by it's new name - 'that blue thing'!!!!

This took hours and hours and HOURS to sew onto the backing and it does look a lot better in real life than it does here!!

The update on the pattern release is that I will add it to my site sometime in the future with the copyright assigned to 'unknown'.  I've agonised over this for ages and ages and I decided that if I didn't publish it then it would in all likelihood never be made again.

Tim has kindly offered to test tat it and has found a few glitches already. He's amazing at the job as he takes it so carefully and watches out for all my boo boo's.

Here's a link to where I started off on this adventure but there are many other posts on it's progress too as those amongst you who get bored easily will be able to affirm!!!!

Now I'm going to play, play, play and I will NOT be using blue thread for a while, I don't think!!!

14 June 2019


Just to let you know I'm BORED TO DEATH with 'that blue thing'!!!!

I'm slowly sewing it onto a backing fabric as the design wouldn't stand up to travelling with me to America so needed taming. Also the thread I used is Manuela which is a soft thread but was one of which I had (almost) plenty to make it.  It's taking hours and hours of my time but ..............

Actually the backing is a very good idea as it's showing up the delicacy of the design well. 

I can't WAIT to show you sometime (fingers crossed) next week.

13 June 2019

Fandango coaster progress

Bet you thought I'd given up, didn't you? Well I'm the sort who rarely gives up on something so I've been slowly getting on with my challenge to myself!!!

When I’m ‘out and about’ this still comes with me. Progress is being made and I’ve still got lots of thread left on the ball. This is my last post on this subject, I think!

Well although I've got lots of thread left at this stage I thought I'd do another re-measure and calculate whether I can do another row. Of course with a mathematically challenged brain like mine this just AIN'T EASY!!! 

BUT I'm pretty sure I've got enough for another row of 5 so I'm going to do five more 'middles' then hope I've got enough for five more 'outers'!!!

11 June 2019

A long term relationship

A week or so ago (yes, I forgot to blog it last week) I received my newsletter from Handy Hands and inside was this key ring.

This took me back to when Barb started her company and when I first started dealing with her. It must have been an advert in a UK based tatting newsletter that put me onto her shop. I can't remember the exact details but it was in the very early days of the internet when I'd just discovered that there were real, live tatters 'out there' and that I wasn't on my own! In fact (here I digress as usual) one of the first ones I got into conversation with was Mark Myers (Tatman) who helped me no end when I was struggling to set up my website. 

Back to the subject of this post! I remember buying off Barb of Handy Hands and she'd not got her shop set up online back then. I used to 'risk it' by sending my credit card details in two or three emails for her to 'patch together'. It worked and I'll always be grateful to her for that and for all she's done for tatting. 

Without her taking big risks we wouldn't have Lizbeth threads, shuttles and many, many things we now take for granted. Thank YOU, Barb.

10 June 2019

Anybody ready, willing and able?

I'd like to get this new pattern onto my website soonish and wondered if anybody would like to test it?

It's a bookmark/bracelet/edging and very versatile and there are two versions too.

Both versions in include a daisy picot ring and an SCMR but the second one also involves a wrapped chain. That one (in my opinion) is the easiest to work, believe it or not!!!

I'm also working on a re-vamp of the daisy picot technique page as well and hope to have that ready pretty soon.

Here's a sneaky look at a small part of the 3 shuttle version.

7 June 2019

Finished needle case

Well here it is. My new needle case with the lovely crinoline lady on too.

I’d love to know who gave me the original needle case as it’s been with me for years. I’m pretty sure it was given to me at a Palmetto Tat Days many years ago. In fact since writing yesterday Martha has told me who it was. Kathy H. I'd like to say 'thank you' to her once again and I hope to meet up with her again this September.

The needle case is back in use again now and it will be taking it's weekly trip to Alcester later today to Crafternoon. 

I'm taking Juliana with me as it's taking ages and ages to sew her onto a backing fabric. Something mindless I can do when I'm chatting to my friends.

6 June 2019

Needle cases

Some years ago I was given these two lovely needle cases. I love them both but sadly the one with the crinoline lady on is falling slightly apart on the edges and inside too.  I put that down to the fact that I’ve used it so much.

I’m going to make another needle case so that I can put the crinoline lady on it. Isn’t it wonderful the way that tatting outlasts everything you put it on. That’s why I would never dream of tatting directly onto a handkerchief or anything as the fabric will wear out before the tatting!!!

The green one is fine and I’ll keep as it is as there’s nothing wrong with it at all. I have one with my sewing kit and the other is in my ‘out and about’ kit!!!

4 June 2019

A group project

Well it’s Tuesday morning. I’m back blogging a bit more often now that the ‘blue thing’ is over and done with. 

Tuesday morning is time for Neighbours and Needles which is where a group of us get together to make things, drink tea and coffee and have a good chat!!  

Our main aim is to make things for charities - usually local ones. We’ve made bunting, bags for school books, twiddle muffs, blankets for oldies, glove puppets, harp covers (yes, really) etc.

Each summer we hold a mid summer party in a local garden and we make a quilt to raffle to raise funds. This year I think the proceeds will probably go to one of the local hospices. Below is the almost completed quilt. I brought it home last Tuesday to sew the side fabric on and will take it with me this morning to get the top and bottom done. This is truly a group effort. We all had a rectangle (if we wanted to take one) and ‘did our own thing’. Bearing in mind that a few of us aren’t really sewers this is an amazing piece of work.

Can you spot my contributions?  I was also asked to make bits of tatting for other people too!!

3 June 2019

That blue thing

Over the past two months or so this has become known as ‘that blue thing’!!! That’s Nick’s name for it!!!  He’s seen me with it hour after hour and has often remarked on ‘that blue thing’. 

Well finally ‘that blue thing’ is finished. I’m sure you realised in the last post that I’d changed the shade of blue on the last two rounds.  The reason?  Well I could tell you that it was a design choice but I’ll be honest and admit that I ran out of the pale blue thread - or realised, rather, that I wouldn’t have enough for round nine. 

After all the struggles with round 9 it was going to be really easy to do round 10 as it’s simply rings and chains and they’re all the same. 

AHA, wrong again, Jane. Four starts were made on this round as it said to follow the picture to join to round 9. That was all very well but they just didn’t look right so I had to work out my own joins. This took some explaining too but I think it’ll be easy to follow on the pattern. My good friend in SC is test tatting it for me so that eventually I will be able to share.

Here’s Juliana in all her glory!!! Well it’s how she looks at the moment as she waits for the iron and lots of time to sort her out as I’m going to stitch her onto a fabric background. The little coilless pins are what I used to mark the scallops. All will be explained in the final pattern.

30 May 2019


Round 9 of Juliana was a bit of a nightmare. 

My apologies to the nun who designed this but I have modified round 9 a bit to avoid too many ends to sew in. If I could contact her I'd tell her how allergic the 21st century tatter is to sewing in ends!!! 

I think by using a lot of experience and a good deal of cussing I've managed to 'lighten' the density in the scallops of this round. I've also introduced a lock chain in order to make it less dense and also to get straighter 'stalks' to the flowers that form the scallops.  They look a bit dire at the moment as they really need a date with the iron!!  
Anyway, here's a picture. You'll see on this picture that I've made a tentative start to round 10 which looks really, really easy. Just hope I'm right!!!  More next week!!!!  

I’m really looking forward to doing something different now!

28 May 2019

Doggy bags

I managed to get hold of a limited quantity of this dog print fabric. I realised at the time that it would be no good for my usual small craft bags so set about making some shopping/tote or craft bags.  I had enough to make seven although I’ve only shown two people I’ve only got five left!!! If you want one then do make a comment.  I will be bringing any I’ve got left to Palmetto Tat Days.

They are all fully lined and washable too so no excuse for having a dirty dog!!!! 

I wondered where the expression 'doggy bag' came from and spent a while browsing the internet. I thought it was an English expression but it's one we've adopted from the America. Quite a while ago too. Here's one of the links I found.

24 May 2019

History of Juliana and round 8

Two weeks ago I had a GOOD IDEA!!! I went onto Facebook (I know I've mentioned this before) and put out a call for help in all the tatting groups with finding the designer of Juliana. 

A lady called Angela contacted me and she had been in touch with Ben in Holland too. Ben said that the publishers are a company called Eska who are based in Utrecht. I had already realised that they were the publishers as it's in the book but it did trigger BC3 into trying to contact them. So far no reply!

Ben also says that the designs were done by the nuns in the St Rosa monastery in Amsterdam. I have tried to google this monastery/convent/nunnery but with no luck. 

Here is a bit more from Angela's message:-

"I'm keen to know more about this St Rosa monastery - when I was in Amsterdam last I visited a former monastery that was run by nuns after the war as a 'finishing' schools for young ladies. My auntie's went there... the girls learnt how to make beds, cook & clean so that they were prepared to take up home duties when they married."

So my plans at the moment are to put the pattern up on my pattern site and give the history of it's provenance as far as I know it. Copyright will be assigned to 'unknown' although I think I've earned a mention too!!!! It's going to be a long pattern as I've done a lot of work on the notation and there are also drawings for each row too.  

I am now asking for dedicated tatters to test tat it up to round 9 which will be ready shortly.  I will be putting the same request out in the Facebook tatting groups too.  The only skills which will be required are rings, and chains.  For round 9 (which I've started work on) the test tatters will need to know split rings and lock chains.  They are not in the original pattern but will be used in round 9 to avoid too many ends to be sewn in.

Meanwhile here's round 8!!!!

22 May 2019

Not MORE fabric?

I mentioned in this post that I'd been back to Birmingham even before I made up the fabric I'd bought on the previous trip!!!

So straight after making up the first lot of fabric I started on this new short sleeved top (pictures below). 

As I mentioned in the post about the first top - the pattern was challenging but obviously easier the second time around. I'm really pleased with this top too and it fits in all the right places as well!!!

I really love the print but the finished top doesn't look very good on the picture as it must've been a dull day!!!

20 May 2019

Juliana round 7

Another week of ‘not so many’ posts as I’m concentrating on Juliana and finishing her as soon as I can.  Can’t wait to do something else but if I drift off to play with other things this won’t get finished. 

After round 6 this wasn't so much work. It's been pretty easy to notate and draw up too

I'm hoping to get round 8 done over the next few days as that looks quite straightforward so keep your eyes open for that later this week. 

Then I MAY hit the skids with round 9. I've already started studying it and I'm thinking I MAY have to 'go off piste' with that one in order to save a load of sewing in of ends. I'll (obviously) keep you posted on progress.

16 May 2019

Juliana round 6

Well this wasn't as bad as it looks!!! Still took BC3 a lot of concentration to sort it out. Good training for round nine which looks HORRENDOUS!!!

I'm still trying to track down the designer of this gorgeous doily but having little luck so far. I even had to resort to Facebook and the tatting groups I'm in to ask for help - I’ll update you on that as soon as I can settle down to sort out all the information I’ve got and am sure there maybe more coming in.  

As a lot of you may know - I don’t ‘do’ Facebook and only pop in there when there’s something I really can either help with or am interested in. I went through a patch a few years ago of being there a lot before I realised how much time I was wasting - time is valuable when you get older and want to tat another idea!!!

14 May 2019

Tissue holders

More 'makings' to go to Palmetto Tat Days in September. 

I absolutely love these little tissue holders. I made one for myself some time ago and then sold oodles at the craft thingy we did in the library last October. 

If you're like me you always carry tissues around in your handbag. They come in plastic and you'd think that that would be fine but I've found that the plastic sort of goes yucky after a while rumbling around in my bag so I tried putting the tissues in one of these holders. They protect them very well. 

Normally at home I sell them with a packet of tissues in them but I'm afraid that I won't be able to do that when I bring them 'over the pond'. The reason? Well I spent time last weekend sorting out what I'm bringing to sell and putting it in the suitcase. Now the problem is - will I be able to bring any clothes? It's getting rather full so I may have to post some of the items ahead of my trip but that'll cost a lot. Somehow I'll manage, I'm sure and if I sell loads of 'stuff' then I'll be able to buy lots of 'stuff' to bring home!!!! In theory I'm really trying to make enough to cover part of my flights and insurance but temptation may come my way!!!!

Oh, the price of these is $3.35 if you want one or any put by.  Ideal Christmas stocking fillers!

13 May 2019

Summer top

It must be two months or so since I went to Birmingham and bought this fabric and it's been waiting for me to find the time to deal with it since! I've been back  to the big city since but more about that another day!!!

The pattern was a bargain - I found it in a charity shop in Alcester before Christmas. Brand new. It's quite a challenging one in a way as it has a back, front, side backs and side fronts. To add to that the sleeves have three parts too. Proved an interesting challenge.

One thing I bought a few months back from Amazon were some frixion pens like these. These were SOOOO useful as I could actually write on each piece what it was and then as soon as I'd finished I just 'showed' it the iron and the markings disappeared. Very useful accessory!!!!  There are some warnings about using these but they worked like a charm for me.  

10 May 2019

An apology

To those who’s blogs I read regularly. 

For some unknown reason I can’t comment on those blogs at the moment. When I click from my dashboard reading list it takes me to the blog which I can read but it won’t let me comment. I’ve tried all my ‘appliances’ and it’s the same on all of them. 

When I look in the top right hand corner of the person’s blog it shows that I’m not signed in which is weird as it never used to be that way. So, I click on ‘sign in’ and it takes me back to the dashboard!!!

I’ve tried visiting my own blog then clicking on the blog I want to read from there but the same thing happens. Is anybody else having this problem and if anybody can suggest a way round it please let me know. I feel rude not being able to comment on blogs.

9 May 2019

Juliana round 5

Well here’s round 5!!! Only five more to go. HELLLPPPPPP.

This one was quite straightforward or is it that I’m just getting used to the way the pattern is written? Who knows.

I must remember sometime to put a call out on the Facebook tatting groups that I belong to to see if anybody has any information about the book and/or the designer.  My big problem is that I don’t remember to go to Facebook very often and only seem to land up there when something really takes my interest via my inbox!!!

The book was published in 1952 as I’ve mentioned before. Queen Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands in 1948 which leads me to believe that this design was probably done around that time. I would so love to know as it’s taking huge (but happy) chunks of my life at the moment.

7 May 2019

Poke proof pouches

Things maybe a bit quiet on this blog from time to time as I continue the task of translating and notating Juliana.  I apologise but when I get a project like this one I simply have to carry on with it so I don’t forget the idiosyncrasies of the design.

Here are a few of the poke proof pouches I'm taking to Palmetto Tat Days this year. Again if you want anything put by to save on postage please shout. I'm charging £7.00 for these as that’s what I was asking for last time I made and sold them!

I’ve found a different lining for this year’s batch and this has been tested through the washing machine too. In fact Nick remarked that it didn’t look as if the one I tested had been through the wash cycle which pleased me enormously.

3 May 2019

Juliana round 4

Round four was a NIGHTMARE. I had to do a lot of studying before I started this round.

Can you see how the chains twist and turn? This meant a lot of switching of shuttles and ‘do not reversing’ of work too. I did give it a quick glance at the iron but didn’t pin it out or anything. Hoping the next round will help me out with that!!

I’m trying to draw the pattern up as I progress but this is becoming almost as hard as the ‘diagnosis’ of how it’s done! I think I’ll soon have to abandon the middle part and just ‘do’ the rounds as ‘rows’ - if you understand me!!! I’ve already stopped putting picots on the drawings and instead am putting numbers in red text. 

I got quite giddy after a while doing round four - but I’m glad I persisted.  Kudos to BC3 for sticking by my side!!!

1 May 2019

Accordion pouches

Today I’m showing off the accordion pouches I’ve made and which are now packaged ready for my trip to Palmetto Tat Days in September. 

There are duplicates of these fabrics too although the centres are different in many cases. 

If you’d like to have one put by for you please drop me a comment or email me and I’ll make sure it goes on the table with ‘reserved for ...’ on the package.  The cost at Tat Days will be $13 which is £10 in sterling.  If you want close up pictures of any of them (open and closed) then just ‘shout’!!!!

If you’d like one anyway then again please email me and I’ll give you a quote for postage too.  I will be able to package several together for the price of one and will combine with poke proof pouches and tissue holders too.

30 April 2019

Starting all over again

Well it had to happen!! Juliana version 1 is over and done with and sitting sadly by my side as I re-did rounds 1 to 3. I’m a lot happier now. This is my last comment on version 1 - not that I’d really decided to ditch it then!!!  Have you noticed that I ditched the colour too?  I’m using a slightly different blue now as I thought it might bring me ‘luck’!!!!!  Well, not really!!!

I did the centre (round 1) exactly as before so that was fast and easy. 

On round 2 I eliminated a ring at each end to avoid the horrid overlapping that happened both for me and in the original picture which I could just see when it was enlarged.

Round 3 - all I did there was anchor the clovers to each other with my favourite technique - very small picots. Now I’m happy to carry on to round 4. I’ll keep you posted!!!

29 April 2019

For a complete change

Today I’m going to invite you into the private side of my life. As you’ve probably realised I do have another side to my life in which I take part in other things and leave my shuttles at home - sometimes!

At the weekend the town celebrated Shakespeare’s Birthday. Celebrations have happened annually for centuries and it’s an occasion when the town becomes very alive.

This year the Town Trust along with Escape Arts organised a first ever scarecrow competition. I go to several craft groups during the week and one of them is for our two streets which are sort of ‘isolated’ by the traffic system but are a quiet haven a five minute walk from the town centre, theatres etc (and the bard’s birthplace). We’re called Neighbours and Needles and our self imposed ‘remit’ is to drink coffee/tea, and knit sew etc. BUT we try to take on projects which involve us all and benefit other groups/charities round the town. If somebody ‘needs/wants’ something made and we get to hear about it we’ll do it.  We also try to raise money for good causes like the local hospices.

So we decided to join the scarecrow competition. 

The weather was NOT kind to us because of the very strong wind on Saturday but it didn’t rain so that was a good thing. The photos below show our scarecrows made from 2 compost bins and 2 pedal bins. AND guess what - we WON. SOOOOOO exciting.  

We even persuaded two police people to pose with our 3 witches from Macbeth AND Mr Shakespeare who happened to be one of the judges!!!!  Apparently they were very impressed by our attention to detail - especially on the 'ingredients' in the cauldron!!!

26 April 2019

Just for a change

Just sidetracking a little with the sewing!!!

Some years ago I used to make ‘poke proof’ pouches for shuttles with hooks or picks. These proved very popular when I sold them in Etsy but then I ran out of my secret material that I used inside the linings to make them truly ‘poke proof’. There’s nothing worse than your shuttles either escaping from your table or (when put in an ordinary bag) having the hooks/picks poke through and into something else.

There’s a laugh here too. I managed to get some similar material for the insides of pouches the other day from a shop that’s closing down and decided to start making a few more. 

Now I needed two shuttles as ‘models’ for the proposed prototype pouch so found an Aero and another. When I’d finished the project I wanted to take a photo (see below) but had ‘lost’ one of the shuttles. I went to find another shuttle to use with the remaining one and put them both in the pouch. I discovered the ‘lost’ shuttle inside the pouch (where that prankster BC3 must’ve hidden it) and suddenly realised (light bulb moment) that the missing shuttle was already there!!!

After the photo the pouch went through a two hour wash in the washing machine to make sure that the new material was suitable and would stand up to rigorous washing. Success!!!

25 April 2019

Juliana round 3

No, this won’t do. It’s a disaster.

Just as I thought - those rings at each end of round 2 are a problem. In fact round 3 made them even worse. Back to the drawing board and a small modification of the pattern!!  I've done it as the designer suggested but even hers tended to overlap slightly.  I think that with a little thought I can ditch two of those rings at the end of round 2.  

See the ‘sort of’ clovers on the outside of this round? I’m not happy with those either. They flop around as they’re not attached to each other. Time for BC3 to fix that problem too.  My favourite designing technique is going to come out to play here - I don't call myself (secretly) the 'Queen of the vsp's' for nothing!!!

Question is - do I cut this back to start round 2 again do I start from scratch? Answers to this question would be interesting!!! 

What would YOU do?

24 April 2019

Juliana round 2

Here’s round two of Juliana.  I’m wondering if anybody ‘out there’ and who is from The Netherlands can help me track down the designer of this pattern/book as I would like to know if the pattern still has a copyright owner.  I’m particularly concerned that if I don’t do my best to find the ‘owner’ then I’ll not be able to publish the pattern for others to use.  It would be such a shame to lose this forever.  I guess I could publish it with the acknowledgement that it isn’t my pattern but who knows.  

Round two had me a bit puzzled for a while but BC3 persisted and eventually got it sorted!!! Can you see that the chains at the ends are pointing inwards and the others point outwards? You can only see that on the picture - no mention in the pattern itself.  Thank goodness for scanners and being able to enlarge pictures - I’d never have spotted it otherwise.

I’m not happy with those four end rings - they seem a little crowded and on the original image in the book they also seem to overlap quite a bit too. I’ve a feeling they’re going to be a problem but they MAY sort themselves out when the next round is worked. I’m not very optimistic about that, though.

I completed this round a few days ago so will hope to get the next round finished for tomorrow. That’s if I don’t get sidetracked!!!!

23 April 2019

A new craft bag

Now this is a new craft tote bag I’ve been making. I’ve got enough fabric for several and will be taking them to Palmetto to try and sell.

Why ‘craft tote bags’? Well they’re different from shopping totes as they are padded and therefore stand up on their own. I use mine a lot for carrying round my tatting projects (or other crafts too) and also use a handbag hanger so the bag can hang under the table I’m sitting at. Here are some hangers like mine.

The bottom of the bag is reinforced with heavy duty stiffener too so the bag keeps it’s shape.  It’s taken me a while to make this one so I’m hoping the others maybe a little faster.  The black trim was a small bit of inspiration to make the bag look a bit ‘posher’!!!!

What do you think?

18 April 2019

Second Sequin done

I've found time to do the second (and my favourite) version of he sequin motif. 

Such a long time ago since the original was added to my web site - eleven years!!! Where does the time go?

Anyway it's now sorted and the new updated version is here.

17 April 2019

Coriolis finished

It's done. I'm really pleased with this but it doesn't show up so well in a photograph unfortunately. 

I'll take it with me to Palmetto Tat Days just so it gets an outing before it gets put in the box in a cupboard!!!!

It's the Coriolis motif which really needs to go on my web site soon - with a border.

16 April 2019

Introducing Juliana

I've an admission to make!! I made a start on this pattern in yesterday's book a few years ago. It's called Juliana and it's supposed to measure 32 x 48 centimetres when worked in a size 60 thread. Now I'm going to work in a size 20 as I can see that when doing stuff like this!!!

I started it (as I said - I do have a dreadful habit of repeating myself) a few years ago and the second picture is where I got to before abandoning it for some unknown reason which only BC3 knows the answer to!!! It takes AGES to work out exactly what the designer means as she's put very little input into the whole pattern. I'll show you a snippet of what I'm working from another day.

So over the weekend I decided to make another start. This time instead of doing a very long picot on the first ring (to join the others to) I did my usual 'trick' and made vsp's instead on each ring. That made me happier. 

If anybody knows who the owner of this copyright is would they PLEASE contact me as I'd love to get permission to put this on my site - eventually.

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
I beg your pardon? I didn't quite catch what you said.