Saturday 27 October 2018

Snow Crystals

I don't have time to tat at the moment but as you can see, I'm still thinking of tatting.  Here is the design from the last post which I cut on the laser cutter.  I'm fond of this small design which was based on a real snowflake image.

Here's the real snowflake:

Here is Snow Crystal:

 And here's the Illustrator-drawn multiple version which I sent to the cutter:

As you may have noticed, I was keen to keep the slightly 'bobbly' edge that you get with the double stitch, so rather than drawing smooth lines, I added dots on the edge of the lines to better emulate the look of tatting, even though this meant it took longer to cut!

And here they are, cut out of plywood and out of acrylic,
before I finished peeling off the backing from the acrylic,
and also before I finished popping out all the little pieces.

And one more photo once I'd removed all the protective backing on both sides.

All icy, shiny, and sparkly!

I do like them.

Best wishes,

Saturday 20 October 2018

Acrylic & Velvet Qanik

As mentioned in the previous post, here are two versions of Qanik cut out of acrylic.  They look like they're made of ice, don't you think?

I did find that it takes nearly twice as long to cut the designs out of acrylic as it does out of wood.  The laser cutter has to go slower so that the plastic doesn't fuse back onto itself.  Also, the little pieces needed a lot more prizing out whereas with the wood, they just fell right out.

The last thing I tried in that first laser-cutting session was "engraving" Qanik on velvet.  This wasn't completely successful.  I only had time to cut the outline and the effect wasn't quite what I was looking for but I hope to get a chance to try again with different settings and with "engraving" the whole snowflake next time.

I've also drawn a smaller snowflake for the next session.

This is one of the ones I designed, inspired by a real snowflake.
I look forward to seeing it laser-cut.

Best wishes,

Saturday 13 October 2018

Laser Cut Qanik

As you can see, tatting is still always on my mind.  I'm trying all these new techniques but it's with lace I want to try them!

After the embroidery tests, I next wanted to laser-cut some snowflakes.  I used my Qanik pattern this time and drew it with Illustrator.

It was fascinating to watch it being cut into 3mm plywood.  The fine picots which are less than half a millimetre thick came out surprisingly well.

Even the shrapnel looks pretty!

I had two drawings:  one where I had copied the elements so it was more symmetrical (bizarrely I ended up with not symmetrical in two halves but in thirds because of the way I copied it) and one where I drew the whole snowflake so that it was like hand-made lace, not exactly symmetrical, with more "movement".  In the top photo, the symmetrical is on the left and the hand-drawn is on the right.  Can you see the difference?

I ended up with three of them after my session.  But I'm already planning what to draw and cut next time.  Those machines are really amazing!

As you can see the laser cut flake is a little larger than the original tatted Qanik but that was because some of the elements would have ended up too fine for cutting.  In this version, I drew the lines with a "bumpy" edge to simulate the look of the tatted knots something I'm going to re-examine in my next drawings.

In the next post, I'll show you the plexiglass version!

Best wishes,

Sunday 7 October 2018

Embroidered Quatrain and Autumn Treasures

Here are my first tests with embroidering Quatrain.  I like the blue on black fabric.  You can see it below next to the "real thing".  Not too bad?

Here is a close-up.
I realised that the outline was wrong on this first version.
It should have been a back stitch to make it thicker instead of a running stitch.

The next version was four together and I fixed the outline.  I started the embroidery machine with the dark purple... only to realise that it was too dark and you couldn't see the stitches or the outline so I switched to the lighter rust-orange colour.  It's a bit of a shame as this means we lose the effect of the four motifs joining together in the middle.  I think the combination of satin stitch with backstitch for the outline worked out quite well.  Unfortunately that was all the time I had allocated with the embroidery machine so I'll have to wait until my next booked slot to try it again.... and also to try it on transparent organza fabric... and next onto soluble or "burn-away" stabiliser so that the lace will be self-supported, a lace fabric.  Can't wait to try the next versions!

Oh, and after those first tests, I realised how inefficiently I had drawn the design with the software, the machine having to cut, tie and start again way too many times which slowed the process a lot.  So I am going to re-draw the design.  But it also made me think that it would be even better if I could invent a stitch that more closely mimicked tatting and this is what I came up with:

This is obviously not tatting!  And I'm not trying to replace the beautifully hand-made lace that we make with our shuttles (or needles) but it's an interesting exercise.  

Autumn has arrived!  The trees were looking beautiful on our walk today.  

We came across some hawthorne berries... and I wondered about making jam/jelly with them.  I love gifts of nature like that.  The berries were so pretty and I looked it up:  yes, you can make jelly with the "haws".  Jam is a little more difficult because there is very little flesh on those berries and a proportionally large pip in the middle. 

Here they are in my colander, ready to be picked over and stalks removed.

And the next day...

I only got one jar and a half out of all those berries
but it's tasty and we like it!

We need to go pick some more.

And here it is with the light behind
so you can see the lovely red shade
of this delicious jelly.

I hope you are enjoying a lovely autumn.

Best wishes,