Sunday, January 31, 2010

Motif #6

Whew!  It's been a busy couple of weeks here - a crummy snow/ice storm, some car trouble for the English Major and some long work hours resulting in tired eyes.  Not much tatting getting done!  A lot of planning is going on though - and I received some new supplies to keep me motivated.

First of all, here is Motif #6 of the 25-Motif Challenge.  (Wow, 6 in one month - I've surpassed my goal!) This is a motif by Iris Niebach found here.     

This was a good pattern for me to work on - slow but sure - as I found the pattern interesting to follow.  It made me pay attention to which thread I was working on, and what side I was on to make sure I was frontside or backside tatting.  My purpose in joining the challenge was to really practice my tatting, and try to work motif patterns that will help me to see the stitches and joins and direction of my tatting.  I didn't do everything right on this motif, but I am pleased with how it turned out.  I know I have some twisted joins and maybe didn't work on the correct threads for each repeat, but this pattern really helped me to "see" some important steps.  The pattern itself has different colors so you can see what thread you should be using (at least that is how I am understanding it).  I find different pattern designers very hard to figure out - I don't know where to start a pattern and I am not sure when to switch shuttles.  These are things I hope to pick up as I practice, and to keep in mind when I find that I can work on some designs of my own.  Designing may be a LONG time coming at this rate!

I used to wonder why everyone made motifs.  What good are they and what the heck do you do with them?  Right now I am using them to practice my tatting, and beyond that I will just block them and store them until a bright idea hits me. This question came up on InTatters recently also, and some of the ideas there included covering stains on clothes (!), adding to scrapbooking, making a mobile, adding to scarves, bags, etc.  I have placed small butterflies here and there in a card - one Aunt was funny after receiving a butterfly from me - she placed it up high on a picture frame, and after it gathered a little dust she called me one day to tell me the darned thing had spun a cocoon!

Since my eyes were too exhausted to get much tatting done, they took a little vacation and went shopping.  I was lucky to get in on some of Krysteldawne's "oops" thread, and also got the books "Festive Snowflakes and Ornaments" and "Tatting Patterns for One Shuttle", and some Lizbeth thread from HandyHands. (The Lizbeth thread that, by the way, JoAnn Etc. now carries and I found out AFTER I received my order!)  I now have plenty to work on when my eyes return from their little trip.  I am still hoping to make things to enter in the county fair.  I don't feel like my tatting is quite good enough for that, but considering there were NO tatting entries of any kind last year, I should be able to submit just about anything! However,  I want my entries to be worthy of a ribbon even if they are the only entries.  Must. Keep. Practicing.

I have also been planning some more sewing - I am going to try some hemstitching on flannel to make receiving blankets with a crocheted edge. Maybe a tatted edge someday?  More on that when I actually try it.  I  picked up the flannel and a wing needle - now I just have to DO it.  Oh, the things I could accomplish if I only had more time :)  So many goals, ideas, & plans - but I have to (gasp!) WORK to support my habits.


  1. Lovely motif! Iris is definitely a challenging designer. I have her book "tatted doilies" and it is one of my favorites. The more work you do, the more you'll come to see the shuttle changes and Reverse work come naturally. I'm doing one of her doilies that is completely diagrammed, and it has onion rings, and chains that change direction, and all sorts of crazy business, but that is what makes her work unique. She did a TIAS a little while back that was absolutely cool.

    Anyway, Enjoy! Keep up the good work!

  2. That's really pretty Cindy! I admire patterns like this - they look so effortless (until you try to MAKE them)! Very nice thread choice, by the way.

    So JoAnn's is carrying Lizbeth? I just found out about Hobby Lobby and that there is one 10 minutes away - JoAnn's is 5 minutes - this could be trouble...

    I'm excited that you are going to hemstitch as it is on my list of learn to's this year also. I will look forward to seeing yours and any tips you can pass along.

    :) Ann

  3. Lovely!

    'Iris' can be tricky! But great patterns for developing skills.

    Fox : )

  4. What a wonderful job on your motif #6! I sometimes stumble with Iris' designs, mostly because I rush without looking over the pattern thoroughly and establishing it in my mind.

    You are more wise and clearly have not had this happen to you!

    As for your question, "what to people do with motifs?" I used to make hearts to give as Valentine gifts. Now when I make a motif I choose carefully based on its potential to be repeated into dresser scarves, table mats or other larger shapes. Or I look for small shapes that can be combined into larger doilies or shapes. (If only I had paid more attention in high school Geometry class!)

    These days people say tatting is impractical. Lovely, but impractical. I say, "Blarg and bother!" Insertions for sheer curtains or hand towels? Any number of embellishments. Baby items? Ecclesiastical items?


Thanks for your thoughts - I read and appreciate every one!