Thursday, 31 May 2018

I love floating

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The task was split chains and floating chains. I chose floating chains - 
also known as dead end chain, curlicue, or single shuttle split chain (SSSCh).

This black butterfly with curlicue antennae and the 3 with venetian picots (a variation of floating chains) was my earlier submission for the task. However I have a feeling that it was not appreciated by the ladies there. In any case I needed to complete the card topper.

I had gifted the earlier card to my SIL. MIL liked it very much, so this butterfly edging card is for her. For the card topper I used handmade paper with herbs embedded in it. I glued some folded paper underneath to raise the level slightly.

Rummaging through my many little scrap pieces, I tried to choose and arrange them into some collage (taking many pics to remember the arrangements) but finally settled on a fairly simple arrangement. I absolutely loved how Jane's Maltese Sunflower looked here, so that stayed obviously. And these were the only 3 butterflies that seemed proportionate.

Time to work on the foliage.... A helper thread worked wonders to wrap around the hand and hold the core thread taut while encapsulating. 
I mentioned this in my tutorial especially for fine thread, but didn't show it on the fingers.

All chains are spiral or Josephine chains. I like the texture and dimension they create without taking up too much space. In Anchor size 40, they are about 4cms tall maximum. 

While working on the foliage my Lizbeth specialty packs (size 20) arrived and I made one more butterfly using floating chain tipped with a Josephine ring for each antenna. 
Unfortunately it was too large for this scenery at 2-2/5×2 cms (2½cms high with antennae). 

The tatting SOUP has been arranged then glued! 
I deliberately followed the slant of the herbs in the handmade paper - it is what inspired this nature collage. But it still needs some balance and sparkle.

3 Swarovski crystals glued inside corner florets. 
Unfortunately, my stash was lacking in anything smaller for the rest of the florets. 

Added another little foliage on top of flower. 
And to echo the crystals, I tatted and glued a Josephine chain cord using metallic embroidery thread all around the topper. 
The core is size 40 crochet cotton for easier handling.

TIP: When making long JChs, I like to wind the chain thread on a shuttle too. 
It is convenient to dangle the shuttles and maintain the twist within both threads.

There seems to be something missing along the outermost edge or periphery - too plain. 
Any ideas to bring it all together? Another silver chain all around? 
Or 3 crystals in each corner? A mirror in each corner?

Check out what the others have made here.
With the exception of the sunflower, the entire card topper collage is worked with one shuttle and ball. A 2nd shuttle was used only in case of 2nd colour or for convenience. There is no dearth of techniques and effects that can be created with a shuttle - including the many variations of SSSCh or floating chain!

under appropriate headings. 

hope you have a great day with lots of creative tatting floating in ! 


  1. It’s really pretty, perfect expression of Spring. The outer border is perhaps a teeny bit too wide, but I’d leave it as it is because the red border is defined and lovely.

  2. Beatiful picture of nature, flower the flower and butterflies

  3. Wonderful card! I would personally leave it as it is, without adding anything else. I will definitely have to learn the floating chains, so far I have been cutting and tying after normal chains. Handmade paper sounds very intriguing! I didn't know people still made paper by hand. What is it made of (apart from the herbs)?

    1. Thanks, Lavi :-) So it's 2 votes in favour of status quo.
      Fortunately, freeform tatting of foliage allowed me to not hide tails in the end. Phew ;-P
      Re. handmade paper - it is old back from when I used to make cards at home - over 15 years minimum and I honestly don't remember which store I bought it from. But this one has rose petals, too, and I like the understated textural feel.
      I seen the process firsthand, though. They convert old paper into pieces, soak for ages and the pulp is strained and pressed under rollers repeatedly. In one of the latter steps, the herbs, etc. are added so that they stay closer to the surface. Oh, and dye is added earlier on in pulp stage (as in the blue topper of my earlier card). I'm sure there must be videos now.

    2. Oh that is very interesting! I like that they reuse old paper :) it is better for the environment. The herbs and flower petals are a lovely touch.

  4. Wonderful card!!!! :) It will definitely bright you MIL's day!! :)

    1. I sure hope so, Sue :-D Hopefully I can pair it up with a butterfly edged handkerchief in time.

    2. That would be awesome!! :)

  5. Nicely collaged Muskaan! Love the floating chains for foliage. I would like to put two sketch lines in black (or a simple tatted lock stitch chain) around your butterfly lace border and inside where u raised inner rectangle.

  6. Like that diamond corner very much.

  7. Thanks, Usha & Alka :-))) I do have an idea that I tested quickly and it seems to work. Stay tuned :-D

  8. That foliage is lovely and the whole card is fantastic 🍃🌻🍃

    1. and I Love the emoticons and icons your choose to prettify your comments, Carollyn :-D