Thursday, April 21, 2011

The 'Jelly Bean' Tulip and the Magic Triangle

(Sounds like the title of a chldren's book!)

 MOTIF #24,
Second Round

'Jelly Bean' Tulip

created by joining Vintage Triangles,
together, specifically using Size 20 Lizbeth 'Jelly Bean' thread

This is one of those optical illusions where you can't really tell that this
tulip is actually created with little triangles; and in this case, the colors

were very much controlled, almost giving the impression that I started this tulip 'motif' with six purple rings, but those are really the 'tips' of six triangles. I'll explain below how that 'color control' came about - quite by accident!

I must give credit to Sue from Michigan, who last October posted about her experiments in creating fabric 'shapes' by connecting the little vintage triangles edge to edge, rather than point to point. Jane Eborall has done something similar in the past, using a diamond shape, and has recently posted about a similar new project!

Links to Sue's posts are here:

The little triangle itself is a vintage pattern from long ago. This past January, Gina (Tatting Goddess) wrote several in-depth posts about them, starting with this post.

As mentioned above, usually the triangles are joined at their tips, which then creates triangle-shaped 'open spaces'.

This is the basic triangle,
except I have added a picot on
all the small rings to more tightly
join the triangles together.

The fact that each tip in this triangle is a different color happened by chance, as explained below.

First circle - random colors

When I first began tatting and connecting the triangles, I wound Jelly Bean thread on the shuttle, and started making a ring, without any thought to the color coming off the shuttle.  

With each triangle I started the first ring with whatever color was 'next'. After joining the six triangles as I tatted them, I ended up with the above interesting circle. (I might add that tatting the triangles gives one a lot of practice with the 'no-twist join' on the last ring of each triangle, and especially on the last triangle! And, of course, there are ends to hide.)

Second circle - controlled colors

When I began to tat a second circle, I just happened to start the first triangle with the purple thread.  And as I tatted, it amazed me that the next large ring was orange, and the last, green.

I wondered if that would happen consistently, and it did, by starting with the purple thread. (Doing this eliminates the reddish color thread.)

Then I wondered what the circle would look like if I attached the triangles with all the purple rings in the center. (I actually drew it in color on the computer first!)

It looked cool on the drawing, with the purple center. Then I added more triangles on the drawing, to form a six-pointed star, and I determined that the tips of the star would be purple also.

But after tatting three points, a tulip shape emerged, and i decided to stop there!

I have no idea if every ball of size 20 Jelly Bean will create this same result. (And the other question is whether it would work with size 40 and 80.) Because Lizbeth threads are commercially manufactured, I assume they all have the same pre-programmed lengths of color, but I may be wrong! On this particular size 20 ball. I'm so pleased it worked out this way

Finding a Frame!

It's taken me awhile to find the right frame to showcase the tulip, and I finally found one this past weekend. Fortunately, it was on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics. I wish I had had it in time for the Maple Festival, but I 'll have opportunities to display it at Vicary House and Old Economy.

The frame has a 5 x 7 oval opening, and is 8-12" tall and 6-12" wide Of course, I added my black velvet paper as the background. The frame can be hung on a wall or used as a standing frame. That's what makes these kinds of frames worth the cost.

I added some 'bling' to the frame by adding the gold beads to the inner area of the frame. (The beads come connected together on thin adhesive strips).

At some point I might add tatted leaves, but for now these leaves (clipped from a large plant in the house!) are substituting.

This is what I love about tatting - the variety of things you can create with it!!

*  *  * 

In my next post, (before Easter?) I will show my coffee table, which is covered with my egg displays - mostly of the tatted variety, but a few others as well.


Carol Lawecki said...

Hi Kathy, I just love how your tulip turned out. It's just beautiful in that color with the purple in the center and it is so nicely displayed in the frame!! Also thank you for providing the links to Sue's blog showing what she tatted using this triangle pattern.

God's Kid said...

I love that triangle-tulip!!! :) Great colors and design!
I am glad my tatting inspired something different.
The circles are great too! :)

Suztats said...

This is a wonderful experiment and a fantastic result! Very neat!

Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane said...

I love your Jelly Bean Tulip! The framing is perfect and very spring-like. You're giving me ideas!

Fox said...

Very interesting post. Yo just never know till you try!

The tatting looks very well in the frame you have chosen.
Fox : )

Gina said...

Excellent post! (and not because I'm mentioned) I love the tulip and your experimenting with the color. I also like the tatted edging on those teensy baskets!

Martha said...

This was great. I really enjoyed reading it. The tulip is lovely, and I could hardly believe it was all triangles at first.

Sally Kerson said...

Just hopped over from Jane's blog to read this. Do love your tulip. Such a lot of work joining these pieces together but well worth the effort.

***Jon**** said...

Lovely tulip, Nancy.
I think designing tatting, and any other things in general, would involve some form of experimenting. I do that a lot before finally deciding on what I like best. There are many that got put aside, but are not necessarily wrong, or imperfect designs. I kept making adjustments until I am satisfied.

Che-lil said...

your right!
its very similar too mine pendant
but i never see that your circle before...

I used thread 75

Bri's Bits said...

I scrolled through all of your posts also :D and by the way, I think you are an incredible tatter too :) I am in love with your eggs, they are fabulous! as is everything here :) I have been following your blog for a little while but I am not sure if I ever commented before :)

Margarets designer cards said...


Firstly I would like to say what a wonderful tulip, its gorgeous and wonderful how you did the colour I am very impressed.
Thank for the lovely comment you left on my blog, I forgot to mention that the cloths are knitted on round needles number 12, not the finest I have as I go down to size no 18 for work on dolls house items, now that is really thin.
Like you I thought it was my computer but having gone on the blogger site I found out I was not the only one, it drove me up the wall, I think being ill has taken away some of my patients. I have really enjoyed looking and reading your blog and I will be coming back again. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

Fox said...

Hi, Kathy,
I am not sure if you follow comments on blogs so I thought i'd leave a note here.

Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments and thoughts on tat-ology. It is always such fun to see what you have to say. You have been so supportive and I appreciate all your insights.

The last message that said even your DH was eager to hear the "cat news" made me grin! Thank you both! That was heart-warn=ming.
♥ Fox : )

❦TattingChic said...

Your tulip turned out really nice! I always lovely your blog and seeing what beautiful things you've created! You are awesome! :) Love your work!

Tattin' Kat said...

Thanks for the comments about my 3D ball. I would love to see your 3D tatting!!!!

Szydełko i spółka said...

Wow, your things are so beautiful!Love the way you're making all of these. Good work!
All the best, Aggie.

This is the address of my blog:

muskaan said...

Lovely Tulip !!!
I enjoyed reading the post & your experiments with the thread. What a lot of difference a little attention to detail can make - the flower with purple center looks as if designed deliberately :-))
Thanks for all the other links as well ...