I don’t know about anyone else, but I used to be a one project woman. Start a cross stitch, finish a cross stitch, choose another.
My biggest problem was more patterns than I could stitch. Now…. Excuse me while I wipe tears of laughter. What do I have going right now?
Let’s see. There’s the embroidery for the girls’ quilt. I’ve stalled at “N for Nest” because of …
… the wedding card I STILL haven’t finished since the present broke, I said I’d post it to them and hence the pressure of finishing has eased. Then there’s…
…the piles of bias binding I decided to mass produce thinking it would be easier. I’ve made 3 and I have 1 pinned to sew, cut press, and another huge piece that needs re-marking before cutting because I didn’t actually have a 45 degree angle and that was why my marks didn’t match up!
Oh, and then there’s the bibs and bamboo fleece I’ve cut for Em because she’s a major dribbler, but ALL of these projects (4!!! 5 if you include the cross stitch I abandoned…6 if you include the phone cases I’m designing for my husband and I…) been put on the back burner, because in addition to going back to work next week, I decided to do this course. And accept the better lettering challenge. SEVEN. SEVEN PROJECTS.
Miss Emily is nearly 4 months old now and has had the dribbles for over a month now. Cue the scramble to unearth the bibs from wherever I hid them when Sophie outgrew them.
Some lovely friends got us a couple of Nuby dribble bibs and they’ve been excellent, so I got to thinking.
I have some (tonnes) of bamboo fleece that I ordered, thinking we could stuff Sophie’s pocket nappies with them. I ordered it, washed it, cut it to nappy stuffable size, and then…it never got used.
I figured I could refashion it into dribble bibs. It’s natural coloured so I figured I could add some colour with a blanket stitch, maybe do seven bibs in rainbow colours. Then I had to run out the door to go to my sister’s house, so I grabbed my bag with the DMC Perle 5 variations floss in it, because I have been wanting to play with it and I figured, hey, multiple colours! Here is a great tute on blanket stitch if you need a refresher.
I couldn’t get 2 identically sized pieces out of one piece of fleece, so I cut one template of the bib (just laid the bib on top and cut around it roughly), then the “back piece” which basically was the triangle bottom part of the bib which ended maybe an inch from the ends of the straps. And then there was a little left over so I made a third piece that basically sits around the neckline and down into the triangle. I figured that was where we’d need the most absorbency!
Then I started my blanket stitch, added a few wonky lazy daisies and a snap at the back, and it was done! Probably took me about an hour, all told. And it turned out so cute and I have all the fabric, I may just make some more!
It’s done, hooray! And in time for us to go traveling. Unfortunately I vastly underestimated the time required to stitch my wedding card, and the present I stitched and mounted in a frame suffered a breakage en route, so we had to attend the wedding empty handed. But it does mean I can stitch it more carefully and send a perfectly stitched piece, which will be nice.
So, pics of the finished product:
They say pictures tell it better than words, so there you go. Reflections: if I were to do it again?
– I’d consider a contrasting fabric. The co-ordinating colours looked great in the store, but the straps and binding didn’t pop because of that. So while it was a safe option, next time I might consider taking more risks!
– the quilting of vertical lines echoed the pattern so made the outer quite boring. While I am just practicing quilting, it might be worth trying something different on a small item like this where mistakes won’t be as obvious and don’t really matter!
If you are interested, I’ve found the pincushion ring to be invaluable, no more clenching the needle in my teeth while I coat my floss in Thread Heaven! You can find them here, along with an array of delightfully geeky patterns. Jacqueline is just lovely and her store is well worth checking out.
Traditionally, Chinese custom is to give money at weddings. I believe it’s to help the families offset the cost of the wedding. At any rate, we were giving cold hard cashola way before people started trying to come up with “Wishing Well” poems – or as I like to call them “polite ways to request money gifts because we’ve been living in sin for, like, 5 years already and don’t need any more toasters, k?” I can see where “Wishing Well” is probably more diplomatic. I digress. This weekend we are attending a wedding in Newcastle (which, by the way, is one of the most difficult places to get go from Adelaide, SA…). The bride introduced me to my husband and was the MC at our wedding, so if anything goes wrong, it’s all her fault. *wink* What this means is that while we’ll be giving a gift of money, I also wanted to make something a little more personal. I got inspiration from this book (also on Scribd!):
In particular, this project:
The colours appealed to me, and while I didn’t use that pattern, I got a similar font and made my pattern in Microsoft Word. I found some charcoal quilting fabric at Spotlight, bought a skein of DMC B5200, some waxed transfer paper, and away I went. It didn’t take as long as I expected, but I was aided by a co-operative baby who slept on my lap for the majority of it whilst my husband and mother-in-law wrangled the toddler. It also helps when using 6 strands of floss – you can just cut and go, although I believe there is a faction who recommend separating all strands before use, even if you are using all 6. Anyway, it was completed and I managed to snag a pretty frame from Spotlight at 40% off and all I needed to do was mount it and make the card! Hooray!
Congratulations Ariane & Adrian, we wish you all the joy in the world.
So this wedding we’re attending at the weekend, of course requires a handmade card! So I got high tech this time and got my wonderful husband, Ant, to help me create a template in PhotoShop rather than cutting and pasting paper templates. Well, I actually wanted him to direct me in how to do it, but then Emily wanted a feed and in the 10 minutes it took to feed her, he had it done. Next time. I used another of the Wedding Wishes designs, the bride and groom image, as you can see – getting my money’s worth out of that one!!! Same dealio as the last card – lined up my template (although last time the tape took some of the gloss finish off the card, so this time I folded the A4 page so the folds held the card in place as I punched it), and started punching holes. Alas, there were a couple of problems with it this time around. For starters, the design was more delicate and the pushpin was going to be way too big a gauge to let me navigate it. And secondly, I was getting cramp using the pin, and there were a LOT of lines to mark. I needed a stylus with a narrower pin. Could I tape a pin or needle to a pencil? Possibly, but I was worried about it not staying fixed and wobbling around. My mechanical pencil took 0.7mm leads, could I cut the head off one of my 0.7mm pins and put it in the pencil in the place of a lead? Again, a possibility but I doubted that the mechanism could hold it securely enough for me to push it through the card. I could stick a needle in a cork, but that would just be like a larger push pin, I wouldn’t be able to hold it like a pencil and also, I had no corks. Or wine. Then I remembered the blackhead remover. I’d bought it and then never used it because the whole concept seemed kinda unhygienic. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a little tool that looks like this. Gross, right? But perfect for my card punching! I did have to pad it out by taping some scrap flannel around the handle to fatten it up, because it’s quite a slim tool and while I could hold it like a pencil, gripping it was cramping my hand again. But hurray for re-purposing! I had already asked the bride-to-be what her flowers and the suit colours were, so I could custom-tailor the image a little and make it a tad more special. Then I just opened my drawers of wonder (also known as “every DMC colour in the range, excluding variations”) to select the colours I wanted. Behold, the beauty of floss stash:
Isn’t it pretty? Also the reason I need to stitch as much as I can, to justify the expense of about $400 worth of thread… La la lah…
So there it is, a little work in progress. To be continued…
I mentioned earlier that we went to Albury to visit Ant’s family. We have some great friends there, and Gab is one of the best. No matter how short the notice we give her, she will ensure we have all her free time to catch up and hang out, and wrangles work and our godson as well.
We went op-shopping whilst there and because The Sophster was due a nap, Ant took her home and Gab took Emily & me around and ran us back home. On the way home, we stopped for petrol and she asked if I could put $40 worth in while she took Ij to the loo.
Thinking I could be sneaky and fill the tank as a thank you for spending all her precious free time with us and for driving us around, I carried on well past the $40 mark and was on my way to a full tank when disaster struck.
I had not reckoned on the super fast toddler peeing speed. So I was tied to the pump still when Gab came out, saw that I had put way more than $40 of petrol into her car, and beat me to the register to pay. I was FOILED! Also, I felt like a jackass because I had been given specific directions and clearly not followed them. My good intention had well and truly backfired – guess what they say about them is true!
So I drafted a pattern based on our petrol tank, utilized the ever handy blanket stitch, and whipped this card up in one nap cycle.
Then I put the balance of the petrol money in a slit that I cut alongside the gauge, and wrote a thank you to make up for it.
As I told Gab in the card, she had to accept it…because friends don’t let friends feel like jackasses. And she’s one of the best friends.
I know, you’re thinking, WAIT ONE MINUTE. The LAST project she did was #1, and now she’s trying to pull this #3 stunt?! There are only 3 posts, who does she think she is?!
Project #2 has been documented, but it’s a present for a wedding we’re attending this weekend, so I have delayed its publishing date until after the wedding. Because of that huge fan base I have and all the press leakage that surrounds my blog. *wipes tears of laughter*
ANYWHO. Two of our good friends from Albury got married in March this year, but we were unable to attend because I was expecting my second daughter around that date.
So when we visited Albury for a few weeks, I decided to stitch them up a wedding card.
I used a couple of patterns from Sublime Stitching, specifically Wedding Wishes and the Tattoo Alphabet. I got some pretty cards from Officeworks, traced the pattern and the wording, and taped the tracing paper to the card. Then I punched holes (using a push pin) into the card using the tracing paper template to create my stitch holes.
I was limited in my palette of floss because I had only brought what I was using for my And Everything Nice blocks, but luckily it was a pretty good rainbow palette!
Once I had the pattern punched and my colours roughed out on my tracing paper template, I could get stitching. So I did. I thought it turned out pretty well for a first attempt!