Saturday, September 27, 2014

Peacock Bag

Some time last summer I discovered this design of nine funky peacocks on Pinterest.  I had a heck of time finding the original source pattern as often happens with those pins, but I put on my x-stitch detective hat and kept looking.  I finally found it in an on-line only magazine,  Antique Sampler Stitcher  Issue 8, August/September 2009.  I had never heard of this magazine before. It has very homegrown amateur feel about it.  They sell back issues pretty cheap so I took a chance and ordered it.  I received the .pdf file in a wink so I'm at least one customer who can vouch for the site in case you see anything you like there.

This design was earmarked to become a sling bag at that time.  But somehow, I kept getting interrupted to stitch other things.  I'm usually a one-project-at-a-time stitcher so I don't exactly know how it got delayed.  Anyway I finally got around to completing the stitching and managed to take a slice of time to finish the sewing.  I used the suggested DMC colors, but the finish is much paler than the model in the magazine.  At first I was disappointed, but now I've come to appreciate the subtlety.  I mean who wants to scream "Peacocks!"  wherever they go.

The fabric is 36 ct Edinburgh Summer Khaki linen.  This one uses iron-on fusible craft fleece for stability and it came out with just the right amount of stiffness. Sometimes I have trouble getting that stuff to adhere properly to the fabric, but this time it worked out fine.  I think I may not have had my steam iron set hot enough on some previous attempts.  Final size is about 7"x8", perfect for most of my needs.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall Pumpkins Altoid Tin

I was beginning to think this post was never going to happen.  This project seemed to be one disaster after another, but somehow it finally got done. I had expected it to be finished much sooner, but I'm happy it finally gelled.

I fell in love with Elizabeth Talledo's "Fall Pumpkins" hornbook design in the Oct. 2014 issue of JCS.  Since I had done the Spring one as an Altoid tin top, I knew this was the right size for one, so I decided to go ahead and stitch it with that finish in mind.  I used Summer Khaki Cashel linen, one over one with DMC threads.  After I finished the bowl that holds the pumpkins and looked at the rest of the chart, I was shocked to see that Elizabeth had charted a lot of petit point motifs.  In other words, I should have been stitching that bowl over two so I could halve the size of the stitches for the other motifs.  No way to stitch over half a thread!

I almost abandoned the project at that point.  But I took it as a challenge instead.  I re-charted three birds to make them simpler so they would fit in the space.  The background had included a lovely alphabet and the numbers 1-10, but I had to let that idea go.  I just looked around for fall sampler motifs and sprinkled them in the background - owl, acorn, key, tiny pumpkin, etc.  I'm still not perfectly pleased with those choices, but enough was enough.

Then in the finishing, I started gluing the ribbon around top, only to realize I had chosen ribbon that was too wide.  So I had to pull that mess off and re-start.  The padded stitching is kind of lumpy too.. I don't know why that happened.  But at least had 1/4" ribbon in the right color.

For the inside I got the idea to do a round keyring fob.  I thought I still had one of those bottlecap frames to make a magnet, but I couldn't find it.  So I just used a backing with plain fabric stretched around cardboard and sewed it to the stitching stretched around cardboard.  I stitched the trim around at the same time I stitched  the front to the back and it started fraying all over the place.  I had to used clear-drying glue to tamp it down.   The design is a little witch from a freebie called "Hallowen Witch and Tree" by Kathleen Finn of Stitches of Olde.  She gave the freebie to members of  the FB Prim Stitchers Society.

On to the next project!