Monday, May 25, 2015

Heard melodies sampler

I had a recent discussion with Margaret  about how often we are disappointed when reality doesn't match our expectations.  You know, like when you order hand-dyed fibers or fabric and the colors just don't turn out to be as nice as they looked on your monitor or in your mind's eye.  But the concept applies to many other areas of life as well.  It reminded me of the Keats poem, "Ode on a Grecian Urn",  that at least in the way I was taught to interpret it, was somewhat about the same subject.  I mentioned a line from the poem, "Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter".  This prompted the Sampler Queen (wasn't that an old ABBA song?)  to challenge me to design a sampler with that quote.  I'm no designer and I just laughed at the thought.  But then for fun I tried to think of what a sampler on that subject might look like.  Google was no help really.

I thought of an old freebie bookmark pattern by Prairie Schooler.  I think it was re-released for sale in a collection of their former freebies a few years back.  I then got to work in that advanced cross-stitch design program, MS Paint.  I just positioned the bookmark on one side and then charted the words in a Bent Creek or Trilogy kind of font.  I added a few musical notes and voilà.. a sampler was born.

I don't think I really intended to stitch it, but Margaret encouraged me.  So I created a pinkeep by stitching over-one on Dove Gray Monaco and adding a few doo-dads for interest.  I think it really needed a border, but I don't like stitching borders.  So not really my own design, but a fun project all the same.

Getting to be dental maintenance time again.  Here's my latest reminder notice postcard flashing that famous Mona Teetha smile.

Wishing everyone a pleasant Memorial Day and a happy National Tap Dance Day.  May 25 is Bojangles' birthday.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ruler Sheath & Spring Hare T-shirt

This post is one of those where things just didn't come out as I had hoped.    I was recently reminded of some very cute free alphabet designs of Vavi.  Click here for the charts.   These designs were so cute, but it was not obvious how to use them given the size of the finish.  I got the idea to make them into 6" ruler sheaths as gifts for kids.  I plan to donate them to WOCS. 

My favorite was the "Jardin d'Oiseaux", i.e. "Garden of Birds".  So I got to work stitching it up on 36ct Edinburgh Summer Khaki linen.   As I stitched, I kept thinking about how I would construct the sheath, and I came up with several different ways in my mind's eye.  My mind's eye only sees what it wants to and seems to miss the tricky parts.    Besides having to go to 6 stores before I found 6" rulers.. who knew that this was another almost obsolete item?..., this turned out to be a bear to stitch up.  I almost ruined it with too much taking it apart and re-trying.  I'm not really happy with the result, but the at least the ruler fits nice and I kind of like the wraparound alphabet.  But I'll look for some other way to construct these in the future.  I don't plan to give up!

The second disappointment was in the category of "I should have known better".  I had a T-shirt that, once again, had a blueberry yogurt stain right in the center.   I figured I'd stitch a quick little motif over it to salvage the shirt.  I picked the little girl hare from Plum Street Hare's Easter.  

I knew that designs with stems and parts that are only one or two stitches thick just never turn out right on T-shirts.  But I had forgotten that rule.  The shirt is wearable, but the stitches are so wild, it's a nightmare.  Best to wear in the presence of near-sighted people who aren't wearing their glasses and are standing far way.

Hope my next post has a finish I'm happier with.