Sunday, February 21, 2016

Having a great time stitching old and new.....

At the moment I'm in pre-stitch hell, but I've managed to knock out a few new pieces for the shop.  I've designated Mon-Thurs as pre-stitch nights, but Friday-Sunday it's a free for all, as I can pick anything I like to stitch.  So this week I pulled "Black Flowers Sewing Box" by Mani di Donna out of my UFO tote, to finish the stitching and then put it together.  I had stitched the front of the design  already but wasn't really happy as it seemed crowded.  So I pulled it all out and started over.  It's stitched on 30 ct. Straw by Weeks and I stitched it using 1 strand of NPI 933,  instead of the 2 strands which I used in the beginning.  The look is now perfect.  In one of the pictures the fabric looks white but it's actually the color of the box in the second picture that's true.  The fact that they call it a box is a bit misleading, as it's more of a mini-tote for stitching supplies.  So cute it finishes to approx. 3-3.5" round.  While I find finishing projects to be daunting, once I sat down and started this I found it went together easier than expected.  I learned a lot and found areas I needed to improve on, but since it was a first for me I think it's alright for a first time.  Can't believe I've never actually made a box before.  When I first started stitching this in the summer I really thought I'd try to find a papier mache box to just wrap the design around and call it a day.  The handle was a bit perplexing because I would need to find something close to the original size so that the handle, which is included with the chart, would fit well.  But last week as I silently moaned about it I decided to buck up and just do it.  And I'm so glad I did.  Of course, as I'm preparing the skirtex and it's creasing in spots I was wishing I had mylar as a replacement for it so it would be rounded, but after all was said and done, it looks close enough to round, however, Sara had just ordered mylar for a project she has so she gave me a piece and so next mini tote (and there will be a next) I'll be replacing the skirtex with mylar.  I also should have trimmed my center piece because after getting everything in place glued, it did make it appear a little bit oval towards the center...but again, live and learn.  I was so concentrated on the attachment of the handle I couldn't see anything else.  I had read earlier how someone felt the handle was attached and too floppy so to handle that problem I used mat board to make the center piece, using the handle as a guide, used an awl to make holes in the fabric covered mat board to match the holes in the handle and stitched the handle going through the holes I made.  It really holds tight so the handle is held tight to the center divider and doesn't flop at all.  Anyway, it was fun to do and I can't wait to do another.  She has designed a Quaker mini tote which is coming out in Nashville, so I'm really excited to get one of those going.  Maybe I'll even start it in Nashville....oh, the excitement mounts.  The second finish was my Debbie Liming challenge piece from Superbowl weekend.  I jokingly said (always gets me into trouble), "I'm telling you this is a one night project, start to finish."  I think perhaps Debbie is sick of me saying how some of these projects are one night finishes so she said, "Well then I can expect to see that finished tomorrow."  Sometimes I should just shut up!  But needless to say I wasn't about to return to the shop Sunday without this project done start to finish.  Thank God I'd just finished "Merry Santa" and "Madam Cottontail" both of which are pockets as well so I knew there was no learning curve to conquer.  I have also been using my machine a lot more so that is getting easier as well.  So as soon as I got home from work I started.  Stitching was easy to finish, a few hours and then the work began for me.  First I couldn't use the fabric included with the chart because of my problem with everything having to be even.  Lizzie Kate has designed these pockets to have an edging of fabric on the front but it doesn't continue to the back (since the back is the same fabric as the edging on the front).  That makes it uneven for me so I have to have the same edging of fabric on both front and back, even though the back is the fabric.  (just be glad you don't have the same issue I have because it drives you crazier).  Anyway, I felt I had the perfect fabric , thanks to my never ending fabric hoarding, and I did.  The colors were perfect so I got to cutting and sewing.  I just closed my eyes for a minute and next thing I knew it was 5:30 the race was on.  I managed to get it done so I could show Debbie it truly was a one night project, but next time I'm going to say 2 days project just to save myself.  But honestly, if you started the stitching in the morning, you would get it done by bedtime, including the finishing. (Apparently I just can't help myself).  Anyway, after bringing it,  in I then obsessed over finding a little rabbit to put it in as an  Easter present.  You could use candy, a little gift, whatever, and give it to a grandchild, or your child.  Then I said, "Sara, if you were having Easter dinner and invited family over you could put the place settings in the little pocket and sit one at each place.  Yes, she just looked at me, rolled her eyes, and walked over to the other shop.  Sometimes I just need to know when to stop!

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