Sunday, November 17, 2019

Stitching like crazy as Christmas looms ever closer............

I keep thinking it's only November, haven't had Thanksgiving yet so I shouldn't panic over Christmas yet.  But, I can feel that I'm getting nervous about it.   As I said before, I've begun the clean up of the house, my recipes are sitting on the table waiting to become dinner (over a month away-this should be fine, and I'm excited.  But I always get nervous about the stitching I need to get done.  So that's the panic I'm feeling, plus I'm going back to work 4 days a week and that gives me less time at home working on stuff.  But, today was a good day.  This week I completed the stitching on a couple of pieces, Erica Michael's "St. Nick's Berry", and  Brenda Gervias, "Holiday Hoopla-Christmas".  At first, I brought home the linen berry but decided I really wanted the detail shown on the silk berry so I took back the linen and brought home the silk.  Then I decided I didn't have the patience right now to do the gauze berry, so I changed the project to 28 ct linen, (this way I don't have to stitch the background like you do on silk gauze), and I still have all the detail that is on the silk version of these berries, and stitching over 1 on 28 ct. still keeps it smaller than the linen.  The stitching went smoothly, once I figured out where to start on the linen, and although I usually change things a bit on projects, I tried to stay with Linda's vision.  I almost made it too, but in the end, I decided to add some dimension by satin stitching the hat cuff and the beard.  The mustache was done laying threads across his mouth (which I added by just putting a line of red between the beard and mustache), and securing them in the center and then clipping the two ends of the mustache until they were sized correctly for his face.  Other than that, I added beads for the holly berries to each set of holly leaves.  That was all I did.  This design is fabulous.  I love Linda's berries and have almost all of them in my stash.  And now that I've decided to use 28 ct. for some of them, I'll be able to get a few of these done now.  I still struggle with the finishing of the berries, but with all of the finishing I do now each year I'm getting much better so I just grit my teeth and pray for the best. Today was no different.  I started first thing this morning getting my finishing supplies together.  I interfaced the berry, as I use lizard litter for stuffing, and then stitched up the back seam (easiest part to do).  It's nice to have the easy part to get you started and then on to the stuffing and gathering of the top...also pretty easy.  In fact, I think the hardest part is just getting started and figuring out how to finish the top.  Linda does hers differently depending on the project, so I tend to do the same thing.  However, as it's a strawberry, I only finish with leaves.  This time I started with a circle cut of WDW wool to put over the top to cover the gathered top.  Then I cut leaves to use, this time I decided to use the shape of the holly leaf.  I then attached the holly leaves to the red circle, which covered it and then cut a small red circle which I sewed to the center to cover where the leaves come together.  Finally,  while initially, I had planned on using a fancy bead I purchased for this project, it just didn't work for me.  Too fancy for this piece.  Soooo, I got one of the bead caps I keep on hand, ran pearl cotton through for a hanger, sewed the bead cap to the center red wool circle and the ornament is now finished.  Fabulous.  You will see on the picture I stuck a red pin through each leaf...I'm trying to train the wool to sit a certain way.  Hope you enjoy my finish.  I recommend everyone who hasn't done a berry...try one.  And they really aren't that hard to put together either.

I also finished Brenda Gervais', Holiday Hoopla-Christmas, however, I can't find what I did with the pedestal frame so I can't complete the finish until I find it or chose another way to finish it.  Again I stuck with Brenda's recommendations, although linen was Vintage Blue Whisper and I added red berries to the holly leaf branch and black beads for eyes, teeth, and buttons.  Easy stitch so a delight to do.  I've only missed one Holiday Hoopla and that's Thanksgiving.  Sara didn't bring it to me so I'm hoping to remember it tomorrow as I work in the shop.  Exciting!

Anyway, that's what I've been up to since I last blogged.  I hope you have been able to put a needle in linen or Aida this weekend.  If not, better get to it, after all, Christmas is about 6 weeks away.  Have a great week.

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