Sunday, April 19, 2015

Thrift store love, WIPs and current charity stitching finish

I have really made out like a bandit lately at thrift stores.  We only have one teeny little one where I live and I went there yesterday.  I ended up with a huge armload of hardcover books filled with patterns and tutorials for cross stitch, embroidery and needlepoint.  Also a few random patterns, kits and one discarded WIP.  Here's a picture of just part of what I ended up with.

But I have also discovered a crafting thrift store where I found two needlepoint kits, with canvas and yarn, still new in the package with the price tag from the store - $110 each - and I got them for $10 a piece.  Now don't you know I felt like a lucky lady that day!

I have been busy stitching too ~ not just stash shopping, lol.  My charity (see our FB page here) is winding up a project for a hospital nursery and I stitched four bibs and did one blanket, embroidering each of the four corners.  This was a lot of fun and I especially enjoyed stitching the blanket.

I have so far finished two of the ornaments in my Night Before Christmas Series.  I'm using 28 ct. Irish linen for these and I'm so pleased with how they are turning out.

I also did a quick 3-day stitch based off of a scene from the Harry Potter stories.  This one was a lot of fun.  It's on a hand dyed cashel linen and unfortunately the picture doesn't do the fabric justice.  It's a lemon lime swirl and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the perfect piece of fabric for this piece.  (Excuse the wrinkles, this was fresh out of the Qsnaps.)

Garden Party is also coming a long nicely, although it has suffered one major setback.   My fabric got cut such that I am going to have to now stitch this in two separate designs instead of one.  Lucky for me, the pattern is such that I will be able to split it in a 2/3 - 1/3 manner and make two pieces out of it.  Not ideal, but onward and forward, yes?

And last but definitely not least, I'm working on a plastic canvas market tote.  So far I have the side panels, bottom panel and back panel finished.  Honesty, I've been seeing these squares in my sleep!  I was so glad to get them done.  The front panel will be much more interesting with lots of fruits and veggies stitched on.  This entire tote is stitched using the Continental Stitch, except for the overcast stitches I'll use to put it all together.

So that catches us up!  I'm off to pick up my needle and thread.  :0)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nostalgia and Fabric Flowers

I have been doing a lot of thinking about how things in my childhood and in my family helped to shape my love and dedication to needlework as an adult.  I can look back and connect some dots now, that I didn't even know were being created as a child.

I remember when I was about 6-8 years old, we attended a church where the ladies put together a weekly fabric service project of sorts.  We would meet in one of the large classrooms on Saturdays to make fabric bouquets for any new names that had been put on the sick list that week.  My memory is foggy on how we made these flowers, but I think I remember enough that I could recreate it.  I have *never* seen this craft done anywhere else and have no idea who came up with it.
All the ladies donated materials in all colors and patterns.  So we would choose a color or print theme for each individual bouquet and lay out that material.  Then we would take pipe cleaners in a matching or coordinating color and cut them into thirds or in half, depending on how big we wanted the flowers.  Then we would bend them into a teardrop/flower petal shape.  Using fabric glue, we would glue them onto the material.  At this point, we would usually stop for a potluck lunch while the glue dried.  :0)  After that we would cut out each flower petal.  Then using yellow, orange, or gold pipe cleaners cut to size, we would bend one end down into a small spiral to be used as the stamen and pistil part of the flower.  We would take about 5 or 6 petals with the stamens/pistils placed in the center and start wrapping the base in green floral tape.  We would also attach green floral sticks under this with the wrapped tape, adding on a few leaves here and there.  (Green material with green pipe cleaners, made like the petals but in more of a leaf shape.)  Once all the flowers were done we would gather them into a bouquet and place them in inexpensive green glass vases and deliver them to their recipients. 

Even in describing this project, I can clearly see how these fabric bouquets had to have screamed, "1980s!!!!"  But even so, I'm tempted to try and recreate one or two bouquets for nostalgia's sake.  :0)