Gift Number 2 for Von
For Von I had set out to make her something that would look quite elegant as I thought that would suit her taste. I liked the Drawn Thread freebie that my sister had stitched the other week so I decided to do that for Von with a nice beaded tassel. I used my own selection of threads, a Caron thread being used for the flowers and it is stitched on 40ct cream. I did enjoy stitching this little one but this is the one that I was not satisfied with the finish that you read about below. On the back I had stitched our initials 1/1. In view of that and because I made her something else that I was more happy with... I decided to send her the fob anyway... along with her 'proper' gift, as it would have been a shame to just throw it away!! I am really pleased I did as Von is delighted with it and her eye is much kinder than my eye about my own work as she says she can't see what I am talking about and that she likes how it looks being flatter than intended :-))) If I do this one again I will backstitch the outline then whip stitch it together as it is a funny shape to keep spot on with every corner matching.
After that I re-looked through my stash and found my Brightneedle 'Small Samplings' book that contains their previous free charts. I knew when I looked at 'Dearest Friend' I had found the perfect chart :-)) Those of you who know Von through the blogs will know she is a 'dear blogging friend' and very supportive with always a nice word to say and even if your blog is not very well known she always leaves a comment and takes a genuine interest in what you are doing! I have wanted to stitch this for some-one for a long time and now I had the perfect opportunity.
I know as well as cross-stitch and hardanger multi-talented Von does alot of smocking and machine sewing so I decided a pincushion finish was the best option. I had originally stitched this on the stated colour 45ct linen with all the stated threads, I did like how soft the colours were but I wanted to use a piece of the silk that I had got from Harrogate and some genuine French lace for the finishing and try to create an antique type of look. The silk was quite a warm cream and slightly too bright for the whiteish colour linen and it all looked as if it would be a bit crisp and new looking. I then decided to take a big risk having not done it before.....and coffee dye the stitched piece and some silk along with the lace for the finishing at the same time. Into my pan it went for 10 minutes. With bated breath I poured it into my sieve than gave it a good rinse. I was very pleased with the colour so I gave it all a quick handwash and ironed it dry. I wanted to make a tiny bolster type of pincushion and with a removable outside cover so it could be washed in the future. I made a little calico bolster pillow that I filled with fresh pine wood shavings that I had got from Preston Hall Museum. There is an old fashioned street there but one of the shops is occupied by a toymaker who makes mainly old fashioned rocking horses. I know from reading about antique needlework items that pincushions were quite often filled with wood shavings or sawdust as it gets called here. For the outer cover I machine sewed the silk and the lace onto each side of the stitched piece and used the original cream colour silk for the back as it went beautifully with the new coffee coloured front. I handsewed on the beads to each corner and then handsewed the edge to close it once the calico bolster was inside. I was really very pleased with how this turned out as I achieved the look I wanted just a simple pincushion with an antique elegant air to it :-))