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Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Gift Number 2 for Von

Aha..............the infamous gift number 2...lol !! A very pleased Von let me know her gift made it to her in record time, I think it only took 3 days from the UK to US!! Wow, I was impressed...go Royal Mail :-)
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 :-))


Blogger tintocktap said...

What beautiful finishes - both of them! Lucky Von.

11:36 am  
Blogger Paola B. said...

Ohhhh Helen, I think they are perfect gifts, I love the DT freebie !!!!

11:46 am  
Anonymous Cécile said...

Beautiful I love them

11:48 am  
Blogger Susan said...

Both gifts are beautiful, and 3 days in the mail from the UK to US is amazing - I recently received something that took 4 weeks to get to me from Leeds to Chicago!

12:15 pm  
Blogger Isabelle said...

Oh wow... Helen, I can't decide which I like better... They are exquisite. What wonderful gifts for our dear Von! :)

12:17 pm  
Blogger Nancy said...

Such beautiful gifts! Dearest Friend is so very pretty. I love the fabric you have used, and the lace and beads. Everything about this is very special. I like your scissors you have in the photo too!


1:13 pm  
Blogger Vonna said...

Well aren't these just the most beautiful little necessaries for the stitcher? Such lovley,delicate work and perfect! I'm sure Von was tickled pink...anyone would be :)
You did a beautiful job :)

1:30 pm  
Blogger Annemarie said...

That's all I'm going to say. Lucky Von! Clever Helen!

1:36 pm  
Blogger Karoline said...

They're both gorgeous Helen, I stitched the DT fob last year and it's a lovely one to do

2:25 pm  
Blogger BeckySC said...

Gorgeous work, Helen!! Von is a lucky lady :)
Have a lovely day!

3:43 pm  
Blogger Andrea said...

You always come up with some brilliant ideas. Your gifts are wonderful and beautifully stitched, even if you don't think so!

4:33 pm  
Blogger Stitch Wizard said...

Oh wow Helen, both of your projects are just absolutely gorgeous!! I wish I had your talent for finishing. I need to try doing something like a fob or something and get good at it! I love how your antique looking fabric turned out as well. I have considered coffee dying fabric too. You do such splendid work!! It is just beatuiful! Debby :)

4:33 pm  
Blogger Susimac said...

They are both lovely Helen - I love that little bolster cushion its perfect. They are perfect for Von.

4:35 pm  
Blogger Cindy said...

wow, Von is so lucky to hae them. Helen, you are so thoughtful and nice!

4:40 pm  
Anonymous nataliejo said...

Wow Helen !! these are gorgeous and I LOVE your little cushion, it is so original ! Next time you're not satisfied with your finishing, I'll be very pleased if you decide to send it over to me ;-))))

5:38 pm  
Blogger Jacqui said...

Absolutely gorgeous.

6:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are both gorgeous, but I'm in love with the bolster pincushion! Such an exquisite finish and so original. I'm sure Von is delighted with them both :)

7:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing finishes, both of them, Helen! The pincushion would have to be my favourite though. Simply perfect... I am in awe!

7:47 pm  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Wow, such beautiful finishes!

9:02 pm  
Blogger Katrina said...

They are both so pretty! You do stunning work :-).

9:10 pm  
Blogger Lavender Rose said...

Absolutely beautifully made. Just what is meant by excellence in handwork! They are so special and so kindly thought out. True friendship offerings to be treasured, Helen. Hugs, Deb

9:13 pm  
Blogger quiltorstitch said...

Those are both so pretty and delicate. You make the lovliest things. The pincushion is my favorite. I like the colors that came out from dying it. Great job :)

11:52 pm  
Blogger Barbara said...

They both look lovely Helen! Lucky Von :) I especially like the lace on the pincushion. Maybe I'd tat some and finish it the way you have :)

1:55 am  
Blogger Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Your things are always so lovely and this is no exception! Great job!

4:23 am  
Blogger Cathy said...

Helen - your finishing is exquisite!

4:43 am  
Blogger Nicki said...

Oh my goodness Helen! They are both gorgeous but that little pincushion is really special. What a lot of work went into it!

9:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both these gifts are really beautiful but the little cushion is breathtaking. You certainly made it look old fashioned. The silk and the French lace make it very special. You were so brave to consign it all to the cooking pot but you came up with a real dish! I can only echo - lucky Von! Best wishes

7:04 pm  
Blogger Carla said...

Both pieces are gorgeous!! I'm sure Von loves them!

10:31 pm  
Anonymous NatQuebec said...

Ohhhh it's so nice ! What a great work !

8:29 pm  

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