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Wednesday, 5 September 2007

My Summer Exchange TO Claudia

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Here is what I stitched for my partner Claudia for the Seasonal Exchangers BB on our theme this time of Summer. I chose to buy this kit 'Mistress Mary' a Shepherds Bush design for the exchange as Claudia had said on her list of likes that Shepherds Bush were one of them and well.....I didn't need alot of swaying towards stitching one of their designs LOL...because as you know I just LOVE alot of them. I also chose this particular one as Claudia had said Lavenders were amongst her favourite colours and this does have that kind of shade in amongst it. I love the colours of this myself very much as I do nearly all the SB colour choices :-)) I didn't use the little rabbit charm for this as I had the tiny lavender colour butterfly so I put that in the sky instead just for Claudia :)

I did ponder over how to finish this and then I had an inspiration come into my head to make it into a flanged pillow....with a bit of a difference. I remembered I had seen a Merry Cox finish sometime , somewhere in someones album of a flange pillow finish with Nuns Stitch (at least I think it was) round the edge with the 2 layers joined together (I think).

I used the Faded Roses hand-painted silk for the stitch around the design, this took some care to catch both sides with the holes of the linen all matching perfectly. Not too bad though as the thread was a good contrast so I could see where I had been. However LOL this should have been a warning to me!!

I got my Creame silk thread at the ready as I decided on that for the Nuns Stitch to keep the main design as the focal point. I would never have believed it would have taken so long to stitch round this small pillow through the two layers of linen but believe me to keep all the holes lined up and an equal count out, pale creame thread on pale cream linen it took foreverrrrrrrrr, I had to keep checking every stitch front and back !! I was going at a rate of about 15 stitches every half hour so it was a real labour of love. It very nearly got abandoned and made into a Pinkeep ;-)) BUT I persevered for 2 days solid with this Nuns Stitch edging because it was for Claudia (it WOULD have become the Pinkeep if it was for me ;-)) To think...I usually think of this stitch nice and quick and easy with just one layer of linen!! :O

I know I am not as experienced and don't know as much as some of you with your finishing as I have only been doing this for a year or so with cross-stitch and I suppose with hindsight I should have pulled a thread all round on each layer or used a running stitch of dark thread to show me my way but nooooooo I did it the hard way LOL. I had intended to use the silk ribbon threaded through all round with a small bow top and bottom like the MC one but it looked too fussy on this, so I opted for the wee bow at the top corner instead :)

It is not perfect either although I love the finished result...I had trimmed round my Nuns Stitch, pressed the flange edge of the pillow then sat down to examine it. BAD IDEA!! I saw at the top that I could just trim a tiny touch more off the edge right close to the stitching , pick up my scissors , at the ready .......and CUT just as Hamish decided to jump up at me.... You know when you go all prickly all the way down, like a cold sweat or something ?? That was what I felt like in the first instant as I thought it was going to be ruined!! Thankfully just about 3 threads at the top on the Nuns Stitch are slightly closer than I wanted but not so close it will unravel PHEW!!!!!!! That was sooo lucky!!

I also made Claudia a simple card to go in her exchange

and I made her a scented silk strawberry when I did Anitas both are pictured here. The lemon one is Claudia's :-))

For all my trials with this, my first flanged pillow, I thoroughly enjoyed making it and I am delighted that Claudia loves it and thinks it is stunning WOW !! That has made me very happy as she sent such a nice exchange out to Su. I didn't know but this is her first ever exchange and she seems to be delighted she has to get three more of pieces of my stitching over the next few months :-)) Now to think of Autumn ;-))

I have a couple of things I am finishing soon so I will be back when they are done and I will get caught up with you all in the next week or two :-))

Take care!


Blogger staci said...

That flanged pillow is stunning! So dainty and perfect, I have made one flanged pillow and I found it rather difficult and frustrating and full of mistakes! Yours is so well done!!!!!

1:29 am  
Blogger Susan said...

I think the finishing is perfect, Helen! Congratulations on a lovely piece. I really *love* the strawberries that you've stitched - they are divine!

2:54 am  
Anonymous Cécile said...

It's very lovely

7:54 am  
Anonymous nataliejo said...

Wow !!!! this pillow is absolutely lovely ! How skilled you are at finishing ! I don't know how I would handle that !!! Yours looks so refined !

8:24 am  
Anonymous Claudia said...

Sweet Helen...
I hope you had my email!
By the way, let me say again THANKS for this superb, gorgeous, lovely gift you sent. I knew you made it with love (all those nun stitches... breathless!!!), and this is a honor for me.
I truly love everything you sent and the care you had, thinking about something so special for me.
I'm glad you're my partner!

Claudia :)

11:27 am  
Blogger Annemarie said...

As per usual, I'm not commenting on your finishing (words fail me, etc...), but I do advise you to lock up little Hamish whenever you need total peace and quiet!

11:53 am  
Anonymous vavadesneiges said...

you've done a fabulous work
I would love to get a posh pillow as this one ! LOL

12:49 pm  
Blogger Cathy said...

What a lovely exchange, and your photos are always so beautiful!

1:21 pm  
Blogger Nancy said...

This is absolutely gorgeous - no wonder Claudia is so pleased! Your finishing looks very professional. I love the strawberries too. What did you use for the stuffed part of the pillow?

1:22 pm  
Blogger Sharon said...

Helen, you did a fabulous job with that. It's gorgeous. Congrats.

1:38 pm  
Blogger Karoline said...

The summer exchanges are gorgeous, congratulations

1:46 pm  
Anonymous NatQuebec said...

What a wonderful work !!! Your patience give you a superb finish and I am sure Claudia loves it ! Congratulations again for your nice work !

2:00 pm  
Blogger Sally said...

Your finished pillow is beautiful Helen. I love the design and the way you've finished it:)

2:38 pm  
Blogger Susimac said...

Its really pretty H, I love it and I know that Claudia does very much.

I love your strawberries too - hint hint - birthday approaching hint hint!

2:47 pm  
Blogger Barbara said...

Absolutely gorgeous! And such meticulous work! Yeap labour of love indeed :)

3:15 pm  
Blogger Vonna said...

It's a lovely labor of love Helen :)
Gloriously stitched, finished and sent with love the whole way :)

3:47 pm  
Anonymous Sylvie said...

It's so lovely!

6:47 pm  
Blogger Nicki said...

Helen, it looks absolutely gorgeous and just perfect! I really don't know how you have the patience for your beautiful finishing. Just lovely. And the card and strawberry(ies) are lovely too :)

7:21 pm  
Blogger Paola B. said...

Ah noooooooooooooooo ! It's so wonderful this exchange ! I love you finishing !

8:28 pm  
Anonymous Linda litlaskvis said...

It is just perfect Helen! I love the strawberries also! Very pretty, just like everything you do!

8:34 pm  
Blogger Hazel said...

That finish is amazing!!!! I don't think I could ever make anything as beautiful! xx

9:15 pm  
Blogger Katrina said...

I love the flanged pillow, it's so delicate and elegant! I consider you a master finisher, I am always in awe of you :-).

11:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your little flanged pillow is just the prettiest thing and perfect for that SB design. It really was an inspired thought which popped into your head. You have such strong determination when it comes to your sttiching, you don't give up :>)
I have to say I just love the scented strawberries and can smell them from here. Is it lavender they are filled with, it smells like it :>)?
Warm wishes, Angela

1:43 am  
Blogger Von said...

You know, Helen, I'm running out of superlatives to describe how wonderful your projects are. Little pieces of perfection! So impressive, really . . . I'm in awe. :)

2:55 am  
Blogger Leena said...

It's gorgeous, what a wonderful pillow! You've done amazing job with this one :)

11:00 am  
Blogger Cheryl said...

What a gorgeous way of finishing your stitching!! It looks really great

12:11 pm  
Blogger Michelle said...

The exchange is gorgeous - and you took so much time and effort to make it beautiful! I love love love the strawberries - what a fabulous idea!

4:10 pm  
Blogger Michelle-ozark crafter said...

So very, very lovely! your talent never ceases to amaze me! huggles!

7:04 pm  
Blogger Lavender Rose said...

Beautiful work, as ever, Helen! I love the little strawberries, too. I've made some of those myself...my speed for finishing...LOL

1:49 am  
Blogger Marie-P said...

Hard to believe that you have only been doing this for a short time! You make me look bad :-}
As always your work is gorgeous and I am impressed with your photography...how do you do that???

2:55 am  
Blogger Carol said...

Oh Lena Lou! How gorgeous!!! Watch your post - a little something is on its way to Amy for her special day - I hope it will arrive on time!!

4:38 pm  
Blogger Nelapx said...

Guaoo esta que babeo de lo hermosote...felicidades

3:52 am  
Anonymous Yuko said...

Amazing! It's absolutely gorgeous!
I really like the way how you finished this lovely piece, it's perfect and soooooooo beautiful!!
And I saw soooo many lovely things you've sent to Claudeia on her blog! She must be in the heaven now! lol

3:58 pm  
Blogger Patti said...

Helen - WOW oh WOW what a stunning pillow and I love the strawberries too. You are such a clever little thing it just isn't true and you give me such inspiration. Lots and lots of love Patti xxx

1:24 am  
Blogger Marina F. said...

all is beautifull!!!

8:36 pm  
Blogger Tanya said...

SO pretty and I love the finishing on it!!!


1:13 am  
Blogger Lelia said...

Just beautiful : )

1:57 pm  
Anonymous La croisée said...

It's very wonderful ! A very fine work of seam and colours are my favorite !

La croisée

5:53 pm  
Anonymous pascale said...

Really gorgeous !! I love everything (card, strawberries and the little sweet pillow !!!)

9:17 am  
Blogger Margaret said...

Your 'labour of love' is a true beauty Helen. Claudia must be absolutely thrilled that there are four seasons in a year.(LOL)

3:50 am  
Anonymous christel said...

as beautiful as usual. you make beauties. bizooxxx

11:42 am  
Blogger BLGH said...

Wonderful job on the pillow, both the stitching and the finishing.

4:47 pm  
Blogger Jeanne said...

Wow! Love your pillow - wondering if there are instructions anywhere on how to make one of these? I think you did a fabulous job and I know that sinking feeling when you have had a mishap with the scissors!

6:31 am  
Blogger Lisa said...

Your flanged pillow is absolutely gorgeous! I will definitely have to try this myself one day lol. Your partner sure is lucky.

8:21 am  
Blogger Cathy said...

I don't think I posted yet - your summer exchange for Claudia is wonderful!

3:28 am  
Blogger AnneS said...

Oh my goodness Helen - your stitching and finishing put me to shame. I'm hurriedly trying to catch up on my blog reading before I lost access again in a couple of days - there is just too much to comment on!! Everything I see in your blog is perfection itself, and it's such a pleasure to read - you and your sister are such an inspiration {{hugs}}.

3:56 am  
Blogger stitcherw said...

Your pillow turned out lovely, so tiny and delicate. The strawberries you made were cute too.

12:08 am  
Blogger Kath said...

Your pillow is just beautiful Helen. You are a beautiful stitcher and the extra time you put into it really does show.

A fabulous exchange for Claudia.

I loved the card you made too.

5:05 am  
Anonymous nataliejo said...

It's been 3 weeks !!!! We are missing you, Helen :-/ Is everything all right ? Please come back soon !!

6:15 pm  
Blogger sammyjo said...

i love the exchange gifts there really cute especily the strawberrys .

10:04 am  
Blogger Lapa said...

Nice blog, this of yours.

Mine is about a Great portuguese writer: Cristóvão de Aguiar.

5:07 pm  
Blogger Isabelle said...

Hello, Helen! I hope you are alright... You haven't blogged in a while! Hope it's just because you're busy. *hugs*

12:50 pm  
Blogger Deborah/LavenderRose said...

Dear Miss Lena...You've been Awarded!!! Go see my blog!

5:01 am  

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