Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Two pieces for myself

After stitching gifts for others for the past two years, I'm pleased to finally have two for myself. I enjoy looking at these every day.

This is very special to me, because it's the lighthouse at Boca Grande, FL, where my husband and I spent our wedding anniversary this past year. It was the first time we left our children to go somewhere alone, and the island and historic inn were perfect. The frame reminds me of the vintage gilt frames in the Gasparilla Inn, where we stayed, and it has red undertones that match the 2-toned roof of the lighthouse. I snapped up the pattern in the lighthouse gift shop & am glad I did.

This is a pattern I stitched last year for a friend. I wanted one for myself. It hangs near the breakfast table so it can inspire me every morning.

For Suzanne's Housewarming

One of my very close friends just moved into the house of her dreams. She chose this pattern as her housewarming gift, and I spent many hours thinking of her and family's future life in their new home while I stitched this.

A dilemma of gifting cross-stitch has to do with framing for a friend. I decided not to frame this, first so that the glass would not break in transit (I prefer glass bc. plexiglass throws odd reflections) and also so she can choose a frame that matches her new space. She is decorating so carefully, and the frame should coordinate not only with the pattern's color and style, but also with the room it's hanging in. The wrong frame could really ruin the look of the piece in it's setting. Our styles are very different, and I haven't been able to see her new house yet, so in the end, I decided to let her make her own choice of frame. If I had seen the room it will hang in, I would have been able to choose a frame and would probably have mailed it with the frame but without glass or backing to prevent ruin from broken glass. She could easily have those done at a local frame shop where she lives. The mounting I like to do myself.

I wish you many happy days in your new house, Suz!

Three Cross-stitched Christmas Stockings

My biggest accomplishment so far. For Christmas, I finished three stockings for my husband and daughters, all cross-stitched on 28 count linen.

The designs are by Karen Kluba, Rosewood Manor, and a brilliant seamstress in Iowa, Marilyn Klanin, sewed these perfectly into lined and trimmed stockings with material I provided. The backings are coordinating upholstery fabrics I selected, and the lining is a pale cream 100% cotton muslin. The trims were hand-made by Marilyn from DMC floss matching each pattern.

This year my goal is to finish my own stocking and have a complete set.

Sewing a Pretty Cotton Nightgown

I've decided to sew my daughters cotton nightgowns now that pretty cotton nightgowns have been outlawed (!).

This is an easy-sew pattern in 100% cotton muslin with crocheted trim. Summery, light, pretty, simple . . . everything a girl's nightgown should be.

Cross-stitched Tooth Fairy Pillow

I created this for my 6-year-old's tooth fairy pillow. The fairy is from a design book, but I made the pocket design myself and chose matching fabric and trims. Grandma helped sew the fabric by machine, and I stuffed it with wool and added the trims by hand.

It is still waiting for the first tooth!

Easy Easter Cross-stitch

This is the first project I did in 2010. I'll pull it out soon for Easter. It feels special to have Easter decorations I've made myself & to know my kids will be able to put it out for their children when they grow up.

Creating Heirlooms: Cross Stitch 2010

This year, while staying home with two preschoolers, I decided to spend time creating family heirlooms. Unlike most of my tasks, which have to be re-done every few hours or days (think cooking, cleaning, diapers), I wanted to spend time doing something more permanent.

What a satisfaction! Every move of my hand lays down color on cloth, creating something that lasts. I'm addicted to cross stitch now.

I've chosen enough projects to keep me busy for the next 3-4 years and have them in a box in the order in which I'd like to complete them. Many are gifts, one for each of my best friends and of course for family.

Here are some of the projects from 2010:

For my mother-in-law

For my second daughter

Christmas ornaments for my daughters and husband
(I hand-finished these and filled them with wool;
their names and the year are stitched on the back)

Christmas stocking for one daughter;
to be sewn (by someone else) in 2011

A gift for a close friend, A., whose mother was dying