more buttons

I embroidered three more buttons for my guild’s State Day event later this year. Remember, these each fit within a 1-inch diameter circle!

Two patterns came from 500 Simply Charming Designs for Embroidery. Everyone’s favorite is that wee mouse!

And one came out of the Scandinavian Stitch Craft book, though it is my least favorite out of all of them. I will need to practice these stitches a bit more.

And at our last guild meeting, we were shown how to transform them into buttons, using Dritz’s half ball cover buttons size 60. The process is fairly straightforward: remove the little hinge from its back; tape in a super powerful mini magnet; tightly wrap the fabric around the pokey edges; snap on the back; glue on a brooch locking bar safety pin; glue on a little disk of felt; tada!

Yet, one of the ladies pulled out a device and some thread and in just a few seconds, she had a handcrafted cord! I immediately was head over heels for it and bought my own! I went cord-making crazy with a lot of “scrap” threads I had laying around. It is pretty cool, I have to say, and adds just the right finishing touch, no?

thumbkin

My gramma gave me a little kit a while ago to make a thumbkin. The website written on the instructions does not work (www.louisvillenimblethimbles.com) but perhaps it is meant to be www.nimblethimbles.com which is a quilting guild in Louisville. Regardless, the explanatory poem reads:

It’s a simple little thing to use
Wherever you may go:
A place to put your pins
Whenever you choose to sew.

It’s a thumbkin and fits
On your thumb, you see,
And each time you use it,
I hope you’ll think of me.

And there you have it, folks!

Corbet’s Stitch Sampler: W

As a self-taught sewing beginner, I have not purchased many patterns. Almost everything sewn here at theCrafties has been found through the generosity of people providing their ideas for free online (or gifted to me by people I know!). However, as I am moving into an intermediate level, I have begun to look for specific projects.

I find myself always drawn to two lovely ladies: Sharon B of Pintangle and Mary Corbet of NeedlenThread. It is not that they are the only ones up to such rich encrusted embellishments of embroidery; nay – many creative stitchers abound on the Great Internet! I just find their writing styles pleasant and their love of teaching their craft to others to be inspiring. I am always learning something new with them, and they are not afraid to show their own humanity in flaws and disappointments which helps me stay in the game myself when the craft has begun to frustrate me.

So anyways, one day I want to create a masterpiece of a crazy quilt like Sharon. I blame my Aunt Sandy et al. for starting that. (In fact, that quilt may be the singular reason I picked up embroidery!). And one day I want to sew as regularly (and as amazingly) as Mary and be hip to the history of what I am doing (part of the reason I joined the EGA and local guilds; in fact, if I could blend anthropology and art history and needlework, I would seek out less European varieties and become their master!).

When I saw that Mary was selling her Stitch Sampler Alphabet, I just had to have it. Of course, it was scary. How could I possibly recreate such lovely letters? I printed out a color copy at Boy’s office and used his book-binding machine to make a shelf reference copy, but she is quite right! The electronic copy is amazing for quick link referencing and blowing up images! Then it sat on my shelf between alternating periods of me drooling over it and shying away from it. But then our friends Tim and Becky came in to the picture: they were getting married and what better gift than a handmade W for their new shared last name?

I did not have the appropriate type of threads available, so I used a couple of strands of embroidery floss. I am still looking around for a brick-and-mortar store that carries more varieties in types and colors. I might have to give in and buy them online in the future. Oh, Amazon and such, why must we have a love-hate relationship? It turned out completely fine, though I did consider redoing it if I could find the right threads (I checked one more shop a county over, but to no avail). Mostly, it was the braid stitch that looked a bit thin.

Overall though, I was quite proud of my W, and had no idea that such “complexity” was actually pretty simple. In fact, I had done this project before the blackwork heart, and that is one of the reasons I had originally scoffed at blackwork being anything more than simple stitching. Heck, if I could do this, of course I could do that! Looks are so deceiving.

I used seven colors, and I think nine different stitches. I had previously only knew two of those! In a single letter, which took only a few hours, I had learned seven brand new stitches. My favorite is the scalloped buttonholed chain stitch. I had always wondered how people did that!! At first I was afraid to pull too tightly, but once I realized that wasn’t an issue, I crammed them on there and, pop! Scallops!

I stuck the W in a shadow box and had big ideas. Their theme was simple and rustic, and I found a small stem of cherry blossoms that matched their invitation, as well as a tiny canning jar. It was gonna be awesome. But the tiny jar was still too fat, so I had to scrap that idea. I tried a couple of others: a string of pearly beads to mimic a string of lights. Nope; that just clashed. A band of crocheted ribbon – I liked it on the bottom, but it was too much for the top. A “Mr&Mrs” woodcut; it looked off in bare wood so I painted it their colors of brown and pink, and nope. Looked horrible. In the end, after time ran out and all craft stores had been searched, I left it as a simple ribbon at the bottom and let them decide if they wanted to add to it. But of course, I did not take a finished photo! Why must I always forget that final step so often?!

Luckily, Tim and Becky loved it and sent me a photo of it on their bookshelf, so you kind of get the idea of the finished project:

EDIT: Tim brought it back for me to photo. How nice of him! :D