This past weekend, my family and I attended the living history event, The Market at Washingtonburg in Carlisle, PA. It was fun and interesting to "meet" the folks that forged through the forest of early Pennsylvania. The re-enactors took on different personas and explained about their living conditions on the Frontier. As a cross-stitcher, one of the most interesting exhibits of the day for me was the making of linen from flax. The Early American woman would take the flax grown in her own fields to create a fine fabric of durable quality. She used that fabric to cloth her family, decorate her home and of course, teach her daughters to stitch on. All of the tools needed for this process could be created from readily available raw materials, albeit the spinning wheel would take an experience woodworker to create. One of the re-enactors even shared her "housewife" with me. It was certainly an enjoyable experience and an event I look forward to attending next September.
Monday, September 13, 2010
In my search for finding alternate finishing ideas for cross-stitch, I discovered Patera Pendants from Nunn Design. These jewelry findings are hand-cast in the USA and made from 100% lead free pewter and then plated with precious metal finishes. The pendants come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I inserted my finished cross-stitch, in this case a motif from Lace Trellis, into the Patera and then covered it with DG3 Art Gel from Judi-Kins. The directions for the DG3 gel say to allow 24-48 hours of drying time. I guess fabric changes this, because it took about 5 days for mine to dry. I had pretty much given up on the idea, so I was surprised when I came back days later and found that it no longer looked like washed out paper, but had dimension from the stitches and the fabric itself. I added the remaining elements to create the necklace you see here. A note, the fabric did darken a bit during the process. I am rather new to the whole jewelry making trend, but found this to be a fairly simple process. I am now scouring through old miscellaneous bins to see what I can use in making more!! It is definitely a great gift making idea. Nunn Designs has a listing on their website for on-line vendors that carry their jewelry findings. You can find their website at http://www.nunndesign.com. I ordered mine from Country Stitches at http://www.countrystitchesonline.com.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Here is the completed Lace Trellis design. Stitched on 28 count Olive Green Cashel Linen by Zweigart. I stitched the model over one linen thread, so that it would have a very fine look. Don't despair, if you are not up to stitching over one, you can just stitch over two, it will not change the overall design. I finished the needlework into a pillow. Not sure if you can tell by the photo, but the needlework is backed with muslin and then just tacked to the pillow at the corners. This is a quick finishing method. I created a new pillow top for this project, but you could very easily use a purchased pillow to save yourself some time. I have also been experimenting with some other finishing ideas for this design. More to come...
The design itself is very versatile and can be used in a wide array of projects. The pattern is such that you can use part of it or extend the design for a larger purpose. It is also a relatively simple pattern and the first installment in my Stitches to Go series. The idea being that the needlework can be stitched without the need to constantly follow a chart, thus making it easier to take the needlework with you and work on it "on the go."