Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Inspiration piece for The Gift Keeps Giving

I thought I would share with you the inspiration piece behind my "The Gift Keeps Giving" chart. My daughter found this vintage 1928 tablecloth in a linen bin in an antique shop in Upstate New York last fall. She sent me a photo and said, "What do you think?" I sent her back a text asking for the price. She replied with a "knock me over with a feather" low price and I said, "Buy it!" She said, "I already did!" Boy, did I teach her well or what!! Once I had the tablecloth in hand, I couldn't quite decide how I wanted to proceed. I thought if I reproduced the entire piece, it would just be too large. Not to mention, the writing is in Old German, so it wouldn't have a lot of meaning for a person to stitch. I finally decided to just use the piece for inspiration.

Once you let yourself veer from the original, your imagination can just take off. So, that is what I did. I could translate the gist of the writing from my limited German. I could decipher that the tablecloth was a gift from an aunt to her niece. My guess it was a favorite niece, since both of their names were Maria. I could also gather that the wording contained a blessing. From my study of old samplers, I knew that many girls created their samplers from pieces that older family members had created, so that is the direction I took for the sampler. The storyline in my head was the niece, Maria Maurer created her sampler from motifs on her aunt's tablecloth. The tablecloth contained letters from two different alphabets, an Old English Blackletter and a script. I chose the Old English as the dominant font and sprinkled a few of the script letters for added interest.

For the sampler and needle book, I used Astilbe floss* from Dragonflylotus Designs. This is a hand-spun (hand-dyed) one ply silk. I have had requests for other flosses that I would recommend, so here is a list. Of course any red will do. I like the idea of a variegated red, one that covers the spectrum from light to dark. That way the result is a good aged look with the lighter pink colors, just like the color had been bleached from the sun or many washings.
If you would like to stay with a silk:
167 - The Kimberly (Dinky Dyes)
205 Carmine Rose (Gloriana) - this is a little pinker than original
248 Dutch Red (Gloriana) - the red is a little browner 
For a cotton floss:
0511 Country Redwood (GAST) - red is a little more on the browner side and doesn't get real pinky
7036 Geranium (GAST) - pretty good match
190 Lady Bug (Classic Colorworks)
2263 Begonia (Weeks)
*Just a note about the yardage listed on the chart. I used 3 - 25 yd. skeins of the Astilbe floss. The 25 yd. skeins are no longer available, the increment is now 10 yd. skeins. You will need approximately 75 yds. or 8 - 10 yd. skeins. My apologies for any confusion. 

For the Lone Elm Lane Shaker box top, I used Cayenne from Weeks Dye Works for the floss. This is a beautiful color of red and the sampler would look lovely stitched in it as well. I hope you enjoyed the inspiration tablecloth and have fun stitching the chart! 

Always be stitching,

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Postcards from the Heart - assembly video

Hi Stitching Friends!

I have created a video tutorial, so you can see how I have assembled my "Postcards from the Heart." The feature "Postcard" is Home, which will be released at the end of April. I hope you enjoy.

All my Best,

YouTube video - Postcards from the Heart - finish assembly tutorial

Some suggested "found objects" to add to your "Postcards"
• Cancelled stamps
• Ribbon/Trim/Rick-Rack/Lace/Fabric
• Yo-yo's/Wool Pennys
• Buttons/Sewing Notions/Needle Packs
• Charms
• Old Letters/Poems/Pages from old books
• Typewriter Keys
• Game Pieces - Dominos/Scrabble tiles
• Skeleton Keys
• Outdoor house address letters/numerals
• Bottle cap
• Natural pieces - feather/acorn/pinecone/shell
• Old wallpaper
• Watch fob/Clockface
• Photographs/slides/viewmaster reels
• Old Jewelry - pins/bracelets/earrings
• Souvenirs - ticket fobs/old advertising/maps