30 October 2005
a finishing frenzy
Or alternatively titled: It all began with an envelope

Actually, it began with my admiration of another envelope, made by Annemarie, but going back that far would make this quite a long story. So we'll begin with the Halloween Mailart Exchange envelope that I made for the Borduurlijst groep. This was my 2nd attempt at envelope-making, and although it's a lot better than the first one, there is obviously room for improvement. I felt pretty hopeless about my finishing skills.

Then I joined Stitching Smalls, a great online group devoted to the making of smalls - tiny, adorable little do-dads and ornaments. I saw a lot of beautiful projects. I worked up my courage and tried my first fob, for BeckySC to say thank you for her kindness & generosity. You may recognize this as my 'secret' rail roading experiment. Now while the stitching turned out good, the fob itself was a mixed success. I did it by hand and did my best but ... well. Again, there was a lot of room for improvement.

I asked for help in the smalls group and received lots of advice. I also looked in Romy's blog for tips. I started an over-one project to celebrate Annemarie's birthday and to show her how happy I am to have her for a friend. By the time the stitching was done, I had recovered my courage and was ready to make another try. Hooray - the result was a tremendous improvment!

I was so buoyed by my success with Annemarie's little foblet (as I think of it) that I felt ready to tackle the big stuff: Niek's anniversary pillow. I admit that I did not handstitch the sides but 'cheated' and used the sewing machine. However, my sewing machine is actually older than I am, so this isn't really too different from hand sewing. LOL. I did make the cording (that is 25 meters of silk twine you're looking at!) and handstitched that on. (Silks were bought here.)

Then it was time for the charity ornaments. I felt ready to try adding a beaded closure, one step up from the way I closed Annemarie's foblet. That was a total flop, for a number of reasons, but I took one step backwards and completed two Prairie Schooler "pillow" ornaments that came out fine.

I also started a small gift for Jim and Gaby. I hope they like it! I've tried to combine Gaby's love of hearts & flowers and neutral colors with Jim's appreciation for color and activity. This is from a freebie downloaded from Passione Ricamo and I'm stitching it on Lakeside Linens 28 ct Basketweave using NeedleNecessities 1412, over two. (Please excuse the horrible photo - it needs to be scanned.)

After breakfast I started re-upholstering our dining chairs. Each year for our anniversary I try to do one home improvement task. Last year I painted the living room. It's symbolic as well as practical - homes, like marriages, need a commitment of time that frequently gets lost in the hustle-bustle. What do you think of our new fabric? (One euro per meter - I love Ikea!).

Niek and the kids are removing (or relocating) our leaf accumulation while I type. The weather here is unseasonably warm and dry. We're loving it!

It is also time to get the other cross stitch projects framed. I've sworn off the framers here in Gouda - if anyone knows of a reputable framer in Zuid Holland, please tell me. In the meanwhile, I can handle the smaller framing jobs just fine by myself! I hope to tackle that this week.

To close:
A big round of applause for everyone who's offered me suggestions, assistance, and support, and another big round for the wonderfully generous friends who have send me charts, fibers, fabric, and notions. You are too kind! I really value your assistance and appreciate (and enjoy!) your friendship.
posted by mainely stitching at 1:24 PM ¤ Permalink ¤ |


  • At Sunday, 30 October, 2005, Blogger Von

    How good of you to share your progress in finishing skills. This is an area I struggle in as well and am always on the lookout for hints and ideas in finishing.

    The leaves are filling my yard as well and my twin sons (12) raked the entire front yard Thursday just in time for some rain that night. So of course, the yard is covered in leaves again, lol!

  • At Wednesday, 02 November, 2005, Blogger Chelle

    You have so much going I, I can't keep up with it all! :o) You can call your first fob a "mixed success" if you want to, but I think it is lovely! Your "foblet" is just precious. I love over one!