Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Quaker Motifs and Symbolism

Here's my latest quaker round robin finish. I stitched this floral motif on Carrie's sampler. I love the pomegranate Gloriana silk she chose. It's such a pretty rose color so I thought I'd add something rose-like. I thought this flower looked a bit like an opened rose. As I was writing in her journal and documenting what I stitched I noticed that this motif is actually a Passion Flower. Upon further investigation, I found that the passion flower is symbollic of the Passion of Christ (His crucifixion). The flower has three stamens that symbolize His wounds and the petals symbolize the apostles. Also the ring of corona represent the Crown of Thorns. The Spanish call this flower Espina de Cristo or "Christ's Thorn". Interesting. I'm very intrigued by the symbolism in samplers and it's interesting to learn the quaker ones have their meaning as well. You'll see this motif on Sarah Tatum 1800 and on Beatrix Potter's sampler, and I'm sure on many others. I actually stitched it from the Ackworth School Pattern Book. I am so glad I purchased this wonderful booklet as it's now out of print. This motif is one of the largest, I think there's only one larger and that one is the swan one I used for the blue/white quaker pinkeep I did. I also added the small rosebud taken from a larger motif. :)


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Kajsa!

Poor Kajsa had to wait a bit longer for this gift. I didn't want her empty handed on her birthday so I did send a phase-one gift on ahead to tide her over. The first package included my second knitted dishcloth, some overdyed threads, a small candy tin with a victorian scene on it, and a card. She seemed to enjoy it and I'm hoping this phase-two, the actual stitched gift, will be a little more of a "wow" for her.

I thought I'd show you the Scissor and Needle Keep I constructed. The stitched design is a freebie from Sharon of Crescent Colors. I used R&R Dye Pot linen and all the Crescent Colors with one unintentional substitution. When I stitched it, way back in July, I added a couple of personal touches, the sheep got french knots in some Whisper to make him wooly, and the grass is done in long arm cross stitch. I called it into action for a birthday gift for Kajsa. I just had to figure out what type of finish to use. The fabric it was stitched on was not that large and my placing of the design on it didn't leave me many options. I really wanted to make some sort of pocket and include scissors with the gift. I also wanted to use the same fabric for the inner lining. The way it ended up, I literally had about 1/2 inch between the pieces and less than that on one side. I really learned my lesson and will stop being so stingy about fabric allowances from now on. Due to the size of the design/fabric etc I had to improvise a way to house the scissors. I came up with this diagonal slip and it seems to work just fine. If I had enough fabric I would have made a little fob too, but I seriously did not have even more than an inch wide of fabric left over. I just tied a bit of ribbon on the handles and added a needle threader too.

My stitching deadlines are colliding on me lately. Now I am quickly trying to finish up a round robin, and then on to another exchange which I'm fearing will also be a bit tardy. UGH... I hate being late with these things. Then, I have another birthday gift to do next month. I predict some late nights ahead. Good thing I'm a night owl.

Oh.. the sheepie in the pic is just hanging out there checking it out. He's not part of the gift. He was a gift to me actually. I included a couple of small charts though but they didn't jump in the pictures. The gift will go out Tuesday since the post office is closed for President's Day tomorrow. I told Kajsa not to look here if she wants to be surprised. LOL... If it were me, I'd totally look!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Eliza Jane has landed.

Finally. Oversees mailing can be so disconcerting. I was a bit late in mailing but I really thought it would have arrived in Finland before now. All is well though and Leena has received the item I stitched for her for the SBEBB Needlework Smalls Exchange. It's always feels nice to know someone appreciates your work. I really enjoy exchanges and the international ones add another dimension of fun for me.

I've had this Eliza Jane's Needlekeep and Scissors Flat "kit" from Brightneedle for quite a while and I was happy to finally put it to use. This "kit" simply included that chart and two colors of wool felt for the needlepages. I enjoy stitching over one and I seem to be collecting a good number of Brightneedle designs because of that. This was a fun stitch even with the hundreds of smyrna crosses for the borders. I found that the design was lacking when it came to the finishing though. The instructions simply call for a long piece of ribbon to be stitched to the inside center. That simply will not do the job if you expect the scissors to stay in place. I came up with a modification that I think worked out pretty well. I just used that same piece of ribbon to form a loop for the scissors tip to sort of harness them in place. Tacked it down some more and wallah.. a much sturdier attachment after you weave through and around the thumbs and tie a bow. I'll put a plug in here for Vikki Clayton's silk ribbon at Hand Dyed Fibers. I have a few colors on hand as I love to use ribbon in my finishes. Her prices can't be beat. I can't remember if this is turkey red or garnet.

For those who wondered at my bit of consternation with Eliza, it wasn't really the scissor attachment problem. I think I got the better of that part. My goof was forgetting what I had learned from previous finishes when I've used skirtex. I have quite a bit of skirtex a dear friend gifted me, and I try to use it whenever I can. I like the body it gives to a project. What did I forget? Was it to cut the piece just a smidgen smaller than the size of the piece? No, I remembered that. What I forgot is that it is better to use two pieces rather than one and try to score it and fold it for a book. This time I should have used three pieces and butted them up next to each other. That way it would have laid flat when tied shut instead of trying to spring open. I learned that. I remembered that I learned that right about the time I was fighting irritation over this little beauty not staying shut as I would have preferred. Just you wait, I'll get it right next time.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More Royal Mail


Joy of joys! Heheehee I've been blessed to receive another exchange item from Helen. More "Royal Mail", I can't believe it! For the Needlework Smalls Exchange, Helen chose to add more pieces to match with the Quaker Exchange Needleworker's Pocket she did for me. Now I have a beautiful scissor pocket and a matching fob too! She sent me some linen, floss, and finishing materials so I can stitch the remaining pieces myself. I'll set out to do those in the coming months for sure. I dug out the Julia Gingher's I acquired some time ago. I still had them tucked away in the box. I just take them out and look at them once in a while. LOL... I think they look lovely with this set, don't you? Many thanks to Helen for such beauties. What treasures they are to me. Please visit her blog and you will see what a talented photographer she is as well! This photo was the last one my battery allowed and the white linen doesn't look like this.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Eliza, let's call it a draw.

This is what I've been concentrating my attention on. That's all I have to say about it for now.