Friday, October 26, 2012

A Peek Inside - Cross-Stitch Pillowcases

Filling a hope chest is a wonderful thing, especially when it is filled with gifts from those who love you! These become treasures that fill your life with beauty and sweet memories. These pretty pillowcases were a gift to Miss Abigail from her grandmother. Grandma Mower has many pillowcases in her linen closet, including some that are now considered vintage and even antique. It is such a treat to stay in her home and find which treasures grace the pillows on the bed. Many are embroidered and some have delicate thread crocheted edgings created by her great aunts, now gone. Grandma loves to speak of these pioneer women - to tell their stories. I was the happy recipient of several sets of pillowcases, embroidered by my mother-in-law, when I married my husband all those years ago (this post). These are mostly worn out now, but I surely hate to retire them because I've enjoyed using them so much. I didn't save these pillowcases from use. Maybe I should have, but I used them. For more than thirty years I've washed and folded them, felt loved and thought about the skill and generosity that went into their creation. Grandma told me that she now no longer enjoys embroidery, but she still likes to cross-stitch.  I'm sure Abigail will enjoy using these in her future home too, just as Grandma has enjoyed those which were gifted to her years ago and as much as I've enjoyed mine. This is what my hope chest legacy is really about. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Peek Inside - Woven Wool Coasters

The weather is changing and I'm beginning to think about hot chocolate! These pretty coasters were a gift from some homeschooling friends for milking their dairy goats for a week. What a wonderful surprise and a perfect addition to Abigail's hopechest. All of the girls in the family spin and weave. These were made by the youngest, Nicole. Lovely, aren't they?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stenciled Dish Towel

You see a lot of stenciling on the blog because it is so easy and quick to do and I think the results are so fun! I made a set of dishtowels recently to include in a wedding gift and I thought I would show you how I did it. Miss Abigail wrote a more basic tutorial on stenciling for beginners, if you need to see the actual technique.

Start by washing and drying the dishtowel. This removes any sizing or starch from the towel and allows the paint to penetrate into the fibers of the cloth. If you skip this step, the paint will likely fade much faster. Place a piece of cardboard or tin foil beneath the dishtowel, to prevent the paint from soaking through to the table. I use the Tulip soft fabric paint and whatever stencil strikes my fancy.

Use a just barely damp sea sponge and dab it lightly into green fabric paint. Lightly dab the sponge onto the towel to create a foliage background for the flowers that will come on top.

Add just a tiny bit of darker green to give the background some dimension. Use just a tiny bit!

Use the stencil to add flowers and leaves in a design across the foliage background. I blended two tints of the same shade while the paint was still wet to give the flowers a little dimension as well. I also added just a few dabs of a purple color between the flowers. Let this much dry. The directions for the fabric paint will give you the proper length of time.

After the flowers were dry, I stenciled smaller flower "centers" on top of the main flowers. I also used the end of the paintbrush, dipped in the paint and a very tiny brush to add further details and highlights to the flowers. Finally, I used another stencil with two colors to add the word.

Stenciling is really not hard to do and it makes me feel so artistic! So many projects for the hope chest can be stenciled. Dishtowels, of course, and pillowcases -you just need to be creative.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stenciled Daisy Potholders

These pretty blue hot pads were a prize at a recent bridal shower. Seeing the possibility to add to the daisy kitchen set, Miss Abigail stenciled a large white daisy in the corner of each and then used a black fine-tip Sharpie permanent marker to embellish the flower with squiggly black lines around the edges of the petals. Dots circling the yellow center finished them off. Quick and easy! Stenciling is so handy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Link - Gingham Embroidery Booklet

I love vintage needlework books! I recently found a link to a small booklet by Coats and Clark on gingham embroidery. The booklet gives directions for four embroidery stitches: cross-stitch, herringbone stitch, lazy-daisy stitch, and the french knot stitch. There are pages of project ideas for each stitch as well. The booklet was written for youth, but everyone can benefit from the simple instructions and fun project ideas. Renee, on her blog at My Vintage Mending, has saved each page of the booklet as a jpg image. I just recreated and printed out the little booklet as a resource for Abigail’s hope chest. Here is a second leaflet by Coats and Clark with patterns for cross-stitch on gingham embroidery.

If you haven’t tried gingham embroidery, I hope you will. It is so fun, especially for beginning stitchers! The woven checked gingham provides a natural guide for working the cross-stitch and many other embroidery stitches. Sometimes I have a hard time making a nice, straight feather stitch, for instance. The herringbone stitch, likewise, is difficult to make even and straight. On gingham, however, these stitches are easy! All the designs and stitches will be larger or smaller depending on the size of the gingham squares. Almost anything that can be made from checked gingham fabric can be embroidered with a suitable cross stitch design. An easy hope chest project might be a set of hot pads or snack napkins, a bread cloth or bun warmer, curtains, an apron, or a pretty band to trim a towel.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...