Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Who do you stitch for?

I've stitched and framed a number of pieces for other people, and I'm always happy to see them hanging on their walls. I'm very careful about who stitch for and what I stitch for them, as so many hours go into each piece, and the cost of the materials adds up. I want to make sure that the gift fits the recipient, that I pick something meaningful to them, and that it ends up being something they WANT hanging in their home. As you all well know, it ain't easy.

So you'd think I'd have more pieces of my own hanging on our walls. Surprisingly, we don't. The Rocky Point lighthouse my husband stitched and had framed is still floating around, waiting for the perfect spot to hang it. The wedding record my husband and I both stitched? In a drawer, along with a Peas in a Pod piece I stitched and framed for his Valentine's gift one year, also waiting for a home.

Part of the problem is renting for so many years. We never hung a lot of stuff up on the walls, and even though we've been in our house for over two years, we've yet to hang up any of our stitching. Mind you, I have grand plans for several pieces, including some fruits and roosters in the kitchen (it's not as country as it sounds), more birds in the stairwell, some Celtic pieces in the front entry, and some other pieces upstairs. Some of it's stitched, some of it's just ideas in my head. With the exception of the pieces I mentioned aboved, none of it's really come to fruition. Yet. I'm getting there.

So, my point. I have a whole lot of questions.

  • Who do you stitch for? Do you stitch more for yourself, or for gifts?
  • Do you stitch with a finishing idea in mind, and do you favor one technique more than any other? (For instance, do you mostly stitch ornaments, or are you more of a framed piece person?)
  • Do you display your finished pieces in your environment (home, office, etc.)?
  • Do you automatically think "stitch" when it comes to a gift, or are you particular about who you will stitch for?
  • How do you choose what to stitch for someone else?
  • Have you ever had a gift rejected, or received in a way that hurt your feelings or surprised you?
  • Is there someone you enjoy stitching for, or someone you will never stitch for again?
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's a jungle out there, baby!

So apparently jungle themes are pretty popular for nurseries these days. Given the outrageous price of bedding and accessories, I can see the attraction in picking a gender neutral theme that would be good for more than one child.

I am currently working on my third jungle themed birth record, Jungle Babies. I started it in June while on vacation and the relative simplicity of the pattern brought back a lot of my stitching joy, which had taken a beating with a recent Stoney Creek Lighthouse. Don't get me wrong - the lighthouse is utterly amazing (I'll show you in another post), but it showed me that I am not a Stoney Creek type stitcher.

Back to the birth record. Here is is before I started the backstitching, which is in progress now.

Cute, isn't it? It's a gift for a friend's little boy. In fact, I happened to be sitting down the shore, stitching away, while she was hundreds of miles away in labor for a day and a half with the little guy. So far, I have 3 of the 4 animals backstitched, and I need to get moving so I can finish it up. I try to backstitch at least 1-2 lengths of thread a day, but it's hard when there's a couple other projects I'm also working on, one of which involves a variegated thread that is really something to see. (I know. I am teasing you.)

And these are the other two jungle themed pieces I've stitched over the last few years.

This is from a Janlynn kit called On Safari, and was the first time I stitched with floss on plastic canvas. I love the way it came out, but again, the backstitching was tough. The piece was originally intended to be a collage-like photo frame, but I printed the birth info on vellum and framed it behind the stitched piece, with a photo of the recipient in the middle. If you are interested in this piece, I have it listed on my For Sale or Trade blog.

This was another jungle themed piece I stitched, Safari Birth Sampler by Mary Stickley for The Coleshill Collection. As you can see, the recipient of this one just turned 2, and it's still hanging in his room. It's simpler than the other jungle piece I stitched, and I really enjoyed stitching this one. I substituted the fabric (the chart came kitted with Aida fabric and probably Anchor thread, as I ordered it from England)

Once again, I had to play around with the chart to fit in everything I wanted to get on there. (You can see how it's originally charted here). Since it was a relatively quick stitch, easy to personalize and very cute for jungle themes, this one will be remaining in my stash for a while. But if you'd like to order your own, I'd recommend Sew and So from the UK if they still carry the piece.