Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wedding and Anniversary Gifts

Last week, we celebrated our 10th anniversary, and wedding and anniversary pieces have been on my mind.  My in-laws' 50th anniversary will be coming up in the not too distant future, so I've been thinking about something we could stitch for them.  It's also traditional wedding season - June is still big for weddings, right?  (Although it seems like October is pulling ahead in terms of popularity.)  

I've already shown you some of the Bent Creek pieces I've done for weddings in a previous post.  I thought it would be fun to go back and look at some of the pieces I've stitched as wedding gifts, or on occasion, anniversary gifts because I can't get my act together in time for the wedding.  And in the case of this first piece, a Christmas gift because we didn't even stitch at the time the wedding took place.

I like to tie what I stitch into the event whenever possible.  With weddings that don't have a specific theme, I look to the the time of year, location, even a special reading or a song from the ceremony for inspiration. 

This is a piece I modified from a Leisure Arts leaflet called Marriage Keepsakes.  I had stitched the pattern once before, as designed.  This time, I changed the text to a poem my BIL and SIL used on the bookmark favors for their wedding.  They didn't have a theme for their wedding, so I drew on the colors they used, blue and silver.

Another couple I stitched a gift for also didn't really use a theme for their wedding, so I used this Bucilla kit, "To Love and To Cherish" as a gift for my far away friend.  She and I met online while we were planning our weddings, and have remained close ever since.

I changed the pink flowers to a peachy color so they would look more like the peach colored carnations that the bride chose for her bouquet and their decor.

I've also designed pieces completely from scratch by using motifs from several books I own.    This is where cross stitch software comes in VERY handy.  I have used PC Stitch for several years with great results, though I must admit that once I upgraded, some of the functions I could do quickly and easily became more complicated, and I am still muddling my way through some of the software.  (I want to go back to the old way of doing things for some functions, and it's just not possible.

For my friend Kelly (also a fellow wedding planning site buddy), I created a piece using the Song of Solomon quote they used for their invitations.  Red roses were a big part of their fall wedding, so I incorporated that into the piece as well.  The rose motif in the middle was tricky - I wanted something symmetrical - and ended up playing with a charted rose and its mirror image to get the look I was going for.  (Names are intentionally blurred for privacy)

One of the more unusual pieces I've done was for a couple that had marigolds and cicadas for their wedding theme.  Definitely not your typical wedding theme!  In 2004, the cicadas of Brood X (the largest group of periodical cicadas that emerge every 17 years) were coming out.  The marigold part was easy - I tapped the same flower book I used for the roses in the previous piece, but the cicadas proved to be a challenge.

I ended up stitching a simple piece, and worked the cicadas into the framing.  I found some line art drawings and printed them on velum paper, then used an Exacto knife to trim away the excess and cut out the middle.  I mounted the paper to a store bought mat with spray adhesive.  It turned out better that I expected and made for a very interesting wedding record.  Working with printed velum and a store bought mat can be tedious, but it adds a whole new level of versatility and flexibility to framing pieces.

On a much more traditional note, I used a reading that was very important to the couple to stitch this Book of Ruth Sampler by Design Connection (now OOP).  The names were charted out on paper, pre-stitching software, and I would definitely move some things around were I to stitch it again.

And the last piece I have for today should be familiar to many of you, as it's Blackbird Designs I Thee Wed.  It was a commissioned piece, stitched for my cousin to gift to a friend.  You can find the details on the piece here.

 Do you stitch gifts for weddings, anniversaries or other significant life events?  How do you choose what you will stitch?  Do you have any go to designers or charts that you've stitched more than once (like my fondness for Bent Creek's I Do)?


Carol said...

Wow, Jenn--you sure have stitching an amazing variety of wedding samplers for your friends and relatives. That cicada and marigold one has to win the prize for most unusual, though--what a great idea on how to include a not-so-cute insect into the framing :)

I've only stitched one small wedding piece (a Just Nan) and one anniversary piece for my parents' 50th, but I'm thinking about another wedding piece for an upcoming October wedding. We'll see...

Robin said...

I have stitched a few wedding pieces in the past, but most ended in divorce so I stopped stitching them. I have stitched 2-3 anniversary pieces for others plus the ones I have stitched for my husband.

Robin in Virginia

Catherine said...

Wow ~ great group of gifts ~ loved seeing the variety!

Marie said...

All of the wedding samplers you stitched/created are beautiful! I love that you add your own touch to these samplers. I am one to stitch it just as it is charted.

I stitched I Thee Wed for my cousin. I love that design.

Brigitte said...

Wonderful to see all these wedding and anniversary samplers. What a great variety you have stitched so far. I have only once stitched a wedding sampler but never heard anything about it after I sent it. So I left it with this experience, lol.