Well, hello there! Happy New Year! I hope this finds you all well and that you had a terrific holiday. Mine was wonderful. As you probably already know, I took a hiatus from...well, everything. I just "unplugged," both literally and figuratively. No blogging, no sewing, no work, no emails....Oh, I will pay for it now, but it felt good!
We went to Florida to visit my parents, and it was a nice trip. It's always good to be home, but I'm missing the warm weather and my parents already....
When I came home, I received an email from Sarah Vedeler's newsletter. It said that the PTA at Sandy Hook Elementary School wanted to decorate the entire school with snowflakes to welcome the children back into the building. I thought that was a neat idea. Sarah wanted to do something. She took some snowflake designs that are in one of her embroidery sets and made them available on her website free of charge, along with some instructions for how to make some snowflake ornaments. I decided I wanted to make some.
And here they are! I made three of them....one from each member of my family (me, Papa Pea, and Sweet Pea) to the children. I took the photos early this morning, as the sun was rising. I tried to get good light! And the wind was blowing pretty well, so it was hard to get good photos. I got a few on this tree, and then I had to move behind the shed, where there was less wind.
Here is a close-up shot of the smallest snowflake. For all of the snowflakes, I used some of my cherished hand-dyed silk/cotton blend fabric that my friend Jackie dyed. (It is cherished, because she isn't doing it any more, and I can't get any more!) I used Floriani threads, and when they were all put together I embellished them with Swarovski hot-fix crystals. (Finally, a project where bling was appropriate!) This one is Papa Pea's favorite...he likes the simplicity of it.
Here is a larger snowflake. The snowflake was supposed to be an applique, but I forgot to put the applique fabric on before I started stitching all the details. Oh well! I rather like how it turned out anyway! (You can see these photos were taken behind the shed. I hung the snowflakes on the handle of our wheelbarrow! LOL)
This shot is a little closer of the stitching and the bling. I love Sarah's designs because of all the wonderful detail. I like how there are all the "beads" stitched into the designs. I have one of her design sets. I haven't had a chance to play with it yet. So, this was a great way for me to play with and learn about her designs.
Here is another large one. I remembered to put the applique fabric on this one. I really like Sarah's method for marking and applying the applique for machine embroidery. I hadn't tried that particular method before. I will use it again. My only regret on this one is I felt the threads I had weren't quite the right colors. I think I made do pretty well with what I had. I wish I had used something more silvery where the dark gray thread is.
All of these are two-sided. The back is also stitched with an identical snowflake so that they will look the same on either side when you see them hanging.
All in all, I'm super happy with how these turned out. They were fun, and I think they are beautiful. I hope they add some sparkle, shimmer, shine, and color to the kids' lives at the school as they return to their building.
Many thanks to Sarah for the idea, inspiration, and designs for doing this! I hope I did her designs justice.
Now, to keep things real...my first attempt was a total fail! I put the stabilizer in the hoop and then added the fabric (as directed in Sarah's instructions). The silk/cotton blend is such a drapy fabric that the machine ate it! It actually went right thorugh the stabilizer and into the needle plate! Woops! I should have known better.
For my second attempt, I put an iron-on stabilizer on the back of my silky fabric, in addition to the stabilizer in the hoop. That worked much better.
But the end result was a C- in my view. I didn't trim the edges close enough, so you can see some of the raw edges stiching out after the satin-stitched edge. Yuck. (The white stuff you see is the water-soluable stabilizer, which I didn't bother to remove, because I knew I wasn't sending this one anywhere!)
And then I turned it over and realized I had forgotten to change out my bobbin thread for thread that matched the top thread. I was supposed to do that for the final satin stitching on the edges so that the satin stitching would look good on both sides. Another oops! So, I chalked this one up to practice. The three pictured above are much better. I corrected all my errors in those. So, let's have one more look at them all:
(Again, sorry for the blurriness...they were a-blowin' in the wind!) These get an A-. There are small imperfections, but overall, they turned out really nice. I corrected all my errors on these. I would expect nothing less than A work from the kids, so they should expect nothing less from me, right?!
Well, these are in the mail this morning. They should arrive on Wednesday. If you want to send some snowflakes of any kind, there is still time. They need to arrive before Jan 12. Here is the address where to send them:
60 Connolly Parkway
Building 12, Suite 103
Hamden, CT 06514
Well, it's good to be back. I have tons of photos to show you of stuff I did for Christmas and other things I wanted to blog about. Maybe I'll catch up someday. Maybe....
Oh, and by the way...you may recall, I don't do New Year's Resolutions, so none of that here. I'm always working on goals. And, I am not doing a UFO set of goals this year. I don't want to stress myself out about my UFOs. They are what they are. I am just going to spend the year working on what I feel like working on. That's the way it's going to be. Ha!
Until next time,