Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Finally, the part about the needle

In my fleeting spare time, I like to dabble in the needle arts. I am lucky to have a well-stocked sewing room with wonderful afternoon sunlight where I spend every spare weekend afternoon. It is my happy place, the girlie room and the only one devoid of antique guns, knives and other military memorabilia. Not that there is anything wrong with any of those things. One day we’ll take a tour of it, but not today.
Due to the holidays, my stitching time has been rather limited in the past few months. Only now am I getting back into the swing of things. One of the first things I wanted to accomplish in the new year was to turn a stitched piece into a pillow. It is a design by one of my favorite French designers, Perrette Samouiloff. I know it is terribly cutesy, this from a person who is not terribly cutesy herself, but I blame my Mom for this particular fascination of mine.
You see my Mom spent some of her formative years in rural France, when her Dad was stationed there after the war. All throughout my childhood she pointed out (whether she realized it or not) images of French children that made her reminisce about her childhood. I grew to think of these images as the epitome of youth; brightly colored, carefree, simple, delightfully anachronistic.
When I started stitching I stumbled upon her designs and was immediately hooked. In other words, get used to seeing stuff by Perrette Samouiloff.
But about my pillow. Here is the layout. Stitched design, trim and fabric. Yes, I know, it is a bit late. But there is always next Christmas, right?

And here is the finished piece.

Like I said, almost too cute for words.
But wait! There’s more. One of my projects for the year is to fill a shadow box with her designs. A shadow box is something like this that you can fill with pieces of stitching.

This is not the box I am using for this Perrette Samiouloff madness. The particular box I am using for this project has 49 spaces, of three varying sizes. I can’t show it to you right now because T’s Mom has it in North Carolina where she is getting the individual pieces of foam core cut for me by her framer.
This past weekend I finished my first square. Yay! Only 48 more to.

Isn’t she so cute and tiny?
For those who are reading this and who stitch, I’ll give the details. She is done 1x1 in HDF silk threads on Sassy’s hand-painted 28-count Lugana fabric. What is all this gobbledygook you ask? Okay 1x1 refers to the number of strands of silk thread used (one) and the number of threads in the fabric that you cross over as you stitch (again, one). Typically, when cross-stitching, you go 2x2, or two strands over two fabric threads. Here is the difference visually.

Over one thread.

Over two threads. Here the stitched design is larger, and a little more blocky.
Lastly, the “count” of a piece of fabric refers to the number of threads per hole. So in 28-count fabric there are 28 threads per inch in each direction. Or something like that. Therefore, 40 count has a higher thread count than 28 and thus when stitched, the design will be smaller.
And that is my first “needle” post. Like childhood itself; short, simple, sweet.