Oh my. What a whirlwind of a time I’ve been having! After working my tail off for a company for the past few months, this weekend I was unceremoniously let go. It’s rather heartbreaking – I loved working there, loved the staff. But, the management made their choices and because I’ve been working as a “casual employee” I have no rights. It’s a total bummer. But, luckily, I’ve been able to console myself with my embroidery.
And LUCKILY LUCKILY, this city is filled with beautiful people, who love handmade things. One of whom, commissioned a birth chart similar to the one that I made my goddaughter.
This birth chart was made using both cross stitch and back stitches, taken legally from a variety of online resources.
Similar to the previous birth chart I’ve made, the information include the child’s name, birth date, height and weight at the time of birth. As well, I included the weekday rhyme from A. E. Bray’s Traditions of Devonshire and the star sign, month’s flower and stone as well as the designation in the Chinese Zodiac.
The creatures included in this birth chart are little owls perched on a branch, sparrows swooping down in flight and busy little hummingbirds. I thoroughly enjoyed stitching the sparrows and hummingbirds, although I found the owls quite taxing and the visual effect was not as pleasing as I hoped. I doubt I will reuse the motif in the future.
Similar to the previous birth chart I made, this piece was hand sewn over two dowels. This method is very effective for larger wall hangings.
Please let me know what you think – particularly about the owls! The customer was more than pleased, but he doesn’t know needlework like you folks do!
If you’re interested in commissioning your own birth chart, send me a message using the “Contact” page. My rate for the custom design & execution of these birth charts is very reasonable!
OK – I’m back to filling out job applications, joy.
Do you remember that little lion I embroidered last winter? You probably don’t. He was based off a sheet that I got in a box of patterns, which I purchased at a yard sale for a loonie.
I made him because I had been sitting in a funk. A funk that originated from being overwhelmed by the big project. At that point in time I had been avoiding stitching all together. I needed something small that would remind me of how much I loved this craft. And he did a great job!
Although, when the piece was finished I had no plans for it. So, our little lion was tucked away in the craft caddy and was never seen again.
BUT THEN, this summer, I was looking after a little fellow who was celebrating his first birthday. I wanted to give him something handmade but did not have time to hand make something… until I was struck by a bolt of lightning.
Within a single stitching session I added the little guy’s name to the piece, as well as his birth date. It’s not as fancy as the birth chart that I made Lumyhna, but is just as fitting because this kid’s room is animal themed.
Needless to say his Momma loved it! It’s currently hanging on the bedroom wall. I hope when this little lion man grows up, he knows how much I delighted in spending time with him.
I am glad this project worked out, and that this lion got a home. This experience has taught me not to disregard any of the pieces I am working on, even if I don’t have a plan for them while I stitch away. Loving homes will always be found.
Have you made a baby gift recently? I feel like children are 90% of the people I stitch for. Have you ever added details to a piece after it was finished? Do you worry that it might be a lousy thing to do? Let me know!
Thank you for all of the love & support over the past few months.
It is with great pleasure that I bring this stitchy site back to life.
The greatest thing that has happened in my 20’s is the birth of my goddaughter Lumyhna. Her Mama, Bethany, is one of my oldest friends. Thanks to the summer shuffle, the three of us now share a home and before my world turned topsy-turvy, I finished this birth chart for Lulu.
I designed the pattern myself, in MacStitch, and utilized vintage books that are legally shared online.
Beth has an ethereal love of mystical creatures, which I am sure she will pass onto her daughter. So, I included blackwork-style pegai, fairies and dragons to break up the information.
I’ve always had a thing for horoscopes as well as the rhymes and trinkets associated with one’s birthday. This way Lulu will have all of her information in one pretty place as she gets older.
For this project I used 14 count Aida fabric and DMC floss from my stash. The colour of the thread varies slightly after Lumyhna’s name – I don’t know if you can tell in the pictures – this is because I am using up all my “unknown” threads before I buy more.
This piece is the first that I’ve finished as a scroll (or “bellpull”), and I truly love how it turned out! I followed this tutorial by reddit user /u/geekitty and fully recommend you do the same. I purchased the dowel at the hardware store for $.99, and painted it white to match the stitches. Protip: Hold onto the dowel using clothespins while painting, this keeps them from rolling away and allows the paint to dry evenly.
If you’re interested in commissioning a birth chart for your own baby or a friend’s, shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you ASAP. My rate per birth chart is $75 CAD (plus shipping, but if you live in Toronto I’ll hand deliver it for free. Ha.) and they take 4 – 6 weeks to complete.
What do you think of this baby birth chart? Have you made a sampler for a little loved one?
I’ve been waiting ages to share this creation. I’m glad it has finally been delivered and this post can go to air!
When I found out that my friend Sarah was pregnant with Elizabeth, I wanted to make her a present that was sentimental, but also used up a bit of my stash. After poking around the internet for ideas, I decided to make her a needlepoint pillow for her nursery. While Sarah’s baby shower happened in October, I had to take a break from this project to focus all of my creative energy on Elizabeth’s stocking. In January, I finally finished the whole canvas and sewed it up.
This project was quite a learning experience. Although I’ve made one needlepoint pillow before, this canvas was much larger to work on. I began by printing out the lyrics of a popular children’s song and tracing them, using a Sharpie, onto the needlepoint canvas.
Then I used colourful yarn, also used for my flowered headband, to fill in the letters and the crescent moon, because this baby yarn is so thin, I had to use to strands per stitch (2 ply) in order to insure the proper coverage. The background yarn was much chunkier, so, I only used one strand per stitch. This led to a very interesting texture difference of the pillow.
After the canvas was fully stitched, I sewed it up using a simple envelope method. The backing fabric is also from my stash, I have no idea where it came from – I’ve been using a large portion of it as a tablecloth for years! It’s so pretty though, I knew it needed to find a better home. I’m also pretty impressed with myself, because the pillow form I used to stuff this cushion, I made out of recycled scraps of fabric.
However, I do feel this project was a learning experience! Most importantly I’ve realized that pale colours on a cream background do not provide a strong platform for text-based pieces. There needs to be a defining line in order to make the message more readable, and allow the stitches to pop. As well, with my needlepoint, I feel the need to explore a variety of background stitches. Mostly because stitching thousands of tent stitches takes an amazing amount of time, but also so that different textures can be a highlight of the project.
How about you? Have you made any projects lately to use up your stash? Any needlepoint pillows which you’d like to share?
In the fashion of a modern Christmas miracle, I finished my biggest project of the year – the Christmas stocking – with several days to spare.
While I am not an overly experienced seamstress, I found the construction of the physical stocking to be doable with a fair bit of stitch ripping, and multiple deep breath sessions.
One of the best tricks that I figured out was when it came to developing the pattern for the back of the stocking. Instead of photocopying the template from the book and blowing it up (Which involves using photocopiers as if it were 1995?), I placed a piece of parchment paper over the embroidered work and created an outline, then I used the outline as a pattern. The stocking is also fully lined, and I even made a label!
Overall, I am so thrilled with how this stocking turned out. Time wise it took me a very dedicated 8 weeks to complete, but, it was worth each and every late night, when I was able to share this gift with some very dear friends. (And I made Elizabeth’s Momma cry!)
This is Elizabeth in her 1st Christmas outfit, with her Christmas stocking. This picture was taken by Sarah Newhouse and used with permission. If you’re interested in commissioning a holiday stocking for next year, please use the Contact page – I’d be more than interested!