Monday, September 7, 2009

Tea, Baseball and... Pot Holders?

Hello All~
I hope you've all had a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day weekend!

I love birthdays! Even though mine has been over & done for a few weeks, I'm still getting to enjoy it. Case in point, these pretty teapot iron on transfers my mom gave to me this year. I've never used transfers before, but I thought these were just great! Thanks Mom! Sean decided last week that since baseball season was almost over for our Stockton Ports, that he wanted to see one last game for the year. He didn't have to twist my arm too hard, I've been wanting to go ever since I saw this. So Wednesday evening after dinner, I sat down to a little pot of my current favorite tea (Blueberry Bang Rooibos) prepared a little project, and gathered up a small embroidery kit to take to the game on Thursday. The transfers are from a company called Aunt Martha's. I think Mom said she found them at Beverly Craft for just a couple of bucks.

I picked up this small quilted pot holder from the dollar bin at JoAnn's several months ago... I didn't have a specific project in mind when I bought it, just vague plans for some type of embroidery... I thought it was a cute little blank canvas, and for only a buck I wouldn't be too upset if I ruined it.
I chose a pretty transfer with flowers look like little bells, but also kind of like Lily of the Valley...

Transferring the design was so simple and quick and the design came out clean as a whistle, no smudges!
After we'd settled in our seats at the game, I whipped out my needle & thread and prepared to stitch! I was a little apprehensive at first because we were in the very first row... right behind home plate... and Comcast was televising the game that night! Can you imagine? Sitting at home watching the game, and every time they show the batter up at the plate there's a lady right behind him stitching away? Ha! Sean teased me about it, said I'd better make my stitches nice & neat! Oh, the pressure!!

As it turns out, this was a pretty exciting game (we won too, yay!), and I didn't get very much done, see... did I mention it was $2 beer night?

I vowed to not let my little pot holder sit unfinished for too long, I didn't have a lot of time on Friday evening and I spent what little time I did have, adding a few more tid bits to my sampler (music notes, soo cute!). Saturday was busy too, in fact this entire Labor Day weekend has been very busy, but close to home and very productive, so it was a good thing! So after an afternoon garden tea party with my mother-in-law and my 4 year old niece (more on that later), and making dinner for Sean, I finally sat down and started stitching in earnest at about 8:30pm on Saturday night and didn't stop until I was finished!
Which wasn't until 3:10am!! Whew! I was getting a little bleary-eyed near the end. I think I can see some wonky stitch work... but I'm not telling where... This was also my first time using the Satin Stitch. I was really leary about that type of stitch, I'd only ever practiced them on the cross stitch fabric, and they didn't look very good because you just can't get the stitches close enough together to fill in a solid area so I didn't know exactly how to do them. Should I outline the design in back stitch first then fill in or just start filling the design in right from the get-go?

Not knowing, I first tried the back stitch, then fill in method. See that big yucky lavender flower? No... I thought, that can't be right, looks too sloppy... Just fill in then, like a coloring book... yes! I'd originally outlined the teapot in ivory back stitching, but it didn't stand out enough against the pink, kind of just faded into nothing. So last night I restitched around the ivory outline of the teapot again using the variegated lavender/blue/pink floss that I'd used on some of the flowers. Much better.
I'm really pleased with the finished project, it's pretty and I like the colors. I'm not really going to use it for messy pots and pans though, I think I'll put it with my tea towels and use it as a trivet for the teapot. I'd love to hear any tips you all might have on doing the satin stitches better. I'm sure I'll improve with practice, but I'm always open to ideas and comments.
Hope September is finding you well!


Angela McRae said...

What a clever idea, Lisa! I've got those transfers, I'd just put off doing anything with them but thanks to you I'll be looking for some "blank canvas" potholders. Yours turned out so pretty!

beedeebabee♥ said...

Hi Lisa! Gosh, where does the time go!!! I've been away from blogland for "a few" days, and I've missed TWO of your posts!!! Good grief!... Well your pleasant sense of humor once again shined through here, and had me grinning, especially as I pictured you stitching away behind home plate for the cameras! hee hee hee! I think your potholder/tea trivet came out just lovely! Yes, definitely use it as a tea trivet, I wouldn't dirty that one up either, it's way too pretty!!!

Hugs, Paulette =)

sweetcakes said...

I bought these transfers too but haven't got around to making mine yet. I thought I'd make mine on flour sack towels. I have too many projects sitting around, but you've inspired me to get mine out and try making one. I'll let you know how it goes.