Sunday, March 17, 2013

Velveteen Dream

Top O'the Morning & Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

I've been a busy bee this week, stitching in every spare moment, trying like heck to get this project done. Why the rush? I dunno... Because I'm a glutton for punishment, because I like a challenge? Maybe I'm just crazy. Sometimes I see embroidery projects as a specific block of time. I can often look at a pattern and guesstimate about how long it might take. I would have said 6-10 hours start to finish on this pattern ... pah! I would have been wrong, it was more like 18-20... but I LOVE the outcome!

This is something I've had in mind for a quite a while, years in fact, since I last stitched on velvet and found it to be such a beautiful background for embroidery. I purchased another finished cotton velvet cushion cover (similar to this one) at Ikea some time ago, and it's been waiting in the wings for its time to shine. 

Since choosing the pattern, I knew I'd want to embroider the whole thing in one color and thought that a soft gold was a perfect contrast to this deep green velvet. I used a lot of floss on this project, five entire skeins of DMC (676 Light Old Gold)! That seems like a lot, but then again, I used all six strands at once because I wanted the knot to be bold, and really stand off the fabric. I did the outlines of the pattern in stem stitch, and the center knots in split stitch, which gives the piece a nice, thick, almost rustic feel.

Getting the pattern onto the fabric was a bit of a challenge, I found some great advice about stitching on velvet and decided to trace the pattern on to tear away embroidery stabilizer, which I found at JoAnn's (make sure to use your coupons, friends, this stuff is pricey!) then basted the pattern onto the cushion before starting the stitching. The stitching itself was easy using the stabilizer, it didn't shift or crinkle at all. My biggest issue seemed to be using all six strands of floss at once, I felt like I was constantly untying knots and re-threading the needle, grr...

After finishing the embroidery, getting the paper off was fairly simple, but delicate work. I just had to go slow and use craft tweezers to pick the little bits of stabilizer from under the stitching taking care not to pull the stitches loose. I took pictures as I went along, and I'll add them to my Flickr photostream if you're interested.

I'm still in the midst of the Outlander series, and loving every moment of it, which I think contributed to my finally getting this project done, Jamie Fraser really lights my... inspiration! Yeah... inspiration, that's the ticket.

So just in time for St. Patrick's Day, I have a lovely new Celtic inspired pillow to decorate our bed, yay decorative pillows!

We don't really "celebrate" St. Paddy's Day, per say, but I'm sure to wear green for a bit of good luck, and making corned beef & cabbage for dinner, one of my favorites! I'm thinking of attempting Irish Soda Bread, too, we'll see. Mainly I plan to take it easy, this was a busy week and I've had a bit of a cold, so I think I'll indulge in a day of lazily catching up on chores and prioritizing my to-do list. That thing has a life of its own and keeps getting bigger by the day, yikes!

How 'bout you guys, anything exciting on the agenda? Do you do anything special for St. Paddy's? 
Do tell!

p.s. Did you see Google's home page today? These little dancers are so cute!


Shirley said...

Oh Lisa, this is really beautiful.

Ruthie Miller said...

Dear LIsa,
Your pillow is Gorgeous!!! How daunting to use 6 strands and work on velvet. I admire you for sticking to it. The result is magnificent.
Please come and visit Lady B and me if you want to see our St. Paddy post and a giveaway too.
Happy St. Patrick's day!
Ruthie from:

Wendy said...

it is gorgeous, absolutely stunning! I would have expected it to take at least 20 hours so you did well.

We don't celebrate St. Patrick's here, only the Irish do.

Jo Ashcroft said...

Hey Lisa
This is truly amazing. I love the design, the colour, the stitching, oh just everything about it.
ANd I am not surprised by the inspiration...a few years ago a number of us where I live read the Outlander series and every single one of us FELL IN LOVE with Jamie. No man will ever compare :-)
No wonder your finished piece is so good :-)

Melissa said...

Wow! That is gorgeous! I love the gold on that beautiful green velvet! Everything you make is so pretty!! xoxo

Jana said...

Your pillow is fabulous. I am so impressed. Thanks for the tips on embroidering on velvet.
You are so right, Jamie is certainly very...inspiring. My hubby LOVED when I read that series. ;-)

Sandy Kramer said...

Oh that's just Lovely! Did you say you made it for me?

Sandy Kramer said...

Oh that's just Lovely! Did you say you made it for me?

Debra @ Homespun said...

That is just exquisite! :)