Sunday, January 31, 2010

Remember Heart

Hello, Everyone! I'd like to share my version of BlackBird Designs' Souvenir de France today. (^_^)

Un Souvenir du Coeur

This was my first time using this sort of blanket stitch appliqué with the raveled edges; I used Anchor perle cotton--love this colour!! I wish I could remember on whose blog I saw a brief tutorial on this technique! In any case, thank you!

I made this for the Valentine's Exchange on the Holiday Exchange Group which is moderated by BeckySC. So, I added my own name (Berit) and that of the recipient (April) along with the year and the name of the group.

Around the time I was making up this walnut-filled pyn pillow, I also upgraded my cell phone to one which had a 3.2 MegaPixel camera, which made it superior (in many respects) to our old Kodak 3.1. Now, I can enjoy the ultimate in lazy blog-photograpy: The good ol' "snap it with your phone then text to your email" procedure. I actually HATE taking/uploading/cropping pictures. I think this is for many reasons, but may be most influenced by the fact that I used to work in a photo lab. I know many/most of you stitchers own really fine SLR digicams (and I'd love one too), but I still think it's impressive that the above image was shot by my cell phone!

...And this one, too. You'd better hope I tire of this "camera" soon!

Now, I spent most of December stitching this one up because I wanted to make it nice: I don't think I have to tell you that Becky and her friends are No Slouches, and I'm a relative novice at only about a year of stitching/being in the online stitchery. And, The part I was most nervous about was The Finishing. I'm also a new owner of a sewing machine, and I decided I'd try making a turned pillow and using fusible interfacing AND stuffing it with walnut shells...all at once!

I had a bit of a bad experience with the walnuts shells: my first bag of them from PetsMart was all full of spiderwebs/insect filaments and so I grumpily decided to return it. When I got there, they rather urgently informed me that it was contaminated with paper moths and enumerated a laundry list of precautions to prevent an infestation in my home: I had rather foolishly thrown out about 1 cup of the offending litter in my kitchen garbage, you see.

So, Stitchers, heed my Cautionary Tale: Carefully peek through the bag around the printing to see if you see any insect silk at the top of the walnut bag before you buy!

Ah, yes. The photo. After all this, I wanted to close it neatly, using what I only knew as "That invisible stitch for closing pillows", which turns out to be called a "Ladder Stitch". And, there above you can see my first attempt: Not half bad, though I say it myself! :D

Adding hearts to this pyn pillow sure was enjoyable!

I also sent along some Heart & Bear (Rilakkuma) stickers, DMC stitchbows, and a heart-shaped acrylic magnetic frame from Ikea (one of my happy places :). To Becky, thank you so much for letting me participate in this exchange, and to April, I enjoyed stitching for you and am very glad you liked what I made!

"Un Souvenir du Coeur"
32 Ct. Natural Linen
Fibers: GAST Antique Rose and Apple Cider, Anchor Perle-8: 375

What's Next: Stitching on Fox Forest continues (What a joy this one is!), I also picked up When Witches again for a while, but boy does that have a lot of black! I grew weary quickly. I'm still working on the bottom, stitching in the witch and etc. Monday will bring a new installment of the HalloSAL Sampler, and I've also agreed to be part of the HE Easter exchange (Already getting ideas for this one!). But, wait--Becky announced an Arbor Day exchange. I do LOVE trees, and am so tempted to join in: Oh, the dangers of over-committing! But, I'm getting (I think) a great idea for this one, too!

Finally, the Valentine I stitched for myself is all done, now for the "finishing" I have 2 appropriate backing fabrics, and myriad buttons oh-so-charming; it may come down to a vote from you, dear reader, if my decision-making should fail me! :D :D :D

I want to thank everyone who has been reading and/or commenting on my blog lately. There are ever so many wonderful blogs and sites and things to do/visit on the web--it makes me very happy that you've spent a few moments here! I've been trying to return comments and visit all the blogs I can in good etiquette, but I often fall short. Please continue to regard me kindly!


Siobhan said...

I LOVE IT!! Beautiful job, Berit! The colors that you chose for this are so pretty that I wrote it down in my notebook full of stitchy ideas to copy from people, for whenever I finally get around to doing my own. I'm anxious to stitch it now that I've seen your wonderful rendition of it.

The bugs in the walnut litter. Umm, omg. I would have totally freaked. I have scoured this country looking for walnut litter to no avail (and finally ordered poly pellets from the UK), which I'm thinking now might not be such a bad thing. ;) I hope you don't have any problems from the cup of walnut stuff that you threw out.

Anonymous said...

I'm relieved that DH couldn't find walnut litter in our local pet superstore after reading that! I know everyone who's used it thinks it's wonderful, but I might stick to polyfill ;)

You did a beautiful job of the pillow, both stitching and finishing. I really love your colour choices, very pretty!

BeckySC said...

You did a GREAT job, Berit!! I am so proud of you :) YAY!!!

Becky K in OK said...

Berit I love your pillow for April. It looks perfect to me. Thanks for the tip on the walnut shells. We're still snowed in here in OK.

~ Stitchin Sweet Sue ~ said...

A very fine and lovely finish Berit, good for you. Love your choice of red stripe ticking on the back:)

Sweet Stitchin.....

Sue (also a big fan of walnut shells)

Karen said...

Love your finishing on this one. Love the colors and the blanket stitch. Will definitely borrow this idea. I am sure the recipient will love it.

staci said...

This little pillow is STUNNING! I love the colors and all the little extra touches...your finishing is superbe!!!

I had never known that about walnut litter, I guess I lucked out when I got mine. Hope you don't have any of those intruders in your house!!!

corinna said...

lovely and the previous cube as well
colors are so nice too
esp on the pillow, great blanket stitch tag ......and the pics are so nice!

Blu said...

Lovely finish! You've done a great job with it.

Daffycat said...

Oh wow, how wonderful! I would NEVER know this was your first pin pillow! Awesome job, this turned out perfectly! What a lovely exchange.

Your phone takes excellent photos.

You asked what fabric I'm stitching Snapper Year is Silkweaver's 32ct Lugana in "Sand." I also stitched Crabby All Year on this but it was the color "Days Gone By." I just love Silkweaver's fabrics, especially the Lugana.

Deb said...

Berit - your finish is fantastic. So beautiful. I would have never thought that you hadn't done one before because your finished piece is so great.

I will definitely take your warning on the walnut shells. I was going to buy some this week. Certainly don't want anything infesting the house except for the bunnies (dust bunnies) that I already have!

Have a wonderful week.

Ranae said...

Beautiful finished pyn pillow. Love how all the colors come together.
I heard you should put the bag in the freezer and that kills all the eggs, just make sure it's a good bag first. The shells are suppose to keep your needles sharp.

Melissa said...

Wow, I'm so impressed Berit by your stitching, your choice of colours, your finishing and your photo taking with your phone! What more could I add I'm in such awe!

Thanks for the tip about the walnut shells. Yuck.

Well, enjoy your stitching!

valerie said...

Lovely pin pillow finish! You did a wonderful job in it!

mainely stitching said...

What the heck are paper moths? It sounds ickky. You didn't have any problems, I hope, with any sort of infestation did you?

The final product is STUNNING and I really can't believe you could get such excellent photos with a phone!

DonnaTN said...

It is a beautiful pillow and fabulous photos! I wish I knew how to do the ladder stitch! I'll have to look that up!

Marion said...

Great photos and fabulous stitching!!
I am enjoying your Blog! Pop by mine sometime, if you get a moment!
Take care
Nova Scotia

Myra said...

That is a beautiful pillow. One of my favorite finishes and yours is just gorgeous. Amazing photos from your camera. Mine don't look that good from my camera.

Vonna said...

Oh...yucky bugs in the walnut shells...I use poly pellets and now I'm glad I do!
I think your finish is spectacularly beautiful, I love the ticking on the back!

Anonymous said...

It's gorgeous, Berit! Congratulations.

Paula C. said...

I would have flipped out if I had bought that bag of contaminated shells! Ick!!! Luckily I have a friend who has a walnut tree and grinds her own shells.
I really love the colors you chose to stitch this design. I am making a note of them for whenever I get around to stitching it =)

Cindy said...

Beautiful stitching and finishing!
You have done another wonderful work, Berit :)

Those photos taken with your cellphone are amazingly clear and nice. Thumbs up!