Sunday, 28 September 2014

Wedding samplers, cross stitch.

I have made a few cross stitches to celebrate or commemorate weddings.  Most of them small enough for a fairly quick sew to be sure they would be finished on time.  One  made for  two work mates, one for Heather ( from the young women's quilt), one for a child hood friend.  That one was a bit of a giggle in retrospect.  The pattern had white rabbit bride and groom in formal wedding attire, top hat and tails, white dress and veil.  I knew the white rabbits were OK symbolism for that cultural connection,  what I had not considered was the traditional Chinese bridal I was not the only one a bit surprised by that, the bride had kept it as a secret from all.

For my friend with the cross stitching wife I made a cross stitch sampler of the song "in the bleak mid winter" the brides favourite carol sung at their December wedding.  This was not made for the wedding itself as previously noted but as a Christmas gift with wedding remembrance mixed in.

My best efforts however went into the sampler for my best friend, I had lots of notice for her wedding , more than a year to get it done.  I consulted with her for several months over patterns, likes dislikes, suitable symbolism, colours, verses ext.

None of the "for weddings" designs fully appealed to her so a composite was the answer. A picture in the middle from Cross My Heart Inc's Artistic Landscapes, Sunset Silhouette and the verse (Apache Marriage Blessing) which most appealed down the sides, names at the top, date at the bottom.  I worked out the positions for the lettering on graph paper, that felt like the tricky-est bit of all, some of the letters at the top and bottom had to be overlapped to get it all to fit. I sourced the letters from American School of Needlework , The Ultimate Cross stitch Alphabet book by the Kooler Design Studio.  Leaves at the top and bottom of the poem at either side with lilac rose buds ,(the Groom, best man and other gentlemen of the wedding party were to have lilac roses for their lapels) in between each verse.  These were stitched over two to get the proportions balanced.

Wedding Sampler

Here it is before I had it framed, laid out on my bridesmaid's dress with one of the flowers I would wear in my hair. 

It took, from start of the design to completion, seven months and as previously mentioned I had it professionally framed.

Bride and groom

I presented it on their wedding day at the reception. Happily they were both delighted.

This picture of them with their gift was published in Cross Stitcher the following May, which we almost missed, it was a work mate of the groom who spotted it , mentioned it to him and set us all on a hunt to find a copy.  One for me, one for them one for the grooms mother (also a crafter and cross stitcher).  Happily we did find them.

It was rather fun to see it in print, even if they had not included the details about the source of the patterns and had used the time for the whole layout and design and stitching process as if it applied just to the sewing to make it fit with the theme my letter was published under of projects you couldn't put down.

Cross Stitcher May 2003 

Article in the May 2003 Cross Stitcher

I still like the middle picture although the branches on the tree were rather bitty, I hope one day to do it for myself. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge, cross stitch

So the charity theme of 2014 appears, so far at least to have been rather wet and cold.  Both sensations I prefer to avoid, and avoid them I have.

Fortunately for all concerned ,one has challenged me to dowse myself with iced water.  I would have said no, with capitals I will freely admit.

However, the Dragon of Dragon Dreams Inc (find her on Facebook) bless her fiery imagination came up with a way for me (oh and I expect many another stitcher) to join in the world wide charity challenge whist staying warn and dry and doing something we love.

Her "The Summer of 2o14" design  with her signature dragons joining in is a delight.  And it is free to download from the Facebook page with the on-line version of an honesty box.  You download with the promise to donate a $5 minimum (or equivalent) to the charity of your choice.  

The pattern is great, just a few colours so you can stick to the set key or easily change the shade, add some sparkly bits (I added some blue blending filament to the water for mine not that it shows much in the picture) there is room for some lettering, go for Dragon Dreams "Surviving the summer of 2014" or choose something more personal to you or the charity you support.

So if you are visiting my blog, consider yourself challenged to sew nice little dragons and their bucket challenge and donate to the charity your conscience prefers. 

Ice Bucket Challenge
Dragon Dreams Inc

No words on mine yet as I am undecided. Oh and my donation, made in memory of a colleauge  from work goes to SARCOMA uk