Swap Goodies for Lisa

Wrapping up this year’s swaps are the goodies I made for Lisa.

This pillow ornament is my favorite thing I included in Lisa’s package:

Design: “Christmas Cat Tree” by Brittercup Designs (Just Cross Stitch magazine Christmas Ornaments 2011 edition)

Stitched on: Zweigart 32-ct. Belfast Linen in “Cream”

Flosses Used: DMC stranded, per pattern; subbed in DMC Silver Metallic for eyes & whiskers; subbed in red beads for ornaments

This was my first time to stitch on linen; of course I opted to jump right in and use 32-ct.! ;-). At first, it was sooooo challenging and I was questioning why people professed a love for stitching on linen . . . until I bought myself the magic that is the OTTLite Clip-On LED Magnifier. I went from hating stitching on linen to loving stitching on linen!! (I already had an Ott desk lamp that gives lots of good light for crafting, but I definitely needed that magnifier.) More stitching on linen, particularly in the form of Christmas ornaments, will be happening in 2012.

Oh, I want to show the fabric I found to use on the back on the ornament.

I love that it’s not a typical holiday fabric, and the black background plays off the black of the kitty. (I may trek back to Hobby Lobby and pick up some more of this before Christmas.)

The other cross-stitch project I made for Lisa was a trio of cross-stitched magnets, using a few of the floral elements from Linda Bird’s “Flower Garden Sampler” cross-stitch design in the July 2011 issue of Cross-Stitch & Needlework magazine. I stitched them on Charles Craft “Light Oatmeal” 14-ct. Aida, which is a beautiful color with a lovely texture. Unfortunately, because these were the last item to be included in the swap package, my brain skipped completely past “take a photo” and went directly to “get the package in the mail”. Drats! [EDITED TO ADD: Lisa saved my butt and took a picture of them. You can see it HERE.]

I also sent Lisa the instructions and felt for her to make a Matroyskha tissue cozy like I made for Gretchen. I wasn’t being lazy by not making one for Lisa! She’d mentioned wanting a little project she could work on while her sewing machine’s put away for Christmas, and this tissue cozy project fits the bill as it can all be hand-stitched. And there should be enough felt left over for another little hand-sewn project or two :-).

(The quilted wall-hanging Lisa made me is HERE. It’s beautiful, and hangs right next to my desk!)

Thanks for the swap, Lisa, and for being patient in receiving your goodies from me :-).

Swap Goodies for Gretchen

These are goodies I made for Gretchen (aka June at Noon) for a personal craft swap. When we originally agreed to the swap, it was back at the beginning of the year and the only rule was to complete the swap by year-end. At the time, I had no idea it really would be very nearly the end of the year before I completed my part of the swap. Yikes! Gretchen’s a sweetie for being so patient :-).

I wanted a change of pace from my typical embroidery projects, so opted to make several small-scale items rather than one larger item.

First up is a “Matroyshka” Tissue Cozy, made of felt and embellished with a bit of embroidery.

The design is a freebie (found here) offered up by Sew Sweet Stitches. I purchased the wool felt from Felt on the Fly — Janet has a kit available containing the felt colors called for in the tutorial, or you can do what I did and ask for Janet’s help in swapping out colors :-). This was my first time working with wool felt and, boy, is it lovely! I thoroughly enjoyed making the tissue cozy and will absolutely be doing more felt + embroidery crafting.

Next up is this “Autumn” needlekeeper.

The embroidery design was inspired by Gretchen’s love of trees and autumn. Adventures in Thread’s needlekeeper tutorial was the basis for my project. I used business-card sized magnetic sheets, which have an adhesive backing on one side. Individually, when wrapped in a piece of fabric, they didn’t have a very strong magnetic hold, so I adhered three of them together and that created a strong enough hold that the needles won’t fall off. Then I adhered those to a thin piece of matboard, to make the needlekeeper a little more stiff. I laced my embroidery over the top of the magnets, and covered the back with a piece of craft felt (applied with Elmer’s Spray Adhesive) so the lacing wouldn’t show.

The “Noel” mini-ornament was part of a holiday cross-stitch kit that came with an issue of Cross-Stitcher magazine (I love that magazine!). The original ornament was supposed to be bigger, but I had a “should’ve measured twice” moment and cut the Aida too small to complete the original ornament design, so I improvised and made a mini-ornament instead :-).

The buttons are vintage. I adhered little round magnets to the back, but used just the adhesive that was already on the magnets, rather than a heavy-duty adhesive, so that if Gretchen wants to pop the magnets off and use the buttons for another project it will be easy to do so.

(Included in the goodies Gretchen made for me was this beautiful “Under the Stars” illustration which I get to look at when I’m sitting on our living room couch, like I am right now!)

I have one last personal craft-swap to wrap up for 2012, for the also-very-sweet-and-very-patient Lisa :-), and am having a good time working on the goodies for that swap.