Victorian Heart Pincushion

A little goodie I made for myself, for StitchMAP‘s November 2011 “Victorian Heart Pincushion” challenge.


The design is “French Script ‘G'”, which is a freebie on Kathy Shaw’s Shawkl blog. (Other letters of the alphabet, in the same French Script format, are also available on Kathy’s blog.)

I’d been itching to do a French Knot-heavy embroidery, but not one that would take months, and this “G” was the perfect opportunity to scratch that itch. It’s embroidered on a lime green quilter’s cotton (which photos lemon-lime-y, but in reality is quite green) — I’ve used the heck out of this lime-green fabric in recent months!

This was my first StitchMAP challenge, and I love the way their challenges are set up — rather than giving you the complete beginning-to-end instructions for a project in one fail swoop, they’re given piecemeal, to help nudge you along to actually completing the project. For example, for this project, the instructions came in three parts. After completing each of the first two parts, I sent in photos documenting my completion, and I received feedback about what I’d completed thus far, along with the next batch of instructions. Totally brilliant, IMO!

I learned how to do Ladder Stitch to close my seam after stuffing the heart, and how to use Loop Stitch for starting embroidery on an already-stuffed project (or any other project for which you can’t start the needle from the backside of the fabric). (Those links are both videos, by the way.)

Overall, I’m super happy with how this turned out, especially considering it required sewing, both machine-sewing and hand-sewing (to close the seam) — I really do love how the French-Knotted “G” turned out. My little nitpicks are: (a) I’ll replace the ribbon with a similar one that is much wider, so the project is more balanced scale-wise; (b) the bottom of the heart and the right “arm” need more stuffing, something to keep in mind next time I make one of these; and (c) my Feather Stitch along the seam is not as precise as I’d like. This was only my second time to do Feather Stitch, and stitching it on something stuffed, rounded, and squishable was a bit challenging for me — but I really like the stitch and plan to incorporate it into more of my embroidery projects.

Here’s where my pincushion lives now:

Well, That Was A Long Break!

Hey There, Stitchy Peeps!! (I borrowed that phrase from Kristi at Stitchy Stitcherson; love that phrase!) Let’s blow the dust off this here blog, shall we???

This year has seemed, to my guys and me, to go by at least twice as fast as any other year ever has. Does it feel that way for y’all, too? It’s been a rocky year for me healthwise, but I’m finally on an upswing with my health and anticipate that to continue as we barrel into 2012. For the past couple weeks, my energy level has noticeably increased and I’m beginning to feel like the “old me”, but a healthier version of “old me” ;-). One of the things about which I’m the happiest is that my crafting momentum is the best it’s been in at least a year’s time, which feels WONDERFUL!!

I recently stitched up some ornaments for a relief effort that’s happening for Bastrop, Texas, folks who lost their homes in a brutal wildfire this past September. (More info about that relief effort can be found at the K.N.A.S.S. blog.) I’ve already posted individual pictures of the ornaments on my Flickr photostream, but here’s a group shot:

Other members of my local Embroiderers Guild also contributed handmade ornaments, as well as some holiday fabric, a variety of needlework kits, and some snips:

Our donations are being combined with donations received from many other folks and will be distributed in early December. The purpose of this phase of the relief effort is to help families begin to rebuild their supply of handmade ornaments and stockings.

In other needlework news, tonight I started embroidering myself a Victorian Pin Cushion, as part of a needlework challenge to be completed by the end of this month. The pattern I’m using is a French Script “G”, which Kathy Shaw offered as a freebie on her blog. I’m filling in the “G” with all french knots, which I’m thoroughly enjoying!

I also have some stitchy goodies completed and some in-progress for a couple craft swaps I’ll be wrapping up in December, and will post pics of those goodies once the recipients have received them.

My mind is full of needlework ideas I want to try in 2012, and I look forward to sharing those with y’all. It’s good to be back, and to be stitching again!!

P.S. — If you’re reading this in a reader or by email subscription, click over and check out the new blog background — it’s very bright and cheery :-). I’m working on an About Me page, but don’t have it up yet. Soon!