A couple weeks ago, I went in search of a cross stitch book I knew I had. I didn't find the book (until I bought it - again - online), but I did find four completed, but not 'finished' cross-stitch pieces. This week, two of those four pieces reached their finish line.
The first one, a mauvy/taupey piece with a cross-stitch rose as its central design joined with a 20" pillow form I purchased by mistake - A happy accident? Fate? Just Lucky?
Anyway, I measured and remeasured the cross-stitch piece to determine what size borders I should add to turn the rectangular stitchery piece into a 20-1/2" unfinished square. (Don't you hate that first cut into something that's this far complete? No matter how many times you do the math, and center and re-center the ruler, there's a sick feeling in your gut when you slice!) I decided to piece a bunch of 1-1/2" finished X-shaped blocks to encircle the embroidery.
I needed quite a few of them, and a lot of stitching. But it was easy-going once I had a plan of action in place. The first couple blocks were truly experimental.
To keep the cross-stitch aida cloth from raveling over time, I sewed my pieced blocks to the trimmed cross-stitch with the usual 1/4" seam . . .
. . . then went back over the edge of the seam allowance with a zig zag stitch. I don't have a serger, so this step is basically a serger hack.
Added a small print fabric border to each side to get to the 20-1/2" square pillow front.
The backing is just two pieces of fabric, each a little larger than half-way across, with the raw edge fused with web on the wrong side, folded over and fused again, then topstitched.
Before sewing around the edge of the pillowcase, I used a really cool upholsterers' technique to trim the sides a bit so they pillow form fills in nicely without creating unattractive poochy-empty spots. I describe this technique in detail to make the Confetti Pillow found in ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One! - Look it up!
And the pillow is all done! Love it!
Then I got to work on the little Snow Bird piece.
This one trimmed down to 3-1/2" by 6-1/2" so I decided to add a small border around the stitchery and some pieced stripey elements. First I strip-pieced 2" strips following a similar technique to the one used for the sashing on the Stained Glass quilt in ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One! . . . .
. . . Then cross-cut the strip into a few pieces for top and bottom borders.
I even furled all the little seam allowances on all the itty-bitty seam intersections. I didn't do the serger hack on this one because it's a wall hanging and it'll probably never get washed or squished or mangled. So, I'm not very worried that the cross-stitch cloth will get a lot of agitated wear.
Add a little quilting, and this entire piece is only about 8" by 12" but it's so fun. And it's DONE!
I have the perfect spot for a small wall-hanging in my front entrance hallway. I guess it's time to take down the one that says "Happy Spring." This one is a bit ahead of the season, as it has a winter-y feel - believe me, I'm not trying to push the clock forward by any means, but at least I won't have to worry about it again for a while! *Wink!*
Add two more finished projects to my list and I'm two more projects closer to my goal for the year.
And that is SO empowering!