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A Congratulations Card

One of my friends has recently become pregnant. AI, first attempt!!!
I’ll give this to her tomorrow, at my birthday lunch.
A little goldwork knowledge can come in handy. Those goldwork chips certainly added class to this little waratah!
(A waratah is a type of Australian flower)
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Here’s a real waratah, in case you’ve never seen one before. I have a giant tree/bush of bright red waratah that sits at my bedroom window……
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http://www.gardenexpress.com.au/telopea-shady-lady-red-waratah/

Donna’s Christmas Rose Finished

Here’s the finished rose, out of it’s hoop. With a wacking great hoop mark around it.
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I decided to follow Ruth O’Leary of Textile Art’s instructions on damp stretching and lacing the piece. Her instructions are wonderfully clear, with photos to match. I’ve missed a lot of detail that are there in the instructions, so do give them a read if you are interested in learning more about this finishing technique.
First, I went to http://rutholearytextileart.blogspot.com/2010/07/ok-change-of-plan.html
to follow her instructions in glueing batting to the back of the embroidery, then pinning it to a piece of board.
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After spraying it with water and letting it dry overnight, it looked like this :
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The circular hoop mark was gone, but it was hardly ideally smooth.
I think it’s because of the board I used. It was thick corrugated cardboard with a smooth top, but it wasn’t a VERY smooth top, as you can see below :
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(This was after I took the embroidery off).
Not to worry – 30 seconds with a cool iron, and it was perfectly smooth. (I forgot to take a photo). If I hadn’t damp stretched it first, I would have been fighting to get out those marks and risked scorching, but as it was, it was really easy.
I then continued on, as per the instructions, to pin down the mitred corners
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…and then sew them down……I used a long single thread and crossed between each corner

“This helps pull the corners in and hold the fabric in position enough for me to take the drawing pins out,” (from Ruth’s blog)

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Then I laced. I needed 2 or 3 lengths of thread for each side – the thought of Ruth doing her big Spirograph using a single thread – no wonder she had thread tangling problems! It must have been yards long!
You’ll notice the right side has a kind of bunched look, where I was picking up a couple of mm of fabric with my needle. (A mistake). I didn’t do it on the left, for some reason.
It didn’t make any difference in the end, especially since it was going to be covered over.
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Moving onto http://rutholearytextileart.blogspot.com/2010/08/spirograph-panels-backing-and-hanging.html for backing instructions, I cut some matched velvet to size, and sewed it down to cover the lacing.
I started with a curved needle, as Ruth advises, but my only curved needles are tiny ones for beading, and it was really fiddly.
I swopped to a straight needle and it was much easier. I was able to get away with bending the cardboard a tiny bit to allow me to slip the stitches in.
If I had used a harder board that I couldn’t bend a bit I would have had to have used a curved needle (note for the future, since Roses and Pansies will probably be on board)
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And here’s the finished piece! :-)
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Note the nice padded appearance to it.
I debated adding trim to the edges, but Donna is a plain sort of person, so I left it.
I’ll take this opportunity to show off the gorgeous pincushion that SilkLover/Julie made me.
I use it for my needles, and another one that I made for my pins. You would not *believe* how many pins you need for pinning down a piece for damp stretching. I had to scrape up every pin I had for this piece, and will need to buy an extra packet or two for when it comes to do Roses and Pansies.
Julie’s Quaker pincushion, at it’s home sitting on the back of the couch :
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Thankyou Ruth – I couldn’t have done it without your wonderful instructions!

Now, back onto Roses and Pansies!

SRE Christmas Cards

Well, everyone seems to have received their Christmas Cards, so now is the time to show them on the blog.
These are what has been keeping me busy for the last month or so, when I’ve been able to stitch.
Apart from giving cards that are a little special to some friends, they have been projects that are quick to do and relatively easy – just what I needed as I recover from the viral/bacterial bronchitis and gastritis I’ve had recently (I’m still pretty unwell). I’m burning to get back to my Historical Sampler, but still have several Ribbon Embroidery projects ahead of me, and healthwise, that works out quite well.

Notice the heavy use of Spider Web roses – easy, quick and pretty.
For the professional embroiderers I was sending cards to, I did extra-special ones.
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I’ve still got one to finish – a Waratah. (destination Australia, so I still have some time)
The very last card, in ‘clown colours’ was for a 3 year old (her Mum, my friend, received the Red Ribbon Rose at the top.) Caitlin was apparently rapt to get her very own Christmas card, just for her!
Another was most well received because the friend was in hospital at the time, and it ‘gave her a real lift’. What more could you hope to achieve? *smile*
Many Thanks to Rachel of Virturosew Adventures for suggesting that I pad the embroideries – they definitely look more ‘finished’ that way. (I used 0.5mm batting), then double sided tape to tape the 3 fold cards together to hide the embroidery backing. I found two stripes of the tape necessary on each side to hold the embroidery down to it’s backing side of the card.

Next post :- I finished Donna’s SRE Christmas rose today, including lacing onto cardboard, and putting on backing. It’s the first time I’ve done this. Lots of photos and where I learnt how to do it….coming up!