Friday, February 27, 2009

My February '09 Biscornu

This is my second biscornu for the Basket of Biscornu SAL. The chart is adapted from Plate 22 of "101 Folk Art Designs for Counted Cross Stitch," by Carter Houck (Dover Publications). It is stitched with Victorian Sampler overdyed thread on 28-ct. white linen, and has a glass bead at the center. The bottom is exactly the same.

My First Mail Art

Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments about this project.

This is the mail art envelope that I stitched for Edgar. it is mostly DMC thread (some shaded colors) on linen (finer than 28, but not sure of exact count). The pink/red is overdyed Victorian Sampler thread.

The pattern is adapted from the "Hannah Story Historical Sampler" found in the Mar/April 1988 issue of Women's Circle COUNTRY NEEDLECRAFT magazine.

I created my own color scheme. I used nearly all of the spot motifs but only one of the several alphabets.

How I Designed the Layout:

I used a standard #6 postal envelope to determine approximate size. I opened up the flaps and measured with a ruler. At first, I was going to add the side flaps, then realized that I didn't need them.

I cut a piece of linen big enough to create the envelope PLUS some extra for seam allowance. I added almost an inch, just to make sure. I'm usually very frugal with my seams as I hate to waste the precious linen.

Next, I used sewing thread to whip stitch all around the linen so that the ends don't fray. I do this with every cross stitch project.

After that, I folded the linen in half lengthwise. I basted the middle from top to bottom with quilting thread. This thread is thick and smooth, which allows it to be removed easily at the end, even if you cross stitched over it.

To determine the placement of the front, the flap, and the back motifs, I counted thread by thread with ball head pins. I counted ten threads at a time and then placed a pin. I wrote down the total number of threads from side to side and top to bottom.

I looked at the chart, count the number of stitches for the alphabet, the borders, etc, both horizontally and vertically. Once I figured out what will fit where, I marked it with pins.

I stitched the borders first, then the fold-over flap. Then I stitched the underneath alphabet.

I filled in with all of the motifs that would fit, starting at the center.

I stitched the front of the envelope last. I placed my name & address, then Edgar's, then filled in with the motifs. After I was finished with all of the cross stitch, I removed the basting (quilting) thread.

It takes a lot of counting and marking if you are creating your own, but using quilting thread to mark divisions makes it easier. This was a complicated design because I used fine count linen. A different design on 28-ct. would not take as long to stitch.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Stitching Update

I've been working on my Winter Quaker project for the HOE exchange.

Mail Art:
The post office didn't want to accept my mail art as a regular envelope but my daughter told the woman that it was "the latest fad" and that other people across the U.S. were sending such things. However, it got a printed label instead of regular stamps. I hope the recipient doesn't mind.

Friday, February 20, 2009

George Kellas Passes

Local radio talk show host George Kellas of WKKX passed away yesterday. The story is on and Send a condolence card to his family:

The Kellas Family c/oWKKX
1201 Main Street #100
Wheeling, WV

WKKX is a local radio station that is locally owned, operated, and staffed. It serves the eastern Ohio/northern panhandle of West Virginia listening area. It is supported by advertising from local businesses.

This station was formed a few years when many local employees of the Wheeling Clear Channel station lost their jobs. WKKX is an example of a place-based economy and proves that local talk radio can succeed in spite of big corporations.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's Groundhog Day

The morning news as reported from Gobbler's Knob: Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow today and will go back into hibernation for six more weeks of winter. I don't think anyone in my region expected a different prediction.

This is the Erica Michaels freebie "Is Winter Done?," stitched on linen. I changed the color scheme and substituted a gold glass heart for the required pink button.