Friday, February 27, 2009

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.


Deborah/LavenderRose said...

Absolutely stunning piece! I'm so impressed with all the work and preparation you put into this. This mailart will be a treasure for Edgar, for sure. Well done!
Hugs, Deb

Yoyo said...

Well this is really a stunning piece. And thank you so much for sharing "how to" on this, that is going to come in handy for me in the next couple of weeks and I had no idea how to proceed. I know Edgar is going to absolutely love this. Congratulations on a really wonderful finish.