Of course having worked for fabric companies over the years I usually don't find a lot of time for my own projects but I've made some changes in my workload that allow me time to work on my own projects so that I may even have a chance to get some finished before I die!!! Sorry, I know I will be around awhile, I haven't hit 70 yet, Ha Ha, but as you grow older to do start to think a little bit about your own mortality. Especially when you have a dear friend who is in the last stages of Pancreatic Cancer. It's been very hard to see the changes take place over the months and know that the inevitable is near. I just spent 45 minutes of quality time, talking and laughing with her 2 weeks ago and she wanted to cross stitch together the next. Well, the next week she wasn't doing too well, and I told her husband I would call again. She has been going downhill fast, I couldn't believe the change in just 2 weeks time. Yesterday I spent an afternoon with her and other friends and family by her bedside, and she was already beyond communicating with us. So sad, and I will miss her so much. So I dedicate this post to my dear friend Janet, because the project I want to share with you is a cross stitch project that I have been working on since December, and because I never got to share it with her.
It's called "Full Heart" by Shepard's Bush and I have to say I have enjoyed stitching it so much!! It was my first time to use only 1 thread over 2 and it gives it such a delicate look. The extra fancy stitches and little beads made it so much fun.
It's also fun to see the little buttons add to the story of the project.
The satin stitch on the star I had never done in cross stitch before, and I was pleased with how it turned out.
So I got it finished and I had a Shaker Box with a lid insert to finish my project. However I had never done a finishing like this before, and I also didn't want to destroy the box lid in the process!!
I thought I'd share a little of the process with you which can also be used in part to finish an ornament or round or oval finishing. I read several instructions and also found an ornament video on YouTube which helped a lot.
First you need the template or mounting board which is cut to size to fit the box lid. Most Shaker boxes come with them, and actually they are cut slightly smaller than the opening so you have the room needed to insert your project. Then you stitch a running or basting stitch using a heavy crochet thread about 1 1/2"" away from the edges of the mounting board. Trim the corners and excess fabric about 1" away from the outside of your stitching.
This crochet thread is size 3, a good weight and made of cotton. I found it at Michaels. Use a larger eyed needle to thread about 24" of it so that you have length for 3" tails at the beginning and end of your basting stitch. I wish I had taken more pictures of the process along the way to share with you, I wasn't thinking!
Cut out 2-3 layers of batting using the mounting board for a template. I glued the layers of batting together and then glued them to one side of the mounting board.
Place your stitching project face down on a mat, and the batting side of the mounting board centered on top of the wrong side of your stitchery. Slowly and carefully draw the basting stitch from both ends around the mounting board until you have pulled the linen evenly and smoothly around the board. Pull it tight and tie a knot in the two ends. Trim leaving about 2" of cord. Now adjust the gathers even more, and run another basting stitch about 1/2" closer to the outside of the first basting stitch. This will help you gather in the fabric a bit more, tie it off and trim off any excess fabric in the middle leaving at least 1/2" left.
After this, it all seemed so bulky so I did another step that I had read in another set of directions I had researched, and cut a muslin circle about 3/4" larger than the mounting board. I placed it on the back of the mounting board where all the gathers were, and slip stitched it in place using regular thread, turning under the edges of the fabric as I went around the entire circle, smoothing the fabric to keep it flat as I went. This really helped to pull in the bulkiness of the back and smooth it down.
The lid has a slight recess in the top to allow room for your stitchery piece after it has been mounted. Use double stick foam mounting tape on the lid, don't get too close to the edges or the tape will show. Peel off the paper and center your mounted stitchery, right side up, on the lid and press it down.
I used a large heavy Bible (for lack of a better weighted book) on top of the lid to help flatten the stitchery and make it adhere to the tape, for several hours. I was so happy to not have to use glue because we live in a very dry climate and glue tends to dry and pop off after a while. Besides, no mess!!! :) Then I cut a circle of fabric to fit the inside bottom of the box and put a little Modge Podge on the wrong side of the fabric which glued it in place (minimal mess) LOL!!
I may still find a small braid with a color that goes with the cross stitch to help fill in any little gaps. These boxes are made by hand which is why they are so expensive, so they are not perfect spheres.
The stitching edges were pretty close to the edge so there wasn't much room for error when centering the stitchery, but I'm pleased with it.