Saturday, July 28, 2018

Finish: 🐝🌸 Bee Happy Brooch 🌸🐝

Love & Roses Vintage Brooch
Free Stamped Cross Stitch Kit
with Cross Stitcher magazine (UK), March 2018

I hope everyone is having a nice Summer, despite the heatwaves everywhere! It hasn't been that warm here compared to other places, but I'm not used to the heat and it's been challenging with temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, plus Humidexes between 35-38 every day. Needless to say, I haven't been able to do much stitching!

This is Cross Stitcher, the UK magazine, from March 2018 which my Stitchy Guru Mother bought me as a little everyday cheer-up kind of gift, which are always fun to receive! The kit is the Love and Roses Vintage Brooch:

It is a Stamped Cross-Stitch motif with flowering branches, a bee, two ribbon roses and a little saying. My favourite part was that you could choose which phrase you wanted; the kit was shown with "Mum" but I chose the "Bee Happy" to go with the bee ❤🐝

For anyone who would rather stitch it regularly, a chart is included in the magazine.

The one thing that gave me trouble was the fabric. It is supposed to be "Shabby Chic", but to me too much fraying just looks plain shabby. So I added some iron-on interfacing (off the bolt from the local quilt store, Pellon brand) to the back of the piece and it really helped immensely, especially when it came to cutting out the little saying, the Made with Love piece for the back and trimming the edges. It cut down on the fabric puckering too, so I'd really recommend doing this before stitching your own kit, or anything like it!

Of course, I did make a few changes πŸ˜„ The thread given in the kit to stitch the bee was navy blue (?!), so I substituted DMC 3371 (Black Brown) for it. I also used 3 strands of floss instead of 2, to better cover the stamped blue lines, and I even had a little left over! I added a stitch to fill in the Lazy Daisy leaves, and the little blue French Knot flowers were on the chart, although not shown on the kit cover.

Finally, I switched the two white buttons out with two from my Grandma's button tin, a pink and a yellow and I'm very pleased with how they look! She's not sure where they came from, so there's no particular story attached, but I love that they have a family connection. I also added DMC 996 to attach the pinback and for the Buttonhole Stitch along the Made with Love tag on the back (3 strands) and the front edging (6 strands).

The motif was supposed to be stitched to the backing with Running Stitch, but the Buttonhole Stitch helped pull the fabric straight and covered up the cut edges, which frayed a little even with the added interfacing. I left the guidelines for the Running Stitch visible deliberately, as that turquoise matches the text on the labels and nothing else did. If I had thought about it, I would have worked the blue French Knot flowers in turquoise, but this didn't occur to me until after I had them stitched in!

My favourite part was the Ribbon Roses! Although the lengths of ribbon given could have been longer, this is such an easy and effective stitch and something I'd love to try more of in the future! All in all this was a fun little project, once I got past the frustration of the fabric, and I really enjoyed that it included some different stitchy techniques (Stamped Cross-Stitch, Embroidery and Ribbon Embroidery).

One thing I did learn - Stamped Cross-Stitch is not nearly as easy as I'd always thought it would be! My Grandma has a lovely cushion, four little birds for each of the Seasons, that she bought at a yard sale done in the technique. The work is even and fine except for a few wonky stitches, and those "mistakes" always bothered me.

Now I know that they are the norm, not the exception, and greatly respect how well the majority of the work was stitched! A lot of vintage kits were Stamped Cross-Stitch - dresser cloths, tea towels, doilies - and I always thought I'd like to try them. But it is extremely difficult getting both legs of the cross-stitch even, and fitting groups of cross-stitches together. I greatly prefer working on counted cloth, and it made me realize afresh what a miracle Aida cloth was when it was invented πŸ˜ŠπŸ’Ÿ

Have you ever try Stamped Cross-Stitch, or Ribbon Embroidery, or would you like to?