Monday, May 3, 2010

A variety of ornaments

I have done the sewing/assembly finish on a few Thanksgiving ornaments stitched earlier this year. Both the Pilgrim Boy and Girl and the Give Thanks ornnaments are from Better Homes and Gardens 1001 Cross Stitch Motifs and are trimmed with inexpensive craft seed beads and backed with scraps of really lovely fabric left over from a quilting class. These are probably my most economical projects so far this year.

And, on April 28th, I finally got around to ordering the Kreinik silk mori for the Cross and Satin stitched Cornucopia ornament I had wanted to stitch in April. While waiting for the silks to arrive, I decided to stitch the central medallion of the Thanksgiving chart in Prairie Schooler's Harvest Time leaflet ... over one on the same 28ct Glasgow linen I am using for my Bride's Tree SAL ornaments ... using GAST and WDW overdyed cottons instead of the suggested DMC. Once I have finished these two ornaments I will have two turkey ornaments and two cornucopia ornaments, which should be more than enough of those motifs.

As to my remaining monthly Thanksgiving ornaments: I already have a few pumpkin [not jack-o-lantern] ornaments that will work on both the Halloween and the Thanksgiving tree bringing my total of completed ornaments up to seven, or nine once the above-mentioned cornucopia and turkey are stitched. A pumpkin pie ornament might make a nice addition if I kind find a properly sized chart. And, I am still looking for some very particular charts which probably exist only in my imagination. I'd really like to find some Indians and Pilgrims that aren't the usual cartoonish, child-friendly charts ... I'd prefer something with a touch more dignity and elegance or in a folk-art or primitive style. I have searched a variety of likely sites including 123stitch, Homespun Elegance, Prairie Schooler, Whispered by the Wind and Mystic Stitch without finding exactly what I want though there were a few charts that did have a variety of motifs that might prove useful. One that seems best suited to my purposes is Cross-Eyed Cricket's Thanksgiving Circle which features a male and female Pilgrim, a male Indian and some autumn trees. I'll be purchasing this as soon as I receive an expected payment for postage costs in the infamous Mom's Stash Giveaway ... it's coming in the form of a 123stitch gift certificate. Then there's Be Thankful by Imaginating, which has a central motif that might work if lifted out as an ornament. An Expression of Gratitude by Blue Ribbon Designs is another chart with a useful central motif. But these don't exactly thrill me and will be purchased only as a last resort if I come up short of the dozen or so ornaments I will need to fill my table top tree. I do have a beautiful chart of a native American maiden in the traditional dress of the Northeastern woodland tribes [carrying a basket of squash and corn] but even stitched over one on a high count fabric, it would be too large for an ornament ... and way too much work for an ornament as well. I might consider making it as a stand-up to place beside my wrought iron ornament tree when I decorate for Thanksgiving.
And I finished this quick little Quaker Rabbit [a free chart from aury's blog] for the April installment of the Bride's Tree ornament SAL. This is stitched on the same 28ct Glasgow linen [color: raw linen] as all the others in my series for the SAL ... and finished in the same style as the others, as well: a fringed pillow ornament with hemp hanger. I used GAST overdyed cottons Maple Syrup, Cinnamon and Oatmeal for the Rabbit & the border and a lovely Caron Waterlily for the lettuce. I made a few minor adjustments to the chart: rounding off the Quaker motif in the bottom right corner to make it look more like a head of lettuce, replacing the outlined tail with an echo of the central Quaker motif, and, finally, creating a Quaker style border to give my little pillow ornament a bit more definition. I am very pleased with this little guy ... and am most grateful to the fellow bloggers who led me to this complimentary chart ... sparing me the necessity of buying one of a possible five a Prairie Schooler charts with designs I could have adapted. While I love PS, I am never averse to saving a dollar or two.
It never ceases to amaze me but the simpler the design, the more frogging I seem to do ... an arrogant lack of concentration being the cause, no doubt. Or is it that the ostensibly simple charts have an insidious way of deceiving the eye, causing it to skip like a vintage needle on an old and scratchy phonograph record, falling into the wrong groove entirely? In this case, I had to frog nearly a third of the outline due to the fact that I skipped two stitches along the back of the rabbit causing his front legs to end two rows lower than his back legs. Since this would have seriously hindered his mobility, not to mention destroying his symmetry, I though it best to frog and re-stitch. He looks much handsomer now. It seems a happy coincidence that I stitched this little guy during the same week I decided to re-read Watership Downs. A small example of serendipity.
Since I will be starting another Quaker free chart from Aury's blog later this week, I consider myself well and truly caught up with this SAL and hope to remain so. The chart features a Bird in a Nest, suitable for the May ornament representing Security or Confidence in the Home.


Rachel S said...

Those are all SO CUTE. Great finishes!

Donna said...

Very nice!

Nic said...

Very cute - I especially like how you've adapted the bunny!

(and LOL at the word verification - it's harebuilt! - nearly appropriate!)