I shake de tree.

May 5, 2012

Sshhhh!  This is a top-secret sneak preview of a little something I whipped up for Mother’s Day, so think of this as an advance screening.

You may recall that a couple of years ago I embroidered a Swedish Chef towel for my mother’s birthday.  He still gets a lot of use, but it’s seemed to me that he could use a companion towel – most of our other tea towels come in pairs, except for the poor, lonely Chef.  So, bork-bork-bork, I decided to embroider the squirrel design from Sublime Stitching’s Forest Friends pack.

At this point, you’re probably questioning the connection.  Why not another Muppet, or something more kitchen-y?  Well, it all started like this: the very first episode of The Muppet Show that I remember seeing was the one guest-starring John Denver, with a camping theme.  In this one, the Swedish Chef has traded his kitchen for a little set-up in the woods, and has decided to make squirrel stew.  I can’t do it justice; just watch the video.

Now that it all makes a little more sense, on with the towel:

Here it is, posing on the oven door.

A better view of the stitching.  It’s done mostly in stem stitch with the little tufty fur bits in backstitch, and a hint of satin stitch to keep it interesting.

I also got some baking done!  (Although this is not for Mother’s Day.)  Behold, the Applesauce-Oat Bran Muffins from Veganomicon:

Truly, I have no future with the Muppets, as I didn’t haphazardly fling a single ingredient while making these.  🙂

So, over the winter I took a Swing Dancercise class through the city’s leisure guide…basically, an hour of aerobics with swing-based footwork and a little choreography thrown in for fun.  I won’t be winning any dance contests anytime soon with what I’ve learned, since this was a no-partner-required deal, but hey, it got me off the couch for an hour a week.  The instructor made it really fun, too, always kept things upbeat.

When I rediscovered Sublime Stitching’s Roaring Twenties patterns in my stash, I decided she needed a little goodbye present, since our last class was rapidly approaching.  One of the dances we had learned was the Charleston, and that appeared to be just what this dancer was doing, so onto a tea towel she went!  (Besides, no kitchen should be without one of these!)

Action shot on my stove:

And a close-up of the stitching:

It’s mostly backstitch, with a little satin stitch and a few French knots thrown in for good measure.  Her dress and gold accessories were done in Petite Treasure Braid metallics, which are honestly the best metallic threads I’ve ever used.  Pricey, but worth it.

And her garter matches her shoes….eeee!!

I took a break from my many U.F.O.s (on which more at some later date, assuming I actually manage to finish one) to work up a couple of onesies for a girl in my bowling league who is very, very pregnant – due April 22, our last night of the season.

What else but Sublime Stitching’s Bowling Betties pattern sheet would fit the bill?

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And since I managed not to screw that one up, and had a spare one (get it?  Spare?) left over, I found a cute kitten pattern from the Sublime Stitching book, and made it as gender-neutral as possible.

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If nothing else, this experience has taught me that although they may meet the length/weight requirements outlined on the hang tag, cats are not crazy about being stuffed into onesies (this was before I washed them, before I got to the actual embroidering).  It does something to their balance, much like putting a harness on one for the first time, and will cause them to fall off the couch onto the floor, and they will not understand what they did to deserve that.  She’s okay, she was just a little surprised, I think.  🙂

Oh, but back to the subject at hand: I presented them to her on Wednesday, in case she decided to pop early, and she loved them!  Her teammates were cooing over them, and they couldn’t believe I had done the embroidery by hand.  I love it when a few stitches can wow an audience.

Christmas Presents Ahoy!

January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!  I could offer the standard excuses for not updating sooner (I spent the entirety of November pounding out a novel!  I stitched my little fingers to the bone!  I got abducted by a herd of rogue Simmentals!), but instead, I think I’ll just show off all the stitchy Christmas presents I managed to finish.

For my friend Rachael in Eng-er-land, some easy-to-stitch, easy-to-ship Animated Kitchenware tea-towels:

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There they are, posing sweetly on my oven door.

Avon lady and dear soul Heather got a small Margaret Sherry design:

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I was so happy to have an excuse to use my opalescent aida cloth!

My parents each got a custom shirt from me.  My dad used to work for the railroad and is still very much into trains, so I made him a Chessie shirt using a pattern that I found online:

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It was stitched onto the pocket of a denim shirt using waste canvas…I do like the colours!

My mom collects all things hedgehog, so I used the Sublime Stitching Forest Friends pattern to come up with this:

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It’s just a plain blue t-shirt from Michael’s, but sufficiently jazzed up now.  Also, Sublime Stitching’s T-shirt Stabilizer is a godsend!

Last but not least, this Subversive Cross Stitch pattern (I tweaked the colours and omitted the border) seemed just too perfect for coworker and co-conspirator Sue.  It’s now sitting on her desk, spreading sunshine and lollipops to all who venture past.

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Thanks for looking; as always, if you have any further questions, please feel free to leave a comment!

Naughty or Nice?

October 12, 2008

I do apologize for the long-time-no-posts….I’m going to blame work for this one, but I’m hoping to be posting a lot more soon, what with the holidays rapidly approaching.  At any rate, on with the crafty goodness, yes?

I had purchased the Lisa Petrucci designs from www.sublimestitching.com some time ago, though I hadn’t yet committed them to fabric.  Then my friend Dan got her own place, and decided to go and have a birthday shortly thereafter (inasmuch as one’s birthday can be determined by free will, of course :P), and somehow, a set of hand-embroidered tea towels seemed like the perfect housewarming/b-day pressie.  Especially when they’re this cool.  I particularly like the devil – clearly, being bad is more fun than being good!

Hanging side-by-side on the oven door:

And close-ups:

And now, of course, I want to do the devil again…for myself!