New Embroidery Project

cat-embroideryIt’s become a bit of a tradition for major holidays that I make Mom something. Each one gets a bit more elaborate and each one gets a bit more fun. I rarely have a plan. I spent sometimes as much time ripping stuff out because I hate it or want to move elements around but I guess that’s just the way my brain works.

This time, rather than relying solely upon my stash, I’ve been indulging in buying some new beads, threads and other bits and bobs to make her Birthday present.

She helped to pick out many of the beads and even the base fabric. She knows I’m working on something and the general color scheme but other than that, she knows nothing about what I’m doing. I thought I would share my journey in making her project and maybe we can both share some ideas along the way.

At a yard sale, I picked up some absolutely luscious polar fleece from Nancy Ziemen (yep, the lady with the PBS show, Sewing With Nancy). Didn’t know she sold kits, patterns and fabrics. The yard sale had several pieces from her – really pretty stuff. I knew I wanted to incorporate it somehow but I was just out of ideas.

Spent about two hours on Pinterest. Went from embroidery, to baskets (there’s this weird $5 basket-weave bead Mom picked out that I can’t figure out what to do with. I’ve never spent so much on a single bead before and it’s looking more and more like it might not make it into the final project), to cats (her fave) to Zen Doodles and so on.

cat-inspirationFound this great cat graphic on a Spanish site (Gato Abstracto). Ironically, it matches the fabric Mom picked out perfectly. But, I love the style and position of the cat and since the site offers use of the image for free, I figured it was truly perfect. No worries about copyright and it was just what I was looking for.

The lovely fleece is non-fray like felt but it is so soft it’s very hard to work with. After I finally got the size cat I wanted, it took several tries figuring out how to applique it onto my main fabric. Buttonhole stitch, black thread on black fleece turned out to be impossible to see in the early evening as the sun was going down. Even with a ton of stitches to hold the fleece in place. By the way, don’t you just love the general effect of the long stitches on the black fleece? I’m probably going to have to do something like that for real as it looks so cool to me.

Anyway, after a bit of trial and error. I’m doing a bit of a modified straight stitch over the edge with seed beads. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve determined the absolute longest method of doing what I’m doing. Hopefully, today, with a night to think about it, I’ve come up with a faster way. I’m planning on stringing the beads on one thread and sewing them on as I go with another. I’m hoping it will save tons of time, particularly since so many of the beads I am using don’t fit on the needle. Seems silly with so much machine-made stuff today, that they’re still all uneven.

Anyway, here’s what I’ve got so far. I can’t wait to see where this project takes me.

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