We have sunshine here (when snow was the original forecast), and there's lots of melting and muddiness and grass showing through the snirt (that's snow+dirt). After church, friends took two of us 'widder ladies' out to a buffet lunch...so a walk is definitely in order before the end of this afternoon!
And I have been stitching.
The Atlantic Seaboard Sampler has two more light-houses (5 of 6 finished now), and my turtleneck is almost...well, a turtleneck! I managed to get it over my head, and it's going to fit nicely -- and look smashing with black pants or white capris this summer. After the disaster of the camisole, I'm both relieved and happy!
Since last Wednesday's post, my 12" square contribution to the 2013 SAQA Online Benefit Auction has progressed by leaps and bounds...but not without a couple of heart-stopping moments along the way.
My quilted sample with metallic threads worked out, so I sandwiched the piece, using on the back the same white-on-white cotton print (snowflakes) that I'd used for the background of the top. The quilting went well and I was pleased.
I've titled the piece "Wonder", and decided I wanted to embroider the word along one side of the centre motif, using YLI Candlelight metallic thread in "Rainbow" (it's really white; why they named it 'Rainbow' is beyond me). I have a Husqvarna Lily 555, which I adore, but I don't have the special bobbin case for bobbin work with this sort of thread, so I knew I'd have to do it by hand. Thanks to the advice I found online at the Indus Ladies embroidery forum, I decided to use a simple back-stitch rather than try to stem-stitch this fragile, slippery, tends-to-shred thread.
First I dug out the package of Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy I bought a couple of months ago -- and had yet to try. It has paper on one side, and if I wanted to, I could run it through my printer. I can also trace on it, which is what I did, using a font from my MS Word program, set at its largest size. I used water soluble marking pen to make the tracing on the non-sticky fabric size of the stabilizer:
I removed the paper to reveal the sticky side, and stuck it in place on the border of my piece. Then I embroidered it down...and followed the instructions to dissolve the fabric and wash away the water-soluble marker.
That's when the colour of the central motif went from this pale blue:
To this not-quite-so-pale blue:
I decided to live with it.
Then I bound it...and discovered that in the quilting something from my sewing table (which I thought was clean) had rubbed on the printed snowflakes on the back and they were showing up as grubby grey spots!!
So...after the binding was hemmed in place (the label was on by this time too), I washed it a second time -- this is the photo you see above. In stead of clear water, this time I used a gentle soak with Synthrapol added, and a gentle rinse. It didn't alter the blue any further (phew!) and mercifully, the back is now white as...yep: snow. Double phew!
All that's left to do is add some of these tiny seed beads -- and a sleeve -- and it'll be ready to take with me to Santa Fe to deliver to the Benefit Auction curator.
All the silence, the sunshine, the sampling and the stitching have brought a special sweetness to this year's Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
I hope you were equally blessed!