Saturday, 7 December 2013

O Gel Pen, How Do I Love Thee?

As I started to embroider my sister's challah cover, the key question was "How do I stitch navy on navy?"

I started by using sewing chalk, and my usual folksy philosophy to stitching anything: a little back-stitch never hurt anyone.

Well, it might not hurt. But it ain't helping any.
So I hunted around, and discovered the insanely phenomenal website of Mary Corbet, Needle 'n Thread, where Mary explains everything hand embroidered in great, fabulous detail. This is like a drug for any stitchy perfectionist. Big love. 
Then I turned to my non-Google resource: my quilt group.
Here is a good opportunity to introduce my stitching buddies: we quilt, sew garments, knit, crotchet, embroider and grow food. We are a bunch of 30- and 40- somethings from the USA and UK, all living now within a 5 minute radius in a small town in Israel. We get together when we can to admire each other's works in progress, share books, celebrate birthdays, and laugh a lot. Between the 7 of us, we have over 30 children, and nearly all of us hold down out-of-the-home jobs, so our meetings are few and far between. But very wonderful when they happen.
Quiltmeet! Enjoying a rare breakfast date.
These friends are my greatest resource for just about anything stitchy. We email each other constantly. They are the kind of people who can say right off the bat, "Oh yeah. Water soluble stabiliser," and "I have some if you need." That's what I call friends. And then my stabiliser-giving friend gave me a tip: don't trace the design onto the stabiliser in black, because it won't show on the black background fabric. Smart lady.
So I bought a WHITE GEL PEN. I ♥ my gel pen. It is perfect for the job and makes me happy.
I printed out my text in a few sizes.
I traced it onto the stabiliser with my AWESOME gel pen.
I put it in a hoop.
Ha ha! Just kidding.

Didja notice?
How I wrote so nicely and neatly near the edge of the stabiliser?
And how completely USELESS that is when hooping up?

I wrote it again, in the middle of the stabiliser, and put it in a hoop.

And started stitching.
I backstitched around the edge, just like Mary Corbet told me to, and I'm using one strand of thread to ensure smoothness because she told me to, too. Clearly this is never, ever going to get finished. Ever. But I shall keep sewing on, as the hand-stitching is very calming and peaceful. And because my sister might kill me if I don't.


Live a Colorful Life said...

Lucky sister. Lucky you to have a group of stitchy friends, even when meetings are not very often.

Hugs from CA.

Sarah Bronzite said...

woah!!!! I just saw this post (via a post of yaacov's). what a HUGE amount of effort just for lil' ol' me. thank you. I look forward to using it ... eventually!