Monday, 14 March 2011

Irish Hang-Up & St. Patrick's Day Greeting Card

At the beginning of last month, I had a brainwave of sorts (yes, I do get them occasionally). I have a friend living in Ireland, and I thought it might be a lovely surprise to stitch a St. Patrick’s Day card for her, especially as I had never previously stitched anything for her. I looked on the internet to see if I could find a kit, or a pattern, but was unable to find anything that took my fancy. However, I persevered, and eventually found a pattern on the Arts and Designs website for an Irish Hang-up. The design was bright, bold, and cheerful-looking, and just the sort of thing I had been looking for. In addition, it looked incredibly simple to stitch (no fractional stitches), so I went ahead and ordered it.

I was approximately half-way through stitching the design when I realised with horror that I had overlooked some important information in the instructions. When I had cut my piece of Aida, I had allowed for excess, but not as much as I should have done. I put what I had stitched to one side, and started afresh with a larger piece of Aida.

Below is the picture of the Irish Hang-up, which is on the cover of the pattern leaflet. As you can see, ribbon has been secured to the felt, which has been tied in a bow.
Irish Hang-Up designed by Diane Arthurs

I decided against using ribbon, and instead opted to use a hanger, even though I had never previously stitched anything that had required me to use a hanger. Anyway, as luck would have it, I happened to have one stored away, which had been a freebie with one of my stitching magazines, and seemed perfect.

Before I could progress to using the hanger, I had to secure wadding to a piece of card, place the design over the wadding, and then secure the excess Aida to the back of the card. I found this to be quite tricky, and in hindsight think that I should have used thicker card.

The next step was to cut a piece of felt, remembering to allow enough excess to secure it to the hanger. I then had to secure my stitched piece to the felt, and trim the felt with pinking shears, which I also found quite challenging.

As you will see from the pictures below, the hang-up I made looks far from perfect, but not too bad for a first attempt.

Front of the Irish Hang-Up

Back of the Irish Hang-Up

You may be wondering what I did with the stitched piece I had put aside. Well, after completing the design (minus the wording), I made it into a St. Patrick’s Day card, but this also proved challenging. I had wanted to use a double-fold card with a rectangular aperture, but had been unsuccessful in finding anything suitable. Therefore, it was a matter of having to use my initiative and make one.

I opted to use A4-sized glossy photo card, folded in half. I used an image I had found on the internet, and printed it on what was to be the front of the greeting card, before cutting the aperture. Having positioned and secured the Aida, I then secured white card to the inside of the greeting card, to conceal the back of the Aida. 
St. Patrick's Day Greeting Card
Believe it or not, I've had this blog entry saved as a draft for just over a week. Because I didn't want to risk spoiling the surprise for my friend, I wasn't prepared to publish the blog post until I was sure that she had received it. I'm pleased to report that it arrived today, in time for St. Patrick's Day.
My mother and Rainy Day Crafter were both in on the surprise, and although they had seen photographs of the hang-up, I don't think they had seen one of the card.

By the way, if you click on any of the images above, a new window will open displaying a larger image.


Aurelia Eglantine said...

Your leprechaun is lovely! And so very cheerful! It's a wonderful design, and I can see why you like it :) I really like your hanging - I think the flower hook is a great touch and I really like your label on the back of the piece. I've never seen one quite like that, with the cute scissors and thread - is it wholly stitched, or is some of it printed?

I really like your card too. This is a great example of how you can follow a pattern and then adapt a pattern to other uses :) Your stitching and finishing is wonderful!

CrazyStitcher said...

Thank you for your lovely comment Aurelia. Rainy Day Crafter said the flower had a clover-like look to it, which I think is why it works so well. I'd had that hanger stored away for ages, so am delighted that I was finally able to put it to good use.

The label is wholly stitched. I stumbled across the design on a blog (free to download). If I can find the file, would you like me to send you a copy? x

Aurelia Eglantine said...

Just got your e-mail. Thanks ever so much for the link :) I think that will be a useful pattern to have; I really love the look of your label; it's the perfect finishing touch :)

Rainy Day Crafter said...

As you know, I really do love your hang-up - it's great to see it in so much detail though, and I love the label on the bag - its so cute :) I also think the card is brilliant and it's so great that you made the whole thing yourself! You've done such a brilliant job! :)

CrazyStitcher said...

Aurelia & Rainy Day - Thank you so much for the feedback. You have made my day! :-)