Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Starburst Blackwork Birthday Card

In my Autumnal Update post, I mentioned that I’d completed a spur-of-the-moment Blackwork project. Earlier on in the month, I decided that I would make a Blackwork birthday card for a friend. The design I chose is called Starburst, and is actually for a Blackwork biscornu (an ornamental pin cushion), which I stumbled across on Kincavel Krosses. I realised the design was somewhat ambitious, especially when compared with the Blackwork designs I’ve previously stitched. In hindsight, it had also been incredibly ambitious of me to think that I could get all the stitching done, and the card made up and posted within a week!

Had I not opted to add couching to the design, I would have been more-or-less on track to meet my self-imposed deadline. Below is an image of the stitched piece when it was almost completed… or so I thought.
After finishing off the couching, I had washed the stitched piece, and it was at this point that things started to go spectacularly pear-shaped. I had used several strands of DMC Metallic Sewing Thread for the pink couching (shade 4018), which obviously hadn’t liked being washed because it looked utterly dreadful. The only option I had was to unpick the pink couching and start again, using DMC Precious Metal Effects (shade E168) instead of the pink DMC Metallic Sewing Thread.

Could things get any worse? Well, yes!  When I was ready to position my stitched piece, and adhere it to the card, I discovered that I was running low on glue, meaning that I had to apply more pressure when squeezing it of the bottle. This resulted in considerably more glue coming out of the bottle than I required, which then spread to visible areas of the Aida. Admittedly, it wasn’t by much, but enough to be a problem and cause me to promptly separate the Aida from the card, and then attempt to remove the glue. Now, if you have ever attempted to remove glues containing latex from Aida, you will know that it can be a complete nightmare. The advice I read on the internet was to spray WD40 on the glue to loosen it, and although I didn’t have any WD40, I had an equivalent, which worked an absolute treat. However, the stitched piece absolutely reeked of the stuff I had used, meaning that it had to be washed for a second time. I then decided that I really wasn’t happy with the quality of the silver couching, so ended up redoing it, along with the green couching.

After what had seemed like a labour of love, this is what I eventually ended up with.
Front of card
Back of card
Stitched label on back of card
Changing the subject, I PASSED the ITQ/ECDL Presentations module on Tuesday, with a result of 94%. Although I felt pleased and immensely relieved, I didn’t experience the same sense of elation that I’d felt when I passed the Word Processing module exam, and the Databases module exam. I’ve now got two months in which to complete the Spreadsheets module.


Rainy Day Crafter said...

Your blackwork card is absolutely stunning! What a lot of work you put into it, but it's definitely worth it as it's worked out beautifully!

And congratulations on passing your ITQ module! You should definitely feel elated as it's a big achievement! :)

Sally said...

Wow that card is gorgeous! I'm sorry you had problems with the glue but it was well worth it!

Congratulations on passing your module!

CrazyStitcher said...

Rainy Day & Sally - Thank you for the lovely comments! :-)

Freddysmama (Kirstin) said...

Beautiful card! Well done. I love couching and the effect it produces.

Had a look through your gallery - cute pieces. I did the same as you, as a beginner, I taught myself and no one told me there were beginner projects out there - I jumped straight in with a complicated (for a beginner) kit! LOL.

Have added you to my blog list :)


CrazyStitcher said...

Kirstin - Thank you for your lovely comment. It was fairly recently that I discovered couching, so one could argue that I'm still on a learning curve. :-)

Aurelia Eglantine said...

I'm so sorry about all the problems you had with it, but your Starburst card is absolutely spectacular! Honestly, I'm blown away by the way that you decided to stitch this design - it looks so elegant, and the couching is a beautiful touch! Methinks I might have to learn from you this time around and try a BW/couching project in the near future :)

If it's any consolation, maybe the card recipient just really loves silver, and the Stitchy Karma Gods were rather unsubtly nudging you in the right direction, LOL!

And a huge CONGRATULATIONS! on not only passing but acing your exam, and I hope that the new module will go a bit better for you. I mean, there's not much higher up you can go mark-wise, Ms. Smart T. Pants, but I hope that it's a topic you'll find more enjoyable and less stressful.

P.S. I totally love the new site design, with your stitched banners/headers. Very neat, and very you ;) They look fantastic. All is forgiven, worry not! :P (< inside joke)

CrazyStitcher said...

Aurelia - Thank you so much for your lovely comment. You are too kind, and I fear your compliments will prevent me from getting my head through the door! ;-)

Although I'm fairly certain that my friend's favourite colour is green, I'm sure I remember her once saying that she preferred silver to gold, so you may be right about the Stitchy Karma Gods dropping unsubtle hints. Lol.

Ms Smart T. Pants... I quite like the sound of that! :-D

Thank you so much for your comment about the new graphics, and also for your forgiveness.