Friday, 22 March 2013

Prick and Stitch Mother's Day Card 2013

In my previous post, I mentioned that I’d tried my hand at stitching a card using the prick and stitch technique. Because I wasn’t sure if it was something I would take to and be any good at, I’d only purchased the supplies I required to stitch the Stitching Cards design I had chosen for the wedding card.

Well, as soon as I’d finished the card, I wasted no time in re-visiting Stitching Cards to purchase several more designs, along with a design from Form-A-Lines, and the supplies I needed to stitch them (an ongoing process).

From Craft Creations, I ordered a quantity of Hammer White double-fold cards, measuring 104mm X 152mm (DF03U), and white Centura Pearl envelopes (CNTE2) to fit, which look more of a pale-silver colour. All the designs require Kreinik Cord thread (part of the Kreinik Metallics range), and I was able to purchase the colours I needed from Sew and So.

Some of the designs I purchased require seed beads, bugle beads, or both. Within the Tutorials section of the Stitching Cards website, it states that their designs are based on 2mm (size 10/0) seed beads, and 7mm (Czech size 3) bugle beads. From The Bead Shop I ordered a pack of silver-lined medium-gold seed beads (which look great), a pack of transparent green seed beads, and a pack of transparent blue seed beads (which don’t look so great). The conclusion I have come to is that silver-lined beads are a must, but trying to find stockists of 2mm (size 10/0) seed beads is a complete nightmare. There were several other colours of seed beads I was after, but was unable to find. In addition, I bought a pack of Gütermann silver-lined green (8320), red (4580), and gold (1870) bugle beads.

Anyway, it occurred to me that one of the designs I’d purchased would be ideal for a Mother’s Day card (10th March in the UK). The same could be said for quite a few of the other designs I had purchased, just that the one I opted to stitch really appealed to me and immediately made me think of my mother. For the benefit of those of you who may not know, Mothering Sunday in the UK is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent; three weeks before Easter Sunday.

Unlike the other prick and stitch cards I’ve made, I can actually include an image of this one, which I really do feel immensely proud of.

Design Copyright ©

Now, I must admit that when it comes to colours, I’ve never been a fan of pale pink, purple, or the shade of green thread that was used to stitch the design. However, for the first day or so after finishing the stitching, I found myself unable to stop smiling when I looked at the card, and feeling overjoyed at how good the colours looked together.

Out of everything, I thought the addition of the seed beads would be the tricky part, given the fact that they are so small. In actual fact, it was the basket that proved to be the real challenge. The basket base was what I had started working on first, and after the end of the thread had been sealed down on the reverse of the card, it had worked its way loose. The only way I could get to it was by unpicking the basket base and rim and starting again.

I could have stitched the words ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ on the card, using one of the stitching fonts I’d downloaded from Stitching Cards. I decided against it though, thinking that if my mother wanted to frame the card, the design would look better as it was.

The Tutorials section on the Stitching Cards website suggests the use of a No.10 embroidery needle for stitching, and a size 10 beading needle. I’m not actually sure what size beading needle I used to add the gold beads, just that it was from a pack of John James size 10/13 beading needles. For the stitching, I used a John James size 28 cross-stitch/tapestry needle.

When I have previously used beading needles to add beads to cross-stitch and blackwork projects, it hasn’t always been easy to get the needle to come up through the right place on the Aida. This is not a problem when stitching directly on to card.

If you study the Flower Basket image, you will see there are five seed beads at the centres of the flowers with five petals. For each section, I passed the needle through the first four beads twice, and three times for the fifth bead, just to ensure the beads would be secure.

I did read in the Tutorials section that the pricked holes can be made less noticeable by placing the card face down on a hard surface, and rubbing gently across the stitched work with the back of a teaspoon. However, this is not recommended for cards with beads. Personally, I think the appearance of the pricked holes adds to the overall charm.

There’s a fascinating article on the StitchingCards website that provides a brief history about the progression of string art to stitching cards. It includes a link to the website String Art Fun, which is part of the Stitching Cards family and well worth a visit.

Anyway, the card was greatly appreciated by my mother, who informed me that if it is viewed upside down, it looks like a hat, so let’s test this out.

When an aunt visited my mother and saw the Mother’s Day card, she asked if I’d ever considered selling my cards on eBay. I’ve received wonderful comments from the recipients of stitched greeting cards I’ve made in the past, and although I’ve often thought about selling them, I’ve never put the wheels in motion. My aunt’s comment spurred me into rectifying that, and I’ve since set up an Etsy shop. It’s not open for business yet because I need to build up a collection of stock to sell, but watch this space, as they say.


Aurelia Eglantine said...

I loved seeing your beautiful card, and although I laughed so hard when I saw the second view, I think your Mother is right - it looks equally lovely as a basket OR a hat, and that is a significant accomplishment, LOL :) The gold metallic basket may have been a pain to stitch, but well worth it - it is BEAUTIFUL!!!

I really enjoyed reading about the supplies you used, and will visit the links shortly (I'm especially interested to read the history one). Also, I have a marvelous solution to your bead acquisition problems - did you know my beloved (and very hard to get here, but happily much more available to you) Mill Hill Petites are EXACTLY 2.0 mm?!

It's true! It doesn't say so on the packages (I hauled mine out to look of course) but I had always thought them just a little over 2 mm, so I was pleased as punch to find the Sizing Chart and discover that these will work for you! The colour range and finishes available are gorgeous too :)

Best of luck with your Etsy shop, and keep us all updated ;)

CrazyStitcher said...

ES - Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I too laughed about the 'hat'.

As for the solution to my bead acquisition problem, thank you for that also. I am rather fond of Mill Hill beads, so would be great if I can find what I'm after in the Petites range.

Karen said...

I loved reading this post. It is so informative! Your mom was right about turning the basket upside down, it really does look like a hat! lol

You've convinced me to look into this technique. It looks like a lot of fun and your Mom's card is just gorgeous!

Good luck with your Etsy Shop.

CrazyStitcher said...

Karen - Thank you for the lovely comments about my post and the Mother's Day card, and also for your kind wishes.