Jun 25, 2015

A frustrating finish

Hello stitching buds.  Over the years of my reckless stitching, I learned a few things.  Problem is, and I'm serious, I can't remember what they were.  One of them may have been to always double check the stitch count with the finished size for my linen count.  This design, of which I've changed every color, stated the design area on 35 count as 4 1/2" high.  I'm on 36 count which I verified by counting my stitches and also my marking rules.  I easily had 4 1/2" and it should have been even less because of 36 versus 35 count.  Stitch count is 92 high and on 36 would be 5.12".  On 35 it would 5.25", 3/4" off.  I should have counted the squares and done my own calculations.  Start over?  No.  I will shorten the bottom area and it will be fine.  But I should know better!    What if this was a project that couldn't be altered? 
Remember I did this with France F. and ended so short that my only option was to attach a strip of linen fringe using the nun stitch.  Always count the squares and figure size first, don't rely on the chart figures. 
The design is Little by Little's Quaker Blackbird with different colors.  If I would have stitched the bottom line, there would be enough to sew into a pillow with very little seam allowance.. I wasn't taking the chance and I also moved the J and made it narrower so it wouldn't be too square looking. 
Making my first needle case was an exercise in frustration.   First it was the fusible.  I wanted it stiff so Craft Fuse or Décor bond was my choice.  Neither would stick.  I pulled off, cut another, steamed.  Pulled off, cut another, steamed again.  Over and over.  I threw it all out.
The tutorial said to line between top and bottom with felt, including it in the stacked layers.  I could barely turn it right side out with those thick seams.  Took the stitching out and removed the felt.  Switched to thin fleece.  Removed again.  Third attempt just barely caught the fleece in spots, much better.  But it wouldn't fold nicely with the fleece in the fold line!  Turn it inside out again, cut away the fleece from the fold, turn it out, still too much.  Three times until I finally just cut a large chunk out.  So there.  While this was going on, from sewing machine to ironing board and back over and over, my scissors (all 4 pair) were always in the wrong place.  When I needed them at the machine, they were with the iron and vice versa.  This was really chapping my hide.  Totally frustrated now and starting to rush, carelessness was taking over.  Every time I pressed the correction, the Frixion line disappeared and I had to measure and mark seam lines again.  Turn it inside out, outside in, over and over and over.  The worse part of that - when I turned it in to correct a seam, I wouldn't turn the entire book which led me to multiple errors.  How can it need taken in slightly for a straight edge and end up worse?  Because with the fleece in the way and not fully inside out, I couldn't tell top from side and would stitch the wrong edge of the corner. 
Trying to cut the wool felt for the pages wasn't happening.  I pressed that rotary cutter down and rolled that sucker over and over until it almost stuck in the mat.  Take the guard off you putz.  Finally finished after an entire afternoon, interfacing on the floor, fleece cuts stuck to my clothes, scissors hiding in a pile of possible fabrics and felts, cut threads throughout.

Will I attempt another?  Yep.  I learned a few things and won't make those mistakes again.  I would love to make a bunch and add them to my one-day-I-will-sell-this-stuff-on-Etsy pile.  I really enjoyed stitching this small - a break I needed from the large sampler.  The 36 count was again a pleasure to use and I am liking it more.  I'm still not happy with the finish but I love the little design for this. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

p.s.  Thanks for the tip Annie.
For no-reply comments that I would like to address, I'll be p.s.ing!!


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