Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stitch and Sip

After a string of extra-warm and sunny February days--it's a little gloomy here in the Ozarks today, but at least now I know where to find my hot coffee!

This little rustic mixed-media fabric sign now hangs over my coffee making area in the kitchen. I love it. Most of the elements came from stash--and some things from a trip to Michaels yesterday! I'll show you what's what.

The whole thing began with the cross-stitched Fresh Hot Coffee letters. A few years ago, my daughter attended a school that was out of our district, and quite a little trip, so I had to leave early to pick her up each day, and consequently had to sit in the "car line" for 30 to 40 minutes (I know, oh what fun). I was never without either some knitting, reading, or cross-stitching. So one day I took some old aida cloth, tea-stained it with tea bags for a rustic, aged look, let it dry, and planned to create a cute coffee sign. I cross-stitched letters that used regular DMC floss and DMC Light-Effects floss--and the overall effect was exactly what I wanted. Day after day in the pickup line, I worked my little design, and one day I finished it, put it away, and then a few years went by. Don't you love that? Not too long ago, I was looking through a stash of flat-stored finished cross-stitch pieces, and found the sign again. I had to let it lay around on my craft table for several days before deciding exactly how I wanted to embellish and finish it.  

I found a cute blue-patterned fabric in my stash, for a heart applique, and coffee-colored fabric remnants for the backing, and a country-heart fabric piece to finish both the front and the back with a same-size piece of muslin sandwiched inbetween--kind of like quilting the whole thing. I wanted to sew it with a double zigzag around the edges as part of the rustic look. I decided I needed a cross-stitched coffee mug--made up my own little design for one--and appliqued it to the sign. Sewing a frame of pink beads really set it off.  

Then, I had a great trip to Michaels! Not only did I have a 50% off coupon for one item, but I also had a 25% coupon to use on a shadow box (for a future project) that was already on clearance. Score! Then, I had just activated my new Michaels membership card (they have just come out with those, and they are free) and so everything I purchased went on my rewards card. Double score! I used the 50% off coupon for another one of those fabulous Martha Stewart punches. I  also found the new DMC Memory Thread! So, back at home, I added more cute buttons and beads to my coffee sign, and tried out the Memory Thread--I am going to have so much fun with this stuff, plus it is acid-free, so also great for paper projects. I used the technique they suggested on the DMC website, couching, and added a squiqqle of silver memory thread to the top of my sign. 

Around the sewing machine with some zigzag stitches, attaching a ribbon hanger, and it was done! I guess you could say it took years to do, in a way, but considering I only did the cross-stitching in the car, and then spent a couple of afternoons on it, years later, that's not too bad! It's coffee time!

AND, the verdict is in on this Memory Thread stuff--I'm going to get every color! It adds dimension and shape, and in handling it, I can see it's made really well to last and last. These are the things we discover when we are doing a project, and we don't really know what we're doing, and it just all comes together!

So here's a little pic of some of the charms on my Valentine Pandora bracelet! My hubby was so sweet to give it to me, and I think it will have me dreaming of more and more charms for years to come. :D

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