Fancies haven’t been flying much recently, I’m afraid; a combination of the day job, health problems in the family, and fortunately also some nice outings – including a rally in our little vintage car during which I first got to wear a lovely 1930s dress my husband had made for me as a birthday/anniversary present. I was lucky to find both the shoes and the bag secondhand, and all it needs now is some gloves (the lady who made the dress has offered me a pair on loan but I’d like my own) and a suitable hat. I’ve got a picture of exactly the hat I want, and am keeping a beady eye on charity shops!
There hasn’t been a lot of stitching recently, either; I fully intended to do some serious Floral Lace buttonholing while visiting my mother in the Netherlands, only to find when I got there that I had packed three Floral Laces, a hoop, my special pointy scissors, the right perle cotton and even a pair of stork scissors, but that I had omitted to pack the needles I use for this project. Oh well, it meant I could give my full attention to catching up and chatting, so perhaps it was a good thing after all.
While I was in the Netherlands we met up with some friends who run a charity in Gambia, and they are planning a fundraiser for next April. Could I possibly stitch a few things they could sell, asked my mother. A wonderful idea if it weren’t for two things: our church is raising funds for a new building at the moment so my fundraising efforts tend to concentrate on that, and the bookmarks which sold like hotcakes at our own Arts & Crafts Fair earlier this year are very time-consuming to make. On the other hand, it’s a great charity, and I could stitch two of everything, one for the church building fund and one for Gambia – but it would have to be something a little simpler than the Windows on the World designs I used before. What if I used the smaller of the two but with less cutwork? A bit of re-arranging and some added lettering and I came up with this:
It’s still a lot of buttonholing but it should be noticeably quicker than the original, and I can vary the filling stitches and the colours to make them all different. The only thing is the hearts perhaps make it less suitable for men, and I remember several people buying the bookmarks saying they made a good “man present”, so I’ll have to chart another one with “O”s instead. I might also dust off my mix-and-match Round Dozen design, as the coasters were good sellers too, and they don’t take too long.
One of the things I want to add to the Windows on the World chart pack is a link to the FoF post about the felt-and-buttonholing finish I’m using for Floral Lace (probably with some additional notes). True, the design got its name because the bookmarks are unbacked and therefore the cutwork parts are like little windows, but for those who really do not like showing their backs, needlework-wise, it might be nice to have the option.
Some time ago a chat with Sparklies’ Kate led me to get the cover pictures for the Mini Kits printed as photos, rather than doing them myself on my inkjet printer. The rest of the chart pack, however, is still printed here at home, on demand. It was annoying, therefore, that my printer decided recently that it had a paper jam, even though nothing had jammed, and even after I had removed every sheet of paper from the in-tray and checked its innards meticulously. All the more annoying as I still have four extra large cartridges for it, and it became more than annoying when someone ordered a set of three Mini Kits. By a stroke of luck I had two packs already made up, and I managed to print the third by disconnecting everything, reconnecting everything, printing one page, and repeating the process until the pack was done. But there’s no help for it, I’ll need to buy a new printer. Does anyone know if there are any simple printers out there which are not too expensive to run?