Not having stitched at all for some time now (I just can’t seem to get round to picking up a project), I felt I needed something small to get me back into the swing of things. How about some of those charity bookmarks I’d been thinking about? But I still needed to work out some simplified finishes – the variegated buttonhole edge looks lovely but unfortunately is the most time-consuming part of the whole bookmark. Idea: stitch the adapted bookmark design, attach it to felt with running stitch, then cut around it with pinking scissors, and fray the fabric up to the running stitch. We’re preparing for a trade fair at the moment (for the day job, not for Mabel), but I’ll try this out when we’re back.
Then I had another idea. (Two ideas in one day, I was obviously on a roll.) Remember those felt gift tags from Blooming Felt? How about threading a tassel through the hole of the gift tag, then attaching a little Hardanger motif to the tag, and using it as a bookmark? It wouldn’t be quite so long as most bookmarks, but after all there is nothing against slightly shorter ones. Might even be useful if you read a lot of small books.
I worked it out in a bit more detail. Use the matchbook design, working the backstitch motifs in a variegated perle #8 to match the colour of the tag. Make a tassel from some more of that variegated perle together with a little white perle, and attach it by feeding a loop through the little hole in the tag, then pulling the thread ends through the loop (I’m sure there’s a name for this sort of fastening but never having been a boy scout – or even a girl guide – I have no idea what it is).
Here I hit the first snag. When pulling the tassel taut, the thin edge of the hole pulled away from the tag, leaving me with a disconnected tassel clinging on to a wispy scrap of felt, and a hole-less tag. Hmm. This obviously needed some thought. I decided to trim the tag so it looked nice and tidy again, then use a needle to pull the bunch of threads through the felt until there is an equal length of threads on both sides, and knot the whole bunch together. This worked better and the tassel withstood my experimental tugs admirably. The little Hardanger motif was soon stitched, so all that remained was to attach it. I realised it would be difficult to trim the fabric after it was attached to the felt, so I trimmed it first, then worked running stitch all around it, two threads from the edges. Fray up to the running stitch, and voilà, bookmark!
Now I did say “first snag”, a little while back. There were two more. One is that it’s quite fiddly to get the motif on to the tag straight. I kept tugging and adjusting while putting in the running stitch, and it still came out ever so slightly crooked. We may just have to accept that as being part of its genuine hand-made charm. The final snag is that although I think the running stitch is secure enough, in one spot it looks as though the fabric might one day try to escape, especially if it is handled a lot – which, as a bookmark, of course it will. So I may use a slanted stitch for the other ones, which should prevent any of the frayed edge from working loose. And then all people need to do is buy them at the Charity Fair!