Three more felt tag bookmarks have been finished – they really are very quick which is just what I want. True, I pre-tasselled the tags and pre-cut the threads and fabrics, which makes the whole process a bit quicker still (quite a production line, in fact), but I do think that an experienced stitcher could put together one of these, start to finish, in about 2 hours. Ideal for charity stitching, or indeed for swiftly producing a good number of small Christmas presents. It might be an idea to put some kits together!
As straightforward running stitch is not quite secure enough for my liking in attaching the patch (the first bookmark has been unpicked and restitched) I tried two different patterns: a zigzag (below right) and running stitch turned 90 degrees – perhaps you could call it perpendicular running stitch (below left). Both use more thread than ordinary running stitch but both definitely look and feel more secure. Another observation: the slightly stiffer Hardanger fabric (left) behaves better than the softer, floppier Oslo (right).
On the whole I incline towards perpendicular running stitch as it is quicker to do, and also a little less noticeable. Both methods, if pulled fairly firmly while stitching, make the patch “puff up” and give a slightly padded effect. Both methods should not be looked at too closely on the back of the bookmark, but I hope people won’t mind that. One way of making the back neater is to attach the patch with thread the same colour as the tag, but unfortunately that would make it stand out rather on the front, and I’m not sure it would look as good as with white securing stitches.
Talking of colours, the Blooming Felt tags come in eight different shades; one of them is Ivory, which wouldn’t work unless you used coloured fabric, then the six colours I’ve got, and one more called Apple Green. The picture on their website, however, looks more of a mossy green. A very pretty colour, but not particularly apple-y. (It didn’t help that the picture of the Turquoise tag looked quite a different shade from the turqoise tag I’d just been using, making me think they might have changed the colour since I last ordered from them.) So I wrote to ask what DMC shade Apple Green was closest to, and quickly got a very helpful reply saying that they sell DMC soft cotton in shades to match their felts, with a link to the one that matched Apple Green. Well, what can I say.
With such a difference between the two pictures it would be anybody’s guess what Apple Green actually looks like, but fortunately I remembered that some DMC’s soft cotton shades match their stranded cotton shades, and both this one and the turquoise soft cotton happen to be shades I have in my stash. Turquoise is definitely like the tag I already have, and Apple Green is bright rather than mossy. In a way that’s a shame as I rather like mossy green; and this bright green will probably not go with any of the Anchor Multicolor perles. What it comes down to is that I’ll just have to order one to see what, if anything, it will go with.
But first there’s six more tags to finish. So far I’ve used woven bars and dove’s eye for all of them, and I’ll do one of each colour that way. The other four, which are duplicate colours, I’ll vary a bit; especially if I’m going to make them into kits, it would be good if the patch wasn’t exactly like the Mini Kit ones. I’m leaning towards using sunburst stitch (as used in Floral Lace: Forget-Me-Not and Song of the Weather: November) but haven’t quite decided yet what bars to surround it with. So far I’ve only used it with woven bars, but I’ll try it out with wrapped and double wrapped as well, plus perhaps some slightly different backstitch motifs.
Worrying thought: I haven’t actually tried out any of these bookmarks in a book…