First of all a very happy and healthy new year to you all! May there be joyful meetings with loved ones, plans which do not end up being cancelled or postponed, and oh yes, some stitching as well .
Generally you look back on New Year’s Eve and forward on New Year’s Day, but I hope you won’t mind if I start with a memory, or rather, a memory bear. Having decided on prick-and-pen (like prick & pounce, only you make the dots by going through the holes with a fine drawing pen) as the transfer method most likely to succeed, I traced the signature printed at 5½cm wide, pricked it and tried it on the foot, only to find that it looked rather smaller there than I had expected. As it would be easier to stitch the larger it got, I tried several other sizes before settling on 7cm. The heart was there to be transferred later if I needed an extra bit in which to fasten on and off, but that turned out not to be necessary.
Having carefully poked the drawing pen’s tip through all the holes, I then joined them up and fastened on.
In order to get comfortable using the sewing method rather than my usual stabbing style, I started with the lesser challenge of the underlining. Back stitch one way, whipping in the opposite direction, and then take the needle up to the writing itself. I had cut a ridiculously long thread so that I would only have to fasten on and off once, and had planned my route accordingly.
Fortunately the bear hadn’t been stuffed too firmly and the foot had plenty of give, so the sewing method presented no great problems. On top of that, the vintage Filoselle silk behaved beautifully (what a terrible shame it’s been discontinued!) even at this unprecedented length, so that my worries about whipping the backstitch soon dissolved. I’m glad they did, because it is the whipping that makes it look like one continuous line of writing rather than a line of dashes.
And here it is, finished. Not all the lines are as even as I would have liked, but it is recognisably Elizabeth’s handwriting, in Elizabeth’s silk, on Elizabeth’s jacket. A bear of many memories.