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Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter Stitches

I hope that you had as wonderful of an Easter as I did.  It was very relaxing and we did the usual things - cleaning bird cages and working in the yard in the fantastic spring weather.  

On Saturday, we had our annul garage clean out...  say no more..  Well, I lied - I will keep on talking about it!  I love DH and he is perfect in all ways, with the exception of one.  He can not, to save his life, put away things after he is done with them.  That includes trash!  Needless to say, the annual garage clean-up is not fun.  After it is done, I always say one of those things that many of us have promised ourselves never to say: "Can we keep it like this for a while now?".  Yep, I have turned into my mother and I don't even have kids.  (This year I was a bit crankier and threatened him that I will make him help me sort through my mess in the the stitch room!  He declined... LOL) 

Anyway, the cleanup reminded me about a funny story that a friend told me the other day.  She took her three young sons through the Wendy's drive-through to get them milkshakes.  She was driving her husbands car for the day and he pretty much uses his car as an rolling garbage-can.  For some reason, one of the lids popped off one of the milkshakes in the back-seat, so she pulled into the parking lot to clean up as much of the mess as possible.  As she opens the back door, empty soda-cans and a large assortment of additional trash falls out, whereupon her 5-year old pipes up: "This car is a hoarder!".  Hilarious and what a great excuse!  I asked DH if his garage and my stitch-room are hoarders.  He seems to believe that our mail box is a hoarder, since we keep getting a bunch of packages...  Hmmm

I have no good segue here, so without further ado, here is my finished Easter display.
It feels like I have been looking for a nice dowel-tree or other "non-Christmasy" display tree for ages now.  I would like not to pay $150 and up either, which seems to make the hunt even more interesting (= dragged out).  
The branches I ended up using can be seen as a homage to the traditional Swedish påskris, even though it is pretty much always made up from pussy-willow branches.  We often decorate the branches with painted eggs and dyed feathers.
 A close-up of a few of these neat little designs.  CEC is such a great company and I adore pretty much almost everything they publish.
Have I mentioned before that I love to assemble rounded ornaments?  The curves make finishing really quick and easy. 
If you have not tried it our before, here is how it is done:  Simply cut out front and back from acid-free mat-board (I get mine from Michael's). 
Used the cut-outs as templates to snip out light-weight iron-on interfacing in the same shape for both the stitched piece and your backing fabric.  The interfacing not only gives some additional stabilization to the fabric, but also helps center the design over the mat-board. 
After that, simply stitch a running stitch between your seem allowance and the interfacing (make sure that thread ends on front of fabric/linen).   Pull thread-ends so that fabric snugs up around the back of the mat-board and tie a knot.  Lace piece for an even snugger fit (or if the shape is more complex). 
Pieces are ready for final assembly!
I cheated by hot-gluing ribbon cuts to the back piece.  I found some cool ribbons and stuff at Hobby Lobby, so I had a lot of fun adding the hangers made from plain ribbon together with some extra cuts from ribbon with an interesting structure for the greenery on top of the carrots.
Even better - I found beaded trim!  I had wanted to use beads for my edging, but I wasn't thrilled about the prospect of beading ten ornaments.
Below you can see the result of the beaded trim whip-stitched to the ornament during the assembly step.  I made things easier by adding a glob of hot-glue in the very center between the front and back.  That way, I did not have to make sure that the pieces were properly aligned while concentrating on stitching and there was still give enough between the pieces that I could hide the ends of the trim.  Easy-peasy!

I treated myself to this fabulous wind-chime on Friday.  I am still going through a period in my life where relaxation has ended up being is one of my highest priorities when I have time.  What makes time slow down in a more relaxing way than a wind-chime?  I wish that you could all hear the deep and vibrant sounds generated by this mega chime.  It is gorgeous - like meditation on a hanger!

On Sunday, after a successful cage cleaning session, I finished a sweet little quickie.  This is The Easter Rabbit Sampler by Goode Huswife.  Isn't he cute!?  I think that he deserves framing, so I will have to go searching for that when get a chance.
The inspiration for the design comes form the adorable painting below.  This is one of the earliest American portrayals of the Easter rabbit.  It is a reward of merit completed by Johann Conrad Gilbert (Southeastern Pennsylvania active 1775-1810). With a low estimate of $800-1,200 it sold almost twenty-fold to Winterthur Muesum for $23,700.  You can read a bit more about this sweet delivery bunny  here.

Speaking of bunnies, our Easter beasts are pooped!  Here they are hanging out behind the couch after a hard day filled of naps interrupted only by and munching breaks.  Oh, to be a bunny! 

Take care and Happy Stitching til' next time!


  1. Happy Easter Jenny!
    Your Easter tree is wonderful. I love the way you finished these ornaments. The Goode Huswif finish is sweet too. She was one of my favorite designers.
    Have a great week!

  2. I love your Easter tree!!!! Fabulous! Good to know about how you finished them too. I'm very out of practice with finishing. lol! Love that Goode Huswife piece. So cool about the origin of the piece -- I'd always wondered about that one! Thanks for telling us about it!

  3. Oh, good job finishing all those carrots!! I love the ribbons you picked for the top. They all look great, but I'm in love with the purple flowers and bees. =) Glad you had a good Easter and you and DH managed to avoid killing one another while cleaning out the garage...this activity will test the best of relationships! =)

  4. Fint med ett morotsträd! Ser jag i syne eller har ni 3 kaniner nu? Jag är hemma efter en helg i Halmstad. Önskar att påsken kunnat vara ett par dagar till! Puss

  5. Love your carrots. I do believe I was there in the beginning and witnesses your first stitch ;-) Love the idea for the tree also....so stealing that.

  6. Jenny, your carrot ornaments are absolutely adorable--love each and every one on your Easter tree! Thanks for the tutorial--very helpful :)

  7. Jenny, love your Easter finishes! I have those carrots to stitch but was afraid of the finishing - now maybe I'll try for next year. I also love your Goode Huswife Easter Rabbit. I have searched high and low for that chart but to no avail. My mother painted a small rabbit in that same design and I always thought it would be cute to stitch the design and incorporate the painted rabbit into the framing but have never been lucky enough to find the OOP chart. I keep searching eBay and Etsy. Some day ...... Beautiful finishes!

  8. Such a beautiful and sweet Easter tree (I love all ornaments)! And Easter bunny is very cute!


  9. Love the carrots! They are so cute and fantastic finishing. I am eventually going to go to the Flower Factory which is in the Dayton area. They used to be wholesale but are now open to the public. They supplied florists so they have tons of silk flowers. I will look for pussy willow branches for you. But I like your tree just fine. The bunnies must have had a long night supplying easter eggs and chocolate for KY. Oh and that primitive easter bunny stitch is adorable. Never saw that one before. I have a similar wind chime. I LOVE them.

  10. Jenny - I just love your carrots! I think that I collected those patterns years ago and never did a thing with them. I'm just loving yours and the way that you displayed.

    Love the GH Easter Rabbit too - so cute!!

  11. those carrots have just come out beautifully - what a fantastic looking tree.