Fun with thread

I knew what was coming up on my to-do list and knew that I’d better get my bead bags for January cut out and sewn before I started my next project. With more duplicate fabrics than I usually like to use, I got them done.

January '24 bead bags

While that was going on I had a professional painter working in my kitchen. My cupboards had been painted many times since the house was built in 1948. They definitely needed a refresh, and this was not a task I wanted to undertake, especially because I wanted to replace all the hardware. I hired a painter I’d used before and was very happy with, and early January was when he could fit me into his schedule. Here are the before photos. Everything was white, white white.

The differences may not be so obvious in the photos (I almost didn’t post the photos because of this), but suffice it to say that in real life the change is very noticeable. I am very happy with the work. And thrilled that I didn’t try to do this myself. The man I hired is a professional, for sure, and it took him a full 40 hours to do the work. Much time had to be spent removing the doors. Those old hinges had so many coats of paint on them, getting the screws out without stripping them was not easy. I know I would have been in tears of frustration trying to do this myself. The upper cupboards are white with a bit of tint to soften the look. The lower cupboards are a light grey.

kitchen after painting and new hardware

I really try to make my Christmas cards for the coming year in January or February. Any later in the year and I either completely forget about it or am too busy doing other things. I showed you a sample of what this year’s cards would be in my last post. I have now done the embroidery on the 40 cards I need, and here you’ll see them all.

First up is a design I didn’t create; it comes from stitchedstories. You can find a wide variety of patterns there, some are very complex; I just downloaded her free printable holiday gift tags. Here are her snowflakes. Easy and lovely. They were the first cards I embroidered.

Next I moved to a simplistic trees. I added all the red accents and a few of the green lines on one card, but somehow they never really pleased me.

simple design embroidered tree cards

A few other designs came with the free pack, but either they didn’t speak to me or I tried them unsuccessfully on cardstock. So now came the REAL time suck. I sat in front of my computer and googled. And googled. And googled some more. Then I got out my graph paper, 6″ ruler, and mechanical fine-line pencil. This led to a seemingly-endless round of drawing and erasing, trying again, crumpling paper, repeat. But I came up with some designs I liked well enough to try. First up here is a different type of simple tree. It’s just okay IMHO. Three cards was enough for me.

my design simple tree embroidered cards

Then I tried some strings of lights. Fun, but still just okay, so I was again done after 3 cards.

embroidered string of lights card

Now the more serious designs started being embroidered. Here are my Peace cards. I liked them well enough to initially embroider 3 of them. At this point I realized that I was better at the embroidery end than at the design end. I knew what I liked but not necessarily how to create it. So what could I do to make my Peace cards please me more? I added the little stars, which I thought improved them, ultimately making 3 more.

embroidered Peace design cards

Next up, I designed a rather complex-looking star. Interestingly, I think it wasn’t as hard to emboider as it looks like it would be. I initially made just a few of these, and then as I was counting the completed cards and figuring out how many more I needed, I made more and more of these, ultimately finishing up with 10 cards. They are my favs, for sure.

embroidered star cards

The last cards I designed were a more complex snowflake than the downloaded snowflake. I quite liked these, too, and made 6 of them as well.

embroidered more complex snowflake cards

The final design, a parabola with a star, worked fine but didn’t seem very Christmas-y, so I only made 1.

parabola and star card

A clever reader will count and see that this is 39 cards, not 40. HAH!! My record-keeping sheet told me I had made 11 of the complex stars, but in reality there were only 10. I didn’t realize my error until I was in front of the computer making this blog post. However I’d already put away all the supplies and wasn’t going to get them all out again, so I’ll go into the 2024 holiday season with 39 cards. This will probably be enough – I usually have a few extra. If not, I’ll make one more at that time. I certainly kept all my designs along with the finished cards, so it won’t be a huge deal. Plus, that’s the time when I’ll have to decide what to back the cards with. The backside of the embroidery is very messy and must be covered – will I use card stock? Wrapping paper? Something else? I have time to make that decision.

4 comments to Fun with thread

  • Judy

    I love your cards Peg, especially the PEACE ones and the later snowflakes. All are just so lovely (as your cards always are). I was surprised to see embroidery instead of weaving, but found them to be a really nice surprise!
    Your cabinets turned out great. I like that you changed the bottom cabinets to a light grey and added a light tint to the top ones. Your new knobs really updated the look. Nicely done.

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Judy. I really enjoyed making these cards, and may just have to do more with embroidery – on card stock? On fabric? On handmade paper? Only time will tell.

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