Sunday, March 22, 2020

Autumn Crackers - Updated 5/5/2021

May 5, 2021--Won 2nd Place Ribbon in the Canvaswork-Multistitch category at Woodlawn's 58th Annual Needlework Exhibition in Alexandria, VA.

March 22, 2020--Took the time yesterday to sew up the canvases pictured below into "crackers".  Marilyn Owen's instructions were wonderful and they worked up quickly.  I made only a few changes to the instructions by first cutting the decorative ribbons the same length as the right and left sides, including seam allowances.  Then, after the crackers were stuffed with batting and narrow red ribbons wrapped around the wide decorative ribbons to close each end, I used the flat edge of a small screw driver to push the decorative ribbon edges in between the canvas seam allowance, then inserted some Fray Check" to keep everything in place.  This eliminated any need to sew the ribbon edges together.  Below is a photo of what the ribbon looked like when "tucked".  Hope this explanation makes sense.

I'm keeping the photo of Marilyn's crackers at the end of this post for comparison purposes.  If you haven't already stitched these crackers, you may want to give them a try.  They'll be adorable on my side table during the Fall season.

Autumn Crackers Finished

Decorative ribbon edges "stuffed" into seam allowance

Decorative Ribbons used in the making of Autumn Crackers

December 19, 2019--All the crackers are now stitched and ready for finishing.  In order to start that process, I had to order some autumn themed 2.5" wired ribbons and found some nice ones on eBay.   Once I determine if the ribbon colors will work with threads used, I plan to turn these canvases into "crackers" as soon as possible.  Here's the last one--a leaf.

Autumn Crackers - Leaf Completed (five of five crackers) 

December 15, 2019--On a roll now--have just finished stitching the fourth cracker--a tree in Fall colors.   There are even some leaves on the ground.  Hope to finish the last one, a leaf, before the month is done.

Autumn Crackers - Tree Completed (four of five crackers) 

December 8, 2019--The third cracker, a quilt block pattern, is done.  These are working up fast and are a lot of fun.  I've stitched the centers of the Tree and Leaf crackers, so the whole set should be done by next month.  Still have yet to purchase autumn themed ribbons.  Stay tuned for that.

Autumn Crackers - Quilt Block Completed (three of five crackers) 

November 22, 2019--The second of five crackers is now stitched.  This is an adorable pumpkin with lots of stitch and thread variety.

I found extra stretcher bars in the size I needed, so have tacked three blank pieces of canvas unto the bars and will do them all at the same time--at least each section will be completed on all three before moving to the next.  The three cracker patterns to be done are Tree, Leaf and Quilt.

Here's the pumpkin cracker:

Autumn Crackers - Pumpkin Completed (two of five crackers) 

November 17, 2019--When ANG's CyberPointers Chapter offered Autumn Crackers by Marilyn Owen (part of that year's Chapter Project Book) as a group project at their July, 2017 meeting, I had to sign up.  They are the cutest things and will look great in the house as autumnal themed needlepoint.   Even though it has taken 2 years for me to start working on these 5 crackers, I've got one completely stitched and am working on the second.  Here's a photo of the owl cracker.

Autumn Crackers - Owl Completed (one of five crackers) 

Marilyn Owen gives lots of choices for the borders and roll areas, but also lets you know which stiches she chose.  I appreciate that since I'm not very good at selecting my own.  Also, her instructions on how to finish each design as a cracker are easy to follow.  I just need to find some 2.5" Fall themed ribbons--easier said than done since I don't have large box craft stores near me (the small Michael's Arts & Craft store near me has moved out their Fall stuff and now has Christmas things).  There are lots of ribbons on eBay, so may purchase a few rolls there and hope the colors match my threads.

Below is a project photo of all 5 crackers stitched and finished by the designer, Marilyn Owen.  Love the colors.

Autumn Crackers by Marilyn Owen Project Photo

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Hooray for the Red, White & Blue - Updated 3/21/2020

March 21, 2020--The 3rd and final lesson, the flag block, was supposed to have been given to my ANG chapter at the meeting on April 6th.  However, with everything canceled because of COVID-19, I wrote out the lesson and emailed it to all participants.  They have all done so well on the stitching through the second lesson and I know this last one will be a breeze for them.  The only concern they may have is with the star brads used for embellishment.  I wrote about my experience of placing them on the canvas, so they shouldn't have any trouble at all.  Looking forward to seeing photos of their completed projects.  All in all, this was a lot of fun to work on and to lead as a chapter class.

Hooray for the Red, White & Blue - Lesson 3, Section 8

March 3, 2020--The instructions for the second installment to the project were given to my ANG chapter members yesterday.  The three sections covered were Lettering, Red and White Squares, and Fireworks.   All of us are thoroughly enjoying the variety of stitches in this piece.

The last section, The Flag, will be stitched next month, then I'll have the fun of finishing it into a box standup.

Hooray for the Red, White & Blue - Lesson 2, Sections 5 - 7
The only changes we would have made are in the spacing between the letters L and Y--they need to be closer together by one thread for balance, and lower the firecrackers by 5 threads to allow more room on top for the "spaeklers".  Otherwise it's looking good.

February 4, 2020--This wonderful project, designed by Karen Barras of the Central Kentucky Chapter of ANG, was chosen by Delaware's Seashore Chapter as their project for the first 3 months of 2020.

I have the privilege of leading the members in stitching this design, and yesterday was Lesson 1 covering the first 4 sections (bunting, pinwheel, plaid and flowers).  Of course, prior to the first lesson, all had the opportunity to do the pre-work which outlined each section with Diagonal Gobelin Stitch.

Karen's instructions and graphs are superb, but I did have to review my Chottie's Plaids book to figure out how the plaid section should be stitched.  Using her technique, the back looks as good as the front.  Here are the results:

Hooray for the Red, White & Blue - Lesson 1, Sections 1 - 4