Monday, February 7, 2011

Drum roll please...

Ta-da! Here we have (finally!) the finished piece of our German Shepherd Aquila.

I have to admit that this was the first time I had finished off some stitching and not just stick it in a frame. I was rather nervous about doing this as I kept worrying about ruining the stitching and having to start all over again. Anyway, I went slowly and thought it all through before starting – which is soooo unlike me (maybe some wisdom is coming with age!!) So here’s a brief outline of what I did. The base was a pre-made 7” x 9” plaque from JoAnn’s. I sanded down the rough edges then painted it with Acrylic paint called ‘English Ivy Green’. The hard part for me was waiting for it to dry as I was so eager to get on and complete it. I was really good and even gave it two coats of paint. While the paint was drying I decided what size that I wanted the stitching to be and this was where I ran in to problems! When I had decided to stitch this piece it was originally going to be for a card so I used a piece of aida the size that the magazine recommended, which was square shaped to fit the aperture of the card. I of course, decided to make the design in to a rectangular piece. I cut a piece of cardboard to the size I wanted and added a layer of batting but when I came to wrap the aida round the cardboard,  there was barely enough material on the sides! I did struggle trying to fold over the edges and keep it looking neat, but I think it worked out fine. (moral of the story is to always use more aida than needed!)  I also have to confess to be half way through glueing the aida to the backing board when I remembered that I hadn’t added the missing tail to the U on the dog’s name (see earlier post). My dilemma - do I leave it with the missing stitch (these things really bug me) or do I take it off and add the missing stitch. As you can see, I decided to add the stitch, not the easiest thing to do when half of it is attached to the backing board. Ah well, we live and learn…. next time, check stitching before starting to finish it off.  Once I had glued the stitching to the plaque, all that was left was to edge it with a piece of gold cording. Any suggestions on how to neatly join the cord edges would be much appreciated! I cheated in the first picture and hid the edge with a little bird ornament! As you can see it's not too neat at the join, but as it's my first attempt at doing this, I'm not going to worry too much about it. I remember reading somewhere that there are certain spots where the eye doesn't notice imperfections like this. I seem to remember that it was the bottom left, but I've got to say, that my eye is drawn straight there!!! lol

Voila! Aquila is now immortalized in stitches.

Here’s a breakdown on what it cost.

7” x 9” plaque $3
Acrylic paint $1
Batting $6 (half price with lots left for other projects)
Cording $1.50

On a personal note, I’m going to do the proud mama thing and show you a picture of my daughter. Yesterday she entered a martial arts tournament, the first one she’s done in over a year. She was rather nervous as she hasn’t competed for such a long time and also because (gulp! she's only seventeen) she was moved into the adult division! She came home with a silver in weapons and gold in traditional forms. She then won the champion plaque for traditional forms which qualified her for the Grand Championships. She came in third, but best of all….she had fun!

Until next time...happy stitching.



TinaTx said...

Your finishing looks great!
Congrats to your daughter!

Cath said...

Great finish , and well done to your daughter . X

Beth said...

I just came to your blog through a comment you left on my blog - thank you for that. Your German Shepard piece is great! I really appreciate your explanation as to how you finished it. I never really knew how folk made those plaques. Now I know - thanks!

You should be proud of your daughter, that was quite an accomplishment! My DGS lives in Maine, and he is in karate (I think). I do know that he received his junior black belt the first part of 2010,when he was just 11 years old. I thought that was pretty cool!

Anne said...

Great finish Rhona!! It looks great! As for making sure you have enough fabric to fold over the cardboard, well I've had that experience too, we live and learn. A lady told me told me to very carefully glue the cord so it doesn't fray because I had that problem as well. I guess practice is always the key! Congrats to your daughter!