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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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3-D Embroidered Eggs: Seeking a Better Pattern, or The Anatomy of an Easter Egg

 

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Last year, I flirted momentarily with the 3-D stuffed Easter Egg, made of felt and hand embroidered. It was a fun experiment – a very easy way to make decorated fabric eggs for Easter. This morning, I had an egg hunt. I wanted to revisit the concept of a 3-D egg, only I wanted a different pattern. In the deep recesses of my memory, I had an egg floating around – an embroidered egg (needlepoint, really) that my sister Susie made for my Mom many years ago. I needed to find that egg. I needed to find it and dissect it.

I found the egg. Here it is, below, embroidered on mono canvas (13 / 14 count, I think) with DMC floss in pastel colors.

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

The egg must be a good 20 years old. Nestled away in a hutch drawer, it has survived some house moves relatively unharmed. I wonder if Mom will ever know I borrowed it?

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

I just wanted to see, really, what the basic pattern was. Surely, it couldn’t be all that difficult to disassemble… in fact, on first exploration, it looked like it was simply pinned onto a styrofoam egg.

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

A few pins later, the bow was off. This was going to be easy!

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

The dividing ribbons were pinned down… and glued down. Ooooh. I hadn’t considered glue.

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

Ooooh. I hadn’t considered quite so many pins, either…

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

Yeeesh. I was feeling a bit like Lady Macbeth: “Who would have thought the old egg to have had so many pins in him?” Two broken fingernails later, they were out.

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

It yawned and revealed its styrofoam innards.

This was the point where I realized the thing was not going to go back together.

Ever!

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

I knew there had to be one seam in the piece, and after much cajoling with an awl and some scissors and any other tool that I could poke and prod through layers of floss and glue hardened by time, I found the seam.

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

I unwrapped the egg.

A band of mono canvas lined the inside of the egg, around the middle. It was glued on.

I have a whole new respect for glue. It is tenacious stuff.

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

The naked egg, and all its accoutrements.

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

And the needful piece, from which my plan was to develop a pattern that looks something like this:

Hand Embroidered Easter Egg

What I was aiming for was a pattern for a stuffed egg that was one piece, that could be embroidered before it was sewn up. I don’t know if this will work – I haven’t tested it yet – but if you want to play with it, you’re welcome to do so! If you print it off your computer, enlarge it to 4″ high (which will make it 6″ wide). You’ll want to cut it with a seam allowance. My plan is to print it on card stock to use as a tracing template, since I’ll be working on felt. I’ll trace the outline of the cardstock pattern onto the felt (that way, I have my sewing lines all marked) and then I’ll cut it out with an 1/8 – 1/4″ seam allowance around it.

Again, I have no idea how well it will work at this point – no doubt, some tweaking will need to be done – but it’ll be fun to fiddle with, to see if I can make it work.

Ah. Nothing like last minute projects!

Any input, suggestions, or even admonitions for destroying the original are welcome!

Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Susie!

 
 

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(10) Comments

  1. Hi, Mary! It WAS a lovely egg! 😀 Anyway, I guess if Susie couldn't tell you how she did it, that was the only way, wasn't it? Have a happy easter playing with version 2.0 of the egg! I can't wait to see the results! Wouldn't it be lovely to use the pattern on linen and thread paint something on it? Hmm…

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  2. Ouch! It hurts my very soul to see that egg disassembled after being so beautiful for so many years! I can only hope you are able to make one even more beautiful from your evil deed! BTW, you're welcome.

    Your favorite sister,
    Susie

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  3. Mary – we must have been on the same Easter Egg hunt! I've been doodling with this concept all week. I knew I had seen a pattern before but had not looked for it. And my Mother would kill me if I had dismantled one of the eggs she made!

    I'm not sure if I have ever posted it here or not but I am mostly quiet because I am in awe of your projects. Your postings really make things seem possible, but partly because you make it look so easy.

    Happy Easter – and thanks for the starting point. I'll be watching to see what you do with it!

    Jenny in Pittsburgh, PA

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  4. Thanks for the pattern. I don't see why the old egg can't be reconstructed, perhaps with a new styrofoam egg. It doesn't look like you pulled the stitching too much out of place and the seams are all covered with the ribbon. Dampen the canvas before pinning it to the ball–it will become pliable and easily pinable. Once dry, the sizing kicks in again and it keeps its new shape nicely.

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  5. Mary, thank you for this egg. Few last years I was crocheting on plastic eggs ant when stitching on them. But I like your idea very much and I'll try it after Easter. Now it's time to take onions and flowers and colour real eggs.
    And I am waiting for your new great Easter eggs.

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  6. Hmmmm….well Mary, I have to say that you have guts to take that apart! It's really pretty and I hope you can recreate it because I'd love to do one (or three).

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  7. G'day Mary and Susie,

    I was going to say OUCH but you beat me to it Susie.

    Don't worry Susie, I'm sure Mary has a 'whole new respect' for you too now, as well as for glue.

    Appreciate the skills and efforts of you both.

    May all your Easter eggs be filled with more than styrofoam and glue. At least enough of them to give you all a very confectionate and enjoyable Easter.

    Cheers, Kath

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  8. Hi, just wanted to thank you for this. It does work, very well. I made a tiny robin’s egg out of felt, I reduced the image by 50% and the egg is around a little smaller than an inch, thank you so much.
    Rosie

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  9. My daughter wanted a white boiled egg made out of felt. I enlarged your pattern a bit, and it came out beautifully! My daughter is pleased, and it was very easy to make. Thank you!

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