Remember this little camper embroidery project I shared with you last week?
It’s my nod to summer and all the promises of adventure and sunshine and relaxation the sunny season entails.
It so happens that I finished the embroidery just in time for it to go adventuring with me.
Here’s the camper, hot from the hoop.
My feelings will not be hurt at all if you mention the term “snow globe.” I debated about the white seed stitching. I succumbed to it, because, on the darker linen canvas ground fabric, the camper didn’t stand out as much as I wanted it to.
Enter: lots and lots of little seed stitches – which are really just randomly worked and randomly situated small straight stitches.
I like it from far away. From close up, the texture might overwhelm it a little bit, but you know what? I still like it!
Once out of the hoop, it was time for damp stretching.
I have two articles about damp stretching on Needle ‘n Thread that will show you how to do it and share some tips. Here’s one (more of the how-to) and here’s the other (helpful tips and adjustments in my own approach).
Never skip this step when you’re finishing an embroidery project. It really makes all the difference in the quality of the finish. It helps smooth out the fabric, it removes stubborn creases (think: hoop!), and it really forces the embroidery to look its very best.
This is the camper, post damp-stretching. The photo was taken at a slight angle, now that I look at it while writing – it makes the camper look slightly skewed.
But you get the idea!
As far as stitching goes, I kept my interpretation pretty simple, but the overall effect is a cheerful busy-ness.
I used mostly basic stitches – running stitch, chain stitch, backstitch, stem stitch, whipped stitches and laced stitches, woven stitches, some buttonhole and lazy daisy and French knots.
I think perhaps my favorite element on the whole thing is this little potted plant. Cacti? Aloe? It’s a cheery, homey touch à la Anna, who doodled the original design in the first place, when we first conceived the “summer wheels” idea.
Anna is very cheery and homey.
The plan for the finish? A simple summer tote, perfect for adventuring or just lolling about.
Julie – my other niece who works with me now and then – brought the gingham to the table (a great match, and very cheery and homey) and did the sewing up.
Julie is very cheery and homey, too.
I’m using the tote as my entertainment bag while I’m away. There’s plenty of room in it for my iPad, several books I might be able to read this week, and yes, my hexies! I’m taking along just enough hexies to sew when the urge strikes, but not enough to become burdensome. And not enough to make me feel compelled to stitch. Sometimes, one needs a thorough break!
My reading stack is somewhat over-optimistic. I’ve got five books with me. I’m not going to be away a whole week. And a couple days will be spent driving. So, yes. Five books might be a bit much.
Favorites so far: Long Live the Queen by Bryan Koslowski is a fun, insightful, and fabulous book, if you haven’t read it. There’s also an audio edition if you like to listen to books while you stitch. I like the printed version, because I like to delve into the notes whenever I have a hankering.
By the same author, I’m reading The Jane Austen Diet, which is not really a diet book the way we think of a diet book. It’s an exploration of the wisdom we can glean from the culinary and lifestyle habits of a lady of the Regency era, as depicted in Jane Austen’s books. It’s quite humorous and enjoyable so far. I made myself put it aside and save it for this trip. I’m glad I did!
I’m also toting along Perfume from Provence and another book by Lady Winifred Fortescue. I have long been a fan of Peter Mayle’s Provence books. I’ve always taken at least one of them along with me when I travel. For this break, I decided to reach back to the original Provence books by Winifred Fortescue, and I’m exploring those right now. Perhaps dated, but still charming!
And there’s the tote, out in the morning rain-shine, waiting to leave Kansas for sunnier climes.
I used 1.5″ wide webbing for the handles, because I prefer a substantial handle. I thought about constructing handles using the linen canvas and the lining fabric, but, in fact, webbing makes a great handle, and it keeps the finishing job simple, simple, simple.
It’s a happy thing, my little tote. I like it!
I’ll have more “Summer Wheels” information for you down the road a bit!
Hope you’re enjoying a fabulous week! On Monday, we’ll explore a couple books that I love, that I use for inspiration (embroidery and otherwise). And on Wednesday, it’s time for a grand finish! Yes, finally, A Sea to Stitch!