I’m looking out on a very gray, very foggy morning, so of course I’m thinking of Spring!The needlework industry is like others – we work ahead of the seasons and holidays. On this mid-February morning my thoughts are on Easter and beyond.
In my immediate future is the Nashville Needlework Market, and I’m frantically preparing designs to show. My offerings will feature Easter eggs, spring colors and themes, pops of color in gray February as our thoughts leave winter longing for warmer weather and lighter clothes.
Lately I’ve been thinking of ways to finish my stitching other than framing. I learned how to finish Christmas ornaments as a sphere in November, starting with a 6″ ball then reducing to a 4″ ball. And I think I can go even smaller, so that experiment is next, for the Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue ornament this year (hint!). That led me to think about another semi-round shape, the ovoid egg shape, and Easter eggs.
I love Easter eggs, and always looked forward to coloring eggs with my children. I hard-boiled probably 2 to 3 dozen eggs, way more than we would ever eat, just because it was so much fun to watch the eggs take on the color, and to play with the wax resist, decals, stickers, and other decorations. Usually my mother-in-law would come over and take part in the fun. Of course we never hid the real eggs! Those were just for admiration on Easter Sunday, then peeling for deviled eggs and using in recipes.
So it was a natural thought to design Easter eggs, and try to finish them as eggs. The designing was the easy part! But working out the technical details for finishing – that was a little harder. Because of the ovoid shape, I knew the design area would be irregular. I also had to think carefully about the ground fabric. I knew canvas would work, but I was planning to design my Easter eggs as cross stitch projects for the Nashville market, so that required a different fabric. And, which threads and trims?
I decided to use Congress cloth. It has enough sizing to break down when wet, so it would mold itself to the ovoid shape. Plus, when stitched over 2 the designs would stitch up fast enough to be attractive as a seasonal design.
I also settled on Crescent Colours overdyed cotton flosses and trims. Sharon very generously shared the trims with me, giving me several sizes to experiment with as I was working out the best way to apply them. I also liked the mottled look of the threads, almost the way eggs take up dye. And of course the trims to finish matched perfectly!
Finally, in order to work out the design size, I made a prototype with unstitched fabric, just to make sure it would work. Then I took it apart, and used that to make sure I had the right size. With all the hard technical stuff out of the way, I could settle down to the fun part, and “color” eggs!
I hope you have fun with my Easter eggs too. I enjoyed them so much that these will probably not be the last Easter egg designs I do. In the meantime, look forward to Spring – I am!