Cat’s Project for Bella – How Much Time?

One of the first questions that must be answered when starting any design is “How much time do I want to devote to this project?”  Time limits many design options.  If you want something to give tomorrow, there’s no way a large elaborate design will work.  If you want beautiful lettering, an intricate image, subtle shading, you’re not going to get it in a bookmark you can complete in an afternoon.

I want to stress here that bigger, time-consuming designs aren’t always better.  It can be hard to sustain the effort needed to make it to completion.  It is dispiriting to start with high hopes for a project and end up with it sitting half-finished in the closet.  It’s best to pick something you can encompass.

Also, you need to consider how the person you are making it for will use it.  A big framed piece may not work for everybody.  Cat wrote:

I would like something small she can keep in her room, or in a memory box as she matures.

Small size means we need to look at trade-offs between length of verse, simplicity of lettering, and size of stitches.  If you’re willing to work very small stitches intricate words are possible, but will take time.

Cat, I had an idea which I’m not sure if you would like.  How about stitching a book?  Maybe a book cover that would hold photo pages.  Or maybe a book that you could add to over time, and maybe even other people would stitch pages for her?  She might even add to it herself in time.  It could be bound with ribbons, and the edges whip stitched.

So, what we need to figure out is how elaborate a project do you want?  I can do embroidery bookmarks that will take a couple of hours:

Insp Unfailing BM by Carmen CS
Insp Unfailing BM, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

I can do 5″x7″ 10 point designs which might take a weekend:Rheba Flamingoes by Carmen CS

Rheba Flamingoes, a photo by Carmen CS on Flickr.

And it goes up from there…

7 thoughts on “Cat’s Project for Bella – How Much Time?

  1. rhekelley says:

    I like the idea of the Unfailing Love bookmark–something quick to stitch that will be an encouragement, and I could make a few to have on hand. Could you post instructions on how you finish the edges?

    • I actually buy these made up in packs of 10 on eBay – Aida Bookmarks. But basically it’s just the fabric turned under once and satin stitched using a machine. The ends are stripped back first to make the fringe.

  2. Reblogged this on NeedlePrayer and commented:

    Now that we’ve got the verse for Bella, Cat needs to decide how big a project she wants.

    • Cat says:

      Sorry for the computer troubles. I LOVE the book idea. Probably not a huge book – just because that is tough to keep. I will look into photo books where, perhaps, there is a place to stitch. I do counted cross stitch, and have embroidered on hankies (monograms) with very high count, requiring a magnifying glass. Something in between your example and these monograms is great.

      BTW: if you already know of photo books or scrap books allowing for stitching, I’d like to know that.

      • Actually, I was thinking of a book entirely made of needlework!

        We’d start by making a front and back cover (stiffened with cardboard if needed) with holes to allow ribbon binding. Then you could add pages as desired.

        This would make a lovely tactile object, especially if you use different fibers and/or stitches.

        You can pick the size, and each component can have a different point size as desired.

  3. Cat says:

    I am all for that. I recover notebooks to make attractive journals. This would be a few steps more. Sounds great! I need your advice: with the quote, how large a book for a reasonable sized stitch (without need for the magnifying glass)?

  4. I don’t know what you would consider a reasonable sized stitch 😉

    I will lay out the quote and post it. That will tell us how many threads will be needed. Then we can divide that by different point sizes to get canvas size.

    I’ll post the layout and size soon.

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