Thursday, August 11, 2011

Finished Snakes and a Giveaway

(ETA: You can find the pattern for all these snakes in Sara's shop here.)

Sara is wrapping up her "Stitching Angels" series tomorrow, but I'm showing you all four finished snakes here today--plus I'm hosting a little giveaway to celebrate. First up, the Emerald Tree Boa, properly ironed and everything!

I think this guy would look great as an applique or stitched onto some green fabric. Since I was using natural muslin, I lightly shaded the snake with a green colored pencil. Those white patches were my first ever attempts at satin stitch. I learned I don't like doing it much!

Next is, I think, my favorite--the rattlesnake.

For this one, I used seed stitch as the fill stitch, and I really think it was worth it! I was worried for a bit there that the browns weren't going to contrast enough, but they did (whew!) and I'm pretty impressed with the end result. Also, if you don't embroider, I'll let you in on a secret--all this takes is patience. It's not hard at all.

For the next two snakes, I departed from reality and let my kids pick the colors. My seven-year-old chose the colors for the striped snake. I limited him to five, plus one more for the head.

Isn't he colorful!

The final pattern I stitched was a cobra, and I chose to do the small size, mainly to try to show the variation in sizes for the patterns (although you can't really see that in the photos anyway), and I did struggle with it a bit.

I let my two-year-old choose the colors for this one, by the way. I'm pleased with the basket. I wanted to find a stitch to use in there that would look basket-like but not be overwhelming for me to learn in this rather short time period. I looked through my copy of Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches and chose spaced buttonhole filling. The directions have you work buttonhole stitch from left to right—which is the way I’m used to doing it—and then, on the row below, from right to left. You just work it back and forth until you’re done. Working buttonhole stitch in the opposite direction like that was a little trickier than I thought it would be—our hands gets so used to doing the same things in the same ways! I very much like the effect, though, even if it's a bit wonky in places.

Sara drew little ovals down the side of the cobra's flared neck, and they seemed to want to be chain stitches. But at that size, everything got close together and this is where I really struggled on the stitching. I wish I could say I like this one better, but mainly I was glad he was done. I feel I didn't quite do the drawing justice.

So what are we going to do with these snakes?! Alas, if you were hoping, I'm not giving any of them away. My kids would never forgive me. I'm not sure what they'll become--patches on a kid's totebag? A wall hanging? I'm sure we'll know it when we see it. Meanwhile, I hope to encourage anybody out there who is considering trying embroidery--or who knows somebody who could benefit from some starter supplies (a child? a neighbor?)--by giving away some basics that are enough to get you started, assuming you have some fabric scraps at your disposal.

Two hoops--a 5-inch and a 7-inch, which are the sizes I've been using--a package of embroidery needles, and a whole bunch of floss--thirty-six skeins. All brand new. Take a closer look at the floss...

That will keep you stitching for a while. Just leave a comment here before noon on Monday, August 15, to be eligible, and yup, I'll mail it overseas. Make sure that if I don't already know your email address, it's either in your Blogger profile or you leave it somehow in your comment, because if I don't have an email address to let you know you've won, your comment doesn't count.

And my latest embroidery project? The flowers have it.
Happy stitching!

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23 comments:

Donna Lee said...

You could get some nice washable fabric and make place mats for the kids to use for dinner. While snakes are not my favorite things, I know the kids like them.

Once or twice a year, I get the urge to get the embroidery out and work on it. I think it's getting to be that time.

Limar said...

Fantastic snakes! Love the brown one :)

amy said...

Thanks, Limar! And Donna Lee, that's a fantastic idea! I just saw a project on a blog using fabric and then laminating it to make place mats. I wonder if that would squish the stitching too much? Because that would be perfect!

Vanessa said...

Love this giveaway and the snakes! I say frame them and put them up in your kids room. Embroidery is so much fun!

SimonSimple said...

Great give-away and your snakes are ridiculously awesome! I adore the first one thought it is the simple one.

CelticMommy said...

Wow, that is some beautiful work! I really love the rainbow-y snake and the boa reminds me of the book Verdi.
:-) Hettie
CelticMommy on Raverly

Peppermint Mocha Mama said...

Those are all so cute. I haven't done cross-stitch in a few years but it's a craft I enjoy... thanks for the reminder.

PprmntMochaMama on Ravelry

Bells said...

wow that brown snake in particular is very good! So striking! But they're all great - real ones and non-real!

You've reminded me, in talking about patches, of an idea I've been throwing around in my head that I must email you about!

GirlAnachronismE said...

Wow, I love teh snakes. I think the cobra is my favourite,and doesn't look wonky at all. I have no idea if my email is in my profile, so it's emmalittlehales@hotmail.com if not

annemarie said...

I saw your snakes over on Sara's blog - beautiful work!

Silvia said...

Oh wow, those snakes are so cool! I'd love to give embroidery a try.
Silvia
sespantosa[at]gmail[dot]com

Here and there said...

I'm new to embroidery and really getting a kick out of it. Your snakes are beautiful, and thx for the chance to win the giveaway!

cyndylee[at]gmail[dot]com

Jennifer said...

I love the snakes - I can see that your children would love them. I am trying to get going on some embroidery again. It seems so hard to get started! I would like to win your kit, so my e-mail is brunerjj@yahoo.com

Emma said...

Very cool snakes! I'd love to try out embroidery.

Stephanie said...

Very cool projects! I have been thinking about learning embroidery lately, but I'm nervous!!

Jolene said...

Visiting from the split stitch. Thanks for the great giveaway!

Lauren - Ambitious Stitches said...

Love the snakes! I do have to say that the rainbow one is my favorite. The bright colors really make it stand out!

Thank you for hosting the give away. I'm very new to embroidery, but I have some friends that are also interested in it and have never given it a shot.

Sue said...

Very nice snakes, but the bright flowers are even better. I love stitching bright happy patterns. Please enter me in your giveaway. More floss is always a good thing.
Sue

Crunchy Con Mommy said...

So cute! It'd be fun to quilt them into a throw pillow I bet!

Unknown said...

nice job with the snakes they look really cool and this giveaway is very cool

Shell said...

I love the different snakes especially the rattlesnake and cobra. I struggle to find what to do any small embroidery so at the moment they are all stashed away to make a small quilt for the bottom of my little girls bed.
Lovely give away .. I love the purple hoop .. I'm a sucker for purple :)

Jane Jeffress Thomas said...

I'm scared of snakes and can hardly even look at them, but you did a good job with yours. Love what you have in your giveaway. I would love to win this. Thank you.

jane1 at cp-tel dot net

lamina @ do a bit said...

This is such a great giveaway... I can't help but enter :)

I'm now sure what time it is over where you are at the moment...I feel I may have miss the time deadline.. but I doesn't hurt to .. hey :)