A Tip on Personalization

When working on anything that will be personalized, double, TRIPLE check the spelling, the event date, the weight and length of the child (if the piece is a birth announcement). I have been burned once on this, and nearly burned a second time on the Beatrix Potter piece I’m working on for my nephew.

A couple years ago, I did a birth announcement for the first-born of friends of ours.  I was originally told their daughter’s name would be Anna. Since I was pretty diligent, and not very distracted by other things (as I am now), I got the cross-stitch completed in record time. Her name was personalized on it before she was even born. Of course, I had to wait until she was born in order to stitch her birthdate and weight on there, so it wasn’t completely finished. Despite being as diligent as I was, I did not know until I had finished that her parents had actually decided to go with “Annabelle” instead of just “Anna”. Too late, it was already at the framers.

On this piece, I was thankful that I had the wisdom to double (and triple) check the exact spelling, weight, and birthdate of my nephew. Originally, I had gone with my mother-in-law’s spelling of “Elliot” (since she was the one who sent out the only birth announcement via email). And even though his name was stitched onto the piece, when I looked at an email from my sister-in-law (my nephew’s mother), I noticed that his name was actually spelled with two Ts. So I un-stitched, recounted (to properly center), and stitched the correct spelling of his name on the piece. Whew! At least it wasn’t at the framers this time.

Similarly, when making a piece for a couple who is about to be married. I’ve often deliberated about using proper first names versus nicknames for friends (i.e. Thomas versus Tom). As much as I’d like to keep these works a surprise, I will often confirm with them if I’m not completely sure how they would want their names immortalized on the gift.

It seems like common sense, but sometimes, it’s just a good reminder to have just in case!

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120 Hours in: Beatrix Potter Storybook Sampler II Birth Announcement

So! I’m glad I took my friend’s advice and picked up more than just one of the Beatrix Potter patterns from Green Apple Inc. Why? After I finished the top row of animals in the pattern, I scrolled down so I could set up the personalization of my nephew’s name, weight, and birth date. However, the alphabet template provided in the pattern was completely wrong. It didn’t match the text in the example on the cover, and it was ONLY lowercase letters. Fortunately, I remembered I picked up more than just one of the patterns and checked them for an accurate alphabet template. I lucked out, and found the correct template in the Storybook Sampler I.  Whew!

Lesson learned: check the pattern before you start stitching, especially where personalization is involved. Even so, there may be other mistakes in the pattern, and sometimes the company will list corrections on their website. If corrections are not available, have a back-up plan (i.e. alternative alphabet template, in my case. I’d love to pick up the “Cross Stitch Letters Bible“).

With that out of the way, here are pictures of what I’ve completed in 120 hours (top row of animals completed in the last 73 hours; Mr. Jeremy Fisher taking the longest, for some reason).

cross stitch 002

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Puyallup Fair 2010

The last (and first) time I entered anything into the Puyallup Fair was in 2005. Finally, five years later, I get another piece in. I thought I had learned from my previous mistakes the judges called out, which was mostly using long strands of floss, that resulted in frayed stitches.  However, going up against the competition I was going up against, I didn’t quite make the cut for placing (and looking back, I should have hunted around more for the pieces that won in my portion of the division).

White Lightning at the Fair

White Lightning at the Fair

Anyhow, I entered the tiger I cross-stitched for my husband and received an Honorable Mention. Again, given the competition, I’m pretty proud of that. The other items that won in the division were gorgeous.

summer 2010 058 summer 2010 059 summer 2010 060 summer 2010 061 summer 2010 062
summer 2010 063 summer 2010 064 summer 2010 065 summer 2010 068 summer 2010 069
summer 2010 070 summer 2010 071 summer 2010 072 summer 2010 073

Also, my mom entered two items into the fair: a quilt (that previously won first place at another contest), and a purse she knitted from a kit.  Although the quilt did not receive any awards at the Puyallup Fair, her purse scored the Grand Champion of the knitting division and won her $100 gift certificate!  I’m very proud of her :)

Mom's knitted purse

Mom’s knitted purse

Mom's quilt

Mom’s quilt

I’ve been trying to figure out what I could have done differently, given that I don’t have the judges comment yet. I believe if I had ran a lint roller across the piece before having it framed, that would probably remove stray fur/hairs from it (although, I’m fairly certain I picked them out before hand). The other thing that might have gone wrong is there might have been a couple French knots in the piece that were executed poorly, thus, getting it marked down. But we’ll see what the judges say when the piece gets picked up at the end of the month.

Aside from that, I have nearly another character finished on the birth announcement I’m trying furiously to finish for our newly born nephew. It will get done, hopefully, before I see my in-laws in November.

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