This design was serious fun! I couldn't even be bothered to stop and blog about starting it before I had it stitched and finished. Too much fun!
Design ~ My Favorite Kitten
Designer ~ Primitivebettys
Fabric ~ 32 count Belfast Linen, Daffycat Dyed
Fiber ~ DMC
Finish ~ Pinkeep
I had a few comments and questions about the Tweet Heart finish so I decided to address those in a similar finish blog post. First off, someone said something like, "You make it sound so easy!" which I worried meant, "This is easy for you to make but "I" could never do this." I want to make it clear this IS easy to make. YOU can do this! So I found a pattern I've had sitting and waiting and made a start, taking photos as I went along...
I have my design stitched. I don't really enjoy stitching on Belfast (it wrinkles like mad) but I wanted its rustic weave for this project. I cut out some iron-on interfacing to cover the back.
I choose a backing fabric and put the interfacing on it as well. Once you have it ironed on don't fiddle with it until it is cooled down. Let that glue set!
I take my pattern and hang it up in the window.
I put my Kitten over the paper face down so I can draw on the interfacing. The tricky part is centering! Once you think you have it where it goes, tape it up and check it over carefully! Once you're sure, trace over the lines and don't forget to mark the opening you are to leave un-sewed!
I use a Frixion pen. This ink erases with heat. The line I have drawn is my seam line, the line I will sew directly on. If my pattern called for me to sew inside the line, I would draw a second line.
Now, I pin my backing fabric to my stitched piece. Careful! Make sure the pretty sides touch each other!
Now, I sew on the line, careful to backstitch at the start and stop. What if you don't have a sewing machine? 1. You can hand sew, use tiny, secure stitches. 2. You can have a friend sew it on their machine. 3. You can invest in a machine of your own. Check Craigslist or Facebook marketplace for an inexpensive machine in working order. I am fond of vintage Singers as they are easy to find parts for.
Once my seam was sewn, I ran the hot iron over it to "disappear" the ink. See how the ears are still there? Just a touch of the iron erases the color.
Now, I can trim close to the seam and clip any curves so it will lay nice inside.
The hardest part ~ turning! Careful not to tear out your stitching. Be gentle. Poke. Pull. Squeeze.
I use a turning tool to help poke out ears and tails. A chopstick works great! Careful not to poke through the seam. I run the tool along every seam, pinching from the outside to make sure it gets pushed completely open.
Goodness, Belfast creases and crumples.
I iron the piece flat, smoothing out the seam inside with my tool. Open it all up neatly.
Using the turning opening fill your pinkeep with your favorite stuffing. I like ground walnut shells., just pour them in with a funnel. Someone wanted to know why I use them? Because they are heavy and they smell lovely. They give a good weight to your pillow. If your pillow gets damp they won't get sticky like rice or small peas/beans would. I also add a good pinch of dried lavender buds for additional scent.
You can buy the ground walnut shells at the pet shop, sold as bird or small animal litter.. I got about a five pound bag, if I remember correctly. It fit inside this cereal storage container. I have had this same package for several years. Once I had it as full as I could stuff it I used a ladder stitch to close the seam, using sewing thread. Learn this stitch! It is a nice invisible way to close seams.
Then I stitched a decorative cross stitch on the seam itself, using a DMC that I tea-dyed. I deliberately made it uneven to give it a rustic, prim feel. After my kitten was done, I used a hot iron to smooth the seam and to remove creases in the Belfast from all the pinching during sewing.
I think my kitten turned out really sweet! Don't forget, he isn't too pretty to stick pins in! Use your smalls and love them. Collecting dust isn't as much fun as being loved and used.
Thank you for visiting my blog today!