Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Project Wedding Present

My husband's niece is getting married next month, so we need a wedding gift. I was looking through her list at Target and saw she had chosen some Suzani decorated items and had a thought.

Instead of purchasing something everyone else has, I would get some Suzani embroidery and make a table runner, placemats and napkins. They would be unique to her.

The first step was to decide which embroidery to purchase. I chose a classic Suzani design pack due to it's similarity to the design from Target. I also used the Target ones to help with color choices, keeping to what she had chosen (plus if someone else purchases the Target ones, they will coordinate!). Above is my test stitch-out of two of the designs I decided to use. The long one had to be enlarged a bit and moved. The corner piece I only flipped and moved until it lined up in a way I liked. I've used this piece to guide my colors consistently through.

I did 4 designs on each placemat ... two on each side and the rotated and repeated on the opposite side.

Here is the first finished placemat. I think I've ironed this 10 times! There are four napkins all hemmed and pressed. I'm still deciding if I want to separate out a small piece of the embroidery to do on one corner of each napkin.

I've also begun the embroidery work for the table runner. Since it is so much larger I have more area to work with. I used another border design from the package and have a medallion and some other bits to chose from. I sketched a couple different layouts before choosing what I thought would look best. At present, it's time to re-hoop for the next set of designs. I may work up one side to the middle and then the other side, maybe putting a medallion in the very center. So far, I've only decided upon these two pieces for the ends.

Here's my workspace set-up. I'm using my Project Runway to do the hems and seams while the embroidery machine works. Some of these designs take 15 thread changes. So far the biggest has been 16K stitches and 30 minutes of stitch time. When I was working on Sunday, Steve often kept peeking over my shoulder as the machine worked. 

I've arranged these machines, shelves and tables three times now. I'm still not completely happy with the set up. Putting up the temporary table makes it hard to get to one side of the dining table. The big machine blocks the view of the TV for Steve when you don't want to miss the action of a game at supper time. Plus the latest move put my little dresser (lace/elastic storage) in front of the heat vent for the room, thus might have to be moved. I may reconsider the entire layout.

I currently have the table with the big embroidery machine, a commercial machine with it's own table, my dresser storage, two white shelves which hold my serger, my Project Runway machine and my straight stitch HD quilting machine. It also holds my iron, cutting tool box, embroidery supplies and ironing aides. Then there is my 10-drawer cabinet for thread, notions, and tools. Not to forget having a good size dining table, hutch, chairs, smaller cabinet for linens, and three more shelves along another wall. I definitely need to declutter this room again.

Probably, though, not until after this project is complete. Since I'm already working on the table runner and am ready to assemble the second placemat, I'm almost halfway! Then, maybe I will take another look at the room and sketch a few ideas.


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