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Topic: Hands Around Your Heart - a family portrait cushion. IMAGE MAHOOSIVE!  (Read 5439 times)
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noodle-bug
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« on: November 15, 2011 07:15:30 AM »

So, I was really struggling to think what to make my little sister for her 18th birthday. She only really appreciates gifts purchased from Tiffany's or bearing an Abercrombie & Fitch label, but I wanted to make something... so I was thrilled when I came across the idea of embroidering handprints, I mooched over the idea, did some sketches and decided to make this cushion, with all of our families' hands around a heart:
I wanted to include all the immediate family, and there are a lot of us - 4 generations (Nan, Dad, Mum, 2 brothers, 2 sister-in-laws, me & my partner, niece and nephew), and trying to fit everyone on without it looking squished is basically where the design came from. I live far away from all the rest, so I got them to draw around their hands on paper and post them to me for me to use as templates. Of course I couldn't ask my sister without giving the game away, so that is where the 'around your heart' idea came from. Each hand has the persons name next to it (the hands are chain stitched, the names backstitched)
and the central heart is embroidered ( back stitch, running stitch  & french knots) in the middle of a piece of reverse applique (grey & cream shabby chic type cotton, on cream felt). Cutting away the cotton, it was tough to get a perfect circle because of the way the fabric frayed along it's weave/waft - I did my best but it's still not great

The corner pieces are also reverse applique, again with backstitch embroidery:

The back is plain and has a simple button closing:
 
All the buttons are all different, but shades of grey & cream - to go with the kind of shabby chic feel. My first ever attempt at buttonhole stitch (hmm... maybe I should have practiced first...) came out ok-ish I think. Because the cushion inside is so fat, the buttons are pulled way down - I tried them in all sorts of positions but that kept happening whereever I put them (Hmm... any tips??) so I learned to live with it

The top corner of the back also features a little cat paw, to represent my sister's cat Harvey (and a button) because he loves her too Grin

And I wrote a little explanation message inside for her (in fabric marker biro - the kind for writing name labels);
It reads;
Whichever way your story bends, we will be with you, like handprints on your heart. happy 18th Birthday to my little sister, Love Vxxx
(which you may recognise as a slight variation on a lyric from the musical Wicked. Very deep and meaningful Wink)

Thanks for looking everyone, feedback and constructive criticism very welcome!

(edited for spelling & grammar)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011 04:57:30 AM by Vekiki » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011 07:22:35 AM »

this is absolutely stunning! Great job, and I'm sure she will love it Smiley

My sister, too, is of the sort that is more appreciative of labels & price tags, but whenever I make her something special she is so blown away by the thought & effort put into it that it ends up having a higher price tag for her than a bought gift.
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noodle-bug
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2011 07:30:38 AM »

Well she seemed quite pleased - it was hard to tell though if she was just being polite Smiley I think she will appreciate it more when she leaves home, it'll give her something to cuddle if she gets homesick. My Mum really liked it  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011 10:22:57 AM »

Wow. This project made me happy cry. It's absolutely beautiful and touching. I'm sure she will absolutely treasure it. I love that you included the puppy print. It's  special in every way.

Great job.

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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2011 11:16:55 AM »

I love the idea of this and the execution is marvelous. 

I had a similar idea for a quilt a few years back but couldn't get the family to cooperate.

As for the buttons, I thought that was deliberate when I first looked at so I think you could just consider the placement of the buttons to be part of the design.
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2011 11:44:56 AM »

I love this.  Rocks for sure.
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011 11:49:02 AM »

This pillow is quite stunning. I'm adding this to my Pinterest.
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011 04:19:00 PM »

Gorgeous and really meaningful
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noodle-bug
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2011 04:48:31 AM »

Wow. *blush* I'm really honoured by all your lovely comments - thank you
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jezebel_1982
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2011 05:39:23 AM »

oh, and btw, pinned Cheesy
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