Saturday, December 1, 2018

Mosaic Monday #5 - The Fine Print

Since September, I have written a couple of posts including my Christmas cross-stitch decoration project.  I have been so proud of my progress.  Well, as they say, pride goeth before a fall.  I failed to read the fine print.

"Finishing instructions" does not equal "finishing materials".

As mid-November approached, I decided it was time to finish the 10 designs that had already been stitched.  It may sound like a simple decision, but for the person in me who always wants to complete a task, this was a wrenching call because the set contains THIRTY ornaments.  I reminded myself about sage advice from Stephen Covey - begin with the end in mind.  What would be the point of stitching all thirty if none of them would actually hang on the tree this year?
Yes, there are 11 here; I finished another one since mid-November

I dug around in the original packaging, looking for the 'hangers' pictured on the cover of the Season of Giving set.  Not there.  I pulled out the instructions, and discovered the 'fine print' - Finishing Materials (not included).


So began a voyage of discovery.  In my mind, I had imagined the 'hangers' as small, colored embroidery hoops.  At Hobby Lobby, I showed the picture to a staff member, and she showed me the hoops available, none of which were the right size.  Dejected, I complained to Spousal Unit, and he helped me look for options on-line.  I quickly abandoned that idea when I realized 30 hoops would cost three times as much as the original price of the set.

Rather than make another fruitless trip into town, I called Michaels and described my project.  In the process of doing so, it finally struck me that the 'hangers' are not hoops at all, but loops of cording sewn onto the fabric.  Duh.  So back to Hobby Lobby I went, this time in search of cotton fabric, mounting circles, cording, etc.

I found most of what I needed, and got creative with the rest.  A piece of poster board served as a mounting board circle, and I eagerly laced the first design over the circle with a bit of polyfil underneath to make it slightly poofy.  I quickly realized that conventional sewing thread was not suitable for this lacing task, since the knots were not big enough to stay put in the Aida cloth.  I struggled through with the thread anyway, and then I had my next a-ha moment - the set came with felt backing!!!  This is mentioned on the front cover of the set, but is not mentioned anywhere in the finishing instructions.  Effectively, the white felt takes the place of the 'cotton fabric circle' that is listed in the finishing materials and the finishing instructions.

So, I decided to disregard the directions to center the cotton fabric over a mounting board circle with lacing, etc.  Instead, I attempted to glue the felt circle to the back of my laced design.  (No glue gun here, folks, just regular old fabric glue.  As you might surmise, it didn't work.)  So, I hand-stitched the felt to the Aida fabric.

Fine - now we are making progress.  On to the cording.  I had selected a 1/8 inch cording featuring red, green and white - I thought it would make a nice complement to the designs.  Bottom line?  After I stitched the cording to the ornament with white thread, I was not satisfied with the look.  As you can see, the cording got 'lost' against the size of the ornament.  Also, the stitching was showing.  More aaarrrggghhh.  Back to Hobby Lobby I went.

I returned one unopened spool of the cording, and a package of cotton fabric that was now surplus to requirements since I discovered the felt.  I bought a much broader decorative trim in solid red, and also took this chance to buy some thicker thread that would make the initial lacing easier.

And check out the result!

The red trim makes the whole ornament pop.  In addition, it allows me to make the ornament look circular; before adding the trim, lacing the stiff Aida fabric results in a shape more akin to a hexagon.  

So happy!  Now that I have a 'system' for completing each ornament, it only takes an hour for the finishing process.  Who knows?  I might be able to stitch a few more and get them on the tree, THIS YEAR.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.


  1. Oh my. I laughed at this for I have had a very similar experience. I used to make or buy an ornament for each child when they lived at home. One year I started a set of handmade ones. That was also the year when I had a new baby in late September and moved in December. What was I thinking? I kept the ornaments and finally finished them - when the baby was 15 years old!

    Your ornaments are looking great! How pleased you will be to finally finish them.

  2. It turned out great. You did a fine job. : )

  3. They turned out great. I have a set my mom did years ago and treasure them. - Margy

  4. Way to go! Nice brainstorming. It looks wonderful (and I am a cross stitcher from way back)! Kit

  5. Oh my! Glad to see it all worked out. That's a lot of stitching and would be a shame if you didn't at least finish the ones you've made. I bought a punch needle project one time that I thought was a kit. Got it back here to Kuwait only to find out that there was no punch needle inside the box so that's something I never got to do and don't even know where the box is now.

  6. Well done perservering , the finished decoration looks wonderful.

  7. sure have a lot of patience! Something that I lack.

  8. Haha - I admire you, you are tough! Your stiched decorations are truly a treasure. I once had these (not stitched by me). They had pretty metal hangers that were underneath each other in a red ribbon - a decoration for a wall. I don't have any idea where it might be today. Lost treasure, only in my mind.

  9. Whoa! You have way more patience than I---good for you. My as you say 'spousal unit' always has said to me 'Time and Patience' and he is right but maybe not for me---my mind whirrs on to something else.
    Proud of you for finishing and actually making the product better
    Very pretty

  10. Angie, your stitching is lovely. I've done hand work since I was a child. Needlepoint is my main love, but I've done embroidery, counted cross stitch, and quilting too. Your ornaments are beautiful. Thanks for hosting.

  11. Hello, lovely stitched ornament. Looks beautiful with the red ribbon. My hands would be hurting trying to finish one. Thanks for hosting MM. Happy Monday, enjoy your day and have a great new week!

  12. Your little Christmas tree treasures are gorgeous. I used to be an avid crafter but now I just do a little crochet now and then.
    Happy Monday. Thanks for hosting us

    much love...

  13. Hello, Angie, brilliant end result! As they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention", or indeed "Where there's a will there's a way..." :-)

  14. I started doing cross stitch again this year and I'm doing something very similar to what you're making. I'll have to show it soon. LOVE the way you decided to finish yours off. I have trouble making the final decision when there are so many options. Love the cute holiday patterns. I'm starting a hiking series today! I know you'll want to come along! Happy MM!

  15. The red trim is perfect. Oh, my goodness … how lovely these are and so amazing that they are hand-stitched. These ornaments will last through the ages in your family. True ornamental treasures unwrapped each Christmas by eager hands!

  16. It’s MosaicMonday and a pleasure again...

    ...there are lovely hand-stitching ornaments! Artwork for each Christmas tree.

  17. Way to work it out. That's a fun addition to the ornaments. I'm AWOL this weekend for Mosaic Monday since we are traveling. Happy December to you!

  18. Have fun! Christmas crafts are the best. Especially when they end up on the tree.

  19. Diligence and throwing out the instructions work almost all the time. I love the end result, Angie. Pop is the perfect word for it. The red trim is quite ooh-la-la! I have a yen to go buy some. For what? Only time will tell.

  20. Sometimes work-arounds are the most rewarding parts of a project. Well done!

  21. So busy, that I've missed your link up this week, but I've enjoyed reading your post, and the trials and tribulations of hand making. But the result is lovely. Well done you! Have a fabulous week.

  22. brilliant results of fine print. Love them all.
    have a great day

  23. I think your stitched decorations are lovely.
    Happy December Wishes.

    All the best Jan

  24. The ornaments are so sweet...and you are so talented! I blog because I can’t do anything do it all!

  25. Who needs instructions anyway. =) Your little cross stitch is so pretty and yes, the red trim is perfect dancing around the edge.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...