I’ve been working on something that’s not for Christmas, but is for someone very special, and it’s been so hard to keep it secret! Today is my Mum’s 60th Birthday – she’ll forgive me for saying, my sister already put it on Facebook for her 174 friends to see. Her real present from me is a trip to London to take afternoon tea somewhere iconic, I haven’t revealed the exact location to her yet, and last weekend I suddenly thought up a good way to let her know.
In March I took a workshop with the fantastic Moy Mackay, felt artist and author of “Felt in Art and Stitch” where we made felt paintings. In her book there are lots of projects to try and one of the most alluring is of tea and cake, so what better thing to make to represent the real present? I was running low on roving supplies (and time) so I made a fairly small piece of a tea cup and a cupcake on pretty china. I modeled the china from some inherited from my husband’s nanny, Rose – another truly special lady. The cupcake was imagined, sadly.
After laying out the roving the piece is wet felted, I’m afraid I never took photos of the stages because I was in such a rush to get it done. Once dry the sewing machine was used to embellish and make the design stand out. This was my first time free stitching with the machine and I was somewhat nervous to fit the darning plate, remove the presser foot and get going. I had another piece to have a quick practice on as there was no room for error. Luckily it all went smoothly, no needles broke, the felt fibres didn’t clog up the machine and I achieved the level of control I needed over where the sticthes went. The only hitch was when the cat decided she wanted to play with the thread, picked it up from the top of the machine and started biting it, before hiding under the table with it. After changing thread colours so many times I am now also a total pro at winding bobbins and changing them!
Once this was all finished some hand stitching was done for further enhancements such as the hundreds and thousands on the cupcake and the highlights in the tea. I was working all weekend so this had to be done with snatched hours in the evenings, and I even had to send my husband to town to buy more colours of thread yesterday. I finished the hand stitching 20 minutes before she arrived for lunch today, phew! She definitely liked it, it was another what I like to call “French A Level moment” where she was surprised at my abilities, ha ha!
Sorry for the quality of my pictures, I struggle to find good light in my house so they can come out a little weird…