Sunday, February 06, 2011

Penguin Princess

My sister sends me care packages a lot. It was about time I returned the favor.  So I made her a penguin princess bag!

She has recently developed a fascination with penguins, and has always loved the color purple.  And she's always been a bit of a bag lady, which is okay because I am too. Also in the care package were a Valentine's Day Pez dispenser, a fat quarter of Christmas fabric, and a fat quarter of Rosie the Riveter fabric.  I forgot to take pictures of it all before I sent it off.  Sorry about that.

This piece was stitched directly on a pre-made black canvas bag using 14 count waste canvas.  Finished size is only like 2" square. Waste canvas is made with a very loose weave such that you can pull the strands out of the work after its complete. I also designed the pattern for this one from a clip art image pulled off the web.  Let's just say I learned a lot in this process.
  1. Stitching on a pre-made bag is hard! I had to work it upside down with my hands inside the bag. It made for very slow going. 
  2. Canvas is really hard on the fingers.  It's such a dense sturdy fabric, pushing the needle through the material was not very comfortable. 
  3. Waste canvas doesn't pull apart as easy as they say. Only a couple of the threads pulled out like it was supposed to.  I had to trim the rest with itty-bitty scissors around the edges of the piece.
  4. Use small sized graph paper when creating a design from a piece of clip art.  I used 1/4" graph paper, and even with the clip art blown up real large, the pattern did not transfer well to the graph paper. 
  5. Cross stitch design software is a pain in the butt.  Its designed to start from an image, then automatically translate it onto a graph and allow you to adjust the colors, lines, scale, etc.  The software I originally used was really picky and picked up every variation in color pixel by pixel.  It became so tedious, I scrapped it and went to the graph paper. 

So it was a pain in the butt to make, but she loves it.  That makes it all worth it.