I didn’t make much in preparation for Evelyn Rose’s arrival. I did make a batch of clothes, but not much else. I’m not really sure why. Perhaps I felt a bit superstitious about preparing too much? Perhaps I wanted to get to know her first? Perhaps I was just too worn out by being pregnant. Whatever the reason, it did feel really important to me to embroider a birth sampler for her. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted it to look like, but the more I thought, the more right it felt to make it around a rose for her middle name.
I had originally thought that I would decorate her nursery in all black and white and red in a very gender-neutral baby-friendly palette. Well, after I decided to do the rose embroidery that went out the window. The embroidery just felt right to do in browns and pinks, so that’s where the decorating went (other than the grey crib we had already bought). I’ll share pictures of her finished nursery at some point (there’s still one cabinet left to paint!) but I love that the embroidery is what she sees as she lays in her crib, even if she’s too young to really appreciate it at this point :)
I based the embroidery around Stitcher’s Revolution Wild Wild West iron-on embroidery pattern since I happened to have it in my stash. It made it easy to dive in and get started with the iron-on transfer since I think I would have taken me a LOT longer if I felt like I needed to do the whole design myself since I would have stalled out obsessing about making the design perfect. This particular pattern has two big guns in it that I cut out and used the holes left to insert Evelyn’s birthdate, but otherwise I used it as-is.
The pattern calls for doing the whole design in stem stitch outlines. I knew that I wanted the roses in the center to be much more of a focal point so I filled them in using long-and-short stitch (a version of satin stitch) using embroidery floss and then outlining them in stem stitch in a thick perle cotton. I also did the central stem in a thick perle cotton and used an additional line of stem stitch so it popped. I freehanded the letters of her name vaguely inspired by the font included with the embroidery. And it was supposed to be done at that point (other than her birthdate that I didn’t know yet), but it just didn’t feel complete.
I ended up going back in and filling in all the leaves and curlicues. Most of them I used stem stitch, although the central leaves I used a fishbone stitch (which I definitely want to use again sometime since I really like the effect on the center of the leaf). I also added in a bunch more french knots and some extra curlicues at the ends of her name. Another case where more is more. Much better.
The only problem with flying by the seat of my pants on the embroidery is that I ran out of brown floss halfway through. I ordered a new batch of floss of the same number but it wasn’t evenly remotely the same color. Grumble. One of the problems of using an inherited floss collection is that a bunch of them are probably from the 90’s so it’s no surprise that the color has changed a bit since then! I went to a big box craft store and bought every single brown that was remotely close. One of them worked okay, although if you look closely, some of the letters have different color shading than others. I also lost my light green floss when I was almost done. I could have sworn it was in the diaper bag but I dumped out the diaper bag and couldn’t find it. So, too impatient to finish the darn thing, I used a different color of green to finish the last of the french knots. And the day that I took it in to get framed I found the first green floss, in the diaper bag, right where I thought it was. Oh well. It will be Evelyn’s first less than imperfection is okay :)
This is the first finished project that I’ve signed “mom”. Kinda fun.