Thursday, June 10, 2010

Strawberry Candle Mat Tutorial (Part 3)

So these two candle mats are coming very close to their finish. I’m making one strawberry mat with a black background and one with a white background. Once you see both of them finished side by side, you’ll get a much better idea of how one pattern can be made to look really different.
It’s really funny how my head adapts to working on each one too. When I’m working on the black background mat, I’m positive that I like it better than the white background, but then … I start doing more stitching on the white background mat and find myself convinced that I prefer the white over the black. Once they’re finished, it will be interesting to hear what everyone’s favorite might be.
Ok, let’s continue on with finishing up these candle mats.
It’s time to stitch the little white blossom flowers on.
The little flowers are somewhat time consuming to cut out. I do cut each one completely by hand but if you happen to have one of those handy dandy dye cutters that will cut these flowers for you, by all means use it! It certainly will save finger anguish from all the tiny cutting.
Personally, I prefer the look of the imperfect hand-cut flowers, so I tend to stay away from dye cutters, but again, it’s just a personal choice.
So the little blossoms, once they’re all cut, are attached with one french knot in the center.
100_3922 Then small straight stitches are made up into each one of the flower petals. There are lots of different ways that the flower centers can be made so if you have another preference, by all means, make them however you wish. There are no rules. :)
100_3923 Once all those blossoms are attached, it’s time to work on the center candle area.
It’s starting to look pretty good now, isn’t it?
But ohhhh… I can take out those ugly basting stitches now! I won’t need them anymore!
Oh, that’s so much nicer! Ok, so now, if you’re making this, you have some decisions to make. It looks nice right now as it is without the center candle area detail, so it would be perfectly fine as finished right now. All that is needed is the backing stitched on.
But of course, I need the center candle area done because you’ll see, it makes the candle mat even prettier!
Using my chalk pencil, I measured up 3 1/4” up from the scalloped point and made a little dot. I thought I had taken a picture of the measuring process, but I can’t find it, so I’ll draw a little something to make it clearer …
This is why they say a picture is worth a thousand words. :)
So marking a dot at 3 1/4” up from each of the 8 points will give me a nice 4 1/2” inch candle circle area in the middle. If a smaller area is desired, then that measurement can easily be adjusted to make it smaller.
Once the dots are marked, I pinned one leaf right on the dot with the tip of the leaf angled towards the center of the strawberries.
100_3935 I backstitched down the center of the leaf. I then added a flower blossom to the top of the leaf, attaching it the same way that I attached it at the strawberries.
This is done eight times until it’s finished and looks like this! …..
It’s almost done!!
Now we have another decision to make. All the stitching is finished on the top so I can either add the backing to it now and keep it right at this size, or I can add the larger scalloped background to it to make it a little larger and a little fancier …
This is the special wool that I hand-dyed to use for the outside background. It’s such a pretty mottled color, it’s a shame it will be mostly covered up with the black background.
100_3948 So the red background is centered under the black background and I’ve pinned it in place. I’ll use some #5 black DMC Cotton thread to blanket stitch around the edge.
Once that’s done, all that is needed is the backing, but that will have to be shown in the final part 4 of the tutorial.
This is a sneak peak at the white background candle mat. I have some catching up to do on this one, but next time, I’ll have both of them finished and ready to show for comparison.
That’s all for now!
Happy Day everyone!


Marla said...

that is so awsome Cathy. you are such a talented lady. someday I hope to come your way and see you. Marla

The French Bear said...

Love them both, but I think the white one is going to steal my heart!!! Both are very beautiful, I love your wool pansies are still being worked on...not as fast as you!
Margaret B

Michele's Treasures, Teacups, and Tumbling Rose Cottage said...

Gorgeous! I love strawberries, and these are fabulous. ; )

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

I'm drooling over those strawberry mats Cathy!!

Lola said...

Ooooooh so pretty! I love these fabulous strawberry candle mats!

Lola :-)