Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Treasured Gift

This is a very special gift that I made 3 years ago for a very special guy.
My brother-in-law, Mark.
I'm finding it very difficult to write the story behind this gift because Mark passed away back in September of 2014. Gosh, he is really missed.

My sister, Carol, (casserole Carol) was planning to give her husband a surprise 60th birthday party.
Since there would be a lot of people there, I knew that most presents would be either his favorite Guinness, or his favorite Jameson Irish whiskey.  (being Irish, he loved his whiskey and oh, do I have stories about THAT!)
The problem is, what do you give a 60 year old guy who is confined to a wheelchair and not in the best of health?
After much thinking, my husband and I realized that his 56 Chevy was probably one of his most prized possessions and I needed to commemorate that car for him!

I texted my niece, Steph, and asked her to go outside and take a few pictures of her dad's car.  The car was in pretty bad condition, and sitting under a carport with a lot of other things pushed up around it. It was difficult for her, but she managed to get some pictures so that I could get a better idea of the details, (two door, white sidewalls, chrome, etc)
Then I went online and did some searching to find a good picture of the 1956 BelAir Chevy. It's a popular car so the pictures were fairly easy to find.

Once I had a good picture, I sketched the car in the size that I wanted to make the wall-hanging.  That was the easy part.
The hard part was drafting the pattern for it.  It was to a point that I thought of giving was overwhelmingly difficult.  The trick is to put the project aside for a little while and then come back to it, fresh.
Once the pattern was drafted, I dyed the wool to get the good yellow.  The rest of the wool was mill dyed so that was easily on hand.
The stitching part was so much fun.  I really enjoyed that challenge.  Then seeing it all come together with every single stitch was incredibly rewarding. I kept calling my husband over to gleefully show him the results of my newest stitched detail.

For the chrome stitching, I used silver metallic thread.  The little chrome door handle and the french knot below it for the lock is my favorite feature.  So cute.

I researched and found a "Chevy" font online to use for the lettering.  I printed the letters in the correct size and then traced the letters onto the wool for embroidering.  The little BelAir stitching on the side of the car took some time since that metallic thread was so difficult to use.

This took a tremendous amount of time but I thoroughly enjoyed every single stitch of it.  And the reaction from Mark when he opened it was just the best possible reaction one could give when opening a gift.  There was no doubt that he loved that gift.
Mark had Carol hang the wall hanging on the wall right by their front door so that he could see it from his recliner in the living room.
Mark is sorely missed.

"It's so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone." ~ John Steinbeck


Ruth said...

That is just Amazing!! What a beautiful stitchery! You are very talented, especially to keep working with that metallic thread! How nice of you to make such a special gift. I'm sure he enjoyed seeing it every day.

Caths Pennies said...

Thank you Ruth. Mark was a very special back to his community and doing charity work from his wheelchair even up to the last month of his life. He suffered quite a bit so giving him something to enjoy was worth every stitching minute.