Dyed and Gone to Heaven – An Online Magazine and Needlework Resource  

This month we continue with...

Christmas Star Tin, Part II

by Rita Vainius
Click here if you missed Part I.

8. Now you can begin to fill in the background "night sky" with your blue thread. You can continue to use the same technique of hooking and creating loops to do this, or you can fill in the background with a variation of the Satin stitch, called the Long and Short stitch. Begin at the edges of the star design, working out toward the outside edge. If you are using long and short stitches to do this, use the darning needle, threaded with the blue thread, to stitch with. For a diagram and instructions for making the variation of the Satin stitch called the Long and Short stitch see diagram and text below.

Satin Stitch: Work straight stitches across the shape as shown. Conform stitches to the shape you will be filling in. Care should be taken to keep a good edge. Do not make the stitches too long as then they could be pulled out of position. Butt each consecutive stitch to the one before it to create solid patch of color in area to be stitched.

Long and Short Stitch: This is a form of Satin Stitch that got its name because all the stitches are of uneven lengths. It is often used to fill in a shape which is too large or too irregular to be covered by using only the satin stitch. It is also used to create a shaded effect, as shown in diagram. In the top (first) row, the stitches are alternately long and short and closely follow the outline of the shape to be filled in. In the succeeding rows, long and short stitches are worked to fill in the rest of the shape and to give a smooth texture.

9. Fill in the background up to about 1/4" from the edge of your marked outline. If you are using loops for the background, continue to do so right up to the very edge of your circular pattern. If you are using the Long and Short stitch, as you work toward the round border, try to shape your stitches to the round contour of the outline as you work. For the last 1/4", use a chain stitch to complete the outside edge, covering your traced outline as you work. For a diagram and stitch instructions for the chain stitch, see diagram and text below.

Chain Stitch: Bring the thread out at the top of the line and hold down with your left thumb (if right-handed). Insert the needle where it last emerged from the fabric and bring the point of the needle out a distance away. Pull the thread through, keeping the working thread under the point of the needle.

10. You now have a miniature hooked rug! Remove the fabric from the embroidery hoop and lay it face down on a flat surface. Use the Elmers Glue to run a bead of glue around the last stitches of the outside border, on the wrong side of the fabric. This will keep the edges of the fabric from unraveling when you cut the fabric. Wait for the glue to dry and then with your scissors cut around the design, leaving about 1/4" of unstitched fabric all around the edge. After you have cut out the design, use your scissors to make small cuts from the edge of the fabric to the edge of your stitched design all around the whole circle. Make a cut about every 3/4". This will help the fabric to lay flat over the edges of the tin top when you glue your design in place.

11. Take your tin top and place it face up on a flat surface. Cover the entire top with a thin layer of Duco Cement. Then cover the back side of the fabric, over your stitching, also with a thin layer of Duco Cement. Place your design in position over the tin top, moving it around as necessary to align all the edges, so that they match the same outline as the tin. When the design is in place, fold over the extra fabric around the design and press it flat against the sides of the tin to secure it. The Duco Cement dries fairly quickly, so over the next 5 to 10 minutes just keep pressing down your design on the top and along the sides firmly, everywhere, until the glue begins to set.

12. Once your design is secured to the top, go over all the extra cross stitch fabric that has not been stitched with a dark blue or black magic marker, with medium point, to color the unstitched fabric. That way, if your design is not aligned exactly right, darkening the edges will cover any small areas that might not be stitched exactly to the edge of the tin and the top of the sides around the tin, before you attach the ribbon to the sides.

13. With the Duco Cement, lay a thin film of glue all around on the sides of the tin (over the extra fabric folded over the sides and the metal lip below it). Then take your ribbon and place it around the sides in a circular manner till the ends meet. Cut the extra ribbon off as close as you can to join the two ends seamlessly and press down to secure until glue dries. If you are unsure where to cut your ribbon, cut your piece a little longer and trim it after the glue has dried. You can the touch up the ends and press them down with more glue for a "seamless" fit later.

14. When the border ribbon is set and the glue has dried, place your tin top over the tin bottom. With or without the candy this will make a beautiful, unique and useful holiday gift or something special for you to keep your own treasures in (that is, after you finish eating the candy!). Your Brilliant Star, set against the deep night sky will shine on, and on, throughout the New Year!

Other applications for your miniature "hooked" design include: line the bottom of your stitched design with some cork (available in thin sheets at craft and hobby stores), cut to the same size, to make a coaster; use it to decorate a bag, a pocket, or some other part of a pair of jeans or top; use it as a rug for a doll house. Enjoy and Happy New Year 2000! You are making history!

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