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How Long Does It Take To Make A Stitchery? Part 1

How Long Does It Take To Make A Stitchery? Part 1

Quite honestly, I have no accurate answer to that question. That is one of the top questions I am asked over and over again.My answer would have to be, I am totally clueless. 

Since this is a business for me I need to work efficiently, using my time wisely. Today I am sharing my process. As for you, a simple verse can be stitched up in an hour or two. Something like the Twig Wreath will take much longer.

Your First Concern

In fact the amount of time shouldn’t be your first concern. Making a stitchery should be relaxing and rewarding at the same time. However, there are those who would much rather purchase something already completed, and enjoy knowing the story about how it was made. Which is what prompted me to write this story.

Whichever you happen to be, my hope is that this series will help you understand the steps and stages each stitchery goes through. (Arriving Soon. My patterns take you through a less intimidating process.)

Now of course if you are making one for yourself, you would follow the same or similar steps. As for doing this as a business – this is what works for me best. I work like a machine in bulk to produce as much as I can in an efficient manner, this is by no means how I recommend doing this. 

Gather Fabrics to Stitch On

To begin, I decide on what themes I want to stitch so there is a well rounded finished selection, as well as stitcheries that compliment each other. Then I gather my fabrics to stitch on. Since there are so many different sizes I usually will cut or tear the fabric to an appropriate size and match it to the pattern.

Comfy in my Recliner With a Beverage

Next I get comfy in my recliner with a cup of tea, coffee or whatever I’m in the mood for. With my Pigma pen #05 sepia color, masking or painters tape, and light box, I’m ready to trace a way for quite a bit. Sometimes for the length of a movie or 2 in the background.

Make Do Light Box

Today there are several places to buy light boxes. I must admit mine is unique, one of a kind. It is the true essence of a make do! Back in the 80’s I made this basket. When I began to stitch a lot, light boxes were out of my price range and not easy to find, only art supply stores carried them. I needed to get inventive.

Times were different.  I had the box, now needed a light – low wattage, and there it was hanging on my wall.

Rather crude, however if it works don’t fix it.

Then I called a glass company who carried white plexiglass. They cut a piece that fit into a frame that rested comfortably on the basket. I also have a spare piece of plexiglass with the edges taped. This works perfect for me. It’s lightweight, portable, and if it works – why change it.

Now the work begins. Which is normally very relaxing. My pattern is secured in place with the fabric overtop, the light goes on, tracing begins.

This is with the light on underneath.

Fill Up My Hoops

At another time I fill up my hoops. (And yes I know I do it backwards. I’m self taught, this is how I began and how I continue to fill my hoops). Next I choose my colors and thread a gazzlion needles.

Those threads are put in a baggie for quick access. Then they lye in waiting in a basket for working on at home and in a tote to leave with me at a moments notice.For me, I need to keep my hands busy at all times. I’ve spent countless hours stitching away in the ER, Doctor’s offices, Hospital rooms, anywhere I had to wait.

All ready to stitch with my morning coffee or on the phone.

At one time I was driving for the four letter company and spend long hours at the airport waiting. My car became a part of my workspace.

Antique Stitcheries

Once I have a stack of finished stitcheries it’s time to antique them. Which means a coffee bath and dried in the oven, in the sun or overnight on a towel. Then they are pressed on a designated ironing board for this only, matched up with frames or cottons for borders. Then finished accordingly.  

3 thoughts on “How Long Does It Take To Make A Stitchery? Part 1

  1. As an embroiderer I so get it, i also have no clue how long a piece takes me and usually work on a few pieces at a time, lol. curious, what’s your staining/ antiquing recipe and process?? or maybe do a new post on it 😉

    1. Great ideas Maria, I will have to take some pictures next time I antique for another post.

    2. Great idea Maria, I’ll have to do a post on that. I use instant coffee and water – very strong. Normally letting whatever is antiquing to sit overnight. Then oven dry.

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