Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Jewel Box

My eleven-year-old niece was helping me put price tags on a bunch of my patterns, for a craft show I was attending that following weekend. When she got to the pattern with this picture on it, she asked," Why is this one called JEWEL BOX? It doesn't look like a jewelry box to me...."

So I had to explain to her the play on words for this pattern: there are boxes within boxes within boxes, and all the sparkling sections look like jewels. Unfortunately, the photo doesn't do this design justice. You just can't see all the sparkle, hidden in all the little boxes, or used to outline the different size squares. There are even some large #8 beads sprinkled thruout the piece, but they're hard to see in this photo....

Interestingly enough, when I was at the San Mateo Sew & Quilt Show last weekend, one of my favorite stitchers, Ellie (who was working in her booth down the row) came by my booth with her finished, framed version of JEWEL BOX. She had stitched it in blues, teals and golds, and it was beautifully framed in a brushed teal/blue frame. It is so much fun for me to see someone else's version of this design! I really encourage stitchers to make their own color choices and enjoy the creative process of mixing and matching threads for their own unique project.

And I really like this design. So much so that I've started stitching another colorway (see photo below). It uses a variegated pearl cotton that I dyed myself; something that has pale pinks - almost peachy - with soft spring greens, and a touch of pale lilac. I've got this design mounted on a Grip-It scroll frame that's easy for me to carry to shows, where I can sit and stitch during the slow times. I'm in no hurry to finish this project... I've got plenty of other projects that MUST BE DONE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, but when I go to a show, I take something that is easy to work, and doesn't require too much concentration.

Although.....I'm thinking I'd like to turn this pink Jewel Box design into a panel that goes on the outside of a tote bag. One of my stitching friends, Chris, came to the craft show with a stunning tote bag custom-made by the finisher "Marlene's" in San Francisco. (Marlene is known for her fabulous needlepoint finishing, and each of her finished projects is absolutely fantastic. Check out her website.)
Anyway, Chris' large tote bag was made out of quilted velour fabric and it had a square canvaswork design inserted on the side of the bag. It was REALLY, REALLY GORGEOUS!
And of course, I thought, "Oh my gosh! What a great way to display stitchery!" I mean, after a while it becomes a challenge figuring out what you're going to do with another finished piece of needlework. I have a really small house and no more wall space for stitchery. (Yes, I already rotate my designs seasonally or when I get tired of looking at them...) And I certainly have more than enough pillows (don't we all?).......

But TOTE BAGS! One can never have enough tote bags, don't you agree?!?!?
...so here's my future tote bag panel under way......

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