Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Snowball for Rita

A while back, I received the sweetest email from Rita in Kansas, asking me to swap snowballs.

I cannot tell you how many times I almost emailed her over the past few months, to see if she wanted to swap.  What stopped me?  Rita is collecting hexagon shaped snowballs, and I am still a novice in so many ways, I had no idea how to make a hexagon.

I kept meaning to look for stencils the next time I made it to JoAnn Fabrics, but I never remembered while I was there.  Making a hexagaon turned out to be so much easier than I thought!  I found a tutorial on-line and dug through my sons' old school supplies until I found a compass.  (Let me tell you, I want to find a good old-fashioned metal compass, because the plastic one I found widens as you turn it - which made the task a tad more difficult - lol!)  The tutorial I used was on

On our database listing preferences, Rita mentioned she liked pink, green and cream colors.  She also likes roses, birds, butterflies and dragonflies.  I tried to incorporate a little bit of each on this snowball.

I began by stitching the birch tree.  (As often as I have stitched one, you may think I like this tree!)  The pattern was adapted from Diana Lampe's book Embroidery for All Seasons.

Birch and Cottage Pinks adapted from Embroidery for All Seasons by Diana Lampe
Next, I added the birdhouse.  This is where I began to struggle.  I really wanted to use this birdhouse button from my stash, but it felt so large and bulky compared to the tree, that I worried I would not be able to balance out the block.

Mill Hill hand painted ceramic button #86172 "White Bird House"
Due to the depth of the button, I decided to make the flower vine out of silk ribbon, rather than floss.  I stitched a vine with floss and then added the small rose buds and leaves with 4 mm green and pink silk ribbon straight stitches.

Using a light green floss, I added little tufts of crass to embellish the seam between the green and pink fabrics.

Next, I added Cottage Pinks, flowers included in Diana Lampe's book Embroidery for All Seasons.  The flowers at the base of the birch tree used the colors listed in the book.  To add a bit more pink, I combined a strand of DMC 818 and 819 to make the flowers along the lower edge of the block.

Using 4 mm blue silk ribbon and 3 ribbon stitches, I made this little blue bird.  A single strand of DMC 3799 floss and two small straight stitches added the beak and the eye.

The butterfly is a Swarovski Crystal Elements 6 mm crystal bead.  (I purchased a 4-pack at JoAnn Fabric, but I believe the 8-packs on would have been a better deal - and they have more colors available than I found at the store I went to.)

Next, I stitched in the blue dragonfly with a single strand of blue perle cotton.  I used a single strand of DMC white metallic floss to stitch in the flight paths.

I am still figuring out the sewing machine my husband surprised me with for Mother's Day last year.  Unfortunately, I used the wrong stitch to try to finish the edges of the hexagon.  When I removed the stitches, the fabric was not very forgiving.  So, I am hoping the tiny holes this error left behind will be well-hidden in Rita's seams when she assembles her snowballs.  I do hope she likes this one when it arrives!

If you missed it before, this is the lovely snowball Rita mailed to me.

To see more of Rita's work, I encourage you to drop by her blog at!

Thank you for stopping by!