Friday, January 2, 2015

Made It: Embroidered Nativity Scene

Hello! Bought this at a thrift store a couple of months ago:

A pattern for a embroidered piece entitled "Christmas Night" by a business called Bits & Pieces by Joan. I collect Nativity scenes, so I thought the finished piece would be a nice addition. 

The design measures about 17" x 22", but I didn't want something that big. I also was just interested in the Nativity itself, not the wording nor the stars (barely visible in the photo) above the manger. 

Fortunately it was very easy to make the changes I desired - for one thing, the words were printed on a separate pattern piece, so all I had to do was pull out the pattern for the Nativity scene. I copied that part at 50%, and thus ended up with an area of about 6 1/2" x 4". 

I traced the design onto muslin after taping it to a sunny window and placing the fabric on top. Had to wait several days just to have a sunny day to do this! (I don't own a lightbox). 

The pattern directions were easy to follow, although they didn't always match what had been stitched up for the commercial photo shown above. There was enough detail that this project was a bit fussy to work up, but I just did a little at a time. 

I used 2 strands of embroidery floss throughout and worked the design in backstitch, straight stitch and French knots. Here's how it turned out:

I've had that 6" x 8" frame forever; I don't even recall where it had come from - probably a rummage sale or garage sale. It's the perfect size for my Nativity scene!

Below, a close-up of the stitchery:

It occurred to me when I was almost done with this project that I could also just stitch up the Holy Family and use that as the basis for a Christmas ornament. In that case, I'd be working with a design area of only about 2 1/4" x 1 1/2". Might be interesting to do it in all one color, say a dark blue. 

But for now, I'm pleased with how the Nativity scene turned out. I'm also pleased that I got it done before I put my Nativity collection away for the scene (after Jan. 6th, Epiphany). 

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