Saturday, July 18, 2015

Constellation in Stitches


I saw this constellation stitch kit on Twitter over July 4th weekend, when Joann's retweeted someone else's tweet about it.  It's from Mollie Makes magazine (which I had never heard of before til this), issue #53.  I had to have it.  After checking my local Joann's, I went on ebay and bought a copy.
It's totally misleading that this kit is labeled as "complete".  It included just one tiny piece of fabric, enough to stitch one design, not all three.  There's just one hoop (which I kind of expected).  The design is not pre-printed--it's printed onto a magazine page and you have to manually trace it onto the fabric.  They recommended a particular kind of transfer paper, but I used some of my wax tracing paper and my smooth tracing wheel at first (do not use the smooth wheel, see below).

So it wound up looking like this (messy):
I stitched for a bit and hated it, so decided to start over.  I had some sashiko cloth I bought on ebay or etsy a few months back, so I cut out a piece and used my serrated tracing wheel instead.  

It is totally pointless to try to trace the stars and dots; just trace the big and little dippers because after you  stitch both dippers, the stars and dot tracings will have magically disappeared (with wax tracing paper, at least).

Then I got to stitching again.
Big dipper!
Little dipper!

I used the template as a rough guide for placement of stars and french knots.  After doing so much sashiko, which does not use a hoop, I did not use a hoop for this.
Dinner time checkpoint

So it's cute but of course it took me longer than my 30-60 minute estimate; probably 2 hours total.  Next time would be faster as I am better at French knots now (those French knots are all over the place above, I know many of them are too large).  I also know only to trace the big and little dippers with a serrated tracing wheel.   I wasn't precise about making stars symmetrical and even as that seemed to add to the "whimsy" but maybe next time I'll be more of a perfectionist.

Here I am with my great-aunt Iris on Thursday morning.  She is 99.5 years old!  I had a staycation this week which I somehow amazingly did not overschedule.  A good mix of social activities (lunch, movies, friends, Dad) and time spent alone in my backyard watching the world go by in the park next door.  The weather was absolutely perfect for it most days.  I ate as many meals outside as possible, and even took a nap outside one afternoon.  A little bit of reading (books and blogs), meditating, sewing and sashikoing, and did a few simple chores that I had been putting off too.  Highly recommend!

Be well!


  1. Oh my goodness! This is the most adorable thing I have seen in a while!! You did great on it! My daughter and I went to a nature center last year for her Kindergarten field trip, and they had an in-depth demonstration of the different constellations inside a planetarium. I have always been a fan of astronomy, and it made me feel the awe and wonder I did as a kid. Anyhow, your lovely stitiching brought back this memory. I am glad you enjoyed your staycation.

    1. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your sweet memory, Vanessa! I'm happy you have returned to blogging!

  2. It is a challenge to not over-schedule a stay-cation. Loving your latest sashiko whimsey. Perfect small thing to hang in perfect small spot.


    1. I really overscheduled my staycation last year, so I was determined not to make the same mistake twice!!

      Yes, 99.5: it's hard to fathom!

  3. Sounds like a rejuvenating staycation! I love the stitching project and how neat to be introduced to your Great Aunt Iris! I have been spending a lot of time with my friend Alexis (81 years old). She is an awesome snorkeling companion!

    1. Hi Shannon,
      It was my best staycation ever, that's for sure!
      How fun about your octagenarian snorkeling companion!

  4. You both look great Kyle. Sounds like a wonderful week doing 'whatever'. Stay well:)

    1. Thanks Maria! I think Iris looks great too. We had a perfect visit that morning. And my whole vacation was really great!

  5. Hi Kyle! What a fun is so nice to hear about your daily life, as well as follow your projects. Your stitching is stellar!

    1. Hi Mary, happy to hear you enjoyed it! I never know what people think about me writing about non-sewing things so it is fun to hear that you enjoyed it. :)

  6. I am glad you enjoyed a relaxing staycation. I had never heard of Mollie Makes prior to your post. Your stitching ended up being so cute! And yay for your aunt. We should all be so lucky to reach that age - more power to her!

    1. Thanks Tomasa! I agree, we all should be that lucky!


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