I must admit that until a few years ago I had a rather dull cross-stitched pincushion and a very hastily assembled pin keep made from vivid orange felt. What did I need with something fancy? Then I saw a lovely bargello pincushion being used by the milliner in Colonial Williamsburg and thought I'd like one of my own. So I made one and finally had a nice pincushion. Then, on a trip to England I purchased a couple of kits, a needlebook with a Tudor rose and a scissor fob with a thistle. I discovered that it is very nice to have pretty things in my sewing basket and I don't know how I did without the scissor fob - actually, I know, I regularly couldn't find my scissors. Of late I have taken to drooling over the photos on The World's Largest Collection of Smalls blog.
So when I thought about a present for my SIL and started making a sample for my November Assisi class, I made smalls.
The rabbit pattern used here is from : http://www.bayrose.org/needlework/Voided_Work_Rabbits.html and the bird is from a Hungarian embroidery book I own. I used one skein of the DMC colour variations floss for all the stitching and finishing seen here. I only used cross stitch for this sample.
I also made a sample of three of the stitches used in Assisi work. The piece below is adapted from a Tokens and Trifles free chart designed by Tricia Wilson Nguyen. The fields are cross stitch. The mountains are 2-sided Italian cross stitch. And the sky is long arm cross stitch. This is sort of a modern interpretation of Assisi work. It will go on the top of a different sort of small - an Altoids tin that I'm making into a horse memory box for my daughter. I finished stitching the sky at a horse show on Sunday, just to make it more of a memory - the lingering smell of horse.
This is another pincushion and scissor fob set I did in silk for my SIL. I love the colour on this, it is In the Reds, Silk 'n Colors from the Thread Gatherer. The pattern is from a chart in the August 2007 Just CrossStitch, also by Tricia Wilson Nguyen. It was hard for me to use all the silk needed for the cord but it just had to be the correct colour, and after all, I can buy more. In the end, I think it looks great so I don't mind using so much silk.