Wedding Gift…

Last Friday, my Mother in-Law got hitched.  I am very happy for her, and I wanted to give her a gift from the heart.  Husband and I agree that a married couple should always, and I mean always, have their wedding date posted somewhere in their house.  It helps to keep people out of trouble.  In my home, we have a photo of our wedding date carved into a tree in a park in Rome, Italy.  Maybe someday we will get to go back and see it, maybe add too it.  My MIL wasn’t going to get anything as exotic as an Italian tree carving, but I had an idea of what I could do.

You see, my MIL loves French stuff.  I don’t know why, but her kitchen and dining area have a French Bistro thing going on, and she has a framed photo of the Eiffel Tower on the wall.  I decided to embroider some good wishes, along with her wedding date, in French.  I began with Google Translate, and entered the phrase “I wish you hope, love, and happiness; you deserve it.”  I then sent my phrase to a lovely friend of mine who just happens to actually be French!  I wanted to make sure Google translated what I wanted to say correctly — we all know how computer translators can be.  Good thing I have an insider.  Turns out that Monsieur Google’ was just a tad off.  First, he didn’t seem to understand that I was familiar with my MIL, and chose to use the formal forms of You.  It also turns out that what I wanted to say was incredibly American of me, go figure, and a French person would never mention the “you deserve it” part.  My friend shortened and simplified my message, and it’s a good thing he did.  Even shortened, it still took me a month to finish it!

I started in Illustrator.  I found a font that I liked, and then drew some of my own letters to create a design that I liked, and thought looked French.  When I was happy with it, I printed a test copy on paper, just to see how it looked.  Then, I cut some fabric (the same old bedsheet I’ve been using for everything), stuck it to some paper, and ran it through the printer.  Didn’t know you could print directly onto fabric?  You can, and there are several ways to go about it.

  • Cut Freezer paper to printer paper width, then iron onto your fabric
  • Use spray adhesive to attach printer paper to fabric
  • Use lots, and lots, of double-stick tape
I didn’t have any spray adhesive.  Admittedly, the spray would’ve been  a better way to go, but the double-stick tape did work, even though I did have one paper-jam (caused by the fabric getting caught), and a smudge.  Once the fabric was printed, I pulled it off the paper.
I stretched the fabric in my hoop, and started with an outline stitch, moving onto a satin stitch.
After a month of stitching — I can only imagine how long it took Betsy Ross to make that Flag — my gift looked like this…
It was time to take it out of the hoop, and really get a look at it.  Then toss it into a lingerie bag, and wash it.  Because embroidery is done with the hands, it gets dirty, plus the printer ink needed to be washed out.  Washable ink is really the best part of using the printer for embroidery patterns.
Once it was all clean, I placed it into a frame.
I wrapped it in simple tissue paper, and handed it to my MIL after her rehearsal dinner.  She cried.  She can’t help it, she’s a crier.  But that’s ok, it means she loves it.  While I told her the English translation, I let her know that I couldn’t actually pronounce anything past Je (Zshuh) and l’Amour (luhmore).  Yeah, you can tell I’m a natural at languages!

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Filed under DIY, Fun and Free Ideas, Musings, Save my Wallet, Save the Earth, Sewing

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