Taking time to sew – my new Pink Button Tree

 

I created my original blog header in November 2011 on a rainy Sunday afternoon, I was new to blogging and needed to create a header for my blog so that I could get started. I don’t think I realised then how much blogging would really mean to me and how much of a driver of change it would be in my life. I love the pink embroidered tree that I created back then, but I have grown and changed, as has my blog, it is time for a new look.

The project of creating a new blog header has been on my to do list for quite sometime. I have been planning a few ideas and thinking about what I wanted to do for well over a year now. I thought about perhaps commissioning an illustration of my vision of The Pink Button Tree, or that perhaps could I use a collage of photos to show what I do, or maybe I could create a combination of patchwork and embroidery stitches in an intricate panel…but I knew that I wanted to stay true to me and my blog vision, I wanted to use my first idea of a handmade, hand stitched tree with buttons. I wanted to create something simple and made by me.

With my return to blogging at the start of June I decided that I should update my blog header at the same time. I wanted to signal the fresh start in my blogging and creative journey and a brighter look and feel. I gathered the materials I had been collecting over the past year of so, I sat down and looked at everything for a while. I decided to go for a really simple look to make my header feel simple and fresh.

I used white cotton as a background and used some gorgeous linen for the trunk of the tree. I’ve never had a talent for drawing and have always gone for more abstract simple shapes. To help me create the tree shape I found a few images of trees online and started trying to sketch a tree shape. After quite a few attempts I finally reached something more in line of how I wanted for the feel of my blog.

I tried to transfer this onto the linen and ended up simplifying the look and changing it as I went. I used iron on interfacing on the linen to give it more stability and then cut it out. After cutting out I placed the tree shape on top of the white cotton background. I gave it a quick press on my ironing board and pressed the white cotton background. I wanted to arrange the buttons before I made a start to see if it all worked well together. I took real pleasure in sorting through my large collection of buttons I have stored in a jar and spent time selecting the buttons I wanted for the tree. I positioned the pink buttons and took this photo so I had a picture as reference of what I wanted to create.

I collected the buttons into a small dish and put them to one side. I then arranged the white cotton in a large embroidery hoop and placed the tree centrally. I didn’t have any double sided interfacing left in my supplies so I used tacking stitches to lightly fasten the linen tree to the white cotton.

Along the outside edge of the tree I made small invisible stitches to secure the tree to the white background. It took quite a number of hours to complete but I made myself comfy on the sofa with cups of tea and had music playing in the background.

I love the finished tree and how the edges are not so straight, the linen started to fray and it gives it a really lovely organic look.

 

The next stage was to attach the buttons. During an evening when I was nursing a bad cold I decided to cheer myself up and attach the buttons to finish the tree. One by one I attached the buttons using pink embroidery thread. When I first started thinking about updating my blog header I had grand plans of using hundreds of pink French knots on the tree branches, and the thought crossed my mind again, but I decided to keep it simple and just use buttons.

I’m really proud of my new blog header, I took huge pleasure from making it and getting back into hand stitching and creating something. My Pink Button Tree will soon be framed and hung in my craft studio. I’m looking forward to having it near my desk, a continual reminder of my love of making, creating, writing and learning new things. The project came to life after lots of thinking, planning and reflecting, I think sometimes you need time to really work out what you want to do before making a big change. The new Pink Button Tree symbolises the beginning of the next stage on my creative journey and the start of a few simple developments on my blog.

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