ANG Stitch of the Month 2014 - December

by Mary K. Campbell

Bracelet #3: Antique Mathom

Finish the edges of your bracelet with beads:

Cut out the canvas, leaving about 6 threads beyond your basting thread. Remove the basting thread, if you have not already done so.

Fold the edges of the canvas so that two threads of the open canvas show at the edge of your stitching, and 3-4 threads of canvas are folded back.

Using #8 pearl cotton, size 8 beads, and a size 24 tapestry needle, attach a bead in every other hole along the edge. Work with the back of the bracelet facing you.

Secure your thread in the canvas that has been folded back, and bring the thread from inside the fold to the front of the seam (still on the back of the bracelet) in the hole just next to the fold.

Make a blanket stitch 2 threads away.

Thread a bead onto the needle and make another blanket stitch 2 threads away.

Continue putting a bead on every blanket stitch, all the way around the bracelet. bringing the needle through both layers of canvas from the back to the front.

The next photo shows the beaded edge as it looks on the front of the bracelet:

This photo shows the end of the bracelet with the canvas folded back and the edge completely beaded:

It's time to make 2 cups of tea:

Take 3-6 black tea bags or the equivalent amount of black tea leaves and brew 2 cups of tea with boiling water. Let it cool until it is room temperature. Strain the tea if you used leaves.

Place the cool, very dark tea in a flattish container big enough to hold your bracelet without bending or folding it. Submerge your bracelet, front side down, in the tea. If it tends to float, weight it down with a pebble or two. Let it steep for at least 10 hours.

Remove the bracelet and lay it flat to dry face up on white paper towels.

Now you have made a modern antique. Tea makes a better stain than does coffee. I once put white lace into both and left it overnight. The coffee was a creamier look, but the tea looked more like the appearance of antique textiles.

Before Dying:

After dying and adding charms:

Attach a magnetic bracelet clasp:

Lastly, attach a clasp like this one:

The better clasps cost a little more, but are worth it. These particular clasps are so strong that you cannot easily pull them apart, but must slide them apart. I actually used 2 clasps to really protect the bracelet from loss and because I thought it looked more balanced with two. Be sure to attach them securely to the canvas and the backing using beading thread or another strong thread. If you used beads on the edge of your canvas you can always bead a "decorative" thread that goes through the clasp AFTER it is securely attached to your work.

Be careful of the strong magnetic clasp around other metal or magnetized strips, such as credit cards and hotel room keys. Also, you might find it problematic while stitching, if your wrist keeps attaching itself to the magnets on your canvas!

I hope you have enjoyed our yearlong experiments with line stitches and wearable art. Try out your own ideas and always be sure to ask "what if I try...?"

Be sure to check out the photos of completed pieces under December 2014 Finished Pieces.