Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lettering 202: a Mini-alphabet

One of my sons has asked me not to use any more names of the ladies who pass through his life (he is young yet) for my little creations, as it seems to be a jinx. When stitching models of my mini-stockings, I have to have names, and have run through even the family cats - both deceased and still with us. Anyway, that isn't the subject here.

This little alphabet is one I've used for many years, and at this point, I don't remember if I made it up or saw it somewhere. It's ideal for names on cuffs of mini-stockings, as it's 9 stitches high, and average of 7 stitches wide - depending on the letter.

The last one I did with this font was "Angie," where it occurred to me to use a bead in the little holes that decorate each letter.

The "Amy" stocking is tiny, and I never finished the crazy quilt embellishment. The very small letters were perfect for it - a name with more than five letters wouldn't have worked even in this alphabet.The letters in this one are extremely easy to draw. (Be sure you have read lettering instructions on the other blog)
For vertical placement, as the letters are 9 stitches high, count to see how many threads are in the cuff from bottom to top. It's always best to leave more at the top than the bottom. (Amy has 6 above thename, and 4 below) If you center the name, it kind of floats away and looks awkward - and remember that part of the top is lost in the seam in finishing.
For horizontal placement, follow instructions on the other blog. You can see on this one the two names - one is even count, ("Marie" has 36 threads) and the other is odd count a("Marilyn" has 51 threads) - just to demonstrate the marking of every 10th thread, adding what's leftover at the end, and finding the center.
For writing out a quote, a poem, or whatever - first decide how many words will be on each line. At this point, I make a rough sketch on paper of the words, as I need to know how much space to leave between them and between the rows of words for good proportions.Then, using scrap canvas - or graph paper if you must - you can write out each line of words, and find the center as you did for a name. (Look at the daVinci cat quote) OR if you want them to line up on the left side as with a poem or whatever, just make sure your borders are the same number of threads on each side of the longest row of words.
I have lots and lots of alphabets I use for names on stockings, etc. - so stay tuned!! More later, but not today. I'm having a day off, which usually means wearing myself out doing nothing. (walking, doing laundry, digging in the flower beds, figuring out what to avoid with work, etc.)
ON STITCHING:Stocking cuffs should never be stitched with decorative, textured stitches, as these do not meet the stitches of the lettering evenly, and just look messy as the little fll-in stitches are used where you can't make a complete stitch. They also distract from the letters. Cuffs can be jazzed up with doing the names with beads or any number of different fiber effects. However, just doing them in plain basketweave in a nice color is best. The lettering STYLE should provide enough visual interest.
Also, don't start and stop when you meet the lettering - just continue basketweave, skipping the stitches of the letters. This makes a beautifully even and smooth surface instead of having the little "pin hole" effect around the letters.