13 July 2017

Summer in a Jar

I don't like stitching on deadlines, even though I occasionally impose them on myself, so after the rush of finishing my Texas basket, I wanted to just relax with a quick and easy stitch. The current CEC freebie, which you can find here, caught my eye. It reminded me of that childhood summer activity: catching lightning bugs in a jar, putting the jar beside the bed, and watching their lazy flickering while drifting off to sleep (and dutifully setting them free in the morning). I saw a dialect map today that showed that "lightning bugs" is the preferred terminology in Texas and throughout the south, while the rest of the country calls them "fireflies." I suppose "lightning bugs" would've been too long to fit in the design, but it doesn't matter. Those adorable little bug buttons spoke to me, and I had to stitch it. I immediately ordered the buttons from JABCO, and when they arrived I was delighted to discover they really are fluorescent! (They don't glow in the dark, but they're very bright.)

The chart suggests a cream colored fabric, but I chose 28 ct. denim Jobelan. I wanted my jar to look like dusk, when the lightning bugs rise out of the grass and begin to sparkle. I also wanted them to really "glow" against the darker fabric. I changed every other color, too, and also pared down the number of colors for a more simplified look. Here are my choices, all DMC:

jar: 3753
jar lid: 318, 415
"Sweet Tea": 3826
"&": 415
"Fireflies": 907
flowers: B5200, 744 (Rhodes stitch)
leaves and stems: 3348
attach buttons with 907
***both trims used are from Hobby Lobby






Since this is an unusual shape, I thought I'd include a few finishing pictures. For more detailed descriptions of what's going on in these pictures, see these posts:

How to make rounded corners

How to make a template

The joy of light boxes

Determine the size you want. Mine is 5" x 6".

The bottom corners of the jar can be shaped using the quarter trick.

You'll need a template for the top of the jar. Use your working copy to find the center line of the design and sketch it onto your template paper.


My preferred border of fabric between the edge of the design and the edge of the finish is about 1/4". I measured 1/4" from the side of the jar lid and around the corner of the jar, to make sure my border would be even...

...then I sketched through the measurement marks to get a nice, even border.

Check your template against the design to make sure you've got the shape you want.

And there you have it!

If you want this freebie, go get it and save it now. CEC changes their freebies seasonally and they don't archive old ones.

Now go catch some lightning bugs!

19 comments:

  1. Lovely! Thank you for tutorial

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  2. I love this design and your stitching. Thanks for sharing the chart and the tutorial. I'm just crazy about the buttons too. You do such beautiful work. We called them lightning bugs in Pennsylvania as well.

    Sandra in Texas

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  3. I forgot you're from the East Coast so you might even live in Pennsylvania. :+}

    A PS from Sandra in Texas

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    1. I'm *from* Texas... I live on the East Coast! ;O)

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    2. Honeybee, you've got me totally confused. Actually I'm not confused. We're like a flipped coin - I'm "from" The East Coast (PA) .....I live in Texas. Your Texas Basket now makes sense to me.

      Sandra in Texas

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    3. LOL, Sandra! I bet that did seem weird! ;O)

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  4. Oh Honeybee, I love your latest finish of the Mason jar with the lightning bugs. I ordered the buttons for my Mom and I might have to order a set for me after seeing your finish. I love it on the denim blue. As always, thank you for the tips, the thread info, and for sharing.

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  5. What an awesome finish! Great choice of fabric, everything just pops. I don't think we have fireflies here in Arizona. Too dry maybe?

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  6. Honeybee,
    Beautiful job stitching and finishing. I love your color choices. I'm waiting for my buttons to arrive so I can start this one. We always called them lightening bugs - growing up in upstate NY. Our jars were always empty in the morning - we thought they were invisible during the day - found out later that Mom and Dad would release them after we fell asleep. Last week our 13yr old German shepherd black lab brought one in the house after her final walk. She didn't expect to see the glowing and came to get us to remove the strange bug from her bed. LOL!

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    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you for sharing these sweet stories! Your poor pupper! :O)

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  7. This is a lovely little motiv and i like your finish.
    Martina

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  8. This is too darn cute, and those buttons are to die for, so cute!
    Thanks for finishing tutorial also.
    Marilyn

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  9. Oh this is adorable! Love the buttons. :D

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  10. This is absolutely adorable!!! Your finishing is just great and thank you so much for all the detailed information on finishing, colors and link to the pattern. Those buttons are just too cute!!! They are called lightening bugs in NY also!! Hope you see lots of lightening bugs and drink lots of sweet tea this summer too! Mary and RJ

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  11. I love it! You're so creative with your "finishes".

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  12. That is just gorgeous work! Your interpretation of the pattern makes a lot more sense & the colors you picked to make it work are perfect. Thank you for all the finishing tips for such an unusual shape too :) have a great weekend,
    Helen

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  13. I love your gorgeous finish! Thank you for the link to the chart... I am so going to have to stitch that... and thank you for the finishing tips :) just gorgeous. Hugs x

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  14. This design and finish is just adorable. I love it. I will make sure I come back and get the link and the tutorial when I get back home. Love it!!! RJ@stitching friends forever

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  15. Beautiful, Suzi.
    http://suzi7.blogspot.nl

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