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The Ramblings of a Seamstress, Gardener, Chicken Keeper, and Housewife

Proof of My Adventures (and Misadventures!)

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18th Century Pinball

I finally finished my pinball!

After many, many hours of cross-stitching, my designs were finally done!  Although it seems like it should be a simple thing, apparently I miscounted some rows on the bird design.  That's why it's so oddly shaped on the left side.  I attempted to eyeball an adjustment and that didn't go so well - whoops!  It made very little difference in the end, though.

Cardboard helps the pinball retain its hemisphere shape.  My ring measured about 2 1/4" in diameter, so I made these about 2" in diameter to account for the bulk of the aida cloth.  Next time I'd make them a little smaller, perhaps 1 3/4".

I trimmed the aida cloth, leaving about 1/2"-3/4" for folding over.  I ran a gathering stich at the edge of the designs, gathered as best I could (this part is very bulky), stuffed them with as much polyfill as they'd hold, jammed the cardboard on top, then stitched across the egdes until everything was firm and relatively flat.  It sounds easy, but it was actually trickier than I expected.  The polyfill wants to ooze out, the gathers have to be arranged just right or the design gets disorted, and anchoring that cardboard in takes a lot more thread than I thought.

I didn't take pics of the next step.  I sewed the two halves together, making sure to keep any of the white aida cloth from showing.  It looked really odd and lumpy at that point, and I worried that I'd spent a lot of time only to get a disappointing result.  Too late to turn back though - I kept pushing on!

Here are my supplies for the chain and ring.  I've been coveting the repro chain and ring from Colonial Williamsburg's Marketplace, but $225 is more than my wallet can handle.  My knockoff came to about $30.  The hook clasps, split rings, and chain came from JoAnn Fabrics and the ring came from eBay.  It's a child-sized silver bangle bracelet.

This is before I wiped it down with a silver cloth.  Getting it onto the sewed-together pinball was tricky, and I'm dreading the day I have to take it off for polishing again!

Once the ring was on, the whole thing really came together.  Whew, all those hours of cross-stiching weren't a waste after all!
8_Side View.jpg

I used a split ring to connect the chain to the hook and ring.  A split ring is just like a keychain ring that you'd thread your keys onto, but much smaller and made for jewelry purposes.  I've had bad experiences in the past with a regular jump ring opening up with use or stress and dumping the item it's attached to.  That will never happen with a split ring.  From a distance they look like a two side-by-side jump rings, so I chose a double ring chain to keep the design consistent.

I was thrilled to find a large hook and eye set in the jewelry findings section.  The hook side was the perfect size for looping over my petticoat waistband.  It's possible this would never be seen, depending on how much your bodice overlaps your waistband, but small details are important to me.  And it just so happens that the bottom part of the hook was visible when I wore it!

Here it is in action for the first time, at the DFWCG's Georgian Picnic!

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It turned out so well! I didn't notice that the band was silver when I saw it in person, what a lovely touch! All that embroidery definitely paid off. :D

Thank you so much! I really should have kept better track of the hours I spent on it. LOL

One should never try to mark cross-stitching hours. They're too depressing. (I really don't want to think about how many thousands of hours of my life are represented by the pictures on my walls...)

It really came out nicely. Does it work well as a pincushion?

Thank you! It works very well as a pincushion. I have to put the pins in at a slight angle because it's not quite deep enough to accommodate them from every angle, but that's fine by me. They seem perfectly secure, so I won't have to worry about shedding pins when I wear it.

I was a kid the last time I did any cross stitching, so the time-sink aspect really took me by surprise! It hasn't deterred me though. I'm planning on starting the garter pattern you gave me this week, in fact. :)

I look forward to seeing the garters! The pattern is from a pair in the MFA in Boston. The center was really hard to see. There was some kind of pattern that I couldn't make out other than the initials and date so I gave up on that bit. The quatrefoils are right, though. When I went to find the link for you, I found that the center is quite clear so I don't know if they've improved their picture or if I somehow had some kind of issue looking at it before. http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/garter-one-of-a-pair-121953 Maybe you can fix the design in the center, which turns out to be a bow. I wish I had made my ribbons about six inches longer. There's not much left to tie by the time they've been wrapped around my legs twice. Learn from my experience!

My estimate is about one square inch per hour on cross-stitch. It's just a rough estimate, but it's good for planning purposes.

Oooh, thanks for the reference pic! I'll definitely try to add that bow. And thanks for the tip on the ribbon length. I'll make sure mine are comfortably long enough.

I LOVE how this turned out!! Great job!

Thank you! I'm really happy with it. :)

So pretty! All that hard work definitely paid off. Looks great! Also, I love seeing people's ensembles with all the right accessories. Really makes the outfit!

Thanks! It's nice to have enough 18th century outfits that I can focus more on making cool accessories for them now. I've got mitts and a chatelaine on my list now. :)

It's adorable! Wonderful workmanship!

(and you looked so pretty at the picnic!)

The pinball is so adorable! You really did an amazing job on it, and I am amazed at how perfect the metal ring and chain is. It totally looks like the fancy repro ones.

Thank you! I'm tempted to set up an ongoing search for more bangles so I can make more pinballs. I'm such a glutton for the punishment!

How beautiful! And what wonderful detail!

How lovely! This is simply wonderful.

Such tiny stitches---my stars!

Thank you! All those stitches took a very long time...but it ended up being totally worth the investment!

Wow, that looks fantastic! And thank you for all the construction details. I was wondering how those pinballs go together!

Thank you very much! I always wondered about the construction too, and googling only brought up a couple of resources. I don't know if this is generally how they were done in the period, but it worked all right for me!

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