As tempting as it was to go overboard, I limited myself to make just one machine-embroidered element for my recent wedding: the table numbers. In retrospect, I’m not so sure anyone noticed that the numbers were embroidered but that’s okay with me. I enjoyed the process.
Since our wedding took place in a natural stone setting (limestone floor, stucco walls, etc) I felt the table numbers and name cards should have an ‘old world’ feel. So I used ink and water to age basic card stock tags and embroiderable paper. I had a blast doing that – I like to get my hands dirty so this was right up my alley! First, I used two colors of Distress Ink (tea and coffee colors).
I just dabbed the tea ink pad over the tag and then followed with the darker coffee ink. Then I quickly swiped a wet paper towel across the tag to blend the smudges. They dried flat and smooth!
The next step was how to display the name tags. I found a very affordable wire dress form with circular details and used it to hold (and transport) the name tags. Once I inserted the name tags in the dress form circles, I slid a large plastic trash bag over the dress form and tied it on the bottom. It kept everything in order for the big day.
I applied the same ink technique to the embroiderable paper (The Sewphisticated Stitcher) but didn’t get the same results. That paper quickly absorbed all the ink so the blending wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked. It seemed to call for another layer of ink. So I added a spray of paper ink. The result? A slightly mottled paper. Now for the embroidery.
I used open, airy digits from Urban Threads (www.urbanthreads.com) I found I could fit two table number tents on each 8 ½” x 11” piece of embroiderable paper. I used a target ruler to mark the position for each letter and gently placed a target sticker in that location. Too much adhesive might have harmed the paper but a soft touch did the trick.
I placed the bottom frame of my 4” x 4” Snap-Hoop on the machine.
Then I slid the paper under the needle, aligning the target sticker with the needle. I used the edge of the paper as a guide to make sure the paper was square on the hoop. Then I snapped magnets onto the frame.
I could have used the top magnetic frame of Snap-Hoop but I found just dropping the magnets (from my Magna-Hoop Jumbo) was much easier in this application. Once I removed the target sticker, I embroidered the number.
I repeated this for each number, rotating the number for the other side of the tent.
After completing the four numbers, I cut the paper, folded the strips and used double-sided tape to hold them together at the bottom.
As it turned out, the table numbers weren’t the only embroidered items. My dear friend Mary Mulari brought vintage wedding hankies for each female guest! What a generous offer. Many were embroidered (mostly by hand) – all were gorgeous.
My Stitching Sister, Marie Zinno, surprised with me an embroidered table runner for the unity candle table. A treasured memento!
Personal touches are what make a wedding day an expression of a couple’s love. When family members pitch in to do some of the prep – it makes for some wonderful memories. Since I have five sisters who are capable of pulling off anything, I knew we could handle doing our own flowers. So we did – centerpieces, bridal bouquets, boutonnières, and wall decorations. I imported the flowers from South America and had them delivered two days before the wedding. I captured two of my sisters, Marie Zinno and Kath Brown, to do the actual arranging in my garage the day before the wedding.
The groom and I hauled the flowers to the location a few hours before the wedding and then an army of family joined forces to transform the barren space. I knew I could count on another sister, Liz Scully, for her museum-quality bow-tying expertise. Really, this woman would win a Martha Stewart bow-tying throw-down. I supplied the pretty ribbon and she made it look perfect! Here are four my sisters (from left to right): Liz Scully, Kath Brown, Marie Zinno, me and Mary Pat Palombo during set-up.
My oldest sister, Mary Pat Palombo, jumped into action and was a valuable set of hands. My cousin, Pat Mulligan, climbed a 12 ft. ladder to help engineer the hanging of a 30-ft. baby’s breath/tulle garland. Height is no issue for Patrick since he’s used to having his head in the clouds as a captain with American Airlines.
It was a magical day.
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