Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Autumn Biscornu

I finally stitched one of those cute little biscornus a while back, the Autumn Biscornu by Barbara Ana Designs Just so you know, biscornu translates "skewed", "quirky" or "irregular" from French.  I think the literal translation from French actually is "two-horned."  Many Americans think the translation means biscuit, but I think that is more of a popular usage rather than what it actually translates.  Pronounced in English as bis-core-new, it results in an eight-sided cushion.  I did discover these things while making it:
  1. When backstitching the outside border (to be used for joining), I took it out of the hoop.  Otherwise, I pulled the backstitches too tightly, even when I didn't mean to so.  I did try placing a pin under each stitch as I made it (in the hoop), but I discovered then it was too loose.
  2. Turn each corner so that it faces you when stitching.  This will mean that the top threads (and for that matter the bottom threads) of the crosses will run in different directions in each quarter of the design.  
  3. Count the threads mathematically to find the center in each of the sides, where you need to start the join and where you need to match corners to centers.  Some of my friends just folded the material to find the half, but I think they got lucky.  It is much more precise to count threads.  If your design has an uneven number of stitches on the side of the design, the center stitch will have two joining stitches in it.  Evenweaves will be easier to handle, but it can be done on unevens.  
  4. If you pull too hard when whipping the corner stitches, the biscornu will not have defined point as corners.  I actually pulled about every three whipstitches to tighten it up at a good tension.  
  5. Stuff completely but don't overstuff.  Add the button or bead in the center.  It should make a definite indentation.
  6. If you use fabric that is finer than 28 count (over 2), it will be much more difficult to work properly.  
  7. If you are using overdyed thread or any thread with variation in color, be sure to cross each stitch as you go.  
Makes a great pincushion.  :-)