The Elizabeth Turner Collection (ETC) has come out with a delightful line of key chain kits. Packaged in a long, skinny zipper bag, the kits include the painted canvas, a heavy leather key chain, double-sided tape and finishing instructions.
The come in two different shapes, a brown rectangle, or a teardrop in black. Currently there are 50 rectangular designs, and over 100 teardrop designs. All use 18-mesh canvas. You can see all available designs on this page at the ETC site.
I love the way the entire product is packaged in a sturdy bag. Because this is definitely a take-along project, just add thread, a needle and scissors and you could finish the whole thing on a day’s drive or plane trip. Most of the designs have few colors (mine had 3) and they don’t use much thread.
The only fault I have with these small designs is that they are too small (3×4) to go on stretcher bars. Even though I prefer to use a frame, these take so little time to stitch, it isn’t a problem.
Because they will be used daily, the best choices for these projects would be wool and pearl cotton. Simple stitches also work best. I did the ladybug and used Tent Stitch for the bug and T Stitch for the background.
They only take a good evening of TV watching to finish.
Pay attention to the instructions to finish threads securely and not to leave thread or knots on the back; these will prevent the stitching from being flat.
Once you have finished stitching, follow the great instructions on the back to finish the design. All you will need is scissors to cut out the canvas and a butter knife. I used my fingers and had only a little difficulty getting the canvas in place.
Unlike some other self-finishing products I’ve used, the margins on the key chains are generous, so it is easy to tuck the canvas inside. Something I haven’t seen elsewhere was to hammer the edges of the leather after pressing down the needlepoint. Although my edges weren’t bent out of shape, this will smooth them.
These finishing instructions are, by far, the best I have seen for a self-finishing project. Complete and clear, you’ll have success even if this is the first time you’ve finished something.
I just love these little chains. I’m sitting here thinking about how I could make ones for everyone in my family for Christmas. Now they just need to make one with blank canvas, so I can make a Toyota one for my DH’s new Prius!
BTW I would show you my finished one, but I’m using it.