A Small Project Finish – A Saturday Stitching Post

After completing a long term project, I spent a great deal of time considering what to make next. I finally selected an autumn sampler. In spite of the fact that I have an unbelievable quanity of fabric for stitching, I decided I wanted to order the specific hand-dyed fabric that the pattern called for.

While I waited for the fabric to arrive, I chose a small projec to work. The result is that I have completed another stitching project in less than two weeks. I needed that feeling of a quick completion rather than having to spend the years that it took me to finish the last one. It is a very small project only about 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/4 inches.

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The above photo shows the project after the cross stitches were completed. Many projects including this one require back stitching, which basically means outlining design elements with thread to bring out detail.

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The second photo shows the piece with the backstitching completed. Many stitchers dislike doing backstitching but it brings out the detail in the design.

The piece is now ready to frame.

Project Details: Apple Time designed by Lois Winston published in The Cross Stitcher, October 2005. Worked on 18 ct. tan Aida using DMC floss with 2 strands for cross stitch and one strand for backstitch. Stitch count is 43w x 53h. Design was modified replacing a chicken with the pumpkin.

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Finally…A Finish – A Saturday Stitching Post

Completed Bunnies I am happy dancing this morning because I have finally finished stitching my longest ever ongoing project.

I have posted about this project before. My latest post on this topic can be seen here. I had started it many years ago and then had put it away to work on other projects. I had made a mistake which was going to cause me to undo quite a few stitches. Every time I thought about taking that on I lost enthusiasm. It languished unfinished for many years.

imageIn March of this year as spring time weather was putting me in the mood I thought about spring time projects that I had stitched. This unfinished project came to mind and I dug it out. I made up my mind that I would not work on any other projects until I had finished this one. It still took me some time but I am very happy that I have finished the stitching.

I will next decide on the frame that I will use. I have every intention of getting it framed and on display relatively quickly, before the summer season passes.

imageNow that I have accomplished my goal I can get excited about other projects that are waiting in the wings. Perhaps I will work on some Christmas stitching projects that I want to do, or there’s an autumn sampler that I have been thinking about. Then there is another long-term project of a hummingbird afghan that perhaps deserves some attention…. The possibilities are endless.  Of course, I might take some time off from stitching and catch up on my reading or blogging or countless other interests.

imageRealistically and in all honesty, I am not likely to take time off from stitching completely. Stitching is my therapy, my calming activity, the quiet time pursuit when I feel most content, my stress reducer.  We all need that kind of release. I must warn though that it cross stitch is not a pursuit for everyone. It requires much attention to detail and patience. I love seeing the designs evolve on fabric, but it definitely is not something that gives instant gratification. Still, I think everyone should give it a try.

imageStay tuned to find out what I choose to work on next. I will post a picture of the finished, framed project but meanwhile I am off to review frame possibilities and potential next projects.

[Project Details: Hide and Seek from  For the Love of Cross Stitch, May 2001.  Design worked on 32 count antique white linen using 2 strands of DMC floss over 2 fabric threads.]

Country Geese Sampler – A Saturday Stitching Post

Historically, samplers were a demonstration or a test of skill in needlework. Girls raised in a genteel fashion were expected to develop skills in the needle arts. A sampler would be composed of alphabets, motifs, verses and decorative borders done in a variety of stitches. The name of the person who worked it as well as the date were often included.

Modern samplers come in a variety of designs and is a style preferred by many stitchers. I am very interested in samplers.  However, I have only worked one during my long term cross stitch addiction.

Today I am displaying the one sampler that I completed.  It is a piece that is one of my all time favorites done for myself, but it is no longer displayed in my home.

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Progress on the Unfinished Project – A Saturday Stitching Post

imageMany craft people who I know have old projects that were started a long time ago but got pushed to the side in favor of other projects. My oldest such project is from 2002. In March of this year as the weather turned warm and I was thinking of spring, I remembered this design of two rabbits with a flower pot.  I brought my project out of hiding. On March 28, I published a post about the project named Hide and Seek – An Unfinished Object.

2015-04-04 13.29.53The project when I picked it up in April.

Back in 2002 I had messed up in counting stitches in the left hand center area of the design beneath the back of the bunny and above the edge of the flower pot. It was a complicated part of the design and I was having trouble finding my way to correcting the design. I needed a break from it so I set it aside in favor of other projects.

This spring I decided to resume my work on it and last updated my progress on April 18 in Saturday Spring Snow and A Stitching Post.I made up my mind that I would not start another project until I had finished this one. Progress has been slow. Because of the level of detail it required intense concentration. At times when I otherwise might be stitching that I just couldn’t face up to the level of detail involved. I ended up not stitching as often as I normally would have.

2015-04-18 09.05.45Progress as of April 18, 2015.

imageProgress as of June 26.

imageProgress as of July 4

With my stitching on July 4, the top half of the design was completed. That felt like a bit of a milestone.

image I adjusted the fabric on the scroll bars to allow work on the bottom portion of the design and continued my stitching .

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A Close-up of Progress on July 10, 2015

Part of the thrill for a stitcher is watching the design evolve. The second bunny in the design is taking shape. After all the cross stitches are completed, top stitching will be added to define features of the design.

This weekend I hope to find much stitching time so that I can make significant progress. The next project is waiting in the wings but I have to stick to my resolution to finish this one before I start another one.

[Project Details: Hide and Seek from  For the Love of Cross Stitch, May 2001.  Design worked on 32 count antique white linen using 2 strands of DMC floss over 2 fabric threads.]

The Sewing Corner — A Saturday Stitching Post

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There was a time in my life when I had my own sewing room. It was before marriage and before motherhood, when I could afford to be more narcissistic. Now that I no longer have a child living at home, I have thought about converting the spare bedroom into a craft/sewing room which might be a smart move for when I retire.

I had worked a small cross stitch piece which hung on the wall near my sewing machine. It is one of the earliest pieces that I did and was from the early 1980’s.l

Project Details: “Sewing Machine and Rocker” from Charted Nostalgic Designs, Leisure Arts Leaflet 183, by Barbara Weiford. Copyright 1980. It was worked on 14 count Aida with 2 strands of floss for cross stitch and 1 strand of floss for back stitch.

Flowers in Blue – A Saturday Stitching Post

imageWhen I first started stitching in the 1980’s, one of the things that I worked on was designs featuring the color blue. Blue had always been a favorite color. I had bought my first home earlier in the year and I was using blue as the featured color in my study.

I bought a couple of chart books that featured flowers. The books are Southern Gardens, Collections I & II by Angie Austin Newton and Mary Alice Mathis, published by Canterbury Designs, Inc. They were copyright in 1981 and 1982. The books feature a collection of individual flowers, a total of 22 designs between the two books. Because at the time I was working on blue pieces I selected the morning glory and the Canterbury bells to stitch.

imageTrue to what has evolved in my stitching life, the favorite part for me is stitching. Watching the designs emerge on fabric gives me a great sense of accomplishment. When I finish one design I am always eager to start the next. Taking a finished piece and framing it or incorporating it into a completed project for display purposes often is postponed and frequently never accomplished. In this instance the two flower designs were finished but they never did get framed. They have languished in a drawer with other unfinished designs.

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I periodically go through my finished work, and formulate plans for them.More than 30 years have passed since I worked these designs. One of my goals for this year has been to frame or in other way finish off several pieces. For these two flower pieces I am considering placing them in a double frame. Another idea is to stitch a few more floral pieces and then make a quilted wall hanging to display several designs. That idea would be more time-consuming and less likely to be completed as it requires stitching more pieces. I could also make a couple of pillows incorporating the cross stitch pieces.

Realistically I may not reach my goal this year. It may have to await my retirement.

Project Details: Both designs stitched on 14 ct. Aida using DMC floss. 2 strands of floss were used for cross stitching and for backstitching the words. One strand of floss was used for backstitching the flowers and leaves.

Antique Violet Monochrome – A Saturday Stitching Post

Counted cross stitch projects can be as detailed or as elaborate as a stitcher or a designer wants to make them. I have done projects that have taken months of constant stitching with a hundred different colors. I have done others that have taken just a few evenings and used only one thread color.

Today I feature three small stitched pieces all with one color of floss that I stitched to make into pillows. I specifically sought out designs that could be worked in a single color as I was trying to match the comforter and the color scheme in a bedroom. The color I chose was DMC 3740 “Dark Antique Violet” which matched some fabric I had on hand that I was going to use for the pillows.

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Hummingbirds – In Living Color and In A Cross-Stitched Design

Hummingbirds fascinate me. One of my great delights these days is watching one of nature’s engineering masterpieces come and go to and from the feeder mounted on our living room window. Tiny hummer We were thrilled when the first tiny black-chinned hummingbird of the season showed up at the feeder Monday evening.  We abandoned all activities while we watched him feed and fly away. We waited for his return.

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He did not disappoint us. He came back several times during the course of the evening. image

Since the first appearance we have seen him on a regular basis. Frequently over the next several months we will turn our attention to the window to watch the vision of the dainty birds’ mid-air dances. We think they have a nest in one of the trees near our back deck. As the season moves on, we expect to see the female counterparts. They will be joined by other species. We typically see interesting territorial battles between the various hummingbirds.

This brings to mind one of my all time favorite cross-stitch pieces. It is an appropriate selection for this week’s Stitching Post to mark the seasonal return of the hummingbirds.

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Project Details: “Bird Watching” from Leisure Arts The Magazine, Cross Stitch, June 1998, Designed by Barbara Baatz. Stitched over 2 fabric threads of 25 count white Laguna with 3 strands of DMC embroidery floss. Custom framed.

Saturday Spring Snow and a Stitching Post

This morning we woke up to a bright white winter landscape. The trees that had been leafing out for weeks were covered with white fluffy snow. It is an annual phenomenon here that after fruit trees have blossomed and spring flowers have made their appearances that we get a cold spell and a killing frost. We don’t always get a late spring snowfall.

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We have had weeks of beautiful spring weather so I know this is just a temporary setback. I am able to enjoy the beauty that I see out my window. It began snowing before we went to bed last night so we covered the most tender of the plants, like the blackberry shoots. The snow will be gone by noon.

Today in my Saturday stitching post I will display some slow and steady progress on the previous UnFinished Object (UFO) which has now become a Work in Progress (WIP).

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