Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February stitching post

Firstly, my February smalls for the 2017 Smalls SAL run by Heather of Stitching Lotus.
The above pink is closest to true color, though the actual fabric color does
have a smidge of a coral shade to it.
Crazy differences in color due to taking the top photo in daylight, and the bottom photo at night. Doh!

These are letters from "Love Blocks" by Needle Bling Designs from the Jan 2016 JCS magazine. I used all stash for this - I had some 32 count Lugana "Coral Reef" (not sure by whom); and I used Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe threads "Be My Valentine" and "Heirloom Grape" and GAST "Picket Fence." I had hoped to finish all 4 letters, but I didn't have as much time to stitch on my business trip as I usually do.

Incidentally, does anyone else have issues with the stretchiness of evenweaves? I'm guessing it's due to the polyester blend of the fabric. I just find it stretches out so much in both hoops and snaps. I don't really enjoy working with it.

Other February finishes:

Chilly Winter scene #2 by By the Bay Needleart:
Stitched with the charted colors on a very light blue, 32 count linen. The white doesn't 'pop' against this fabric color, but that's something I like about it. It reflects that soft, white-on-white sort of overcast day that I like so much in wintertime. (I stitched Chilly Winter Scene #1 last January, see post here.)

I knocked out two mid-sized WIPs from 2016; these are both projects that got put on hold for seasonal (Halloween/Autumn/Christmas) projects.

Ink Circles "Village Square":
I started this one at the end of last May, so it's nice to have it done! Stitched on 32 count "As You Wish" by Under the Sea Fabrics, with the charted Gloriana thread ("Bluegrass"). This was my first Under the Sea fabric, and I love it.

Modern Folk Embroidery "Japanese Hiragana Sampler":
The gradation from dark to light is due to the
lighting - I snapped the photo at work. The
middle is most true to color.
Started in July last year, stitched on 32 count linen in "Midnight" by Sassy's Fabbys. This fabric seems to have been painted, rather than dyed; the front of the fabric is much darker than the back, and from the front it's difficult to make out individual fibers/holes. I stitched this with GAST "Picket Fence" and "Shaker White," but given the complete lack of variegation in the threads, I think I could have used DMC Blanc and Ecru and saved a bit of money. Initials and year inexpertly charted and stitched 1 over 1.

 And finally, I framed Woolen Sheep for my friend:
The color of the frame doesn't exactly match either the blue or the green in the design, but complements them both nicely; and it's a shade my friend has in her house as an accent color. I didn't get the design perfectly straight when I framed it, but even with lacing up the back it was impossible to avoid a couple of wiggles in the borders. :( But she liked it a lot, so that's ok.

Fails

I started a freebie back in January, but still haven't finished it.

And I'm behind on the Beautiful Sea Quaker SAL - I put it aside (with everything else) in January to work on Woolen Sheep, and now I'm 3 parts behind. I'm also finding that my interest in it is waning. The colors are very pretty, but...I don't know. Maybe it's just mid-project-meh. I'm trying to decide if I want to push through, or move on.

Stitch from Stash report:

I'm doing pretty well so far! I've earned $58 in credits (not counting the Love Blocks), so even though I did spend $42 on silks for a near-future project (I wasn't going to do that, but after busting my a** to get Woolen Sheep done on time, I felt I deserved a treat), and $14 on a couple of cross stitch books I found at a secondhand bookstore, I have a remaining budget of $42 this month (via adding in last month's carryover budget and this month's budget).
SUCH PRETTY COLORS.
This challenge did inspire me to do some serious thinking about subscriptions, and even though I LOVE Under the Sea Fabrics, I felt that 1) my general budget didn't support it, and 2) I need to both use up my healthy fabric stash as well as wait until I need a particular fabric and buy just what I need, in the color I need. UtSF will be getting my business when that happens, though. Seriously, her fabrics are lovely.

I am, however, keeping my Just Cross Stitch subscription and my Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe thread-of-the-month subscription. I get a lot of pleasure from perusing and re-perusing stitchy mags. And the VMSS threads are so high quality and such a deal in terms of cost per quantity, and I'm finding that as I accrue more of them I'm able to use them in place of other hand-dyed cotton threads as well as DMC.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Screeching in just under the wire

At lunch today I put the last few stitches into a birthday gift due on Friday. Started this on Jan 2 because I have bad judgement.
This is "Woolen Sheep" by the Cricket Collection, stitched 2 over 1 on some kind of super low count rough natural linen. So natural, in fact, that it has scratchy fibers poking out of the threads in places. O_o

I bought the pattern at an LNS and requested the charted linen, but they gave me this by mistake. By the time I realized this fabric was far too low a count to fit the project as charted, the LNS was going out of business so I couldn't exchange it. It's essentially the right color, though, and once I decided to stitch over 1, the design fit. The very loose weave did make over 1 stitching even more treacherous than usual - the threads wanted to vanish under every fabric thread.

I counted wrong in one spot, but had gotten so far along by the time I noticed that I just didn't have time to frog it. I fudged a couple more things to hopefully cover the mistake.

I can't WAIT to move on to something else, but between work and feverishly stitching this thing in hand without being able to use the sewing method (both because of the ridic fabric), my elbow and shoulder are killing me. So time for a short stitching break. :(

But yay it's done. I'll frame it over the next couple of days, probably in a shadow box frame.

October Smalls SAL post

Here's my project for the October Smalls SAL hosted by Stitching Lotus : Very Merry Autumn by JBW Designs. I stitched it on 32 count ...