It has been a while since I have updated this blog. I have decided that I need to post monthly updates that correspond to the Floss Tube videos that I am posting on YouTube. I am going to start with a summary of what I have done stitching-wise in the last year.
2016 has been a good stitching year for me. I only finished three pieces, but as I look at my rotation, I have realized that I have made great progress and should have set things up for more finishes in 2017. I am going to take you through my current rotation to show you what I mean.
The first piece in my rotation is Autumn Magic. It is a design based on a painting by Randal Spangler that is charted by Heaven and Earth Designs. I am stitching this on 25-count Lugana, one-over-one full cross. My feelings toward this piece have alternated between excitement and discouragement for most of the year. It is so big that I wonder if I will ever finish it. First of all, here is a picture of what it looked like at the beginning of the year:
This stitching was done before I started stitching diagonally, so when I picked this up again I decided to start working diagonally instead of in columns. That worked out great for a while until the diagonals got to be so long that it took forever to stitch one and I wasn’t seeing a lot of progress in seeing the picture develop. In order to fix that problem I decided to continue stitching diagonally, but concentrating on one page at a time. That has made working on this piece more enjoyable. This is what this piece looks like at the end of the year:
I am actually quite happy with my progress, and am looking forward to seeing how much of this I will be able to stitch in the next year.
Verandas of South Battery
The next piece in my rotation is Verandas of South Battery. It is a design by Graphs by Barbara and Cheryl and will be a picture of six houses on a street in Charleston, South Carolina. This is currently my oldest WIP and it had been years since I had last worked on it. I was excited to start working on it after so much time. Here is what it looked like at the beginning of the year:
I have started parking since I last worked on this. I was excited to start working on it because I knew that since I was parking that I would be able to stitch a lot more quickly than I had in the past. This is what it looks like now:
I have finished three of the houses and am close to fini7shing the fourth. I am pretty sure that this will be one of the pieces that I finish next year.
Next is Winter Sampler, which is a design by Sandi Orton of Kooler Design Studio. It is a sampler of Victorian-style winter-related motifs. I am stitching this on 28 count tea dyed Monaco. This is a piece that I started this year. This is what it currently looks like:
This has turned out to be a really fun piece to stitch. There is a lot of variety in the areas that I am stitching. My favorite part of the design is the lower right corner with Santa and the gingerbread man. I have finally reached the lower corner, which means that the diagonals that I am stitching are not getting any longer. After I stitch three or four more diagonals, I will reach the upper corner and then the diagonals will start to shrink again. I am excited to work on this more in 2017, although I am not sure if I will be able to finish it.
Next up is Red, by Mirabilia, which is another new start for 2016. I am stitching it on 32 count French lace linen, which is the called for fabric. This is what it looks like now:
This piece looks pretty complicated, but it really isn’t. There are big blocks of color and almost no confetti. As a result it stitches up pretty quickly. I am really happy with how much I have stitched on this piece and am pretty confident I will be able to finish sometime in 2017.
English Garden Sampler
I also worked on English Garden Sampler, by Teresa Wentzler. I am stitching it on 28 count evenweave. I am also using Sullivan’s floss instead of DMC, mainly because I just wanted to see what I thought of Sullivans. I started this a few years ago by stitching only one letter, which I picked out then I picked this up again. As a result, this is another new start for 2016. This is what it looks like at the end of the year:
So I have finished the border and am ready to start stitching the rest of the sampler. The border is pretty repetitive and as a result stitches up pretty quickly. There are still specialty stitches that need to be added, but I am saving them for the end. When I work on this I am going to work on the remaining cross stitch, but I am not sure if I am going to work from the top down or from the bottom up.
Next up is another new start for 2016: Corazon Sampler by CloRaMi designs, who is a designer in Belgium. This is a French-type alphabet sampler. I am stitching it on 36-count antique white Edinburgh linen using DMC 815. This is what it looks like so far:
This is quite different from the other pieces that I am working on because it is only stitched in one color. I find that it is a nice change from my other pieces because I don’t need to worry about changing colors all the time–I can just stitch. It has been a really fun experience to work on this.
And a Forest Grew
I also started a design called And a Forest Grew by Rosewood Manor. I am stitching this on 32 count antique white Lugana. This is what it looks like now:
I really enjoy working on this because each motif is small and each can be counted as a small finish of sorts. I love all the different colors and actually had no idea that there were so many shades of green in the DMC line. Each new tree becomes my favorite and I look forward to getting to know more trees as I stitch them.
The Seasons Sampler
Towards the end of the year, I decided that I wanted to try my hand a doing a specialty stitch band sampler. So I decided to try stitching The Seasons Sampler, which is a stitch-a-long designed by Abi Gurden of Bee’s Needleworks. It is being release in twelve parts, one a month. It started in March 2016 and will finish next February. This is what I have stitched so far:
This has been a fun and interesting piece to stitch. However, I didn’t like the autumn bands as much as I liked the spring and summer bands. At this point I think that I am going to wait for all three winter bands to be released before I stitch this again.
Beautiful Sea SAL
Finally, I also decided to start the Beautiful Sea Quaker SAL, which is is designed by Erik Shipley. I am stitching this on 28 count Brown Sugar Cashel Linen from Under the Sea Fabrics. I have only stitched the first two parts, but I like the way that it looks so far. This is what it looks like:
In addition to all of the projects that are in progress I also finished the stitching on three pieces this year.
My first finish of the year happened on January 3. It was Twelve Days, which was a free stitch-along designed by Plum Street Samplers. I stitched most of this piece over Christmas break last year. It was a really fun piece to stitch, mainly because it was so different from anything that I had ever stitched before. I stitched it on 28 count lambswool Jobelan using DMC floss. Here is a picture of the finished piece.
This Christmas I have felt a temptation to stitch each of these pieces individually to make them into ornaments. I guess that we’ll see what happens.
My next finish was the first of a series that was published in the November 1994 and January 1995 issues of For the Love of Cross Stitch magazine. It is called Mallard and is a picture of a duck decoy. I stitched this on the called-for light mocha Cashel linen. This is what it looks like:
I really like how this turned out. It was really easy to stitch and only took me twelve days to stitch. I plan on stitching the other three decoys soon.
Our Family Tree
My final finish of 2016 was Our Family Tree, which is a design by Stoney Creek. It consists of a vignette of an Oak Tree with two pedigree charts–one for the father and one for the mother. There is also a place to put the names of the children of the family. I am not showing the entire completed piece for privacy reasons, but here is a picture of the parts that I can show:
This piece is going to be a gift to my parents for their fiftieth wedding anniversary. I am excited to frame it and give it to them this summer.
As of right now, my goal for 2017 is to reduce the number of WIPs that I have. Because of this I don’t have any plans to start anything right now. If I do decide to start anything, it will probably be something small that won’t take a long time to stitch.
Also, I have decided that the number of pieces in my rotation needs to be reduced. I have decided that in addition to working on a variety of pieces, I also need to be able to finish something once in a while just to feel like I am actually accomplishing something. As a result, I am going to change my rotation so that I am only working on about four pieces. As I finish pieces I am going to add in my remaining WIPs. I have also decided that I am going to work on the pieces that I am closest to finishing first. So this is what my rotation is going to look like:
- Autumn Magic
- And a Forest Grew
- Verandas of South Battery
- Corazon Sampler
Of course, my attitude towards all of this might change, but as of right now these are my plans. I am looking forward to having a productive 2017.