More Roses

My time for cross stitching is more limited on Monday nights because we spend time together as a family for Family Home Evening.  We generally have a little devotional and have some kind of treat, although some times we play games together or do some other activity.  Last night we talked about David and Goliath and how difficulties in our lives can either be stepping stones or stumbling blocks depending on the way that we react to them.

I did get some time to stitch and I am pretty happy with what I was able to accomplish.  When I first started this piece I thought that the roses were rather tedious to stitch.  I must be getting used to them because I really enjoyed stitching them through this diagonal.  In the end I was able to put in four hundred stitches and made it down to the hat.

Working on Midsummer Roses

This week I am working on Midsummer Roses by Paula Vaughan.  I am getting close to the half-way mark on this piece and am really enjoying how it looks.

When I start working on a piece I can’t help setting a little goal of what I would like to accomplish on it for that week.  This time I am hoping to be able to hit the bottom right corner.  That would be a great milestone to reach because when I reach that point I know that the diagonals are going to get shorter and that a finish is not far off.

Last night I was able to put in three hundred stitches.  I am working through the bouquet, which is the most complicated part of the design.  The way that colors are distributed through the flowers makes it so that I am constantly threading and un-threading my needle as I stitch.  I am used to working this way, but it does take a little longer to work through the pattern.

This is what it looks like now:

I am looking forward to watching this grow this week.

2016 Wrap Up

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.

WIPS

Autumn Magic

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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

Winter Sampler

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:

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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.

Red

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:

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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:

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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.

Corazon Sampler

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:

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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:

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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:

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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:

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Finishes

In addition to all of the projects that are in progress I also finished the stitching on three pieces this year.

Twelve Days

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.

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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.

Mallard

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:

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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:

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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.

2017 Plans

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:

  1. Autumn Magic
  2. And a Forest Grew
  3. Verandas of South Battery
  4. 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.

9 April 2016

I have been working on Autumn Magic which is charted be Heaven and Earth Designs and is based on a painting by Randal Spangler.  This piece is huge and will take years to complete at the pace that I am stitching.  It is also pretty confetti-heavy which helps to slow me down.  It is hard to see that I actually made any progress over the last week. However the column at the end of the fence is now almost finished and I also stitches a lot more stones in the walkway.