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.