It’s been an exciting stitching week – I’m calling it a Magpie week as several new “shiney” things distracted me from my planned path. I made some good progress on In HIS image, a club kit arrival which I started immediately and finished last night, and a wonderful package of hand dyed aida that a good friend dyed and shared with me arrived and they are so lovely.
I’ll start with the In HIS Image progress since last Saturday. Here’s the photo I showed last Saturday of where I was. I worked on this Saturday and Sunday. The photo below shows where I ended up Sunday night. I finished the border, filled in the house in the lower right and am closing in on a finish of the fill in on the house on the left.
I love the color in the house on the lower right. It was not one of the called for colors in the chart but I wasn’t fond of the reds used, so found another DMC (356) because I love the terra cotta-ish shade and used that for the house and a lady’s dress.
But then on Monday when I got home from work, I found the first thing that caused me distraction. I belong to two clubs. The first, a bag of the month club from Hometown Needleworks (which I will only do for this year and then I will have more than enough lovely project bags for myself and a couple for gifting – her bags are my favorites) and the second club (which caused the distraction) Scattered Seed Samplers “Fancy Feathers Pinkeep Club.” I love all the Scattered Seed designs and this one did not disappoint. The first kit was waiting on my doorstep Monday night and I had to start it right away.
The kit came with everything necessary to stitch the pillow and the little heart, i.e finishing fabric for pin pillow and heart, blue ring for the heart, DMC flosses, a cute little silver charm not shown in the photo and fabric to stitch it on. The kit is shown stitched on linen, but you could also request when joining that you receive 18 count aida and that’s what I requested. I actually didn’t stitch it on the aida provided in the kit — I’m not sure what it was but it looked like Rustico to me (that light colored aida flecked with dark threads that I stitched a lot on in the ’90s because there wasn’t much available). In any event, it was a stiffer fabric than I wanted to stitch on, and I really wanted to use a darker fabric so some of the lighter colors would show up better. I went stash diving and found one of the “ornament” cuts I had gotten from Top Knot Stitcher. The fabric I used is Fiber on a Whim in the color Brick and I love how it looks on this fabric. I put the final stitches in this last night and as I was finishing it, thought about a standard 5×7 frame I had that just might work so at midnight I’m rummaging in the sewing room closet and found to potential frames but the one I initially remembered I think will be perfect.
The dark blue with sort of a taupe wash over it in the frame really matches those colors used in the chart. I started out using two strands of thread due to my error, but I had all the DMC colors in the stash that were used in the kit, so decided to continue using two stands throughout and the colors really pop so much more. The large basket should have a second color added to it but after putting in the darker color, I really liked how the unstitched stitches looked with the fabric color showing thru so left it as is.
Here’s a close up of the stitching ( it’s a washed-out photo – the photo with the frame is true to color).
On part of this I tried the “cross stitch railroading technique” which is a way to stitch when using two threads to make your threads lay flatter (not as twisted up) against your fabric. In the ’90s I stitched probably everything with two strands and had never heard of “railroading” so don’t know if it was known/used back then, or if because I was self-taught I just didn’t know about it, but I can see a difference when looking at it close up. The places I used it the stitches look more even, flatter and crisper. See you can teach an old dog new tricks! 🙂
And then the icing on the cake, so to speak, a package arrived this week from my good friend Sheryl. She has been playing with her dyes and cross stitch fabric and sent me a package of such lovely fabrics. Sheryl taught me to dye quilting fabric many many years ago thru a yahoo quilting group she ran and I distinctly remember the day many of us all over the country were having a dyeing weekend from each of our respective homes. I had things set up on my kitchen counter (where there was not a lot of counter space in that apartment), and having to run upstairs to print off the batch of instructions for the first steps, running back down to do them, running back up to post messages to the group and get more instructions, and read messages on how others were doing, taking the fabrics down another flight of steps to get to the laundry room sink to do the never-ending rinsing etc. Such fun (and good exercise with all that running up and down stairs). My dyes are long gone but I’m glad Sheryl still plays with dyeing fabric. I can’t wait to figure out what to stitch on these. They are 18 ct aida and the mottling is so pretty.
I know she was trying to dye a particular shade of green for one of her own stitches so there are three different lovely greens (green is my favorite color you know), two blues which would be so perfect for wintery stitches because white snow would show up well them (I already have a chart in mind for one of them), that brownish color is gorgeous and then the far left one which my photo didn’t capture well, has just the faintest hint of purple to it. And then there are the three pieces below.
I know there was some small chart I had been wanting to stitch on a very dark gray so I need to figure out which one that was. I think the chart called for black, but I don’t like stitching on black but that dark gray is perfect. The lighter gray with the wonderful mottling in grays and sort of blues is incredibly pretty. The piece with browns and black – I think that one will be wonderful with a Halloween stitch on it. Thank you, my friend, for sharing your talents and lovely fabrics with me. It will make anything I stitch on them more even more special.
So that was my exciting week. The not so exciting stuff – I was an insomniac for about three nights so that gave me added stitching time but slept in late this morning so caught up on some sleep at least. It’s snowing again – we go from rain and temps in low 40s to snow and temps in the 20s and its really windy and cold the last two days. Spring in Wisconsin – that’s just the way it is and it could be worse so I’m not really complaining. Need to get started on the usual Saturday chores since I’m way behind schedule today.