Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Do Different - Finished

Last seen before Valentine's Day, and back now completed.  This was my New Years start this year.
That was my goal - to be finished with it by March 31.
Used 8 skeins of dmc, or 64 meters.  I didn't stitch the pattern fully or exactly.  It would take possibly less than another skein to do it per the pattern design.
I changed the three boxes under the first text.  I didn't like the dog.  The dog and the rabbit have nearly the same bodies.  I mirrored the rabbit on the middle text row.  I thought the bird was just too big.  There were a couple of symmetrical errors in the pattern, but nothing huge. 
I killed off the squirrels at the bottom and the peacocks at the top.  I just preferred the empty space at the moment.  I ended up using the text per the pattern and changing the letters and spacing just slightly.  I had the bible out and looked up the Proverbs 3-3  and found that mine was slightly different -
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
The pattern is - Let not mercy and truth forsake thee.  Bind them about thy neck.  Write them on the tablet of your heart.
I found references saying it was both ways depending on the bible version.  I did not find something better to replace it with, and if I can find that the quote is something I can relate to, I will tend to keep it. By the end - I could relate to it.
Winter being my excuse to stitch all the time ends tonight.  So I am glad to call this one finished. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Finish - Hooray!

A Finish - Hooray!
Started and finished in the same year even.  Started about Valentine's Day and finished in a month and a half, or about 6 weeks. 
Stitched one over one with dmc 915 floss.  I used nearly all of 8 skeins of floss, which is 64 meters of floss or 69.6 yards of floss.  Stitched on 28 count evenweave. 
Errors within the pattern?  Nothing obvious.  Changes I made?  Turning the middle row side boxes a quarter turn to make the birds horizontal.  Those side boxes also had bands that were entirely backstitching - I chose not to do that.  I altered them to not have half stitches - the only band in the pattern asking for half stitches.  I altered the heads of the birds on the right side band.  In the design they were looking back over their wings - I preferred them looking away from their bodies.  There were a few other small things I did not worth mentioning.  It was a nice sampler to stitch.  It seemed to be designed symmetrically - the side band repeats are always 5 - the box bands are always 5 bands with a spacing of two between bands, but only one space between the box border and bands.  I am not fussy about the design, I am fussy about consistency.  There was not a cheated corner.  If you mess up - it won't come out properly.  I am still very happy that I did it in just the single floss color.  I look at it as a band sampler.  Dmc 915 is not my favorite new red, I expected it to have a slight fuchsia tint, but the stitched floss doesn't really show that.  But I am not out to stitch everything in exactly the same matching red over and over, so it was fine.  Would I use it again?  I would rather try something else.  With the math it should have been 12.25 square - un-ironed - it measures 12 x 11.5 inches finished.  I won't finish and frame it - I have framed pieced setting on the floor now.  I hope to move someday - and have a wall I can fill, but doing that now would just make nail holes I had to fix.  That would take away stitching time.  I have a pile of finished but unframed.  I stitch to relax, and I have stitching on the house walls, so do have stitching that I see daily.  It was nice to stitch from my stash - and yep, it was inspired by seeing somebody else had started stitching it on their stitching blog. 

As for the other pattern... Cardinal Points...  I like the silly border enough to keep stitching at least that part.  Could it be a matter of dye lots in the floss...?  I don't know.  I had looked at the Buckeye Scarlet at the local needlework shop - there was another stash pattern that used it I was considering - and they had maybe four skeins on the hook - and they didn't match each other - a couple were a lovely deep red - and the others were just bland.  So I do know that dye lots are an issue.  I know I was buying lots of Whiskey color from Weeks, and stitching several Ink Circles patterns in that floss on black, and an order of that showed up as really odd - and matching nothing I had already stitched with.  So I understand it is not a problem with just one vendor not being consistent.  But what I ordered for that pattern was the floss kit for that pattern, and it is grouped am labeled and bagged like it comes from the vendor that way - not buying the individual floss from the local store, or even the on-line store just pulling floss from their shelf.  Sometimes I think because most of us stitch with cheater glasses that so we can see what we are stitching that we get a warped view of what we are stitching and the colors we are stitching.  I know this is true of me quilting.  By the time I have chosen and washed and ironed, and cut and pieced and ironed, and then held and put on the binding - I usually hate the quilt.  I am ready to give it away - just because I HAVE looked at it intensely for so long.  And I think that follows into cross stitching.  If you can get away from it, then see it from across a room, you lose that minutia intense focus and can see it as an overall design again.  It is a double edge sword.  We all love the minutia and know that adding a stitch here or there can make a difference.  That swapping the head of a bird to the opposite direction will be more pleasing to our own eyes.  That just having a couple rows in reverse monochrome can be quite striking in a pattern because it is not used often.  They are all just small things, small details that make no difference.  Most people glancing at it would never know what I changed or care.  But it makes a difference to me. But we all love that we can put designs on fabric that actually look like something with just a plain fabric and a needle and thread.  And yep, we use patterns - and pull from other stitchers designs and changes and bags of tricks.  But it can be easy to get so focused on the minutia, that we lose focus and can't see the overall design that we liked in the first place.  But sometimes it sure seems like the picture doesn't resemble the result even when you do stitch with the suggested floss. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Quarter Done

I stuck with stitching this a few extra days to get a better idea of the overall color.  I still think a few of the colors must have been something the company could not give away and decided to force them into a pattern.  I like the pattern, hate the colors.  The Buckeye Scarlet for the birds is fine.  A few greens are fine - but the lights greens or pinks - are just too light.  But I paid about $50 for the floss, and the pattern is not huge, I will stitch it the first one with the suggested floss.  I like the borders, but the leaves and vines are 4 colors, one of which is just too light - the Green Apple.  And one of which is just to bright like a lemony bright green called Spring Grass.  The white - called Picket Fences is only used for less than 30 stitches in each of the four corners.  What makes their white better than another white?  Nothing as far as I can tell.  I am missing a few stitches here and there to complete the corner, but basically this is what the corner looks like.  There is another border line - just inside the outer border - but it is one of those colors that I think is just too light to even see - but I don't want to short myself by stitching it in another color before I am sure I have enough floss to substitute another color.  I am not a great person at just substituting other floss colors. But I think if I can see a completed version - I might give it a shot. 
I haven't worked on the red project - or the one before that either.  Or before that... 
If I get too many different reds out, I am always worried I will mix them up.   Easier if you always stitch with the same red, but I am always willing to try something new.  But some of the colors I can't tell apart if there is just a strand.  There are a couple more patterns I would like to start, again, just to see what they look like - but I am also trying to learn to finish things I have started.   So I plan to put this away and go back and finish that border and have another project that I can call finished.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Almost...

I was able to still stitch this for a couple days more -
This is 7.5 skeins of floss used.
I have that bird row, and the side border left...

Then this happened...

Ivory Jobelan - 28 count - the Cardinal Points design from Long Dog with all the Gentle Arts floss.
There is no dmc key for this by the way.  And I understand that since it was a pattern tied completely to Gentle Arts floss usage.  But I will say that just for the record.  I bought the floss packet for the pattern understanding that.
I started dead center...  And so far -  I hate it.  The flower appears more brown than red or reddish...
I thought I will stitch on this over the weekend, just to give myself a slight break and then finish the remainder of the red border.  I haven't given up on the red project yet - I know I am SOoooo close to being done. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

After 7 skeins of floss


After 7 dmc floss skeins.  This was the hardest floss to get thru.  Not because the stitching was more difficult, but because this is the stage I always get to and then desperately want to stop stitching and start something else.  It was all I could do to not start something else.  I even calculated how big the next projects would be and how big to cut the fabric, and yet I hung in there and kept stitching away on this.
I did turn the pattern 90 degrees on the center side boxes.  The pattern has the rows going vertically in those boxes, not horizontally.  But those rows have birds.  All the other rows would be fine either way, but birds sideways never made sense to me.  I have only found one slight error in the pattern.  On one band, the pattern was not a mirror image, and it felt like it was supposed to be.  The top right box, middle band.  Very tiny detail, and mostly is just me being fussy.  But if you are stitching the pattern, it is nice to know if there are lots of problems and mistakes, or no mistakes.  It you make a counting mistake, then things won't fit.  It is nicely balanced everywhere.  I like it with just the single color floss.  It certainly makes it much easier to stitch.  If there is a color error, I could not point that out because of stitching it only in a solid color.  And there was a few other things I changes.  The box with the birds I finished.  One row is all done in backstitching.  I preferred to not do it that way so I filled in with stitches instead of backstitching.  The other box has the same things - I am not anti-backstitching - I just prefer to skip it.  Also stitching one over one - the pattern shows an extra stitch that is not possible unless you are stitching over two - then you can make the suggested side to side stitch.  I had to alter the bird row just slightly - the pattern had half stitches - so I changed it so my version would not.  Now the trick is - will I finish it, or start something else. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

After 6 Skeins

After 6 skeins of dmc floss.
Just silly, but I intended to finish the borders, then got sidetracked and worked on the top border box instead.  So when I removed it from the hoop to take a photo thinking I had the borders done - it was a surprise to me too.
I got my stitching order, the fabric went backorder.  I want to place another order, but I am on the fence because I am trying to not spend much in general.  But then my friend will talk about their spouse buying them a dvd, or the trip out of town, or that they went out for a nice dinner or lunch.  If I am alone - that doesn't happen.  So I know part of the key is for me to be nice to me.  Not too nice, and not all the time.  But from time to time, I need to buy what I want even knowing I don't need it.  But knowing I don't need it, I start to question why I want to buy it.
( Six hours later I clicked on the purchase button on the stitching website.  I shopped carefully.  I bought mostly stitching fabric so I should be set to just use from my stash again and need nothing more than an odd floss I don't have. ) 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Quick Side Stitch

This was a quick side stitch project.  Bent Creek - The Everyday Sampler
Stitched one over one on moss green 25 lugana, with the recommended dmc colors.
It has a square outer border that I skipped adding.  It had the top leaves, and I added the end leaves to make it a leaf border instead.  I altered a few letter stitches, just to make me happy.
It started out that I found a local stitching store with a sale, and I went thru my stash to see what I might need.  I went to the sale and found nothing that I wanted, but came home and started to stitch this from my stash.  Finished it in just a couple of nights.  I thought my online stitching order would show up in the mail, but I am still waiting.  It was a nice break.  And an actual finish of something that I started.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Rounding the corners

Rounding the corners of the borders and boxes, and only one more corner yet.  It is nice to have more boxes completed than I have left to fill.  That middle row I am still undecided about exactly what I am doing and I am sure they will be stitched last. 
You asked about the sampler that is the top of the blog photo.
I can show you the design that I purchased that inspired it - here - but I don't think that the inspiration has much to compare with the end result.  I wanted an alphabet sampler.  If you notice, that inspiration sampler is sometimes missing letters, mostly 'w', sometimes other letters.  It drives me crazy and I was going to have to put the missing letters all back in.  So I started drawing things out, and looking up other alphabets, and then it just morphed into my own sampler. I also wanted it to fit a standard off the shelf size of frame.  I added the lions - because I liked the motif.  So you won't find it for sale - and it is the most basic of samplers.  But it is my sampler. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Used 4 skeins

Used 4 skeins of dmc floss to get to this point.
I placed an order for more stitching stuff.  Material, 3 patterns, floss, and a pair of cheap small scissors.  When you see a pattern and you know you want to stitch it at some point - it seemed like a good excuse.