Crossstitch WIP – Abi Gurden’s Tree of Stitches

A few weeks ago I heard about this SAL called Tree of Stitches, intrigued I headed over to the The Stitch Specialist group, to have a look and I was instantly hooked. The SAL had already run it’s course when I found out about it, so I got to download all 15 parts at the same time.

The tree is made up of 15 different types of stitches, a great learning piece, I’m having so much fun with it.

When I heard about it and saw other peoples trees I got a very clear idea of how I wanted my tree to look. I had a piece of Polstitches fabric which I got in a large cuts grab bag, I think it might be The Deep, but I’m not sure, and I knew I wanted a white/gray tree, in the spirit of the White Tree of Gondor. At first I thought I’d just go for DMC color variations 4015, but then I was seduced by the wonderful Caron Waterlilies, and ended up going with Waterlilies Quicksilver, using anything between 1-3 strands to create different effects and textures.

I wanted a clear difference between the trunk and the leaves as well when it came to texture and look, and decided to stitch the trunk in satin floss, I used DMC Satin 415 which was horrible to work with, but which looked just the way I wanted it.

Here you can see it after part 1, the trunk, had been stitched using cross stitches.

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I then stitched Part 2, Smyrna stitch, Part 3, French Knots, and Part 4, Algerian Eyelets, in quick succession, and here is how the tree looked once those were completed

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Here is a closer look at those stitches

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I then went on to stitch Part 5, Rice Stitch, and Part 6, Cushion stitch. The Rice stitch seemed to take me forever, but I loved the effect of the Cushion stitch. And this is how my tree currently looks

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And a closer look at the stitches used

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The next stitch on the agenda is Jerusalem stitch which I’ve never heard of let alone tried out before so we’ll see how it goes, I’m looking forward to it and the rest of the stitches though

Stitchy Saturdays – Some Finishes

As you know I had promised my mum that I’d make her a wall hanging mail organizer (surely there must be an easier way of say that!), in any case I finished the stitching with only a few hiccups, but really struggled when it came to finishing it off.
In the end I cheated, I found this beautiful place mat at John Lewis and since the dimensions were sort of what I had in mind I just attached the stitching as a pocket on the place mat. I had already bought a hanger from the RICO Collection and to attach the place mat to the hanger I made some loops at the top using some suitable ribbon. I’m really pleased with this one, probably one of my nicer finishes, in fact I might make one for myself.

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Here is a closer look

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At the end of March I signed up for a bookmark exchange with one of my facebook groups. I decided to stitch a Lizzie*Kate pattern I received from a friend, it’s called Peep. I found some hand dyed evenweave (28 count I think) from Polstitches and matched the floss I had as closely as I could to the charted DMC colors (I was missing a couple). After I finished stitching I mounted it on some white self-adhesive felt, but I forgot to take a picture before sending it off. Here it is though before I mounted it on the felt.

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Here is a closer look at the cute chick 🙂

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I also finished April’s Christmas ornament. I stitched one of the Little House Needleworks (LHN) ornaments from 2010 – Frosty Flakes. I didn’t have the charted colors so I matched them up as closely as I could. For the scarf I had the suggested dmc floss, but I wanted it to look more like the hand dyed so I used two different colors together. I think it turned out rather well. The ornament was stitched on 32-count DMC raw linen, one of my favorite fabrics.

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I stitched the snowman in white together with some Kreinik blending filament (pearl), and his yellow nose is stitched in Madeira silk

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Lastly I stitched up these Mackintosh Roses, the charts were out of one of my Zweigart booklets (the Rose one). I used the same fabric as i did for the bookmark, but quite a subtle part of it color wise. And I stitched the roses in Victoria Clayton HDF silks Victorian Mauve and Tigerlily. I loved stitching with them, they didn’t tangle or any thing. I’ll make it up into a card, not sure who for yet though.

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While stitching I definitely thought the purple Victorian Mauve looked best, but looking at it now I love the different colors in Tigerlily.

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CJC – Blackwork Lady Finished

First a warning, this will be picture heavy.

This weekend I finished another of my Crazy January Challenge(CJC) pieces, Lesley Teare’s Blackwork Lady which was in WOXS last year. I used a piece of hand dyed 28-count evenweave for her, which I had received in a grab bag from Polstitches. The fabric is beautiful, I think it might be Rustic Rhubarb, it seems to be the closes match. She is of course stitched entirely in black using DMC 310, and instead of french knots I used beads, as my French knots are really sub-standard and on a piece like this they would stick out. Over-all she was a lovely stitch, but I think my habit of sitting in dark rooms stitching made it harder for me to get her done. At least she is here not and just needs a frame before she can go up on the wall.

Here she is with the stitching complete
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And here she is fully beaded
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Here is a close up of her face, you can see the beads better and she looks so delicate. Think this is my favorite part of the design
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These butterflies are pretty adorable, and I’m really please with how the beads complement the piece.
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And a final look, this time from the bottom of the chart

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Which means I’ve finished 6/15 of my CJC pieces. That’s an average of two a month, but of course most of the ones left are larger designs so will take longer. But I am well on my way to completing this challenge

February Christmas Ornament Complete

Finished stitching my Christmas Ornament for February today. I chose a design from Issue 34 of The Gift of Stitching (the 2008 ornament issue), figured it’s about time I started stitching designs from all those back issues 🙂 The design I settled on was Gingerbread House Ornament by Olive Dyck of Olive Hope Design.
I used some of my hand dyed Polstitches fabric stash, Summer Breeze I think, 28 count evenweave. And I made up the floss colors from my own stash; the two browns of the gingerbread house was Weeks Dye Works Cocoa and Chestnut, the tree was done in Dragonfloss Holly Leaves and Wood Elf, and snow/frosting in Kreinik Very Fine Braid (#4) 032. The candy-cane was done in DMC Blanc and 321, and the yellow of the moon and windows was Madeira Silk 0114. The beads (supposed to look like Smarties on a gingerbread house) were various from my collection of Gütermann Beads and cheapy ones I picked up on Abu Dhabi, not entirely happy with them, but it will make for a fun and colorful ornament.

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Tune back next month for the March ornament, this time from Issue 35 of The Gift of Stitching.

Stash, Glorious Stash

Polstitches had an ‘End of Year’ sale and I just had to buy something, after all my daddy had given me some money for Christmas and even after my SewandSo spree I had some left. I only got a Dragonfloss Grab bag and a fabric grab bag, large cuts. The package arrived at MILs last week, but I just haven’t had time to pick it up until today

Here is a good pic of it all together
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I love Polstitches Dragonfloss and was not disappointed with my grab bag, 9 lovely skeins of colours I don’t already have.
A closer look at my glorious floss

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The fabric of course is amazing too, got 4 big pieces of evenweave and 1 piece of aida, off to the Polstitches site now to try and identify them.
And the luscious fabrics

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Stitcher’s Sampler – 2nd Update

I haven’t been able to work on this project much, which is a shame as I love the design, but other projects must take precedence. It is especially the wedding project which is taking me away from this design, after all it has a deadline, a quickly approaching deadline.

Keeping that in mind I’ll show you the little progress I have made. Most of the border is done and since the first update I also finished the hearts in the inner most box. This project has not turned out as I had imagined, when I first got the chart from Rosemary I started planning the colours etc., but when I got my hand dyed floss from Polstitches I knew I had to included it. Then I won a giveaway with some other hand dyed cottons (Pomme de Pin) and knew I had to included them too. All of a sudden the sampler became not just a celebration of stitching, but also of colour.

So here is where I’m up to.
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A closer look at the border colours.
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The hearts in the inner box are stitched in Polstitches Dragonfloss – Seawitch and a bright yellow cotton, the inner border is stitched in Pomme de Pin Pimprenelle and the lighter outer border is Pomme de Pin Evanescence. I’m seriously loving hand dyes!

New Cross Stitch WIP – Stitcher’s Sampler

The other day I finally made a start on my newest project, The Stitcher’s Sampler. The chart is from World of Cross Stitching (WOXS) issue 146.
This is what it will eventually look like, with a few changes to make it more personalized to me.
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I’m stitching my version on a piece of 14-count hand dyed aida I got in my grab bag from Polstitches. I think it’s ‘Rustic Rhubarb’, but can’t be sure. I’ve only managed to stitch the middle words so far, and for this I used Polstitches Dragonfloss – Outragous. Just love the colours in that floss.

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Cross Stitching Projects: Wedding Sampler

I have finally decided on a wedding sampler to stitch for my BIL and future SIL, with a little help from my MIL of course. I can’t post it here though as I have no idea if my SIL ever looks on this page so you’ll all just have to wait till it’s done, I will tell you though that it’s from Lavender and Lace. I ordered the chart, fabric and some beads yesterday and should be able to start in the next two weeks. I’m a little worried though, the wedding is mid-October and other people who have stitched the design have taken anywhere between 9 months and 18 months to complete it. Hopefully these people also work and have other things to do with their time, I don’t really have any demands on my time apart from writing so I should have plenty of time. I couldn’t quite decided between this design and a Janlynn design called ‘From This Day Forward’, but the L&L design won out in the end because it’s very easy to peronalize (apparently). My job now is to find out the wedding colours (hope she’d decided) and match threads for haircolour to match the couple 🙂 Should be fun.
As this will be my biggest project yet, I’m really looking forward to it, I ordered some Zweigart Lurex Aida, 16 ct cream speckled with gold to stitch it on. There is some gold metallic threads used in the design so I figured it would look good together. I was thinking about buying some Polstitches hand-dyed evenweave, but I don’t think a project which is supposed to be a gift to someone else is the best time to start trying evenweave. I’ll leave that for when I do Joan Elliott’s fairies instead, they will after all be for me.
The largeness of the Wedding Sampler is sort of pushing my other projects on the back burner, I’ll have to see how I get on with it, how quick I can stitch before I continue on the other ones. So the next two weeks are going to be spent finishing mother’s day cards and birthday cards and hopefully get a little more done on the HUG cushion, which I will post an update picture on during the next week.

Wish Me Luck

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