Sunday, January 27, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

I'm sorry I haven't posted in awhile. We were in Florida visiting my mother-in-law, and I haven't had any pictures of anything worth noting. Remember I am a very slow stitcher!

While we were away I worked on Christmas Motif Sampler, figuring I could at least finish it during vacation. Well, I completed the tree but ran out of Weeks Dye Works Holly just when I was ready to work on the animals. It didn't look that variegated so I tried to get some DMC to match, but to no avail. It'll take a trip to my LNS (about 45 minutes away) to get this design finished. For anyone who is planning to stitch it, there is an error in the chart - the tail of the ribbon at the top on the right side is higher than on the left, so be careful. It must be really hard to avoid such errors, as they are more frequent than one might think. Maybe not all the designs are stitched before they are released?

I'd planned to start LHN's Moon and Stars but find I'm just not in the mood for it. While I was away I bought The World of Cross Stitching magazine, because it had a chart of an illustration from Raymond Briggs' The Snowman. I love that story and movie; I used to watch it all the time with DS when he was really small. So I'm going to do that one for my next project. The project called for some blue aida. It'll be the first time I've stitched on aida since I discovered linen. I hope I remember how to do it. I know I could do it on linen but I rather liked the look as it was in the magazine. In the article about the designer it said there was a whole book called The Snowman in Cross Stitch available, but when I looked it up on the only one I could find was 238 pounds! On Amazon's site here it's a bargain - $144.66. I guess I don't want it that badly.

I'm also working on a small design to use in a banner I want to make for my blog. I think I've finally figured out how to post a blog banner, though I'm still not sure of the dimensions to use. It will be nice when I can make the blog look a little less generic!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A few questions

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my pinkeep - it feels good to get such a nice reaction. I so enjoyed making it, and it's the start of many more to come. Now all I have to do is the stitching for others. I do have a few other small pieces like Blessed Be and Small House Sampler so you'll be seeing those soon.

Meanwhile I have a couple of questions I'd love some advice on. How do people hide the ends of the cording so they don't show on the back? I put the ends up at the top and the bow hides them on the front, but you can see them on the back. Is there a better way of doing it? Where do you usually start your cording or ribbon?

My other question is about fabric. I'm about to get going on Moon and Stars. My fabric is folded in quarters so there are creases across and up and down it. Is it better to iron out the creases before I start, or will using Q snaps be enough to keep the stitches flat over those areas? I've only done small projects so far so the fabric for those hasn't been folded. Many thanks for any help. I am going to Florida this weekend - we are visiting my mother-in-law - and I'm looking forward to stitching in the warm sunshine!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

My First Finish!

I made a pinkeep! This is the first thing I have ever finished. I was so anxious about trying for so long, but today I decided to get over myself and just give it a go. I used the tutorials by Vonna and Nicki (thank you both!) and it was really easy. I didn't expect to enjoy doing this but I did. There was something very satisfying about producing something that wasn't just on a piece of cloth with raw edges. Now, I won't say it is a perfect piece of work by a long stretch. It's a bit lumpy and it isn't quite a perfect square. But all in all it turned out okay, and I am proud of it.

I started this during the afternoon although I didn't have any backing fabric that worked (or ribbon or pins for that matter), so I ran out to Joann's to get what I needed. The backing fabric is what the pinkeep is on top of. I'd been planning to use green fabric but couldn't find anything that worked. I found a pretty brown ribbon that I was going to use, but then I saw the twisted cording with a red that picked up the color in the cardinals and the house, so I just had to get it. Then I found the gold pins. Altogether the pinkeep isn't as understated as I had envisioned, but I'm quite happy with it. Now I want to turn all the little projects I've done into pinkeeps. This could be quite addicting!
Meanwhile my Christmas tree project is at a standstill. It just isn't holding my interest. So I'm going to start something new: LHN's Moon and Stars, which I've had kitted up for awhile. I'd been going to start it today but my son was obsessed with playing Disney's Scene It which he got for Christmas, so when I wasn't making my pinkeep I was wracking my brain to remember Disney trivia. But as Scarlett O'Hara said "tomorrow is another day!"