This past lunar cycle, my major goal was to finish a gift project, which is now happily complete, and I will share it in due time. Last update, I forgot to post my progress on Love with a Capital L, but I did make progress in March, and I will work on it again this weekend...
Previously from February:
At the end of March, I spent about 4 days working on Siren & Shipwreck. I also spent a few days on her at the Mirabilia Minions retreat in April. Before:
She is ready for beads! I finished her hair, upper body, face, and chandelier holder. Then I did the back stitching; this pattern has a fair amount. The bead pack (which I own) is huge. The plan is to start beading next month, as part of Stitch Maynia, and I will try to find some time to finish her within the next few months.
During the last few days of March, I brought out Midsummer Night Fairy (WIPocalypse goal no. 2). I back stitched quite a lot, made a few touch-ups, lots of beading, and..... happy danced!
The first weekend in April, I worked on Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas. Though I did not have a lot of stitching time, I stitched some gold metallic border and started back stitching. Progress on that is blogged here.
Blitzen also got a turn on the scroll bars, at the retreat. The progress is small, so I'll just share a current picture. I finished the greenery in the upper left corner and did his fluffy tail in Wisper thread. Now he is ready for beads, which I happily received in the mail yesterday!
Finally, a few days before the full moon, I unearthed Maiden & Unicorn (Goal No. 4) from the UFO pile. Previously:
I've been working on the border. The fractionals aren't nearly so daunting with more experience, also now I am doing the fractionals as quarter stitches, rather than 3/4 stitches as prescribed in the directions. This is 36 count fabric and there is plenty of coverage with the two quarter stitches, plus there will be a backstitch line through the middle of the square.
Question of the Month: What do you listen to while stitching? (via Jo)
A few months ago, I discovered Flosstube. I really enjoy listening/watching these videos made by cross stitchers, on Youtube, as I stitch. I started making my own, people began commenting on my videos and subscribing to my channel, I checked out their channels... long story short, I have a very long subscription list and there is almost always something new to watch. Besides that, I listen to my Itunes library or sometimes Itunes Radio.
Plans for the rest of April include more work on Maiden & Unicorn, and 2 days each for Love with a Capital L and 12 Days of Christmas. Normally, I would work on 12 Days during the first weekend in May, but this year I am participating in Stitch Maynia from May 1-15 and I prefer a clear schedule, otherwise. I am doing a more restrained version of the "classic" Maynia, which is 15 starts in 15 days. My plan is to do 5 new starts and also spend an hour or two each on 10 older WIP/UFOs. After Maynia, I will probably try to finish Blitzen and/or work on Air Goddess.
I worked on two Christmas projects this past month! Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas saw a weekend on the scroll bars. I finished the gold metallic in the second "tier" and started back stitching from the top. There are 3 different colors of back stitching. I stitched the green and some of the black. Next time, I will finish the black and do the red before extending that left border downwards and working on the next block- 6 geese a-laying. By now, I am almost half done. As long as I keep up the pace, finishing by Christmas is attainable.
At the Mirabilia Minion retreat in Cincinatti, I worked a little on Blitzen. It's not worth photographing really, I only did a bit of the greenery in the upper left corner and stitched his fluffy tail with Wisper thread. So now he's ready for beading. The beads are on order and I may shoot for a May finish.
Fabric: 32 count opalescent belfast "Royal Shimmer" by Silkweaver (old)
Size: 10.5" x 17"
Time to stitch: 11 months (~4 rotations)
My 7th Mirabilia finish and I am chuffed!
The pattern is fine, no errata. The wings are delicate and transparent like "real" fairy wings might be, but a real pain to stitch, with tons of blending filament and metallic braid. She has a lot of backstitching, more than other Mira's I've done. Also, I had to make a few substitutions for the backstitching, since some of the colors as charted did not show up on my fabric (the model was stitched on light grey and I used dark blue, obviously). I used 2 different colors of green for the leaf vines. The leaves closest to the light source (her wand) are lighter while the leaves further away are darker. My vines coordinate. As for the wand, I used Kreinik because it was pretty and popped against the fabric.
And then the beads- there are so many beads. Well over two thousand, I estimate. I couldn't fit them all, even though I used 32 count as charted. I had to skip entire rows in a few spots. In some areas, I attached the beads "freestyle" because it was nuts trying to cram them all in. I'm kind of neutral on beading, and it became a chore after a while. But of course I do love the end result.
The fabric is a mottled dark blue, opalescent belfast linen. The idea was to simulate the night sky. It was a challenge to stitch. Dark opalescent fabrics are difficult to count, for me. The sparkles are more prominent on dark fabrics and can obscure the threads. Thankfully I was able to do most of the stitching under daylight. And I really love how she looks on this fabric. The colors pop and I think it does give a "night" effect. This fabric is from my old Silkweaver fabric-of-the-month club stash, and it was one my favorites pieces. In the end, I am completely satisified with this pattern-fabric match.
My next big Mirabilia will probably be Titania; I did a floss toss recently. But I do currently have two patterns by Nora Corbett in my rotation (Siren & Shipwreck, Blitzen), so I will probably finish one of those first.
Heya! My stitchy mojo has been weird lately. I hate daylight savings time and potty training my toddler is a big distraction. Nevertheless, progress has been made. Let's get to it!
The last week in February, I worked on Air Goddess. Previously:
First I concentrated on the upper right quadrant of the design; after 3 days the regular cross stitching was finished. But I wasn't ready to put her away, so I went back to the bottom half. I broke out the Kreinik- cross stitching in confetti gold all along the petticoat and purple mambo in the celedon wrap. I also did some backstitching in those, plus silver Kreinik, and two colors of DMC. The detail is extensive! The backstitching on her petticoat- those are the symbols for gemini, aquarious, and libra- the air signs of the zodiac. The detail on the bottom half is almost complete, after 2 days. And now I need to order some more Kreinik- the leftovers in my stash will not suffice for this pattern.
My "Happy" received some more love, overlapped with Air Goddess a little. Less than 24 hours later, I happy danced!
With rotation goals complete, there were a few days at the end of February up for grabs, including Leap Day. I decided to work on Mask of Colors QS (WIPocalypse goal no. 3), (or Confetti-tastic, as I call her). Previously (half done):
I worked the leftmost column down to the last row of the chart, leaving lots of threads parked in the next column to the right; that took 2 days. On the 3rd day, I cleaned up all the parked threads which actually allowed me to finish most of the second column. So this is a good start on my yearly goal- to reach 75%.
Siren & Shipwreck received 5 days on the scroll bars. Previously:
I finished her dorsal fin (the greens), mermaid tail (the blues), stitched the back streamer, the chandelier, a little bit of her skin (to help with counting) and then started the hair, with a red conversion and other changes. I love it.
12 Days of Christmas by Joan Elliott got 2 days of attention. Progress on that is blogged here. I was quite pleased to finish the regular cross stitching in the second "tier"; this is almost half of the chart.
I then rotated to The Castle by Teresa Wentzler (WIPocalypse goal no. 6). Previously:
I finished the water area, most of the dragon spine, stitched the mountains on the left horizon, and made a good start on the castle. Completing the castle area, and backstitching the rocky cliff, are my yearly goals.
Question of the Month: Do you use hoops, stretcher bars, lap stands or Q snap frames and why? I use scroll frames with a lap stand, whenever I can. The lap stand allows for 2- handed stitching, which I prefer because I stitch much faster that way. I like scroll frames because I can roll my project from the inside (i.e., stitching "in the well") and this means that when my top hand touches the bottom scroll as I'm stitching, it touches the back of the fabric. And the fabric is rolled up neatly around the scrolls, which keeps it from getting dusty and wrinkled. Also, I can also use the scroll frame for beading- I only roll the fabric at a looser tension so as not to crush the beads.
In the last week of March, I will attempt to finish Midsummer Night Fairy (WIPocalypse Goal 2). April 1st, I plan to rescue Maiden & Unicorn (WIPocalypse Goal 4) from the UFO pile. 12 Days of Christmas will receive some love during first weekend. My Mirabilia projects (Siren & Shipwreck, Blitzen) will receive some attention, since I do plan to take them to the Mirabilia retreat. Also, I may work on Air Goddess. I really want to finish her by the end of June.
This month, I spent 2 days working on Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas. They were both weekdays, as the first weekend slipped by too quickly. Though I have less time to stitch on weekdays, I was happy with my progress. I finished the designs in 2 blocks (bluebirds and golden rings), extended the borders down both sides, stitched a long line of gold metallic (top of the blocks), and stitched a little red outline to start new blocks.
Next month, my goal will be to finish the gold metallics and do the backstitching in the areas that I've stitched. 12 Days will stay as a weekend project for the next few months, then I may decide to devote more time. This project must be finished this year, since I am planning to start a new Christmas BAP in January 2017. It will be a collection of the Mill Hill "Christmas Village" charts stitched together on one big piece of fabric. Moreover, it will be a SAL with my friend Christine. Others are welcome to join too, of course. I would strongly prefer to finish one big Christmas project before starting another.
Midsummer Night Fairy is Goal No. 2. Anyway, I worked on Middy in January, but only for 2 days. I did some cross stitching, touch ups, a little backstitching, and started beading. This project has a ridiculous number of beads and I have definitely skipped some as not all will fit into the available space. I ran short of 3037 beads. I have since gotten more, but I am re-building my beading stamina after sewing 1,250 onto Celtic Christmas. I'm quite sure Middy has even more.
There is some more beading and backstitching to do, but she is almost done. I will definitely finish her very soon as I want a new Mirabilia WIP to take to the retreat in April.
Materials: 34 count cream linen (2 over 2), DMC as charted
Size: 6" x 8"
Time to stitch: 8 days in February 2016
Yay, I'm finished! This project was a bit more work than I thought it would be. Note to self: small projects should have stitch dimensions under 100 in both directions.
The pattern is a very cool, clever design. The chart is provided via pdf in 2 versions- (multipage and single page). My only (minor) issue is that the pattern is charted in color only, no symbols. There are enough similar colors in this - 6 close shades of grey and blue- that symbols would have been helpful.
As for mods, I decided to use a higher count fabric (34 linen v 14 aida). I wanted the piece to come out smaller. The 34 count cream linen was stashed. Other than that, I backstitched "Mira Minion 2016" at the bottom because this will be a gift for the Mirabilia Minions retreat. At the top, per the chart, the letters of "BECAUSE" are left unstitched, ie negative space. Maybe because I used a higher count (17 vs 14) or that my fabric is cream, not white, the letters were not entirely distinct. So I stitched the letters in DMC B5200 (bright white) and now they stand out more.
The happiness and energy in this piece is really fun. The tune pops into my head whenever I see it. I will be fully finishing this as a flat fold, which I have never done before, but I am feeling pretty confident. The Twisted Stitcher (Vonna Pfeiffer) has an excellent tutorial.
This is a few days late and I'm sorry- I lost track of time! This past lunar cycle saw the end of my crazy January challenge and the adoption of my new rotation (weekly, with a few weekend projects.) The rotation is flexible though; I like to reach certain points within a project before I move onto another. Anyway, as for the WIPocalypse, Goal No. 1, Celtic Christmas, is finished! That required 2 long days to finish up a bit of stitching, backstitching, and lots of beading. And I rearranged my 2016 plans to accomodate Celtic Autumn as one of my new starts, but that will be later in the year.
I did start Air Goddess, and made quite a bit of progress in 8 days... that is most of the bottom half of the chart. I really adore this project and will probably definitely give her more love before February ends. My goal is to finish before July.
And speaking of love, Love with a Capital L got a week's worth of effort. I find this project alternately boring and soothing; I guess I'm not really a sampler girl at heart. Previous progress from January:
My plan is to work on this the 3rd weekend of each month, at least until July. At that point, I will take stock and figure out what I need to do to finish it this year.
My other "weekend" project is 12 Days of Christmas. Previously from January:
And now, after 1 week:
So my "weekend" project required 5 more days; stitching mirror images is a drag for me, and the angel involves a lot of color changes. At least it is done now, and I finished the metallic gold for the top section too.
Lastly, I started "Happy" by ThemStitches on Etsy. It's not my usual style; this is for a gift. After a week, it was mostly finished, though I need some more DMC floss. As for knitting, I worked a little on Greenaway- a very little (seamed in one sleeve). I will try to finish it soon though since this is the perfect St. Patricks' day sweater.
Question of the Month: Which of the pieces on display in your home attracts the most plaudits? I suppose that would be Celtic Spring. She has a prominent place of honor in my living room, and is one of the first things you see when you walk though the door. She's quite large and finished sumptously with a double mat, top one being suede, and an ornate gold frame. Now that I've finished Celtic Xmas, I intend to pick up the pace with the rest of the ladies. Eventually I hope to have all 5 and switch them out seasonally.
Before the next full moon, my plan is to work on WIPocalypse goal no. 2, Midsummer Night Fairy, hopefully finish her, and start a new Mira, likely Titania. I also want to finish the happy minion and fully finish as a flat fold. Besides that, my weekend projects (12 Days and Love) should see some progress. Siren & Shipwreck & Air Goddess will receive turns on the scroll bars; maybe the Castle too if time allows. As for knitting (Goal no. 10), I want to finish Greenaway and work on another old WIP, TBD.
Here is my Joan Elliott Christmas WIP, the 12 Days of Christmas. Expect to see this project frequently, since I intend to work on it 1 weekend per month. The timing didn't exactly work out, this time. I wanted to finish the 2nd (right) half of the top section and that took longer, about a week. I guess stitching mirror images really isn't my thing; I made lot more progress during the week I spent after starting in Crazy January. This project is a lot of fun, generally, though, each little section is like a miniature happy dance. The gold metallics are used extensively for beautiful sparkle. The metallic threads that came in the kit are okay to work with, though Kreinik #4 braid would be easier since you only need 1 strand for coverage on 16/32 count.
Next month, I will try to finish the 4 bluebirds and start the five golden rings in the empty square. It would be wonderful to finish this year, or at least get far enough so that I can finish easily next year. I will do some backstitching when I'm done with the golden rings.