Today I'd like to share the start of my 2017 effort to stitch monthly ornaments for my Christmas tree. This idea was inspired by the flosstube channel of Vonna the Twisted Stitcher and also dovetailed nicely with an opportunity to earn points for Stitchwhats on FB in the monthly ornie challenge. Alas, Stitchwhats is no more, but I'm continuing with my personal challenge (for now).
- Pattern: Christmas Festoon by Patricia Ann Designs, JCS 2015 Special Holiday
- Materials: 28 ct white monoco by Charles Craft, threads and beads as charted except subbed the metallic
- Size: 3" x 3"
- Time to stitch: 1 day
I really enjoyed this pattern, which is mostly backstitch. I did not have any red Kreinik in my stash, but I did have some red Maderia metallic that came in a freebie chart with a mag. The Madeira was very thick so I unwound the braid and used about half of it, which seemed to provide good coverage. As for fully finishing, I followed the instructions in the JCS 2015 mag (sewn finish) and it took about 2 hours plus another hour to sew the beads around the edge. It was also the maiden voyage with my Kreinik cording drill, and I made bicolor cording with the Madeira metallic and DMC 666 (which is used in the pattern), with help from Vonna's flosstube tutorial. The tassel is made from the same threads. I'm very pleased.
- Pattern: Noel Biscornu by Poppy Benner / Cross Stitch Christmas "A Heartwarming Holiday"
- Materials: 28 ct white monoco by Charles Craft, DMC, Mill Hill, Ribbon
- Size: 2" diameter (tiny!)
- Time to stitch: 2 days plus 1 more to fully finish
My first biscornu! I opted to make my ornament two sided, which added to stitching time of course, though I altered the design on the reverse side to include my initials and the date. My only quibble is I think it would be slightly easier to sew the biscornu together if the sides have an even stitch count. (the chart is 29 stitches square) I didn't have any trouble following the thorough directions provided in the book, however. Polyfill is used for the stuffing, and a little green ribbon, for the finishing. While I think the biscornu is cute and will make a lovely ornament for the tree, I don't see myself stitching a bunch of biscornus. I wouldn't dream of using it as a pincushion and I don't keep lots of knickknacks around with a curious toddler.
March's & June's Effort
- Pattern: Chalkboard Ornies- Xmas Coll. Part 1, by Hands on Designs
- Materials: 32 ct "Shadow" belfast by Picture this Plus, DMC subs as charted
- Size: 4" diameter, 3" x 4" rectangle with corners rounded by tracing around a thread spool
- Time to stitch: 2 days for Be Jolly and 1 day for Be Merry
Stitching on this fabric was hard at first and I had to frog. My mighty bright LED light helped, a lot. I did really enjoy the project once my eyes adjusted a little. The fabric is so pretty, dark grey with a bit of purple, kind of like a dusty chalkboard. I was so pleased with my finish of "Be Jolly", my fingers itched to start "Be Merry" on the other half of the fabric, but I pulled out my knitting instead. I stitched Be Merry a few months later. Anyway, I did full finishes as a flat ornies (mainly glued), following this tutorial by Vonna. Though I laced the stitched piece because I felt like I had more control that way, mounting on a round shape. The cording is made from DMC 347 (which is used in the pattern); the holly leaves & buttons came with the pattern.
- Pattern: Hardanger Learning Piece from Stitching with a Smile's FT tutorial
- Materials: 22 ct hardanger fabric, DMC pearl cotton 5, Kreinik #8 braid, Mill Hill beads
- Size: 3.75" x 3.75"
- Time to stitch: 3 days
My first crack at hardanger went pretty well, I suppose. I wasn't crazy about the technique, but it was good to learn and I won't shy away from it the future. I chose my favorite color (green) for the satin stitch, and gold Kreinik for the needle weaving because I love sparkle. It seemed just a tad bit plain in the center so I decided to jazz it up further with beads. The cutting and pulling of threads was so fun! Cutting around the blanket stitch at the end was not fun. Next time I will try scissors with curved ends. I gave it a bath, as I would anything that was stitched in hand, but then I wasn't sure how to finish it. I wanted to preserve the openness, but it was rather flimsy. Ingeborg (A Stitch Too Far) suggested I might use mat board cut into a narrow frame. That worked a treat! Though it did require painstaking measurements and very gradual, patient trimming. I glued the frame to the reverse side.
- Pattern: Seraphina kit by Mill Hill, blogged here.
I've already blogged this but here's another pic for you! The back is just sparkly white felt, nothing special.
So, will I continue with the monthly ornaments in the second half of the year? Honestly, I don't know. One benefit, it is a way to have a small start each month as I work on some big WIPs. On the negative side, how many stitched ornies do I really need, as I'm sure to do some in future years, do I really need 12 this year? Still, there are a several more on my to-do list that I'm really excited about. We'll see, I suppose.