Monday, 31 December 2012

Blossom Splendour - Complete!

Finally, Blossom Splendour is complete! I actually finished a month or two back but I've only just got round to posting it :(

Onto photos ^^

It's quite a big piece of stitching! One of the bigger ones I've stitched. I just love everything about it. The fabric especially was a joy (available from Polstitches). It's so soft which means it's lovely to work with however it will crease at nothing...that big crease along the middle? I'd simply lightly folded it over..and now it has that massive line...

I got the chance to use Kreinik very fine braid and seed beads for the first time. The very fine braid is just delightful and sparkly *___* I was nervous about seed beads...but they are so easy to do and the finished effect is so pretty.

In this picture you can see more of the bead work on her headpiece and around the trailing flowers.

I'm very pleased with how this has turned out and I would like to stitch more Joan Elliot pieces in the future as I love the detail and colour palettes that she uses. I also use Polstitches fabric again, it may be more expensive than normal fabric but it's just too pretty not to use again ^^

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Blossom Splendour - Update

Time for another update on Blossom Splendour - and it's nearly finished!

The floral border was finished much faster than I expected..I had it done in a few evenings.
I am now onto the back-stitch, which I am actually enjoying for a change. Finally I will have to do the beading which I'm slightly nervous about as I've never really done beading before...

I would've liked to have had this finished this week but I've done some kind of injury to the left side of neck/shoulder area so I've had to leave off all stitching this week :( The pain is easing a bit now so hopefully I'll be able to start up again next week... the next update for this project may be a completion!

Roses and Polka Dots rug

Here is a progress update of my first latch-hook project!
It is a rug kit called Roses & Polka Dots and is from Anchor.

It looks nowhere near as neat and tidy as the picture on the front of the box but it does look nice and fluffy :3
At first I found the technique a bit tricky and sometimes it still takes me few tries to get it right but I am getting better. It's very big for little me so it's a bit difficult to work with so I only tend to do three or four rows at a time and then it get put away. When I bought this it was 'the plan' to have it done for Autumn/Winter so my room would be all cosy...not going to happen ^^ Next year maybe...

R&R Craft frame

I decided to try out a new frame - a universal craft frame from R&R Crafts.

Usually I use a hoop - I like the thought of frames but whenever I've used them in the past I've got so frustrated with them as I could never achieve any tension in my fabric. I came across the R&R frames a while back (I think they are called q-snaps in America?) but was a bit sceptical as to their claims. I had a look on the internet and found a few blog posts about them and decided that I had nothing to loose in giving them a try.

I decided to go for an 11" x 11" frame - slightly bigger than the hoop I use, but not too big as to be it is set up with Blossom Splendour...resting on my lap...

It's a good size! It is heavier than a hoop but not unworkably so. I haven't tried attaching it to my seat stand so I don't know whether it will be too wide for that. You can fit it together and take it apart very easily and attaching the fabric and getting a nice tension is so simple! After the first use I noticed that the clips had left marks on my fabric...not like hoop marks which you can still see in the bottom left-hand corner...shiny marks. It bugged me quite a bit. I had to really agitate the fabric to get rid of them (but I can still see them!!! D: ) Anyway, I now place some scrap fabric between the fabric and the clips and this seems to have solved the weird line problem. It also gets much better tension so I would definitely recommend using some scrap fabric.

If you haven't tried a frame like this before I recommend you give it a go. They're relatively cheap (this was £11) and I've found that benefits of this style of frame are great.

Haul! - New goodies

I've bought quite a few stitchy bits this month... I shouldn't really as I already have far too much...but I just can't help myself D:

I have three new kits and two new charts!

My kits are 'World Map' by Bucilla (ebay), Cats, cats, cats' by Janlynn (Black Sheep) and 'Jousting Knights' by Janlynn (ebay).
My charts are 'A New World Map' by Better Homes (ebay) and 'Mythical Moments' by Stoney Creek (ebay).

I think I'll do Cats, Cats, Cats next as it's really sweet and there are lots of different sections - so I can complete one in between doing a larger project.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Blossom Splendour - update

I've not posted any updates for quite a long while...a mix of loosing the stitchy-bug and some damn good books! Anyway, I had two weeks off work recently so I decided that I was going to do my best to get back into my stitching. I got quite obsessed...

You can see that I managed to get quite a bit done! I need to finish the sleeve on the left and her hand (which I'd like to get done today) and then the flowers around the edge. Once that's done it'll be back-stitching and then finally the beadwork. She'll be finished sometime this year I hope ^__^

Bird Coaster

Here is a little quick-stitch I completed a while back...

I felt like I was loosing the stitchy-bug quite a bit (hence no updates for so long), so I want to do something small and quick to try and get me in the mood again and my coaster in work had just about had I thought I'd do this ^^

It is stitched on a light pink 28count evenweave from Zweigart. I used a mix of DMC and Anchor threads and a little bit of Kreinik very fine braid #4 just to add a little sparkle. The coaster is from Sew and So (can't remember the brand!). The stitching is backed with some medium interfacing to keep everything nice and neat. The chart is from a Joan Elliott Oriental chart booklet that came free with a magazine. I stitched it over two afternoons.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out and it looks nice and pretty on my desk at work ^___^

Monday, 25 June 2012

Blossom Splendour - second update

Another week, another update!

I'm quite pleased with how much I've done ^___^

This is the area I've been working on this past week...

I have overly ambitious plans to complete the skirt section of the kimono this week... *luck*

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Blossom Splendour - first update

Blossom Splendour - update

I am loving stitching this! The fabric is so nice to handle and the colours are so pretty. It's a very relaxing stitch.

I'm a slow stitcher so this has taken me about 4 days of almost solid stitching (not in work this past week yay!). Given my stitching speed, or lack thereof, I'm pleased with my progress. I'm quite content to take my sweet time with this one...

A little close-up... 

Here's to a nice afternoon of tea and stitching <3

Pako thread organiser

I love to buy 'stuff' for my cross stitch addiction.
My latest purchase is a Pako thread organsier. This cost £13 from a craft fair I visited in April. I was half-way through The Castle at the time, so I'm only getting the chance to use it now.

Usually I use organiser cards...but when you have a lot of colours they can turn into something of a nightmare...threads get tangled, needles get lost...ugh!

So far, this has been a dream! My threads are being kept nice and tidy - you push them into the foam segments so they are kept separate and you can stick your needles in the foam so they're not going anywhere!

The organiser comes with about 10 of the cards you can see in the middle where you write your symbols down and when you've ran out you can just use card-board from cereal boxes and the like, so there's plenty of life in this device.

Highly recommended!

New project - Blossom Splendour - Joan Elliot

Blossom Splendour by Joan Elliot

This beauty is my next cross stitch project.
The design is by another of my favourite designers, Joan Elliot. This will be the first of her designs that I will stitch.

I had thought to do something quick and simple after completing 'The Castle'...but I was buying all the threads and fabric for this design and then got far too excited and just had to start it.

The chart is from 'Cross Stitch Collection' magazine from April 2010.
It is stitched on 28count evenweave using DMC threads. The design also requires the use of Kreinik very fine #4 braid and seed beads. I've never used seed beads before so I'm a little nervous about that...

The fabric is a really beautiful hand-dyed Jobelan called 'English Rose' and is available from Polstitches.

(excuse the bit of stitching there!)

It's lovely to work with and smells beautiful! It reminds of fruit salad sweets :3

As you can see, I've already started! ^__^

The Castle - Complete

Finally, The Castle is complete! ^o^

I'm really pleased with how it's turned out.
I got a bit disheartened doing the back-stitch - it's not my favourite thing to do anyway, but I found it quite difficult to keep track of where I was going in places...but I got there in the end! The back-stitch has really made it come alive.

Here are some details pics...

Overall I enjoyed this cross-stitch even though it was quite frustrating in parts.

I completed this project from a kit from Janlynn and if I was to do it again I would prefer to work from the chart version in 'The Best of Teresa Wentzler Fantasy Collection' book.
The chart included in the kit is a really old one done by hand! As such there are squares which had no symbol in them and some symbols (when done by hand) are a little too similar - I completed a whole section in the wrong was only when I finished I realised it looked wrong - the symbols I got confused were two different dots - a small dot and a fat dot which look very similar when done by hand (pressure applied to paper for eg).
Whoever worked out the thread requirements must have been having an off-day :/ I ran out of a few colours and had loads left over of other colours...
As a personal choice I would work this in evenweave over aida - there are a lot of fractionals in this design and it gets very tiresome piercing the aida blocks.

This is the first Teresa Wentzler design I have stitched. She is one of my favourite designers for cross-stitch and her pictures are so beautiful so I was a bit nervous starting one of her designs in case I couldn't do it justice....but it's turned out really well :3
I look forward to the challenge of another of her designs!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Castle - almost complete

All the cross stitching is complete!

Now for the epic task of back stitching.
Back stitching is one of my most least liked parts of stitching :(

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Castle

Current Project - The Castle by Teresa Wentzler

This is my current cross stitch project.
It is being stitched on 14 count aida using DMC threads.

This is first Teresa Wentlzer design I have stitched - it's lovely and detailed! There are lots and lots of blended threads.
I feel like I've been stitching this forever but I'm nearly there...then I'll need to do all the backstitch :(

A Ride to Dreamland

A Ride to Dreamland

Design by Stoney Creek for Janlynn.
Stitched on 14 count aida using DMC threads. Design size 14" x 11".

This was the first large designed that I completed. I enjoyed it but at times it felt never-ending!
This design used blended stitches and blending filament so Thread Heaven was a life saver :)

Puddles of Love

Puddles of Love

A Gorjuss design from Bothy Threads.
Stitched on 14 count Zweigart aida using Madeira threads. Design size 16cm x 21cm.

I loved to stitch this design - the colours were so pretty. This was also my first time to use beads and sequins...

Keep Calm and Cross Stitch

Keep Calm and Cross Stitch

~True Fact~

Design taken from Cross Stitcher magazine October 2010.
Stitched on pink 28count evenweave using Anchor thread.

I love you little rabbit

I love you little rabbit

A Gorjuss design from Bothy Threads.
Stitched on 14 count Zweigart aida using Madeira threads. Design size 16cm x 21cm.

Gorjuss designs are just so adorable :3
This was fun to stitch and was really quick to do. I love how lana thread was used to make the make the fluffy bunny tail :3

Heart Pot Sampler

Heart Pot Sampler

An Historical Sampler Company design from The World of Cross Stitching magazine.
Stitched on 16 count Zweigart Parchment aida using DMC threads. Design size 34cm x 34cm.

This design was part of the Stitcher's Challenge series due to its size. 
I really enjoyed stitching this as I could stitch one motif at a time so it was like doing lots of little quick stitches.
It's not quite complete yet - I still need to add an inscription at the top centre...I just can't think of what to stitch...

Folksy Victoriana

Folksy Victoriana

From Cross Stitcher magazine April 2011.
Stitched on 28 count rustic linen using DMC threads. Design size 22.3cm x 22.3cm.

This is one of the most enjoyable designs I have ever stitched. Working on evenweave is such a pleasure and the colours were delightful.
The design was adapted from a vintage Victorian chart.
I was quite upset when I crossed the last stitch :( I could very easily have picked up my needle and started again!

Flower pot

Flower pot

The chart for this design was taken from a cross stitch magazine a few years ago.
Stitched on 14 count DMC Impressions aida using Anchor threads.

I love the striking reds used in this design - they create such depth.

Fantasy book mark

Fantasy book mark

From The World of Cross Stitching magazine.
Stitched on 14 count aida using Anchor threads. Design size 18cm x 5cm.

I love to read fantasy so this book mark was perfect.
I had to change the original design slightly - there is supposed to be a fairy sitting on the moon.. I don't really like fairies so she had to go.

Gift of the Nile

Gift of the Nile

From Cross Stitch Collection January 2010. Chart designed by Anchor.
Stitched on 14 count aida with Anchor threads. Design size 10" x 13".

I love the fish :)

Enchanted Cottage

Enchanted Cottage

From The Gold Collection Petites by Dimensions
Stitched on 18count ivory aida. Design sixe 7" x 5"