I’ve started a new project (and I know I shouldn’t since I have so much going on already). I’ve wanted to do this piece for years so I’m happy to get it underway. I actually had everything in my stash except the Watercolors. The colors will work well with our master bedroom and I’m going to finish it as a stand-up piece when it is done. I’m outlining it brown as I go and will back it with brown fabric.
You start by tracing the shape of the cat onto your Congress Cloth and then stitching the head.
Then you start to work on the body of the cat. Your first stitch is a very large Rhodes stitch in Kreinik braid – in the center of the body, but off to one side a little. The diagrams for stitches are excellent, and she starts you out telling you the first few steps. You decide which thread and color you want to use for each step. That way your cat doesn’t look exactly like anyone else. After you’ve done about 6 steps, she turns you loose to design and stitch on your own. I’ve been looking at the large photo of the body to decide how to proceed so far and I’ve changed colors from those she chose for each of the steps so far. I’m using the colors she has listed but changing things up a little. The large Rhodes stitch was done in blue in the model and I’m chosen to use a bronze color instead.
It’s going to be a fun stitch, but I’m putting it away for a few weeks now. I have other things to finish up and this will be my incentive to get things done so I can get back to it.
Life has gotten in the way for the last week or so, but I’ve finally got the center of this rug completed. It’s just about 5 inches deep – 64 threads. The inside of the large diamonds were filled in with all the colors of the rug using Smyrna Crosses. The red background is the lightest of the 4 burgundy shades I’m using for this rug. The stitch is Milanese. All the Milanese stitches slant away from the center. I’m glad to be past the halfway mark at long last!
I won’t show this rug very often now, since there will be nothing new to show you. Just an occasional post when I have two or more of the bands done. There are 6 bands I need to repeat on the top half of the rug, plus the outer border all the way around. It’s still going to take some time to finish. This is the slowest rug I’ve ever stitched, but since it’s just for me it isn’t a problem. Here is the whole rug so far:
I have my Ott lamp close to the rug so the colors will show up well. It seems it was too close to the top part of the rug and the red in the center looks much lighter than is really is. The photo of just the center band is a better color representation of this Bordeaux color from Silk & Ivory.
I’m working on the center section of the rug now. Three large diamonds are centered across the center and I’ve started to set up the design for them. The diamonds are 64 threads wide and tall. The outer border is filled in with Smyrna Crosses in two shades of Silk & Ivory oranges (tiger and giraffe). The grid in the middle of the diamonds will be filled in with Smyrna Crosses as well from all the colors that are in the rug. I won’t tell you about the areas around the diamonds just yet.
The photo below shows the rug so far. It was taken at an angle since I didn’t want to take it off the frame in order to take a straight-on photo. I’ll take extra time when the center is finished so you get a good look at it.
Since the size of this rug was determined by the outer border, I’m going to work down one side and get the outer border completed. Then I can verify that the borders as stitched so far will fit properly in the space on the bottom half of the canvas. I’m sure it will, but several of the borders cannot be adapted to be 1 or 2 smaller or larger. I want to make sure before I charge ahead to get the rug finished.
I’m getting a little more time on this now that I’m not working on the mandala for the rest of the month. I have half of Band 6 done and I hope to have the other half done by the end of the week. It takes time to outline all the little diamonds, but they fill in very quickly using Triple Double Cross stitches. The lighter red along the edges is a variation of Sprat’s Head – used earlier in the band with olive and orange. The next section will be the middle band which is larger than any of the others. At the top, left you can see a few long stitches. That how much space the middle band will cover. The pale yellow triangle on the left (that isn’t filled in yet) marks the center of the rug at exactly 16.25 inches. I have the center band charted for 75-80 threads, but the space available now is only about 67 threads. Some of the bands ended up being a thread or two wider than originally planned. So I will have to practice stitch and make some adjustments before I can start that one next week.
So I still have a lot of work to do. I want it done this year, so I really need to get to work on it. I have other rugs planned for next year and I don’t want to put them off. So here is the rug so far.
I haven’t worked on this much, but need to get busy and finish filling in all those diamonds. I’ve only done 6 so far. My color scheme is yellow, turquoise, and bright blue. There will be a little off-white and white, but not very much. Here are the ones I’ve done so far.
I’ve used Fyre Werks Holigram turquoise straight stitches on the very top one, then large cross stitches over that in yellow. Below that is Framed Mosaic using #4 Kreinik braid for the Mosaic stitches and an over dyed yellow thread. The bright blue to the right is the Arrowhead stitch, using El Molina rayon thread for the bright blue, and light yellow floss for the other stitches. The next row has the Ashley stitch on the left, done with Kreinik ribbon and Sparkle Rays. To the right of that is Vertical Wave stitch using an over dyed turquoise thread and bright yellow Vineyard Silk. The last one on the bottom is Twisted Cross and Ray stitches. The Twisted Cross is done in yellow Flair and the Ray stitch is done in El Molino rayon thread in blue. I have a long way to go, and I know that I won’t be using 124 different stitches – there will be a lot of repeats. This is great way to use up lots of small amounts of thread from my stash. I have a large bag of threads, many of them with just a few yards. I hope to use up at least half of all those colors.
Here is the rug so far. You can see that I have a lot to do. See you next month with this rug – hoping to have at it half done by then.
I’m back to working on this a couple mornings a week now and making progress. I finished Band 5 and I’ve just started Band 6.
I’ll finish the light green diamonds across the middle and then turn the rug around to work on the other side. Once I have this much stitched, I can start the next steps. There will be more outlines before I actually stitch the fill-in stitches for the triangles along the edges and the diamonds themselves. I also need to work on the outer border on the other side.
Here is the whole rug so far.
When Band 6 is completed, it will be time to stitch the very large band for the center of the rug. Can’t wait for that one – it’s going to be very colorful!
I’ve been working on the outline diamonds for this rug upstairs so I could get it completed a little faster. All 124 diamonds are now done and all the Sprat’s Heads are completed as well. Love those little half Sprat’s Heads at the four corners!
As you can see, the diamonds got lighter and lighter as I worked toward the outer edges. I used five different shades from one color family of Pepper Pot silk. Now that the diamonds are done, it’s time to play with stitches I will use to fill in those 124 diamonds. Below is my practice stitch canvas. It’s long and narrow and as I try out various stitches, I can move the canvas up a little at a time until it’s completely filled. I’m keeping track of the stitch names on a sheet of paper so I can tell you the names as I work on the rug. The practice stitch canvas is being stitched with a handful of floss and will NOT be the colors that I’m using for the actual rug. (I’m trying to use up my stash of Anchor floss.)
I have a list of about 40 stitches I’m going to try out before I start on the actual rug. I’ll be busy over the next week trying them out. Then I’ll start on the rug itself. Let the fun begin!