Father Christmas – A New Start

Thank you all again for helping me get started once again on this project. And thanks to Jennifer from Needlework Plus for finding and shipping over dyed threads that I can use for the background and the triangles down the right side of the design. We settled on Harvest Moon from GAST (Gentle Arts Sampler Threads) for the background and I really like it!

Several people suggested that I start in a more exciting place this time, rather than work on background forever. So I’m starting in the middle of the top with the hat on Father Christmas. Here’s a clip of the section I’ll be working on for a while.

Father Christmas - hat

And here is how far I’ve gotten after about 4 hours of work. Not much, but you can see the over dyed thread and the black triangles from the sides of the hat.

FatherC-New start

I’ve started to fill in a few of the other colors on the left part already and I know it will take a while to get this done. But it will be nice to have a recognizable part of the design done first. I think I got ahead of myself a little on the background though. I think the top point on the hat extends up to the top of the piece and I will have to rip out some stitches to make it fit. I think I’ll work up from the black triangles next Sunday when I get it out again and try to figure that out. The green line going up at the top is the center of the design.

Things are moving along very well now with just one strand of floss at a time. It’s going much faster and I don’t have any trouble filling in colors at all. It’s easy to see where they all go. Yeah!

Norfolk Diligence Sampler – Progress 5

And now for a project that is moving along delightfully!

This is on 40 linen over 2 threads. It’s my first time on 40 ct. and I’m finding it slow going but I’m not having any difficulty. Thank goodness for these good eyes. I’m working on Page 2 now and the bottom of the second band. Here is the first pansy all finished. I’ll continue across the row – two sets of stems and leaves and two more pansies.

Pansy

And here is the whole project so far. I had to scroll up a little so you don’t see all of the checkerboard section now.

NF Sampler-5

I’m really enjoying this and love the design.

Is there anyone out there who is working on this (or have completed it)? I have a question about the section with the verse to stitch. Thank you in advance.

Many thanks to cross stitchers

I’ve had quite a few comments and emails about my dilemma with Father Christmas and Cats. Thank you all for taking the time to advise me on my options.

Has anyone tried an overdye thread for these large backgrounds? I’m afraid of the striping of colors – that happens with needlepoint too. I’ve decided not to do this.

What about a colored canvas? I could stitch the rest of the design and not worry about stitching the background at all. I’m not sure I would like the look, but I’ve done small pieces without the background being stitched, so why do I have a hangup about it for a larger piece… I found a linen that is the exact color of one of the background colors, but it would cost me $57 to buy a large enough piece. I think I’ll pass on this one as well.

Several people said I could start over and use one strand of floss on 32 count even weave or linen. I like the idea and I would have to order the fabric, but this would enlarge the project quite a bit. On the 25 count, over one thread, it’s 14″ x 20″. If I do over 2 on 32 count, it would be 22″ X 31.5″. Way too big for me. On 40 count over two, it would be 17.5″ X 25″.

Currently, I have the mandala on 32 count linen, stitching over 2 threads. The sampler is 40 count linen, stitching over 2 threads. I think that’s enough linen to be working on at any one time. (I’m not counting any needlepoint projects that are also being worked on right now.)

I have another piece of Lugana the same size. I’ve played with using one strand over one thread on the margin of the current piece and it looks good. So I’m going to work on the grid this afternoon and start over on that. I’m also taking the advice of about 3 people and starting with Father Christmas himself. Then I can do a little of the background each time I work on the piece and eventually get it all done. ONE more thing I’m going to do. I’m not going to use so many colors for the background. I’m going to cut that in half, using one color for two different symbols. That should help eliminate constantly starting and ending threads.

Another person mentioned working across one row for a while so you always have an open row below where you are working. That way there would be no open little spaces to try and fill in later. I might try that too.

One more comment on all the other services available online – I love all my tech devices but I’m not into online services very much. There just isn’t enough time in the day with all my stitching, reading about 100 blogs, and reading books (not to mention occasional housework, etc.) to deal with Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. I know about Needlepoint Nation, etc. but I just don’t have the time. Remember, besides all the stitching I do from other designers, I also design my own small rugs and stitch them. I’m getting old and I have a million more things I want to design and stitch. So it’s just this blog and the website (which is terribly out of date too). That and two emails keep me more than busy……

Thank you all once again! Super people everywhere……

Cross Stitchers – Advice Please

I started an HAED design last year and didn’t get very far.  I’ve only been cross stitching for two years and haven’t completed lots of designs. But there are so many beautiful designs out there and I want to continue buying and stitching them. Here’s the design:

Father Christmas

And here’s where I am today – about 4.5″ X 1.5″ of background on the top, left of the design.

FatherChristmas-2

I’m using two plies of floss on 25 ct. Lugana. I’m finding it frustrating to fill in all the little holes when I get to the last 4-5 colors. There are about 12 shades of rust and orange to do the background. So I have questions and I’m seeking your advice.

1. Should I be using just one ply of floss?  It would make the project easier to handle, but would it cover well?

2. If I want to change to one ply, what do I do with this piece that is started – start over with a new piece of fabric or rip it out? Would the fabric be okay if I rip out that much?

3. If I continue with two plies, what advice do you have for me to keep going and not get so frustrated. You can see that the last four squares are not completed yet. I just couldn’t force myself to continue today.

I love the design! I want to get it done so I can hang it up each December. Help…..

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me. I truly appreciate it.

Chatelaine’s Persian Iris Mandala – Progress 25

I’m finally back to the mandala, two mornings a week. I’ve started the buildings area to the right of the mosque. The wall and arches are done and I almost finished filling in the arches this morning.

2nd corner-1

Since I’m not fond of the gold top stitching, I’ve promised myself that I would do that as I go along. Next week, I’ll start the gold work on the wall and arches and alternate the gold thread stitching with adding some cross stitch buildings on the top of the wall.

Here’s the whole project so far.

PI-Prog25

Blue Heron – Progress 2

I’ve gotten all the way across the bottom of the design now and also stitched some of the reeds that stand out from the flowers and plants along the bottom. The gray that you see on the right side are the legs of the blue heron, so he has started to make his appearance.

Blue Heron-2

There is a lot of open space around the middle so I’ll try to finish up the flowers, plants and water on this half of the design before you see it again. There’s no backstitching so it moves along a little faster. I definitely like that!

Blue Heron – a Start

This cross stitch is from the August 2012 issue of Cross Stitch Collection Magazine. I subscribe to this magazine for several reasons. There’s always at least one design each month that I want to stitch and this is the only magazine that I know of (digitally read on my Mini iPad) that allows me to print the charts. They print beautifully on standard printing paper and are easy to read.

The bottom 30 reads are solid stitching – flowers and water – and after that there will be a lot of open space. The Blue Heron will appear on the right side after I get the bottom stitched. As you can tell by the dark blue across the bottom, I have stitched half way across the bottom now.

Blue Heron-1

When it’s done, it will about about 7″ tall and just over 6″ wide. Hopefully, the blue heron will start to appear by the next time I show this piece.