Cross Stitch Update – October 2017

I haven’t stitched all week because of concerns with the wildfires here.

I haven’t made a lot of progress on cross stitch projects over the last month. I’ve only worked on two projects (after I finished a wedding gift and got it in the mail). The Norfolk Diligence Sampler still isn’t getting much attention. It was here last time you saw it:

I was hoping to have this row completed by now, but haven’t worked on it this week at all. Here it is now:

I’m hoping I can get back to stitching next week and finish this row. The green lines across the bottom are the tops of the 5 octagons that will finish the sampler. I also have to stitch the border across the bottom. All the work inside the octagons is done over 1 thread and I know that will be slow going for me.

I also worked on my stocking. Here it is today:

The toe is now finished and all the backstitching is done except for the cat’s blue collar. I’ve started moving to the right toward the heel now. The red at the bottom is a large red gift box that will have a sleeping cat on top.

Yesterday, when things looked and felt better around here concerning the fire, I decided I should try to do some stitching. Nothing grabbed my attention, so I pulled out something new. It’s called Love You Still from Glendon Place.

I’ve changed all the colors and it will be stitched in blue for the lettering and rust/gold/golden brown colors with the decorations around the outside. I decided to start in the middle and stitch Love You Still first. I didn’t get very far – for the word you – the O is done and the start of the U.

It’s being stitched on 32 ct sandcastle from Silkweaver.

My mind is so scattered by the fire, emails from my sons, etc. every day – but I’m starting to get 15-20 minutes of focus on stitching a couple times a day. It’s a start.

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Update on Northern California Fires

I’m okay and it looks like we’ll be able to stay in our home without threats of fire – unless the wind changes direction over the next 24 hours or so. The wind will be increasing in strength as well, but not the 70 mph winds that ripped through northern Santa Rosa Sunday night into Monday morning.

over 2800 homes destroyed so far in Santa Rosa and many more in other cities and counties nearby

Sonoma and Napa counties are home to hundreds of wineries and are a tourist destination for people all over the world. Some wineries have been destroyed and many more damaged. It’s harvest season and some types of grapes have not been harvested yet. Those that have been picked are now in large fermentation vats to start the process of becoming wine. But these vats are carefully heat controlled and electricity is off in large areas of the two counties. Very bad news for the industry.

And it hasn’t stopped yet either. The fires are burning up to the north now from Santa Rosa to Calistoga, Geyserville, etc. The city of Napa is threatened by fires to it’s east and west. Overnight 5 smaller fires joined together to form a larger one, but the firefighters say that’s good since there aren’t as many perimeters to deal with. So it’s not over. They’re hoping to have the fires contained and “out” by Nov. 1st.

Firefighters from other states have arrived and from Australia even! So containment of the fires has begun and will hopefully continue a little more each day.

My hope is that all our friends and neighbors in these two counties (and others counties where fires have expanded) are safe and unharmed.

Needlepoint Update – October 2017

I didn’t work on the Purple Heron this past month at all. I was focused on the ASOW Tall Ship.

I finished most of the sky around the top of the rigging. So I scrolled the canvas to see what was next. Oh dear – this is a VERY tall ship.

What I thought was the poop deck of the ship itself is evidently the crow’s next (two actually) and the next four inches is lots more masts, crossbeams, and rigging. You can see a tiny man standing on one of the crossbeams on the right side. This boat is huge!!

I also worked on the new Persian Qum Rug. I didn’t quite get all the way across the bottom of the rug. I still have some of the small motifs that need to be finished and lots of background. I want to get two of the blue motifs done on each side before I start on the center of the rug. I should have some of that for you next month.

I always have an ornament going – something to pick up easily when I’m not in the mood for the larger pieces. This one is a tiny gingerbread house that I should be able to finish this month and add it to the pile to finish off before Christmas.

And finally I picked up a new canvas that Michelle at Come to the Point was able to get for me. This is an Alice Peterson ABC piece for the granddaughter who will arrive the end of February. I hope to have it done to ship to them before the baby is born.


I still haven’t decided how to approach the canvas. It’s mounted on stretcher bars that are 16″ X 20″. The design is actually 12 X 16. I’m using #5 perle cotton for the entire design. Easy stitching for when I’m watching TV in the evenings.

I started with some of the dark yellow border, did the balloons on the left corner, then started the A. I spend a little time each evening filling in the white background. The As and apple are now finished. I did the Ds on Sunday evening but needed to decide on the colors of beige and brown for the duck, so I gave up for the night.

I’m not liking the lighter yellow balloon and the As – I’m thinking that I should outline the pale items with a darker yellow and see if that looks better. Once I start outlining letters, I’ll probably have to outline all of them – still thinking about it.

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My Turn – a Christmas Stocking

I did 5 stockings last year and now have two to do next year. So this is MY year and I’ve started a stocking for myself.

This is an old Dimensions kit that I bought several years ago because: 1. I love cats 2. We have a staircase like this in our home, 3. The two cats at the bottom look like our cats Julius and Daisy. Unfortunately, Julius and Daisy are no longer with us.

Starting at the center, I decided to work the bottom, left part of the stocking working down to the toe. Then I’ll do the heel and work my way up to the top. I work on it several times a week for about an hour at a time. Here is where I stopped last night:

I’ve spent several evenings working on the Julius look-a-like but I don’t have the tail done or the front paw yet. The outlining of the ornaments and edges of the newel post have been done. The stripes are the wall paper and there’s more of that to come.

I’ll need to spend more time on it starting next month if I want it done for Christmas this year. After a week, the first cat still isn’t done and there are 8 cats on the stocking! LOL

 

Persian Qum Rug – Progress 2

No stitching upstairs for a week on any of the 3 large canvases – it was 111 degrees on Friday and Saturday (but we’re finally in the 80s again).

But I did work on the Qum rug the last 3 days. This rug is going to be a very slow rug. This is where I stopped today.

This corner is now complete and the finished part is only about 3 inches wide! The rose and off-white flower on the left will appear only in the four corners of the rug. The blue motif will repeat all the way around. There are 5 repeats across the bottom. I’m using mostly Splendor silk, 3 ply. The outer brown border is old Needle Necessities and I have two skeins which should be more than enough. The inner border is Gloriana #077 in fall colors that I love. There is one skein and I hope it’s enough since I doubt that I could match it.

The small yellow and rose flower in the center of the blue motif is overdyed Threadworx in shades of yellow. I’m cutting out the lightest shade and using the medium and darker yellows only.

I’ll continue to work on the borders only for a while. I want to get all the way across the bottom and get at least one motif up each side before I start working on the center parts. So I’ll wait to show you the rug again for about 4 weeks.

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Persian Qum Rug – Getting started

I’ve talked about my process in designing and stitching these rugs many times (I think this is rug 15). But when I started on this new rug, I realized I had skipped a step (sort of).

I design my rugs with MacStitch, a cross stitch program from Ursa Software. They also make programs for Windows. They have quite a few thread brands available when you start a design. They added Vineyard Silk recently, but have not added Splendor yet. So I always choose DMC threads and try to get colors as close to the Splendor threads I’ll be using. But then I have to make a list of the Splendor numbers to match the symbols on the chart. This is the step I’ve never mentioned before.

Yesterday, in order to start stitching, I had to get all the threads I was going to use and go through the Key that MacStitch prints out to get more organized. When Michelle at Come to the Point gave me the threads I had ordered (multiples of the colors that will be used heavily in this design), she handed me a small, very pretty pink and white polka dot tote bag. I dumped out all the threads, sorted them, and wrote the Splendor numbers next to the DMC number on the Key. So far, so good.

Then I got out the bag with all the threads from my stash that I had pulled long ago to use in this rug – partial skeins, full skeins, other silks and cotton flosses left over from other projects, etc. Some of these were to be used for specific motifs or borders and I added their numbers to the Key. That’s when I noticed that I really didn’t have all the main colors that I needed. So Michelle got an email this morning for the 2 other Splendor colors I needed and they will be in the mail in the morning. I depend on her a lot for threads. She’s the closest store to me and I’m thrilled that she carries Pepper Pot Silk, which I’m using a LOT in my rugs, etc. But not this one being stitched on Congress Cloth.

But I finally got it together late yesterday morning and did a little stitching on the small border that forms the outer border of the rug. This border is a Needle Necessities brown overdye using the Slanted Gobelin stitch – over 4 threads. It has Tent stitches on each side in a very dark brown. A good start. Friday I’ll start working on the larger border and add a lot more colors. Then I’ll work on the rug Mon-Wed each week, saving Fri and Sat to work on the ASOW ship and Purple Heron.  I’ll post this rug again in two weeks so you can see the progress.

Today’s Happiness

I went to Come to the Point in San Raphael yesterday to pick up the Congress Cloth and some Splendor for my new rug. So here is my happiness:

A blank canvas and beautiful threads!! The Splendor on the left is what I picked up yesterday from Michelle. The center set is the Splendor I had on hand for the rug and on the right, overdyed threads that will be used for parts of the borders on the design. Then I’ll pull threads for the leaves and flowers as I need them – lots of solid threads and overdyed threads left over from various projects. A chance to use up lots of little odds and ends.

I showed this rug months ago, but it takes me a long time to develop my own adaptation. I worked for several months and then let it sit for a while. Here is the original rug – a Persian Qum.

It still isn’t done – I’ve decided to get to work on it and create the flowers and leaves  as I go. As usual I’m making my version simpler, not as crowded. The border is completely designed. The second level has a rust background and I’ve put in most of the branches and stems. I’ll add flowers after the branches and background have been filled in. (The flowers you see in the design are just place holders, to give me an idea of where to put them.) The center section has a completed vase, but just a hint of stems and flowers. I’ll design the section around the vase when I start working on the vase. The rest will be designed in segments of about 3 inches at a time. The flower at the top is done, but could change.

This is the most complicated rug I’ve decided to adapt, but I really look forward to the challenge.

And to let you know how things go in my crazy mind – I was looking through my folder of Working Projects (design inspiration, designs being developed, designs that have stalled for one reason or another), and another piece caught my eye. One I’ve wanted to do for about 4-5 years but didn’t think I could handle just yet.  But looking at it today, I got some inspiration and wanted to play. I printed out the original, grabbed my graph paper and started sketching some parts, writing in colors to use, even stitches for some of the elements. After an intense hour, I put it all away. But now I have a start on what I want to do with it the next time I want to start a new design. Now it’s back to the originally scheduled project. Here comes the Persian Qum rug! I’m super happy and excited today. Okay, cut fabric, tape edges, put on stretcher bars, ………

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