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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Ghiradelli Square by Peter Ashe – Progress 4

It’s been a month, and while I didn’t stitch on this often, I did make some good progress.

I finished the beige and brown building on the far right. Today I completed the terra cotta building to the left of it as well. A part of the terra cotta building sticks up on top of the brown building and evidently the Griradelli sign is attached to its roof. I won’t be stitching the sign until I can scroll up again.

Next up is to finish the sand colored building to the left and above the terra cotta one, the light gray building, the brown one on the very left and the first section of the bell tower. When all that is done, I can scroll the canvas and start the top third – bell tower, sign and sky. I’m getting there, 3 hours per week.

Tumak by Gitta – Progress 7

My goal for this project last year was to get it half done. Now I want it done by mid-April. I’ve only work on it a couple evenings each week, so I’ll have to switch to working on it about 5 evenings a week to get it done.

Here’s where it was at the end of December:

Tumak 6

 

And it’s here today:

Tumak 7

The second large motif is done and I wanted it to look a little different from the other two. The middle is stitched with the overdye instead of the medium solid green and a darker rose in the center. I’ve completed two more motifs along the bottom edge and outlined a third one. The outer border is longer as well. Two more small motifs along the bottom edge and I’ll be able to turn the corner. That’s the goal for this week – two motifs and the border done along the bottom and the corner completed. The part that takes the longest on this project is filling in the off-white around every motif and border.

When this is done, I have a new project that’s ready to go. More incentive to get busy and complete this one.

Father Christmas – Progress 8

Here is where I left this project on May 2, 2015.

Father C-7

My goal for this project was to have the first 5 pages done this year – that won’t happen. The bottom of the page is 14 rows below the tassel. For the rest of this year, I’ll work on Pages 1-2 and get them  completed. If time permits, I’ll work on Page 3 which would complete Father Christmas’ face.

Father C 8

Most of Page 1 is background, so I’ve been adding many rows of overdyed orange thread. One more row on the left will be 40 rows (half a page) completed.

You can see some light colors just to the left of the tassel. That’s part of his hair. It’s supposed to be stitched with Ecru, an ultra very light tan, and two shades of light sand. I haven’t done the darkest color of sand yet and I don’t think I’ll use it at all. I don’t think it will show up well at all, so I’ll use one of the lighter colors instead so it will be more visible.

The tiny section of red to the right of tassel is the beginning of his coat. There will be a lot more of that just below the tassel, when I get to it. I’m looking forward to something other than orange.

Stitching for this project will be mostly on the weekends. I did a lot of background this past week, but I have several smaller projects to work on during the week now.

Tumak – Progress 5

Quick Gwen Update: After a rather bad attack on me last Tuesday, Gwen has been returned to the vet. I hope they can find a good home for her. I miss her somewhat, but I was too scared to keep her. So it’s quiet around here now.

Tumak by Gitta is on the list of goals for the year – hoping to get half of this small rug done by the end of the year. It’s only 6″ X 10″ in size. So right now, it’s 6″ across the left side and I’ve outlined a few more areas that reach the center across the bottom. I’ll be filling in those areas this week so I can turn it around and do the other side to match. Then it will get put away until next year.

Tumak 5

I’ve changed the colors from the original rug. The colors match my version of From Molehill to Mountain that I stitched in 2006, which you can see here. I want to make this little rug into a pillow for the couch near From Molehill to Mountain.

Why I Practice Stitch Designs

Since I’m on a Mac, I don’t have StitchWiz anymore. (I know you can run a virtual Windows machine, but it’s such a hassle). So I use a cross stitch software program – MacStitch. For my rugs that are Basketweave, this works well. But when you want to do more advanced stitches, it can cause problems.

I started working on a new design – creatively called the Blue/Green pillow. It’s based on a Moroccan tile that is used for walls.

Tile11

I didn’t like the border, so I’ll do something different. But the center is a nice, simple repeat. I decided to make the squares 8 stitches square, and the “wings” 8 threads long. Simple, right? No. This is why I do practice stitching on all my designs.

Blue/green practice

The two light blue squares on the top are 8 stitches across and down. Across the top and bottom, there are 8 holes, but on the left and right there are 9 holes because you come up in the first hole and then do your stitches across 8 threads. The wings won’t match up and you don’t get the nice diamond in the middle. The square on the bottom is 8 threads across the top and bottom and 7 threads on the left and right – the only way to get the wings to share holes at the corners and create and diamond properly. I have the whole chart done for this and should have done the practice stitching first! But I now have the proper number of stitches for the design in the middle of the pillow.

The next problem is deciding which stitch to use for the outer border. Above is the Herringbone stitch, which I don’t like now that I’ve done a sample. I’ll play with some other stitches and see what I can come up with.

Reasons why I practice stitch –

  • To make sure the design works the way I have it charted or envisioned it
  • To try out stitches to find out what works/looks best
  • To make sure the colors I’ve selected will work together
  • To get an idea of how much thread it takes to stitch the design
  • To play and have fun with a new design – that’s really what it’s all about

Anatolia Rug – Progress 1

WOW! 4 posts in one week! Next week, it’s back to the regular schedule of stitching and making more progress.

I fell in love with the Keyhole medallion and had to create a rug where I could display it. I had several borders to choose from that were from the same area of Anatolia – just East of Ankara, Turkey. I’m only using 9 colors – 2 shades of olive, 2 shades of gold, 2 shades of red, white, black, and the overdyed red – all from Pepper Pot Silk.

Anatolia Borders

I choose this one, but you’ll notice that it doesn’t show a corner. And I couldn’t find this border in a rug either. So I needed to create one myself. In the practice stitching that I showed you before, I used black to divide the corner square and for the two Scotch stitches in the corner as well. When I started stitching, I decided that it was difficult to distinguish between the dark olive and the black. I changed the black in the corner for the dark red.

Anatolia 1

 

I’ve only spent about 6-7 hours on this so far and this is how far I’ve gotten. On the right side, I’ll finish the red motif and then do the corner on that side. It’s only going to be 11.5″ across the narrow end – only 4 repeats of the larger motif. Eventually, it should be about 19″ tall. Once I have a couple of motifs up each side, I can start on the Keyhole medallion and the background around it. I hope to have some of that to show you next time.

Until the mandala is finished, this is worked on Friday and Saturday mornings only, for 1-2 hours each day.