Christmas Ornaments – 1 & 2

With a new granddaughter due in July and my youngest saying he wants to start his family this year, I’ve been on a bit of a spending spree this month. I want to be able to give the new grandchildren an ornament each year, like I’ve done for the 3 granddaughters I already have. They got their last ones this past December.

These two ornaments I’ve had in my stash for years – since 2012. I wanted to kit up some smaller pieces to stitch while I wasn’t able to get around much the end of that year (hip replacement surgery). The red and white one was stitched then, but the black cat was just barely started. It’s now finished. Both of these ornaments are from Kathy Schenkel.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel in the weeks following surgery, so I stitched this with #5 perle cotton and mostly Basketweave.

I stitched this companion piece with #5 perle and Basketweave as well. I felt this one needed whiskers so I added them with white #4 Kreinik braid. The thread has a metallic filament in it, so it looks greenish. I really like how that turned out.

More ornaments are here and waiting their turn with the needles. And I have 6 more on order from various shops that had trunk sales this month. I’ll stitch them up, probably one a month. As I get the finishing done, I’ll tuck them away in a box until Christmas each year. Then I can select one for each of the new grandchildren. I also want to do some cross stitch ones and Mill Hill beaded ones. I think I’ll be busy for quite a while on this project!

Purple Heron by Melissa Shirley – Progress 6A

I’ve been working on the Ripples stitch on the sky yesterday and today. I’m stitching with the canvas turned upside down so it’s easier to reach, working right to left. I anchor the threads in the unstitched gray border using an L stitch. They’ll be covered up with the gray border when I get around to stitching it. And look how nicely it goes around the heron’s head! (Purely by accident too)

Next Friday and Saturday, I’ll continue by going down the right side (as you’re looking at it) and filling in all of that side. The next week I’ll work on the left side. I’m stitching right over the tall grasses. I’ll stitch on top of the Ripple stitch when I get to them (probably the last thing I’ll do on this canvas.) I’m using two plies of Waterlilies (one from the old skein and one from the new skein) to give a light touch to the sky – not something heavy. I want the colors painted on the canvas to show through. Here is all the sky that is done, not a lot but it’s going faster now that I know the pattern.

 

Baby Girl House ornament – Progress 1

This little 3D house is going to be our new granddaughter’s first Christmas ornament. I think it’s a little big, but that’s okay. There are no canvas numbers or signatures on this, so I don’t know the designer.

The canvas beyond the edges of the house is actually white. I have no idea why it photographed as pink. I’ll be using Pepper Pot Silk and Vineyard Silk to stitch the piece.

I started with the roof on the right side. Using two shades of turquoise I used tent stitches to outline the tiles using the darker shade and then filled in the tiles with straight stitches using the lighter shade. The house itself is pale yellow and I have one unopened skein of light yellow Vineyard Silk (hope that is enough) and started stitching the walls with Brick stitch. Here it is so far:

I’m working on this on Sundays, along with the first of two wedding samplers (cross stitch). Each one gets about one and a half hours of time. Tonight I’ll be working on a needlepoint Christmas ornament for an hour or so. I like having one day that is just super fun stitching. Then I put them away until the next Sunday. A nice break from larger projects that I’m working on.

Purple Heron by Melissa Shirley – Progress 6

Very little progress actually. I have the gray borders stitched along the right side. My first idea for stitching the flowers failed, so I’ll have to try a couple other ideas.

Today, I decided to turn the canvas again so I can stitch the gray borders along the top of the canvas. But I got side-tracked. I wanted to try out some open stitches to see what I could do for the sky. I tried out 3.

I tried to darken the colors so you might be able to see them better. On the left is Ripples from Sheena’s Sweet Stitches (blog and on Pinterest), On the right is Darning Pettern G from iStitches Vol. 2 from Ruth Schmuff. Very hard to see is the third one underneath, to the right of the grass. It’s Darning Pattern Lg Wave from iStitches Vol 3 from Ruth Schmuff. I’ve ruled out Pattern G already, since it would waste a lot of thread going all the way across the sky covering one thread in every 6-7 threads.

I like Ripples and Lg Wave (which waves left and right going down the canvas). The stitches for Lg Wave are done over 1 and 2 threads, so they are smaller and very hard to see in the photo. They could give the impression of rain – which would work. Ripples waves up and down across the sky and is done over 3 – 6 threads (varies a little from row to row).

At the top of the photo is the thread that I will be using – Sunglow Waterlilies. It has the white, yellow and lavender that matches the painted sky. I have one old skein and one new skein and will stitch the sky using one strand from each skein. I want to get all the sky done and then stitch the grass over it.

It’s not going to be very visible, more of a little texture to add to the piece. Which stitch would you use to stitch the sky?

Ghiradelli Square by Peter Ashe – Progress 3

I wanted to have the bottom half of this done by the end of the month, and I almost made it. LOL

On the left side, I completed all the building sections on the bottom half of the canvas. The plants in front of the brick wall were stitched with French Knots in Pepper Pot silk. The windows were all stitched with Nobuko. The lightest blue is Pepper Pot silk and the other two blues are Vineyard silk.

On the right side, the big tree is completed using a tiny leaf stitch. I wanted to finish the lower half the this building by the end of the month and didn’t make that goal. I finished the windows and wall, etc. at the bottom, but only just started on this section. I did the small section of wall in Cashmere stitch using the same Vineyard silk as the small wall on the left section. I couldn’t do French Knots for the plants this time because there is a small iron railing that needs to go over the stitching. The plants are being stitched in Diagonal Mosaic using Pepper Pot silk. And I couldn’t resist trying a little of the railing to see how it would look. I’m using black #12 perle cotton for that. I think the railing will look a little better when it’s up against the peachy color of the building.

And here is the whole piece so far:

Next week I’ll continue stitching the building on the right and then move over to the left side. I need to decide on a stitch for the sky, since there is a tiny strip of blue on the left. The other 3 large trees on the left side will also be stitched using the tiny leaf stitch – some in Pepper Pot silk and some in Vineyard silk. I am sooooo enjoying stitching on this.

Purple Heron by Melissa Shirley – Progress 5

It’s been a while since I worked on this, but it’s now getting some attention two mornings a week. And I’ve finally gotten the bottom border completed. The frog was stitched with rust and brown to help him stand out from the stems and leaves around him. All the borders are being stitched with Splendor silk.

I haven’t decided how I want to stitch the flowers along the left and right borders, but I can work on the background and the leaves. I also want to finish the gray border all the way around. That will make it easier for me to play with some stitches for the sky around the herons. I have a Waterlilies that has the same colors as the sky (white, lavender and yellow), so a light coverage is all I’m looking for. I have several darning stitches I want to try out.

Those things will keep my busy for a while. This won’t be back for 4-6 weeks and I hope I’ll have something to show you by then.

Ghiradelli Square by Peter Ashe – Progress 2

This is Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco. I only posted about it once – in February 2014. Here’s what it looked like then:

Ghiradelli-1

I had stitched the top of the gazebo, the small wall above it, and the striped awning. I had a tiny bit of the tree done as well. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve worked on it about 10-12 hours. Here’s where I am now.

Ghiradelli 2

I’m using simple stitches – mostly Basketweave, Slanted Gobelin, and Nobuko. And I’m keeping the threads simple too – no threads that need to be plied or laid. I’m using Vineyard Silk and I bought most of the colors right after I got the canvas. Any colors I’m missing are being pulled from my stash of Pepper Pot Silk. So far there are only two exceptions -one is the silver that I’ve started on the gazebo – it’s El Molino rayon and is the same thickness as the silks. I didn’t have time to finish all the silver on the gazebo this morning, so it will get done next Monday. The other exception is yellow Water n’ Ice for the light on the pole beside the gazebo. I don’t like how it looks right now, so I think I’ll pull it out and redo it.

That tree is taking forever – tiny leaf stitch that is stitched in every direction to get the branches done that stick out everywhere.

I want to finish all the parts below the steeple and then scroll up to work on the other half. I’m hoping to have this first half done by the end of the month.

I’ll take a break each week to work on the Purple Heron on Fridays and Saturdays starting this week.