Diligence! A Smalls Update

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OR How Regular Stitching Has Paid Off This Month. The kids are back in school, so that means I return to my regular schedule and some time to stitch in the car waiting for the pick up. And with the routine back in place, I also end up with some time in the evenings too. Nothing is fully finished but the stitching is done, so that’s half the battle, right?

Here is my official small for Heather’s Smalls SAL. I finished the little Crossed Wing Collection Cardinal! In just a week!


I love it. I am so happy to have more of these to do. But my lingering question is, did I do it correctly? I wonder if my technique is ok-how can I get the stitches to lay more evenly? I can tell they are twisted here and there, and how where I put single colors in amongst stitches already present it doesn’t seem as neat as it should be. But then, I was staring at it through a magnifying glass and I imagine I’d probably be horrified if I looked at my other work that closely!  Well anyway, it sure is cute and was fun to see it come together.


Now I can’t say I enjoyed stitching it that much. It is a pain to use the magnifier. And it was not very easy, working so small-(here’s a bad picture with a DMC label for scale.) But these issues were entirely made up for by how FAST it was, due to its being all tent stitch and the fact that it is so tiny. And the gauze was actually, itself, quite easy to work with. And the silk was very nice too-not knotty at all. I’m amazed how the colors make such beautiful shading in such a little thing too. When I was first stitching them on, especially the lightest reds and greens I thought, “there is no way this is going to look like a normal-colored bird or leaf” but lo, it is just right. I am wondering about some little cute animal designs I like and how easily they would adapt to silk gauze. Hmm…

To finish, I think I will get a little pocket watch frame. I have seen these around at craft stores and have seen them used for finishing itsy-bitsy projects and they are darling. It should not be hard to find one to fit this project. But I do need to learn how you finish a gauze piece-maybe it is stretched and laced like normal?

This is not the only thing I have worked on!

Look, look! My Prairie Schooler Santa (2001) is about 1/2 done!


The other half, of course, is the interminable expanse of red coat. Ugh. This, I think, is my least favorite type of stitching, though it can easily be done when I need something to do that I don’t have to think about too much. So, a tedious job is useful to have sometimes. But for me, it is important to keep it mixed up with something more interesting.

Like the Victoria Sampler Biscournuments! I had another long blood test yesterday and was so glad of it actually, to have several hours to stitch away and finish the Poinsettia one. Isn’t it pretty? Now I await my order of DMC perle to make the tassels and assemble the biscournus.


I will say, this chart of the Biscournuments is an excellent buy. 5 gorgeous ornaments, and a lovely, impressive result for very little hassle and stitch time. Thank you, Victoria Sampler, for such a rewarding project! I will make them all!

Another Month, a New Batch of Starts

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I finished Fraktur Friends! I love it!

 (Where is my picture??)

To celebrate, I kitted up all the things I hope to work on (and complete) in the next  month. And then I started them all.

First, the 2001 Prairie Schooler Santa. 2001 is important for me because it is my anniversary year. I like that the Santa for this year has a Partridge in a Pear Tree which is one of my favorite Christmas motifs.

 

Next, I started the first of the five Victoria Samplers Biscornuments. I have MANY charts for biscornus and I have never made one. I love the shape. For some reason I find it a bit intimidating. And I am not sure I want to stitch the same design twice for both sides. The Biscornuments are  small. Each is only about 2.5 inches across. And you only stitch one side. Seems like a good way to begin my foray into this kind of project. Plus, the design is beautiful, quick to stitch, interesting mix of specialty stitches, and includes the most lovely ingredients, silk and Kreinik.These are going really quickly-I’ve already got the first face stitched up of the 2 I plan to make right away.

 

I have been collecting up the out of print Crossed Wing Collection Silken Wings kits. They are stitched on 40 ct silk gauze, one strand of silk over one with tent stitch. I have never done this kind of project before but I put one in my “do” pile this year back in January and I’m going for it! I am starting on the smallest one I have, the cardinal.


Boy. I have been blessed with quite good eyes, I think, but this requires magnification. I cannot even see if I make a mistake, and I did make one, going over 2 threads instead of 1 on one stitch, which was an act and a half to trim out and redo. You probably can hardly tell what this is from the piddly amount done so far-even though the tent stitch goes fast! But it does promise to be awfully cute. I am not interested in mounting this in a box or brooch like most are shown, so maybe a tiny frame? a Christmas ornament? What do you do with this kind of thing?

I will feel so productive if I get these done this month, and I think there’s a chance!

Improving My Setup

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Earlier this summer, I wanted to shape up the situation on Joyful World. The extra fabric was driving me nuts and I was nervous about how it could get damaged or stained just all hanging out. And also as I re-position the project, I don’t want the q snap to press on the stitches. So. I finally cut some fleece to protect the stitching and…made myself a grime guard for this q snap!

First of all, by adding the fleece, I can now keep my project super tight in the q snap. Yay! This is a big improvement! Also, my stitches are not getting as squashed and the edges of the snaps are not threatening to poke holes in the linen.


Next, making the grime guard was so simple and took so little time I don’t know WHY I didn’t do it before, and you can be sure I will soon make covers for all my projects until I have one for each that I keep in the snaps for a while. I used the directions here at Cross Stitch Forum. These are very good directions with nice pictures. I had no trouble at all figuring it out. And, it only took me about 1/2 an hour! I am totally delighted with the product for the amount of time and effort involved.


For my next one I do plan to make a few adjustments. I think I’ll add 2 inches, not 1, to the circumference on the frame because it seems either my measuring or sewing is off, or I have too much material to stuff in there-basically I’d like the guard to be a little less tight. Likewise, I will make sure the width of the fabric is at least 6 inches, maybe even a bit more, 6 1/2. I don’t mind having a smaller window but I DO want all my extra linen to get tucked up in the guard.

My next improvement will be making some project envelopes but that will have to wait until I have a much bigger block of time!

PS: I decided to do August after all. That will give me the most flexibility in choosing subsequent months when I get behind again! I’m all ready to go!