Saturday, June 26, 2010

Butterfly Update 3 (or ... I hate confetti)

Progress on the butterfly forest has slowed to a crawl. Partly because I was traveling for school and working on my angel project, but also because the section I was working on was full of confetti. I hate confetti. I didn't know until I did this section that I hate confetti, but I hate it. A lot!

Confetti -- for those who don't know -- refers to scattered single stitches on a design. The stitches are spread across the fabric as if they had been sprinkled like confetti.

I was working on the purple flower bunches near the bottom of the design, which had 10 different colours in them. Most of those colours were blended in the needle, and all were varying shades of purple. At the start the blocks of colour were larger, maybe 20-25 stitches grouped together, but as I moved through the colours, the groupings got smaller and smaller and farther apart. By the end I was literally doing single stitches of a colour. It was tedious, labour intensive, and it felt like I would never finish. Two nights in a row I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning trying to finish and they seemed never-ending. It took much, much longer to finish then I had anticipated, but I finished them!!

Overall the piece is coming along well, but it still feels like I have a ton to do. If the solid stitching doesn't kill me, the backstitching might. :P

Here's the piece to date:

Still to do: A flower and some leaves in the lower right corner, 2 more butterflies up top, and then oodles and oodles of backstitch.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Angel Update 2

Somehow I've managed to get a lot of stitching done on my side project. Apparently traveling around the countryside visiting friends and family has been conducive to stitching. I really thought that I'd finish my project for my mom before I even got close to finishing my angel, but the reverse has happened. All of the full and half cross stitches are DONE!! Now it's just a matter of doing all the backstitch, french knots, sequins, and charms.

Being this close to finishing makes me want to press on, but I worry about not finishing my butterfly piece by my deadline. It doesn't help that I'm already thinking about which chart I'll start next!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Butterfly Update 2

I think I might enjoy stitching too much sometimes ... I am very good at procrastinating doing my schoolwork and stitching instead. I can't help it, it makes me smile. I love seeing a project progress. I love the sense of accomplishment.

Another butterfly and 3 leaves finished, and I've just started on the 2 big clumps of purple flowers.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thinking About Stitches ...

Once I've completed one of the two projects I am currently working on (which won't be anytime soon), I plan on starting one of my HAED (Heaven and Earth Designs) patterns. These patterns call for 1 over 1 stitches using either 1 or 2 strands of floss (personal preference) on 25 or 28 count linen. I've never attempted a project of this magnitude before. I usually work on 14 or 16 count Aida (which is quite different), and my stitches are always with 2 strands of floss and are larger stitches.

I happened to have some extra linen laying around, so I tried out some stitches on linen to see how they would look.
In the lower left, I've done full cross stitches over 2 with 2 strands of floss on 28 count linen. To me they look like regular stitches. (For my non-stitching readers ... 14 count Aida is equivalent to stitching over 2 on 28 count linen). Above them in the top left corner are over 1 cross stitches with 2 strands of floss, and these look like little pillows to me. I can barely tell that they are X's. The stitches on the lower right corner are over 2 using 1 strand of floss, and while they look nice, I find the fabric coverage to be lacking. Finally, we have the top right corner, where I've done over 1 cross stitches using 1 strand of floss. I think these stitches look amazing. They are insanely tiny, but very neat and they have great fabric coverage.

The HAED patterns I am planning on doing (Catch a Falling Star and Oak King) have 200,000+ and 300,000+ stitches respectively. (The bonus is that these patterns have no backstitch, half stitch, french knots, or blended colours. I HATE blending colours in the needle. Bleh!) It's daunting, but these patterns allow for such incredible detail! I think they are breath-taking.

But first ... I have other projects to finish.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Angel Update 1

It's amazing how much stitching you can accomplish when stuck on trains and in train stations for hours and hours on end. A two day vacation at my brother's place also allowed for some serious relaxation (aka stitching).

I took Twilight Angel on the road with me, and I am thrilled with my progress to date. I'd wager that I'm over 1/3 of the way finished. The angel's skirt is done, and I plan to move on to the head/arms/wings next.
I didn't think I'd make this much progress on this piece since my focus is on the butterfly project for my mom, but it's nice to think I might have something for my own walls sooner rather than later.