Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to the Music

After neglecting this piece for a week while I learned how to park on Drama Queen, I finally picked it up again tonight and gave it a little love.

Only one more "side" of the rectangle to backstitch, plus I've started backstitching the word MUSIC with Kreinik. The Kreinik is driving me a little batty, but I think it's turning out quite nicely. What do you think?

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I finally tried parking.

It is VERY different compared to how I usually stitch (cross country). It really took some getting used to and completely changed everything about how I stitch. I found that it slowed my stitching speed considerably, but my productivity went up.

How you ask? Well, while I am physically slower at stitching (I don't just mindlessly do big patches of stitching in the same colour), I find I don't spend as much time searching for symbols, marking up my chart, figuring out stitching pathways, or flipping over my work and starting/ending threads. I can't watch TV while stitching like this; it takes far too much concentration. Instead, I listen to music and I get a TON done.

Let's take a look at my first try at parking:

This is 178 stitches into the page. I'm actually stitching almost a column and a half wide here (14 stitches) and it's a little cumbersome. However, it's background, so thankfully I'm only negotiating 4-6 colours at any one time. I even tucked a few strands away for the next column.

I had the bright idea of starting the next column of 10 stitches because they are in the same colours as the first column. After a 10x10 block, I realized that I was starting to get confused/stressed trying to stitch across 2.5 columns, so I stopped and tucked those strands away and went back to the original column.

I'm about 471 stitches into the page here, and I am loving how my stitching looks. My stitches are even and pretty, and I didn't struggle trying to fit any of them in. Not only that, but I LOVE seeing no holes! I can understand how people can get addicted to stitching really complicated pieces this way because the picture literally develops in front of you. It's very cool to see.

I went back to the original column (which I stopped working on mainly because the number of symbols in the block tripled) and started adding more colours.

I've added 7 new threads into the mix, though several of the original colours have now ended. It's a little tougher negotiating (and keeping untangled) so many more threads, but I'm still able to make progress. It's strikes me as odd that I don't stitch at the same pace I did before (especially in blocky areas like this one) and yet I have gotten SO much more done today. I'm about 499 stitches in here -- almost 10% of the page!!

I need to make a trip to my LNS soon and buy a few more packs of needles. Not having to rethread all the time certainly helps my sanity, though the more threads I introduce, the harder it is to keep everything neat and untangled. I still need to finish adjusting to this new way of stitching, but I certainly see why some people swear by it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Drama Queen!!!

I put this project aside for the longest time because the confetti was killing me. Recently I finally got in the mood to work on it, and I plowed through and FINALLY finished the fourth page. So I've done 21988 stitches, or 28.46% of the project. It looks fabulous (even though the reds don't photograph well).

I did wonder if it would be the death of me though. See that whitish/blueish section in the middle of the poppies? There were 21 colours in the last 58 stitches. Must have been 75-80 colours just in that section. I can not explain the pain that the confetti caused me. I think the worst part was finding symbols that I knew I already stitched, but I managed to miss just one or two. Sigh.

I'm excited to start the next page because I'm going to try parking for the first time. I'm pretty nervous about it, and I'm very worried I'll get annoyed and give up on it. However, if I can make it work, then I think progress on this piece might pick up a little bit. Fingers crossed and wish me luck.

Friday, August 17, 2012

August TUSAL & Music Montage Update 2

It's TUSAL time again, and I'm actually on time for once. Amazing!

You can see loads of white silk from when I last worked on Rules For Life, and on top of that are the browns, rusts, greens, and blues from the Music Montage piece.

Speaking of which, I've made pretty good progress on the backstitch portion of this project.

I am NOT enjoying the Kreinik around the main motif, and it pains me to think of backstitching MUSIC with it, but I do like the rest of the piece. I even kind of like the backstich/double running stitch I've been using on the outer words. Al least progress is nice and fast this way.

I've added Music Montage to my WIPocalpse list because it needs to be finished this year, and hopefully framed and ready to go by the beginning of Decemnber.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Music Progress

I have spent more time stitching than I probably should lately, but I am loving stitching this music piece. I can't believe how fast I'm flying through it.

It took only a few days to get this far:

And the next thing I knew, the central MUSIC motif was finished!!

I've started on the backstitching, which is arduous and plentiful! (Pics of that in the next update). I am currently debating if I should backstitch the inside of the music motif.

The pattern doesn't say to backstitch it, but I think it might help the word pop, especially considering the fabric I chose to use. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A new start (as if I need one)

I have more projects on the go then I know what to do with. There are even several pieces from the Ultimate Crazy January Challenge that haven't been touched since January!!

And yet, I still feel the need to start a new project. This time is wasn't really my fault though. Have you ever seen a chart for the first time and instantly known who you HAD to stitch it for? That's what happened to me.

I saw the Stitching to the Music booklet by Stoney Creek, and just knew I had to stitch "Life is a Song ... Music Montage." (It's the one on the right.)

So I pulled out my brand new, hand-dyed-by-me fabric and dove right in! I will say that it is a very easy stitch and it's moving along very quickly indeed!

I am not a fan of backstitching, so I'm not sure why I had to go and fall in love with a chart that has SO MUCH backstitching on it, but whatever. It'll look great even if it drives me insane.

Side note: Even though I dislike backstitching, I recently picked up a blackwork design called Ciara Blue by Blackwork Journey. And of course, I'm dying to start it too.)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sad news

I recently learned that Vicki Clayton of is shutting down her silk floss and silk ribbon lines. Anyone who has read this blog at all likely knows that I am a silk floss junkie. I LOVE stitching with silk, and I love hers best of all. Not surprisingly, I am absolutely heartbroken by this news.

She has received one last order of silk from her supplier, and once that is dyed and gone, that's it. No more. :( In order to stave off my impending heartbreak and depression, I went a little nuts at my LNS and stocked up on a bunch of pretty silks.

The colours (from top to bottom and from left to right) are: Dark Wisteria, Deep Ocean, Dragon Opal, Dragon Toes, Fire Thorn, Flannel Dark, Indigo Ocean, Old Maid of the Vineyard, Ox Blood, Plummage, Primitive Barn Green, Victorian Mauve, and B5200 White.

I must admit 3 things -- 1) I have doubles of most of these, because a measly 8.7 yard spool clearly wouldn't be sufficient; 2) I bought 7 more spools of white and have 10 spools of black on order; and 3) I seem to have an overwheling fondness for blues, greens, and purples.

And I got these silks as well (I got doubles of all of them because they are in the 5 yard packaging).

The colours (from left to right) are: Ocean Breeze, Dragon Tongue, BeSeeded, UnderTow, and Winter Berried.

I love silks. Truly, I am mad for silks. I've stitched with tons of other brands (Gloriana, Caron Collection Waterlilies, Dinky Dyes, Carrie's Creations) and while some are better than others, HDF silks are hands down the nicest silks I've ever used. I will miss them when they are gone.

Side note: I would love to try my hand at dying my own, but I haven't the foggiest idea where to start, or where to get the undyed threads. Any ideas, information, or leads would be appreciated.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A day late for WIPocalypse

I don't know what is with me this year, but I am late posting for EVERYTHING. *sigh* Sorry.

Anyway, I have progress pictures to show today! I did a fair amount of traveling in July, so not as much got done as I would have liked. BUT progress is progress!

First up, Rules For Life by Kincavel Krosses. I worked primarily on this piece in July, since carting around basic stitchy supplies and only one colour of silk floss was easiest as I flitted across the countryside.

Near the end of July (after I got home from my travels) I pulled out Mirabilia's Elizabeth and put some stitches into her. It still doesn't look like much though. Okay - really it's just a funny looking blob unless you have the photo from the chart right beside it. I do like that I've added a colour other than black and grey to it. I have the feeling that this piece is going to take a very, very long time to complete.