Cross Stitch Ramblings


Apple Blossom Fairies finished

Yesterday evening I finally finished Apple Blossom Fairies after having worked on it almost all of Monday and Tuesday evening. I have to say that after many doubts during the progess of the works I'm very pleased with the finished results, the backstitch works well, and I am pleased I did it quickly. I think it is easier to get backstitch done quickly while I can still remember what colours the cross stitch symbols represent. I'll post a picture of it soon. Husband wants me to get it framed straight away but I feel inclined to wait until I have something else finished as well. Its a bit of a pain driving over to the framing man especially at this time of year.

This evening I finally embarked on the long awaited TW Castle Sampler. What's put me off all these years is the task of sorting all the threads. Well, in the end, it only took about an hour, and some patience. This one is going to be fun! It includes one-over-one stitching on evenweave, something which I've never done before. I've gone wrong already, seem to have managed to turn it upside down halfway through the first colour so had to unpick some. Never mind, it wasn't much. Will post progess pictures when there's something to see.


Framing & backstitch

I collected the other 3 finished works from the framing man yesterday. He did a brilliant job as usual and charged next to nothing as usual. I'll take photos and post them some time when I'm not writing at 10 to midnight.

Its always nice to go and see him because both he and his wife show such enthusiasm for my work. His wife does tapestry herself but her friend does cross stitch so she is quite knowledgable about it. I don't have any stitching friends so its nice to talk to someone with a bit of knowledge about it and who knows, for example, when I say the word Aida I am talking about a type of cross stitch fabric and not an opera.

I've done a fair amount of the backstitch on Apple Blossom Fairies today but theres still a long way to go. Its not too bad though because this one has good colour contrasts.

I've been buying thread like mad from ebay - have bought about 150 threads lately. No particular colours, just whatever the sellers had. A stitcher can never have too much thread!

I also bought the Poppy Fairy kit and the Butternut Road chart, a Christmas Visit. I am going to try and stop buying stitching stuff off ebay now because the stash is growing and growing. But I will still keep on trying to get the other 3 L&L Celtic charts which I've been after for a while.


Apple Blossom News

The main body of cross stitching and the french knots on Apple Blossom Fairies are now done. All I have left to do now is the backstitching but there's a lot of it so it'll take a while. I'm not totally happy with the french knots, most of them are ok but the few messy ones kind of spoil it. This project was an experiment really, to see if I really could master french knots. I doubt anything I do in the future will call for such a mass of them. I've read some people substitute beads for french knots but I don't think it would have worked with this one. I haven't tried beading yet, there are a few in the stash that call for them so I will do one day.

The framing man has finished the remaining three, I go to collect them on Thursday. I had hoped to have Apple Blossom fairies finished to take when I collected them but that's not now going to happen. I'm quite proud of myself for sticking with just the one project over the past few weeks, although the temptation to deviate will probably get stronger as I'm now onto the backstitch and I never enjoy doing that much. The next one I intend starting is the TW Castle Sampler which I've been wanting to get going on for a while but have been put off by the fact that there is a large colour palette and I need to sort all the threads out, for which I'll need quite a bit of time and good strong daylight, a rarity at this time of year! Maybe I'll need to do something else until I get some sunshine.....


Back from the framer!

Companions, Passion of Dance, and Pooh Sticks are still with the framer but these ones are back:

Pansy Fairy

Tulip Fairy

African Dawn

The Snowman

The Iris Fairy

The Narcissus Fairy

Winnie The Pooh & friends at the Station

The last one was a repair job as the glass had been smashed.

What do I think??? Hmmmm....

At first when I saw the flower fairies in those honey coloured frames I was shocked - I had expected them to be in a lighter wood. But I've got used to them now. The colour goes especially well with the Iris Fairy. The only one I'm not totally happy with is the Snowman, that definitely would have looked better in a lighter frame. But I let the framer use his discretion so its my fault really. Besides, I am so fortunate to have this man doing my framing I should count my lucky stars. He charged just £8 for each of these.

The best ones are African Dawn and the Iris Fairy. These because they go well with the frames and because in the case of African Dawn, the design completely covers the fabric, and with Iris Fairy it covers most of it. With some of the others there are big blocks of Aida on show. All of the above are on Aida, and the more I stitch, the less I like it. They would have looked so much better on evenweave. From now on I am going to avoid using Aida except in special cases, eg. the design covers the whole of the fabric, or it matches something I've already done (I have another Snowman in my stash to do). I will even swap it out when its provided in kits. You can always sell bits of Aida on ebay!!


Off to the framer

This little lot are all off to the framing man tomorrow.

Tulip Fairy - started & finished 2004

The Snowman - started 2003, finished 2004

The Passion of Dance - started and finished 2004

Pansy Fairy - started pre-1994, finished 2004

Narcissus Fairy - started & finished 2004

Iris Fairy - started & finished 2004

Pooh Sticks - started & finished pre 1994

Companions - started pre-1994, finished 2004

African Dawsn - started & finished 2004


Apple Blossom update

I've been busy with the Apple Blossom Fairies, but am fairly bored with it now I've finished the actual fairies and am purely working on flowers and leaves. Knowing me, when I'm doing the backstitch I'll be moaning about that and wishing I was doing flowers and leaves! Still, the end is in sight. For a change, I decided to do some of the french knots instead of leaving them all to the end (see the 2 yellow clumps at the bottom left). I am pleased with my success! I have never done french knots before but have read how to do them many times in magazines. Mine are not the neatest ever but not bad for a first attempt. I have learned that french knots cannot be unpicked so its especially important to get them right in the first place.

My Mum came round a week or so ago and picked up my wip and showed everyone the back enthusing about how neat it is. I'd never thought of my backs as especially neat but I guess it can be said that I don't trail long threads over the back and nor do I allow knots. I will unpick several rows of work just to get rid of a knot I hadn't noticed so I guess my work is pretty neat really. Quite flattering to have Mother being so enthusiatic about it!

I've been bidding for stitching stuff on ebay again. Mostly I get outbid because I have a ceiling above which I won't pay but I did get carried away with a Teresa Wentzler Romeo and Juliet kit, probably paying above the odds, but it does get quite irritating getting outbid by snipers on vitually everything so with this one I was determined to win. It hasn't arrived yet. What has arrived is the L&L Celtic Spring chart. I've been itching to get one of the Celtic charts for a while, I really want the Christmas one most of all but Celtic Spring is nice too.

I also won a kit of Sweet Pea fairies, which I probably shouldn't have bid on since I already have 3 larger flower fairies to do as well as the one I'm working on. They do look nice but take a long time and are not impressive in the way that a TW or L&L is. The smaller flower fairies are ok, such as the Iris Fairy which only took about 2 weeks to complete. But Apple Blossom Fairies seems to be going on forever! I will get there......