I began cross stitching nine years ago. I had tried the craft back in 1996 but found it too difficult and my ambition to learn how to stitch quickly evaporated. In 2001 I flew to China for the first time and was desperate to find something to keep myself occupied during an 18+ hour flight. I had never flown further than the length of the East Coast before so I was terrified at the thought of flying “all the way” to China.
I was all about the crocheting in 2000 but that was an awful lot of bulk to pack for China (and for a business trip there is no checking of luggage – you need it, you haul it). I had to have something small to fiddle with in case the two paperbacks I brought along were boring!
I picked up a small cross stitch kit, a hoop and teensy scissors and somewhere over the Pacific Ocean I set to my task. I had already finished one of my paperback books (I’m a fast reader) and we weren’t even halfway to China. I had to save the second book for the flight home!!
I read the instructions conscientiously and began my cross stitch journey. By the time the plane landed in Seoul, South Korea I had a small grouping of perfectly laid stitches. I worked on the projects (apples in a basket surrounded by a blue checkered border) for the rest of the trip and proudly presented it to my Mom as a gift.
She was intrigued and impressed and wanted to learn to stitch herself. Over the past years we have slowly explored the stitchy joys available to us and I still love learning or finding some new treasure!
This year I made some major leaps in my stitching. I had never stitched on anything but Aida cloth and had only experience using 14ct, 16ct or 18ct. Aida.
I tried my first project on Evenweave this Spring and managed to complete Terea Wentlzer’s Futurecast on 28ct. evenweave.
I enjoyed this pattern because it let you select you own colors (and provided guidance on how to do so!)
I used teals, greens and yellows with a pop of purple metallic for his crystal ball!
I promised myself that if I was able to complete the Evenweave project that I would tackle a Nora Corbett Fairy or Pixie design on linen. After much internal debate I decided to begin work on Nora’s Halloween Fairy from Cross Stitch and Needlework September 2008 magazine. Even though that is her official name I still like to call her Trick or Treat!
She was stitched on 32ct. Belfast linen in Precious Metals by Silkweaver. This was my first time stitching on linen and it was a slight adjustment but I fell in love with the way my needle flew through the fabric with so little resistance.
It was also my first project that was extensively beaded and I found that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would (after the investment in some beading needles that is!)
I worked on Trick or Treat all through the summer and had her finished (but not framed) in time for Halloween. I was very proud of myself for this accomplishment since it was my first linen and beaded project!
I began Solaria Gallery’s freebie of Venetian Girl with Mask last November. I finished her in time for my niece’s 19th birthday in August. I framed her up in a chunky, black frame and left plenty of white 14ct. Aida around her to act as a built-in matte. “Purple Girl” was funky and fun – just like my niece. I hope she loves it as much as I loved making it for her.
I love finding freebie patterns on-line and have built up quite a collection over the past year.
It is a nice (inexpensive) way to experiment with a particular designer. For example it was nice to find out that Solaria Gallery doesn’t rely on lots (if any) backstitching. So for those of you that hate backstitching go check them out!
I personally enjoy backstitching. I feel like I am seeing the hidden design come to life right before me.
The little accents and curves placed at just the right spots make my stitches jump right off the cloth. Call me crazy but I like it.
Sometime in the Spring I worked on Passione Ricamo’s Fairy Celebration II freebie on Saphhire Sky 28ct linen. I did her in Ecru DMC and found a frame in the exact same color (and it was on sale!) This was part of my birthday gift to my cousin.
Joan Elliot’s Fairy Alphabet helped me make a quickie bookmark with a touch of blending filament and beads for my sister’s birthday.
My grandmother received my knock-off Brittercup Kitty for an Easter gift.
I didn’t have the pattern so I free handed it from a picture of the completed project.
Not perfect, but close enough for me!
Dragon Dream’s Tale of Wonder was such fun to do. I used my own color pallete for this one and my Dad made the solid oak frames for it and the pink castle.
I made the castle pattern in PC Stitch using JC Penney’s Princess baby bedding as an inspiration since both pieces were for a nursery.
I did Stitchy Kitty’s Meow Spoken Here (another Freebie!) on 28ct. opalescent Lugana in Ocean by Silkweaver. It got whipped up during my SAL group’s weekend SAL in DEcember. stuck to the pattern except I used two peridot beads for the eyes instead of french knots in DMC 3371. Kitties need green eyes not brown ones! You gotta draw the line somewhere!
Another quickie scottish thistle bookmark on Oatmeal Aida for my grandmother’s birthday in June. What better bookmark for the trashy Scottish bodice-ripper novels I bought her than this?
My last finish of the year is also the last one in this post. A cute little penguin from the Cross Stitcher December 2008 issue’s alphabet. I modified the pattern so the penguin’s letter of the alphabet is not included. He got stitched on 28ct. opalescent Lugana in Karma Sparkle by Silkweaver. And I am definitely going to be reordering that color again. Very cute!
He is also my first machine finished ornament with my new sewing machine! My older niece Colleen is getting this with her Christmas presents this year. I hope she likes it as much as I do. Because I REALLY enjoyed having him on my tree for his photo opportunity! I think that is all of my finishes for the year! Now on to 2010!