It’s still summer, and I do have that new bicycle project to start on. But sometimes you just need a break to work on something really simple. I love these Bent Creek Zipper kits because they are stitched on 18 count fabric over 2, and with pearl cotton – only one strand! Woo-hoo! The kit came with a really dark brown shade of DMC for the pumpkin, which I thought looked really off. So I found this skein of Chrysanthemum from Weeks Dye Works in my stash and it looks like a wonderful pumpkin shade!
But after I had stitched quite a bit of the pumpkin, I realized I was probably going to run out of floss, and I didn’t have another one. I could order one, but the odds that it would be an exact match would be pretty slim. So I started strategizing. I stitched the far right side of the pumpkin, then the far left side. To do the middle sections I would stitch a couple of rows, jump over to an empty spot, and stitch a couple of more rows. This way if I had to pick 2 solid colors of DMC to fill in, they would not be all in the same place. As I stitched more and more, I filled in the empty areas I had, in a sort of zig-zag motion. When it was getting close to the end I could finally sigh with relief and I completed the pumpkin with about 7 inches of floss to spare. Whew!
The photo doesn’t clearly show the colors. The raven is black and the stem is dark green. The star is a brown color stitched with the only variegated floss that came in the kit. The pumpkin is made up of two shades, orange and coral.
While I love stitching quick and easy designs, especially smalls that I can use to decorate my home throughout the seasons, the downside is that they usually take about as much time to stitch as they do to kit up! Finding a design, printing it out, gathering the floss, finding the right color and count fabric in a large enough piece (while not being so large as to ruin something that would be perfect for a large stitch), oversewing the edges on the sewing machine, and mounting in a hoop or frame is very time consuming! I feel like I will have to soon kit up a bunch more designs. But in the meantime, here is the start of my new stitch, another freebie from Cheryl McKinnon (Tiny Modernist).
I love how her free designs only use a few colors and have no fractional or backstitches. These are the perfect projects for sitting on the couch watching TV or waiting in the car or doctor’s office. This design will have a pumpkin, squirrel, a couple of leaves, and an acorn on one side which will all be reproduced mirror image on the other side.
Tonight I finished up Autumn Flowers, and then had to decide if I wanted to rip out the two small flowers and redo them, or just leave it as it was. Here is the finished project along with the picture of how it should have looked.
In the end, I had plenty of floss left and there was enough time to rip out and restitch the two flowers tonight. I felt that if I didn’t redo it, I would forever look at it and wonder why I had left it. I am so glad I decided to frog the orange flowers and make them yellow.
Frogging is a term cross stitchers use when they make a mistake and have to rip out stitches. “Rip it, rip it” sounds like a frog saying ribbit, ribbit. Get it? Generally, I don’t make mistakes when I cross stitch. I am a slow stitcher, and stop every few stitches to cross off what I have done on my chart. On large pieces, I grid. And I am always double checking to make sure I am doing the right thing. So I rarely ever have to frog my work. But on this project, I wasn’t even looking at the key. I knew I was to use two colors of variegated threads, yellow and orange. And since I had done the first flower with the orange on the outside, I just assumed I was supposed to do the small flowers the same way. Oops! But it wasn’t much work to rip out my mistakes and start over. And I am so pleased with the end result! So often I get caught up in large projects that take months to finish, and my stitching time is so limited. So I am glad I was able to get a quick finish done.
Last night my daughter wanted to read her new Owl Diaries book aloud to me. We sat on her bed and she read while I stitched. Occasionally, she would show me a funny picture from her story. I didn’t get a whole lot of stitching done (reading, although something she excels at, is not her favorite pastime) but I’m glad to have three flowers done as well as the start of the basket.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying very close attention to the pattern, and apparently the two small outside flowers are the reverse of the larger central one. The outside was supposed to be yellow, with the orange for the inside. Oops! Now I have to decide if I want to keep it as is, or rip out the two small flowers and start over. I definitely won’t do anything about it now, I will wait until it is completed to see how it looks, as well as see how much floss I have left over.
One little flower peeking through after a nice and relaxing stitching session!
I ended up choosing 32 count linen, three shades of Weeks Dye Works floss, and one shade of DMC Color Variations (for the orange). I just didn’t have a suitable orange color in my stash of Weeks, and I wasn’t happy with any of my silk choices. I had the right shades, but none of them were variegated, they were all solid. I really wanted the orange to have the variations in it like the stitched sample had.
I have decided that my next project will be from the latest issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine, October 2017. Featured on page 15 is this lovely piece called Autumn Flowers, designed by Ladonna Snellbaker of Black Branch Needlework. I am about to raid my stash for the appropriate supplies, but I am guessing that I won’t have all the threads called for, as they are Needlepoint Inc Silks (one color) and Gloriana hand dyed silk floss (three colors). Actually, I doubt I have any of those! But no worries, I should be able to find something that matches closely, and most likely silk. Or, maybe I will find overdyed cotton floss to use. The 32 count linen might be a challenge to my eyes, as I am used to working on 28 count linen. But this chart isn’t very large and features only whole stitches (yay!) so it should work up quickly.