After ripping out the wording because it was too low and got in the way of the border, then restitching it, then ripping out more because I STILL didn’t have it right, I am finally done with this project! It took much longer than it should have to complete, the border was really boring to stitch, and some of the colors that came in the kit were just awful and needed to be replaced (the pumpkin was supposed to be stitched with DMC 975!)… but now that it is complete I just love it. I am usually not a big fan of buttons as embellishments but the green heart button is really cute. I have another Bent Creek zippers kit to work on for Halloween but the pumpkin on that one uses the same dark brown floss, so I am going to replace it with a Weeks Dye Works color like I did here. But since one skein was exactly enough without really having any extra to spare, I think I am going to have to order another one before I start. And actually, I should order two skeins and use both of those and keep the one I have for something else, since the dye lots will likely be quite different.
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.
Baby It’s Cold Outside from the 6 Snow Belles series by Lizzie Kate. Stitched with DMC floss including Color Variations #4047 on Wichelt Imports hand dyed Jobelan in color “sand castle”. Finished off with a wooden snowflake button from Amazon and a Bent Creek snap.
Back in November I posted about wanting to start this Bent Creek Happy Holidays chart but not knowing which fabric and floss color scheme to go with (you can read that post here). I ended up going with the pale green fabric and the red, green, and yellow floss. I think that choice was a winner!
This piece stitched up very quickly. Instead of using the snap from the chart, I opted for a tiny green button from my stash.
Because I didn’t want the Weeks Dye Works “Noel” floss to be too overpowering, I used regular DMC floss for the outer red border and the yellow blocks at the top and bottom. I think this was a great choice. They complemented the overdyed floss and made the lettering stick out instead of everything just blending in.
This will eventually be finished off as a small cushion or flat fold.
I finished this cushion a couple of weeks ago but didn’t have any Christmas decorations up to display it and take a photo. So far, this is still all we have as of December 11. We need to put a tree up but I just don’t know when that will happen. Santa can’t put gifts under the tree if there isn’t one, so that is next up on the to-do list. We plan to have a real tree this year (I’ve never had a real tree, ever!) so it will be a lot more work than just dragging the artificial tree out of the garage. My husband said we also need tinsel if we are going to have a real tree (normally I use wired ribbon). The only place I could find any was target.com so that is on the way and should be here Monday.
The weather is absolutely horrendous right now. My daughter was supposed to have a bowling Christmas party with Girl Scouts but they cancelled it a few hours ago. I am somewhat thankful even though that will mean a lot of disappointed kids. I heard from one mom that the roads are really treacherous and I’m glad to stay inside the warm house. Maybe it’s time for some Christmas music and a mug of hot chocolate!
I hope you have a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year!
I have been looking for several quick and easy projects to kit up so that I can always have something ready to work on when needed, especially if I need to take a project on the go (like in the car for when I’m waiting). I had this chart laying around and liked it but thought that the brown color scheme seemed all wrong for the holidays. So I picked out two pieces of fabric that I like and two skeins of Weeks Dye Works variegated floss. My plan is to stitch the design with only one color of floss, to make it easier and faster.
The tough choice is, which do I choose? I absolutely love the pink fabric with the Bethlehem floss, but the green fabric with the Noel floss is more “Christmasy”. I also have a lot of pieces of fabric like the green, whereas I only have that one piece of pink. And I only have one skein of Noel, whereas I have 4 skeins of Bethlehem. I sort of want to save the pink fabric for a design a bit more “worthy” of the fabric. But I have yet to come across anything in my stash that would work with only one skein of floss and on that small size of piece of fabric. I think I will think about this for a few days!
I decided to finish off Santa and his reindeer as a long cushion. First I picked a coordinating calico fabric and cut strips which I sewed to the sides of the design.
Then I cut off the excess fabric from the top and bottom.
Next I pressed the seams open.
I then sewed on a piece of white ric rac down the length of each strip of fabric (but I forgot to take a picture of that part…oops!)
Next I picked out a different piece of coordinating fabric and sewed that to the back, with right sides together. I left one side open for turning.
After turning the piece right side out I stuffed it with fiberfill and used a chopstick to push the stuffing into the corners.
Then I finger pressed the side seams to the inside and held them together with Wonder Clips. The next step will be to hand sew the opening closed. I probably won’t be able to do this for a few days because this week is going to be crazy with doctor visits and other appointments. I’ll post pictures of the finished result when I’m done! And in the meantime I will look for my next project.
I can’t believe how quickly this little project stitched up!
Now I just need to figure out how to finish this off. I’m looking forward to doing more Bent Creek patterns in the future. I really enjoyed using pearl cotton, although I wasn’t sure at first how I would like it.
My newest project is a Bent Creek Zipper Kit, called Santa’s Reindeer. This is my progress for the last couple of days.
This is going to be much larger than I expected. The fabric is supposed to be 18 count, although I checked it in several places and it is definitely 20 count. But it is to be stitched over 2 threads, so I am ending up with a 10 count project. I was thinking this would be small enough to make into a small cushion to use as an ornament or decoration but I don’t think that will be the case. At any rate, I am loving this project. The counting is so easy and the pearl cotton makes this one stitch up so much faster! There is no separating of floss and because it is only one strand it is not tangling or knotting at all. There is also large areas of one color, which I love. My brain fog has been so bad lately that counting is difficult, and my hand pain makes it hard to hold onto anything, such as bowls and cups, my phone, and embroidery hoops. I love that my sit-on stand has a hoop adapter so I can stitch hands free!
Recently my daughter got sick and of course as soon as she was better I caught it. But she was only really sick for 2 days, and I am now on day 10. It started with a sore throat, sinus pain, and fatigue. Then after I got on antibiotics it turned into a cough, ear pain, and chest pain. Luckily no fever, loss of taste or smell, or other issues. But the overwhelming exhaustion is really kicking my butt. I started out in bed, then moved to the couch, and now am able to do a few things throughout the day like throwing a load of laundry in the washer and loading the dishwasher. But that’s about it. The TV has been my only companion, as I just can’t keep my eyes open enough to look at a chart or a needle.
Today I did manage to overcast the edges of two pieces of fabric on the sewing machine. I had two projects picked out before I got sick, Bent Creek’s “Santa’s Reindeer” and a Halloween design by Emma Congdon from one of the British magazines. I am not sure which magazine or which issue, but I am stitching mine from what I believe is the October 2020 issue of Вышивка крестиком, a Russian magazine. I know it was in the British magazines first, because I have the issue it was originally in somewhere. I think it was an issue of Cross Stitch Crazy, but I can’t be certain. When I wanted to stitch this design I couldn’t find the issue it was in, and the Russian version (which I subscribe to through Zinio) happened to have a clear photo of the designs on the cover.
The Bent Creek design will be (I believe) the first time I have cross stitched with pearl cotton. Why this company chooses to use pearl cotton instead of embroidery floss, I’m not sure. But it should be interesting and a pretty quick stitch, as the design is small and not many color changes. I love the addition of a peppermint button on Santa’s hat.
The Halloween design is something I have wanted to stitch for a good year now and never got around to it.
There are 4 designs but this one is my favorite. I even found the perfect piece of Aida that I didn’t even know I had in my stash… it is 14 count white but it is actually glow in the dark! I have no idea where I picked that up. It is only big enough for one design, unfortunately, but I am not sure I would ever stitch the other 3 designs anyway, as I have so many things I would love to do. I definitely can’t get this done in time for Halloween this year, but I love stitching all sorts of holiday designs all through the year. If we can have Christmas in July, why not Halloween in November?