America the Beautiful

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Done at last!

I’m so happy to have this project completed. I probably won’t get around to framing it for a while, but I think it would look good in a distressed white frame. This has been a nice, calming project to work on. The specialty stitches were a bit tricky to count due to my eyesight not being what it once was. However, the colors are just so beautiful (and nowhere near as vibrant in the photos as they are in real life) and the patriotic feel of this project during the troubling times we are in was just so relaxing. We all need more relaxing right now, I think!

XXX
Carrie


Oops! This has not been my week!

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Oops. I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention when stitching the word “Shining”, as I accidentally stitched “Shing”. Luckily I noticed it before I moved on to the next word, and was able to rip it out and start again.

I normally don’t make mistakes. Not because I’m perfect, but because I am a slow stitcher and count, double count, and triple count everything. This goof was partly because I had just stitched the letters “in” and that part of the pattern was split from one page to the next. But I am going to blame the majority of the goof on the fact that I BROKE MY LAMP! The day before I had tried to adjust the goose-neck portion of my Might Bright¬†LED Task Light Table Lamp. In doing so, the clip part that clips onto the weighted base broke. It is just made of plastic, so I don’t see any way that I can fix it. Even if I could try to glue the pieces back together with something strong like Gorilla Glue, I would have to hold the pieces in place by hand for… a long time. As soon as you let go, it wants to clamp together, and would make the glued part bend in half. My husband did manage to rig the lamp up so I could still use it. The bulb itself is not broken, and neither is the goose-neck. His ingenious method of rigging it back together was to put the broken part where it is supposed to go and balancing two canned goods on either side of the clamp. Uh, yeah, it really does look spiffy, doesn’t it? My daughter’s Sponge Bob blanket is being used to ensure that if the cans fall off, they don’t ding the end table. I have to be VERY careful while stitching to not bump into the whole setup, or else it falls over. (And yes, I know this because I did knock the entire contraption over once when cutting off a new piece of floss and my left hand got a bit too close.) What makes me the most upset is that I just bought this for myself at Christmas last year. I have not stitched much since then, and don’t even have 20 hours of use out of this lamp. There is no way to replace just the broken part, either.

I am hoping there are no more stitchy disasters until at least next week!

XXX
Carrie


So Patriotic

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I have not been able to cross stitch much at all in the last few weeks. After several months of being closed down due to COVID, all of our family’s doctors offices have now been calling to schedule appointments that were missed since March. It seems like every week we have at least 3 appointments, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. One appointment I am looking forward to is the eye doctor… I have started taking my glasses off to see things up close, like my phone, which is not like me at all! I can’t really see anything without my glasses on, but now I am getting to the point where my glasses aren’t working for seeing far away OR up close. My doctor warned me a couple of years ago it was getting time for the dreaded “b” word, but I have been lucky enough not to need a prescription change (until now). I think it is finally time for… *gasp*… bifocals!

This Americana project has been fun, but the white stitching is just not working at night time even with my beloved task lamp. It is much more suited to daytime stitching, but I don’t really have the option to stitch during the day. So I have been struggling to get it done a little bit here and there, in the evenings when everyone else has either gone to bed or is watching TV. I am slowly but surely plugging away at it.

XXX
Carrie


America, America

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I fell in love with this project by Ursula Michael as soon as the August issue of Just Cross Stitch magazine came in the mail.

I knew I had some blue hand dyed Jobelan called Babbling Brook that would work out perfectly, and I decided to make this project even easier by stitching all of the red with DMC variegated floss instead of three separate shades of red. This way, I wouldn’t have to stop and change colors every few stitches. I played around with different colors of the variegated shades and color variations, and and finally settled on DMC 115. It is a bit darker shades of red instead of the really bright reds used in the magazine, but I think it will look great.

The coloring from the camera doesn’t show off how great this actually looks. This part stitched up pretty quickly and I can’t wait to get to work on the rest of it! I am going to have to do a bit of tweaking on the design, though. The wording is charted as “and amber waves of grain” but it should actually be “for amber waves of grain”. My OCD would never let me stitch this with the wording wrong, so I am going to have to use the word “for” from the line above, and just move the entire bottom line up so that it doesn’t run into the word “America”. When I get to that part of the chart I think I will stitch the amber waves line first, then work my way up from there.

XXX
Carrie




What’s Next?

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I have been thinking about what project I should start next. I want to stitch the mermaid, but I can’t seem to find the right fabric. If it is the right type and count, then the color is all wrong. If the color is perfect, the piece of fabric isn’t big enough for that project. I don’t want to buy any new fabric since my stash is so huge, so for now I think I will move on to something else. I really want to work on the sugar skull from the 2016 Just Cross Stitch Halloween issue. I thought I had the perfect fabric and floss for that, but I am worried that it won’t be enough floss (I only have one skein). So instead I have decided to stitch it on white fabric, and use lots of different shades of DMC Color Variations. Last night my daughter and I sat down to color together – her with an adult coloring book (those pages take FOREVER!) and me with the skull pattern. I used colored pencils to color in each area with different shades of purple, pink, teal, yellow, and green. Then I got out the whole set of CV floss and tried to pick which colors I like best. I think these shades will look nice on white fabric, and I will keep the lime green fabric and over-dyed silk floss that I had picked out, for something else.

XXX
Carrie


The Finished Heart!

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Variegated Heart, Finished

This stitched up so quickly after I got the chart figured out. I am going to frame it in a square white frame and put it in Adrienne’s room – she is crazy about anything pink and purple, and loves hearts. I think it turned out great. The fabric was 32 count Carnation Pink Belfast Linen. I loooooove Zweigart fabrics! There’s just something about that orange line in the selvedge. I can actually feel the difference when I have an inferior piece of fabric in my hands. I think I will stay away from 32 count fabric for a while, though. I need to get my eyes rested a bit.

Now I need a new project. I think the Peacock Tapestry needs to come out of hiding…

XXX
Carrie


Okay, Now We’re Stitching!

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This variegated heart project started out last summer as a way to unwind while on vacation. Yeah, right. The chart was so horrible to stitch from, I decided to give up until I could get home and make a photocopy of it to work from. 6¬†months later, here we are… I made a photocopy of the chart as soon as I finished Autumn Leaves, and then sat down with a full container of Wite-Out tape in an attempt to cover up all of the heavy grid lines. I do not mind grid lines that show you every 10 stitches on a pattern, but this chart was absolutely rediculous. Every tenth grid line was the EXACT SAME thickness as the backstitching on the heart. And the ENTIRE chart is backstitch, no full cross stitch at all! Generally, the grid lines are there to help you keep your place, but do not interfere with your stitching. The ones in Just Cross Stitch magazine, however, are another story. I love the charts this magazine puts out, but they are horrible to follow. All of the symbols are in black and white. All of the grid lines are in black. All of the backstitch is done in black. It makes me want to put down my stitching and jot off a letter to the publishers of the British magazines to let them know how great they are. Because compared to the US mags, they ROCK! So anyway, I spent about an hour whiting out all of the lines that were not supposed to be there, based on the color photo of the finished piece in the magazine. Then I was ready to stitch. I am using a red marker to mark off the stitches as I go along. Kind of a pain to keep putting down my work to do that, but it is making it easier to stitch. In one day this heart is already half done. Compared to the 1/5 or so I had completed last summer, after a week of stitching.

Variegated Heart

I guess I need to start thinking about what my next project will be!

XXX
Carrie