February flew by. I know it’s a short month… but I feel like yesterday was the first week of the month, and poof! Here we are. And to be a good Wipocalypse host (and Smalls SAL participant), it’s time for me to update my stitching for the month!
Between a snow day from work, a three day weekend, and then a three day stitchy retreat (plus my normal stitchy times with the girls), I managed to get quite a bit of stitching done. I wasn’t quite settled on any one piece after finishing Blue Jeans & Daisies last month, so I indulged in some bouncing around between projects that were asking for some attention. I’ll get on track again for March, since I have a month-long stitch-a-long to participate in that will honestly really work for some of my yearly goals.
For this month’s Smalls SAL, my goal was to finish stitching You Were Hatched by Teresa Wentzler. And I almost got there. But not quite. The cross-stitches are done. The backstitching is mostly done. And then as I was stitching it, some little tendrils of adaptation started brewing in my brain… so it’s evolving from a Baby’s First Christmas ornament (now four years overdue) into something else. I have a bunch of fabric around this piece because I hadn’t quite settled on how to finish it. Originally I’d thought to do a mini birth sampler – I saw someone who adapted it into Teresa’s needle book (“my needles… touch them and your toast”), and then the ornament idea came up. But as I meandered around all that backstitching, I realized I had an opportunity to do a little writing here, too.
And so I’ll be playing on the title… “You Were Hatched…” and write a short bedtime story verse about Max’s birth underneath the sampler. What’s a little more backstitching if it’s in script, right?
I’m happy with what I got done in a day and a half, though. Very happy. It’s been a while since I’ve gone Wentzlering (yes, that is a verb… because I say so). This was a good warm-up project for next month.
Most of my month was spent stitching on Astrology Sampler from Witches Stitches. I got through the tense moments of the Super Bowl with this one. I’ve watched a couple movies while working on this one. It’s moved along well. Although now that I’m looking at the photo here, I may not have had enough light to really capture it. Hopefully it’s showing up on your screen.
I’m stitching this on 14 ct Aida (because when I started it, black linen and evenweave were a little trickier to find), and it’s stitched with the called-for threads.
I miss Witches Stitches. They had so much potential to be a good Pagan pattern company among all of the Biblical verses that are everywhere. I wonder what ever happened to them?
My next piece was the Never Ending Sampler. I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped on this one this month… I’d brought it to Stitcher’s Hideaway, intending for it to get a day’s worth of love on the 2nd day, but instead was pushing through that backstitching. So it only got touched this month to finish Band #5.
I decided to add in some greenish blue to the mix. I’ve really been waffling on the ecru. It’s pretty, but very difficult to stitch with, and I’m not sure I like how it looks. So we’ll see. I’ll continue to tinker!
The first full 20-band sampler panel is now done. I might keep pace with the new panel of bands on a separate piece of fabric, and also try to throw a band per week on this one.
My next two pieces are part of my “Stitch From Stash” challenge (which I fully admit I completely blew out of the water with shopping at Hideaway… but meh… I’m okay with that). I intentionally am only using things from my stash that didn’t already have a project home.
One piece I’d been looking forward to starting, but promised myself I would not start until Blue Jeans was done is the Vakje Per Week. For the past two years since I stumbled on the Randje Per Week blog, I’ve loved the idea of the playful band sampler stitch-a-long. Last year they did an alphabet sampler in parts (which I’ve saved for possible stitching later). This year they decided to do sampler rectangles with various patterns. Each stitcher picks fabric and threads, and personalize as they see fit. There is a Facebook group for this Stitch-a-Long, although the patterns are released on the blog. It’s fun to see the variation in colors and creativity! I’ve barely started on mine, as you can see. My colors are a DMC green and a spool of 12 Wt. Sulky thread (#4010, Caramel Apple) that’s been sitting around with no project to call home for a few years. I’m really liking the Sulky thread so far. It changes color very fast, as you can see in my loops at the top and in the pinwheels. You only need to use the single ply for good coverage, and because of that – it sits beautifully. If you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend it. Lots of pretty colors to choose from! I bought mine at a quilting shop.
My final project was the other free stitch-a-long that my friend Becky discovered on Facebook. It’s called Dear Rine Borduren, and it’s a series of circles. The motif for each circle is being released each Friday – one week is a geometric pattern, the next week is an animal. Like the Vakje Per Week, the colors are entirely up to the stitcher. I decided to do mine on a very old piece of Silkweaver I’ve had sitting around for ages – 32 ct Poltergeist Lugana. I selected four thread colors – two browns (for the circle and the filigree between them) and two peacock blues (for the circle motifs). Circle #1 is now complete in the lower right corner. This piece is unusual because the designers started the filling from the bottom right corner – so it’s going to develop the completely opposite way of how I’m used to starting big pieces! I’m looking forward to watching this one develop.
So… for the Stitchy Blog Question of the Month: What is your favorite stitch other than the standard cross stitch? I have a hard time deciding between Algerian Eyelets and Rice Stitch… so I’m showing both! Algerian Eyelets I love when they get more complicated – with more pulls on that center hole, it forms a very pretty open textured hole without cutwork (which I’ve yet to try). This image shows a very simple one over four threads. You could put a stitch through every single hole, rather than skipping over one like they do in this diagram.
The Rice Stitch in its simplest form is essentially a double-sized cross stitch with four smaller leg crosses to create a big diamond over the cross (or four little cross stitches, with legs all askew… much like children). Rice stitches can also have additional small legs, giving it even more texture and making it look more like a cross stitch with triangular caps, rather than just a simple crossed strand. They’re very easy to do, but when done in a large group give pieces a neat braided texture.
And that’s my update for this month. Next month, I’ll be doing an all-Wentzler, all the time stitching month, as Stitch Maynia over on Facebook has Teresa as the featured designer for March. (her projects don’t apply to me at all… nope, not a single one going… nuh-uh.)
Until next month… happy stitching!