It’s been several months since I updated my own stitching. As always, life is getting away from me due to the chaos at work. (sigh)
I haven’t done a whole lot of stitching this summer. I always slow down with it in the summertime – I want to be outside, going to the beach, enjoying the sunshine, and my stitching isn’t always that portable. This year I’ve had several weekends of driving long distance to PA and to NH, too. But I have made some progress, and I’ve focused on a small piece that’s easy to pick up and put down. I figure any stitching is a good thing, whether it’s on my current WIPs or not. Eventually life will allow me to get back to paring through some of the projects I have started.
That said, I admit to being frustrated. I love to stitch, and I simply don’t have the time to lose myself in it like I used to. Parenting does that, of course. As Max gets older, I figure I will have more time again. I see several of my online friends bringing their stitching to their kids’ sports practices. Maybe that’s when I’ll finally have the opportunity to get stuff done. I enjoy my get-togethers with my friends on Saturday. Sometimes I spend more time chatting than I do stitching, though.
I’m trying not to beat myself up about it… I think my frustration is just a symptom of some overall life balance issues I’m facing these days. I need to start making some decisions to improve things, and just need to kick myself in the butt about it.
ANYWAY…here’s what I’ve been up to since my last personal update:
Dear Rine Borduren is a free SAL pattern being released over the course of the year on Facebook. Each week is either a geometric or an animal design. There are 49 circles in all. Each stitcher is doing the project in their own interpretation, so colors and circle arrangements vary. This is a very relaxing piece to work on, and since the actual circles and filigree between them is the same throughout, it’s an easy piece to travel with… no pattern needed for those circles! Just take and go. Mine is on an old piece of 32 ct evenweave from Silkweaver called Poltergeist. I’m using DMCs – 839, 841, 924, and 926. Animal circles are with both blues. The geometric circles will be solid, one light then one dark. Until this summer, this was the piece I was keeping in my work commute bag… it’s easy to throw some stitches in to build out those circles on the train with no pattern to follow. With the piece of fabric I chose, I will have to lose a few of the circles. Thankfully I’m now so many circles “behind” on the releases that I’ll have the variety to select from as I develop this further. My piece will end up about a row’s worth short of the total. I’ll just select my least favorites.
To Have a Child by Rosewood Manor is the birth sampler I’m stitching for Max. I’d been stuck for a couple years because the alphabet to personalize within the pattern booklet is not the same as the name alphabet on the model picture. I was trying to sketch it by hand and kept putting the project away out of being paranoid I was doing it wrong. Turns out that Karen had published the actual alphabet as errata on her website (duh!). I could have solved this problem a long time ago! But the interesting thing? I actually did do a really good job sketching those letters by hand! So much so that I actually preferred my K to the one in the official alphabet… so I’m doing a little of both. Max’s name is now on it. I have the rest of his details sketched, but have not added them. This photo was from my last round of stitching on it, in early May. I was working at it for a good chunk of the weekend at Celebration of Needlework up in Nashua, NH. If you want to see the bands above my name section, it’s over here in my Flickr album. Once I get past the personalization part, I expect this piece will begin to fly again. The backstitching just goes a lot slower since I need to make sure I have things centered and spaced properly. I do have it drawn out… but even then, the drawing doesn’t always look right when finally put to fabric. I’ll happily just take the time to get it worded correctly!
In April, I finally finished the cross stitches in Floral Bellpull by Teresa Wentzler. My two last squares are reversed, so Peony (pictured) is square 5, and Pansies will be Square 6. This will be going back into my rotation come October after some life craziness with travel calms down. I’m hoping to complete the backstitching to this point by the end of the year, and then only have the final square in full to complete in 2018. Right now there’s this square to backstitch, plus about half of the Morning Glory square above it. I love my Wentzler patterns – I just haven’t had the mindset to focus on them in recent years, so they’re going very, very slowly. It didn’t help that I’d raided my supply box for Floral Bellpull for band sampler round robins and such a few years ago, and never replentished… so I’ve stumbled across some missing colors at times. I’m one of those stitchers who keeps a full supply for each project. At the end of the projects, all remaining floss goes back into a master pull for future things. I have no idea what happened to the threads I pulled out of these bins, though!
I Love New England is an obscure pattern put out by the now defunct Sampler Needlework store in Plymouth, MA. I came across the model piece on the wall of the shop many years ago (2000? 2002? somewhere in there), and fell in love with it. Aside from that model, I honestly haven’t seen any other finished copies of it… ever. I have no idea how many copies of the pattern were printed, and I don’t think it was ever offered beyond the shop’s walls.
Mine is on 28 ct antique white with the called for DMC threads. It’s a large piece, comprised of a text list with the simple flower and leaf border you see here and a large flower basket motif at the bottom. By the end of the year I’d like to be done with page one of six – which will essentially complete everything within this photo. I know the heart at the top is the center of the pattern, and I believe my lines on the left side go about to the bottom edge of this page of the pattern. There are no specialty stitches in this pattern – just straight cross stitches with light backstitching on the corners and the vines. No outlining.
My final piece is Bless This House – Mos Eisley Edition by Hardcorestitchcorps on Etsy (I call it “Bless This Hive.”) I started it for the annual “May The Fourth” Star Wars celebration and have worked it through the summer. I will be personalizing mine with our last name and “Est. 2007” to mark our 10th anniversary at the bottom of the piece. At the rate I’m going, this will be done by the end of September – for our anniversary. 🙂 It’s been a fun, easy stitch. All straight cross stitches. I am doing mine on 36 count Truffle from Picture This Plus, which is a very light pinky-brown. Due to the color, I did have to change the flowers in the yellow row to one shade darker (mine are 3045) because the originals disappeared into the fabric. The others are exactly what the pattern called for (including that blue on the top row – perhaps that’s a pattern typo? Every other version I’ve seen has orange flowers. I like my blue, though, so they’re staying.)
This is a small sampler – on 36 count it’s about 4 1/2 inches wide. Quick, fast stitch.
For those not immediately familiar with the play on the quote – its origins are from the original Star Wars movie, where Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker are looking over Mos Eisley before entering the city. Obi-Wan identifies Mos Eisley, and then says to Luke: “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” The perfect reference for a geeky household!
And that’s my update… hopefully I’ll keep on top of it through autumn!
Happy stitching everyone!