Monday, August 23, 2010

Keeping Myself in Stitches

One of the most enjoyable things about working in a shop catering to your own hobbies is the ability to bring home more projects and stash than you'll ever reasonably complete. I've had to establish a set of ground rules when looking at fabrics, threads, and charts in order to preserve some of my paycheck to actually take home. In order to buy a new piece of fabric, I need to have a good idea of what I'm going to stitch on it, threads must be designated to a project, and charts need to be something I'll stitch in the foreseeable future. John doesn't question it as long as he sees me enjoying my needlework, and in exchange he gets a new guitar here and there...

I like to have several stitching projects going at one time. I tend to get bored easily (ADD?), especially with borders, and this allows me several alternatives. It takes me longer to finish any one project, but I actually do finish them this way, as opposed to getting fed up and putting half-finished ones aside interminably. It's also nice to have at least one project that I can work on without magnification as it's more portable.

Right now, my primary focus is completing my pre-stitching kit for the Merry Cox class I'm taking in November. It's a French Bonbon box and needle book. I have one side for the bonbon box completed, and the border is almost complete on the needle book. It's taking a lot of discipline to stitch this border on all the pieces, but I'm committed to working on it daily - classes are too expensive not to get it done! I am planning to personalize it a bit, by changing the bird to an Anna's hummingbird - this is the type of hummingbird that hovered at my wedding bouquet as my father and I waited for the processional to start. Lovely memory, and one of the great things about having an outdoor wedding in Arizona. Here is what the completed box should look like, I'll post some photos of my stitching when I get further along.

I've also gotten off to a good start on Goode Huswife's 'Book of Spells'. I'm hoping to finish this into a cover for a collection of recipes or a stitching journal. The original is sized to fit on a standard paperback when stitched on 40 count linen, but I've decided to stitch it a bit larger and make my own book for inside. I'm stitching it on 36 count Rock Quarry and it's coming out perfectly. I love this fabric - it looks like an old book that was stored for many years and got moldy and discolored. Again, I need to take a few photos and will do so soon.

Ever since Tommy was born three years ago, I've been searching for the perfect birth sampler to stitch for him. So many of the designs are 'cutesy' and I wanted to find something that was more of a traditional sampler - one that he hopefully will still want to display as an adult. When Debra pointed out this model of Homespun Samplar's 'Bless this Child and Keep Him Safe', I realized that I'd found the right piece! I couldn't believe I hadn't noticed it before, but there are so many beautiful pieces at the shop that somehow I never saw it. I've converted this to AVAS Soie d'alger silks, and stitching it over one on 28 count Days Gone By. Photos to follow - I have the bottom line of text and the bottom flower band done, but set it aside to work on the bonbon box.

I've finally gotten brave enough to attempt some petit point on 40 count silk gauze. The following two designs are from Threads Through Time - and will end up smaller than 2x2 inches when completed! I'm in the process of choosing silk colors for these and will be stitching in Soie 100/3 and Gloriana's Luminescence. I can't wait to get them started, as miniature stitching is something I've wanted to try for some time.

When I get a moment to sit down with good lighting and a tripod, I'll be posting photos of my progress. Stay tuned!