Friday, 20 March 2015

Celtic Snow

On Tuesday night I finished my Celtic Snow embroidery. It's a wonderful design by Nicole of Northern Expressions Needlework.

my Celtic Snow by Norther Expressions Needlework

I've been working on this piece since July 2014. Although I have done other things in between, it's been a long journey with this one. It's the biggest cross stitch I've done in the last 10 years. It's 15" x 15".

with an A4 piece of paper for comparison

I always stitch with a hoop because it keeps the tension even. I did all the stitching before I started adding the beads because I knew the beads would prevent me from using the hoop. After I'd done all the beading in the centre with the hoop, I put the piece onto my roller bars so I could continue to add the beads. It wasn't easy working on the roller bars because the linen is quite a loose weave, but I got there in the end. there are 1,400 beads in this piece!



When I'm attaching beads I always go through each bead twice to make a X. That holds the bead straight. I also keep all the beads going in the same direction. That did result in some unpicking because sometimes I accidentally turned the piece 90 degrees. There's no obvious top or bottom, the design is symmetrical. In these cases I tie a piece of coloured cotton at the top, but I must have ignored that at times.



I really felt thrilled when I woke up the next morning and took it off the roller bars. I gave it a light press, took some photos and dashed off to the framers. I took along a piece of dark fabric because I knew their padding was white, and I didn't want white behind the linen, I wanted a dark colour.



The framers will be finished in about 3 weeks and I'll be excited to see how it looks.

For the embroiderers out there:
- the fabric I used is Midnight Tryst 28 count linen from Hand Dyed by Stephanie. It is beautiful and gives this piece a dark mysterious background. It's the shade Nicole used in her sample and the photo on the pattern. Nicole used much finer linen, but I've given up on anything finer than 28 count. If I'd chosen 32, 36 or 40 count linen I don't know if I would have ever finished.
- I used the recommended Overdyed Silks from Dinky Dyes - lovely pastel shades.
- I couldn't get all the exact beads, so substituted to those available locally.
- I bought the pattern from 123Stitch.  It's really cheap - less than USD 20 - so I just don't understand people who rip off these designers by posting the pattern online.



This was the 4th and final item on my Finish Along list for Q1. It means I'm another step closer to getting back to my la passacaglia which I'm excited about. I'm now an administrator of the group on facebook (Millefiori/ la passacaglia English Paper Piecing) so I keep seeing everyone else's progress. I'm itching to get back to mine, but have one more long term project to finish first. Aren't I being good?


21 comments:

magistra said...

You are being excellent. I know how hard it is not to be working on what you're excited about, but I'm sure glad you finished this piece. It is really stunning. I don't think I would ever try something so large and complicated, but it sure is beautiful! I bet you are so glad and so proud to have done it!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

so beautiful

Terry said...

Very stunning, A lot of work, hope you frame it and show it off

Emmbee said...

Congratulations on this stunning piece of embroidery! It is absolutely beautiful and a credit to your handwork skills and your perseverance! Well Done!

Oops-Lah said...

What a labour of love! But it was well worth the effort as your Celtic Snow turned out stunning and you should be proud of yourself.

HeathersSewingRoom said...

Such a great feeling to have something that you have been working on for some time come to completion. There is something to be said for handwork like your piece, A family heirloom.

Helen@Till We Quilt Again said...

Your embroidery is stunning and the beautiful beads send it over the top! This is amazing!

Maryse said...

Wow! Such beautiful work, it's amazing!

Her Indoors said...

This is just gorgeous, Wendy. I used to cross stitch a lot but not at this level. I am going to share this with my friend in Germany who loves anything Celtic.

Lorraine said...

You are being good. Celtic winter is a beauty.

Julie said...

You obviously have an amazing amount of patience. Beautiful work.

ukcitycrafter said...

Your attention to detail has really paid off, this is beautiful. Well done for getting it to the framers straight away, I still have pieces that I finished 20 years ago waiting to be framed!

ukcitycrafter@live.co.uk

Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl said...

Congratulations, Wendy! It is stunning and turned out so beautifully. The bead work really adds a nice shine to it!

Granny Maud's Girl said...

So, where are you going to hang this framed masterpiece?

Ruth said...

Its beautiful, shines and sparkles like a real snowflake!

Allison CB said...

Wonderful!!!

Kamie Murdock said...

This is absolutely gorgeous, Wendy! Just stunning!

Adrianne @ On the Windy Side said...

This is stunning Wendy! That is a serious number of beads! Can't wait to see it back from the framer in all its glory.

Mad Cat Quilts said...

Very Lovely!

dq said...

It is beautiful and tons of work!

NickiJ said...

This is not really my cup of tea, but it is a stunning beauty which must have given you plenty of tired fingers and thumbs and miles of patience!