Friday 15 March 2024

Shades of Indigo

I'm busy finishing three new quilts for our Capital Quilters exhibition in May. Plus I want to enter at least one of the challenges.  So I'm quilting every day but I can't show you any of that just yet. 

However, in the evenings when I collapse into my chair I pick up my cross stitch and I've made good progress on Shades of Indigo by Nicole of Northern Expressions Needlework. 

There's just one more border to go now.

Of course mine isn't stitched with indigo threads.  I've chosen my favourite greens and blues.  The problem is that when you deviate from the pattern you have to make all the colour decisions yourself!

I started off with Caron Waterlillies, but I've morphed into Threadworx, Weeks Dye Works and Classic Colorworks Belle Soie.  I may have a lot of options but it's still trial and error because what looks good on the skein may not look so good on the fabric.  Last night I unpicked quite a bit of the next border because it just didn't look right.

The end is in sight now and it may even be finished in 2024.  I'm going to another cross stitch retreat in August and it would be embarrassing to bring out the same piece I worked on at retreats in 2022 and 2023.  

Friday 1 March 2024

Pandemic Sampler

You probably thought you'd never see this day, but my Pandemic Sampler is fully finished and ready for framing!!

I had most of it finished in April 2022 (almost two years ago), but I still had all the back stitching to do, plus my initials - which were the real sticking point.  The back stitch took about a week of stitching just in the evenings.  The pattern is 20 pages of A4 paper so there was a fair bit to work through. 

My initials were an issue because "W"s are wide and I had to figure out how to fit them in.  In the end I came up with a dainty, subtle solution that I think works well. They're there, but they don't jump out at you.

I started this piece back in July 2020 when Long Dog Samplers released this pattern to commemorate the COVID-19 Pandemic.  The pattern is available for purchase here if you're interested.  

I used 28 count linen in Flax colourway because I didn't want to go blind stitching this.  Or give up because it was too hard to see what I was doing.  

I used 2 strands of Madeira silk and it was beautiful to work with, but definitely not cheap.  I possibly could have found cheaper silk alternatives, but my local embroidery shop had this in stock and ordering anything from overseas in the early stages of COVID was very unpredictable.  Things that previously took weeks to arrive were taking months or were just plain unavailable.  So I worked with what I could get and I'm very happy with the result.  

There's a lot of flurry going on in the Long Dog Sampler Facebook groups about Leap Day starts for 29 Feb 2024.  I've resisted all temptations and will continue to work on my WIPs in 2024.  

I have made one small new start since I finished Pandemic and I'll show you that in my next blog post.