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Saturday, 25 February 2017

cottage kitten - The World of Cross Stitching 253

Since I`m almost back to normal flu-wise and, happily, I`m at least several days away from that panicky stage where the idea suddenly hits me that I was hugely mistaken when I thought I was getting on surprisingly well with my current project, I have decided to post about the latest publication before I end up like with the last one, losing track of time.
I`m not sure when Issue 253 of WOCS is coming out, probably next Mon or Tue, but I`ve already received my subscriber copy and I was pleased to see that my little kitten is on the cover of the magazine.

I tried to look up who the designer is but could not find it - there is an image in the mag of the original artwork that has been translated into a cross stitch chart but to find out more about the artist, it seems I would have to register with Image by Design, which I don`t want to do (not that it`d be too much of a hassle, but because I`ve registered on so many sites lately that I`m running out of password ideas).
I know I always say this but I loved working on this project. Which is probably a good thing, come to think of it: it might even be a prerequisite of being a model stitcher, the ability to find something lovable in every project, otherwise cross stitch would become a chore and that`d be pretty dismal. And there was plenty to like in this one:

First and foremost, I love stitching in blocks, both in shapes and colours. This project had `daily blocks` on the one hand - the kitten, the curtain, the leaves, etc. - and on the other, nice big chunks of blue, yellow and greens, when I could just thread a dozen needles and off I went. I admit, I`m not the biggest fan of tons of backstitch, although I don`t hate it as much as some, because as I have said it before, I like the way it brings the pieces alive and besides, it usually means I`m towards the end of the project, near the finish line. There was plenty backstitch to be done here - if I remember correctly, those leaves almost reduced me to tears 😉 - but I quite enjoyed adding the details to the fur and especially the beams (how clever is that play with shadows under the window ledge and the thatched roof? Love it!). Anyway, the whole project took 85 hours and since I only had about two weeks for this one, I didn`t stop to take photos as often as I usually do; however, I still have a few pics that I managed to string together in a mini video to save scrolling time. Hope you enjoy it, happy stitching!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Welcome to our home sign - Cross Stitch Gold 136

Confession time: I don`t really know how long this magazine has been out - I seem to have lost a few days and weeks lately. I managed to get the flu about 3 weeks ago and since then this is the first day when I don`t feel like I`ve been thrown under a steamroller, so I`m making the most of it and (apart from stitching like mad because I have a deadline next Tuesday) I thought I`d post some pics of the chalkboard design from issue 136 of Gold.

I was so glad I got this project. There was a time when I stitched almost exclusively Durene Jones designs but then they stopped - not the designs, I mean she`s probably more prolific than ever; they just always seem to go to other stitchers, so I was glad that this one came to me. 😊 I love chalkboard style designs: they`re not the easiest things to stitch, true, and a lot of people don`t like working on black fabric (or evenweave, for that matter), but I think they`re worth the effort because the impact is stunning. I already love how the white pops on the black fabric - and then there are all these bright greens, pinks and oranges (not to mention SUNFLOWERS!!!), all working together to turn a traditional cross stitch staple, the home-sweet-home sampler, into something contemporary and fun. Oh, and it has chili peppers too, for goodness` sake - how cool is that? 😂
It also grew fairly quickly: the whole project took 42 hours and it might have been even less, had it not been for my new batch of needles that are too big-headed for French knots (since then, I`ve ordered another batch from another retailer and these are suddenly-wide types too, even though that`s not how they looked on the photo. I don`t know what happened to the gradually-tapered needles of yore that used to put up less of a fight... all I know is, I had to work hard on almost every individual FK on this project, and every new one ever since). So my hunt for good needles continues but in the meantime, here are some pics of how this sampler came to be - enjoy! 😊

5 hours in and the biggest chunk is practically done
- a great morale booster 😉

15 hours - SUNFLOWERS!!! 😀

20 hours - my high-tech fabric gridding method for evenweave 😉

42 hours - all finished (NB. the thread is NOT pulled on the H,
that must have happened during making up the hanging)

I hardly ever take pics of the back but I did for this one so I add it to the bunch,
I quite like the effect of the `dotted line` around the banner