Friday, July 31, 2015

What have I been cross stitching?

I decided to try and do a weekly "What have I been cross stitching?" post. I'm still looking for some good clip art to use: I think I might use take my own photo!  Check back next week to see what I decided!   I'll have to see how it goes!  Sometimes progress is slow on cross stitch, I'll have to see how many people stick around for the weekly post!  
So this week, I am sharing my big project with you.  I haven't done a big cross stitch project in a long long time!!!  I normally do small projects for my display boards which I have shown here before.  And I am thinking of doing a post of the boards themselves since I seemed to have a lot of interest in them- they are really easy to make! Leave me a comment if you would like to see the display boards up close and how to make your own!
My large project came from an idea I have of doing some of my favorite books or movies as cross stitch for a future game room/ theater room  in our new house (that's when we actually start to build a new house!).  Instead of just finding posters, I wanted to make the art on my walls.  This is where the idea came from.  Obviously, this means I have to do bigger projects.  This project is 300X413 stitches.  My material is ~23" X 29" which leaves a 3" boarder around the design for matting later.  I chose to do it on light oatmeal 18 count material.  The light oatmeal will help reflect the light more, since this is a full coverage piece (no white spaces in the pattern) and I am using tent stitches.  Most long time stitchers know that an X is a stitch.  In tent stitching, you just do one leg of the X.  So my stitches are just this:  /   I chose to use tent stitching this time, and it is my first time ever using tent stitches, because it is a big piece.  This will save time and thread as well.  I am using three strands of floss on 18 count which is more than I would normally use with regular cross stitching on 18 count but with tent stitching, this will help get more coverage.  I was nervous at first about departing from my traditional stitching but it has gone fast, less tangling of the thread, and has good coverage.  I have had to train my eye to count a little differently than I have in the past.  I see a stitch as X and have had to learn that a stitch on this project is a /.  I have made the adjustment pretty well.  

The biggest difference in this project and others I have done is not only the size but I gridded my fabric.  This is the first time I have done that as well.  What is gridding?  Gridding is marking the fabric in predetermined spaces to help keep track of where you are on the pattern and on your fabric.  This helps prevent mistakes.  Most people grid 10X10 spaces.  I did that at first.  I found that it was not only time consuming but that since I wasn't used to working in a grid, 10X10 was just to small of an area for me to stitch.  I used a 20X20 grid area.  This is more comfortable for me to stitch in and still helps me keep my place well in the pattern.  Normally I work one color all the way through a pattern, then start the next color.   With this pattern, I am keeping to the 20X20 sections pretty well.  Well, kinda!  Last night I started stitching a 40X40 area because it had so much of the same color thread used on it.  I still find the grid to be helpful in counting and keeping my place, but I'm not sure just stitching a 20X20 area will work for me.

I am using an old qsnap frame that I had.  This isn't my first choice for this project but it is all that I had on hand to start.  I have ordered a millennium frame from Needle Needs online.  Since this is an overseas company, my order won't be here for awhile.  I'll let you know my thoughts on the frame when I get it.  I have seen these frames forever and really really wanted one.  They are hand made, and supposed to wonderful.  But.....stock is always out, and their customer service hasn't been great in the past.  I sent an email to get on their wait list for an artiso stand last year, never heard anything.  I really didn't want to order from a company that I didn't think kept up with their emails.  I resent the email again this week, I got a response that I was added to the list.  Since I believe this was an improvement over the past where many people complained that they don't respond to emails, I placed an order for the millennium frame since it was in stock. People absolutely love their frames and stands, it just seemed the company was a little overwhelmed and maybe unable to keep up with the emails.   All companies have growing pains.  And the success of this company and the wonderful love of their frames, might have taken the owners by surprise.  I am sure this is part of growing pains and learning the market.  I felt more comfortable in placing an order since I had heard from them.  I can't wait to get my order!!!!

I am also using parking.  What is parking?  Parking is when you get done with a thread color, instead of cutting and tying off, I park it in the next block over or under where I am currently working in the first spot that color thread would show.  I keep track of this on my working pattern (I make a working copy of my pattern to mark on) by highlighting the symbol that I "parked" at with a yellow highlighter.  When I pick up the parked thread and start stitching with it, I color that yellow box in with a green highlighter, showing myself that I have picked up that parked thread.  So all yellow marks on my pattern should have parked threads in them- all green marks HAD parked threads in them that are now stitched.  I am spending less time tying off and more time stitching by using parking.  

This shows my grid and some parked threads.  Depending on where I am stitching, I simply move the parked threads up and around my qsnap, being careful NOT to loop them over the top so they hang in the back of where I am stitching.  If I have a group of them together I have been winding them loosely around my hair clips that I am using to keep the sides of my fabric up and out of the way.  This has worked great for me.

This is the pattern I am working on called the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz by Mystic Stitch.  I loved the colors.  This is one of several pattern I bought from this set.  As you can see, I have tons of work to do!  
My plan is to do a page in the pattern, (and I have yet to complete page one) then do one of a small set.  So when I get done with page one, I will go back and finish the last of my Disney Princesses Silhouettes.  I am doing Cinderella as the final one.  I'll be back next week to share my progress, and hopefully I can take a picture of some more of the things I talked about  this week!
Thanks for stopping by!
Leave me a comment of the type of cross stitching posts you would like to see!

1 comment:

  1. Such an awesome project. I can't wait to see the finished work.


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