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Monday, June 25, 2012

Autumn Fairy, Part 4

Finally, part 4 (and the final 2 of the part 3 over-1 ornaments) is finished. According to the instructions, another heart is supposed to go in the middle of this section, but the materials list only told me to buy one, so I'll have to go buy another one at some point.

Here is the entire design to this point, then a closeup of part 4.

Placemats quilting, part 2 complete

Just one more machine to go for quilting the placemats - all 10, parts 1 and 2 of the quilting is now complete. Here's my stack, ready to head to the Bernina for free motion quilting.

And a closeup of the Elna disc quilting - my green holly leaves. I really like the little touches here and there, but not over the whole placemat.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Textured Floral sees the light of day

How embarrassing that I've been thinking of new crewel projects, and I haven't worked on the one I've got in progress since November of 2010.

I've been working on the millions of french knots that make up the really pretty and dimensional flower petals. I really like how it uses cotton floss for the interior and wool for the exterior of these petals. I included a closeup at an angle for a better view of the dimension these stitches create. I'll have to come back to this one soon, but not today, because the stitches are so close that sometimes it's hard to pull the needle through the fabric (even with a finger cot), so I'm going to let my fingers and thumbs rest a bit and return to stitching on Autumn Fairy. I'm hoping to finish up both part 3 and part 4, then share a new photo on that one.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Around the World, Part 3

As I began stitching this part, I decided to try a lighter shade for the pale green. It didn't work. It was even worse than the blending into the background that happened in part 2. I went back to the color card. When I chose my colors originally, I had skipped a shade from medium green (367) to pale green (368), thinking that it would make the difference just a little more pronounced. Since the even paler green (772) just didn't work, I decided to go in the opposite direction, grateful that I had that choice. It worked. The new pale green (320, seen a little better in the closeup) shows up much better on this fabric. I will probably go back to part 2 and change it out, but I won't mess with part 1, since those satin ray stitches show up just fine.

Full design so far:

Just part 3:

And here's a little closeup of some of the detail:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Christmas Placemats in progress

First day of mini-vacation, and I am working on a Christmas present - I finally got all the fabrics in that I had ordered to finish these, so it's time I finally got to working on them!

First up, a close-up of the white on white fabric I chose to use to complete the tops. I cranked up the contrast on this photo so you can see the pattern better, since it's hard to see the white on white except from an angle.

Next is the backing fabric - I really like this stylized directional print.

Here is what the top looks like all pieced together.

And finally, quilting has begun. This is step 1 of the quilting (there are 3 steps for how I want to quilt it, similar to the ones I made a few months ago as cat food bowl mats for my kitchen).

I'm making 10 of these, so it is a little slow going. I'd definitely like to get them all through the quilting step 1 this weekend. I have until Christmas to get them completely finished, but I really don't want to wait until the last minute, since I have some other things I want to do between now and then, and you never know what life's going to throw you either. :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pre-mini-vacation thoughts

I am taking a few vacation days, and plan to just stay home and relax and work on some quilt projects, and more cross stitching, of course.

I downloaded part 3 of Around the World in 80 Stitches, and have been working on that the last several evenings. Now that I have it nearly finished, I think this is my favorite part so far. The colors are shown off beautifully, I can't wait to share it with you.

I have gone crazy, er, crazier. I keep wanting to learn more embroidery. I have some friends in my quilt guild working on embroidery projects (mostly redwork or variations thereof), and the urge is trying to overtake me. Don't I have enough to do already? I dug out my crewel kit, and plan to work on it some more, plus I bought another crewel design that I am itching to start (a cute fox and grapes design by Tapistree) And I just asked my LNS to see I'd they can order me another crewel embroidery kit, Bloomsbury Basket.

And tonight I downloaded a couple of free embroidery designs that I want to use to practice. These would be more like redwork, though I'd use multiple colors, and not necessarily red. I need to practice my stitches because they are fretfully uneven, even for freehand embroidery. I just don't have the confidence I would like, so I need to practice. I bought a little embroidery hoop today, but I think I'll need a larger one for the larger designs. This one should be good for the practice. Another part of my problem with the lack of confidence is in choosing colors. This is surprising to me, because I have no problem choosing fabrics and colors for quilts or colors and fibers for cross stitch designs. But for some reason, when I look at this line drawing of a butterfly, I freeze. I know it is my inexperience, and the fact that I don't want to pick colors that won't look right, even though it's just a practice piece!!! And then I also wonder, should I just do it in backstitch, or stem stitch, or something else? Use a filling stitch or not? Just DO it, I think, but I still am tripped up. I'm great at following directions, but if I have to choose how to do it, it isn't so easy. With Tree of Stitches recently, all I had to choose was the colors, the pattern told me which stitch to use, so it isn't quite the same.

I'm rambling so it's obviously time for bed. Hopefully I'll have new photos to share tomorrow or the next day. I'm so ready for this vacation!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Chinese Dragon Gate

After about a week or so of working on Chinese Dragon Gate, here is my latest progress. I've finished the upper border with the exception of any beads or crystals, and worked a little more on the gate.

The color is a little brighter than it is in real life - the fabric is navy blue. For some reason, when I took this photo in daylight instead of with artificial light, the fabric showed up as a medium-dark blue.

I've just pulled out Autumn (Pear Tree) Fairy, and am working on Part 4 (the medallion). I still need to finish the two over-one ornaments that were left from Part 3... I'll have to get my magnifier out for those. :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Caught up on Blocks of the Month

Here are May (Chocolate Peanut Cluster) and June (Chocolate Pecan Crown), so now I'm back on track with at least this quilt project.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Pageant Kings progress

And here is my progress on Pageant Kings in its entirety, plus a closeup on the upper left corner diamond - holding frankincense.

Monday, June 04, 2012

I haz a camel

I'm still working on Pageant Kings a little bit more, but I wanted to share my left camel panel - complete with the exception of one bead.

Now that I have my floss on bobbins, it's much easier to pull out the ones I need to stitch, though this design is almost as complex as a Teresa Wentzler design, just not all the blended threads.