Friday, November 25, 2016

Homestead Sampler Finish

Homestead Sampler is done!  I put the last stitch in it last night so it was finished on Thanksgiving Day.

Here is a look at the entire sampler.  It was stitched on 28ct. Antique White linen with DMC floss.  I have not yet pressed it or stretched it, so there are a few wrinkles and hoop marks.

The pattern is charted almost entirely in cross stitch with just a tiny bit of backstitching and a handful of Algerian Eyelets.  I don't much care for cross stitching all by itself, so I had to change up a few things along the way.  Here is a look at the pattern cover.  Apparently I bought this on clearance at a Michael's at some point many years ago.  I can't remember now, but it's been a long time since I have been to a Michael's store

I do like a few of the other designs in this book, especially the ones on the back cover:

 Who knows?  I may stitch up another one of these some day.  In any case, I chose the Homestead Sampler because it had a house on it and I like stitching little houses.  I also liked the color palette- teal, green, and gold.  It's a little bit different than what I normally work with, but I thought it was pretty.  I also thought that I could easily change some of the elements from cross stitch to something more exciting.

I changed the large flowers from cross stitches to satin stitches:

The date, 1989, is our wedding anniversary- when we established our "homestead."  The initials are mine and the husband's and use the letters from the alphabet at the top.

The row of brown Smyrna Crosses was originally charted as cross stitches.  I thought they looked dull and felt they would be dull to stitch, so I changed them.  Smyrna Crosses are one of my favorite stitches.  They are easy to make, but wonderfully dimensional.

I also changed the acorns and the leaves on the row below the initials to satin stitch.  Not only does it mix it up a bit and add interest, but the satin stitches have a nice sheen to them that adds a little something to the finished piece.

If I had to do this over again I would make a few more changes:

1.  Use a 32 ct. fabric, possibly with a touch of color to it.
2.  Eliminate the top row of cross stitches and just start with the alphabet- the green stitches aren't really needed.
3.  Use more satin stitches- on the roof of the house, the teal borders around the initials, and possibly the gold row below the house.  I actually tried satin stitch on the teal border, but couldn't get the coverage I like on the 28 ct. fabric.
4.  Sub in some hand dyed fibers- for the house, the bunny, the bird, and maybe some of the foliage.

But all that would be if I had to do it again.  Let's be honest, I won't.  There are too many other interesting projects to do.  In fact, I've already pulled out two Christmas themed UFOs and some fabric and fibers for one last fall themed piece.

Aaaand New Look 6469 is patiently waiting in the sewing room for a neckband and hems.  It will be the perfect dress to wear back to work after all this Thanksgiving food!

Happy Stitching and Sewing!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

More Stitching

I put the last stitch into Mini Pineapple Stitches last weekend.  It was a quick project, if a little bit fussy.  I love the colors- yellow and yellow green are not part of my normal palette so it was nice to stitch with something different.  The overall color palette of the project is unusual and very nice- lemon yellow and spring green with olive, rust, and dusky purple.

The linen, 32 ct Burmese Beige, is just a little darker than the model and has a subtle hand dyed effect to it.  I love the way it turned out.

As I mentioned, the project was a little fussy.  I made several mistakes and had to frog quite a bit.  The left pineapple in the row of three was off and had to be ripped out and re-done.  Because of that I also made a mistake in the green swirl right above it and had to rip that out.  All that was my own fault, of course.

Oh, and see those purple and rust flowers right above the smyrna crosses?  Those are stitched over 1.  They look great now that they are finished but they were a pain to stitch and I messed them up, too and had to rip and re-do.  Ugh.

I did not enjoy working with the Gloriana wool that came with the leaflet and which was used to stitch the pineapples.  It was thick and fuzzy, and the strands did not want to separate easily.  The Gloriana silk, however, was a dream to work with, as was the Thread Gatherer silk.

I made two small changes to the design.  I changed the "pineapple stitches" right above the row of 5 pineapples to smyrna crosses.  You can see the pineapple stitches as charted in the multicolored row right above the over 1 flowers.  Smyrna crosses are much easier and soothing to stitch and I like the look of them much better.  I also changed the diamond motif at the center bottom from a cocoa brown color to purple to echo the motif right below the center pineapple in the row of three.  The leaflet came with a small copper pineapple charm which I have not added yet.  It goes on top of the pale yellow/pale green stitches right above the purple diamond at the bottom.  The pale yellow and green stitches are silk and I like the way they shimmer.  The charm pretty much covers them up so I have not decided if I will add it yet.

I have not stretched this piece yet, so that is why it looks a bit wavy and wrinkly.  I will probably have it framed and hang it in my kitchen.  It's small, finishing up at about 2.5 X 5.5 inches, so even framed it will be small and I know I can find a good spot for it.

In sewing news I actually went to the sewing room today and jumpstarted my mojo with a new project.  (The McCall's suit is on hold for the moment, but I hope to get back to it soon.)  I hope to have something new to blog later this week.  If the time doesn't totally mess me up- I hate that it gets dark so early now!