Sunday, 31 January 2010

Four Elements "The Green Earth"

I haven't managed to finish "The Green Earth" because I have been trying hard to get on with the Peacock Tapestry see I am enjoying stitching the Four Elements very much because there is such a variety of stitches and threads.

My sister came for the weekend and we indulged (although I am not sure that is the right word considering the problems we had) in our other hobby, making historical costumes for children.

We are making four costumes, two large and two smaller, which are roughly replicas of the clothes worn by two children on two seventeenth century dummy bosrds. These costumes will be worn by children on an educational visit, because the costumes have to be put on and taken off easily they open completely down the back. A problem is that they are often put on over bulky clothing in the winter, school sweatshirts for example.

We don't have any patterns but cut out of old newspapers the pieces we want, ordinary patterns, if there were any, won't do because the armhole has to be large to accommodate their own sleeve and one size must fit all! We had completed the collars on an earlier visit and were now starting on the main parts. They are black, which has not photographed very well in artificial light, with different coloured sleeves. We have photographs which we work from and enlarge on the computer to try to see more detail. We found by doing this that the boy's costume has double skirtings which you may just be able to make out on the photograph. The fabric we have used is a linen cotton mix with silk taffeta for the sleeves. The little white loop that you can see will hold a lace edged linen handkerchief. The girl's costume has the skirt attached but no sleeves added yet. This costume has rounded tabs on the shoulders and waist. I hope to add a photo later when the light is better. The costumes will have to wait for a month before more work on them because my 45 year old Bernina sewing machine is a little reluctant to go through many thicknesses of fabric these days. My sister's Janome has no problem but then it is many years younger.
Happy stitching of whatever kind to anyone reading this blog.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Four Elements Fire

I have enjoyed the second of the elements designs very much and finished it in under a week. I am now going to start the fourth in the series "Earth". I am a colour short for "Water". I probably have it with another piece of sewing somewhere but can't locate it at the moment. For the rest of the time I have been working on the "Peacock Tapestry". I have bought myself a "carrot", not the edible kind, but Shepherd's Bush "Wool Gatherer" which I have determined not to start until the peacock is finished. If this does not spur me on nothing will.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Rosewood Manor Inspirations

As requested here is the photo of my completed "Inspirations". I really enjoyed doing this. After making several mistakes with the counting of the vines I found that the best way was to complete the solid areas and then add the backstitched vines.
I think I found a couple of mistakes in the chart but then I am obsessed with symmetry. Please email me if you want more details. Now back to the peacock.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A New Finish.

Before I show my latest finish here is a photo of the Frosty Nights bellpull which is now totally finished.
The bellpull comes from Framecraft.

My latest finish is Crystal Waters from Victoria Sampler. I really enjoyed doing this and as you can see there is hardly any cross stitch in it. The wispy bits of thread at the side are from where the threads have been pulled out and then rethreaded for the handkerchief hemming. I had one or two problems with that but got there in the end.
I also didn't always find the right place to start a band and occasionally was a thread out so frogging took place. I think I've cracked this one though start from the middle and work to the sides.
The piece is on 28 count white quaker cloth and stitched with a variety of threads as you can see.
I have just started the next of the four designs "Crimson Fire". I hope I enjoy this one as much.

Yesterday we went to the garden centre and while my husband went to look at the tropical fish I browsed a bit amongst the cards and books. I could hear the most wonderful birdsong. When I found my husband I suggested we went to look for the gadget that was making this wonderful sound. I thought it was one of these things triggered by someone walking past. We walked to the area where the sound was coming from and looked around, sitting on top of a trellis and quite happy inside the building was a robin. He was singing his heart out. We often hear a robin in the garden but here in the garden centre and no more than 5 feet away the sound was quite magical.
I almost forgot welcome to the blog Barbi. I have been so busy stitching I haven't had time to visit other blogs. I hope to play catch-up within the next few days.

Friday, 15 January 2010

TUSAL for January 2010

Here is the first photograph of my ort jar for this year for the TUSAL. It isn't very interesting, only a coffee jar. I decided that each month the jar will be photographed at roughly the same place in the garden so that I will be able to see the changes in the garden and the jar in the coming year. As you can see it was rather cold and my jar really needed its stocking hat! I have put on two photographs one more of a close up of the jar. Happy stitching weekend everyone.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Always the optimist.

We have had more snow in the last few days than in the last ten years. This morning we woke up to find there had not been any more over night so on went the washer. I cleared the path to the outside airer and put out the washing. I think I was being a bit optimistic. The sheets nearly dried but everything else just got cold. It was an interesting experiment.

To add to the excitement of the day the doorbell rang at 07.50 I struggled into my dressing gown and opened the door to the man who was delivering a victoria plum tree.
"When am I going to be able to plant that?" I asked.
"I should wait till it thaws," he replied. See below for the area where it is to be planted eventually.

Enough about the snow back to the cross stitch. I was given several lovely charts for Christmas and I managed to finish "Frosty Nights" earlier today. It is by Lavender Wings. I followed the designer's advice and stitched the blending filament on top of the stitches. It certainly makes it sparkle but it does mean you stitch some areas twice. I am going to make it into a bellpull using one of Framecrafts which I will probably get from Sew and So.

I have also completed the second of the Christmas decorations for Yoyo's SAL and started the third


I thought you might like to see one of the ornaments big brother. This was more fun to stitch than the ornaments.

For "Lord of the Rings" fans Gandalf is nearly up to his neck in snow.

Welcome to this blog Fiona. I am off now to start the first of Victoria Samplers "Four Elements" series. I only came onto the internet to refresh my memory about Kloster Blocks and got sidetracked. Bye for now.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Soda Pop Santa finished and one I completed earlier

After hours of backstitching and finding half stitches I had missed Santa is finished. I am pleased with him but wonder if the filament and beading were really necessary. Anyway he's ready to be framed and put away ready for next Christmas.

I thought I would show a Dimple Design I finished some time ago. I am really pleased with this one. It was a challenge and once again lots of backstitching. I couldn't believe that the one over one of St Basil's Cathedral was backstitched but it was. Even more unbelievable it actually made a difference. Back to the UFOs.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Just Nan and Soda Pop Santa.

I managed to finish the sewing on Just Nan but had to wait until the 2nd January for my bellpull to be delivered. Anyway it is finished now and I really enjoyed doing it.

The Soda Pop Santa is nearly finished but there was a mini disaster with the border. I was working round to the last corner when I realised that I was going to be one thread out. After some frogging and working from the opposite corner I found where I had made the mistake. It was caused by a slub in the linen. I am now backstitching the border which is going to take ages. The photograph shows the sewing before disaster struck. The face is now completely backstitched and I think it makes quite a difference.
When this is finished I am going to start "Frosty Nights" by Lavender Wings. I couldn't resist sorting out the threads and hope to make a start soon. I have also to keep up with Yoyo's SAL and my Peacock Tapestry which has been a UFO for far too long. Chatelaine's "Alpine Mandala" is waiting in the wings too.
Father Christmas was really kind. Apart from "Christmas Eve" and "Frosty Nights" I also receive Lavender Wings "Santa's Magical Coat of Colours" and Victoria Sampler's "Gingerbread Garden Sampler". I have plenty to keep me busy. All this as well as the two costumes which have to be made. Happy stitching year to everyone.