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UGH

So much for consistency between dyelots in DMC floss. I ran out of floss while stitching. Off I moseyed to the craft store. I recommenced stitching. The next day…

cat pumpkin floss difference

I find it’s easier to notice when the image is smaller. It took the boy a while to discern the difference. He agreed that once seen, it can’t be unseen. I’m tossing it in the naughty pile. If I were to frog, I wouldn’t frog the tail (who cares if a tail is darker?), but if I frog, I fear it could lead to more stitchy misadventures. I’m not in the mood. I have other things to do, and a series of unfortunate events have robbed me of enough stitching time.

Onward.

Happy stitching! 🙂

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

I have a brown thumb, so I grow mine one stitch at a time. 😀 Here are the pieces awaiting assembly. At a quick glance, you can see the pink pieces appear to have seam allowances that are too small. If any parts are going to end up in difficulty, these are the pieces you’d predict. You’ll soon see that wasn’t the case.

425 wip patchwork garden 08 04 13 top diamonds  425 wip patchwork garden 08 04 13 middle diamonds  425 wip patchwork garden 08 04 13 bottom diamonds

Assembly in progress~~

425 how does your garden grow collage

The top and bottom pieces stitched together…

425 wip patchwork garden 08 06 13 chain chomp

At this stage of assembly, the boy and I agreed it looked like a Chain Chomp from Super Mario World. You might also be able to see that in addition to interface, I lined each piece with quilt batting. I had two reasons for this. First, I came across the idea on this blog while looking for photos of other stitchers’ completed balls. That post’s pictures didn’t load for me, ironically. I was intrigued by the recommendation to use batting. I’ve never had the experience with lumpy fiberfill she mentioned, but that seemed a good reason to try it. My second reason for using the batting is that I love this project so much, I wanted to prolong the experience.  Eventually, though, it was finished…

425 patchwork garden complete collage

I love it. There are a few wonky things “wrong” with it. But I love this piece so completely, I don’t even care. That’s so uncharacteristic of me. Here’s the wonkiest part~~

425 patchwork garden complete 08 06 13 top shreddy

I’m not sure how/why that happened. That’s the white fabric, which puzzlingly, had the largest seam allowances of all of the linen colors. It’s DMC brand. It had the loosest weave and was the stiffest fabric I used. The stiffness was nice for finger pressing, but something went wrong with the stuffing. I chalk it up to the loose weave. I would ordinarily flip out over this. But Fray Check is my friend, the ball is safe and I am wabi-sabi about the whole thing. As I said, uncharacteristic. Love is blind. 😉

425 patchwork garden complete 08 06 13 heart

Happy Stitching! 🙂

Project Stitchway

astronomy,iStockphoto,Mars,moons,outer space,planets,sciences,skies,stars,universes

I’ve watched a few of the Science Channel’s new program, Through the Wormhole .  The last episode I watched was about how our universe began.  There were these two physicists that theorize that there are infinite parallel universes, and when they bump into each other every few billion years, it creates a new big bang over and over again, since before our universe and will continue to do so waaaay after our universe.  This means there is another dimension beyond the ten that string theorists like Erik Verlinde maintain there are, for a total of eleven.  Hoo-boy.  I can barely manage four.  Oh, and then there was the guy that playfully suggested we’re all Sims. 

What I learned from the show
1. Physics maeks my brayn hert.
2. Physicists’ brains must produce natural hallucinogens.
3. I prefer my parallel universes fictional and stable.

Parallel universe
In one of these fictional parallel universes, I’m sure stitching is more popular than knitting.  So popular, in fact, that there’s a Project Runway clone reality show about stitching…Project Stitchway.  Actually, it probably has a better title, because the parallel stitchers/TV producers are more clever than me.  I can’t imagine any universe where I would audition for a reality show, for a variety of reasons which all boil down to one: I shun the limelight.   Oh, and there’s the fact that when it comes to making my own choices for stitchy projects, I’m slow to make decisions.  The fan blogs would be quick to pick up that I’m too much in my own head.  If there was an incredible fluke and I was cast in a stitchy TV competition show in said parallel universe, and one of the projects was my current one (with the challenge being modify a top designer’s freebie, say), the outcome would have been completely different from what happened.  I would never have had the time to meander through my imagination searching for “just right.”  I would have gone with my first choice, shown below (at least mostly), and crossed my fingers not to be “frogged.”  😉

After selecting four shades of gray, this is what I chose.  I thought it was a good choice for Blackbird Designs’ Souvenir de France, as I modified it to celebrate the Tour de France.  The daily leader/winner of the race is awarded a bright yellow jersey each day–the maillot jaune (French for yellow jersey, heh), or if you’re a hip, cycling American, the Mellow Johnny.  The gray is for the road.  Mile after mile after mile.  Oh, wait, it’s in Europe.  Kilometer after kilometer after kilometer.

Back to the real world
I was excited about stitching this while watching the Tour.  I showed the husband the pattern, fabric and floss before I started.  That’s when a simple idea took a lot of detours, including a dead end.  Oh, did he get excited!  He had ideas–and requests.  Even though I showed him the yellow fabric and told him why I’d chosen it, he wanted the motifs to reflect the jersey colors of the different competitions.  I thought that was a great idea.  Yellow on yellow didn’t appeal to me, but I was married to the yellow fabric idea.  He actually wanted a bike in each color.  Oy.  Getting a bike pattern wasn’t easy.  It had to be stitched over one.  And he expected me to stitch a polka-dot bike?  Stitch it yourself, Mr. Big Idea. 😛 

The dead end.  For my first attempt I found 36-ct Buttercream.  I was happily stitching one over two.  It wasn’t until I’d stitched a fair bit of the design that it occured to me that just because a skein of white fabric shows up nicely on a piece of fabric, it doesn’t mean that one ply will stand out, too. 

Back to the beginning, Vizzini! 
It took me a long time to make a new fabric choice.  What size fabric?  What color?  Should I switch my floss choices for different shades?  I ended up keeping all of my floss choices, and chose 32-ct. Rue Green, which is green like my 1994 Camry was green…meaning not so much.  Oh, sure, in the right light, when you squint, and do a quick-take, maybe green will come to mind.  Whatever the fabric is called, I’m very happy with my choice.

Vitals: Souvenir de France freebie, designed by Barb Adams of Blackbird Designs.
Stitched two over two on Rue Green linen. 
Fibers used: DMC–4045, 4075; GAST–Tin Roof; WDW–Icicle, Romance

The first edition of The Tour de France was held in 1903.  The yellow star is for the yellow jersey awarded to the overall winner.  The green cross is for the sprinting competition.  The pink and white is for the “king of the mountains”–that jersey really has red polka-dots, but it looks pink on TV and I liked the Romance floss.  The half-star is for the best young rider, cyclists 25 and under. 

The next challenge.  I knew from the start I wanted to make this a flat fold finish.  I spent an hour in the fabric store trying to choose the fabric.  Here are two choices that very nearly made it.  I think either choice would have been OK, but neither one felt right.  This is what I mean when I say I’m too much in my own head.  Every choice is important.  I don’t know how designers do it.  I just don’t.

Next on the agenda: Find the patience and time to finish this in the next week or so.

Memorial Day

Since it’s Memorial Day, I guess it’s time to share a recent patriotic finish.

Glory Fob 04.10
Glory Fob by Shepherd’s Bush.

I didn’t finish it as a fob, just a pincushion. I didn’t want ric-rac for a scissor loop. *shrug* You’ll notice the floss on the back side’s flag ran. I don’t remember how it happened, but I do remember trying to use a Q-Tip and hydrogen peroxide to clean up the mess. Yeah. I don’t recommend that. It made it worse. I laughed (what else could I do at that point?) and smirked to myself, “So much for ‘These colors don’t run!’ ” I’m a wise-ass, it just came to me. I didn’t even have to try. 😀

Also, since it’s Memorial Day, I’m going to honor my kitten, Hero. We put him down this week, as he had the rare, incurable disease known as FIP, or feline infectious peritonitis. In households with one or two cats, the odds are one in 5,000 that a cat will contract the disease. As my brother reminded me, I have terrible luck with cats. Hero was technically my son’s cat, so we plan to replace him this summer. For now, I can’t remove his bed from my desk, where he insisted on sitting when I worked on the computer.  He may have been the boy’s cat, but I was his mama.  He was a very sweet fella.  He couldn’t seem to catch a break.  It ain’t right, but nobody ever said life is fair.

My sweet Hero, helping me stitch, very sick

Happy Memorial Day.  I hope you get to stitch this weekend.

Back to school

I lost my blogging mojo this summer.  It was a wonderful summer, visiting the husband for two solid months.  Long-distance relationships are hard and lonely.  Thank goodness for Skype.   Today is the boy’s first day in a new school.  We’re very excited about this school and hope it’s a positive change.   Back to a routine that hopefully includes stitching and blogging.

I didn’t get much stitching done while we were gone.  The light was bad in the husband’s apartment, and I didn’t want to buy a stronger lamp for the place.  Then what excuse would I have?

Here’s what I managed to stitch:

Jingle! Biscornu 07.09
Jingle! Biscornu by Just Nan.

Pineapple Fob 07.09
Pineapple Fob by It’s Fine-ally Finished

And of course,
Glory Scissor Fob 07.09
Glory Fob by Shepherd’s Bush

 

elizabethan stitching accessories cushion 425

elizabethan fob 250Elizabethan Stitching Accessories by Talledo Designs.

I screwed up with my counting for the pincushion. I want to make it a mattress cushion, and thought it would be lovely to have the bargello side border. However, I counted terribly, and it’s too short. The worst part is that I don’t have enough of the silk left to stitch another border. I’ll have to stew about what to do for a while. *sob* 😦

After I got home, I stitched this (very slowly):

live love laugh wip 08 09 425

Live, Laugh, Love by La-D-Da

I’ve abandoned this. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it, I just don’t love it. Surprising, when you consider how much trouble I went through to get this. I visited three stores before I found it. First store hadn’t received it yet, second store had no idea what I was talking about (!), and finally in Las Vegas (thank you, Stitcher’s Paradise!) I got the last copy. And now, I don’t love it. 😦 I’m not loving the green at all. OK, I’m not even liking it. It’s the third shade I’ve tried. I love the brown (CC Belle Soie Espresso). Love it. I like the pink (Watercolors Cherry). I thought I would love it, but I only like it. The green, not so much. I tried. I really did. It’s just not working.

I’m going back to other projects. I received my new fabric for CHS’ Shores of Hawk Run Hollow, and put about twenty stitches in. And I have other wips, not to mention smalls that need finishing. Enough to keep me busy without driving myself crazy.

Happy Stitching!  It’s good to “see” y’all again.

That’s when I started drinking…

I mentioned previously about goofing up when I cut the linen for Peacock Stitching Chair’s scissor keep. The only way to really salvage it was to either re-stitch it or add ‘wings’ in the lining fabric. I should have re-stitched it. It would have saved me time and aggravation. I wish I’d realized it sooner. So, OK, I added the ‘wings’ where the shape of the pattern bent. Had a corner. You know what I mean. I made a triangle out of the linen that should show and added the ‘wings’ where the back of the scissor keep would be:

scissor keep fix first step copy

I scanned this piece instead of photographing it.  The fabric isn’t purple.  It’s a blue and red dupioni silk.  Being the geek I am, I zoomed in and out of the image, watching it change from blue/red to purple over and over again.

Theoretically, it should have been fine. If I’d made the piece big enough, it would have been. I stitched the lining onto the new keep top. When I turned it right-side-out, I thought it might be a little small:

scissor keep too small

I tried to convince myself it would be OK if the scissor keep was a bit narrow, that it would be OK if the back of the scissor keep was white and blue. I started to figure out how to stitch it together. I used a ruler to hold down the stitching to give a clear idea what the piece would look like if I did stitch it together as is:

scissor keep lumpy

I tried to convince myself that it would be cute with a ‘scalloped’ backside. A scissor keep with a big old butt? What to do, what to do? Fold and stitch the scallops down? Re-stitch it? I don’t have time to re-stitch it if I’m going to be properly prepared for our summer trip on Tuesday.

That’s when I started to drink.

I’m not sure if I’m going to put the scissor keep on my summer stitching line-up. I don’t think it’s a big deal or failure if I don’t stitch the scissor keep at all. The point of the project is the beautiful chair. Except, I want the scissor keep.*whines, frets* We’ll see.

It’s always something.

Progress?

Here’s the tiny bit I stitched yesterday.  Six small hills for six sheepies to graze upon.  Please note the circled bit with giant arrows pointing to it.

I ask you: how long do you suppose it took me to stitch that particular hill?  No, I’m a slow stitcher, remember?  Guess again.  Yeah, you’d think so, wouldn’t you?  I’d expect “not too terribly long, T, fer cryin’ out loud it’s not a lot of stitches,” too.  But if that was your guess, you’re WRONG.  I wasn’t just visited by a frog last night.  No.  Last night, I qualified for this:

You know, I don’t have one particular formula for stitching.  Sometimes I’ll stitch all the same color in an area, sometimes I take the easy most accurate way, and stitch the design according to what’s closest to what I’ve just stitched.  It’s all about following whims.  For instance, in my last wip photo, it appears that I completed each color as I went.  It’s a carefully staged illusion.  I didn’t permit myself to take a wip pic until I completed each color used for Betsy, but it wasn’t stitched in a color-by-color order. 

I wanted to stitch the hills and the tree leaves all at once.  It would have been much easier to stitch each hill one row at a time, or one hill at a time, row by row.  But I wanted to stitch all of the hills first and then the cute little sheep.  I very carefully counted the placement for the middle hill on the right.  I counted more than once (three or four times, to tell the truth) before stitching the hill.  That hill was perfectly placed!  Unfortunately, I used the bottom middle hill to orient the middle right hill instead of the bottom right hill.  I left the misplaced hill in the wrong place to ensure I didn’t screw up again make the same mistake twice.  I was very careful with my counting the second time and was pleased to see that I had stitched the hill in the proper place. 🙂

Now it was time to frog the original, misplaced hill.  I carefully snipped the front.  I turned it around and snipped the back.  I pulled the stitches out.  I pulled of stray fuzz and turned the piece around to check for fuzz on the front.  There was none.  There was also no newly stitched hill!!  I had frogged it, too!  Ahem.  As I said:

I stitched that baby for a third time.  Third time’s the charm and all that, yeah, yeah.  It was so aggravating.  I needed to finish all six hills before I put the piece away for the day, to be sure I didn’t do something like that again before I was done.  I hope, I hope, I hope I’ve put that bit of foolishness behind me, and can finish the piece without pulling out any more hair, or spending too much time sitting in a corner sporting my new hat. 😉

Stop laughing!  I know you’ve done things like that, too.  Confess!