Monday, May 23, 2016

Handstitching - WIP

An update on a project you just saw a couple weeks ago seemed boring. So while the photos are the latest progress, I'm  going to use them as a basis for talking about handstitching, a technique in which you hold the fabric in hand with no supports. 

Some projects require scroll rods or q-snaps due to length of project, specialty stitches, etc. The advantage of scroll rods are that tension remains the same and there are no creases like when using a hoop. 

Other projects allow more flexibilit. Medieval Hearts by Kelsyns is one of those, in my opinion. While the piece is all cross stitch, it is done in silk and treasure braid (metallic thread) and on a linen 32ct. Many would argue that means you should use scroll rods. 
I'd agree except that there is nothing like having a gorgeous soft linen in hand with silk threads. So I have been stitching my version in hand. 
The main draw backs to handstitching are: 
- creases in linen 
- uneven tension 
- easier to damage stitched stitches 
For me (I stitch like a lefty) but needle in my right hand, so working right to left to ensure I'm not damaging stitches is okay when I'm stitching each x on its own (which I am due to variegated silk thread). 

So with all those drawbacks why stitch in hand? 
Because I just love to. There is something about working on smaller pieces in hand that I find personally satisfying. Maybe because as a child I learned to stitch in hand; maybe because I love the softness of a gorgeous linen. But then maybe also because it feels more like the women of 1800-1900's would have stitched. We know the higher class ladies used hoops but the average peasant would not have had such luxuries. Odd as it may be I like the challenge of handstitching and it just feels more genuine (if you will). 

Not to say that we should always hand stitch. Definitely not! But I do tend to have pieces that I plan for hand stitching from the start. There's a challenge to it and a connection that I adore. 

If you've never hand stitched before I recommend starting with an ornament sized piece on Aida with DMC. Learn if you like it first with the basics. Remember for truly perfect stitching you can't beat scroll rods. But not everything has to be perfect! 
I'd love to hear in comments if you like to hand stitch? 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

ABC Sampler is here!!!

After many weeks of waiting I finally got my copy of the ABC Sampler by Jeannette Douglas and the gorgeous thread pack that goes with it. 

I was all excited, until...
1) I saw that Envelope was damaged and open. Water marks and damage to my pattern. Still legible but just not as pretty as should've been. Boo mail people! 
2) Reading through the pattern and trying to understand the instructions I have realized I'm likely in over my head. I think I will need to do some other JDD patterns first to be more familiar with some of the stitches Jeannette uses. 

Unless I just do the pretty alphabet (top half with no bands) which is just cross stitch... But I'm feeling like Once Upon a Tree is likely a better JDD piece for me right now as its easier... I have all the supplies for it too so that's a plus. 

Like Carolyn Mitchell's patterns (for those long time readers you may recall my orange canvaswork that I wanted to cry over) it seems these elaborate, specialty stitch pieces really do require the designer to be in the room and teaching you. Or someone a lot smarter than me to decipher. Lol. 

But... In good news I also got my Ink Circles Reflections of Canada pattern in this package and it's just the way I like my patterns; uniform and easy to read. Lol!!

Maybe it's best I'm not jumping right into ABC Sampler, as it will hopefully mean I finish some other WIPs first. ;)

Friday, May 6, 2016

WIP - The colours of fire?

A have an update on my Medieval Hearts project by Keslyn's. 
This piece uses one variegated silk and a rainbow treasure braid on a gorgeous linen. 

While I put a few stitches in tonight trying to calm from a very frantic and week I realized the beautiful linen with its yellows, and hints of grey and orange was reminding me of this weeks horror. It's the colours of fire...

I live two cities south of the wildfire in Fort McMurray that has ravaged the small city and burnt down 1000+ homes. As many of you may have seen this fire is beyond imagination... While the pictures and stories are shocking the behind the scenes work by so many is just as incredible. 
I'm not directly involved or affected ... And yet I know this fire will be part of my life in some way for years to come as its in my own province. Parts of my life, like my day job with the government (including co-workers who were evacuated) and my volunteering with the local SPCA, will involve responding to this disaster for a very long time. Much longer than the massive floods in my own city in 2013. As this disaster means for so many there isn't even a home to return to. 
And so while I carved out some time to stitch and try to gain some calm and composure my own piece reminds me nonetheless. 
It's bizarre how totally unrelated things in the world are connected by our subconscious minds. 

As piece is coming together, I'm seeing it perhaps being used to raise money in some way for the disaster relief... 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Stitching... what's that?

I honestly thought to myself today, when is the last time I stitched... and I didn't know! First time in the last 10-15 years that I've not been able to say yesterday or a couple days ago!
No it's nothing bad... it's just been really, really busy with my new position (okay 4 months old) at the office; and my Etsy shop has been just a hopping. But spring time does tend to be my best selling point of the year and of course it's awesome that the shop is doing so well lately!

So I'd upload some pics but I honestly don't have anything new to share. Sad but true.
Instead I will share with you my latest 'ZOMG I love it!' item that has been released:

It's cross stitching, Ink Circles AND Canadian! What's not to love?!
Previously this beauty was only available through a small shop in Ontario (5 days drive away, a bit too far). Thankfully it has been released to all LNS' and online distributors of Ink Circles!
Whew! Cause I was desperate to get it and concerned I'd never get a copy.
I haven't seen it in person yet but I'm sure it's amazing.

Some of the iconic Canadian imagery includes:
- Pine trees in corners (we have many as we are cold up here and they live through winter)
- Beaver, our national animal. (hey no laughing! lol!)
- Inukshuk. That's the robot looking thing below the beavers. You may recognize it from the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. It's a symbol that is prevalent amongst Native bands in Canada.
- Hockey sticks, between the beavers. I'm assuming I don't have to explain this one.
- The building is our Parliament, in the capital of Canada: Ottawa, Ontario.
- There are little maple leafs. These are very prevalent in Eastern Canada, and why all souvenir candy in Canada seems to be maple (yuck!). Interesting fact: there are almost no maple trees in Western Canada where I live.
- The large odd (lol) looking thing in top center is a famous totem pole made by one of the Native bands in Canada (yes the totem pole actually has wings in real life).

I think that's all the main items. I have to say that I am soooo eternally happy that a Canadian mandala was made. It's a big deal to have something to stitch that is specific to Canada and really pretty!! Tracy is soooo awesome for thinking of her neighbours to the north after creating her Flag Day mandala pattern for the USA.
Did I mention how awesome it is to have a gorgeous Canadian themed piece to stitch?!!! :)

Upcoming: - Hopefully some stitching! (maybe some Alice or Mirabilia mermaid)
- It's the local Comic Con here in Calgary next week so no stitching likely for 4 days. But lots of spending and comic goodies!

Thanks for dropping by and remembering me. I know it's been awhile. I'll try to do better.
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Medieval Hearts WIP

Less than a week until Nashville Market!!!
I'll be posting my purchase list next week for everyone. Or if it's too long my wishlist and purchase list. Lol. 

Medieval Hearts WIP
This is the  bottom motif (if we look at each arm as 1 of 4). The silk is stitched and the beginning of the Petite Treasure Braid. I gotta say Treasure Braid really is smoother than Krenik. I love the sparkling of Krenik but Treasure Braid sure does pull through smoother and doesn't tangle or spin as quick. 
The colours are over saturated on the photo on purpose so you can see the yellow of the fabric it's on. I'll strive for better colour photos next update. 

Coming Up
I have put some stitches in Alice but it's really not quite enough to bother sharing. But soon hopefully. 
And as above Nashville Market items, always an exciting time of year for any stitcher! :D 

Monday, February 8, 2016

New Starts - All from Stash!

Well I'm sitting in my stitching chair enjoying the sun that is coming in through the window. It's bizarre as it's usually very cold out this time of year; and instead it's gorgeous outside. Can't complain about that! :) 

I have started two new projects in the last couple weeks. Both are from my stash!!! (what I won't tell you is that I bought some stuff too... but shhh that's okay, lol) 

Start #1 - "Medieval Hearts" by Kelsyn
This project has been in my "to do" bin for years. I went looking for a smaller to medium sized project and saw this one. I have dozens (maybe even a hundred) things kitted up so I wanted to choose from them. I pulled out first five on top from one of three drawers they are stored in and this one caught my eye. Not a bad way to decide what to stitch next! 
It's on a gorgeous fabric; looks to be a 32ct linen, definitely hand-dyed. I'll be using PB-13 metallic by Rainbow Threads (as used in model) and a Waterlilies hand-dyed silk. It's not the one used in the photo so mine will have no blue and more browns. Crappy picture of the supplies to the right. 

Start #2 - "Moonlit Kitties" by Mill Hill (Bead & Button Series)
My obsession with these kits continues. They really are the best for just grabbing something and going with it for even 20 minutes. And they are portable! 
This one is a Halloween theme with some black kitties on it. Very cute, but mostly I love the colours and pumpkins! 
The first little pumpkin with no beads is shown in the pic to the left (again sorry for crappy photo). Along with the beginning of one of the main trees that frames the piece. 

It will look like this upon completion: 

Still working on two big projects. My 'epic' one is a Mini HAED "Alice in Clockwork" and second is a Mirabilia mermaid. Same one that Rahenna is working on right now actually. :) 

Speaking of Mirabilia; did you see the new witches added to the BeWitching Pixies set!?!? They are sooo pretty. I already have the orange one plus beads on it's way to me. Just couldn't help myself. LOL! 

Happy Stitching to everyone! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Two finishes - and a Hi

Let me start with, yes I'm alive and doing well. :)
Thank you to everyone who has sent me little messages or emails to inquire. I owe a couple of you responses back but don't want to be hasty in writing them which is why there has been a delay.

So life without Stitch From Stash...
I can't even tell you what a great burden it has relieved off me to not be worrying about sending out reminders, writing newsletters and all the rest. As many of you know I moved into a new position and team at my job. Same place, new people and stuff. It's going well. A bit overwhelming but that's always the case. As such I haven't done a ton of stitching. But over holiday break I did get to spend some well needed time just watching Supernatural (I'm on Season 3 now!), video gaming on our new PS4 and reading. Of course watching Supernatural is stitching time!

Finish #1
This was an absolute pleasure to work on. Yes I know you're thinking, really Mel another Mill Hill? I'm addicted, what else can I really say?! LOL!
I worked on this on Christmas Day before putting in my turkey and in subsequent days after, completing it just before 2016. A nice relaxing and fun way to close out the stitching year.

Gingerbread House by Mill Hill
Kit on perforated paper, mill hill beads, DMC threads 

Finish #2
Unlike the Gingerbread House... I did not love this piece. As you all know I adore Jeannette. Truly adore her. But this piece and I did not get along. Likely because I had thread outage issues as I changed the count to 28 (from 32) and then wanted to go with double coverage (over two). The morale of the story here is to make sure you read ALL the instructions. I kinda dived in and screwed myself. But alas, it's mostly done. I changed quite a few colors due to my thread issues. However can say that the pattern does have some colours different from the picture on the cover of my version of the pattern. It's not totally complete as I want to add some charms and stuff. But for the time being I need to move on.
Take Time to Read by Jeannette Douglass
28ct natural linen, silk threads from thread pack

I'm hopeful that there will be more recent updates than between November and now. That is much too long!
Will have a couple starts soon, plus still working on Alice HAED (mini) and the Mirabilla Mermaid.
Happy Stitching!