Monday, June 18, 2018

Eliza Bell Cox 1832

Hi gang! I'm back with an update on Eliza Bell Cox 1832 from Hands Across the Sea Samplers. I started this last Tuesday, so I've only worked on it for 4 days, but I really love this chart! Stitching is slow going because it's 46ct linen, and also because there are lots of color changes. But I love seeing how all the colors interact with each other. So here is my progress after about 5 hours of stitching (started in the top left corner):
I really can't say enough about how lovely this chart is. If you've been thinking about trying a HATS chart, I would encourage you to do so. They are very well printed, in color, and made so large that even all the over one charting is very easy to read. I'll put in a very small snippet of this chart to show you:
This is about a life sized photo (use the quarter for reference). It really is big! There are also little helpful arrows that point out colors for the straight stitches used in the pansies. Really, it's just a gorgeous chart. I think looking at the chart was what made me want to stitch it right away. :)

Also, I should mention I'm stitching with the called for DMC, not the silks, and I think the conversion is pretty much perfect. I'm usually fairly critical of given conversions, especially with NPI silks, but I think these colors are spot on to what's shown in the model picture. Of course, my phone can't quite capture how it looks in person, but that is another story.

And what's it like stitching on 46ct linen? Honestly, it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I stitched this using a stand I prop up on my desk, so it's fairly close to my face as I stitch, but I didn't have any extra magnification, or even any special lighting while I stitched this, and I could see fairly well. I did use a magnifier to place the starting stitch, but that was all. It's not much different than 40ct, which my eyes can still see pretty easily. And of course the coverage is fantastic, without being bulky. I'd like to stitch more in these higher counts, but I know my eyesight won't last forever. :)

Well, I suppose I'll stop gushing about Eliza and show you my Temperature charts. I've got a new color for this week:
We went over 95°F this week, so I got to use my darker red, to show that I feel like a boiled lobster. :) I do like how the ornament is looking, like there's a definite cutoff between the spring and summer temps. We'll see how the rest of the summer goes. Until next time!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Quote #4

It's been a weird, busy week, but also kind of productive. I pulled out my Quotes to Live By and managed to finish off quote #4:
This one was a really quick stitch (especially since I didn't do the background fill in) and I'm really excited now that it's done. I've got just one quote left! Then a bit of fancy scroll work in the border, and it's done! I'm putting this away for now, but I'll put it back into my rotation in a few weeks. Maybe I could finish it this month? Well, next month for sure. :)

In the evenings, I pulled out Pavonia for this month's 1200 stitches challenge in Full Coverage Fanatics, and I managed a page finish:
It's not a huge amount of progress, but I'm glad to see another page done. I'm glad to use the challenge as a reason to rotate through all my huge wips, but I've put Pavo away for now as I'm really anxious to get back to Luna.

And here's a look at my Temperature charts this week:
I'm closing in on another round on the ornament chart, and I think it's really interesting how the colors on this round are so different for the previous rounds. Anyway, the forecast calls for red and orange for the foreseeable future, so it's kind of boring to stitch. I think if I do this again, I might make my temperature ranges smaller, maybe three degrees per color instead of five. Just a thought.

In other news, I'm planning a new start (again) this Tuesday, because again I like the date: 6-12-18. And thanks to some birthday kindness, I'll be starting this beauty:
Yes, I'm jumping on the bandwagon for Eliza Bell Cox from Hands Across the Sea Samplers. I first saw this a few months ago on Instagram where someone stitched the central rose up top, and I kind of fell in love with the floral border. Apparently there's a SAL for this piece that started June 1st, so I've been teased with images of this all month. It'll be my first time stitching on 46ct linen, so wish me luck! Until next time! :)

Sunday, June 3, 2018

My Birthday Week

Hi all! First off, thank you so much for all the birthday wishes. You guys are awesome! But I have realized, belatedly it seems, that I don't get those cool email notifications when I get comments, and now I also realize I don't know how to reply to people in a reliable way. That "no reply blogger" stuff always confused me, and I just haven't sat down to figure it out yet. But thank you anyway! Hopefully I will get better at these things. =)

So my mystery birthday start (sorry for the vagueness last time) was a kit from Design Works called Blue Floral. It's part of a series of four -- there's also peach, pink and purple -- but I like blue best. I only managed three days on it, but I'm liking it so far. Also, Casablanca is one of my favorite movies, so of course it's my minder for my birthday project:
What I love about this pattern is that it's just a giant splash of color that's totally ambiguous. It doesn't become a flower until I put the backstitching in, which will all wait until the end. So I started in the middle and kind of worked my way down and left, then around and up. The colors are really beautiful together. I love the pattern, but I subbed out everything in the kit with my own DMC and some 16ct aida. The kit came with 14ct aida, but it was a looser weave than I like, so I switched. So if anyone wants the kit when I'm done (original materials are untouched) just let me know and I will pass the stash. :)

I didn't get much done on Blue Floral because Elizabeth Oliver was still screaming at me to be worked on. And I think I got a lot done. This is where she was last week:
I managed to fill in as much as I could, then moved the qsnap over and kept stitching. So here she is now:
I could still keep going on this. Every time I work on her I think, okay, now just fill in this part, now stitch this, now just this little bit here... And I never want to put my needle down! But I think I will put her away for a little while. Maybe.

Anyway, another month is over, and my Temperature charts can tell you how hot it's been:
I feel like I'm stitching a ring of fire on my ornament chart. The last week of May we had one day below 90°. Just one. In May. The average for this May was 84° (supposed to be 77°), so I've stitched the month on my chart in the corresponding orange (it was supposed to be yellow). Kansas City weather is weird, so it may actually cool down in June before heating up in July. Then again, we do get odd years where summer temps go up around 105 or higher, so it may get interesting.

Well, that's all for this week. Next week I'm pulling out my Quotes chart again since I missed it last month. Hopefully I can get it a good week of stitching before the overtime hits again. I wish you all happy stitching! :)

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Bit of Wisdom

I had a bit more time for stitching this week, so I finally managed a bit of progress on Wisdom. She was this month's pick for the monthly challenge in Full Coverage Fanatics on Facebook, so I needed to get at least 1200 stitches done. I managed slightly more than that, around 1400, but I don't think I'll get any more done on her. Still, it was enough to finish off the lower page 9 and start on page 2:

In the mornings, I've continued to stitch on Elizabeth Oliver, which I am still in love with. I think I'm making decent progress, but I still don't want to put her down! I think I'll keep stitching until I reach a proper stopping point, when I'll need to move the qsnaps. So I'll at least finish of that pile of apples, and perhaps another honeysuckle:
So far I think it's looking pretty good. I love the color changes in the floral border. The first horizontal border is probably my least favorite aspect of the sampler, so I'll probably try to stitch all of that first. I am really looking forward to the house toward the bottom, but it will be a while before I get there. :)

My Temperature charts are still scorching hot, and it keeps getting hotter:
I've finished another side on the ornament chart, but this band will continue through most of June. At this rate, I might run out of orange before then. On a side note, I love air conditioning! :)

Well, tomorrow is my birthday, so I'll be starting something new to mark the occasion. I was going to start another HAED, since it's like a tradition, but I've decided to go with a smaller kit instead. Ah, there's just so much I want to stitch! One project I did not manage to touch this month was Moon Indigo. So I''ve decided to challenge myself to see how much I can stitch on her next month. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The End of Maynia, Year of Starts #5

Maynia is officially over for me, but I did have a lot of fun doing it. It seems stitching on one project for a long time is actually something I enjoy, and I should probably do that more often. I had originally intended to stitch on my Permin 1826 sampler for 15 days, but it ended up being 17. I was so close to finishing that first giant mandala, I just had to continue:
I would have liked to stitch on this even longer; there are a few little motifs hovering around that were begging to be stitched, at least to fill in the area before I move the qsnaps again, but I have moved on to another project. I still look at this one a lot though. I might have to change how I do things because switching around so much is starting to make me sad rather than happy to be switching. But I'll think on that later. For this project, I managed a total of 4,638 stitches in 20.5 hours. I've already used up two skeins of floss and started the third. I left the bobbin in for scale. This motif isn't quite square, but it's about 5.25 inches across. :)

My next project was the next in my Year of Starts, which I begin on the 18th of every month. This one is a reproduction sampler called Elizabeth Oliver by Moira Blackburn:
I fell in love with this sampler sometime last year, and finally bought it for my Christmas present. I wanted to start it right away but it kept getting put off, so I'm very happy to finally get some stitches in. I know the current mode is to stitch old samplers on brown fabrics for that old look, but I wanted this one to look shiny and new, so I'm stitching it on 32ct Antique White Lugana (because I had it in my stash) with the called for DMC. There is a lot of that green though (3012) so I kind of wish I had used an overdyed for that, but it's ok. I'm just not fond of that shade of green. :)

I've only stitched on this for 2 days, but last night I really couldn't put it down. I was determined to get at least one of the flowers done -- I think they are honeysuckle? -- and I was really surprised by that dark pink. I had to double check the number! But I think that will look really interesting. And I like how the effect of that pink changes once I put in the yellow. The blue border is actually long arm cross stitch, which is a lot of fun but can only be stitched in one direction, so I may have to turn my stitching as I work my way around. There are lots of little things I like about this chart, but I'll stop rambling on for now. This will be my morning project next week, so we'll see how far I get.

Well, the heat wave has shown no signs of leaving, so my Temperature charts have lots and lots of orange for May. I even have my first red in this week:
We are 10-15 degrees too warm this month, which stinks since we were 10-15 degrees too cold last month. Someone stole our Spring! I'm starting to wonder how our true Summer months will look. I think last year would have been a lot more colorful. Oh well. Guess I'll just get back to stitching. :)

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Monogamaynia Part 2

Another quick post, as I've been working overtime again this week. (ugh!) But at least it's more money for stitching. (yay!)

I'm still working on my Permin 1826 Sampler. I really really like it, but I feel like I'm stitching in slow motion! It's shocking when I get just one tiny bit of these motifs done, but it turns out to be 300 stitches. It really doesn't feel like it. Anyway, here's this week's progress:
Since I've stitched the alphabet as far as the qsnap allows, I decided to focus on the fun part and get that first giant circle motif done. It's a lot of work though, so I might not finish by the 15th. I'm thinking of adding a couple days to this one though, so let's see how far I can get. :)

No evening stitching again this week, but take a look at my Temperature charts. It's been hot, y'all!
This has been the most boring week as far as colors go, just orange and red-orange. This is the first time I've used red-orange, but the monotony of it kind of dulls my excitement. I think I'll get to use red next week as well. This heat ain't going nowhere. (stellar English!)

Okay, that's all I got for now. I'll keep working on Permin, and hopefully get some stitches on Wisdom this week. I think we're getting a break from mandatory overtime, but I don't know if that will last. And I'm already thinking about my new start for the 18th. It's a sampler, and it big. So stay tuned! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Monogamaynia Part 1

Hi guys! Just a quick update today. We're back on mandatory overtime at work so I didn't get much stitching done in the evenings (poor Wisdom!) but I have been stitching away every morning on my new start for Stitch Maynia. Since I'm just stitching on the same chart for 15 days, we're calling it "Monogamaynia." Anyway, here's my progress for the first six days:
Again, it's the Museum Celle 1826 Sampler by Permin. I'm stitching on 32ct Vintage Light Exemplar from Lakeside Linens using 2 strands of DMC 939. I don't know how many fabrics I bought and rejected trying to find the right one, but I think I'm really happy with this one. And I'm really loving this piece so far. That alphabet is so frilly and intricate, I keep seeing shapes in the letters. That A definitely looks like a butterfly. :)

I'm kind of intimidated by the big motifs to follow, so I'm just chipping away at them bit by bit. I find it helps to just focus on one blob of stitching, then see where my needle wants to go. When I look at the structure as a whole, it's like I get stage fright. I don't know where to start! But seeing what I have so far makes me really happy, even if I stitch a bit slowly.

And my Temperature charts have definitely warmed up this last week:
All that orange and yellow makes me think of candy corn, and I think it will be that way for a while. It seems this year is very boring temperature wise (last year was much more varied) but at least the weather is finally nice. I'm also glad to have another round on the ornament done, and the year is fully stitched in (2018!). The next round is hearts and fancy stars, and there might be some darker orange this week. :)

That's all I got for now. Hopefully this overtime will end soon and I can stitch more. Until then, happy stitching!