In Stitches

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Sweetheart Tree

No, I'm not referring to the cross stitch company, although they do have some nice patterns. :D I'm talking about Valentine Row! I got the tree done! Why am I excited? Dunno... just seemed the thing to do... As always Bent Creek patterns are simple and fun to stitch. :) Something I realized about myself though is that I like stitching on larger count fabrics. I was going to try stitching this one on 22 ct fabric. I have some I hand dyed and thought it would be perfect. It wasn't. The stitches looked squashed and I had a hard time making the stitches look uniform. I was trying to use 2 threads, but I think in the future if I go that small I will use 1 thread and get some very skinny needles. It definately takes more patience to stitch on those smaller counts. I found I couldn't stitch nearly as fast as I normally do. So I switched off to 16 ct and it's going smoothly. I still want to try smaller counts and even some evenweaves but when I do I'm picking something that's teeny tiny so I can get the hang of it before tackling bigger projects. :)

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I still don't have a pic of Greg's finished lillies. He made off w/ them before I could get a pic. Hopefully I'll get pics this weekend. I'm anxious to see it framed! :)

SBQ's I didn't get a chance to answer the SBQ I submitted last week .... so here it is along w/ the one that San submitted this week:

Do you always sign your projects? If not, why? If so, do you use your first name, initials or what?

I didn't always sign my projects. When I started back stitching I found an old project that I had stitched years ago and it didn't have any type of signature or date on it. I was sorely disappointed because, although I knew I had stitched it, I had no idea when I had stitched it. From then on I decided that I would always incorporate my signature into my stitching. I have tried to be creative in how I add it, sometimes it works and other times not. But my main goal is to let people know that I stitched it....or at some time in the future that someone stitched it. There are just too many machines out there that can simulate hand stitching...why shouldn't we get credit for all our hard work? I have read some people feel it takes away from the design, but I disagree. I find that seeing the stitcher's signature on a piece is the best part of reviewing their hard work. There are many creative ways one can sign a work and I encourage all of you to find fun and creative ways of adding your signatures to your work. :)

Do you have rules in the way you stitch? (i.e., Do you start in the middle? Do you determine which blocks to stitch first? Do you always start from the top or the bottom? Do you have special paths to prevent wasting thread?)

I'm not a big fan of rules and am notorious for ignoring them. Like a lot of people I do have a routine I follow to start stitching. I fold my fabric so that I can find the exact middle then I put a tiny mark w/ a colored pencil so that I know exactly where to start and I hoop over it. I'm sure some people would be horrified at this but it's the best way for me to get the exact middle of where I want to start...besides the first stitch covers up the pencil and it will rinse out. ;D On my pattern copy...I always make a copy of the pattern to work off of....I find the center and color in the first square. I work from there (no matter the color) in rows from left to right. I also try to fill in blocks of color as I go, but I don't like to "count away". I've had problems w/ that so I will switch colors when necessary. I don' t have any special tricks to save thread and I suppose I can sometimes be wasteful w/ it if I have to be. I also don't use the loop method to tack down my ends. I only just learned about that but haven't tried it. Someone a long time ago taught me to weave the ends under the threads of the fabric and that's what I do. It works great and looks neat and tidy. But as w/ everything I'm still learning. :)

Tomorrow I get my horn button fixed! And will try to get Xmas decorations out...let's hope I can get it all organized. ;) Happy stitching.

7 comment(s):

What a cute and happy little tree. Love the pattern.

By Blogger Kristen, at 12/02/2005 6:02 PM  

Great SBQ answers. I would HIGHLY recommend that you give the loop start a try on your next project. It's addictive because it's so easy and clean. :)

By Anonymous Jenna, at 12/02/2005 10:35 PM  

Hi Kim! Your tree is so cute and the fabric colour is lovely! I agree with Jenna, once you've tried the loop method, you just can't do without it! It really is a gain of time. Plus it makes for neater backs! Makes changing colours much more enjoyable ;o)

Have a GREAT weekend decorating your home!

By Blogger Isabelle, at 12/03/2005 1:49 AM  

I'm very curious to see the rest of your cute little tree.

I will have to try that hoop start, too.

By Blogger Barbara, at 12/03/2005 9:35 AM  

I like stitching on smaller counts, it all looks neater. But you have to use needles number 26 because number 24 enlarges the hole. Also, you're right, using a single strand makes it look neater and elegant, and the thread goes in easily: we don't want to use our strength every time we make a stitch, do we? . But you cannot use the loop start. You might soon get to see stg (=something) stitched like that. I hope...
Have you hand-dyed your fabric yourself on this cute Valentine (!!!) project? It sure looks great! You know what: I really think it would be a great idea to make a tutorial (with Greg's help to take pics, if it's a messy job...) about hand-dyeing your fabric next time you do it. Because I appreciate SO MUCH the one you sent me that I really want to give it a try...
Can't wait to see the framed lillies!
Take care, you two!

By Blogger Lili, at 12/03/2005 3:45 PM  

I love that hand dyed aida you are using - it is a gorgeous color! Valentine Row is going to just pop on that!

By Blogger Carol, at 12/03/2005 10:59 PM  

I love to stitch on small fabrics and with one over one. But because of the size it can't be to big... Your eyes become tired and it isn't easy to do for a long time. But I love the way small stitches turn out.
Your valentine row is wonderful.
happy stitching

By Anonymous anneke, at 12/05/2005 11:03 AM  

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