Monday, July 28, 2014

Break Needed

Originally this post was going to be called "I HATE French Knots" but after finishing them all and moving on to the next layer I forgot all about that.

On my last port, I mentioned that I stitched the Hungarian Criss Cross stitch with the wrong thread. I fixed that on Friday and started restitching it with the correct thread. Once I finished that, I took a look at the next step, and seeing French Knots, I promptly stopped for the day. I needed a fresh start since I had to do so many LOL.

Octagon A with French knot layer
I stitched the French Knots on both Octagons A and C, so I wouldn't have to waste time pulling the thread out twice.

Overall view
Once those were done, I was excited to move onto the next step and ended up stitching the entire day, which was a VERY bad idea. Because my stitches are so tight, I'm having a hard time passing the needle under the stitches when I'm starting a new thread. Which causes me to pull hard and straining my right hand. By the end of the night I was feeling some pain up to my elbow (not as bad as last time, then the pain extended to my shoulder). I feel better this morning, but I won't be stitching on Spirit of the Southwest for at least a week just in case.

Here's a picture of where Octagon A is now. Octagon C is at about the place except for the last layer in peach(?) thread.
Octagon A as it is now


My TUSAL report is late again. Same as last month, I've been stitching a lot on Spirit of the Southwest and my Hardanger piece, but this month it's the inverse. I've been working more on Spirit of the Southwest than on the Hardanger WIP. I've only been stitching the Hardanger piece when I'm sitting outside in our backyard. We've had some really nice weather and it's been relaxing to just sit on our swing and stitching.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I guess getting passed the Panache thread got me really excited to work on Spirit of the Southwest again. But I think this blunder is going to bring it down a notch. It's not a bad thing, it just means I'll be more careful and not jump in too quickly.

I started working on the first Octagon which is A, but since C is the same design but mirrored I decided to do them at the same time. Also to note I'm working with the design upside down to be able to reach the top Octagons more comfortably, which makes stitching a little confusing (I have to flip the charts upside down to match).

I'm now on the third step which is the Hungarian Criss Cross stitch. I got the thread out and sat down to plan out how I'm going to stitch this. I couldn't figure out from the instructions what directions I was supposed to be working in. So I googled it and found this nice diagram, but I was still not sure how the colors should come out since the thread is over-dyed. So after more googling, I found some pictures of what that Octagon should look like. Now in my defense I couldn't find any close up pictures of this design in my colorway but I thought I saw enough to understand what I should do and started.

One hour later after finishing one strand, I realize that not only did I use the WRONG thread, but that the diagram I found is the REVERSED Hungarian Criss Cross stitch. I have some ripping to do tonight.

Right thread is the top one

Monday, July 21, 2014

J Diamonds Completed

I've been putting off stitch in Spirit of the Southwest because of the Rainbow Gallery Panache thread. I finally decided this weekend to just sit down and stitch that first layer and be done with it. Five hours later was I still stitching and didn't stop until all the J Diamonds were finished.

J Diamonds completed
Here's a close up of the diamonds:
close up
Today, I was looking at the pictures I took and noticed a third one that I didn't take. Google Photos will sometimes take your pictures and add effects to them. I really like what they did to mine. The colors look really nice and I like the ombre effect :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Corners Done

In my last post I was having trouble stitching Picots and realized that the Q-snap I was using wasn't helping me. So I switched to a smaller Q-snap and it was much easier to work with, but then decided to get a wooden hoop to see what all the fuss is about (I can never get over my fear that placing a frame over stitches won't affect them).

It was actually pure coincidence that I noticed these Elbesee wooden hoops at Club Tissus and they were having a special that day. So I decided to get the hoop and some binding tape (sold by the meter) and try out this tutorial I saw on Mary Corbet's website.

It turned out quiet well and I was able to use it on my Hardanger piece and it didn't affect my stitches :) I think I should be more trusting of others experiences. This doesn't mean I'll stop using my frames when I'm doing cross stitch, but I think I'll be comfortable now to use it for Hardanger.

Here is my current update. I finished all four corners. I'm not a 100% happy with my Picots, I can't get them to lay well (maybe ironing will help?), and my Greek Crosses are not all the same size (not sure how that happened). Other than that I'm very happy with the piece. I've already cut the fabric to start stitching the sides. The next new stitch to learn is the Spider Web filling stitch.

Close up

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Working Hard

This week I promised an update picture of my progress on my Hardanger project. The cutting of the fabric, was scary but not as bad as I expected it would be.

After cutting
Once I finished cutting the fabric, I started the Greek Crosses. It took me a while to get comfortable with this stitch. I'm still not 100% satisfied with the crosses, but it will do for now.

Inner border of Greek crosses
I decided not to stitch the center first since I was still not sure how I wanted to do it (The pictures aren't very clear). Yesterday, I gave up and just decided to free style it and see what happens. It didn't come out too bad, it's exactly the same and my Greek Crosses are still not as nice as the ones in the original, but not bad for my first project.



Here's an overview of it so far. The next stitch I will be learning is the side bars with picot. I tried it yesterday but it didn't look right to me, so I will be researching that before I try it again.