Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Big Berthe!

Justine and a few other bloggers are committing to stitching on the same piece throughout April and it seems I have unwittingly joined in!

Here is what Berthe looked like on 1 April, exactly the same as where I left her mid way through January:

Berthe Massiet WIP 2
And here is what she looks like now:
Berthe Massiet by Reflets de Soie Complete!
All finished!
As a side note I just have to mention every time I say Berthe I think Bertha, which reminds me of the children's TV programme in the 80s which people of a certain age will remember and then I get the little song in my head..........anyway I digress..........
I absolutely adored stitching this one on 40ct 1 over 2 with beautiful AVAS d'Alger.  For the sake of anyone that has visited this page as a result of searching for info on this piece, I will say that some of the lettering on mine may be in a different colour than charted - only because I was short on one colour of silk (I think it went walk about) so I just used an excess I had of another colour that was in the chart's colour palette.  Also of note is that, as is the case with a lot of repro samplers, the border is not symmetrical :).  All those cross shapes that make up the border are identical, except for one which has a "leg" four stitches long instead of three - always worth examining the chart carefully!
I particularly enjoyed working the pattern darning sections, and a few darning samplers have been pinned to my wishlist for a rainy day so there will definitely be more in my future!

Pattern darning on Berthe Massiet
I have at least two other Reflets de Soie samplers in my stash which I am now very much looking forward to doing.  They are the perfect project for when stitching time is limited as the colours used are minimal and you can quickly see progress being made even if only a letter or two is completed per session.  Stitching with 1 strand on 40ct makes for much faster stitching too - no railroading required!  A few years ago I'd always thought that HAEDs would be my easy stitching projects, but the thought of stitching one now makes me feel almost claustrophobic - I need my stitches to be able to breathe lol!
No idea what I will be working on next, I had started LHN's Home of a Needleworker last month so I might carry on with that.  Still don't think I can face Cinders just yet, so maybe an entirely new project is in order!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

A Change is as Good as a Rest!

That is certainly true when it comes to my stitching, as thanks in part to a Bank Holiday weekend, four of the seven new starts I had kitted in my last post are now finished and I even bought some new threads which I haven't done in months and months!

Firstly I started and finished a small that I just loved the moment I clapped eyes on it - it's a freebie from Hands Across the Sea Samplers which you can find on their blog.  So looking forward to future releases from Nicola and Sandra, but in the meantime I stitched this little design on some 40ct using AVAS silks from stash:

Hands Across the Sea Samplers Freebie 1
As is usual for me - pictured with its proposed finishing materials -
though has yet to be actually finished lol!
Next up was a design I've had in my stash for four years or so, as it was a spring design it seemed appropriate to finally get on and stitch it!  Initially I'd picked out Glorianas for this one, but I changed them out for Dinky Dyes silks and Caron cottons as I wanted a softer look to it.  The design is Spring Basket by Abi Gurden, you can see I changed the original design a bit as I swapped the jessicas for spider web roses to balance out the texture of the basket.  Here it is stitched on 28ct soft yellow (would you believe!) linen:
Spring Basket by Abi Gurden
Then I moved on to a band sampler by Alchemy Stitchcraft (AKA Christine) - again another design that has sat in my stash for years - why?!  It certainly feels good to get stitching on these!  Natasha's Violets was a pure joy to work on, I had forgotten how much I love whitework and pulled threadwork, so I've put projects containing them in the queue for a later date!  Again as I am stitching from stash I subbed out the silk serica with a #5 DMC perle and I didn't have the right shade of PTB, so used a strand of DMC with a strand of blending filament to create my own :) :
Natasha's Violets by Stitching Alchemy
This chart ticked so many of my favourite boxes: band sampler, purple, pulled work, white work, bargello - needless to say, more of Christine's charts will be making it in my TBS pile.
Finally another finish that it feels good to tick off my list!  The Mojo Sampler by Abi Gurden was a SAL on The Stitch Specialists Yahoo Group back in 2014.  I can't link to it directly as it has yet to be put on general sale and only 60 people have this chart - but you can see Abi's version here.  This design has been buzzing around my brain since its release as I could never settle on my colour choices.  Purple was a no brainer of course, but what would I use for the contrasting colour, green, blue, pink?  None of them were pushing my buttons until it came to me that I could use purple as the contrasting colour :).  So I chose light, medium and dark purple solid Dinky Dyes silk and 2 light and dark HDF purple variegated silks stitched on 28ct lugana and here is my version:
Mojo Sampler Close Up 3
Mojo Sampler Close Up 2
Mojo Sampler Close Up 4
Mojo Sampler Close Up 1
The Mojo Sampler by Abi Gurden
Now if only I was any good at cartonnage, that would make a very good box lid!
So that has been my stitching over the past two weeks - no idea what this month holds stitching wise but at least I seem to be back on track!  Hopefully as long as I can get the mix of projects right, size and content (even if it does mean abandoning Cinders for a few months) then business will resume as normal.
Happy Stitching!