Thursday, August 15, 2013

Criss Cross Pretty Rose

Just finished this free little project from Cross Stitcher magazine.  

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I Plead Temporary Insanity

Last time, I hinted that I took on an extra large project (aka I bit off more than I could chew).  I either overestimated my abilities and time to work on something or I was temporarily insane.  I think I will pick the latter.  

So, it all started when I became obsessed with Pinterest.  I saw this pillow designed by Eline Pellinkhof and I just had to make it.

It is from her first book "Sitch and Sew Home".

Well, come to find out that the pattern is for a needlepoint project.  I was not about to take on needlepoint because I did not want to hunt around for yarn. Yes, I'm sure I can find yarn in all sorts of delicious colors but seriously, I just did not want to make an investment.  

So, Plan B.  Perhaps I can adapt it to a cross stitch project instead.  After all, I already own a boatload of floss and at $0.40 a skein, I think that's more affordable.  

The chart is approximately 80 x 80 so using a 14 count Aida cloth, the finished project would be only a 5.75 inch square.  Sooo...I thought, what if I supersized it? Using an 11 count Aida cloth and doubling up the stitches (ratio would be 1:4), I could make this about 14.5 inch square.  That's more like it.

So, that's when insanity hit.  Just think about it.  For every cross stitch on the chart, I had to make 4!  Plus, this is my first "big" cross stitch project.  The only other cross stitching experience I had were those little 3.5 inch snow flakes.  

However, the pattern isn't really complicated and it's not like there are 25 different colored floss to use.  Plus, using an 11 count Aida also meant the squares were pretty big.

So, let's go big or go home!

As I worked on this project, it became obvious that if I did not stitch on every square of the fabric, the holes from the Aida cloth would show through and it would look ugly.  Translation, I would have to stitch on the background of the design, as well.  Was not looking forward to that.

I did not even log the hours I put onto this project.  Let's just say it took about 5 months to complete.  Next, I had to wash it.  I should have taken photos but it didn't dawn on me until I was done.

I searched the internet and after much research, I used the following products.

Since I used a lot of white thread, I wanted it sparkling clean.  I was also really concerned about the red floss bleeding.  DMC floss is colorfast but I wasn't going to take a chance so I used a sheet of Shout Color Catcher when I hand washed it in Tide.

Still not satisfied, I washed it again in Tide and added OxiClean and the Shout Color Catcher.  My own cross stitch cleaning cocktail.  After I rinsed it and dried it flat, i then pressed it (face down) on a clean towel.  

Now that it was sparkling clean, I couldn't bear using it as a pillow.  I definitely did not want to get it dirty and have to wash it a lot.

So, I decided to get it framed and voila!  Here it is.

I splurged and had it professionally stretched and framed and the mat is silk. But I put in so much time and effort into this and I have no doubt that it would have taken me months to do a haphazard job of framing it myself.

I am so impressed with the framer that I would highly recommend On the Wall Framing in Santa Ana.  They were quick and did an awesome job.  The only thing I didn't splurge on was the non-glare museum glass.  But, I could always change the glass later if I really wanted it.  I am really happy with the way it turned out and now, I can't wait to start on another cross stitch project.

Here it is in my sewing room.  It is sitting right above my ironing board.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pretty Little Blue Birds Sing Me a Song

Long name for a quilt but I like it better than "Berries and Bluebirds".  It sounds like a children's rhyme.  Maybe that's why I like it.  It could also be the first line of a song.  Anyway, I am so glad that it is finally quilted, bound and done!

So, I guess I need to start another applique project.  But wait!  I still have a few other things to complete.  

Here is my UFO list:

1. Start quilting my fall quilt (Abundance). It's already basted so hopefully, I can get this completed by the end of October.  

2.  Finish my rose pillow.  This is a project from my crochet class.

3.  Finish Diamond quilt top from Kaffe Fassett workshop. This has been in the design phase since last October.  I think need help with this because I am over analyzing and obsessing over the color placement.

Goodness gracious!  I've got too many hobbies!!!  Not to mention my new obsession with cross stitching.  

It all started because I found a boatload of patterns on Pinterest and wanted to try a small project or two such as these.

Before I knew it, I was tackling on a much bigger project.  Since I don't drink, I can't blame it on Tequila.  Here's a sneak peek.

To be continue...