The stitching itself was fun, and I loved stitching each of the little squares. I particularly like the embellishment - just that little bit over the top for a pincushion! And I was really glad of the excuse to give Shisha a go. I really have been meaning to try it for a long time, but, as usual, never got round to it until now.
I did change the design of one square which originally included Queen stitch. I'm not a fan of Queen stitch and just didn't think it added anything to the design here, so I used Star stitch instead.
However, there is one thing about the design and the magazine article that really annoys me. I've seen it in other magazines and other articles too-it's the use of obscure thread brands that are difficult to get hold of. The design as published uses Oliver Twists thread and I know from previous experience that few shops stock this brand. In the past I've completely given up on getting any. This time I tried a bit harder and managed to get hold of one of the required threads, but in the end I still gave up and used Watercolors instead. Don't mistake me - I love the end result, but I did start out wanting to use the original colours.
Who is the target audience of these designs and the magazines? Perhaps professional embroiderers might have access to a wider range of threads. However, I wound have thought that the casual, hobby stitcher like me would prefer to use materials that are readily available. What do you think?
I know that some magazines will suggest stockists of materials, but even then they don't necessarily stock everything that's required. In this case, Stitch magazine does not even go as far as suggesting stockists.
So this project has ended very well - I love the Swarovski buttons I've used - but it started out very frustratingly and I had to spend more money getting threads in the colours I wanted than I would have wished. I think a letter to the magazine may be in order.