Monday, June 30, 2008

Better late than never

I don't get it - why does Iona sleep all day in bed at the weekends when my DH and son are around, but during the week when we're alone, she sometimes (like this morning) doesn't sleep for more than 15 minutes unless she's sleeping on me? LOL I'm not complaining really, not when she's so lovely. No photos of her today, we're going to have a bit of fun with the camera later and I'll post them next time.

Given that Iona did sleep a lot yesterday, I was really pleased to get this sorted.

This is Just Nan's 4 Wishes that I finished at the start of last year. At the time I bought the frame and board for mounting, but never got very far cutting the mount/mat. I've framed my stitching in the past, but have never cut my own mount/mat before. It's not very expertly done, I'm sure the sides of the mat are a bit wiggly and perhaps I should unlace the stitching and center it better in the mat, but I'm feeling too lazy to do that right now. I'm also really really pleased with the way it looks as it is. Even my DH made unusually complimentary noises, particularly when I suggested how much it might cost to get it framed professionally! My son was also very impressed by all the leftover bits of card I gave him.

The weekend also saw me finish my part one of Gay Ann Rogers' Mystery in a Corner.

It's been a bit frustrating to stitch, but I think that's more to do with all the stop-start stitching around Iona! The next part is the real mystery, not having been published before, so I'm looking forward to getting on with it.

On the ribbon embroidery, Kitty asked if it was easy to do - I found quite easy and also very quick to do. Both were stitched on evenweave fabric, but I cheated a bit by using fairly cheap 3mm satin ribbon rather than a finer, more expensive silk ribbon. The sunflower was stitched using detached chain and straight stitches, the other one also uses spider web roses and French knots.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Fun with Ribbons

I've been meaning for ages to have a go at ribbon embroidery and have had at the back of my mind that I really need to make something for my son's teachers' end of year gifts. Over the weekend I managed to combine the two and am really pleased with the end result!

This one is based on a design in issue no. 80 of Classic Stitches magazine, which also provided the inspiration for the finishing.

The second comes from a design in The Ribbon Embroidery Bible. I really like this one - the ribbon colours almost glow! I'll have to make at least 2 more.

All in all a very quick and successful little project!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Trust Your Instincts

I have to confess that I’m not very good at taking a design and the suggested fibres and adjusting either to suit my own preferences. I have a sneaking suspicion in the back of my mind that the designer is perfect and I couldn’t possibly improve on their choice.

Case in point: Linda Driskell’s Wildflower Drawn Thread Sampler.

In kitting this up, I toned down the colours for the flowers as the originals were just too bright for me. I also replaced the specified ribbon with a more readily accessible one, and in stitching, added some additional beads. (Hmm, maybe I’m better at this amendment thing than I originally thought.) However, I still made a significant mistake – the design uses white fabric and thread for the drawn thread bands. Why, oh why, didn’t I change to an off-white/ecru colour scheme? It’s what I wanted to do at the time, but that little voice at the back of my mind kept saying , oh no, the designer knows best!

Well, I enjoyed stitching the drawn thread bands in the last few weeks before Iona was born, and I do still like the design, but I do wish I’d gone with my off-white colour scheme. As such, the design remains unfinished and I don’t see myself finishing the stitching in the near future. All that white looks too cold and just puts me off!

I now have another project where the designer has given us stitchers free-er choice of the fibres to be used. Such a dilemma for me – it took me a couple of months to choose mine!

Here is my progress so far on Gay Ann Rogers’ Mystery in a Corner.

My inspiration for the colour scheme was the Watercolours thread in Shenandoah which shades from green through turquoise to pink. I’ve roughly matched the green and pink shades to equivalent DMC perl/stranded cotton and am using them as some of my other fibres. I’ve been a bit more creative with my choice of metallic threads, using DMC Pearlescent Effects (rather than Kreinik braid) to match to the pink and turquoise threads and Kreinik fine braid to match the green. I also wasn’t able to easily get hold of a matching colour of Impressions and am therefore using stranded cotton.

I do like the end result, although I do still doubt the distribution of my colours in the end design. I was about to change them round a bit until I read Pierrette/lovetostitch99’s blog and her account of stitching this part and thoughts on the distribution of the colours. Now I think I’ll persevere with my original choice.

So lesson to self – trust your instincts! Other stitchers, even when they are designers too, don’t know me as well as I do, and everybody (even a designer) is allowed to make a mistake once in a while!

Monday, June 02, 2008

A glorious day!

Well, I've got the photos uploaded now, so I can share what we were all up to over the bank holiday weekend.

It was the big weekend of the year as far as my family's concerned as it was my sister's wedding. The wedding was held in Scotland, so it was also Iona's first trip to Scotland and her first long car journey - not something I'd particularly been looking forward to.

Anyway, all the travelling went well, the weather was fantastic, my sister was a beautiful bride and we all had a great weekend.

I need to show you how I finally finished the ring pillow for my sister.

I bought some lace on ebay and overlayed it on some ivory fabric, framing the stitching. It worked really well - the white on white stitching complemented the lace well and almost looked lacy too. My sister and her husband were both really pleased with it.

For the wedding I also made myself a corsage which I was really pleased with.


And the wedding itself.


Finally, Iona's smile. I remember when my son was a baby, trying to take photos of him smiling. All I ended up with was photos of him looking drunk! At least Iona doesn't look drunk, but the photo doesn't do her justice - you just can't see how beautiful she is as the smile lights up her entire face.