WIP Wednesday: Heart of Christmas

Time for an update!  I set this cross stitch project down for May and most of June, but I’ve picked it up again over the past few weeks.  Previous posts about Heart of Christmas can be found here and here.

This is Heart of Christmas by Stoney Creek stitched over 2 on Stoney Creek Clear Sky Dyed Fabric 28 ct.

Heart of Christmas 7.15 4

overall progress as of today

 

Heart of Christmas 7.8.15 1

a closer look at Mr. Snowman

 

Heart of Christmas 7.15 2

patchwork heart

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Jumping Around, and Heart of Christmas Update

The main reason I started this blog was because none of my offline friends are into stitching.  I wanted a place to share my work, admire others’, and learn and grow as a stitcher.  In the short time I’ve been here, I’ve already seen so many interesting projects and techniques I want to try.

One thing I’ve found intriguing as I look at others’ work is the variety of choices people make about the order in which they stitch.  Some people work in blocks of a certain size (for example 10×10), others work in horizontal rows or vertical columns and still others work through their color chart one at a time.  I’ve seen beautiful examples of all these techniques.  Personally, I’m not so structured.  I love to hop around a bit as I stitch.  For me, part of the fun is to look at the pattern and decide where I’ll go next.  I love to strategize to try to keep the back of the work as neat as possible, and have the fewest spots where I hop the thread from one place to another.  I don’t use knots at all, so I also have to strategize where I’ll start and stop each thread so it can be tucked under.  And all of this while trying to waste as little thread as possible.  For me, this is huge part of the fun.

Having said that, I have an update on Heart of Christmas where this hopping is evident.  I do tend to work roughly upper left to lower right, but within that framework, I “jump around” to my heart’s content 🙂

"Heart of Christmas"  Can you see the snowman starting to emerge?  Love his colorful scarf!

“Heart of Christmas” Can you see the snowman starting to emerge? Love his colorful scarf!

Now off to tuck in the littles and pull out my project binder.  Happy stitching!

 

 

Cross Stitch: Pattern Marking

Lately I’ve been stitching Heart of Christmas by Stoney Creek, which has some sections with lots of “confetti stitches” (different colors scattered about throughout a section, rather than in larger blocks of color).  To keep my place and have a counting reference as I stitch, I find it’s helpful to mark up the pattern as I go, but I’m curious how other folks do this.  First, of course, I make a copy of the pattern so I’m not marking up the original… just in case.  In the past I’ve used pencil, but that can be difficult to see.  Using pens or markers I would not being able to erase mistakes. One thing I haven’t tried is a colored pencil.  That would be inexpensive, but more difficult to erase and also less visible than a marker or highlighter.  This time I tried an erasable highlighter made by Pilot.  I bought it at 123stitch.com, though I’ve seen them on Amazon as well (for a bit more $).  Here’s what I think so far:

Pros:

  • Very bright, easy to see – I have pink, but they come in other colors as well
  • The tip makes it easy to mark in small areas – even individual stitches on a pattern or to draw a fine line to mark a backstitch or outline a section
  • It is erasable, so if you make a mistake in your marking, you can correct it
  • Reasonably priced at a few dollars each (at least in the U.S. – not sure how available it may be in other places)

Cons:

  • While it does well for erasing a small area, erasing a large area would be difficult.  It takes friction to erase, so it’s a bit more work than erasing a pencil mark
  • It doesn’t erase completely and does leave a faint mark.  I think this is fine for this purpose, but I wouldn’t want to mark up an original pattern and then expect to completely wipe it clean

I have only used it a few weeks so far, so no telling how long the ink will last before it runs out.

I’m curious though – does anyone have other tips for keeping your place in a pattern like this?

Marking a pattern with highlighter.

Marking a pattern with highlighter.

Erasing a section.

Erasing a section.

WIP: Heart of Christmas Update

Last week I posted a new project start: Heart of Christmas by Stoney Creek.  Here are a few progress pics.  The section I’ve done so far is lots of confetti stitches of various colors (I’ll be glad to get into some nice blocks of color).  But it’s coming together nicely.  You can see the poinsettias with their surrounding greenery, and the teensiest bit of the red bow starting to emerge.

First stitches.  I stitched the poinsettias first to have an easy reference when I started the greenery.

First stitches. I stitched the poinsettias first to have an easy reference when I started the greenery.

A bit of greenery.

A bit of greenery.

Flowers, greenery, trellis and a bit of a red bow in the upper right.

Flowers, greenery, trellis and a bit of a red bow in the upper right.

 

 

New project and a scissor tip tip

Last week I posted about my finish of Faith Hope Love by Joyful Expressions.  This left an open spot in my rotation.  Joy of joys!!  Just think of the possibilities!!  After seeing so many lovely WIPs on stitching blogs I follow, I decided I wanted to tackle a slightly bigger or more complex project.  The others I have going right now are fairly simple and with just a few colors.  For quite some time I’ve had my eye on “Heart of Christmas” by Stoney Creek.  I know we’re coming into spring and I have no idea why I am so drawn to a Christmas pattern except it has so many beautiful bright colors!  You know how I love to stitch bright colors.

Sadly, I don’t have a local needlwork shop within an hour of me, so I do a lot of ordering online.  In this case, once I got on the Stoney Creek website, I had to order a few specialty threads and buttons to go with the pattern… and I just couldn’t resist the winter edition of their magazine… and a subscription.  Sigh.  So here’s the deliciously lovely pile of stuff that arrived a few days later.  I adore the ‘clear sky’ dyed fabric as a backdrop for the pattern, don’t you?

My package from Stoney Creek!

My package from Stoney Creek!

On a totally unrelated note, I wanted to share a tip to keep your scissor tips sharp and undamaged, as well as to keep them from poking other items in your project bag.  I’ve been using knitting needle covers, which can be purchased inexpensively from most any craft store, on my scissor tips!  Here’s a photo of a few of the tool kits in my various project bags.  (I buy the plastic containers, which are meant for scrapbooking, when they go on clearance at the big box craft store):

image

What’s your favorite project bag or cross-stitch-stash tip?  As you can see, I love organizing almost as much as stitching 😉

Happy Stitching!