Friday, 30 July 2010

Shy Baby as of 29.07.10

This week I have been working on Shy Baby by Katerina Koukiotis (Copyright Heaven & Earth Designs 2008, Copyright Katerina Koukiotis 2008). I have been working on this project since around about October last year. I started sewing on 18 count aida 2 over 1 full crosses. I had completed 3 full pages but I really wasn't happy with what I had done. I had used two different skeins for one of the colours and because I was just sewing one full page and then moving onto the next one there was a major difference in the colours even though it was supposed to be the same colour and there was a definite line between the two pages. I had also started another project doing tent stitch which I am loving as you get much more done and the progress is fantastic. I decided that even though I had completed 3 full pages I had another 22 pages to go and if I wasn't happy with it now then I was never going to be happy with it. So I scrapped what I had and restarted on 20 count aida using 3 strands of floss over 1 but in tent stitch. I also decided to start at the bottom right hand corner so that I wasn't stitching the same section again straight away. This week I managed to do 5,471 stitches out of a total of 164,850 which means I have completed 3.32%. So this is my progress after 1 week and honestly I don't want to move onto my next project I really want to carry on with Shy Baby but it will only be another 4 weeks before I can work on her again. So here's the photo of my progress.

So my progress towards my goals:

  1. Finish two pages of SK Butterflies Galore - no progress
  2. Finish two pages of SK Masquerade for July/Dec SAL - no progress
  3. Finish two pages of Train of Dreams - no progress
  4. Finish two pages of Shy Baby - 1 page completed (3.32% completed of the total)

Saturday, 24 July 2010

My name is Nicola and I am a HAEDaholic!

What is it about a sale that makes me go completely and utterly out of my mind? It's not like HAED don't have a sale regularly, you would think the way I react each time they have a sale that they only have one once a year.

Well I am confessing that in the most recent sale I went completely and utterly overboard and bought the following:-

So I am confessing to my sin and hoping that one day I will stitch all these beautiful designs and have a house big enough to be able to display them all.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Train of Dreams WIP 22.07.10

So after my last post I decided that I would start Train of Dreams and restart Shy Baby.

This week I have been working on Train of Dreams by Randall Spangler. I love all his designs with dragons and am stitching this for my little boy as I hope he shares the love of dragons that his dad and I have.

So I am stitching on 20 count white aida 3 over 1 tent stitch. This is the first project I have done with tent stitch and I am really enjoying it. I started off using 2 over 1 but I didn't like the coverage but using 3 strands really does cover well and I certainly get a lot more stitched than I would doing crosses. So this week I have done 1793 of 102500 which is 1.75%. At this rate rotating five projects I should have this finished in about 5 years time!!!!

Anyway here is the picture.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to try and change the half year goals that I had set with HAED but unfortunately I was too late and the post was closed so I don't have any goals set with them. I have however decided to set my own goals. So by the end of the year I want to have completed these goals:
  1. Finish two pages of SK Butterflies Galore
  2. Finish two pages of SK Masquerade for July/Dec SAL
  3. Finish two pages of Train of Dreams
  4. Finish two pages of Shy Baby

I am not sure how realistic these goals are but I'll see how I go.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Restarting & Unpicking - Serial Starter or Sensible Decisions?

Well I had five projects in rotation:-

  1. SK - Butterflies Galore
  2. SK - Masquerade
  3. Charlie's Ark (3 left to do)
  4. Shy Baby
  5. Cruising the Information Highway

Last week I decided I wasn't happy with Shy Baby and I was going to restart it. I had completed three pages but the first two pages I had done I literally only sewed what was on those pages, so if there was a stitch of the same colour on the next page I didn't do it, I just stuck to the page. The problem with this is that two of the colours I was using ran out of thread part way through and started new skeins which were totally different colours. I don't think this would have been as big an issue but for the fact I had stuck to each page and therefore there is a definite line between pages. Probably anyone else looking at this wouldn't even notice there was a problem but I can see it and I don't think I would ever be happy with the finished product. I was also stitching on 18 count aida and I have now discovered 20 count aida and I thought restarting would also mean that the finished product wouldn't be quite so massive. So I decided to cut my losses and restart this project at a later date.

Earlier this week I decided to also restart Cruising the Information Highway, on this one I had only completed 600 stitches and I decided I was going to change to tent stitch instead of full crosses just so that I can get through projects more quickly. I also have the fabric for this on a floor standing frame. Anyway after working on this for a few nights I've discovered I can't sit on my sofa and sew on a floor standing frame. There isn't room in my living room to sit on a straight back chair to sew and the other alternative would be to sit in the other room and sew, which I don't think my husband would appreciate. Also unpicking those 600 stitches is proving to be a LOT more difficult than I ever thought possible.

So now I have to make some decisions. My first thought was to take Shy Baby off the frame and restart a new project but I was enjoying stitching her so much I am wondering whether to cut new 20 count aida and start here again but starting from the bottom this time instead of the top. My intention then is to purchase a larger clip frame and start a different large project and leave Cruising the Information Highway until I move house. I have so many gorgeous designs to choose from I am sure it won't be too hard!!

The trouble is I have set my half year goals on HAED so I will have to nip over there now and see if I can still change them!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Millie - Charlie's Ark

Last year when I was pregnant with my son I decided I wanted to do some cross stitch pictures for his bedroom. I decided on a series of pictures from Charlie's Ark. There are 8 smaller pictures which each feature one animal and then my sister also did one of the large pictures as a birth sampler for my son.

The picture my sister did is:

I started off sewing Emm as I have a definite thing for Giraffes.

I then went on to sew Spud.

Then Scrump & Joey.

Next came the bain of my life, Buss. This one really stumped me, I really couldn't get into sewing it. I think it was all the colours in his mane and all the back stitching (I hate back stitching!!). Compared to a HAED design these pictures are like children's colouring but as easy as it should be I just couldn't bring myself to finish this design. Because I couldn't finish this one I didn't feel I could start another one and the series was put on hold. My son is now 6 months old so probably 12 months after I started stitching this series my wonderful sister offered to finish Buss off for me. She took it home and literally finished it in two nights.

So that left me free to start a new design. So on 9th July I started on Millie and 5 days later here she is finished.

So that leaves me to sew the final three Pee, Putty and Zeep. Once I have completed the set I will put up a picture of all nine cross stitches as they are displayed on my son's bedroom wall. I hope he appreciates all the work I put in when he's older.

All the images on this page apart from the last one (Millie) are taken from pictures shown on a website selling these charts. If you are interested in purchasing any of these charts the website I bought mine from was from a company called Stitchability and there is a link to there site in my favourite website bar at the side.

So these charts are obviously not HAED charts and therefore this week I haven't accomplished anything towards my half yearly goals but I am glad that I have finally got back into sewing them before my son gets too old to tell me he doesn't want them in his bedroom!!

Friday, 9 July 2010

HAED Half Year Goals Challenge

Today I set myself some half year goals so I thought I should record them here to remind myself what they are!! So by the end of the year this is what I hope to have achieved:-

  1. Finish 2 pages of Masquerade SK SAL - currently completed 2,402 stitches (12.7%)
  2. Finish 2 pages of Butterflies Galore SK - currently completed 2,434 stitches (20.53%)
  3. Finish 1 page of Cruising the Information Highway - currently completed 600 stitches (0.54%)
  4. Finish 1 page of Steam Butterfly - not currently started

So I will try and keep track of how I am doing with these goals as I update.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Masquerade SK as of 08.07.10

Well this week I have been working on the July-Dec 2010 SAL from Heaven and Earth Designs. The story keep I chose is called Masquerade, it is a design by Ching Chou-Kuik (Copyright Ching Chou-Kuik 2010). I am stitching on 20 count white aida, 2 over 2, full crosses. I am loving stitching this, the colours are gorgeous, in fact I love it so much I have added the whole picture to my wish list to do at some point in the future.

This is what the finished picture looks like.

And this is my progress after the first week. I've completed 2,402 of 18,919 stitches which is 12.7% complete.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Butterflies Galore as of 01.07.10

Well this week I have been working on the Story Keep Butterflies Galore by the artist Jasmine Becket Griffith, copyright Heaven and Earth Designs 2009.

This is the original picture.

I've loved stitching this so far as the colours are so vibrant compared to the other projects I am currently working on. I'm using a different technique which I haven't used before. Basically for each colour I start I go through the whole chart and stitch every stitch (I can find) in that colour. This will hopefully cut out all that horrible confetti stitching and starting and ending threads all the time.

I started this project on 14.05.10 and initially didn't make much progress but this week I feel like I have really accomplished a lot. I have now completed 2,434 of 11,853 stitches which is 20.5% complete.