Saturday, June 30, 2012

Color project update and quilt colors

I am already a quarter of the way through the color project, which seems rather insane.

It goes quickly but it's so tedious to constantly be starting a new color and then immediately ending it. I've been sort of queueing up ten or so at a time, and of course now I'll have loose thread on EVERY bobbin. I do have a number of other ideas for similar projects using different shapes and arrangements though, so I suppose I'll just continue those until I've used up the loose bits.

Also, here are the colors I've chosen for my quilt project! The dark green is possibly the background. The quilt block design I'm using is a Lemoyne Star, and the dark green is for the background (not sure which I'll use), which has a much larger fill pattern than the diamonds. That might be too dark a green, but I'll just have to see once I get there. I think my pricey hand-dyed variegated thread will work out though. It's no SO variegated that it will be overwhelming, just enough to provide some extra interest.

It was difficult to get a really accurate picture of the hand-dyed yarn, so I doctored that one on the computer. It's still not QUITE right, but you get the idea. Also, my star looks distorted because of the odd angle, but I promise it's not really. 

I am switching over to work on the quilt motif for a while, though it should go relative quickly.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The DMC color project - first look

Since I haven't been able to get to the embroidery shop to find the perfect thread for my quilt project, I started something new.

This will eventually be a square with almost every DMC solid color in it. I have to leave out 13 colors in order to make it a perfect square. So I'm randomly just leaving out some of the ones that are ridiculously close in shade to their neighbors. I'm stitching it in number order, which I think you'd have to do anyway just to keep track of where you were.

I've since completed the third row and I really love it so far. It's interesting to the see the colors in number order. I store mine by hue, because it makes it easier for me to pick colors for a new project, and I almost never stitch anything designed by anyone but me. I'm using the DMC provided color description sheet to cut down the time it takes to locate each color, but some of their descriptions seem rather off.

This piece goes quickly and slowly. It's slightly annoying since you're constantly starting a new thread and using such a small amount of each. I feel like I'm spending more time cutting the thread, separating the thread, cutting the thread again, winding the thread back on the bobbin, and putting it away than it takes to do the actual stitching!

Working out the numbers was a little exciting as I had to USE MATH! Granted, quite simple math, but still...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crafty Mother Fucker

Well, I finished this gorgeous pattern, which of course I can't photograph well since it's on black Aida. This is the best I could do, I'm afraid.

Anyway, I am pretty happy with it. If I were being really picky I'd redo Crafty in a different color, but I don't mind too much. The pattern is now for sale in my shop, and soon there will be a second picture with a very different color scheme.

My new project is a blackwork pattern I designed. It's all blackwork, but the design is a traditional quilt motif. It's hard to explain, but really awesome. This time I need to be extra careful about color choices though. There will be some variegated thread, for sure.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A diversion of the bunny kind...

I took a break from other pursuits to stitch this little bunny B for my nephew (his name is Benjamin so he's always been Benjamin Bunny).

I showed him a whole bunch of fonts like that with different sorts of added motifs and he picked the bunny on his own.

Today he helped me pick out a nice G to do for Evie (I think it's one with balloons). We had a good visit today and watched some soccer. He thought it was HILARIOUS when I got really loud and excited over a goal.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Understood Betsy pattern

Well, it's another book cover pattern for sale in my Etsy shop! This one for one of my very favorite old children's books. Understood Betsy is an AMAZINGLY perfect work of children's fiction. It should be just as well-known as the Little House on the Prairie books, yet it's not and this saddens me.

You can read Understood Betsy for free, since it's in the public domain. I think it's also still a common title to find in libraries. I really highly recommend it. I didn't read it for the first time until I was an adult, and I don't have or want children, but it was so much fun and appealed to me so much. A good book is good at any age (that does not mean that any book you liked as a kid, or as an adult, is a good, well-written book).

Anyway, here's a sneak peak at my newest project. I'll give you a hint and tell you that there is a third word coming and it is predictable. When the pattern is for sale though I'll also be offering 'clean' versions.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Little House on the Prairie

This is a pattern I designed for an Etsy customer who is now my super e-mail friend! This is her finished work and her picture. 

It's the original cover to Little House on the Prairie, illustrated by Helen Sewell. You can buy in the pattern in my shop!

I've also completed my cover of Understood Betsy and the pattern will be in the shop in the next couple of days.

In Euro Cup news, SO glad England won their game today. I had a bad morning and definitely needed the cheering up. It was a brilliant game and I hope it enthuses the team enough so they play well against Ukraine. Actually I'm torn on that, as I enjoy the Ukrainian teams and was hoping for more from them. I want Croatia to advance from Group C, and my money is on Germany to win it all. I feel guilty for having missed all of Group A's games!

Also, I'm already feeling homicidal towards Adrian Healey and Ian Darke. I think the commentating should be left to former footballers. I love Steve McManaman (hadn't heard him commentate before), and I like Twellman pretty well. Both know it's okay NOT to talk sometimes, that fans don't want to hear inane drivel and pointless statistics. I'd also like them to team up with comedians, which would liven up the boring games. It is my dream to hear Sean Lock commentate a game (along with a 'proper' commentator, since you've got to have a straight man).

Monday, June 11, 2012

Swapping around

Julie of Subversive Cross Stitch and I swapped pieces and I got this fabulous indicator of my frequent mood! I sent off my Man on Fire piece to her this morning.

I tried to make a cross face for the picture but somehow couldn't, so I'm including this picture of my niece, Evie, doing her best death-glare.

If any of you are interested in swapping, please let me know! It doesn't have to be embroidery for embroidery, and I'm happy to ship overseas. My pieces won't come framed or mounted, but they will be in mailing tubes so you won't have to do any ironing. Just leave me a comment, send me a message, whatever. Almost every piece I've made I still have.

The last week was been very tiring, and this week promises to be no different. I'm so tired of feeling constantly exhausted. 

On the plus side, it's the Euro Cup! Best game I've seen so far is Sweden-Ukraine. Very exciting second half. Sad to see Ireland lose to Croatia (and to see Croatia's stupid new shirts), but maybe they can make it up in the next game. England-Ukraine should be interesting. 

There was also a US World Cup qualifier that I caught the other day and another tomorrow, only it's a stadium vaguely near me and therefore unavailable to watch on TV. Grumble grumble. It's nice to have so much soccer to watch though! I would rant here about the US team and coaching and the Cult of Landon Donovan that the commentators are STILL drunk on. Even if they haven't noticed that he's never fulfilled that hype, surely they should realize that it puts immense pressure on him as a player. (Okay, that was a tiny rant.)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Grateful Dead - Steal Your Face

Remember this awesome embroidery? Well now you can have the pattern for free!

If you stitch it on 18 count Aida it will fit on those four-inch square coasters (the design window is three inches, this will measure just under 3 inches on 18 count).

It's been a long time since I sent this away, but I think I used DMC 304 and 312. In the colored areas (left mostly blank on the pattern, for ease of printing, with there to remind you what goes where) I used half-crosses rather than full cross-stitches, because that way it they don't overwhelm the outline.
As you can see I accidentally forgot the backstitch lines on my piece, and it looks fine without it. That's what happens when you fill in the colors without looking at the pattern (because why would you?) and then get so excited about finished that you pop it in the coaster. You can't open those things back up easily, not without cracking the top window! These are things I have learned.

Just click on the pattern image, then right click it and select 'view image' for easy printing (or saving, or whatever, you know what to do).

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Watch Out, They Taste Curvy

One of my favorite things in comedy shows is when they put amusing posters in doctors' offices. They were especially skilled at this in the old show A Very Peculiar Practice (which I highly recommend, if you can find it).

There are also a few good posters in one episode of the Scottish show Still Game, which is about my favorite comedy ever, and that's where this piece comes from. It's completely insane and amazing, plus I love the Glaswegian slang.

Anyway, the point of this post is that this pattern is now for sale in my Etsy shop. Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!

I am trying to keep up both a Facebook page and a Tumblr for my shop, so there are those links. Also, I'm looking for pictures of my patterns that other people have stitched, so if you fulfill that criteria please do send me a snap.

If I can wrangle up some more press then I'll be doing some contests and such soon.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Royal Winton Queen Anne - Finished!

Today is an historic day. I have finished my chintz napkin. There are a few little things I might go in and add/fix, but it's pretty damn finished and that's the main thing.

After months of working on and off, horrible hand cramps, unfocusing eyes, pricked fingers and bouts of swearing, I'll never need to stitch that damn pattern again.

If you'd like to stitch it just contact me for the pattern. It's easy enough to get from the china, but mine is already finished and in a handy .jpg file so I'm happy to share.

Now I can rest and get some good laziness in before the next project!

Monday, June 4, 2012


This pattern will be up for sale in my Etsy shop soon. It comes with not one, but two fancy full square borders. Both say "Yeah man, I'll gnaw your face off," along the tops and bottom. The first's pillars with Cheat spots and the second's have some of his many alter-egos. 

I've also created a Homsar pattern that I have yet to stitch, and have gotten a fair bit done on my napkin. I think it will be done in another couple of days. 

For now the napkin has started to put me to sleep, so I've been working on possibly my favorite pattern design ever. Details soon!

Oh, I'm also trying to start a Facebook account and Tumblr account for my store. Both will include information new patterns, contests, notifications of store sales, and pieces by other talented needleworkers. Only bear with me, I can only slightly navigate Facebook.

If you've stitched any of my patterns, please send me a picture of it!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Time Spent Dismounted...

Remember this guy? 

The quote is by A.D. Wintle, famous London eccentric. I'm sure I'm taking the quote out of context, but that's life.I also redesigned the traditional Blackwork man to be a bit more suggestive.

So the point of all that is that the pattern is now for sale in my Etsy shop. Yay me!

I could be done with The Cheat by now, but ended up sleeping for twelve hours straight (it's been a really exhausting week), thus not waking up until 11:45! Sigh. Oh well. Technically I could have gotten more done last night, but I wanted to be sure the color was going to work out so I only stitched a few rows in the last color as it was dark.