Friday, May 21, 2010

Petei Nativity Scene

I'm almost finished with Evelyn's stocking; in between sessions with that canvas, I worked on this little one by Petei.

A few years ago we had Petei's trunk show in our Michigan store and I bought the entire Nativity set for my stash.  I had seen it finished at a market in Dallas, stitched with stitch guides by John Waddell.  Of course, I had to have those, too.

I have started with Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, figuring the Wise Men, shepherds and various critters can show up later.

I made a few of changes to John's stitch guide involving my choice of threads.  For the sky, I used a thread that didn't exist when the guides were written--Vineyard Silk Shimmer in Night.  It covered the 18 mesh white canvas beautifully and was much easier to use than the Gold Rush 14 called for.  I substituted Vineyard Silk for Madeira silk because I didn't have Madeira and I didn't want to have to strip and ply a thread.  I know that a lot of the same threads are called for in the entire set and I am trying to keep this easy and quick.

John called for the Serendipity stitch, one I can't believe I had never tried before.  I found the easiest way to stitch it was to start with the Mosaic stitch as if I were stitching a Framed Mosaic.  I then added the second set of stitches.  This is definitely going to be one of my "go to"All in all, I know I am going to have fun following John's stitch guides as I work on this collection.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Grant's stocking part 5

There was a lot of basketweave involved in the little design areas, but both bears were done in French knots and the cardinal was stitched in Perle cotton for the dark outlines and red Fuzzy Stuff for the random long and short stitches on the body and wings.

Although I chose this canvas for the mesh, the size and the simplicity of the design, I really enjoyed stitching it.  Instead of the year + (okay, years +) I take contemplating, ripping out and re-stitching my usual 18 count Tapestry Tent stockings, I finished this stocking in 7 weeks.  (And I didn’t stitch in the store, just for an hour or two at night. Alright, I did finish the sky with 4 hours of basketweaving while watching the Masters.)  I love this Santa’s sweet face, the doll pointing the horizon out to the horse, the bear looking down at the doll, which is in turn looking at the cardinal, and the calm face of the reindeer.  I know this stocking will have a happy home and will be part of many wonderful Christmas memories.

Time to start Miss Evelyn’s stocking….

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Grant's stocking part 4

The reindeer was stitched in Encroaching Gobelin using a combination of Silk ‘n Cream, Vineyard Silk and Silk & Ivory, matching the colors painted.  I then used a Bunka brush to make her furry and blend the stitches.  The next step involved trimming the fuzz with my Turkey tufting scissors to make the surface even.  Her ruff is Angora and the Encroaching Gobelin stitch.  Angora won’t stand up to a Bunka brush (I’ve tested it myself), so I used a soft toothbrush to bring up the fur.

The reindeer’s basket was stitched in Perle cotton #5 using the Cross Stitch with Beads stitch found in Suzy Murphy’s latest book “Suzy’s Mini Stitches”.  I used the darker brown for the long horizontal cross stitches and replaced the beads with small upright crosses in light brown.  I thought about stitching an open topped-basket with a wire rim, but thought again of wanting a stocking that a child wouldn’t have to use with care.