Saturday, December 25, 2010

Easter is coming!

It's a beautiful, sunny, warm day on the island.  With nothing to do but cook and stitch without guilt, it's a perfect day.

I'm working on the leader of the Easter March, the Easter Bunny.  I'm using Silk & Ivory and an encroaching Gobelin over 4 for his fur.  I tried Silk & Ivory for his arm to bring it to the forefront, and ordered Trio for his body.  The Trio was not nearly as white as the Silk & Ivory, so I ended up not using the Trio.  The fatter thread has been just fine for the areas that are stitched in Basketweave and I can sculpt the fur to add dimension.

If I had been thinking ahead, I would have stitched his body first and fluffed it up with my nap brush.  Now I am using a combination of the nap brush and Judy's Boo Boo Stick to bring up the nap.   A credit card or store loyalty card is perfect for protecting the areas stitched around his body from the brushes.

My next fix will be to redo the lower part of the basket--it needs to come out from the canvas.  Since my first attempt is never going to rip out, I'll be working over it.  Now, back to "work".

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas March completed!

My Christmas March is finished, except for the stars and the extra rows outside the design.

Here are a few things that changed in the process of teaching the class.

1.  Kreinik drastically changed the color of the #8 braid I was using. Luckily, my class was able to trade with each other so no one had to rip out any stitches.
2,  After seeing how much my polar bear picked fibers and fur out of thin air when stitched with Petite Very Velvet in white, a couple of stitchers switched to Vineyard Silk for the bear.  Much better.  Note to dogs:  stop shedding.
3.  For the wheels, one of the stitchers left the blocks until last.  This allowed her to anchor a thread in the center of the wheel, letting it hang free on the front of the canvas.  She used the thread to show the right direction for the random long and short stitches, rotating it as she stitched.  Much easier than trying to imagine the proper direction.
4.  I had originally stitched the base as a modified rice done entirely in Burmilana.  To beef it up a bit, we added Kreinik #16 for the underlying cross stitches.  That also left a bit of sparkle at the corners and center of each block.  Will I go back and back stitch mine to make it better?  What are the odds?
5.  One of the stitchers went to four ply for the sky, instead of my 3 ply because she is having the canvas made into a pillow. 

Keep stitching and stay warm.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Needlepoint Decorating

I played hooky from the shop yesterday and a wonderful time touring 4 homes in our historic district. They were all beautifully decorated for the holiday season, but one house in particular stood out for me and my fellow needlepoint addicts.

The owner of the home had stitched quite a collection of needlepoint ornaments and she displayed them in imaginative ways.  Ornaments were hung from cabinet knobs, door handles and hung on the side of lampshades.  I’ve also seen wreaths and garlands that were adorned with needlepoint ornaments.  Whether you have a huge collection of needlepoint ornaments that more than fill a tree or you have just begun your collection, you can spread holiday cheer throughout your home.

Happy Holidays, Michele