As part of the Cottage Garden Threads Collectors Club, there is a Progressive Stitchery Sampler to complete. With the 4 new threads every month there is a mini design unique to each thread colour. Pam and Katie included the layout in the first month’s thread allocation. After juggling new website building, 7 days a week trading, inevitable paperwork, a 5 year old starting school and much discussion with Kerry over the best surface to do this project justice …. Roughly 2 months later, I have finally started.
I don’t usually go in for progressive mystery stuff. I am the kind of girl who likes to have everything I need to complete something on hand before I start. I even get the dry horrors when customers come in with mystery samplers and their requirements. Totally freaks me out. Yes I know, I am a control freak and I need help.
However, with this, I already know what the threads look like at least, as we stock all of the range at Victoria House Needlecraft. They are really lovely and I know the sampler will look lovely, if my stitching does them justice. And then of course is the design by the mystery designer every month … But you will only get to see that if you join the Collectors Club. Who knows I may even make a quilt out of the mystery designer submissions at the end. … or I could be abducted by aliens. There are about the same odds on both. … or they could be just be part of the stuff in the cupboard that Jack will flog on EBAY when I am dead.
So lets discuss surfaces, we are using 36 count Antique White Edinburgh from Zweigart and a homespun in antique white as a stabiliser. I stitched along the thread lines like I do when I grid up for a cross stitch, I could take them out now but it is probably better to leave them in to ensure accurate placement when you have a design with 25 rows in it. I am taking it home tonight to run some stitching lines down the sides with the gathering stitch set to 5mm to hold the fabric together. And because I am basically a lazy trollop I will not be whip stitching to stop the fraying, the overlocker will be on duty this evening too.
We gave the new DMC marker pen a test drive. It would appear the plastic driver mechanism has already had a blow out and keeps slipping. I currently have the blue marker loaded but using sticky tape to hold into position. Could do with some improvements in manufacture DMC (just in case you happen to be reading here, my contact details are above). Bit of a bugger the mechanism going, but I do like the fact that there are 6 marker colours to choose from. And I guess it is a little more accurate than the tailors chalk that I would have had to have used from my workbox.
I am insanely jealous of those women who can free form stitch accurately. I always need some kind of placement. Hence the blue stuff all over the surface. I am also remembering why I usually do cross stitch and tapestry and knitting. It is precise, mathematical, this is a little to imprecise for me. I have started with 307 Dandelion, which was just fine and dandy for the stem stitch along the straight line of a square that I had traced (… with a ruler). But NOW I have to do the design in the middle. I know there are soooo many modern options these days with soluable stitching interfaces but I am working with a hand dyed thread and I have no plans to take this puppy swimming at the end. I also have never really liked those disappearing ink pens either. I am opting for the way my Grandma, Nanna and Mum taught me, design drawn onto muslin/batiste stitched over and then the threads drawn out with tweezers. Laborious yes! Accurate yes! Complete confidence in method HELL YES!
Watch this space.
Needlecraft stuff we talk about
- Black Parrot Art Room
- CustomFit by Amy Herzog Designs
- Debi Birkin Designs
- Jane Nicholas
- Liverpool Picture Framing
- Mimosa Embroidery
- Regal Craft Cards
- The Stitchery
- Thread Colour Converter