For Jen & Jim, with love

Jen-&-Jim-Wedding-Cross-Stitch-smallThe big family wedding was on Sunday, and yesterday at the post-celebratory get-together I was able to give my lovely niece and her wonderful new husband the small extra gift that I had stitched for them.

To my adaptation of the Blackbird Designs “Heart in Bloom” chart (I adjusted the border, reworked the letters and changed some of the floss colors), I added their names and a large capital to highlight their newly-shared last name, plus I included their wedding date, of course. I think that the kids appreciated that I made them something from the heart.

Prairie Schooler Queen Bee

Queen-Bee-in-progressAll this talk about bees caused me to remember that I had a little Prairie Schooler Queen Bee mini-card in my collection. I decided to start it on some leftover, black 14-count Aida cloth from my stash. Large weave Aida is not my favorite fabric as it is so stiff and rough, but it’ll do fine for this small project, which I think will end up as a nice little egg-shaped pincushion. The photo shows how much was stitched in just one sitting, I hope to finish it this weekend.

Speaking of bees

IMG_5669As I mentioned in my last post, my name Deborah means “bee,” so I always like to add a bee or two as tiny accents to my stitching projects when possible. I especially use bees as my signature on pieces that I am personalizing as a gift for someone and where signing with my own initials just won’t work. Hence I have a Pinterest board devoted to “Small Cross Stitch Motifs,” where I have collected several tiny cross stitch bee images (amongst other things) from which I can choose.

I often use the simplest of designs, usually because I have only a very tiny area left to fill (sometimes only a 6 stitch width!) on any project, and I much prefer primitive-style or very stylized designs for my pieces. But I am always on the lookout for any type of tiny cross stitch bees that might be useful in the future!

 

 

Heart in Bloom

IMG_8157I’ve finally finished Blackbird Designs “Heart in Bloom.” Such a long time to complete such a small project!

I really enjoyed stitching this because it is a gift for two people whom I dearly love. I stitched the names of the recipients at the bottom under the border, which I revised to better suit my needs, and I also added a tiny bee as my signature to the right of one of the flowers. I like to add bees because my name means “bee,” and try to include one in every project, if possible.

I’ve purchased a lovely square frame from Michael’s Crafts for this, but am not completely certain about the look, and so will wait until the weekend to decide. Overall, though, I’m quite happy with the way this little project turned out.

A little progress

IMG_7499I finally found some time this past week to put in a little more effort on my current project, “Heart in Bloom.” Per usual, I find I’m changing the floss colors a bit as I go along, and am making some design adjustments to better suit my idea of balance. The actual chart is  small, so the changes I am making won’t affect the overall size very much at all, and I doubt anyone but the designer would notice the revisions.

I almost always find it hard to stitch a chart exactly as it is shown, I keep wanting to fiddle with it. I suppose that’s the graphic designer in me coming out. I get a lot of pleasure out of adapting what I see to make it better suit its recipient and my own sense of color.

I’m glad that I chose a small design because the arthritis in my right hand has been slowing me down of late. It sometimes prevents me from stitching entirely — gripping that little needle is an impossible challenge some days. However, my “wear and tear” arthritis is quite mild compared to that of several people I know. Most of the time I don’t even think about it, it’s only when I go to turn a key in a lock or button a shirt or grip the handle of a coffee cup that I am reminded that there are some little things I just can’t do as well as I used to be able to do. All I can say is that ibuprofen is my friend!

Little flower

FlowerHere is the very beginning of my next stitching project. This pretty little flower is from “Heart in Bloom” which is at the back of the book “A Stitcher’s Journey” by Blackbird Designs.

I’m stitching this as part of the wedding gift for my niece and her fiancé, but I’m not too worried about blowing the surprise here, because I seriously doubt that either of them reads my needlework blog. But should they stumble across it, then surprise – and happy upcoming wedding!

I haven’t decided yet how I will be personalizing the piece yet, that’s something I will be thinking about while I stitch it.

Seeing stars

Star2Here’s my very first self-folded German paper star! I learned the technique from watching the video tutorial that I mentioned yesterday. I seriously doubt that I’ll ever give my big sister a run for her money in either output or speed in crafting these, but it was fun to learn how to make these little gems.

I also started my new cross stitch project yesterday. I only managed a few stitches in one of the flowers, but it felt really good to be putting floss to fabric again.

Stitch diary pages

Stitch-Diary-PageI was recently noodling around with my stitch diary and started wondering if I could make my scribbled notes more organized. I did a search of the web for inspiration and found several highly embellished examples of stitch journals, but nothing seemed to be exactly what I wanted, so I decided to create my own simplified page.

Since I wanted to reuse an old three-ring mini-binder, I designed my entry pages for a 5.5” x 8.5” overall size. I printed them out two-up on some leftover stationery stock, which I then sliced down the middle and hole-punched. Voila! Going to try these out for a bit and see if I prefer this neater method better than my little spiral notebook.