Friday, February 24, 2012

Progress in Gathering Honey

Images of flowers, bee-skeps and garden paths are a contrast to today's blowing snow and cold.  But I've been warm inside here, beside the fire, and have managed to complete the outer cross-stitched corners of the design.  Next will come the bees, and then I can finally begin with the backstitching and specialty stitches.  Here's the progress to date:

It doesn't seem like much of a change when I compare it to my earlier photo, but there were a lot of colour changes and quarter-stitches in there - I'm looking forward now to seeing what a difference the back-stitching will make.  However, bees first :) 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Once upon a time,

Gathering Honey

Once upon a time, long ago and far away, I started several stitching projects.  For one reason or another (running out of a crucial thread, life interfering, not knowing how to proceed with a stitch, etc., etc.), some of these were set aside.  And now the time's come to pick them up again and FINISH them.  Other projects are enticing, but none are currently urgent, so these three long-delayed pieces are now either in my stitching frame or ready to go.  The first is the longest-running, an old Better Homes and Garden piece called Gathering Honey (shown above).  I think there are over 4  dozen colours, and a few specialty stitches as well.  I can't remember when I started it, but I'd guess at perhaps six or seven years ago.  Here's my progress to date: 

Gathering Honey - progress to mid-February 2012

While I've stitched a lot, there's still lots more to come and it's not quick work.  So we'll see - I'm thinking that I'd like to have it finished by Easter, but in the past, setting myself deadlines has taken much of the pleasure from the stitching, so I'll keep that time in mind, but in the meantime just concentrate on enjoying each section as I do it.

The two stems in the lower right quadrant of the inner motif will later be topped by a yellow section of multiple French knots, something I haven't stitched for quite some time.  But seeing as I did a piece once that called for a couple of hundred of them, I think that the twenty or so from this pattern shouldn't be too daunting.   The threads for the design are DMC, stitched on about a 28-ct. linen. 

Two more are waiting in the wings after this one.   One's called The Cloister Garden, a design from Drawn Thread, stitched with Au Ver a Soie on 32 ct. linen in a soft mauve-y rose. 
     Here it is:

The Drawn Thread's design of The Cloister Garden , and my progress to date

 It was passed on to me from another stitcher several years ago, and after looking carefully at it and continuing with the small section she'd started, I realized that she'd started with the wrong shade of silk.  So I've re-stitched most of it, and hopefully won't take ages to finish it.  I have the instructions and suggestions from a group who stitched this together (each on her own project) - I'll see whether their ideas make my needles fly a little faster :) 

The final design of this floral triumvirate is another Drawn Thread design, The Violet Sampler.  Although I don't have an image at the moment of the original photograph on the pattern envelope, you can get an idea of it from my progress photo here - like the previous DT design,  it's also in silk on linen (sorry about the lack of ironing in this photo!) 

My progress on The Drawn Thread's Violet Sampler 

 The violet was the favorite flower of my mother-in-law - in her garden she cherished a few plants of this delicate spring flower from her native province of New Brunswick.   So once this is completed, I'd like to frame it carefully and hang it close to a photo of her as a young woman.

My stitching time won't  suffer from lack of possibilities :)