Saturday, March 17, 2012

Honeycomb update

It's taken a while, but the honeycomb is finished! And I've made a start on the backstitching - the gray corners of the two frames have been outlined, the flourishes stitched around what will be the wording, and I've moved onto the flagstones.   Backstitching can be barely noticeable, but it does make a difference to the finished look - that said, I generally prefer patterns that have very little LOL  And this is the first design I can recall where the backstitching is done with several different  colours (about ten, if I recall).  No predictions on goals for this week, I'll just keep on with the backstitching, and maybe practice French knots on a spare piece of linen, as there are a lot more than I'd realized, well over 100 in that small lower right quadrant of the garden on those two green stems.   There's some chain stitch as well before I get to the French knots - lots to keep me interested :)    Thanks for those who are tagging along with me here - it's good to have company!  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Remembering Japan

It's been a year ago today, March 11, when the earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan.  I wrote this post in May of 2011, after completing a special piece designed with these events in mind.   I thought it might be appropriate to repost a revised version now. 

New designer Kathy Bungard, of Gracewood Stitches, was very moved by the devastation in Japan from the earthquake and tsunami.  In response, she decided to donate her new pattern, Sanctuary, to anyone who requested it, and asked for donations to be sent to an appropriate agency, for this or similar disasters.  Her design, inspired by vintage woodcuts and by the natural world, evokes warmth and home as a refuge in the midst of wildnessand uncertainty.  I thought it appropriate here for me to use fabric and threads I had on hand, so found a piece of linen that a friend had given to me, and paired it with several DMC colours, predominantly a terra cotta and some blue-greens (although the original pattern called for grays instead of the blue-greens).   Each time I see this piece, I`m moved to remember and pray for all those going through difficult times - not just in Japan (and the crisis there is not over yet), but anywhere in the world.

The pattern's available at Gracewood Stitches, and you can find out more about Kathy's creative process in her blog which outlines her sources and how she develops and stitches her designs.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Buzzing ....

Not too much stitching done in the past couple of weeks - with company here there was little time to sit down and concentrate, but I did manage to make a little progress.   The dozen bees now have all the cross-stitching finished, and I've made a start on the honeycomb in the lower left corner.  The backstitching on the bees (and the rest of the design) is called for when the honeycomb's complete.   Our visiting house guest is a beekeeper (amongst other things LOL), and she very much liked this design, commenting on how accurate the bee skep was, although of course skeps haven't been generally used for well over a century. 

I also did one small band on Drawn Thread's Cloister Garden, just for a change of pace, but no photos of that one yet. 

After the snow storm earlier this week, there's water sluicing down the street now, and the temperatures are warm enough for us to pull out our spring jackets - but at the same time, we'll keep our winter coats not too far away.  I've lived here long enough not to be deceived by warm temperatures in March :)