Saturday, May 1, 2021

April stitching round-up

In a reverse of how this usually goes - I felt like I did a lot of stitching this month and then when I went to do the round-up, there didn't seem to be as much as I thought. Maybe because I also spent a bit of time doing some finishing? I do actually have 4 FFOs this month, but they are all pretty small projects. As I continue to try to clear out some old stash, I pulled out 4 small hoops I had and found some small designs to put in them (and I used a few old bits of fabric too!).

First up was this little bonsai tree that I had some fun with. The design is from "The OmniBook of Quickies" that I've had for easily 20 years (more likely 25). I have a half dozen or so Weeks Dye Works skiens that I picked up when my LNS closed that have just been sitting in storage, so I pulled out #2202 "Bullfrog" for the greenery on the trees and used DMC 4130 for the planter. In hindsight I should have chosen a little lighter brown for the trunk of the tree, but I'm still pretty happy with how it came out. The leaves on the tree were charted for two DMC greens and I used a variegated thread instead so I just hopped around the design as I was stitching to mix it up. The range in the colors wasn't huge, but I still like how it came out. The bottom was a variegated DMC thread that was supposed to look like a copper planter, which I think it kind of does.

Next was this cute little penguin that I got from the JCS 2013 ornaments issue. I changed the color of the hat though to something that fellow fans of a certain 2002 sci-fi TV series might recognize. :)

Last weekend I tried my hand at tea-dyeing fabric for the first time. The fabric for both of the next two are on the results. I was using a scrap from my stash and I wasn't sure if it was 100% cotton or if it was a blend, so I made the tea pretty strong. Maybe a little too strong as it turns out since I'm pretty sure now that the fabric was completely cotton after all. But I'm still pretty happy that I gave it a try and I learned a few things before the next attempt.

This design was from the JCS 2012 Halloween special issue and I altered it a little from the original. I substituted DMC 90 for the moon and it came out a little more stripey than I would have liked so now it looks more like the cat is watching Jupiter rise!

And this one was from the JCS 2011 Halloween issue. For this one, I changed out the thread for the "booo" to WDW "Trick or Treat" which I used before on a border for another Halloween design. The lightest yellow was probably a little too light for the fabric, but I'm still pretty happy with how it came out. The more interesting thing was that it was the first time in over a decade (at least) that I've stitched on 28 count over 1 and amazingly my eyes didn't bleed thanks to the new glasses I got last summer and my magnifying lamp. I had a hard time getting this centered like I was aiming for, but after messing with it for far too long, I called it "done". I also left off the "to you" part that was along the bottom since I just wanted it to say "booo" because we had a black cat named Boo when I was a kid. :)

That's it for the FFOs, but I also have a partial finish because I wrapped up the spring quarter of Celtic Seasons. I started it on the first day of spring and finished it a month later (although I wasn't working on it exclusively). I'm happy with how it is looking on the black fabric and I can't wait to see how the remaining seasons come out. I'm not quite sure about some of the backstitching though since it looks like it is getting a little lost in some of the stitching and I don't know if that would have been the case on a lighter fabric.

And I've been keeping up with my Temperature Tree. I usually stitch up the previous week's worth of leaves up on the weekend, so this is complete through the end of April. (sorry the color balance is a little wonky on the photo, I was too lazy to fix it this month!)

I technically had a new start this month... yet another Mill Hill kit... but I'll wait until next month to post more about that. It might even get finished in May, although I'm going to try to concentrate on the "big project" I'm hoping to either finish or get a lot done on this year. And I'm just now touching it in May so.... good luck to me, especially since I'm expecting that a lot of that extra time that I got back in my schedule during the pandemic is going to start to go away in the next few months. I also did some shopping this month (I seem to every month these days!) but I'll share more about the Mill Hill kit I bought in that batch in a future update when I actually get started on it.

That's it for April!