- Join Emily (eclecticpossessions) and I on Instagram for #dark13stitching where we stitch on something dark and creepy on the 13th of every month
- Melanie’s Soulful Stitching Facebook group also has monthly Darktober stitching SALs on the 13th of every month
- Join the Hawk Run Hollow SAL hosted by Abi Bellastitch and I – on Instagram you can use the #hrhvillagesal if you’re stitching on Village and/or use the tag #letsallmovetohawkrunhollow for any Hawk Run pieces. Abi set up a Facebook group called Let’s All Move to Hawk Run Hollow if you’d like to join!
- Year of WIPs Challenge in Melanie’s Soulful Stitching Facebook group
- Salem Notforgotten SAL – in honor and remembrance of the 325th anniversary of the Salem witch trials. We are using the Instagram tags #salemnotforgotten and #salem325 For more information on the Salem witch trials, here is a brief article.
- Dutch Beauty SAL on instagram #dutchbeautysal with Emily (eclecticposessions) and I
- And They Sinned by Examplar Dames – GAST on 40ct Elegant Bean
- Coffee Quaker by Heartstring Samplery – Weeks, GAST, and CC on 40ct Stars Hollow by R&R
- Dutch Beauty by Permin of Copenhagen – DMC & silks on 40ct Zweigart Mallow overdyed by me
Thanks so much for watching!
Grateful for a finish!
Once upon a time I decided it was finally time to stitch one of my “bucket list” samplers – And They Sinned by Examplar Dames. I first saw this chart way back when it was first released in a Shepherd’s Bush newsletter and had to have it. Then on New Year’s Day 2010, I began. I had ordered 40 count Elegant Bean linen from Elegant Stitch and the called for GAST threads with one DMC for the people. In March, my friend Sylvia decided to join me and we started our Sunday SAL. Each Sunday we stitched on ATS and it steadily grew. The chart is divided into four legal size pages, so I celebrated big milestones when I would get to “the fold” and when I would get to a new page. I’ve posted a lot of progress photos in the time it took me to stitch my way to the bottom and you can take a walk down memory lane here, if you’re interested.
I remember when we were stitching on that cloud at the top. I had seen so many people stall out at this part that I was determined to really push through it. Sylvia was also gnashing her teeth and we bemoaned the neverending cloud. I recall saying to her, “it could be worse, wait until we get to all that grass!” Oh, truer words were never spoken. LOL I did have a lot of fun with this section though, even naming those two snakes at the top Fred & George and that blue snake between Adam and Eve, Nagini. I worked that vine border as I went so that I wasn’t stuck doing it all at the end. I also put this on scroll bars, and as luck would have it I had to roll my fabric approximately when I reached “the fold” or the next page in my chart. The photo above is essentially page 1 of the chart.
At the time I was stitching this section I saw someone outline the angel’s wings in gold rather than in the grey it called for and absolutely loved it. So, I did mine the same. I even briefly considered ripping out the backstitching on the angel’s wings above the cloud but decided that I liked them in grey.
I thought for sure that once I got to the alphabet section I would knock it out super quick. Not. The. Case. Somehow I lost all momentum when I got to this section. And I will tell you that I somehow went through two and a half skeins of Cherry Bark (the color of the alphabet), which seems ridiculous since the chart only called for one and it was stitched on 35 count. I am super frugal with my thread too, so I can’t begin to imagine how I went through so much of that color. I had purchased all new threads for this piece so I was starting with full skeins.
Once I got past the alphabet I picked up speed again on the section with the spies of Canaan. The photo above basically shows page 2 of the chart. I really loved this section. It was possibly my favorite just because of all the colors – the pinks, purples, and those crazy birds with their topknots. And I really loved what look like quilt stars throughout this piece.
And page three made me feel like I was in the home stretch. The section with the lady and the lion was Sylvia’s favorite part of this piece. I have to admit, I really love this section too. And it felt like a HUGE milestone to get to the end of the vine.
And that brings us to the last section, otherwise affectionately known as “the neverending grass”. Sylvia and I looked and looked at as many stitchers’ And They Sinned as possible trying to determine how we wanted to stitch the grass. There are people who left the grass off completely, just stitching the animals on a bare background. While I can understand why they opted not to stitch 8 million green stitches, when you look at the piece as a whole it really needs (in my opinion) the grass at the bottom to anchor it. It needs that visual weight at the bottom. We also saw one person who left that whole section off completely. The chart is written for you to alternate two colors of green on the diagonal. I didn’t love that look. I think finally Sylvia saw on the Hand-Dyed Fiber board that someone had alternated the greens every two stitches and stitched everything in half stitches. One row was stitched ///// and then the next row stitched like this \\\\\. Loved the effect. Doing half stitches makes it a bit airier so that your animals really stand out, and by alternating the angle of the stitches and the two colors it gives it a nice visual texture. So so so glad we discovered this option!
I made several changes in this section. The first change you’ll notice is that the big peacock at the top left of the grass ended up a different color. He was charted to be red and I stitched him that way. But then when I stitched the big flowering bush to the right I didn’t like having so much red right in the same section. So I ripped it out and restitched him in teal and blue.
I also added my two boys in amongst the other animals. Here is Thutmose with his gold eyes and little white spot under his chin.
Here is Ramses with his green eyes being a cat “loaf” as he often does.
And I spent a very long time working on the pond. I used the variegation of the thread to maximum effect and stitched in swirls rather than straight across in horizontal stripes. I love how it turned out, even if it did take a long time to do.
And then finally, I was at the end. I personalized it just as Sylvia did hers, to commemorate our Sunday stitching. Sylvia actually finished hers well before I did, but continued to cheer me on until I reached the finish line. My ATS was started on January 1, 2010 and finished it during the Tudor Rose Sampler Guild meeting on August 4, 2015.
Stitching And They Sinned was definitely a labor of love. And there were long periods where I didn’t work on it at all. But, I am so pleased to have it finished and so thrilled to have finally gotten around to taking photos so that I could share it with you here on the blog, although I did share it in episode 8 of the podcast/flosstube and you can watch it here.
I am grateful for Sampler Sundays.
This section was actually my favorite so far. I loved the birds and the funky flowers, the grapes, and the bright colors. It just made me super happy and excited to stitch on it. And this section actually went really fast for me compared to how the rest has gone so far.
I am grateful for Crow’s Toes nail polish.
GAST on 32ct Vintage Luna
I finished page 1 on And They Sinned!!!! Woohoo! I’ve gotten a little bit farther since then (the bottom of page 1 is where my border vines end) and I’m so excited to be finally on page 2. And pretty soon I’ll have to roll my fabric again. That’s exciting as well.
I’ve still be flitting from thing to thing a bit – but I’m hoping that my stitching lethargy is over and I can make some good progress on more of my WIPs.
I hope you all have a fantastic Easter and a lovely week. Thanks for stopping by!
I am grateful for a bouquet of roses.
As I mentioned in my last post, I needed to get started on my pre-stitching for my Hare Pyns class. I decided to pull out everything on Saturday when I had a fresh mind and read through all of my instructions. She suggested cutting out fabric down to size for the wallet, but as I stood there with my rotary cutter in hand I just couldn’t do it. For one thing, my fabric wasn’t squared up when it was originally cut, so I was afraid of mis-cutting. So, instead I decided I would baste my pieces first and then cut. That way I made sure to have enough for the pocket and the smalls. Eric had a student at the house, so I went into the dining room where I could spread out and started my basting.
I tell you what – I can stitch on 40ct with no problem in the worst of light. I can stitch over one on 32ct with no problem. But trying to count and do my basting on this 30ct fabric? My eyes were having a hard time with it. After awhile I ended up with the worst headache, probably from eye strain, which is so weird because I had a ton of light in that room, both from the overhead light and from the six windows letting in bright afternoon sunlight. But, whatever the reason, once I got that pocket basted, I had to take some Advil and call it a day.
After dinner and a much-needed break from basting, I did settle in to do some actual stitching on the piece that night. I didn’t make a ton of progress because I kept second-guessing the instructions. But at least my eyes didn’t bother me at all, even working over one on that 30ct fabric. So, I’m going to focus on getting that pocket stitched first and then I’ll work on the smalls.
Before launching into working on Hare Pyns over the weekend, I did pull out an old WIP last week (Dorothy has gone back into the closet). This is Chatelaine’s Mystery 9. Seems I’ve been working on this forever (well since January of 2006 – that was the year I got married and moved though, so stitching fell to the wayside). The last time I worked on this piece was August of 2009. Sad, isn’t it? Well, what’s even sadder is that all that stitching I did on it last time, all the swirly stuff in the corner, I completely miscounted. So what you see here is after I ripped out both sides of the swirlies, then restitched the bottom one and am in the process of restitching the left one. It all had to come out. Sad sad sad.
No wonder I haven’t worked on it in almost two years. This is what happens to me. I make a mistake, get disgusted, set the piece aside, and then years go by. But I really want to get this piece finished up. I’m working on part 9 (of 12). And after having seen Missy’s Chatelaines in person, I’m desperate to get mine finished. I currently have four in progress (this story just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it?): Mystery 9, Mermaid Treasure Box, Midi Mystery 2, and Pearl Lights. So, I plan to get back to this as soon as possible (although I’ve got Hare Pyns to work on). I want to get that corner restitched and then get to working on the other three corners. Once those corner swirlies are stitched they have a ton of beads and crystals too, which will be stunning. I can’t wait! And although this photo is a bit washed out, it’s the first time ever I think you’ve been able to kind of see that this is stitched on lavender linen. It’s really pale, but the silks look so good on it.
And of course, Sunday was for ATS. I always stitch into the evening hours on Sundays, so here’s a photo of what it looked like before yesterday’s stitching session. As you can see, I’m stitching leaves for that center tree.
Last night I finished the leaves and started on the tree branches. There is a lot of stitching in that tree, but it’s coming along. I got about half of the tree branches stitched before I had to stop last night. And I’m still so in love with that cluster of grapes on the right – that purple is just so fun!
So this week will be more Hare Pyns, ATS on Sunday and possibly something else thrown in for fun.
I am grateful for inspiration from Missy.