No vacation only pitfalls

I have not been on vacation, but maybe I should have taken a break. This month has been full of pitfalls…mostly self imposed pitfals but pitfalls none the less.

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Mr. Bunny

On a bright note, I have finished stitching Mr. Bunny. He will not make a the Easter Parade this year but next year will be decked out in his finest for the day.

Stitching the background for this is brought up a thought to me. When you are choosing that painted canvas do you know exactly what you want to do with the completed canvas or do you just buy it because you like it. I have been giving a LOT of thought to this since stitching Mr. Bunny.

As I was stitching I decided I want the bunny to be a stand-up, but what kind of stand up: A form shape, a dome shape? At first I thing I would like a form shape but then I was afraid he was so tall his head might look like it was falling off the back of his shoulders So I decided to do a form shape. But after I drew a dome shape around Mr. Bunny and stitched the back ground, I thought the same thing would happen unless I decided to finish the piece as a boxed form. So a box form he will be.

The other thing I noticed is no matter how I finish this canvas there is not much canvas left (especially at the top for blocking.) I only stitched out one inch from Mr. Bunny’s ears and hips, I would have liked to do more but I needed to leave something for blocking. I know this is a cost issue for designers and painters and also for us as stitchers. Designers would have to charge more for extra canvas and we would have to buy larger stretcher bars but in some cases I wouldn’t mind the extra cost. I will block this piece myself and I am even going to try box finishing (never done before…any hints or suggestions will be appreciated.) But I think other finishers might have liked to have another inch or so to block.

And this brings me back to my original question: When you are choosing that painted canvas do you know exactly what you want to do with the completed canvas or do you just buy it because you like it? I think that this is one of the reasons we have canvases we never stitch…It was so-ooooo cute in the shop; we just had to have it. So we buy it take it home and later we are looking for something to stich and we don’t chose the canvas that we are unsure how to finish. So I challenge all of you consciously think about that next canvas; how do you see it finished? If you cannot answer that question look for one you can see as an ornament, a picture, a pillow, a stand up, or a purse. Because not only does the canvas you choose depend on how it will be finished, the threads, stitches and embellishments you choose also depend on how you finish the canvas.

And with that said I should have taken my own advice and never picked up the next project! I found an UFO in my closet that on hindsight was there for a reason but I had a two week moment of bad judgement. I let myself talk myself into finishing a doomed project. Let me preface this with the fact that I envy anyone who can knit…I want one of those beautiful sweaters I see my friends knitting. A friend told me to go take knitting classes and I almost tried this ill-fated project, but instead I found this unfinished crocheted jersey in my stuff. So I figured Iwould finish it and then think about knitting classes. I have spent two weeks stitching sleeves and putting this jersey together…Oh what an ugly thing it is! 2015-05-21 chief jerseyWay too big and falls off my shoulders….not to mention the weight (and its all cotton)…and then there is the cost…I venture to say I could have almost purchased a NFL team member’s actual jersey! Well, not quite, but I could have purchased a NFL jersey they sell at the local sports shop…and a nice one too.

And the other setback I had this week was I upgraded my graphics program and now I can’t open the old one. The new one is enough different that I am going to have to spend a few days looking it over before I need to do work for teachers and designers. It’s getting to be that time of year when teachers are getting their new classes together to pilot to some of you lucky stitchers.

But ever the optimist, I am playing with the new program and I am checking on Pintrest for remade clothes. AND I have learned a few valuable lessons:

  1. I am not taking knitting classes, I will just continue to envy all those of you who can multi task.
  2. I will only crochet afghans for myself, family and new babies
  3. I am a graphic designer; I can make nice diagrams for myself, teachers and designers. I have so many ideas that I will never get them all tried.
  4. I can sew; I can make some simple clothes for myself. And I can finish some needlepoint.
  5. But Most of all I am a Needlepointer! I do it fairly well and I am sticking with it! But I am going to look at each canvas I get with a critical eye and decide how I see it finally finished.

2015-05--21 red cherryAnd things are looking up…We planted two Bing cherry trees last year and this year one tree had ONE cherry, it ripened, I ate it and it was candy sweet, oh so yummy. And the other tree has a bumper crop but not quite ready for harvesting. I sure hope next year we have more cherries on both trees or I may have to replace the one that is producing stingily.

2015-05-21 more cherriesBut for now this needlepointer is off to stitch. I have picked a new project and threads; I know how it will be finished. I am going to pick stitches and just have fun!

Thank you for stopping by to visit, I hope you find time to stitch today or do whatever helps you be creative!

ttfn…sue

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My name in Print

14-08-13 Thistle 1

14-08-13 Thistle 2

14-08-13 Thistle 3In the mail today I received my current ANG magazine and low and behold my diagrams are featured in The Thistle by Carole Lake and Michael Boren. Someone had written me an email to tell me they had seen it, but it is always a pleasant surprise to see one’s name in print. Thank you Carole Lake, Michael Boren (http://www.stitchplay.com/index.html) and ANG (http://www.needlepoint.org/index.php).

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue

Mom & Me: More Flowers

I can hardly wait for the REAL flowers to bloom. I know they bloom quicker and with more ease than this border has blossomed! Yes, you can hear I am a wee bit frustrated but I think I have the hybrid in the pot now. It took me the better part of the week-end to get these flowers to the place I want them but I think I have it now and all that’s left to do is stitch them. 14-03-26 Mom&Me Mst flower centerIf you notice in the center diagram all the stitches are over 4 threads. And most of the purple threads (purple lines) are stepped 2 threads up or down. The exception are the red parallel boxes where I made a mistake on the far outer purple stitch on the top left and only stepped up 1 thread so on the right I did the same (that makes it not a mistake but a planned stitch 😉 ) Then when I stitched the dk purple stitches (black lines) I decided that stepping up or down by one should be continued (this is called artistic planned mistakes) and so all the red parallel boxes are only stepped up or down 1 thread. I also do not straight stitches over a single thread and so the red ovals are stitches I make 1 thread longer over 5 threads (an artistic planned moment). 14-03-26 M&Mst flower all

I had thought the couter stitches should be over 2 but then decided that over four would be quicker. NOT, I tried stitching them over 4 threads and did not like …so-o-o-o I frog stitched them and went back to the over 2 threads. I liked this better and so after I stitched the left side I computed the stitches and then stitched the right side. Sould not listen to that left brain while designing! The black ovals are the compensating stitches I made to avoid the dreaded over 1 compensating stitch.

If my sample is any indication and I make no other creative stitches I think the flowers are 14-03-26 M&Mst flower 2going to work. I have started at the center and am stitching one flower and then I will work either to right or left and the far outside flowers will fall where they may…I think if my counting is correct and I have no creative moments I could be very close to having half flower units on either side…

14-03-26 M&M tulips allThank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch every day! ttfn…sue

Mom & Me: flowers

Who knew the hardest part of this redo would be the flowers… My right brain had this great vision in my head and would not allow my left brain to work. I never was a math major and every time I have to do algebra/geometry things I hear my high school math teacher telling me if I would just take the book home I could make A’s & B’s. Sorry I should have listened.

14-03-21 M&Mst fig flowerI began by counting the threads in the width of the area between the borders (105 canvas threads) and I counted the height threads from bottom border to bottom of bunnies (37canvas threads). I wanted to symmetrically place the flowers across the bottom, and I knew there probably should be an odd number of flowers since that was what had been painted in the original…don’t want to mess with the aesthetics of the design. I decided to divide the width by three and start with this…but that did not compute, my flowers would have been as wide as they were high. Then I decided on five across, this would work the flowers would be 21 threads wide. Finally I decided that if I charted the flower as my mind was seeing them then I could tweak the design to fit. Then I also thought about counting the width of the flowers that were already there, but I had painted over them and that was going to be difficult. But as luck would have it, at 2 AM I woke up with the thought that I could count these flowers from a picture I had taken before I painted the canvas white. These 2AM wake up calls are not very welcome but they usually are the easy answer to a nagging question., I have been known to get up and see if the 2 AM idea would work; lucky for me this time I could go back to sleep.

14-03-21 BGM&M original canvas flowersThe next morning  I counted the flowers and  I realized the original design had three full flowers and two partial flowers on the ends. So I figured I had 4 flowers across (3 fulls + 2 halves= 4 flowers…105 threads/4 flowers = 26threads per flower. So I am using my computer to develop a pattern for a flower about 26 threads wide by 36 threads high.  Since I know I wanted the center to be over 4 canvas threads this was a no brainer…I would have nine stitches over 4 threads, a place to start.

14-03-21 M&Mst flower centerFiguring out the flowers is not as easy as I thought it would be. I think I have figured out the center and am going to work on the outside petals. I think I want the outside petals to be over 2 threads but I need to chart the sides and begin stitching a flower to be sure it is going to work and how it looks.

I know I will need three full flowers and two half flowers. If I get the three full flowers in and have at least the better part of a half flower on each end I will be happy. I’m off to compute the rest of the flower and try stitching one to see how it looks. Hope this doesn’t turn into a brain blocker for me.

Thank you for stopping by this week and I hope you have time to stitch everyday! ttfn…sue