Saturday, 24 May 2008

Plant Life and Pool

This is how far I got on the Goldfinches up to Thursday evening. I had hoped to get the right hand thistle totally done, but those thistle heads are quite 'bitty' and take a lot longer then working on the birds or the leaves. Anyway, it's coming along nicely, but will slow down a fair bit now as I'll be concentrating on the Ornamental Pool design instead. Will still do some here and there on the birds, but I need to get gift stitching done in time and the birds are for us. I also need to get DH's anniversary card done, which should be the blackwork heart design I'd planned for last June. Well, we'll see how that goes. I don't like having too many things on the go at once, although two large-ish projects and one small one isn't exactly a lot, is it? I know some have a dozen or more on the go at one time and rarely, if ever, finish anything. I remember one lady telling me she'd never finished anything in her life! Can't quite see the point in that myself, but, well, each to her own, huh?

I got the fabric, front and back, prepared for the Pool cushion/pillow last night, including tracing on the design, as you can see here. It's too big to work even in my 12" hoop, so I've put it in the 14" R&R Craft Frame and hope that that will work out OK. It's a tough thing deciding if R&R Frames or Q-Snaps are best. As an American lady once rightly said, the British product is better quality (DH said so too, that the Q-Snap wasn't well machined - the edges were rough etc), but I like the fact that the clips on the Q-Snaps are longer and therefore hold a better tension all over the piece than the R&R ones. They're also a bit tighter, I think, but that might just be the ones I have as I've had the R&R ones longer and have used them more. They also have a very handy 14" size, which the Q-Snap doesn't. I've got 8" and 11" Q-Snaps and 9", 11", 14" and 17" R&R Frames as well as 4", 5", 6", 7", 8", 9", 10" and 12" wooden hoops, so no-one could accuse me of being short on working frames!!!! I think they're very important and I hate working anything other than a cross stitch bookmark piece (or something equally small, like one of those Textile Heritage needlecases, like this, this and this) 'in hand'. I find it quite painful after a few minutes as well as harder all round. The frame holds things nicely and I just can't imagine doing a larger piece without using a frame and moving it around, if need be. Not that I can see myself doing one of those 3 metre hardanger tablecloths, like!!!!

Oh, I did go to the marlet yesterday and found a fabric stall, but as I didn't have a sample of fabric to match with me, I couldn't seriously look for COS backing stuff. I did go and look at the outdoor produce stalls though and, how cheap are they? I bought a few thing for just over £5 that would have cost me about £10-11 in the cheaper supermarkets! DH and I have decided to become market shoppers instead and I've just made a note of all the farmers' markets in Leeds as well as that might be even better value - local stuff and cutting out the middle man. We can save about £150 a month, which we can put towards something more interesting!=) No, I really don't need any more stash....

I think I've worked out what made me lose my uumph stitching. It seems to have been mad dash stitching for wedding pressies last year along with the job-related problems that just took away a lot of pleasure in a lot of things. Now that's all history and I have a decent amount of time to do the things I want for this summer, I feel much more like doing it.=)


Love to Stitch 99 said...

Hi Elisabeth,

Your goldfinches are really coming up nicely.

I always use some kind of frame/hoop for whatever I do. I can't remember the last time that I did something just holding it in my hands, but I must also say that I rarely do small things, not that I have anything against it but I guess it never presented itself, I too have lots and lots of stretcher bars and hoops and many of the same dimensions so I can put more than one project of the same dimension on them, but even with all that I have, I have been known to ran out of some dimensions :-(

I am so glad that you are starting to work on the pool project. That will be so pretty. I can hardly wait for you to start (big smile)

Pierrette =^..^=

Nic said...

Your goldfinches are coming along really well!

I can't wait to see the pond piece as it progresses :o)

Mylene said...

Great progress on both projects!!

Chiasmata said...

I hate stitching in hand too. It really gets my fingers aching. Luckily you can stuff almost anything into a 3" hoop. :)

I looove speciality threads. :D I have some threads in my stash that are so pretty I refuse to use them! They're definately fun to collect. The fat quaters aren't for quilting, just for finishing off stitched stuff. I'm not even remotely a quilter and my sewing machine has frustated me to tears more often than not. Have fun with your oriental quilt! Ah, those rare and mysterious pocket pennies. :P