It's that time of week again and here's the latest on the sampler project.
This first photo shows the girl with all the cross stitches completed.
Whilst I was working this section, I was paying great attention to the quality and neatness of my little 'x's. This came as a result of reading some of the show judges' comments on one American lady's blog and hearing the judges at work on a TV programme I saw on the iPlayer. They said, "If we're going to nit-pick, and we are supposed to, then..." followed by a minor flaw in the piece they were judging. This was a relatively high profile event, but I understood that the blogged one was smaller scale (albeit one with far more categories going!), so it seems that standards can be very high no matter what type of event is in the question.
I took a couple of photos of a stitched area with some that looked a little uneven in places, but it didn't show on the photo!!! However, one could see the flaws with the naked eye and, show or no show, judge or no judge, I like to do quality work so I applied myself to keeping things more even.=)
Points that came up for a bit of criticism by judges were flaws in mounting and framing (one wasn't properly stretched and so it was very loose in the frame), stitch tension issues and trailing threads visible from the front. This latter really is easy to prevent, although it's more of an issue when using evenweave and linen fabrics than Aida. One needs to always make sure that starting and ending threads are neatly trimmed and not left sticking out at the side of the body of stitches. Also, finish off a thread and restart it in a new location rather than just trailing the thread across the back. Especially with dark threads and a light fabric, this looks terrible and is so easy to prevent.
Here's our girl outlined with back stitch and given French knot eyes,
I've also put in the two lupins which are at the 'back' of the group in cross stitches in order to create a sense of depth. The more foreground ones will be done in French knots. I just need to experiment to get the right combination of strands and wraps so that they cover well and look neat enough.
Here's our gardener in context and you can see from this that, apart from finishing the lupins, there are only the beads to add in the lower section and the surface work is finally complete on the main piece! There's just a square to do which will fit in behind the large box next to the girl as a 'look through' element.
Cutwork coming up soon then! Some of it looks a little scary as it means trying out new filling techniques, but I plan to do some dummy runs on a scrap of hardanger fabric.
Speaking of hardanger, Wendy, I totally agree with you about the so-called 'hardanger' scissors being useless. The blade tips were so wide that you couldn't even use them on 22ct hardanger fabric, never mind this one, which is 32ct linen! Happily however, Sir managed to fix my old petit point scissors and they're fine again.=) They had got a bit blunt, but every time I ran the blade against the knife sharpener, it pushed it back slightly, so that the two blades ended up too far apart to be able to cut properly. He pushed them back together and they work!=) I suppose this could happen with larger scissors too, but these being so very tiny, it made a real difference. Anyway, that's that problem solved, I'm delighted to announce.
Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2013