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My helper

My helper

I’m so far behind with blogging my crafty projects, that I think I’m going to cheat and make a post for each project by linking to its Flickr album, as I am pretty much up to date over there. Before I do, I wanted to add a little background on each one, especially the new ones that I’ve started since my unintended blogging hiatus began.

Fandom in Stitches Doctor Who SAL

I can’t actually remember where I first heard about this one, but it was right as it was about to begin. I suspect it was through a link on Facebook though. Fandom in Stitches generally design foundation pieced quilt blocks of various fandom-related themes. (I now have file directories on my computer for a Harry Potter quilt, a The Hobbit quilt and part of a Lord of the Rings quilt as that one is still ongoing).

Differently, this quilt was to be made up of 12 embroidered blocks that could then be patched together however the stitcher chose, although there was a suggestion for the borders. A new pattern came out each week and I’m very proud of myself that I managed to keep up, including when I decided to redesign 3 of the blocks myself to make them more like the quilt I wanted to make. (That’s the 8th and 10th doctors and the final 12th block; see the PDF patterns category link in the sidebar to find them.) I’ve really enjoyed making this (I’m quilting it now) and look forward to showing it off once it is done.

Doctor Who Foundation Pieced QAL

If I heard about the previous project on Facebook, then this one was probably the same. It’s a foundation pieced quilt of 20 Doctor Who themed blocks. It had started just one week before the FiS one and its blocks come out on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. So I wasn’t too far behind and I decided to take the plunge and join both. It’s been a little stressful now and then, but I’m having a lot of fun. I have never done a lot of foundation piecing and the first block was the TARDIS, which turned out to be rather a challenge. I’ve taken the lessons learnt on that one to heart and the later ones have, generally, been easier. I now have the TARDIS, a Time Lord, K9, SS M. de Pompadour, Bad Wolf and a Werewolf. This month’s task is the current sonic screwdriver. I have no idea what I’m going to do with this quilt when it’s finished, but I’ve decided that isn’t really the point, and if I’m enjoying making the blocks right now, that’s what counts.

Hexagons are Cool

Embarrassing as it to admit it, this quilt (started long before the two above) also has a (much more subtle) Doctor Who theme. I’m making a 900 hexagon small quilt made from scrap hexagons with Who themed ones scattered through it. Since I was last posting I have finished all the hexagons (I ended up with 923) and I have 8 strips of 10 hexagons sewn together.

Kiwiana Quilt for Marcus

When Marcus moved from his cot to a toddler bed, I quickly threw together a single bed sized quilt for him to have on the bed – ironically, I made if for the summer when it is more comfortable to sleep under a quilt that a full-blown duvet, and it’s been well used. (It has faded fabric patterns, which I consider a sign of good use.) Towards the beginning of this year, we faced up to the fact that he was getting too big for it – especially when he wanted one of us to lie beside him and we ended up on the floor. So we went looking for a bigger bed. After considering king singles and doubles, we took the leap and bought a queen size. We figured there was plenty of room if mum or dad needed to climb in with him and if we had a couple to stay, they could always use his bed while he slept on a camp bed in out room.

Only problem, the quilt was now way too small. So I started a full sized quilt for Marcus; my main requirement was that it not be too “childish” so that he could still use it as a teenager when dragons or trucks or lego or something similar might not be so cool. I finally found a lovely quilt that used Kiwi-themed motif fabrics in an issue of Australian Patchwork and Quilting and decided to go with that. In typical Kerry fashion I changed the pattern a bit and the colours a bit more, but I ended up with something I think I’ll be able to be proud of. I’ve started the quilting on it, but it is so big (the biggest quilt I’ve ever made) that I had to take a break – especially when I had Doctor Who embroidery and paper piecing to do to a deadline.

Did I tell you about Dirk the Dragon and the Weighted Blanket?

I so, I won’t bother you again. If I didn’t, let me know and I’ll add a “get up to date” post for that too.

Autumn Queen

By Mirabilia’s Nora Adams, this is the fourth in a series of seasonal queens. I have not only done the first three, but managed to slot all four into a Doctor Who (good grief, it shows up again) fanfic I wrote back in the late 1990s (I’m even willing to put that up if someone really wants me to). Somehow, I never got to the last one, so right now she’s lying about attached to some scroll rods, wondering is she’ll ever be stitched on again. I hope so, but I’m right out of cross stitch mojo right now, which is why I’m doing surface embroidery, hand piecing, paper piecing and quilting instead. I would like to get her done and finish the set one day though.

Defender of the Kingdom Restart and QS Garnet Restart

These are Heaven and Earth Designs charts that I (wisely? stupidly?) decided to restart as tent stitch 2 over 1 on 28-count instead of the 1 over 1 crosses I’d been doing on 25-count. The theory was that they would be a lot quicker to stitch that way, which would make up for the time I lost restarting. Maybe it would of worked, but that’s about where my stitching mojo went AWOL so I haven’t got all that far. I also had other issues with QS Garnet, that I’ll cover when I do an update post on that one.

Seekrit Project

The fact enthusiasm rules over sense will be confirmed with this one, where I started yet another HAED project (2 over 1 tent on 28-ct if you’re wondering) to be a present for Marcus. It’s run off with the stitching mojo and right now it’s at a stand still.

Cinderella and Illuminated Medieval Sampler

See all the above cross stitch projects that are currently unloved and uncompleted, but that I can’t put aside. I still really like both of these. I still want to finish them. I remain hopeful but realise it would be unwise to hold my breath for such a result. All the same, I’ve been smart enough not to restart either of these two.

So there you go. I think that covers the main projects. It’s my bedtime now, so I’ll work through my list and try to get some pictures up before too much time goes by. I’ll also try not to start anything else. (But there’s that dragon quilt for Marcus that’s still in the postage bag wanting to be done by this birthday in January…)

Really, I won’t start anything else. 🙂

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I’m very rather pleased with myself (if very tired) as I finished the first three pages (which is also the first horizontal strip) of QS Garnet today.

I had noticed as I was working on it that the tent stitch seemed to be pulling the fabric a bit out of square, which was worrying me. About the same time I was going to do and ask about it on the Heaven and Earth Designs bulletin board, someone asked about tent stitch on one of the HAED Facebook groups. I followed a helpful link someone responded with, where I learned that doing a continental tent stitch as I do, does indeed have that issue. So for the pink flowers on the right, I switched to using a straight half cross stitch. It’s too soon if it has made a difference, but it is just as easy to stitch and looks just as good from the front.

23 June 2012: After 32 days of stitching

I have a whole collection of photos (I’ve been taking one at the end of each days stitching as a way of keeping track of progress) that I won’t bore you with. I’m trying to figure out if I can set up a gallery of them all here on WordPress, or if I need to use my Flickr account.

After finishing page 1 of Garnet, I found I was struggling to keep stitching. I was rather afraid that I would stall out again, so I forced myself to stitch a couple more days without much success. So I faced reality and took a break. Today, I picked her up again and had a good day stitching with a lot achieved. Obviously, when I need to stop, I just need to stop until I’m ready to start again.

25 March 2012: After 14 days of stitching

4 April 2012: After 15 days of stitching

22 April 2012: After 16 days of stitching

 

Wow, I did it. I’ve finished page 1 of QS Garnet and she has all her facial features. I was a little worried about the eyes as I was working on them, but as is so often the case, I put in the last stitch and there were her eyes, looking ever so expressive.

I’m on my 13th day of stitching, which given my previous stitching speeds, is very fast indeed. I may do a little more tonight, but I expect I’ll just put her back on the q-snaps and highlight what I’m going to stitch next on the chart page.

This is a direct scan of the stitching, but I’ll go back to photos on the q-snaps as I progress on page 2. The colours are pretty close to true.

22 March 2012: Page 1 completed after 13 days of stitching

I’m having so much fun stitching this. I can’t do it every day, but I find I’m making good progress when I can and I’m loving it. I haven’t had this much fun stitching in a very long time.

So here are lots more pictures.

13 March 2012: After 6 days of stitching

14 March 2012: After 7 days of stitching

15 March 2012: After 8 days of stitching

16 March 2012: After 9 days of stitching

19 March 2012: After 10 days of stitching

I totally blame Chele for this one. She posted on one of the HAED Facebook groups that she was going to try doing a design in tent stitch, 2 over 1 on 28-count lugana.

I love my Heaven and Earth Designs projects, but they are so big and I stitch so little, that the idea of a stitching method that might be faster and easier was very tempting. I didn’t want to mess with either of my big projects (Defender of the Kingdom and Dawn Star), so I decided to give it a go on my Quick Stitch of Garnet by Meredith Dillman. I’ve done very little on that, much as I love it, and I knew I wasn’t going to be going back to it any time soon.

I didn’t have any 28-ct evenweave, so first I tried a few tent stitches on my 25-ct project and I agreed with Chele that the coverage wasn’t good enough. So I went and bought a piece of 28-ct.

And, oh boy, this really is a whole lot easier, and I can do it much more quickly too. I’ve totally abandoned the original project and I’m zooming along (health permitting as always) with the new version. I’m even wondering if I should restart both my big projects this way. I’ve done quite a lot of them on both, but I have way more to do than I’ve completed. In the long run, it might be more beneficial to restart. But then again… I’m not going to make any decisions about that until QS Garnet is finished.

QS Garnet, Original Art by Meredith Dillman

This is how far I got the first time. This was a grand total of about 6 days stitching.

2nd March 2012: My first day of stitching

3rd March 2012: After 2 days of stitching

5th March 2012: After 3 days of stitching

7th March 2012: After 4 days of stitching

8th March 2012: After 5 days of stitching (sorry the picture isn't very good)