Friday, March 27, 2015

Past finishes!

Well, I don't have any progress to post, as I haven't had much time to stitch this week and my current project is a birthday surprise for someone, so I can't post pictures of it yet!

Instead, I thought I'd post some smaller projects I completed in 2014!

This was a Valentine's Day gift for my boyfriend last year :) I got him to watch 30 Rock, my favorite show of all time, and this is a joke from the show. I made the pattern using StitchPoint's writing tool. I added in the little border myself, which meant a lot of counting and scribbling as I tried to figure out an even spacing for it!

I made this one using Steotch's pattern for my brother's birthday, since he's a huge Archer fan. This was the first project I used gridding for!

Warning: the last project contains NSFW language, so I've put it behind a cut.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Hi everyone! Sorry I went AWOL - I spent a long weekend up in Duluth with my boyfriend :)

First, I need  to say thank you to the amazing Rachel over at Ten Hour Stitcher! I won a HAED chart from her blogoversary giveaway! I can't wait to get started on it and tell you all about it once I wrap up the cabin project.

Since I was out of town, I haven't made much progress to post, so I thought I'd talk about gridding!

I hadn't even heard of gridding until sometime last year when I first started reading cross stitch blogs, and it immediately made a lot of sense to me, as I often find myself making tiny mistakes in my counting. I decided to try out gridding with a small project and found that it helped a lot - I did make a few mistakes still, but I caught them MUCH sooner when it was still possible to fix them :)

This was my first time gridding, which I did with normal sewing thread. I was so pleased with how it worked that I bought some Easy-Count Guideline for my next small project!

The one thing that I dislike about gridding is how long it takes - putting in all the gridlines for that second project took me three hours! And that's not even a particularly large project! I love how much it helps, but I can't even fathom how long it would take to grid a HAED chart. (Though I do gather that some people grid one page at a time, which could be more manageable.)

How do you guys like to grid? I know there are things like magic guide evenweave and pens you can use to mark up your fabric. What works for you?

- Leigh

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cabin retrospective

I'm really hitting the home stretch on my cabin project - I have the majority of the backstitching done! (I still have a bunch of French knots to look forward to, ugh.)

It's crazy to think how far I've come with the cabin. I began it all the way back in June 2013, and I don't think I really grasped how long it would take me at the time! I bought the kit on Amazon after searching for "cross stitch kits." (Very clever of me, I know.)

Look at how little things used to be! Look at how much confetti there was right away, yikes. It's weird remembering when I used to stitch on a hoop. I never really got the hang of hoops and didn't like them much. I was soooooo happy when  I discovered Q-Snaps! Under the cut, there are a bunch of progress pictures of the cabin over time.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My first scroll frame and stand!

I recently bit the bullet and decided to purchase an Ergo stand and several Lokscroll frames to go with it (thank you, tax refund!). I learned to stitch with a hoop, but I never really warmed to hoops and I finally learned about Q-Snaps about a year ago. I LOVE my Q-Snaps, but I eventually wanted something that would work better for larger projects, and as I began reading more about stitching online I started looking into getting a scroll frame.

My Ergo stand came last week and I'm SO IN LOVE WITH IT.

It was incredibly easy to set up (I think it took me 15 minutes tops) and I can't emphasize how much I love having a stand. I now have a completely free hand since I don't have to hold the Q-Snaps up, and I sometimes find myself resting my chin on my free hand while I stitch with the other! I definitely want to start two-handed stitching, but my current set up means the hand on top completely blocks the light, so I need to look into getting a new lamp. Which I needed to do anyway, since my current lamp can light either the frame or the pattern, but not both at the same time. The clamp holds onto the Q-Snaps really well, and I LOVE how easy it is to flip it over so I can see the back of the work. I also love how well-made the stand is. Every time I turn a knob or adjust the stand, I find myself marveling at the craftsmanship.

I also got the Deluxe Chart Holder, which I love! It includes a pincushion for my needles (fantastic for me since I don't have a needle minder), pegs that I hang loose threads on and spots for my scissors and colored pencils for marking the chart.

I've set up some of the Lokscroll frames, but I haven't started stitching with them yet since the cabin is too wrinkled to work in them and I want to focus on getting it finished. I do want to take some time soon to practice stitching on evenweave so I figure out if I want to attempt a HAED pattern once the cabin is finished. I bought a random piece of 28-count a while ago and soon I want to do some test stitching on it to see how I like it. If anyone has any tips about transitioning from aida to evenweave, I'm all ears!


Monday, March 2, 2015

Hello, world!

Hi, everybody! I've been getting more serious about cross-stitching and I've decided to finally join the blogosphere (which is a word I can't take seriously, but it's fun to use)! I started cross-stitching 6 or 7 years ago, I think, but I had one project that I worked on intermittently for a long time. In grad school, some friends and I decided to take up stitching again, and I finally completed that project (sorry, no pics) and a new one soon after it:

 After I finished the peacock, I bought my first BIG project, which I'm on the verge of finishing! It's taken me nearly two years, but it's been amazing watching it go from this:

 to this:

I just have the backstitching and outlining left! It has a lot of couching, which I reeeeeeeally hate (I keep getting tangled trying to work with two threaded needles), but now that I'm doing more of the regular backstitching it's going much quicker.

I feel like I'm finally joining the ranks of the Super Serious Stitchers now that I've gotten my first scroll frame! I recently bought some Lokscroll frames on eBay and my Ergo stand arrived a few days ago! I'm also about to try out stitching on evenweave for the first time (I've only ever used aida before) so I can figure out what I want to stitch my next BAP on.

I'm also still trying to figure out how I want this blog set up, so bear with me as I play around with things!

- Leigh