Posts Tagged With: Quilty Stitches

Very Quilty

Lots of new patterns (or segments of patterns) were released in the last week. Quilty Stitches 6 on Monday, Once Upon a Time Three Bears on Tuesday, and Magical Creatures Gnome also on Tuesday. I’m not sure exactly when the April Calendar Girl from Little House Needleworks came out, but I just got a shipping notice for my copy. The 2014 Shepherd’s Fold either shipped this week or is about to ship; I’m not signed up for that one because while I like the color scheme and the wee sheep, the box it’s designed for is pretty pricey. I also got the April issue of World of Cross Stitch, and I feel a little let down. I usually find two or three patterns in each issue I like and figure I break even, but this time around I only found one for the maybe pile. There is a pattern from the Historical Sampler Company which is nice (I’m a big fan of their patterns and have a few in my stash to work on), but it’s a birth sampler and no one close to me is having babies at the moment. The free gift was a kit for two butterfly cards; I’ll probably do that at some point. But overall, not thrilled.

Prior to all this, I knocked out some more of the Quilty Stitches sampler. I was pretty far behind, but I finished blocks 3 and 4 and am almost finished with block 5. I think I’ve also decided what I want to do with the border.

Also of note, I finally went back to the first square and fixed the fractional stitches:

Kindly compare this...

Kindly compare this… this.

…to this.

As I’ve said before, I generally don’t put the diagonal stitch on my fractionals and just leave them like they are in the second picture, but that really doesn’t work with this pattern.

So here’s where we are overall:

Not thrilled about the red in block 4, but it's what I had in my stash.

Not thrilled about the red in block 4, but it’s what I had in my stash.

I’m almost done with 5, but I won’t post it until I’ve done the last few stitches. Care to stitch along? Here are the links for blocks three and four. Fun stuff.

Meanwhile Goldilocks is sitting on my desk making me feel like a lazy slacker because the bears don’t even have faces yet. Creepy. Though not as creepy as when the three pigs were still faceless.

No real cat stories today, just the introduction of the Karate Kitty:

Still acts like a kitten even though he's definitely not kitten-sized anymore.

Still acts like a kitten even though he’s definitely not kitten-sized anymore.

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Quilty Stitches #2

I mentioned before that Quilty Stitches block 2 is out, and I finally found the time to knock it out. I used DMC 3825, 791, and 815.

Quilty Stitch 1 and 2

Quilty Stitch 1 and 2

Here’s the page with the chart. She also has a tab at the top of the page for all the Quilty Stitches posts.

I still plan to fill in the border between/around the blocks, leaving the linen showing in the empty spaces inside the blocks, but I haven’t picked out a color yet. I also changed up how I did the quarter stitches. I don’t usually put the diagonal on my quarter stitches, but these blocks are small enough with so many quarter stitches that the gaps really stand out. I’m going to go back through the first block and clean up the edges.

In non-stitchy news, I finally went back to work last week. I’ve been on leave for over a month due to my transfer (about a week of travel time, then a few weeks to recharge). The time off was great, but I’m starting to get bored. On the plus side, I’ll go from working 80-100 hours a week (not exaggerating, I did the math) to a more reasonable/normal/sane 40ish. Yeeha.

In the meantime, here’s a cat asking for/demanding a tummy rub.

Scratch my tummy, human!

Scratch my tummy, human!

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Some progress, and a new stitch-a-long

First of all, I’m pleased to note that, after a late start, I’ve finished the January block of Once Upon a Time. Even better, I finished it before the February block came out!

January's theme was Snow White. Don't yet know February's block, but the hint was that it's very green. My money is on Jack and the Beanstalk.

January’s theme was Snow White. Don’t yet know February’s block, but the hint was that it’s very green. My money is on Jack and the Beanstalk. Not sure what’s going on with the left side of Snow’s mouth; the backstitch slid between the two threads underneath. Also, the entire time I was stitching the dwarves, I had the song from the Hobbit about blunting the knives and bending the forks stuck in my head.

A few things to note: The fabric is Crystal Doubloon from Picture This Plus, hence all the sparklies. Yay, sparklies! Next, take a look at the word “January” and the blackberry corner portion of the border. See how the color changes? In this picture it’s more noticeable in “January,” but in person the blending on the blackberry portion is really nifty, which was mostly random chance. These two sections were stitched with over-dyed floss from Weeks Dye Works, so there’s a natural and randomly spaced gradation in the thread. To really make the gradation pop, you need to stitch using the English method, where you stitch each X individually. I predominantly use the Danish method, where you’ll do a row of half stitches in one direction before going back in the other direction (here’s a better explanation of the difference, pictures and everything). In general, I don’t like the English method. For me, it takes longer, and it uses more floss. WDW is pricy floss. Kills me that you have to use more of it to get the full effect.

Also, I had some assistance when I was taking that picture.

Also, I had some assistance when I was taking that picture.

The February block will be released in just a few hours! In the meantime, I had some time to kill so I moved on to another project. Little Miss Shabby is a quilting blog but is running a cross stitch “sampler along” called Quilty Stitches. The pattern is based on quilt blocks, with a new block released every two weeks and sixteen total blocks. I’m using a different color scheme, with deeper blues, greens, and reds. I’m using 28-count evenweave, I think in mushroom. I really like my color palette against the mushroom background, so I’m not going to fill in the white portion of the blocks. Instead I’m going to find a darker brown that compliments the mushroom and use that to fill in the border between blocks. Here’s an index of all the relevant Quilty Stitches pages.

The first block was posted January 20, but I didn’t have materials until a few days ago. At any rate, here ya go:


My color palette is, on average, deeper and darker than the “official” palette.

The pattern is pretty straightforward. It includes full cross stitch and quarter cross stitch. I don’t like quarter stitch just because my brain likes to shut down while I’m stitching, and when I use linen or evenweave sometimes quarter stitches throw my count off. I also have a tendency to put the quarter stitch in the complete wrong direction. If you’re using aida, for each quarter stitch you’ll need to pierce the little square between stitches; I prefer to do that with a sharper needle than the tapestry needles I usually use. Then again, I avoid aida like the plague because I’m a fabric snob, so it doesn’t come up much. Another thing for beginners to consider, usually you start a pattern in the center, but unless you rearrange all of the blocks of this pattern you’ll need to start in the top left corner. The pattern is about 10×10 inches. To find my starting point, I folded the fabric in half twice to find the center, then measured over and up about five inches (when I say “measured” and “five inches,” I mean I folded a piece of letter paper in half and used that to eyeball 5.5 inches over and up). I called that the top left corner of the pattern, then counted down four stitches and right three stitches for my starting point (leftmost green stitch in the top row, starting in the left bottom corner of the stitch).

Final note for newbies is that the chart does not look like most other cross stitch charts (grid filled with little symbols). It might be easier to print off the chart and color in the different blocks.

A few months ago, when I fussing about how so many cross stitch patterns are either overly cutesy or photos run through cross stitch software, I got the idea in my head that I really wanted to stitch something based on quilt blocks. Of course, I’m not a quilter, and I couldn’t figure out how to build the patterns on my own. And then I found this! Woohoo!

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