Finally, I have gotten back to this beautiful project! Yesterday, I finished page 5 of 20 of this pattern.
This was a relatively quick stitch and I did this for my future mother-in-law for Christmas. Done on 28ct linen over 2.
I haven’t been around much this last year. I was without internet for a good portion of it (mobile only), had a brain tumor last Christmas (fully recovered!), had a divorce and moved to England! I’m back on my feet now and have been back working on this project.
The lily at the top is starting to show. I just love it when a piece begins to come together. 🙂
Here’s my latest progress. I didn’t get as much done in October as I wanted but it’s not a race 🙂
I am intending to join in. It sounds like fun!
William Morris (1834-1896) is one of my favorite painters. He was English and founded his own design company in 1861 designing mostly wallpapers and textiles. He uses geometrical and floral patterns in the most lovely way. When I “doodle,” my designs come out similarly :). I did several bookmarks based on his designs and plan to do several more. They use few colors and can be done on many different media. These were all done on 14ct fabric with various types of floss. Please click individual photos to enlarge.
Finishing bookmarks is quite simple. If you use the pre-edged bookmark aida, all you need to do is backstitch along the top and bottom edges (to “hold” the fraying), and then remove threads to fray as much as you like. Usually an inch to inch & 1/2 looks nice. If you are not using pre-edged fabric, cut your aida to size, overcast the edges with at least 2 strands of floss and backstitch the top and bottom design edge. Fray top and bottom. You can sew or hot glue matching lightweight felt to the back to cover stitches as well, but it’s not necessary.
I really enjoy doing bookmarks for myself, or as gifts. They are easy to do and these designs look very fancy 🙂 Experiment!
Below is progress so far on HAED’s Garden. I decided not to go page-by-page horizontally across the fabric with this design as I prefer to move down a chart column or 2 all the way to the bottom, then return to the top again. In this case, that means changing chart pages pretty frequently, but that’s not a big deal to me. Also, as you can see at the top, I did one full page of the chart and because I was parking threads, I have a large amount of threads simply waiting for me to return to them. To keep them clean, untangled and out of the way, I had to put them in this little ziplock which is really starting to become a PITA. 🙂 So working down, no more than 20 stitches wide, works better for me.
I get a lot of questions about “parking” my threads. It’s a relatively new technique for me, but it works brilliantly. This isn’t exactly the textbook method but a modified method that makes sense for me. Basically parking threads means you aren’t ending a thread and restarting it just a few centimetres away. Instead of doing that, as you work in an area, you find the next instance of a particular symbol (ie, color) and pull the thread up in that space, “parking it” until you get to it. I don’t carry the threads too far – as I indicated, if it’s more than 2 inches or so, I will stop and restart it. But in the case of high “confetti” areas (confetti is defined as areas of one stitch here, one stitch there, etc. of different colors) it works great and eliminates the bulk on the back from constantly starting and stopping threads. One major benefit of parking the thread instead of just doing the stitch is if you have miscounted (very easy to do on this high count fabric), you eliminate having to rip the stitch out if you happen to be off by a space. When you get closer to the area, there are surrounding stitches and you can confirm you are in the right place. The below photo is a close up of my currently parked threads.
There is some discussion that parking actually uses less floss overall, but I’m not sure I agree with that…. I do know it does definitely reduce the bulk and “lumpiness” on the back and eliminates constant stopping/restarting. If you are still confused 🙂 or have additional questions, please leave a comment and I will answer as best I can!
This is a wedding sampler I did for my dear friend Lee in 2001. Wombat Creek is one of my favorite Aussie designers. This was done on cream 32ct linen over 2, with DMC threads, and Mill Hill beads.
I did this for my Dad in 2007. It’s by Stoney Creek. The original chart actually has a floral pattern on the right bottom corner as well, but I chose to leave it off.
Done on natural tea-dyed 28ct linen over 2, with Eterna Silk threads (2 strands) and Mill Hill beads.
If you’ve never heard of it, “waste canvas” is a type of open-weave cross stitching fabric that you can use to cross stitch designs onto other things, such as tote bags, clothing, tablecloths, etc. If you can put a needle though it, it is able to be decorated with cross stitch! There are 2 types of waste canvas – the “traditional” kind made of cotton and held together with a mild glue; and a water soluble variety. The traditional kind looks sort of like needlepoint canvas, only less “strong”. It is designed to hold together while stitching and then afterward, you moisten the project in cool water, the glue dissolves, and you pull the threads out from under the stitching – one by one.
Sounds a bit fiddly, right? So, DMC came up with an ingenious solution. They created a water soluble canvas that completely dissolves in water! Stitch your design, soak in water and voila! No pulling threads! I have never tried it myself, but I read some reviews and they were great. I have it on my wishlist to try on my next waste canvas project.
How to use waste canvas
1. Pre-wash the item to be stitched. This prevents shrinkage and bunching of your finished piece.
2. Secure the canvas to the item you want to stitch. If it’s a small design, pins are fine. If it’s larger, say a tote bag design, I would baste the canvas around all 4 sides. Ensure the canvas is cut larger than the design area.
3. Start stitching! I use a Q-snap to hold everything taut. I highly recommend some type of frame/hoop.
4. After design is complete, moisten traditional canvas with a spray bottle of water. Do not soak the piece. (For water soluble canvas, please follow directions on the package).
5. Once fibers begin to soften, use a tweezers to pull out the threads one by one. If they aren’t coming free easily, spritz with more water and let set for a few minutes. Water soluble canvas does not require thread-pulling. The canvas simply dissolves!
6. After all threads have been removed, wash completed piece again to ensure all glue residue is gone.
7. Finish the back of the stitched area with an iron-on interfacing to protect the stitches from wear/washing
The above are t-shirts I made for Christmas gifts one year. Waste canvas comes in different sizes – these were all stitched on 14 ct, using DMC floss which I find is generally color-fast in cold water. If you give gifts, it would be a good idea to put care instructions in with it. Washing on warm/hot water could cause everything to shrink or colors to bleed.
I hope you enjoy your experiments with waste canvas. It’s not difficult to use and so many fun and creative things can be made with it. Enjoy!