Thursday, June 26, 2014

Super Mega Project Update!

I've been productive the last few weeks, and all it took was spending every free moment stitching!

First, I finished the June square for Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's Once Upon a Time Sampler.

June 2014--The Princess and the Pea
Six down, six to go!
The mattresses were fun with all of the different patterns.  That princess looks very well rested, all things considered.

Then I completed week 5 of Follow the White Bunny's Furry Nice class.  Now my polar bear has wonderfully textured fur on his face and body.

I love the way the light hits the fur when I hold the fabric at a tilt.  Next up--satin stitch on the scarf.

I have a lot on my plate (including some projects not related to embroidery) and REALLY shouldn't be starting other projects, but Frosted Pumpkin came out with the first part of their Mysterious Halloween Town Sampler.  I have been dealing with some health issues this week and this sounded like the kind of simple, meditative project that would help put my mind at ease.  My husband saw me working on it and said, "Jorie, it's not pumpkin weather!"  This adorable little town doesn't care.

These are my friends:  Russell Crow, Cameron Crow, Crow Diddly, Hugh Crownin, Gregory Peck . . .
Mysterious blank town
There is some method to the madness of working on spooky patterns in June.  The ladies at Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery asked for feedback on how people prefer to receive holiday or seasonal patterns.  People responded with the following answers:
  1. More time to work on each section of a multi-part pattern.  Some speedy stitchers can finish a section in one week, but the rest of us are mere mortals.
  2. Release patterns far enough in advance that people can finish them before the holiday.  For some reason, people stop wanting to work on Christmas-themed patterns after December 26.
The Frosted Pumpkins listened to the feedback, and have changed the Mysterious Halloween Town pattern release accordingly.  Starting in mid-June, they are releasing one section of the pattern each month.  The final section comes out in mid-September, with several weeks to finish the entire pattern in time for Halloween.  The timetable is perfect for people who are also working on the Once Upon a Time sampler.  This way, I always have some cross-stitch to work on.

Other updates:
  • The Torah mantle has been my most difficult project to figure out, but I think I've found a workable solution.  Hopefully, I will have pictures up soon.
  • Rebecca Ringquist at Drop Cloth featured my Filling Stitches Sampler on her blog!
  • I've been selected to be a summer guest blogger at &Stitches!  I will be writing two blog posts chronicling my and my friends' efforts to infiltrate the State Fair.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Furry Nice Embroidery Class--Week 4

I mentioned in a previous post that I had signed up for Follow the White Bunny's Furry Nice Embroidery Class.  The first three weeks of the class were easy, giving people time to find the supplies and transfer the fabric onto the pattern.

Week 4 coincided with the end of the school year.  I was finishing up class work for a certificate at the local university, dealing with an uptick in activity at my student organization-based job, and then my husband and I went on vacation.  My online class stitching slipped through the cracks.  Oops.

Luckily, there is some leeway with pacing for the online class, and I am finally able to do some furry stitching.  Here is how my little polar bear looks at the end of Week 4.

Eventually, he is going to get all of his fur filled in, a colorful new scarf, and flowers.

This project is a lot more delicate than what I am used to doing.  I am working with one strand of DMC cotton floss at a time.  I can't pull the thread very tight, otherwise it creates holes in the fabric.

The pattern deliberately leaves the polar bear's face and body free of any lines in order to allow for free-form stitching.  We have guidelines on what directions the stitches should be in so that the bear can have a life-like appearance, but there is no "wrong" place to put a stitch.  This is a big leap of faith on my part.  I had to keep assuring myself that this would be a polar bear in my style, and it didn't need to look exactly like the original.  So far, my crafty friends are impressed.  My friend Angela said that it has the feeling of a sketched drawing.  Cassie said that if I didn't enter it in the State Fair, she would cry.

The polar bear still has a long way to go before it is done, but I am learning a lot about texture and shading.  Stepping out of my comfort zone will give me more tools to use in the future, and that can only make my work better.