Thursday, December 18, 2008

At last, some stitching to share

I have been stitching quite a bit, but I kept changing from one project to another for various reasons, meaning I didn't have any finishes to share, but now I do.

This year, for the first time ever, I joined in an ornament exchange being held on one of the forums I frequent.

I've never made an ornament before and I wanted to make a good impression, so I chose something I thought would be quite simple to make, a cube, and decided to stitch snowflakes on each side except one which would have initials and the year on it.

Of course this 'simple' idea turned into a much more involved task than I thought.

First off I needed some snowflake patterns and unlike some of my Google adventures, this one yielded results on my very first click, with The Floss Box. In fact I was spoilt for choice, but I managed to narrow it down to five designs that were all about the same size, and sufficiently different. Of course then I had another problem, after all I didn't want the finished cube to be huge and all those designs are about 40-60 stitches across. That's when things got a little crazy as I decided they would be stitched over one. Now I'm no stranger to stitching over one, but always before it's been solidly stitched designs and I've used tent stitch, but that wasn't going to work for these designs, so this would be my first experience actually cross stitching over one, and to a deadline to boot!

The fabric choice was easy, my partner was Linsday and I know her tastes very well, so I chose a dark purple fabric (Sparklies Basically Bonkers) on which I knew the white snowflakes would stand out well. I found that once I got into the swing of stitching over one properly, that it actually stitched up quite quickly and I soon had all the sides ready for construction. Fortunately it wasn't my first time out making up, having made a few biscornu in the past. I wanted to bead the edges as I was stitching them together, but didn't want to overpower the stitching, so I used petite seed beads, one on every stitch, which gave a lovely delicate line of beading. I used a oily finish clear bead (MH40161) and a purply/blue bead (MH40252) alternating between the two.

Finally I added some crystal bead drops to each of the points except the top one, where I put the hanging loop. For the drops and loop I used MH00161 and various shapes of Swarovski AB beads, bicones, rounds and droplets. I had all of these in my stash as I used to make jewellery before Ewok came along.

Now if you managed to make it this far through the rambling explanation you deserve some pictures, so here you are.

First off I scanned the stitching before I made the ornament:

And a couple of pictures of the finished ornament front and back.

Those last two pictures are a little washed out because I had to use the flash. Linsday has some more photos on her blog which show the colours a bit better.

I have to say I was very pleased with the finished ornament, although I was a little worried that I may have gone a bit over the top, but hey, it's Christmas.