#3 Graduation ‘Me to You’ Bear

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Cross stitch details

Name: Graduation ‘Me to You’ Bear
By: Anchor, ‘Me to You’
About: 16 count Aida, 8cm x 11cm
Time to complete: 4 days (completed June 2014)
Enjoyment (out of 10): 9/10
Difficulty (out of 10): 6/10

There’s something about a ‘Tatty Teddy’.

I’ve loved them since I can remember. So when my sister graduated from University this summer, I knew this was the keep-sake cross stitch I wanted to give her.

Don’t be fooled by the size of this cross stitch kit – there were some elements that were harder than they look..

The bear itself, what felt like 50 shades of grey, took some getting used to as I found myself questioning the pattern given the skeins were almost all the same colour. It sounds such simple advice, but you can’t check your colour charts enough times when working on a project with a single colour pallet.

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The other aspect to this cross stitch was a little tricky to navigate was the outline of the bear (see above). The back stitch was no trouble, but the little strands of fur coming off the bear to make it ‘tatty’, were impossible to get completely accurate. Nevertheless, I had a good go and made sure that the prominent, longer strands, particularly on his head, were correct. I filled in the gaps for the smaller strands as I felt looked best.

As per my last post, I’m pleased to say that the pattern took the complexity of the outline into account and had a separate pattern for back stitches and embellishments.

My favourite aspects to this cross stitch are easily his little eyes and feet. The french knots (wrapped 4 times around the needle) really do give the bear added personality, while his big fluffy feet look so realistic.

Not a bad result for 4 days work…

J x

#2 Relaxing in a Tree

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Cross stitch details

Name: Relaxing in a Tree
By: DMC
About: 14 count Aida, 39cm x 38cm
Time to complete: 10 months (completed Nov 2013)
Enjoyment (out of 10): 8/10
Difficulty (out of 10): 7/10

If you’re anything like me, there are some cross stitch kits that – as soon as you see them – you have to complete them.

This was the case for me for the piece you see above.

I actually have a Bengal cat, who’s the double of this beauty, so you see – I just had to make it for her.

I’ll admit that when I purchased this particular DMC kit, I was somewhat rusty at cross stitching having moved onto knitting for a few years. Flicking through the 6-page pattern booklet, I was convinced I’d bitten off more than I could chew.

When I opened the ‘moderate difficulty’ packaging last February, I was met with approximately 40 shades of similar shaded cotton, a good quality canvas, 2 needles and a short novel of instructions.

While I must say I’m pleased with how the finished piece turned out, there are some aspects to the cross stitch that I didn’t particularly enjoy or I’d do again differently, now I’m more experienced.

I’ve jotted a couple of them below:

As I mentioned, this was my first decent-sized cross stitch project in a couple of years and, I’ll admit, I made a few errors (hopefully none noticeable enough to ruin the piece, but I know they’re there nevertheless) however, these errors weren’t bad enough that I should run out of a couple of colours. This was the case for the mid-brown shade used for the branches, which meant I had to improvise with the pattern somewhat.

I also found the pattern to be quite confusing to follow – a multi-coloured pattern and a free-for-all of cross stitch and back stitch on the one page – I prefer a black and white pattern with a separate page to include the back stitch, French knots and embellishments. Ultimately, this makes for a neater, more-efficient completed cross stitch as you can clearly see each symbol and nothing can be misinterpreted from a stray back stitch line.

You’ll see that the back stitch on this piece is a combination of colours and so plays a fundamental role in shaping the outline and bark of the tree. A separate pattern would have really helped even the most seasoned of cross stitcher to better navigate this element of the piece.

Finally, I’m a fan of a neat back-of-canvas; it shows your technical accuracy, patience and saves your cotton. Unfortunately, again due to my rustiness, this piece’s backside is not as neat as I would have liked (I can’t bring myself to take a photograph of it) – but since completing it, the backs of my recent pieces have been getting better to the point I’ll share a back of one in an upcoming post.

It may not be technically perfect, but I’m proud of every stitch of this piece. All I need to do now is frame it and put it over one of my cat’s many beds around the house.

On another note, the piece in my inaugural post is now complete – but I’ll be waiting until after Christmas to upload this as I don’t want to ruin the surprise for the recipient.

Look forward to sharing again soon, in the meantime, if anyone can recommend any good cross stitching blogs to follow, I’d much appreciate it.

J x

#1

Work in Progress

Welcome to my blog – a portfolio, if you will – of┬ámy completed and work-in-progress cross stitch pieces.

As often as I can, I’ll be sharing photography and reviews of my favourite patterns, threads, techniques, kits and designers. This blog will also feature the technicality behind pieces I’m working on, as well as any challenges I face.

I’ll also share any tips that I think may come in useful for future work.