Come visit with me as I stitch and craft my way from one Christmas to the next - I like to have Christmas projects close by me all year. I have a particular fondness for Santas and Angels. If you have the time, leave a comment so I know you've visited.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Gifted Gorgeousness Report for June

This year is just slipping by for me, despite the changes we have all been experiencing recently.  As it's the 15th June, it is time for the monthly Gifted Gorgeousness Report, hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching.  The things that qualify for GG are items made with gifted supplies, or items made to be gifted. Most of my stitching qualifies for inclusion.

I have two name samplers to show this month. There is a little story about them.  Way back in 1993 I bought my first real cross-stitch book, because I really liked the cover chart- which was Allura's Australian Alphabet designed by Guy Hayes. It ticked many of my boxes - I have a particular fondness for stitching samplers, alphabets, birds, and animals. Over the years I often looked at the chart, but didn't have the opportunity to actually stitch from it.

Eventually, a niece moved to New York, married and had a baby boy. I decided to stitch a name sampler for Jude using the Aussie alphabet, to remind him of his Australian heritage.

My niece and her family have since relocated back home to Australia,
and when I offered to stitch a design for each of her other children, she asked me to use the Aussie Alphabet again. So, the book came out and I have just finished stitching the samplers.  This time I followed the chart more in using the different colours for the letters (though I did swap some of the colours around). I also added more backstitching to the birds and animals, and I swapped acacia (wattle) for the Australian flag in Niva's 'A', just because I thought the acacia was more appealing to a small child. Boden's sampler is stitched on pale blue 28 count evenweave, and Niva's is stitched on antique white 28 count evenweave.

I will be taking these to my framer, along with George's birth sampler which I finished last month, just as soon as he reopens. Fingers crossed that he does reopen. Lots of businesses here are closing. When framed, these samplers will be Christmas gifts.

I've almost finished my 2020 'to stitch' list, so I have brought out my HAED WIP, 'Christmas Dreams' (artist Dona Gelsinger, charted by Michele Sayetta). I categorise this as a gifted project, since I used birthday money and vouchers to buy the chart, fabric, and most of the floss.  This one is being stitched for me. I started stitching this in 2016, and when I last packed it away I had stitched about 31% of the 260,000 stitches, and was stitching on my 20th page - just 46 more pages to go.  When finished and framed, Christmas Dreams will measure about 89 cm wide and 64 cm high (that's around 35" x 25"). The stitched area will be 74cm wide x 49 cm (28.5" x 19"). It's my biggest project so far.
Hopefully, one day I will have something like this hanging on my wall.

My floor frame wasn't wide enough to take the fabric, so I am stitching this project sideways, which has been quite challenging.  It has caused  me quite some angst at times. It's been quite a steep learning curve! For a start, I had kitted it up prior to realising it would be stitched sideways, and as is my habit, I had carefully drawn the 90 floss symbols onto the floss cards. It is amazing how different a symbol looks when the chart is turned 90 degrees. Since lots of the symbols are similar shapes reversed or rotated, it made stitching harder than necessary. This time I have made new floss cards, complete with rotated symbols, so I am hoping it will be easier on my ageing mind. I have also learned to check and double-check where the repeated rows and columns on each page are - they are never the rows marked on the chart as repeats. I spent a month learning just how important it was to get it right, when I stitched a page with 3 duplicate rows along the top. It took twice as long to frog the area than it had to stotch it. I'm not going there again!

So, here is where I was when I took Christmas Dreams up to rest in December 2018.

And here it is on the frame, ready for stitching. It always takes me a while to get back into the swing of it, but I really hope to be making some real progress on this over the next few months.

And finally, a photo taken at the end of tonight's stitching session. I have finished the 20th page and moved on to the 21st (which is actually page 37).

I always enjoy reading all the GG posts, and I am sure that this month will be no disappointment. In this time of social isolation, the diversion is much appreciated!