Hi ladies! This post was meant to be up much sooner, but it went to the backburner with vacations plans for Chicago and preparations for Hurricane Irma. (I know what you guys are thinking: excuses, excuses!) Might I say I loved how Chicago, particularly Logan Square, treated us? There was such a nice friendly vibe in the community and loved all the pretty flowers and delicious noms!
Credit to my boyfriend for capturing this lovely view of Chicago downtown
Back to cross-stitching, this is a follow-up (and the last 😦 ) post for the Past, Present, Forever kit. I never showed you guys how grimy the aida cloth was from the years I spent stitching the pattern. Please refer to this post about grime guards to prevent what you’ll see in the following pictures from happening!
But say your cross stitch got to the state as mine was in. What then? OxyClean worked for me. I read accounts of people mixing a 1:1 ratio of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda which is pretty much a homemade OxyClean which works just as well. I only let the grimy, stained areas soak. I had to soak them a handful of times to get the stains completely out probably because of the gunk, oils, and dirt that had accumulated over many years. After each time, the stains would become fainter, but would do this weird thing where it’d spread to a wider area. With a little bit of ironing to get the wrinkles and creases out, voilà!
I’m both sad and happy to say that I’ll be starting back up with the “Past, Present, Forever” cross-stitch kit since I just finished reading “The Blinding Knife”. I really enjoyed working on my “Flowers and Lace” kit. A little less than half of the white border is completed along with most of the backstitches for the leaves and the purple flowers.
I accidentally discovered one day while tugging a little too hard on one of the strands that I’m supposed to tug hard on a strand to remove it from the cardboard. No more needing to clip them from the cardboard :).
Although it’s just been a month, I feel like it’s been a long while since I last updated. Haven’t stitched as much as I liked to, some reasons that are on my part: like starting another book in the middle of “The Blinding Knife” and binging on TV shows that require more of my attention (13 Reasons Why, Black Mirror WHICH I’M COMPLETELY OBSESSED WITH, and Westworld), and one that is out of my control: my dad getting surgery to his pituitary gland (He’s safe and sound now ^^) which I’ll probably go into more detail in my following post or two.
The bear looks kinda creepy without the eyes stitched in, welp..
Been making lots of progress with the Past, Present, Forever and the Flowers and Lace patterns. I’ll leave it up to you guys, my readers, to take that as sarcasm or not :D. I spent the last few days stitching those two patterns more than I normally would, and I suppose in the process, I got sick of them and started a new one. The new pattern’s called Teddy Bear Gathering, and it’s another from the Dimensions Gold Collection :).
I’m in love with the railroading technique. For those whom this is the first time seeing this term, it’s a stitching technique that helps make two strands in a stitch lie parallel to each other. I don’t think I’ve ever had my stitches lie so flatly and neatly before, and I feel like it’s reduced the times the threads have gotten tangled (knock on wood!). Thank you so much, Nat, for introducing me to the term! Please check out her beautiful stitching here and here. She also writes heartful, and at times, raw posts about her personal dealings with social anxiety.
I’ve been lately hoping to stitch faster, and stumbled upon the term “the sewing method“. I’ve seen the method used before in other videos, but didn’t have a chance to place a name with it until now. I do hope to use the method soon although I probably won’t be able to with the constant color changes I have in the patterns currently. I’ll have to wait until I finish most of those sections, and get to the background since backgrounds have generally large sections of one color.
Another thing I’ve seen a lot of stitchers do in videos that I wish I mastered is poking the needle in the right place from the back of the cloth/pattern to the front without having to flip to look at the back of the cloth. For those of you who stitch like that comfortably, HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO THAT? I always have trouble pushing the needle through the right place and end up poking EVERYWHERE but the right one. It looks like stitching would go sooo much faster if I could do that properly!
Do you ladies have tips and tricks to stitch faster or any other general tricks you like to use? I’d love to hear from you! I have a few cross-stitch tips and tricks videos in my YouTube watchlist and wouldn’t mind adding more :).
The flowers are coming along nicely. I expect to finish the leaves in my next update, and maybe whatever flowers (they look like cherry blossoms in the pattern) I miss following that? I started making more loopstarts which have been super convenient for confetti stitches and for when only one strand would suffice for the last stitches of a certain color.
So, Leticia suggested these folders (thanks girl!) from Hobby Lobby around the time I was first reorganizing my cross-stitch projects and they’ve been wonderful. They’re originally for scrapbooking. Definitely find coupons for the store if you plan on getting these folders too!
The folders take up very little room and keep my projects neatly separated and organized.
And I found my “Good Fortune” FO from forever ago! After spending so much time looking for this project and giving up, it popped up when I was reorganizing/decluttering my room.
I’d like to end this post by giving a shout out to Eric, who recently followed me over on my other blog about eczema. He made a pretty awesome post for people to comment with a brief description of their blog and to help bloggers discover other people’s blogs. The post is a cool idea to connect people over WordPress, so kudos Eric!
A list of cross-stitch terminology and resources I’ll probably need to refer back to from time-to-time:
HAED – “heaven and earth designs”
PHD – “project half done”
SAL – “stitch along”. When stitchers come together to work on the same projects.
WIP – “work in progress”
UFO – “unfinished objects”
I don’t know how I haven’t thought about doing this until just a couple of days ago.
I’ve had these magnets for over two years from a previous arts and crafts project, and I can’t believe I’m just now thinking of using these! A lot of people have better designed and looking “needle minders”, but I’ll use these for the time being.
I first found out about needle minders about a year ago here from fellow WordPress blogger, myknitsnpearls.
These magnets could have saved me so much from losing needles and the time spent trying to find them!!
WordPress cross-stitchers, you are awesome! I love getting updates of what beautiful designs everyone is working on whether it be kits or original works. I’m always greeted by pages of colorful and pretty stitches. 🙂
I’m super appreciative that some of you post descriptions of your stitching experiences and helpful tips. Today, I came across a tip from craftscapades for making a “loop start at the front“. Seems like it beats “burying the thread”.
needlesflossapplesauce mentioned a cool site for cross-stitch kits/patterns, Sew and So. The site looks to be based in the UK, so I’m not sure if I’ll be ordering from there sometime soon, but there are a few that look tempting to buy like this. I shouldn’t even be considering it since I still have two other patterns I’m currently working on to finish!
I’ve gotten into a slight cross-stitch binge since getting the “Elegant Geisha” kit. While reading up on stitching techniques, I found the tip on creating “waste knots” incredibly helpful considering how often I need to change threads and how often I accidentally pull the end out before making the first stitch. I’ll probably start stitching grid lines later on as I stitch more too. That’ll probably free up a lot of time I spend trying to find stitch placement.
So, there are these neat, little contraptions called “grime guards” for keeping the outer parts of the fabric clean as you’re stitching. myknitsnpearls made a post about it here.
Stumbled upon Daily Cross Stitch today as well. Super cute, small patterns are sold for
$1.00 $2.99 [EDITED: 10/4/15] each on the site. According to Reddit (a site I visit regularly), every once in a while the patterns can go down to $0.25 during random sales. 🙂