Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I've been led astray! (AKA--I've been a bad girl!)

On Monday night I put the final stitches in on I Sigh Not For Beauty. What an enjoyable stitch this was! I hope to take “her” to Carol, my framer friend, later this week.
Thank you to all who wrote about my faux pas on using the wrong color for the over-one text. I think Terrie phrased it perfectly when she called it “serendipitous”. I think that is the only change I made to this design that was not done on purpose. As you might notice I made a few minor changes. I think that by now you know that I consider a chart the “jumping off” spot. Each needleworker takes a chart/design and makes it her (or his) own making whatever changes she (or he) wants.

We have a lot going on in our lives these days, and I’ve found myself unable to concentrate well enough to work on any new designs so I’ve been just stitching away on others’ designs. I’ve certainly found it a great stress reliever.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly have my share of WIPs. Sometimes the threads get separated from the linen and chart. (Heavens knows how that happens!! LOL!!) Anyway, I’ve come up with my own way of clearly identifying which threads go with which project.
I simply print a color photo of the project on card stock and then punch a hole in the upper corner to insert a metal ring to hold my threads.  (The photo on my thread card looks much better in person that it does here.)   I didn’t think much about the idea until a couple of friends at my sampler guild stitch-in started carrying on over the idea. (Yes, Marsha G, you can have this thread card since I no longer need it.)

I decided that once I was through with I Sigh Not For Beauty, I should go through my mountain of WIPs and finish up a couple of those before starting anything new. How could I rationalize starting a new project?

I was very good yesterday morning, when I worked on Catherine Theron’s Examplar 3 which was an August class with The Queen City Sampler Guild. The class was in the midst of my back problems, but before I got to the point that I couldn’t sit up to stitch. Once I ended up on my back, my poor Examplar 3 went into my stitching basket. She resurfaced Tuesday morning, and here is my progress so far.
But alas, I have been led astray!! Knowing that I will likely be going to Florida to help out with my father I wanted a travel project that I could take with me and one that I could also work on my plane ride to England for the May classes. But what to choose???

After lots of searching, this is the sampler I chose. Do you have any idea who “she” is?

Perhaps this will help you.
Yes, the sampler I chose was Ann Rayner from Threads Through Time. I’ve decided to use the DMC threads that Nancy Sturgeon used on her model. Wow, aren’t they cheerful? Perfect for a springtime stitch!

My original plan was to use 36-count Pecan Butter linen from Lakeside Linens. By using 36-count linen I can be lazy and stitch with only one ply of thread—no railroading of my stitches. Then I started pulling out my threads. That is when I discovered in three spots the sampler uses a blend of two threads. As hard as I tried I could not figure a way around this because I like my antique reproductions to be as close as possible to the original samplers. That is when I decided on using 32-count toasted almond linen from Zweigart. Nancy’s model was stitched on 30-count linen, so my version will be only slightly smaller than hers.

Perhaps this linen size choice was also serendipitous because it will be much easier to work on the larger count when traveling. I’ve found that I don’t dislike railroading my stitches as much as I thought I would. Perhaps you’ll have to check back with in a week and see if I still feel the same way.

Remember how I was holding off on putting the last stitches on Elizabeth J. M. Mears until I went to Accomack County (Virginia) to see my aunt? Well, those plans have had to be put on hold not knowing if and when I’ll need to go to Florida to help my sister with Daddy. I think that either tonight or tomorrow I’ll go ahead and put in those final stitches so that I can take Elizabeth to Carol along with I Sigh Not For Beauty.

I’m hoping that things will soon calm down so that I can concentrate on some new designs. I have a couple of ideas in mind. Wish me luck.


Anonymous said...

Ann Rayner is on my short list. I purchased a beautiful piece of 36 count LL vintage buttercream and hope to start on her before year-end. Her bright cheerful colors will be just the ticket to chase away the winter blahs. Blessings to you - kelley

Margaret said...

I hope things calm down for you soon. I'm glad you can at least stitch other projects -- good therapy. I love your Sigh Not for Beauty finish! Love the Catherine Theron piece too -- I have yet to take a class from her and I so want to! Ann is looking good so far! One person told me to use one of the blended colors for the bottom of the x and the other for the top of the x if I was using 40ct. Another person said just use whichever color you like best! :D I refuse to use 32ct though. lol!

Babs in Alabama said...

Ellen, I enjoyed this post so much! Not only do you do the same things other stitchers confess to doing them :) I Sigh not for Beauty is beautiful as are all the pieces you stitch or design. I love the idea of the ID cards and rings with our WIPS, and it's easy to do.
Your trip sounds all planned out and I wish you well as you stitch & go with Ann Raynor.

Faye said...

Love your traveling selection and 32 ct fab idea...The jury is out on me and the railroading..I will check back and see if you survived your dedication to this....I know I should railroad but.... I should check into Ann Raynor sampler..I love the look of it and know yours will be serendipitous!!

Deb said...

I started Ann Rayner as part of the Crazy January Challenge and probably got as far as you are now. I just finished up Ann Medd so now I can concentrate on other things - like Elizabeth Mears which I had to buy after seeing your beautiful piece. And I love your finish on I Sigh Not for Beauty. Another that's on my list to do sometime.

Nancy said...

Oh Ellen - I Sigh Not For Beauty is gorgeous! You must be so happy to have this finish, and I look forward to seeing your Accomack finish too! That sampler is gorgeous! You are really stitching some wonderful projects. Enjoy, and I look forward to seeing your ideas when they become linen and thread!

DonnaTN said...

All your samplers are beautiful! It is so thrilling to finish a project, but starting a new one is just as thrilling. I started railroading after I took a class from Eileen Bennett back in the late 80's and now I feel funny if I don't railroad.

Bertie said...

Gorgeous work Ellen, glad to see you are able to stitch even though it's hectic. Thanks for that tip on the thread card, great:))
Take care and stitch a lot LOL.

Mouse said...

oooo it looks fab :) well done you .. great idea re the threads for projects .. may just have to use that on mine :) take care love mouse xxxx

Catherine said...

Your stitches are always so inspiring! Love your idea for thread identification - very cute!
Hope things calm down for you soon! Hugs!

geeky Heather said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! It's beautiful! And the idea of printing the photo of the project for the floss ring is brilliant. We'll see if I can become organized enough to do that. ;)

Jean said...

Beautiful finish, your idea on thread organization with each piece is an interesting one. Can't wait to see your E. Mears, she is on my list.

woolwoman said...

Ellen - I love Ann Rayner and I think doing it on 32ct will make a great traveling project. I personally enjoy 32ct when I select it - so easy on the peepers however 36ct is my favorite - Love your I SIGH - simply beautiful - I'm sorry to hear you may be traveling to Fl again so soon.
Hope you are enjoying spring in Ohio. Melody

Laurie in Iowa said...

I'm glad you're able to find some time for stitch therapy. Congrats on your gorgeous finish. Love both new projects you've chosen to work on.

valerie said...

Your finish is stunning and it seems like you finished her so fast! I'll be following your Ann Rayner progress. She's a beautiful sampler as well.

Shelleen said...

your finish came out beautifully and can't wait to see more progress on the wips.

Karoline said...

Sigh not is gorgeous Ellen, congratulations

The other two are looking lovely