Friday, 25 October 2013

A finish

This week I managed to FINISH a project. The Butterfly Pinkeep that is a small project for the Cabinet of Curiosities course is completed and looking as pretty as the butterfly stitched upon it. The point of this was to learn the casket technique for shading with tent stitch. It served that purpose well. However the linen used is a closely woven Montrose 1750 24 count so not all background has to be filled but where you do stitch needs 3 threads in the needle for good coverage which means you need to use a laying tool. Fortunately I have a true gem of a laying tool made by JRCrafter that is fantastic in the hand even when using two hands on a roller frame. It is perfectly balanced and I totally recommend getting one if you do not have one already.
I have started keeping a record of the time spent on projects. This little piece took 27 hours.
Butterfly Pinkeep - Thistle Threads
I managed also to get some more done of the sawtooth border for the May Your Hands. It doesn't seem like much but this is slow going linen and needs magnification. I now have the cross stitch for the borders completed for the scissor book, needle book and scissor fob and have started on the pillowbook. A ways to go yet and then I need to fill the border in with satin stitch.
May Your Hands - Thistle Threads
I made a small start on the Needleworker's Pocketbook body piece. Amy Mitten has sent a newsletter to tease us with a new project she is releasing for the winter solstice. Can't wait to see what that is. I also ordered a couple of her workshop samplers from her during the week. The Final Soliloqey and Queens Secrets I. I received the additional thread I needed from Amy  today to carry on with the seed stitch on the Mermaids Treasures and start putting the pieces together, hooray!
Needleworker's Pocketbook - Amy Mitten

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Life Is Back To It's Routine

The girls and I had a lovely term break. Dad worked through it. My parents live in Rotorua so we went down that way for a visit. We stopped on the way at Hobbiton near MataMata which is where they filmed the movies 'The Lord of the Rings' and more recently 'The Hobbit'. The movie set, come tourist attraction, is situated on a pristine working sheep farm with rolling hills and sparse but massive old pine trees. Perfect for hobbit houses built into hillsides. Can see why Peter Jackson sourced this site. It is spring time and the day we went there was sunny with blue skies. It is lambing season and there were white dots everywhere. There are normally 6000 head but with lambing it goes up to 14,000 head. The guided tour lasts 2 hours and the houses are soooo quaint with little gardens out the front which are all maintained.
You get a complimentary jug of ale or cider at the 'Green Dragon' at the end of the tour.

The Party Tree

The Green Dragon Inn from afar

The Green Dragon inside
We also went to visit the recently refurbished 'Rainbow Springs' at Rotorua. It is very nicely done with a super playground and 'Big Splash' log type ride where you do indeed get wet! You can also feed the huge trout which is pretty cool for the kids and they have all sorts of birds including the nocturnal Kiwi on display.
The All Black Kiwi
Now, to the stitching part of the past two weeks. I did manage to get some in along with shopping for some more at the local patchwork shop, a favourite for many years. Jill at Cottage Flair is lovely and I have signed up to do a dimensional quilting course in early November. It is called a Kereru Wall Hanging and the photo does not do it justice. The Kereru is a native pigeon and is big and fat.
So, to my achievements...... I am up to date again with the Floral Glove having stitched the petals of the rose and the leaves in the roundels. Ready for the next lesson at the start of November. I love this project as the monthly achievements are doable in the timeframe.
Thistle Threads - Floral Glove
I have also made progress on the Butterfly Pin Keep. I outlined the butterfly in tent stitch before filling and have now started on the sky. This project is part of the Cabinet of Curiosities course and is designed as a practice piece for 17th century shading with tent stitch. It is done on Montrose 1750 linen with 3 strands of Soie De Paris for good coverage as it is 28 ct. As the thread splits so easy I am using a laying tool and would not by choice use this linen for a larger project as would prefer to work with 1 strand in the needle. Still the colours are vibrant and it will look pretty when made up.
Butterfly Pin Keep - Thistle Threads
I made some small progress on the cross stitch saw tooth border for the May Your Hands. This linen has been washed heaps prior to being kitted and the threads are compact so is slow going.
May Your Hands - Thistle Threads
I have run out of thread again on the Mermaid Treasures. I still need to do some seed stitch around the top of the mirror. Amy has published the finishing instructions for the Fish Pin Keep and the Scallop Shell but I need this same thread I have run out of to do much of this finishing so I am at a road block and will have to wait until Amy sends the threads. This has been a full on but very enjoyable project and the results in reality are amazing with all the awesome threads.
Mermaid Treasures - Amy Mitten


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