Saturday, 14 April 2012

Think I've found my Groove ;)

After 6 pages of trial and error, stitching trouble and thread problems, I think i've finally found the way which works best for this large project.

I'm still waiting to order my quilting hoop, got to wait for payday :) Not sure yet whether to go for the 18 or 21 inch, I'm thinking the 21 might be best.

I have started the next page and instead of working my 10x10 squares in a horizontal row as I would do with any other project, I've tried working a vertical column, why didnt I do this before? I've cut the first column from the chart page 10 stitches across and half the page length -40 stitches down, using magnets i've attached it onto the fabric so I can see it easier. I start with the first colour in the top square and then stitch all of that colour, line by line until I reach the bottom of the chart piece I have out, then I pull the thread through about 12 stitches away, leave the tail at the front and cut, then choose the next colour and do the same, until the chart section is finished.

Its so much easier and faster than stitching across the chart and i'm wasting far less thread.

The first column is already complete :) Not sure how much longer i'll be able to work on her before I get my next lot of commissions, but i'm hoping to finish another column or two before I put her away again.

I did a quick thread count and nipped out to buy 6 I had run out of, this brings my skein total to 216! Its a good thing this project is taking so long really, i'd never be able to afford these threads all at once.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Little Owl Drawing finished

Just finished this little guy, in 4h, HB, and 2B Derwent Graphite pencil, sorry for the awful photograph, its very dark here today.

I would love to have the skill to do him perfect, but for now, i'm happy with him. Practice makes perfect :)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Happy Dance, Page 6 finished!

Finally........ thanks for sticking with me.

With my son, who wouldnt move until I took his picture :)

Full sized shot- fabric measures 54 inches across the top and 57 inches top to bottom, with a skein of DMC thread for scale, stitched in 6 strands over 2 on 18ct fabric, so it works out at 9stitched per inch.

And a closer shot

Its nice to lay it out and look at how far i've come, you dont see it when you are stitching something this big, until you can step back.

Now, I will take a thread stocktake as I will need to place another order before I can start the next page, I'm also buying a new 18 inch quilting hoop, ideally I would like to finish the next page by the end of June, but it will be a bit tight I think with all of the other things I have on.

I will update as and when I can, I hope you enjoy the pictures.


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Fabric and stand trouble

I have just three hundred stitches to go, but am taking a quick break so thought i'd pop this on, just in case anyone has any suggestions.

This was this afternoon, I have the fabric on a 12 inch hoop and held on a stand frame, the excess fabric is held in a hairband off to one side, when I sit down I fold this around my hip and behind my back to keep it out of the way.

At the moment I am stitching on the second row of pages, but am already starting to have some issues, because I am using 6 strands of thread, the fabric is getting heavier very quickly, for now the stand holds the hoop up most of the time, but its starting to fall more and more.

As you can see, I have folded the top fabric over 4 times and it fits under the clamps, although it does fall out from time to time, once I get onto the third row of the chart, i'm not sure that it will hold anymore without damaging what I have already stitched, the 12 inch hoop is also starting to feel fragile with the weight and is beginning to bend.

So I need to find a way to hold the fabric which makes it easier to stitch on and something which is strong enough to take it. The fabric is 48 inches across, I did manage to find one scroll frame and stand that would take the size, but it was several hundred pounds. I have tried q-snaps on it, but because I am using 6 strands of thread, the fabric is too thick to hold with the snaps and they keep popping off.

For now, I am going to buy a 18 inch quilting hoop, it should be much stronger and able to hold the weight. But other than that i'm not sure what I can do once this row of pages are finished.

The other thing I have considered is buying an old scroll frame and stand, removing the bars and seeing if I can add new ones, long enough to hold the whole piece, it would make working on her so much easier.

I will be back with a picture of my page finish in the morning

Very nearly at the page end

1200 stitches to go...... should be able to post a picture of my page finish in the morning tomorrow, phew, this page has been very slow going. Doesnt help, that this little guy keeps calling me back to finish him :)

Its been a mega busy couple of weeks, but worth it, submissions completed and sent for my art course, commissions for Card Shop finished, then the long easter weekend off to just sketch and stitch on Night Queen, just what I needed to re-charge the creative batteries.

I have a question to ask of my fellow stitchers, have you ever tried 'Parking' your threads? The system I have with Night Queen of leaving the tails at the front when i've finished working them has helped, I dont have to move the hoop all the time to loop the ends in, but its proving slow and quite costly and wasteful threadwise. As the financial side of the project is starting to mount up a bit, saving a few pounds on threads per page is something I need to think about.

I do remember trying parking once on All Hallows Eve, but I couldnt get to grips with it, I found it fiddly and confusing, but i'm thinking it might be worth a try again for this project.

So, if you've tried it and have any advice, or a web link to a tutorial, would you mind sharing?

I promise to return tomorrow with a picture of Night Queen, I'm quite excited to see it myself, while the fabric is all rolled up on the hoop, I cant really see the design at all, it will be nice to take it off and roll it out, see how it is coming together.

Thanks readers and happy stitching :)