First, a small finish: I decided to start my August stitching with a Christmas ornament since I try to stitch one a month. This one is a new complimentary chart from Blue Ribbon Designs called Red Birds For Peace. I stitched it with the GAST as charted but I used a remnant of a 40ct Silkweaver Limited Edition linen called Mississippi Mud. The original chart called for a 32ct linen of the stitcher's choice. So my ornament is a bit smaller than intended by the designer. I also varied the strands a bit. I used two strands to stitch the center tree and the solid border but only one strand to stitch the scallop border for a lacier effect. I stitched the two smaller trees done in Blue Spruce with a single strand as well ... I think it gives a bit of depth to the piece, setting the two smaller trees closer to the horizon, so to speak ... and the long-stitched trees were stitched with two strands of Pine. The over-one birds were stitched, of course, in single strands of Cherry Wine and Cranberry. The word Peace was stitched with two strands of an older and more muted dyelot of Cranberry [so different from my other skeins of Cranberry that it might even be a labelling error rather than a dyelot variation]. I think the variations in texture and tone make this an interesting little ornament. I left the snowflakes out entirely: I don't like the disproportionately large size of the flakes as charted. Never did like that cold, wet stuff anyway ... and when stitched on 40ct linen this design doesn't seem to have so much negative space crying out for filling.
My other start thus far this month is AuryTM's free chart, 4th of July - Quaker Style. I am stitching this on a piece of 28ct Silkweaver overdyed linen called Starquest using GAST Buckeye Scarlet, White Picket Fence and Midnight.
---I'll be continuing to stitch on the back of my Fertile Circles Needlebook and on my Beach Find Pansies panel. I am amazed that such "small" projects are taking so long and proving so very complex.
---And, of course,there's Workbasket's Quaker Cow already kitted up and ready to start.
---I'll also be moving my stitching stand downstairs this weekend so that I can work on TW's Autumn Faerie in the evenings after work in the most efficiently air-conditioned space.
---Then, there is my next Halloween project to kit up: Not Forgotten Farm's The Giving Sisters
---Finally, I follow a lovely blog, Be-Stitched, written by Erynne. Erynne is a talented young designer and skilled stitcher who is very generous in sharing her designs. Her latest, a lovely free chart ... I'm In the Garden ... is just the right size [73w x 73h] for a large ornament or a small pillow or the center motif of a tote or maybe even a tea-cup pin cushion if you use a 40ct linen ... the possibilities are endless ...
I have already poured through my reserves of small pieces of overdyed linen and my stores of single skeins of over-dyed floss ... just itching to start on this ... but what colorway to use ... ah, a good question to ponder. I am thinking Thread Gatherer's Silk'N'Colors Autumn on the Cape and the matching chenille for an edging ... but now, to find a perfect fabric to work with those colors. I tried several floss-tosses, but I keep coming back to these:
For a classic look, this 28ct linen called Country Cream:For a more intense and color-drenched look, this 28ct Silkweaver overdyed linen in shades of blue called Starquest:
I also tried it against a 28ct Cashel linen called ApricotAnd against a mystery 28ct linen in soft shades of pink ...
I really like the look of the floss against the Starquest but I am still mulling over the other possibilities as well. I believe I will finish this as either a tote or a pillow so it may all come down to what fabric I can find for the final finish. I think a trip to The Happy Quilter is going to have to be put on the agenda this weekend.