Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekend Progress Report: March 11, 2012

I am almost halfway through the month and most of my stitching so far has been off monthly goals although on annual goals: the cross-stitching of Papillion Creations Peacock was finished on March 9 [Friday].  I replaced a bit of the stitching with some Mill Hill seed beads in lavendar blue, just to give the piece a bit of glitz.  Again, the photograph was taken in natural daylight so there is a better sense of the true colors.  Now it is just a matter of doing the finish finishing.  That will require some stash diving in the sewing fabric bins.  The rest of the weekend was back on monthly goals, working on the Jacobean Elegance Afghan.  I am including a progress photo of the afghan block.  Not as impressive as one would hope.  I have nearly finished the third block of the afghan, leaving three more to go if I am to reach my March goal of four blocks.  I plan on keeping the afghan at my stitching chair for the remainder of the week, making it the focus of all my at home stitching time.  As for my travel focus piece, I will have to get back to my gift stitching if I am to have any hope of gettting it off in the mail this month as planned.  I did get to the post office earlier this week.  I had some boxes to mail to my grandchildren and I took the opportunity to mail the Sweetheart Tree's Holly & Hearts Sampler and Teresa Wentzler's Tracery Dragons to their respective winners.  But it seems like there is always another reason to head to the post office.  I have another box for the grandchildren to mail this week and, if all of the Easter goodies I ordered arrive in time, there'll be another box to mail the week after that.  Long-distance grand-parenting is the pits!  Three thousand miles is just too great a distance to place between a grandmother and her grandchildren!
I have never been a big fan of Q-snaps but I do own a few: one of which is large enough to encompass a block in the afghan.  So I thought I'd give the Q-snaps another trial.  Generally, I find that the fabric becomes too loose in Q-snaps.  Since so many people seem to love them unreservedly, I figure I must be doing something wrong to get such unsatisfactory results.  In any case, I thought the afghan cloth [as opposed to linen] might work better in the Q-snap frame.  The tension isn't quite as taut as I usually like but it is workable.  At least I can work an entire block without having to shift my stitching frame when using the Q-snaps instead of my spring tension hoop.  So, between the Doodler Lap Frame I used for The Peacock and the q-snap I am using for the afghan, I have been doing a lot of two handed stitching lately.  I know this runs counter to common wisdom but, for me, two-handed stitching is slower than one handed stab and pull stitching.  I guess when you have been using one style for the better part of four decades, you build a proficiency making it a quicker option than the purportedly more efficient style.


Vickie said...

Stitching looks great Riona. I agree with you on the lack of proficiency with two handed stitching. I am still quicker in my stabbing method as well. Maybe it will just take more time and practice for me.

CalamityJr said...

The peacock finish is lovely. Sounds like you've got a great plan for meeting your goals!

Rachel S-H said...

I love Q-snaps for the afghans. It gives you enough tension, little risk of snagging the fabric, and it's loose enough to not worry about distorting threads.

Your finish and WIP are gorgeous!

pandy said...

Peacock is lovely :) I'm a stab and pull stitcher as well! I used plastic hoops when I started, and then discovered Qsnaps and used those for years, but after my chance encounter with a wooden hoop I've since switched to those - hardwicke manor ones because they're super well made :D

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Love your peacock sampler and it's stitching up so quickly too!
I always stitch in hand, I've never got on with hoops or even tried a frame. To me it's another delay in picking up the fabric and getting on with it! For the same reason I don't do bobbins LOL.
Both my boys' grandparents live less than 2 miles away which is lovely for us all. I do feel for you being so far apart. At least we have t'internet and Skype nowadays.