|my Celtic Snow by Norther Expressions Needlework|
I've been working on this piece since July 2014. Although I have done other things in between, it's been a long journey with this one. It's the biggest cross stitch I've done in the last 10 years. It's 15" x 15".
|with an A4 piece of paper for comparison|
I always stitch with a hoop because it keeps the tension even. I did all the stitching before I started adding the beads because I knew the beads would prevent me from using the hoop. After I'd done all the beading in the centre with the hoop, I put the piece onto my roller bars so I could continue to add the beads. It wasn't easy working on the roller bars because the linen is quite a loose weave, but I got there in the end. there are 1,400 beads in this piece!
When I'm attaching beads I always go through each bead twice to make a X. That holds the bead straight. I also keep all the beads going in the same direction. That did result in some unpicking because sometimes I accidentally turned the piece 90 degrees. There's no obvious top or bottom, the design is symmetrical. In these cases I tie a piece of coloured cotton at the top, but I must have ignored that at times.
I really felt thrilled when I woke up the next morning and took it off the roller bars. I gave it a light press, took some photos and dashed off to the framers. I took along a piece of dark fabric because I knew their padding was white, and I didn't want white behind the linen, I wanted a dark colour.
The framers will be finished in about 3 weeks and I'll be excited to see how it looks.
For the embroiderers out there:
- the fabric I used is Midnight Tryst 28 count linen from Hand Dyed by Stephanie. It is beautiful and gives this piece a dark mysterious background. It's the shade Nicole used in her sample and the photo on the pattern. Nicole used much finer linen, but I've given up on anything finer than 28 count. If I'd chosen 32, 36 or 40 count linen I don't know if I would have ever finished.
- I used the recommended Overdyed Silks from Dinky Dyes - lovely pastel shades.
- I couldn't get all the exact beads, so substituted to those available locally.
- I bought the pattern from 123Stitch. It's really cheap - less than USD 20 - so I just don't understand people who rip off these designers by posting the pattern online.
This was the 4th and final item on my Finish Along list for Q1. It means I'm another step closer to getting back to my la passacaglia which I'm excited about. I'm now an administrator of the group on facebook (Millefiori/ la passacaglia English Paper Piecing) so I keep seeing everyone else's progress. I'm itching to get back to mine, but have one more long term project to finish first. Aren't I being good?