Five-sided box 9: Peony and buttercup

This final side of my five-sided box features a deep red peony flower, and some yellow buttercups – the motif is from the book ‘Flowers for Elizabeth’, by Susan O’Connor.

5 box 33

The long and short stitch filling was quite time-consuming to do – several areas needed padding with stitches first – but I was very pleased with the way it turned out.

5 box 34

The very edges of some of the petals have two layers of stitched padding underneath them, so they look more 3D than the rest of the flower.

5 box 35

Now comes the making-up part….oh dear! Scary!


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Celtic Autumn in alternative colours – 4

I’ve done 40 hours of stitching on this lovely design, now, and it’s looking like this:

Celtic Autumn after 40 hours of cross stitching

This was how it looked after 30 hours:

I’ve found it to be very relaxing doing the shading on the skirt, although I do need good light, as the shades are incredibly close, sometimes. If I put a piece of thread down, and don’t tie it onto its relevant skein, I might as well throw it away, as it’s sometimes impossible to be sure (especially with the terracotta shades) which skein it was originally from. The terracotta stripe at the back of the skirt, for instance, has three shades in it, but you’d hardly know, would you?

As with the shawl around the upper body, I’m not enjoying stitching the pale shades of the skirt on the pale fabric quite so much as the terracotta and green colours. I’m debating whether to get on with it and finish those pale colours on the whole design, just to get them out of the way!

I had my first bit of frogging (unpicking) to do during this ten hour chunk, too – I mis-counted while stitching the gold thread on the right hand side, as I planned out the medallions, so I had to undo the gold on four motifs and start again. NOT pleased with that!


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Celtic Autumn by Lavender and Lace in alternative colours – 3

After thirty hours of stitching, my Celtic Autumn by Lavender and Lace looks like this:

My Celtic Autumn cross stitch picture, after 30 hours of stitching

This is what it looked like after twenty hours:

I’d been away from home last weekend, and really missed being able to put a few stitches in each evening. I can’t take this one with me when I’m not at home, as it’s large, and is attached to a 12 inch x 24 inch rotating frame, which I rest on my floor frame. I really must get a second project on the go, that is portable!!

The falling leaves adaptation to the Celtic Autumn chart

The leaves that are falling from the lady’s hands are an adaptation of the original chart. I saw them shown first on the Celtic Lady StitchA Long blog. I’ve now tracked down the chart for them, which was created by someone called Crystal (see her Webshots album here), but given to me by Nathalie (who created the beautiful Celtic Winter adaptation with a hood, in blue – see her website here). Are you still with me? Anyway, the leaves chart was hand drawn, and sent to me as a Word file, and it was quite small, so I had a bit of trouble working from it. Also, as the leaves are themselves small with a lot of detailed leaf indentations, it meant stitching them over one thread of the 28 count fabric with one strand instead of two, so I had to dig out my magnifer. Stitching the leaves took about three hours, but I’m very pleased with how they turned out. The original chart just had a spray of beads down the front and the back of the lady, but I don’t think that’s very ‘autumnal’. This variation, on the other hand, is great.

The other part I liked doing was the two border patterns. When it gets a bit repetitive to do the ‘filling in’ on the body of the lady, it makes a nice change to work on the borders.

I’ve started on the skirt, now – so far, I’m just filling in the edges of each area of colour, to define them a bit better.

And I’m still tempted to add a few beads, just to see how they’ll look….


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Celtic Autumn in alternative colours – 1

This past weekend, I made a start on the Lavender and Lace Celtic Autumn design, in the alternative colours. I stitched all the hours I had available, and, including a couple of weekday evenings, I’ve managed 10 hours of stitching so far, and it now looks like this:

This is the Celtic Autumn design after 10 hours of stitching

I’m stitching it on Zweigart ‘Platinum’ 28 count linen evenweave from Sew and So, with DMC stranded cotton (two strands). There are 35 shades in this design altogether, so the shading is really subtle in places, plus gold thread (I’m using Petite Treasure Braid PB03), plus five shades of Mill Hill seed beads. It’s very tempting to add some beads now, ‘just to see how they’ll look’, but I mustn’t get tempted too much, as I’m stitching this with the fabric on a rectangular rotating frame, and adding beads now will mean that I can’t roll the fabric up properly later. When I get to the stage of adding all the beads, I’ll put the fabric onto a Q-Snap frame, which is gentler on beaded fabric.

Using 35 colours of DMC means that the shading in the design can be subtle

I’ve decided to count the hours this takes me to stitch, so that I’ve got a proper record of how long it takes – usually, I make a very rough estimate, but I want to be more precise with this one, as it’s a big project, and I want to know how much of my life I’ve sacrificed to get it done!!

The grid to help me track how many hours I stitch for

To make that simple, I designed a grid in Excel, and printed it out on one sheet of A4, and each time I spend 10 minutes on my stitching, I put a cross in one of the boxes. The grid is divided up into six boxes horizontally by ten boxes vertically. That equates to ten hours of ten-minute slots. I folded the A4 sheet so that only one grid box out of the twelve is showing, so that it’s small enough to clip it to the edge of my floor frame. So far, it’s proving really easy to keep track of how long it’s taking.


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