Recently in Counted Cross-stitch Category

I'm Back!

I landed back in San Francisco late last night. Man, I don't know what time it is or what day or anything. I've slowly been going through my bags, putting stuff away. I managed to pick up some crafty things on my travels, and thought I would share them with you all.

In Amsterdam, I went to this neat quilt shop called Den Haan & Wagenmakers. If you are ever in Amsterdam, I highly recommend you go! They are not far from Dam Square. The shop is chock full of their lovely fabrics, with lots of kits and examples of how you might put them together. There is also a cute little quilt shop right next door, which was more of traditional quilt shop, more like what you'd find in the states.

Fabric for the Quilt

I picked up a kit, which included the fabric above. It makes a small wall hanging quilt of different squares. Should be quite nice when finished.

Dutch Tile Fabric

I also picked up this tile fabric and a set of fat quarters. They showed an example of the tiles cut with the fat quarters fabric as a border. I originally got this as a gift for my mother, by I love the fabric so much I may have to keep it for myself.

We past a cute little crafty shop while in Skagen, and I was sure to go back before we left in the morning. The shop was a strange mixture of yarns, fabric, cross-stitch kits and clothing. There didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for how things were organized in the shop.

Christmas Table Cloth Kit

I did find this Christmas tablecloth kit though, and decided that it was worth it. It seems to be a more traditional design. The woman at the shop commented that it was "a big project" but we both agreed that it will be lovely when complete. I may or may not stitch the words in Danish... might change it to English. We'll see.

In Copenhagen, I went to a number of knitting stores. One of the stores, Sommerfuglen, had yarn, cross-stitch and embroidery, as well as fabric for quilting. I almost got a pattern for a lovely cardigan, but I was afraid that the directions would be too hard given that they were only in Danish. They also had some lovely cross-stitched maps of Denmark that I was really tempted by as well.

Blomster, Blade Og Baer I Korssting

In the end, I decided to get this book of cross-stitch wreaths and flowers. It's easy to follow the patterns, since it doesn't matter that they are in Danish.

I also picked up some yarn while I was at Uldstedet. This was a cute little shop with a fairly good selection, though not as large as Sommerfuglen. I went back and forth and back and forth over which yarn to get. They had a wide range of colors and it was so hard to decide.

Tvinni Alpaca

In the end I settled on this denim blue fingerling-weight yarn. It's Alpaca, so it's very soft. I don't have a pattern to use it in yet. I'm sure three skeins will be either way too much or not enough.

Gracie's Birth Announcement Cross-Stitch

When I found out that my brother and sister-in-law were pregnant with my nephew, Nicholas, I stitched a birth announcement for him, the Beatrix Potter Storybook Sampler. I had it finished, framed and delivered to them within a few months of the birth. That was back in 1998 and I sadly don't have any photos of it.

When I found out that they were pregnant again, I found a similar pattern to the announcement I had made for Nick, the Beatrix Potter Storybook Sampler II. Gracie will be six years old in February and this poor thing is still less than half finished. I'm sorry Gracie! I swear I will finish it before you graduate college!

I just love the Green Apple cross-stitch patterns. They have such detail. It's a pain to stitch because you are constantly changing colors. But the result in the end is so very lovely. This is I think 16-count Aida. It's a bit bigger than the Colors project, so it's easier on the eyes. But it's still small enough that the stitches feel very delicate and intricate.

Do you notice how the Aida cloth is rolled around the edges. That's because it's been sitting in the stitching frame for the past 5 years. This is why you should always take your needlework out of the hoop/frame when you are not working on it kids. Hopefully steaming it when it's done will flatten it out.

Oh, and they had a third child two years ago, Tony. Unfortunately they don't make a Storybook Sampler III. I may combine images from the first two to make Tony's.

Storybook Sampler II:
Started: Fall 2001
Finished:

More About Colors

So, the problem with quickly whipping out a post between meetings at work is that I forgot to say a lot of the things I meant to say in the post. *sigh* There are a few more things I want to say about the Beatrix Potter Colors cross stitch that I posted yesterday.

One of the main reasons I stopped working on this piece is that it's a really, really tiny Aida cloth count. I think it's 18-point, but it might be as high as 20-point. That's really freaking small. Even with my lovely magnification glasses (remind me to post a photo of that beauty someday) it hurt my eyes to work on it for long periods. I do wonder with my new glasses and better Ott-light if it would be easier to see now.

One of the problems with using Aida cloth is that the edges fray. The smart thing to do to prevent this is to do a quick zig-zag stitch along the edge with the sewing machine. This will keep the edge from fraying as you work on it.

The not-so-smart way to prevent the fraying is to do what I did on this piece: use masking tape to cover the edge. *doh!* I really don't know what I was thinking when I did this. The tape has dried out in places now, and it's left a stained, sticky residue on the fabric. I think I will just leave it and then cut off that edge when I go to have the piece framed. Luckily it's only about a quarter-inch that is taped.

Beatrix Potter Colors

This is another cross stitch project that I started years ago and has gone fallow. It's called Beatrix Potter Colors, and it shows various characters hanging their laundry on the line, and has the words for the colors with each item. It would look just lovely in a baby's room. Or my craft room. :)

I probably got this pattern on eBay. But I just discovered that you can also get it on Amazon. What can't you get on Amazon these days?

Beatrix Potter Colors:
Started: ~2001

The United States in Cross-Stitch

This is an amazing counted cross-stitch pattern that I picked up years ago. I purchased it from the now closed Dutch Treat shop in Livermore, CA. It's a map of the United States, complete with major cities, rivers, vegetation, and landmarks.

Cross-Stitched USA

I decided to make my version of the map truly my own. Rather than put in the names of the cities as suggested on the pattern, I decided to include the names of cities that I have lived in. So rather than Detroit, mine says Ann Arbor. It will say Evergreen instead of Denver.

Detail of Map of the United States

Rather than the typical aida cloth that you often seen cross-stitch stitched on (there's a mouthful), this is done on evenweave linen. I'm guessing that it's 32-count, but I honestly can't remember. It's tiny though, which is adding to how long it is taking to make. But it will be lovely when I'm done.

Map of the United States
Started: ~2002

Wireframe As Art

In the fall of 2006 I had a wild idea for a poster at the IA Summit: Wireframe as Art. Wouldn't it be funny to make a craft version of the deliverables we information architects and designs slave over with our computers? So I set out to make a knitted wireframe, a quilted one, and a cross-stitched site map.

I started out with the knitted wireframe. I found a simple wireframe I had created for an actual client and used that for my template. I decided that I wanted to do it in shades of gray, just like a real wireframe. How hard could knitting in multiple colors be? Turns out, it's rather hard.

Knitted Wireframe, Take 3

The biggest problem I had was keeping all the yarn straight. The piece was long enough that I didn't want to carry the colors across the back the whole time, especially since there were a number of them, and they showed through on the white background. I ended up putting little balls of color in different glasses and knitting from there. It made it slow to turn the work, and meant I was pretty stationary when I was knitting.

Knitted Wireframe, Take 3

It took me about three or four tries before I found a system that worked. And I did get better and faster at it. It also helped that the wireframe was simpiler as worked my way up. I started with the footer and moved towards the global navigation.

4:30 PM - Halfway Done

My old camera phone was pretty crappy, but you can see it definately started to come together. I was working on this until the 11th hour. I was knitting it when I got to Vegas for the Summit. I had just finished it and blocked it on a pillow in my hotel room just before going to the opening reception.

The cross-stitched sitemap was much easier, probably because I knew what I was doing. I don't have a photo of the making of the cross-stitch, but here's the finished pillow. Kate made a site map moblie of the same map.

I also don't have any photos of the construction of the quilted wireframe. This one was also pretty easy and I made the top of the quilt in just a few afternoons. Rather than piece the quilt, I heat-and-bonded the fabirc strips to the background. I wouldn't make a regular quilt this way, but since this was so small, and would never be washed I figured it would be okay. I was also running into a time crunch.


Doing the actual quliting was a bit trickier.

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  • One woman's adventure with yarn, fabric and needles.

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