Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Stitchalot Weekend

Last weekend Stitches 'N Things (SNT, my favorite store!) hosted a Stitchalot Weekend at the Comfort Inn in Davison, MI. There were no classes this time, just lots of time to work on projects, visit with fellow stitchers, and shop in the mini-boutique SNT owner Deb and company set up on site.

I finished the needle felting piece I started at our last class called Black Cat Pumpkin Sitter (by Bird Brain Designs). This is the picture that came with the kit, not my actual piece. Mine looks very much like this, minus the spider on the cat's head.

After that I worked on a piece I bought (and blogged about) last year but only just started: Ursala Michael's Bewitching Banner from the September 2007 issue of Cross-Stitch and Needlework. I couldn't resist stitching this! (Don't they remind you of the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter? :)

This is the first time I've used DMC Light Effects floss. The colors are beautiful but they are a rayon-pain-in-the-butt! The floss is slippery and the stitches don't lie down like they are supposed to. Fortunately, Deb sells something called Thread Heaven, a thread conditioner which is like silicon beeswax. You run the floss over Thread Heaven to coat it and the floss lies nice and flat just like it's supposed to. Because it's silicon instead of wax, Thread Heaven does not stain the floss or the fabric.

I'm stitching this pattern on 28 count Opalescent/Raw Belfast Metallic Linen by Zweigart. The picture doesn't do it justice! It's pretty with a hint of sparkle. Note for non-stitchers: when using linen you stitch over two squares, so this design has 14 stitches per inch, not 28.

I prefer to stitch using a Q-Snap Frame to keep the fabric taught. Cross-stitch originated Denmark where it is traditionally stitched without a frame, so this weekend I also experimented with frame-free stitching. If you hold the fabric right you can avoid problems like carpal tunnel, tendonitis, etc., because the fabric is so light compared to holding a frame in one hand. It worked but felt very weird! I am now back to using my Q-Snaps with a stand to hold the frame for me.

After a fun and relaxing stitching weekend I am back at work, wishing I had more time for stitching.

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