Something Old, Something New, Some Things Never Change

     I originally started writing this post nearly two weeks ago, had to stop, and never got back to it till now. A lot has changed. I've been doing a bit of stitching during the past few weeks. Yay! I think I've finally gotten my stitching mojo back. Going to both of my stitching groups on a more regular basis helps.

     At both the Tuesday-night and Thursday-morning groups a couple of weeks ago, I worked diligently on Flyways, and it's just WIPing right along. (Sorry, I just couldn't resist.)

     I'm really happy with this colorway. When I selected it, I had no idea what it would really look like, as I couldn't find the picture of it. But it's been put on the back burner since that Thursday, two weeks ago.

     That night, I started working on the class piece at the Potomac ANG meeting, Madrigal by Antonia R. Evans, designed in 1992. As is my wont, I changed the colors significantly. I substituted Caron Collection Waterlilies in Sherwood Forest for a light blue Marlitt (rayon floss, ack!); Rainbow Gallery Petite Very Velvet for their discontinued Ultrasuede, FyreWerks for Pizzaz, and Silk Lamé for DMC floss. The Petite Very Velvet and FyreWerks were suggested by our fearless leader. I picked the Silk Lamé instead of the Kreinik braid she used because I'm not a fan of Kreinik braids. Then to make it really special, I used a piece of Nature's Palette hand-painted canvas from their Solids line, Copper. I couldn't wait to get started.

     The picture above is how far I got that night. I did a little more when I got home from class, having only really gotten the center waffle nearly done (or maybe all done; I can't remember). This is where I was when I started writing this blog. The following Tuesday-night stitching session had me realizing that I could actually finish this up in one or two more blocks of time. I took a picture, fully intending to get back to this post and show my progress.

     I was really liking the way the overdye fell. I have to admit that I pulled the whole skein apart to find the lengths with the best segments of the brightest orange. So there was a bit of waste that I'm not used to. I can probably use it somewhere when I need a nice variegated green in another piece as an accent.

     Obviously I didn't get around to finishing up this post. So here's the finished piece, wrapped up at Tuesday's night stitchfest, wherein we celebrated someone's birthday as well as my finish (those of us who stayed latest, at least).

     I am very happy with the way this turned out. There are supposed to be 4-mm freshwater pearls and malachite beads in the centers of the large oblong triple crosses, but as readers of this blog know, the Remedial Stitcher does not do beads. Instead, I used Smyrna Crosses in the Silk Lamé. I wanted as much of the canvas to show as possible. I'm not sure the pictures reveal the metallic glint of this canvas. It's subtle and beautiful. Instead of finishing it as an ornament (why would I want to fold that beautiful waffle so that you can't see the way the color radiates around it?), I'm going to have it put into a boxtop, leaving a border of exposed canvas around it. Now to find the box.

     What else I was planning to write about? Something that never changed. Perhaps Stars for a New Millennium? I've been urged to set up another day-long stitchfest for the stitchalong group, so that may be coming up in October or November. My October schedule is filling up, and one of our stitchers is going to be in Australia for two weeks mid-October, so it may have to be November.



Flying Along on Some, Inching on Others

     I've finally gotten some stitching done. I was beginning to think I'd never get back into it in a meaningful fashion.

     Wonderful discovery: Stitching on 14-ct canvas goes really, really fast! Who knew? Well, I guess a lot of people have known for years. One of my WIPs, Flyways by Michael Boren (a workshop project that sadly had to be canceled due to his ongoing back problem, thus leaving us to work on our own), is on this canvas. At first, I wasn't sure I would like it. I tend to gravitate to higher counts, coming from the counted-thread world of 28-, 32-, 36-, and what-was-I-thinking 40-ct linen. Big difference. I'm pleased to say, I've been enjoying this immensely. Not only is the design fun to stitch (well, except for the tedious, to me, tent/reverse tent part), it's quick!

     I'm now ready to embark on filling in the diamond areas with all the fun, special stitches and motifs. I did the center one before completing all the tent/reverse tent background of the Milanese-stitched Flying Geese Flight Paths to motivate me to keep going with it. I'm so pleased with it overall, although I'm not that great when it comes to tent stitch. I'm never totally satisfied with the result, but I think I did an adequate job here and won't stress about it.

     Now the question is, do I barrel ahead with the four diamond areas around the center, or do I switch to one of my larger ongoing projects, in particular From Molehill to Mountain? I think it has to be FMTM.

     My ANG chapter is doing FMTM as one of our two year-long projects, with the goal of exhibiting the finished pieces at the 2012 Seminar in Philadelphia. Since we all started on this in April (I think), we should be able to complete the stitching and have our pieces finished in time for the Seminar at the end of August. Hahahaha. That's the plan; we'll see if I'm among those who actually reach their goal. Here is the progress of everyone who was working on this at the August meeting (light attendance, it being summer, and not everyone attending is doing this project), starting with mine:

     Note the section of the far-right block that shows the signs of having been stitched, then ripped out. This block has been the bane of my stitching so far. I think I ripped out almost everything stitched at least once if not more, except for the center top and left squares of the block, the ones made up of two triangles. Thus I haven't done anything on the block to the left of it and proceeded directly to the block on the far left, the focus of our third meeting session. I have high hopes for this one proceeding much better, as it's variations on the Milanese stitch, which as we all now know, I just finished stitching quite a bit.

     Now on to my friends' progress. Please note that some of us only recently started working on FMTM, thus we're all over the map on how far along we've gotten. I also like the variety of colorways, in spite of several of us apparently being drawn to the purples and greens. The variety of threads is interesting too.

     I hope to get pictures of everyone's progress when we work on this again in October.

     More to come in the next day or so.