Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Mega WIP Update! Lions, Tigers & Polar Bears, Oh MY!

Day 55 of the Siberian Gold Tigers is just backstitch.
Yes, I am one of the many who hate backstitch. Foolishly with this design I didn't do it as I went along, which I normally would have. There simply didn't look like there was a lot of it, so I thought it would be OK to leave it until the end.
How wrong was I?
There is loads of the stuff - but even worse, most of it doesn't even damn well show!!!
Twig highlights is all there is and the effect is so minimal as to be practically invisible!
I'm probably about half way through the backstitch, but I just can't do it for hours on end. Splitting it into small sessions is the only way I can cope with it!

So, now we're onto the new stuff.

Back on July 28th I posted the first pictures of my Mother's Love design.
This is what it looked like:

Sadly, I had to abandon that one. I really couldn't get on with linen over 1. The stitches kept slipping and going out of shape.
So, I abandoned that one and started on a piece evenweave instead.

A word about material.
I will admit that I've never given much thought to the material I use. Most of the time I do kits and it's never crossed my mind to swap out the fabric.
Primarily I've used aida, but also quite a bit of linen. Never evenweave. I've also never stitched 1 over 1 before.
Also - in my very UNPOPULAR opinion - I really am not a fan of all that tie-dyed, sparkly fabric that many people use. It's just a personal preference, but I find it all a little on the naff side (please don't lynch me for having an opinion).
But, my ignorance - or indifference - to material does bear an impact on this article.


 The evenweave I'd purchased for another project was DMC Tiole รก broder and I figured that would be fine.
Well, it is to a certain extent.
It's a lot easier to use than the linen, but I'm still not impressed with the general 'lightweight' feel of the fabric.
I'm toying with ditching it for another fabric that I do like (more in a minute). The only reason I'm resisting is because I've already done quite a bit!

Here's the update picture:
Distance shot:
 This is Mother's Love on 25 count evenweave.
 You can see in this close-up that I've done about 200 stitches.

To be honest, my first experience of working with 25 count is really not a pleasant one. I have found the fabric poor and the count awkward...however, a revelation was to come very, very soon....

Given how annoying I was finding the 25 count, I decided that it would be a good idea to see how I felt about 28 count. After all, if it was all going to go pear shaped, it's better to learn that early in the process.
I decided to start So Lonely from Tilton Crafts:
I'd already bought the 28 count fabric - the cheapest I could find on Amazon, in this case Charles Craft Monaco.

I prepared my Able Stretcher frame and threads and prepared myself for another headache.
In the space of an hour I'd done this:

 Just over 100 of neat, uniform and thoroughly enjoyable stitches!

The moment I opened the fabric packet I could feel the quality and thickness. It's an absolute joy to stitch on.
Whereas earlier I was thinking I'd made a terrible mistake taking on this challenge, now I feel much more confident.
I'm now thinking of ditching the 25 count and restarting Mother's Love on a piece of this stuff!

It's been a while since I had done a lot of stitching (a while for me being a couple of weeks!) and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
I've enjoyed the challenge of new fabric counts and the discovery of what I like.

While I was busy doing this, my partner, Nigel was doing something else....so check out my other blog entry today to see what he created!



  1. Well done! I won't flog you this time for your opinion regarding "other" fabrics as everyone has their own preferences and if that is what makes you happy and enjoy your stitching then MORE POWER TO YOU!

    Mother's Love has some very subtle but pretty colors to it and I cannot wait to see your new start on the 28 ct :D Your learning experiences are also helping me to decide what count to use for my HAED's when I get to them, so THANK YOU.

    1. You're welcome Carla. :-) I started this blog because I thought people would enjoy it and it's great when I get feedback from my readers! Feel free to watch me scream my way through my projects! LOL!

    2. I definitely will! I think I've said this before, but I LOVE finding people as enthusiastic about cross stitch as I am. In this case however you win the crown :D

  2. Yay for two news starts that I can't wait to see coming along! But to be honest, that 25 count even kinda looks...'cheap' in the picture, the threads seem to be so thin with that much space between them...what brand is it? I'm doing one of my projects on 25ct (that came with a kit) and the fabric looks much more like your 28ct, quality-wise.

    I myself am a little torn on my opinion on hand dyed fabrics...I quite enjoy those with subtle color changes (like a marble effect), sparkle is great as well, but I can't wrap my head around more heavy changes...like complementary colors together in one fabric; in my opinion there are very few designs that will actually look good on such a fabric (or better than they would on another one).

    1. Hello (again ;-) ) I agree with you about the 25count. I think I will be going out and buying some 28 count to do it on instead.

  3. Glad you found a good fabric to work with. The quality is so important - some of it is like working with tissue paper, it's so flimsy! Looking forward to your progress pictures. Good luck finishing Tigers - I don't mind backstitching, but it can be tedious.

    Oh, my Tanto organizer is on its way! My LNS emailed me and said she was able to get it no problem. Enabler! LOL

    1. Still not happy with Mother's Love fabric. Bought some more yesterday...so we shall see. Great news re: Tanto!