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Blended Colors - How do you do them?


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JenniferHightree
Member
Joined: 14 Mar 2011
Posts: 22
Location: West Virginia
Blended Colors - How do you do them?     Reply with quote  
 
 
8:20 am Apr 05, 2011

The twice (possibly thrice, I have vivid dreams) times I have worked with blended colors on any sort of needlework project, I just took the whole two skeins, wrapped 'em around this spool thing that I had to keep 'em even, and then as I needed them unwound the 12 strands together so I could cut 'em even then tok the amount of threads I needed. I don't even know what I did with the remainder of the thread Confused

Yeah, I was hideously disorganized back then. Im trying to get better though. The next project that Im working on for my Mother and Father in law uses blended colors. Its not an SQ just a medium sized kit that I inherited and my husband saw it and wanted me to do it for his parents, so I want to try and have it done before June vacation, thus prompting me to come here and ask about blended colors.

How do you organize them? Obviously I never did in the past, but my life is becoming such that I must be organized or I lose my mind Laughing

Also, for the first time in 6 years - 3 days smoke free! Cross stitch has been a wonderful quit aid!

Jennifer
BarBaraPrz
Member
Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 420
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Re: Blended Colors - How do you do them?     Reply with quote  
 
 
10:46 am Apr 05, 2011

Congrats on the three smoke-free days!

As for organizing blended colors, I cut a length of both colors then separate the strands, then wind the blends on a separate card with both colors and symbol noted, then keep them in a little box while I'm working on the project.
(If that makes any sense...)
rifestitch
Member
Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 639
Location: North of Atlanta
    Reply with quote  
 
 
1:22 pm Apr 05, 2011

Most of the projects I have worked on for the last 20 years have been blended pieces. I finally worked out the perfect system FOR ME.

I have all the colors wound on bobbins and in a box in numerical order. I ALSO have a small (3x5, give or take) ziplock bag for every symbol in the chart (and backstitch colors, since most of mine also have bs). Each bag is either marked with the symbol and thread numbers in Sharpie, or has the symbol & colors blown up, cut out, and taped to the baggie (this is before Meredith came out with the floss labels). They all hang on a ring (or rings, depending how big the project is) - not in any particular order usually, but maybe by color families...

I'll pull out the 2 bobbins for the symbol, cut off a working length on one (roughly 18", or less if it's not a highly-used symbol), then pull a length off of the other one, cutting it the same length. I put the bobbins back in the box, pull one length of each color out of the lengths I just cut, and put the remainder in the ziplock bag with that symbol. Once I get done with that symbol, if there's thread left in my needle, it goes in that bag, too - the very tip sticking out, the ends caught in the zipper, so it's right there when I need that color again.

Once I get going on an area, I work mostly from the bags, only going to the bobbin box when I have run out of all 6 strands of the cut lengths for that symbol. So the box can sit to the side, out of the way, while the bags either hang from a knob on my floor stand or are on the seat beside me or in my lap. IF I had more room and a more conveniently placed side table, I would get one of those Pako needle organizers and keep some loaded needles ready to go - but I just don't have the right setup for that at the moment...

This works for me - I know having the bobbin box AND the bags would drive some folks over the edge, but it works for me, after many years of tweaking Smile

CONGRATS on the not smoking - keep it up! I quit almost 16 years ago, and am thankful every day, even though there's a certain idiot I live with who just isn't going to, until it's too late...
armywife
Member
Joined: 07 Nov 2009
Posts: 107
Location: Madison, MS
Re: Blended Colors - How do you do them?     Reply with quote  
 
 
6:36 pm Apr 05, 2011

[quote="JenniferHightree"]The twice (possibly thrice, I have vivid dreams) times I have worked with blended colors on any sort of needlework project, I just took the whole two skeins, wrapped 'em around this spool thing that I had to keep 'em even, and then as I needed them unwound the 12 strands together so I could cut 'em even then tok the amount of threads I needed. I don't even know what I did with the remainder of the thread Confused

Yeah, I was hideously disorganized back then. Im trying to get better though. The next project that Im working on for my Mother and Father in law uses blended colors. Its not an SQ just a medium sized kit that I inherited and my husband saw it and wanted me to do it for his parents, so I want to try and have it done before June vacation, thus prompting me to come here and ask about blended colors.

How do you organize them? Obviously I never did in the past, but my life is becoming such that I must be organized or I lose my mind Laughing

Also, for the first time in 6 years - 3 days smoke free! Cross stitch has been a wonderful quit aid!

Jennifer,
Congratulations on being smoke-free for 3 days!!! That is awesome! Keep it up. You will be so glad you did. I have never heard of cross-stitch for a quit-smoking aid, but I may share that with others now after hearing of your success.

As for the blended stitching, I am still a novice with them, still working on my first SQ. However, what I do is not perfect yet; I'm still trying to tweak it, but it does work really well so far. I have most colors on bobbins (some waiting patiently to be wrapped all in a small pile), and I cut the appropriate lengths of the 2 colors. An idea I got from Meredith on here I think was 21". She said she has a place marked on her cloth for this length, but I have a 7" magnet chart holder that I use to measure. Then I create a new little bobbin with the two colors, using the wonderful floss labels Meredith came up with. Here is where I haven't gone far enough. If the 2 colors are different enough, I sometimes just wrap the other 5 threads of each on there. If they are too similar, I will pull apart and put one in the needle and another around the bobbin, the originals back on their own bobbins. I think I will try going ahead and putting the other five together after reading this blog, and wrap them on the "blended bobbin" with label. Surely if they are wrapped together I will be able to tell the strands apart. Anyway, here is the best advice yet I've gotten on this site. I got a rectangle of foam, blew up the chart with symbols, bought a whole bunch of needles, and I keep the needles threaded ready to go by the symbol with whatever thread is left on them. Someone (I forget who) posted a wonderful picture of this a while back, and I think it is genius. It has saved me a lot of time threading needles for sure. My stitching seems to be going much faster.

Best of luck with whatever system you work out! And keep up the excellent work on the stop-smoking front!

You go, Girl!!!
Pam Laughing Stitching
JenniferHightree
Member
Joined: 14 Mar 2011
Posts: 22
Location: West Virginia
Re: Blended Colors - How do you do them?     Reply with quote  
 
 
7:21 am Apr 06, 2011

quote:
Originally posted by BarBaraPrz
Congrats on the three smoke-free days!

As for organizing blended colors, I cut a length of both colors then separate the strands, then wind the blends on a separate card with both colors and symbol noted, then keep them in a little box while I'm working on the project.
(If that makes any sense...)


This sounds like what I had envisioned in my head to keep myself harmoniusly disorganized. Laughing

When other people see me, I am disorganized, but to myself I am organized. I went from chaos to structured chaos, and it has made my life much better!

I also want to say Rifestitch that you make me laugh when I come to these boards (not this particular topic, but the SQ one, about all your projects). I looked at your blog at your works that you are currently doing, and I saw the Chatelaine's that you had been doing. My husband saw one (I think maybe the desert one? can't remember the conversation), and he wanted me to do it for his parents. I told him my max size for the next 6 months was 24x18 inches lol.

Armywife, using cross stitch as a stop smoke aid, I still went to the doctor and got help as well. Then I just focused my energies and cravings into getting another 100 stitches done. Sometimes Id get more, sometimes less stitches, depending on the craving. I still went through withdrawals, but having something else to focus on, took the bite out of them. I was still an angry b-word for 2 days, but again, I know people who stop smoking and spend the rest of their lives as angry b-words =)

Thank you for the input about your organization systems, cause it let's me tweak my own ideas! I like Rife's idea from somewhere else about prekitting. When you prekit Rife, what kind of bags do you store your stuff in? I saw a picture but I couldn't tell, because my "computer sight" sucks bad.
rifestitch
Member
Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 639
Location: North of Atlanta
Re: Blended Colors - How do you do them?     Reply with quote  
 
 
11:18 am Apr 06, 2011

quote:
Originally posted by JenniferHightree

Thank you for the input about your organization systems, cause it let's me tweak my own ideas! I like Rife's idea from somewhere else about prekitting. When you prekit Rife, what kind of bags do you store your stuff in? I saw a picture but I couldn't tell, because my "computer sight" sucks bad.


I have BIG ziplock bags, they are bigger than gallon-size, like 15x13, I think. I got some from work when they go the wrong thing in and weren't going to bother sending them back. These bags will hold the chart and all the materials easily. I also usually make a spreadsheet (I'm kinda AR this way, you can never have too many spreadsheets Smile) that has every item needed on it, so I can check it off as I get the stuff together - including the fabric dimensions I will need, so I don't have to keep dragging the chart out.

I don't wind bobbins until I am actually ready to start - that's part of the prep, the first day or two on the project, so to speak. So until then, the skeins are all just thrown in the bag with the rest, if it is DMC; the silks all go in individual smaller bags as I get them, to protect them, since as a general rule, they can't be washed like DMC can.

This ziplock bag the kit is in, is also the bag the project stays in the whole time I am working on it - with animals & a smoker in the house, I try to keep everything sealed in plastic when I am not actually working on it. The only exception to this is if the bobbin box is too big - Lady & Unicorn has a big tackle box for the bobbins, all 160 of them. A normal project has a regular bobbin box which will fit in the bag. And my Chatelaine charts are usually in a binder, as they come out in parts, so I have each of the 12 parts in a clear sheet protector inside a binder, and I just pull out the sheet protector for the part I am working on and put the binder aside. I haven't been able to fit the binder in the bag with the fabric, so it stays separate, but a regular chartpack fits fine, of course. Though, often, my original will go in the file cabinet for safe keeping, and only my 1 working copy will be in with the kit. Depends how often I need to refer to the model photo on the cover Smile

Here's what the kits used to look like (not that you can really see anything helpful in this picture) before I cleaned out the file cabinet:
http://rifestitch.multiply.com/photos/album/18/Where_the_Magic_Happens_and_Other_Stuff#photo=4 Those bags all have the chart, my spreadsheet, floss, and fabric if I have it - fabric is usually the last thing I get, when I KNOW I am serious about starting it Smile

This is the file cabinet that kits and my chart stash lives in now: http://rifestitch.multiply.com/photos/album/18/Where_the_Magic_Happens_and_Other_Stuff#photo=5 the plants are all gone now, the top is covered with binders full of freebies Smile And usually a cat watching birds (or the insides of her eyelids).

In theory, I should be able to just open the drawer and pull out any of these kits and go sit down and start - start by winding the bobbins & prepping the fabric, if I need to. In reality, that's true about 90% of the time - some are missing this & that, but usually stuff that won't prevent me from starting Smile I really try to not open the drawer any more often than necessary. When I do, the screaming can be heard for MILES... They all say START ME NOW!!!!! It's kind of annoying, in a good way Smile
JenniferHightree
Member
Joined: 14 Mar 2011
Posts: 22
Location: West Virginia
Re: Blended Colors - How do you do them?     Reply with quote  
 
 
5:11 pm Apr 06, 2011

quote:
Originally posted by rifestitch
In theory, I should be able to just open the drawer and pull out any of these kits and go sit down and start - start by winding the bobbins & prepping the fabric, if I need to. In reality, that's true about 90% of the time - some are missing this & that, but usually stuff that won't prevent me from starting Smile I really try to not open the drawer any more often than necessary. When I do, the screaming can be heard for MILES... They all say START ME NOW!!!!! It's kind of annoying, in a good way Smile


Thank you Rife for sharing so much information! Are those baggies available online or in stores anywhere? That seems like a good idea to keep a project clean!

I now also have a new idea thanks to you. Spreadsheets! You really can't have enough.

Also, I don't think the screaming would be too terrible to listen to. It's the sweet sound of something you enjoy! Laughing
rifestitch
Member
Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 639
Location: North of Atlanta
Re: Blended Colors - How do you do them?     Reply with quote  
 
 
7:44 pm Apr 06, 2011

quote:
Originally posted by JenniferHightree

Thank you Rife for sharing so much information! Are those baggies available online or in stores anywhere? That seems like a good idea to keep a project clean!

I now also have a new idea thanks to you. Spreadsheets! You really can't have enough.

Also, I don't think the screaming would be too terrible to listen to. It's the sweet sound of something you enjoy! Laughing


I know you can get the bags from Uline - but then, where I work and where my DH works, the companies have corporate accounts - I assume they will sell to the individual: http://www.uline.com/Grp_5/Poly-Bags-Reclosable?pricode=wg383&gclid=CO7MsbKWiagCFZJe7AodyjloqQ

Heck - check Amazon - you never know what you can get through there Smile

edited to add: You CAN get them on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Clear-White-Block-Lock-Bags/dp/B003ZZUJJO
I <3 Amazon Smile
evitalace
Member
Joined: 10 Feb 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Germany
Re: Blended Colors - How do you do them?     Reply with quote  
 
 
4:11 am Apr 13, 2011

quote:
Originally posted by JenniferHightree
ask about blended colors.

How do you organize them? Obviously I never did in the past, but my life is becoming such that I must be organized or I lose my mind Laughing

Also, for the first time in 6 years - 3 days smoke free! Cross stitch has been a wonderful quit aid!

Jennifer


Hi, Jennifer,
how's your progress? re the SQ pattern as well as becoming a non-smoker?

I'm late throwing my 2 ct in, but somewhat earlier in this thread the Pako needle organizer has been mentioned.
read about them in the tips page here, and after I realized how much time actually went into winding thread back to a cardboard bobbin after a single confetti stitch, I did order one. it makes such a difference! i have two of them in use by now, 80 (out of 130 - I will order a third)) blended colours are waiting, neatly threaded, until they will be used again!grab the needle, do the stitch, secure the thread, snip it, and back goes the needle into its spongy place, ready for the next use. great tool!

Eva
JenniferHightree
Member
Joined: 14 Mar 2011
Posts: 22
Location: West Virginia
Re: Blended Colors - How do you do them?     Reply with quote  
 
 
6:27 am Apr 17, 2011

quote:
Originally posted by evitalace
quote:
Originally posted by JenniferHightree
ask about blended colors.

How do you organize them? Obviously I never did in the past, but my life is becoming such that I must be organized or I lose my mind Laughing

Also, for the first time in 6 years - 3 days smoke free! Cross stitch has been a wonderful quit aid!

Jennifer


Hi, Jennifer,
how's your progress? re the SQ pattern as well as becoming a non-smoker?

I'm late throwing my 2 ct in, but somewhat earlier in this thread the Pako needle organizer has been mentioned.
read about them in the tips page here, and after I realized how much time actually went into winding thread back to a cardboard bobbin after a single confetti stitch, I did order one. it makes such a difference! i have two of them in use by now, 80 (out of 130 - I will order a third)) blended colours are waiting, neatly threaded, until they will be used again!grab the needle, do the stitch, secure the thread, snip it, and back goes the needle into its spongy place, ready for the next use. great tool!

Eva


Hi Eva!

I havent started an SQ yet. I have footprints almost done (crazy week, couldnt work on it!), then a sampler for my mom and dad in law. After that, I am doing 9 more prjects before I can order an SQ. DH said finish what you got first Rolling Eyes

As far as the smoking, I have been smoke free for a lil over 2 weeks now. I think. Ive been so busy that the days blur together and I havent gotten around to getting a calendar yet, haha.
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