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Cross Stitch Addict (WIPs Kinkaide Disney + Night Watch)


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Bianca
Member
Joined: 23 Aug 2012
Posts: 22
Location: California
Cross Stitch Addict (WIPs Kinkaide Disney + Night Watch)     Reply with quote  
 
 
1:19 pm Sep 06, 2012

Hello all,

Feel a bit like a peeping Tom as I have spent the last few days reading the past posts on the forum... going all the way back to 2004!! And the odd thing is I normally do not read forums and this is my very first forum post EVER!

But what fun to read the joys and woes of fellow cross stitchers! In fact I always felt a bit "Seule a Monde" (alone in the world --- which is by the way a wonderful painting might ask Meredith to add to the collection) as I know absolutely nobody with the same hobby.

My biggest fan is my husband - think he does actually like it, but I am driving him a bit nuts talking about IT all the time. But there simply is nobody else to talk about it. However, I am worried he will one day suddenly break out in spasms as the poor man can only take so much! So, here it is, my first post. My first reaching out to a world of others that understand my obsession.

I cross stitch daily. If I miss a day I feel out of sorts. If it existed I would join CSA (Cross Stitch Anonymous)....

Own my own company and work a lot (translation agency), but do buy weekly lottery tickets. Do not "plan" to win to become rich, my sole goal is that I would love to have enough funding eliminating the need to work so I can cross stitch all day.

Yes, that is how bad it is...can anyone relate? I will miss out on family outings because I am just almost done with that page and I must, must finish it.... Smile

In any event, I am blabbering on....I am originally from the Netherlands and have lived in California for about 11 years.

I started cross stitching in my late teens when I was hospitalized for a very long time and became extremely bored. I was hooked right away, but had a major problem finishing projects. I would start a project, get halfway and realized I made a mistake thousands of stitches ago and abandon the project and start a new one... for the first few years of cross stitching I did not finish a single project.

This became somewhat frustrating and I stopped altogether. Picked it up again about 10-11 years ago and started with small projects that I would finish and over time they became bigger and bigger and slowly, but surely I became obsessed.

Never knew sites like this existed and I have always been working with kits (from stores like Jo-Ann's for instance).

Am currently working on the Disney Series by Thomas Kinkaide. It is a collection of 12 paintings, sold in individual cross stitching kits. It is done on 18 count Aida and comes with floss included.

The designs itself are beautiful and have been working on Peter Pan in Wonderland since April. The design uses a few filaments, which is a first for me and there are also quite a lot of half, quarter and back stitches.

However, I ran into a problem for which I have yet to find a solution, maybe someone else has had a similar experience?

Discussed it with my husband (who has not stitched a cross stitch in his life) who indicated it is simply a lack of experience. It could be, but am not so sure. I have never had this issue before and I have stitched hundreds and thousands of stitches over my life time. And again, I have never had this problem with any of my other pieces.

But in any event, the problem am having is that my stitches are not even. This is a tough one to explain, but I will try (English is not my first language, so please bear with me). It is not the size of the stitches, but the look of the stitches.

Have tried everything I ca think of to solve the problem....

Am letting go of thread and needle every stitch so as to eliminate all twists (normally would only do it every few stitches) and have started using thread heaven, which has helped a little bit, but did not solve the problem entirely. It just looks somewhat messy as the thread sometimes looks twisted even though it is not twisted (I can take it out and redo the same stitch 10 times, it still looks like that).

Normally work Danish (do all //// first in a row and come back to finish the \\\\) and have always done so in every direction without issue. Have now only been doing Danish when am working left to right for the first half stitch and if am working in any other direction (right to left and vertical) am doing those English.

Do not see a difference to be honest (except that it takes more time now), but did read that you should never do vertical stitches Danish. Why is that? I have always done everything Danish before and only with this frustrating project am adjusting the way am working to try and make it look better someway somehow - what is your opinion and experience?

Have started parking (I normally "jump") as to try and get it to look more even as well. Not sure how much I like that, but it does help with the re-threading and because of the many colors it appears to be less "bumpy" (does that make sense?). Am working on figuring out a system as I turn the piece over a lot and find it all gets tangled (am currently trying out magnets, but they let loose when flipping and still get it all tangled). Any suggestions?

All of these "fixes" make it look a little better, but still the problem is not fixed (some stitches still look "twisted").

Am wondering if the problem could be because the thread is inferior quality (it knots really bad -- about every other stitch I have a knot to take out, that is also a first) and the fabric is inferior quality as well (it is the worst Aida I have ever seen).

Bought 4 in the series (as my children all chose a design) and Peter Pan is the first in the series I am working on. For the next one I will replace the fabric with my own and use my own DMC floss, which I think should solve the problem (as like I said, I have never had this happen before), but for now I have a half-done Peter Pan for which it is too late to switch (as colors will not match) and I do want to finish it.

Has anyone had this happen? Do you have any suggestions to try and fix this? Basically some of the stitches look twisted and the stitches do not have the uniform look it should have. DH says I am a perfectionist and he cannot even see it, but I see it and it BUGS ME!!!

Any ideas? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!!

There is a sun coming through the clouds though...

You see, I did think to take a look on the web. It was a first time I surfed for cross stitching (I work on the computer and I do not use it for "fun" much as am much done by the time the workday ends) and I found a wealth of information (none related to this issue though) and I found XS Collectibles, HEAD and Scarlet Quince.

And I went CRAZY... O my, I almost spent all my retirement savings and bought a whole bunch of patterns. Wanting to get some from the leading pattern companies so I can compare and test them out and then I will probably stick with my favorite.

My experience with Meredith has been extremely positive and her patterns appear to be the ones created with the most love and expertise. My only downside is that the pattern symbols (I bough the Night Watch) are rather dark and there is no full size color cover page included as a visual reference (but with her help I was able to get that printed for $ 0.75 at Kinko's).

Am really curious how the large number of blended threads turn out. I have used blends for a few projects (where there are only a few blends used) and my experience was very positive (as it looks really nice). I created project cards with the floss stickers and realize the Night Watch has probably over a 100 blends (I did not count them, could even be more). I read the forums about it and I got the impression blends are well liked. Do you indeed?

XS Collectibles does not use blends, but does use a lot of colors (oppose to HEAD). Her patterns are not coiled like SQ, but come in a plastic folder (loose pages), she often has specials where you get a whole bunch of stuff for free if you buy a few patterns, which is a bonus.

I have a feeling XS patterns are easier to do than SQ, but SQ projects might stand out more because of the blends. Only time will tell once I have finished projects designed by both. Does anyone here have experience with XS?

In any event, because Peter is driving me crazy am going to start with the Night Watch as well (although I swore I would never work on multiple projects at a time), which is my favorite pattern of all the ones I bought.

I also finally accepted the fact that I am an addict and that I do not want to work with kits anymore. I simply want to use DMC and good fabric as it is really sad to invest 100's of hours of time in a project to have it come out looking less than perfect because of the materials (at least that is my guess at this point with Peter).

So have bought a DMC cabinet and will fill it up as I go along (the Night Watch uses over 100 colors, so am already 1/4 on the way).

Realize this post is getting ridiculously long so I guess I best stop...I could go on and on and on now I have started talking.. (imagine my poor husband).

Anyone working on the Night Watch by any chance? Or anyone who finished it? I only got started this week with project set up (and will launch the stitching next week or so) and I will be working on 25 count Lugana.

Would love to hear experiences and ideas.....What are you working on? Have you completed any XS and SQ's? Any ideas for my problem?

Thank you and enjoy your stitching!!

Best,
Bianca
BarBaraPrz
Member
Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 420
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
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11:52 am Sep 08, 2012

Ever thought of writing a novel?
Razz
I have found that a lot of the floss in kits is ridiculous for tangling. Thread Heaven definitely helps.
Check out railroading (http://www.scarletquince.com/searchresults.php?keywds=railroading) as a method for keeping the stitches even.
Lani
Member
Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 50
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
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12:09 pm Sep 08, 2012

Bianca:

Welcome to SQ! i really think you're worrying too much. I know sometimes I focus way too much on each stitch, or just one small part of the piece I am working on, and I just don't see the forest for the trees. Take a few steps back, and try looking at it like you are seeing it for the first time. One thing I learned from Meredith is that cross stitch pieces should really be looked at from the same distance you would view a painting in a museum, at least 2-3 feet away. I will prop it up on the back of my couch and look at it to get a good view.

Don't worry, I don't think SQ pieces are harded that other cross stitch, and the blended threads are really easy to get the hang of. I was shocked on my first piece at the shading and depth you can get with the blended threads.

Happy stitching, Lani
Bianca
Member
Joined: 23 Aug 2012
Posts: 22
Location: California
    Reply with quote  
 
 
1:30 pm Sep 10, 2012

quote:
Originally posted by BarBaraPrz
Ever thought of writing a novel?
Razz
I have found that a lot of the floss in kits is ridiculous for tangling. Thread Heaven definitely helps.
Check out railroading (http://www.scarletquince.com/searchresults.php?keywds=railroading) as a method for keeping the stitches even.


Yes, sorry for the long post....just could not stop once I got started, I just love cross stitching and to find a forum with like minded souls just made me spill all my beans. Smile I guess that is what you call it.

Much appreciate the tip - will print it out and try it tonight. I also am working with the pinhead stitch I think it is called I learned from here, which is great and I use it a lot now (but it won't work on my 25 count Lugana at all, so I will need to master the floss lasso for that one).

Am kind of dumb when it comes to learning new stitches (needle point would not be my thing) - am hung up on the floss lasso as I do not seem to get that right ( although it looks quite straightforward) as it turns into a little knot in the back nor can I get it to go under the thread in the right direction. But I will try again when working on a stand (as just toyed with it by hand) as I might just be short a hand.

Do not quite get how to leave a loop in the front and a loop in the back but not be finishing the stitch. The instructions say you can finish the stitch or simply do Danish and finish it later, but how are you able to get a loop in the back if you are not working on the second part of the stitch?

Just read the instructions on the railroad stitch and that seems indeed a very good idea, so I will print it out and see if I can figure it out. Hopefully it will help.

This floss is awful, but it turns out so is the fabric. Did not realize that the fabric could make work look terrible.

I had received my new Lugana fabric (only ever worked on Aida so far) and wanted to test it and thought to kill two flies with one swat (Dutch saying - literally translated) and use the crappy floss from the Disney project and low and behold all my stitches looked just fine (although it still knotted like crazy). Then did a piece with DMC on the Lugana and it looked perfect (and no knotting)

So I guess this kit included both cruddy floss and cruddy fabric... if anyone is interested in these designs (they are beautiful -- generally $42, but I got it on sale at Jo-Ann's for $ 16.95) I would highly recommend to toss the fabric and floss it comes with and use your own.

(what an awesome smiley I just had to use it)

Thanks for the tip - will try it out and hopefully it looks better.

What are you working on?

Bianca
BarBaraPrz
Member
Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 420
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
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2:08 pm Sep 10, 2012

quote:
Originally posted by Bianca
as I might just be short a hand.


We all are, dear, we all are... Laughing

As for what I'm working on, three things.
1. Four kittens in bed
2. Mother mountain lion and cub
3. Christmas card.
I just work on the card when I'm waiting at physio.
Bianca
Member
Joined: 23 Aug 2012
Posts: 22
Location: California
    Reply with quote  
 
 
2:10 pm Sep 10, 2012

quote:
Originally posted by Lani
Bianca:

Welcome to SQ! i really think you're worrying too much. I know sometimes I focus way too much on each stitch, or just one small part of the piece I am working on, and I just don't see the forest for the trees. Take a few steps back, and try looking at it like you are seeing it for the first time. One thing I learned from Meredith is that cross stitch pieces should really be looked at from the same distance you would view a painting in a museum, at least 2-3 feet away. I will prop it up on the back of my couch and look at it to get a good view.

Don't worry, I don't think SQ pieces are harded that other cross stitch, and the blended threads are really easy to get the hang of. I was shocked on my first piece at the shading and depth you can get with the blended threads.

Happy stitching, Lani



Hello Lani,

Thanks - another good idea, I will set it down and take a couple of steps back and look at it. I am indeed quite a perfectionist and tend to worry too much (how did you guess) and perhaps it is not so bad from a distance.
But you know how it is (well at least I guess so) you work on it hours and hours and hours and want it to look good.

With better fabric and floss just have a better end result and find it sad to work diligently on a piece that then comes out to look not as great.

Meredith is awesome - I had many questions and a few concerns and she patiently and pleasantly addressed each and every one. In fact, I became a bit concerned I might have been the most difficult customer ever, but I expect I will continue to order from her as long as her business will be around.

I have only read about good experiences on the forum - which in itself is an awesome addition to her store. She really has created an online community with the forum, the ramblings, the floss stickers, the nice coiled patterns, the blended colors (which with her floss stickers are probably not going to be such a big deal) and her customer service probably creates a lot of loyal customers who buy pattern after pattern from her.

Have you completed any of her patterns? What are you working on now?

Thanks,
Bianca

What are you working on?
Lani
Member
Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 50
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
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6:37 pm Sep 10, 2012

I have finished 3 SQ's - My Sweet Rose, Sun and Moon Flowers, and Psyche Entering Cupid's Garden.

Right now I am working on a reproduction sampler (Ann Grant), and project from another source (sorry Meredith - this one wasn't charted by SQ!). I'm really missing the wonderful way the SQ charts are put together.

The labels are just wonderful. They make it so much easier as you don't have to keep looking up the color key.
Bianca
Member
Joined: 23 Aug 2012
Posts: 22
Location: California
    Reply with quote  
 
 
3:00 pm Sep 11, 2012

quote:
Originally posted by BarBaraPrz
Ever thought of writing a novel?
Razz
I have found that a lot of the floss in kits is ridiculous for tangling. Thread Heaven definitely helps.
Check out railroading (http://www.scarletquince.com/searchresults.php?keywds=railroading) as a method for keeping the stitches even.


Hello Barbara,

Thank you heaps for the railroading tip!! I did a search online as I did not quite get it (although now I do get it, it is very easy) and it makes ALL the difference.

It still does not look superb as it is clearly low quality floss and low quality fabric, but the difference is as clear as night and day. Might be handy to get a laying tool as I think I will make railroading an all time routine as I can imagine it will make a difference on any project. It is truly unbelievable how much difference it makes (and it made me realize how terribly this floss twists as sometimes I have to turn it a bit to get it to be right in order to railroad it -- hence the laying tool idea).

Excellent advice - glad I posted this!!

Enjoy your stitching!! Sounds like you are working on some really wonderful projects!

Thank you much,
Bianca
BarBaraPrz
Member
Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 420
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
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4:39 pm Sep 11, 2012

You're welcome. Glad I could help.
rifestitch
Member
Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 639
Location: North of Atlanta
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9:33 am Sep 12, 2012

For the record, I am pretty sure Bianca's posts are longer than mine Smile Smile

Welcome, Bianca! If you've read back a bit, you'll see there's a running joke around here about my "short" posts Smile

I am glad the railroading tip has helped you!! I have only had a limited number of kits in my stitching life - 3-4 maybe - and have been lucky, I guess, because I have heard a LOT of stories about how bad some of the materials in them can be. Since I have always preferred to kit my own, I've not had to deal with it; at least you've got a bit of help now with the railroading, and next time, you'll know what to look for!

I haven't posted recently, but I have worked on my Scarlet Quince Lady & Unicorn recently, am making great progress on Page 7, which you can see in this blog update: http://rifestitch.jaysez.org/2012/08/sheer-folly-an-attempt-at-a-monday-update.html , along with a few other things I have in rotation at the moment. Christine (Divecat) and I have been working on setting up new blogs, as Multiply, which we've both been on for years, is going away. So I am in a bit of a transition phase as I try to save my old stuff, and continue with the new stuff....

Anyway, again, welcome, Bianca!
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