Cross Stitch Patterns from Fine Art by Scarlet Quince
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Scarlet Quince Ramblings

Cross stitch ... art ... life

Big boo-boo
Monday, June 27th, 2011

So I was stitching last night, minding my own business, when it slowly soaked into my consciousness that the needle I was using to stitch the & symbol, which should have had a green and a gold thread, actually had two brown threads. (No, I don’t memorize the colors for each symbol but some I just learn after I’ve stitched them for a while.) I pulled out the last 3 or 4 stitches which were around the edges and then decided that would be a good time to quit for the night. I’m not actually sure of the extent of the damage — there are at least a few more wrong stitches, and to get at them I will have to rip out all the surrounding stitches. I’m going to look at it and maybe decide that it’s not worth bothering with. Although the thread is the wrong color, it is similar in darkness. It’s in a very confettic area but there is a pattern although you have to step back to see it.

I’m not sure how this happened. I may have parked a needle in the wrong place, although I think I’m really pretty careful about that. Much more often, I think, I just put floss back onto the wrong bobbin. I don’t know how I do that. I think maybe I look at the right bobbin and then pick up a different one. That sounds odd but I’ve caught myself doing it. Then later I notice I have 4 colors of floss on one bobbin, or I pick a bobbin up and realize that the color on it is clearly wrong (like a light color with a dark symbol, or vice versa). Sometimes I can figure out what the symbol for the floss should have been and sometimes I just have to throw the floss away because I don’t know what it is.

Earlier today, I thought, “I should snip half an inch of the two colors of floss on each bobbin and tape it to the bobbin.” That would be a way to check whether I was putting floss on the right bobbin. And even if I still put it on the wrong bobbin, I would probably notice when I went to use it again. My next thought was that that sounds like kind of a chore, so now I’m thinking about printing floss labels with the colors. The numbers and symbols would still be black, but there would be two little swatches or lines of the appropriate colors added to the labels. This wouldn’t necessarily let you know which thread on a bobbin was which, if it was ecru and sand for example, but it might keep you from putting blues on a bobbin that was supposed to have pinks.

What do you think?

Canadian postal strike
Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Because of the Canada Post strike, starting today the US Postal Service is not accepting mail addressed to Canada. If you are in Canada and wish to order from us while the strike continues, please email or call to discuss alternate arrangements. See the contacts page for email addresses and phone numbers.

Tips from a stitcher
Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

A stitcher wrote asking how she could share her stitching tips. I said she could post them in the forums, or send them to me and I’d put them online. This seems like a good place for them until I can merge them into the tips pages. (If YOU have tips you’d like to share, please send them! Everyone has their own little tricks, and yours may be just what someone needs.) Here are her notes:

Although “self-taught”, I have been an avid cross stitcher for 40+ years after seeing waste-canvas monograms used by a friend of my mother’s when I was in high school. Over the years, I discovered several tips that make stitching easier.

1. Rather than use the pre-lined fabric I saw referenced in the blog, I use an extra-fine, water-soluble pen to draw a line on every 10th grid to match the graph I am using. If the center of the graph is or is not on the 10th grid, I make my fabric match the pattern. Then, when stitching I know exactly where I am on both the fabric and the graph. If the centerlines are not on a line already marked, I also mark these lines as well, but with broken lines and arrows so they stand out. Unfortunately, I have only found these pens in the same color of blue, so I do not have the option of using another color. These lines stay sharp until time to wash the fabric, but if a marking mistake is made, a damp Q-tip erases the mark, but let it dry completely before remarking or the blue color will run. Another version of the pen is available in purple, but it is not quite as fine of a tip and disappears after a short period of time and is good only on areas I stitch immediately. Both pens are found in sewing or quilting notions and are well worth the expense and time to draw out the lines!! I have never had any problems getting the lines to disappear with water!

2. When traveling, I always take along a cross-stitch project, I try to select an area in my design where there will be some “fill-in” work and draw this area with the same water-soluble pen. Then I do not need to count, but can simply fill in the drawn area with the correct color. Years ago I was stitching a design based on a Jim Harrison painting and I was able to mark several areas in this manner and also write into the area the correct color to use. Stitching in the car was easy and (almost) fool proof! Of course, detailed designs like the gorgeous Scarlet Quince designs do not lend themselves to large fill-in areas, but I wanted to share the tip anyway.

3. The pens work well to draw letters on the fabric as well.

4. I do a lot of original designs based on photographs or combined graphs using graph paper with the same bolded lines based on 10 squares per inch as most designs are drawn. This allows me to carefully mark the graph paper to see how the design will look when stitched. Just remember to allow for the difference in the stitches per inch vs. the number of grids per inch on the paper or your design will be considerably smaller than the drawing!!!

I hope these ideas are helpful to some other stitchers!!!

Me again. The water-soluble marking pens usually say that they are water soluble. The (usually but not always) purple pens where the ink disappears on its own either say “disappearing ink” or “air erasable”. If you have a fabric marker and you’re not sure about it, please test it before you do a lot of work gridding. I hate to think of anyone doing a lot of work gridding only to find that the lines had disappeared 24 hours later (or wouldn’t wash out)!

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