WIP Wednesday 3: Mirabelle “If Only”

You know how I said last week that I was going to chug on until I finished Mirabelle? Well, almost immediately following thinking that, I thought how nice it would be to have a shift in perspective and a little break. So I made a birthday card. It took about 2 days, and it was nice not doing completely straight stitches for those two days.

We're sorry, but your birthday is in another castle...or something.

We’re sorry, but your birthday is in another castle…or something.

I’ve never made a card before, and I’m not quite sure how to put it together, or what to say on the inside, but I loved all the pretty beads. I regret that I miscounted the text and most of it is 1 square too low. It would have left ugly holes if I took it out, so I left it. I don’t think it’s really noticeable unless I tell you. 😉 The pattern is from world of cross stitch magazine, which I frequently buy digitally (OMG a print subscription to the states is expensive!) If you’re interested in the pattern I also found it on the designer’s Etsy shop. She makes some lovely whimsical designs.

The castle was stitched on hand-dyed evenweave. I’ve never worked with evenweave before, and while it wasn’t that difficult to stitch on, counting on it—since you work across two holes for each stitch—was absolutely horrendous. It was also my first time working with Kreinik blending filament. I like metallic thread, and it wasn’t terribly difficult. I just had to stitch a little slower and use short lengths. The hardest part was threading the needle.

After my brief sojourn into castles and beads I returned to Mirabelle if not exactly renewed, at least determined. I finished up a lot of the bottom left hand side, and then decided to tackle the peach border on the right. Originally I was going to perform the miraculous task of counting alllll the way to the top and working my way down. That’s just how I stitch: top to bottom, left to right. But I decided that was rather narrow minded and so I stitched bottom to top and finally reached the top. So now I’ve reached all four borders. Yay!

Mirabelle's state of completion as of  4/8/2015

Mirabelle’s state of completion as of 4/8/2015

I expect to continue working on the bottom right side and work my way toward the middle, and then try and finish up the top left peach border. The part across the very top will be quite monotonous and I’m not looking forward to that, but I have to work up on the left to do even start that.

The bottom is filling in! On the left at least.

The bottom is filling in! On the left at least.

Here’s hoping I’ll be done in the next two weeks. I have carousel horses to stitch!

WIP Wednesday 2: Mirabelle “If Only”

I always feel like I’m not getting anything done, so I’m hoping these posts will illustrate the contrary. I’m still working away on the bottom part of the piece. I’m dreading doing the border around the top and sides because I have to count so much to get there which means a high probability of an error, so for the moment I’m ignoring that and just working wherever I feel like on the bottom.

Excuse the pictures. I am without a phone, so they were taken with my iPad and they’re a little washed out and not very sharp. Maybe next week I’ll break out a real camera or test out the camera on the iPhone 6 that should be arriving soon.

The entire cross stitch of "If Only" to date.

The entire cross stitch of “If Only” to date.

I was trying to finish the bottom left corner. For this project I purchased a Q-Snap style frame (though an off-brand because my craft store didn’t carry the “real” brand). I’ve never worked with one before and, while I like it because you can get great tension, I find that I often get the cross stitch into it crooked. The size of this piece is such that an 11 x 17 inch Q-Snap (off brand) frame gets part of the stitched-piece pinched in it. So I was trying to finish the left hand side so that I could set it in and forget it for a while and maybe finish the right side so it doesn’t matter if either side gets pinched a bit (I put felt in between the plastic and the stitching). I think the real brand makes a 1-inch extender which would be perfect. Since I have 2 more projects this size I intend to do it may be worth looking into.

Close-Up of the area I worked this week.

Close-Up of the area I worked this week.


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I desperately want to take a break from this and start on a little carousel horse, but I’m afraid if I switch projects I won’t pick this one up again, so expect to see more brown and green filled in next week. Hopefully I’ll be able to fill in the band and maybe a bit of the right side. Any progress is good progress in my book.

Belated WIP Wednesday: Mirabelle “If Only”

As some of you may know, I started cross stitching like a fiend back in August. I thought it was just a phase and that after I finished the few pieces I was working on I’d be done and back to my myriad of other hobbies. But it’s almost April and I’m still stitching almost every day with a back log of projects to start.

I’m about 3/4 done with my current project. It’s Santoro’s Mirabelle “If Only” by Bothy Threads. This is the largest project I’ve done to date and the swirly bodice was maddening. The pattern takes four separate pages, so lining everything up properly was challenging. I also screwed up the peach part of the skirt and it was off by one stitch and I had to rip the right side of it out and start all over.

Mirabelle state of completion as of Wednesday 3/25/2015

Mirabelle state of completion as of Wednesday 3/25/2015

I’m currently working on the bottom portion of the design and as you can tell by the higgledy piggledy state of the stitching I quickly get bored with one color and move on to the next. And the next and the next. It all gets done eventually, but you can only cross stitch so many long blocks of color before going a little crazy.

The bottom area I'm working on.

The bottom area I’m working on.

I hope to do regular weekly updates of my projects as I go forward because I have several more in the works. After this I’d like to do two more Mirabelle cross stitches starting with “Adrift”. I have a funky silver wall in the dining room I’d like to line up these Mirabelle pictures on with the last one being “Butterfly”.

The naked silver wall.

The naked silver wall.

These are going to be several months in the works, but I hope that they’ll turn out every bit as quirky and wonderful as I imagine them to be. Till next Wednesday.

P.S. This WIP was late because Wednesday was hubby’s birthday. No more birthdays or trips for a while, so I’m hoping to stay on track.