Back in January I started (along with about 4 million other people, including the fabulous Tamara (of One Craftee Mumma) and Bron (of Krafty Kuka)) the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery’s 2013 Woodland Sampler.
It’s brilliant, at the beginning of every month you get sent this Über cute cross stitch patten to complete during that month. Well, that’s the idea…
I started really gun-ho with this project. I managed to get 7 of the 12 frames done (or partially done – you know where you put a half stitch in and then come back with the other stitch when you’ve done all the base stitches).
I had big plans to do all of the frames before starting on any of the month motifs. (I like to make myself do the boring stuff first so that when I’m running out of steam I have the cute stuff to motivate me… that’s the theory anyways…) That plan lasted all of about 3 weeks…
After my big surge of enthusiasm at the beginning (helped in part because I needed something to do with my hands while I watched a whole season of Downton Abbey) I quickly pushed the sampler aside to focus on other more pressing tasks – like finishing the swoon beast.
However, once the sewing pressures had been relieved slightly I kept finding excuses not to pick up the sampler. Days went by and all I seemed to do with it was move it around as I needed space or had to keep it out of reach of little hands.
Every time I looked at it I got a surge of guilt at not having completed it. The guilt only intensified as the calendar moved from January to February and my inbox notified me of the arrival of the February sampler pattern.
In the end it got the better of me and I decided to take advantage of a particularly sleeping day for Little Man. I managed to sit down in one day and finish off January’s sample pattern (no, not the frames – those are still unfinished!).
It was so rewarding to see that little deer couple smooching right there on my aida cloth. It was massive, shame it was also the last week of February!
I changed up the patten a little and used metallic thread (DMC E168) for the snowflakes instead of the white thread. I just wanted a little more bling and the metallic makes a nicer, sublter, contrast against the colour of the cloth I’m using. The thread for the deer couple is Anchor 375 instead of the one that pattern suggested because I couldn’t get any at Spotlight when I was there and I had the Anchor thread in my stash.
(As a side note, somewhere during my stitching I have managed to lose a whole bobbin of thread. I stitch in the same place every time and I pack it all up before I move it and do you think I can find that thread! Not a chance. Oh well will just have to suck it up and head back to Spotlight – oh the trials and tribulations of my life!)
I also took the lead off one of the other samplers I’d seen posted on Instagram and added an extra eye lash on the female deer. I like her more feminine look, it’s sassy!
With the success of having completed January I decided to move on to February and keep the momentum going. Great idea.
Turns out in my enthusiasm to get all the frames done I hadn’t read the pattern correctly and I’d only made it 100 stitches wide and not 101 like required. Doh!
How did I find this out? Well, I started February’s stitching only to get to the end of the word ‘February’ and discover that I’d misread the pattern and hadn’t taken into consideration that the frame was the first row of stitches in the pattern (this frame unlike the rest is the same colour as the background stitches so I forgot to take that into consideration when counting out my stitches!).
I put the stitching down and retired to bed injured (it was nearly midnight!). Turns out cross stitching is like quilting; I shouldn’t do either after 9pm!
The next morning I vowed not to let the slight counting mishap put me off finishing February before the month ended. I spent a good hour unpicking the stitched I’d already done and started again.
Again, I got to the last letter of the word ‘February’ only to find my counting was off. It couldn’t be! I had made sure to count that sucker FIVE times before starting my first stitch. I did a quick count out again – yes it all lined up with where it was supposed to be… except…
It was at this point that I realised my 101 error. My frame was off…
Time to get out my trusty unpicker and make a hole in the frame stitching so I could stitch in the ‘y’. I was so ticked with myself. Not only is the February frame off but so are all the other ones on that side now. I have to unpick what I’ve done and redo it.
But I’m choosing to look on the bright side – thanks to my laziness there’s not as much unpicking to do as there would have been had I actually finished the frames like I had planned to! Whee!
Today is the last day of February and I’m proud to say… I’m still working on finishing the February sampler. Oh well, at least I’ll only be a month behind when March starts instead of two months behind like I could have been!
As an added bonus, I thought I would all point you in the direction of this very helpful tutorial that Tamara (of One Craftee Mumma) has put together on how to back your embroidery hoops to give as gifts. It’s a brilliant idea and so easy to do, I’m totally going to give it a go!