Tuesday, May 21, 2013

SAL: Update & Choosing My Colours!

If you're just learning about the SAL, please visit the announcement post for more information (or click the banner at right >)! You're welcome to join in anytime :)

Sorry I'm accidentally a day behind, LOL! I meant to post yesterday, but time just got away from me. That really goes to show - this is a very relaxed SAL, and you can stitch and post at your own pace :) I'm going to try and put up a progress post at least once a week for the duration, but you can post whenever and however you feel like!

Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who has joined in! Your support and enthusiasm mean so much to me, and I honestly (and obviously, LOL) can't do this without you. As CS mentioned in her post, hosting a SAL has been something I wanted to do even before I started ES, and so in a real way this is a dream come true for me :)

Karen also wrote a wonderful post about the SAL too! Both Karen and CS have been my major cheerleaders behind the scenes on this adventure, and are in effect my co-hosts, or rather my stitchy co-conspirators in crime! If you have any questions or problems though, please direct them to me, okay? That's why ES is on the banner ;)

Currently, we have six stitchers, including myself, who are stitching for sure (I've written these in the order of joining, so I can add new stitchers on the end if needed):

1. Aurelia @ Eglantine Stitchery (me!)
2. CrazyStitcher (CS) @ Crazy Cross-stitcher
3. Karen @ Karen's Colourful Creations
4. Emma @ EveningEmma
5. Jeanne @ Byrd's Nest
6. Erica @ Erica's Stitches

This is amazing, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what you all create!

Over the weekend, I took my time and thought hard about what colourway I wanted to use, but after playing around with a few ideas, I kept coming back to the Original Colourway! This surprised me greatly, since I was fully intending to sparkle it up with some metallics as usual, but I think it will be more serviceable this way.

My poor bookmarks do get a LOT of use, LOL, so they need to be sturdy :)

However, I'm going to try something I have never done and use a pretty pastel Aida for my fabric! I found a lovely and really cute lemony yellow in my stash:

Like most of my coloured Aida, this was inherited from my Stitchy Guru Mother, and the brand - Regency Mills - is one I've worked with before. I really like their fabrics, they came in lovely colours including a very pretty Copenhagen blue, which you can see in this active E-bay listing. Unfortunately, they've been out of business for years.

As you can see, I cut off a little snippet and stitched my first Rhodes Heart! I was anxious to see how the adaptation I had designed for the bookmark pattern would stitch up, and I'm pretty pleased with it :) I used three strands, like I did for my original Spring Garden Square, but two strands would give a finer look!

Proper Rhodes Hearts, from what I can find, usually don't have borders, but the outline fits in with all the other elements really well. I think it adds more shape too!

Here's the little snippet with the skeins from my colourway (the original colours):

That poor little card of dark green isn't very photogenic, LOL, as you can see I'm getting low on the 699 :) I actually almost didn't take the photos because it looks so sad, but hey, partial skeins are a stitchy fact of life right?

This will actually likely be enough to get me through the bookmark, but I'll pick up an extra skein just in case ASAP. I'm hoping to make it to the fabric store sometime this week to pick out my backing fabric! And maybe some ribbon for the marker.

I had a fabric in mind from my stash - a gardening print with little itty bitty gloves, trowels, potted plants and watering cans - but (wouldn't you know it? argh!) almost everything matched except the greens. And I wasn't inclined to stitch teal leaves ;)

While we're talking about project set-up, here's how I keep my working threads:

Fancy, it is not, LOL. But it works. I keep that nice white cardboard from various things (this one is, I must confess, from the box of the most delicious Lindt Lindor chocolate bars, which never touch the food since the bars are wrapped in foil).

I use a hole punch to put in as many "parking spaces" for my thread as I need (and often a few extra) and then use my fine-point Sharpie marker to label the top with the project info and the sides with the thread numbers. I cut off lengths as I need them, and I store the bobbins for the colours I'm using on binder rings until I'm finished with them. Then I put them back in my floss boxes until the next project!

This one is actually from my Spring Garden Square, but since I'm using the same colours I'm not going to bother to make a new one. I'm lazy like that, LOL ;)

Here's another view of it, with all my supplies so far:

The wonderful news is that if this method appeals to you at all, Mollie at the Wild Olive embroidery blog has just offered a free colour printable of the cutest Thread Organizers ever! They're shaped like floss bobbins with Mollie's trademark smiley faces, and happen to match her free printable floss bobbins from a while back!

If I had coloured ink right now, I'd totally have these printed off :) While not really practical for large projects, they're a really cute way to perk up small little stitching projects like the SAL bookmark! There's also some cute lovebirds and a kitty cat in this set of printables. If nothing else, they'd be a great conversation starter.

While looking around online, I found some other interesting bobbins: meant for the fridge, these clever magnetic floss bobbins would work wonderfully with magnetic pattern boards. And with this tutorial, you can make your own fancy bobbins out of scrapbook paper! These Flossy wooden animals sold at Etsy are super cute too :)

And since we're on the topic, this is a simple but genius way to label plastic thread bobbins (or even cardboard ones really), and this is a great tip about cutting a plastic drinking straw as protection for the sharp edges of plastic bobbins. I have a set of them that I was given as a gift, but the edges were very sharp and so I haven't used them much. I don't think it's great for long-term storage, but it might work in a pinch!

But enough about bobbins :) Here's some REALLY interesting news that I should've saved for the next Stitchy News but just couldn't wait to share: Over the last several months Sublime Stitching, the embroidery company run by Jenny Hart, has released several interesting floss collections, including colour-blended "Mingles" and a truly neon Glow-in-Darks. And now SS has just introduced Reflective Thread!!!

This was pretty much my reaction, LOL: Ooh -

There's also an interesting blog post on how to use it. The post states that "it's the stuff that glows like crazy in the dark when light hits it", like safety patches on clothing, and it will require special care to use. But how neat is that?! It's only in silver right now, but wouldn't it be great if there were different colours available?

Unfortunately, I'm not likely to get my claws into any Reflective Thread soon, but I do think it's such a neat idea. So that's my exciting news for today :) I'm hoping that The Great Fabric Search will commence tomorrow, I'll let you know how it goes!


Karen said...

Loved reading all of the tips for bobbins. I might try the idea of gluing scrapbook paper to them to make them pretty. I think it would be nice to have a few special bobbins around. :)

The yellow fabric and threads look great together. Looking forward to seeing it stitched up!

My bookmark is being stitched on a fabric remnant and left-over silk threads. Unfortunately, I won't be able to post about it until next week....

Aurelia Eglantine said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed my blathering about bobbins, LOL ;) There's some really creative stuff out there! I like the scrapbook idea too :)

I actually made my own cardboard bobbins out of desperation a few years ago when I couldn't find any floss bobbins locally, and they were a little wonky but they worked!

Thank you so much for the kind words about my fabric combo, and I can't wait to see your pretty silks! Don't worry at all about time, I'll look forward to reading whenever you get a chance to post ;)