Just Nan "Christmas Hearts" Freebie - Spring Hearts Variation!
Although I started stitching this piece for February, computer problems meant that I missed last month, so it is my entry for March. With the hearts and the celtic knots, it ended up working out well for both St. Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day :)
This lovely pattern is actually "Christmas Hearts", a beautiful holiday ornament that is happily available for free at Save the Stitches (right at the bottom of the list)!
To make it Spring-y, I substituted the colours and went a little brighter:
I didn't use the Balger blending filament suggested, but I did use Mill Hill Gold Beads! However, the number on the pattern is 4D567, which I think is the old system; mine is 00557, and as far as I know, is the basic gold metallic. The fabric is the white 28 count Evenweave by M.C.G. Textiles that I used for Rosebuds and reviewed here.
The greens and pinks are just lighter versions of the original darker colourway, but I added the two blues for a cheerful contrast, and they replace the original lavenders.
When I'm trying to choose alternative colours, I like to pull the cards of floss and put them side by side first, narrow the choices down, and then put the floss cards on my binder ring to see how they work together. Having them all on the ring is also handy for choosing fabric colours, as you can hold them against your possible options.
I'm pretty sure that this is a really common storage technique, but I don't think I've shared a photo of it before :) And I love Mill Hill Beads for the lovely colours and finishes, but the fact that they fit so easily on the binder rings is a wonderful bonus!
Here's some in-progress stitching photos:
The only significant change I made was in the number of threads I used. I generally like a thicker coverage, so I used three strands instead of two for the cross-stitches and the center Rhodes Heart. When I started working the Satin Stitch hearts, I had a hard time making them smooth, so I added an extra strand (four total) for fullness.
I also made a mistake in spacing my first heart and I didn't want to cut it out and restitch it again so I just went with it, and made all the hearts one stitch too short :) And the sides were looking a little pointy, so I left off one stitch on each side.
When it came time for the beading, I was delighted by the way the dark blue dots looked like flowers when the gold beads were added in the center! So I decided to leave off some of the other beads around them to keep that look ;) And the beads around the bottoms of the Satin Stitch Hearts are also spaced a little bit differently.
Here's some progress photos of the beading (oh, how I do love beading!):
So much sparkle :) This was a really fun design to stitch, and I fully intend to do the original Christmas colourway later in the SAL! I think the pattern would also look great adapted for the other three seasons too - brighter pink hearts for summer, red for fall and such. All four would make a nice wall hanging or ornament set, perhaps.
The Just Nan Stitch Along (SAL) 2014 is hosted by Zeb at Keep Calm and Cross-Stitch! Anyone can join at any time, including non-bloggers :) Come stitch with us!