Last year I happened to see a photograph of a beautiful embroidered etui box, I traced it back to a Classic Inspirations magasine so I ordered it immediately. My mum used to get Classic Inspirations years ago, they are an Australian embroidery magasine and they really are in a class of their own, I highly recommend them as they really do inspire!! When it arrived there were three projects I particularly liked, so I have the next three projects lined up for the stitch-a-long!
The Tall Year Square etui is designed by Betsy Morgan of the USA. Each side reflects a different season with different colour fabrics and threads, the designs have seasonal motifs but also have border patterns running around the box. I ordered the different shades of Permin 32 count linen, I didn’t realise there were so many gorgeous shades of linen!!
The threads were more of an issue as Betsy uses Gloriana stranded silk. I’m sure these are absolutely beautiful and wonderful to use, but they are £5.76 each here in the UK and she uses over thirty colours!!! I decided to stick with DMC at £1 each instead, especially as I already have a large collection.I prevaricated for a while as I was trying to find DMC threads of the same variegated colour range, this clearly wasn’t going to be possible.
I decided to choose my own seasonal colours, I started with spring and thought about what colours I think of when I think of spring. For me it’s fresh green leaves, yellow daffodils, bluebells and a touch of pink cherry blossom. I looked through my DMC variegated threads and chose five as a starting point.
I’ve started at the bottom with a little flower border in cross-stitch.It took me a while to get my head round stitching individual cross-stitches each time rather than rows as that way the variegation is clearest. The narrow green row is a long legged cross-stitch stitched with a single strand of thread, that’s repeated several times up the side. The satin stitch triangles are stitched with two strands to give enough cover.
The charts provided have taken a bit of getting used to as they show every thread, rather than a box per cross-stitch as I’m used to. I’ve just finished the wavy border, it took several attempts and lots of unpicking before I was happy with the colours. My first thought was to use plain thread rather than variegated as I didn’t want to end up with too much variegation overall. The DMC website suggests that the Colaris range use four actual thread colours in each variegation. I was hoping they would specify which ones so I could use them for the waves. I couldn’t find any information on this so I tried matching from my collection, but half way into the second wave I just wasn’t happy and unpicked it all.
In the end after several attempts I just used a different variegated thread for each one, two of them I’d used in the lower borders, and I’m sure I’ll repeat the others too so hopefully it will give it a bit of continuity.
I’m pleased with my first efforts, though at the moment it takes longer to choose the colour than it does to actually stitch the border! Hopefully once spring is completed and I have a bit more of an idea on how the colours work the decisions on the other three seasons won’t take as long. It’s actually pretty small, less than three inches across and about 7″ tall.
The stitch-a-long is organised by Avis of Stitching by the Sea, there quite a few of us now all stitching our own choice of projects. Why not have a look what everyone else is stitching, just follow the links to see some stunning projects;
Everyone is in different time scales, so if there isn’t a post when you first look, check later in the day. If you fancy joining us for the SAL, just send a message to Avis.