Something I always enjoyed doing in school was the final paper where you would look back at the book or project and really think about it. You would discuss what you learned, what you thought at the start, and how things turned out. It was always something fun for me and I intend to do this for my finishes on Cross Stitches.
Yesterday (August 11, 2016) I finished my first Heaven and Earth Design StoryKeep the DaVinci Collie:
First lets get the stats:
Pattern: Heaven and Earth Designs
Original Artwork: Randal Spangler
Size: 53 x 291 stitches
Colors: 88 solid colors
Fabric: 25 count Lugana Linen, Antique White
Start Date: April 29, 2016
End Date: August 12, 2016
Total Stitches: 15, 423
Total Days: 106 Days
Average Stitches per Day: 146
15, 423 stitches! That is a lot of stitches! Holy hand-cramp Batman! I’m glad I didn’t do that math at the start because otherwise I might have been pretty discouraged. It is pretty crazy to think I went from here
to that glorious finish in 106 days! Yes, I spent a third of the year on this and it was worth it!
I started this project for the HAED Facebook Group cross country challenge. My sister (who has been complaining for years that I never get her anything for birthday/Christmas) has a beautiful boy collie named Cruize.
This adorable baby (well, not any more but you get the picture) is her child. I’m quite serious about this. When he was a baby, baby she used to get separation anxiety when she had to leave him for long periods of time. She has nightmares about moving and having to leave him with us. She adores this dog.
And trust me when I say that most people don’t realize collies can come in that black tri color. So when I saw The DaVinci Collie, which featured a baby tri colored collie, I knew I had to make it for her. I had started Moonlight Serenade and was becoming rather depressed. So I hoped a new start would reignite my stitching bug. I was always a cross country stitcher, so I figured I would be able to get this smaller piece out quickly.
106 days later, I am pretty sure I was wrong.
At least, in my estimation of how much work was going to go into this.
Between April and June, I worked hard on the cross country challenge. Because I get the Large Formats, I had to work across two sheets, which turned out to be tougher than I thought. I worked outside in and got very tired during the central “confetti hell” areas.
I always have worked cross country before. I think the problem was I had never worked cross country in this method before. Working one color at a time became tiring. I wanted to concentrate on an area, but had to go back and check two pages of a pattern to be sure I got every one of the colors… only to find I had missed a few here and there later. The single squares were the bane of my existence and by June, I was done with that method.
In June I was not even half way and I had only three months left to finish the bookmark. In fact, I had less than that because I wanted to finish by August 15 in time to devote my attention to Whacky Witches SAL. This was when I decided to work down in columns and finish up the two pages. I figured I’d attempt the HAED “Challenge” again even though they had said that the challenge would feature parking. I was desperate to try anything to improve my stitching time.
When the details of the Challenge came out, I was unable to use this piece. Though now that DaVinci is over I may go pull out Moonlight and use it. I need to take the time to get all of Moonlight’s skeins in one place. But I still more or less used the “rules” of the challenge as my guideline. I wish I had taken more pictures of the process, because it was pretty intense.
At first, parking was difficult and daunting but slowly, I found myself picking up the pace. I went from one or two squares a week, to almost a row a day. In fact, I will credit this new method for actually letting me finish by my goal of August 15th! In fact, I got a few days to spare!
Parking appears to be very good method for me. At the least for HAEDs, and I think this is going to be my preferred method. I really liked how I was able to avoid massive needle changes and sit for longer stretches of time. I enjoyed parking down, but I think I will attempt to park to the side on my next HAED (or on Moonlight). I certainly enjoyed the process.
Parking may or may not carry over into my projects that feature a lot more “white” space where cross country is the better method. But I may try it a bit on Whacky Witches and see how I can work with it.
Working with the 25 count 1×1 was fun and difficult. Stitches kept sliding out, and I understand why I see a lot of people start HAEDs from weird places (other than upper left or center). I will probably be working future projects that are over 1 from the right. But it was an exciting challenge and rewarding.
My sister has spied the finished work and has already cooed about the collie on it. I haven’t decided if I am going to finish it as a bookmark or wall hanging or if I’m going to leave it as is I sort of like where it is right now. I don’t know if I want to finish it otherwise. After all, my sister will just keep it tacked on her wall.
Thanks for coming with me on this journey. And soon I will be starting the next one: Whacky Witches in Stitches by Cloudsfactory.
So, until next time!
Stay sane and don’t die.