Holiday Stitching

I’ve just got back from a lovely break in Dorset (on the South coast of England for my overseas readers), and had every intention of updating my blog with all the stitching I had got done over the holiday.

West Bay, Dorset - my holiday base camp and the filming location of the TV show 'Broadchurch'

West Bay, Dorset – my holiday base camp and the filming location of the TV show ‘Broadchurch’

However, as is so often the case, the holiday was so full of activities that I ended up doing very little! The sun shone almost all the time, so there was lots of shooting, sailing and sightseeing, as well as cider-tasting, fossil-finding and garden-visiting; by the time I made it back each evening, I was far too tired to sew.

A view of the gardens of Mapperton House, the setting for the new film version of 'Far From the Madding Crowd'

A view of the gardens of Mapperton House, the setting for the new film version of ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’

I did treat myself to a few charity-shop bargains, including a dozen or so pre-2000 Cross Stitcher magazines – the 90s nostalgia is powerful, and the fashion choices now somewhat questionable, but old cross stitch designs are still great even if they require some adapting to bring them up to date.DMC Flowers of the Month Kit

I also snagged this DMC kit, ‘Flowers of the Seasons’, for a couple of pounds which seems to have been discontinued sometime when I was still in school!! Not sure that I’ll ever actually stitch it but it is still in good condition so it will probably end up on the old Ebay store in due course.

As for my actual stitching, I started a new large project, my first since I finished the Geishas. Here it is, along with all the progress I have to show for my time away:

As you can see, I got an awful lot done…or not! This is the Art Deco Skyscape by Barbara Thompson, which I got from Choices HERE, along with a matching design from the same range. I was immediately drawn to this picture for several reasons, it would match the decor in the living room, and it contains shiny beads being just two – but mostly it reminded me of one of my favourite video games, Bioshock.

Cityscape from the game Bioshock, which inspired my purchase of this kit

Cityscape from the game Bioshock, which inspired my purchase of this kit

In this game, you are exploring a massive underwater metropolis called Rapture set in the 1960s, but with heavy art deco influences in the design of the architecture and the character’s costumes. I thought the blues and aquas in the kit were reminiscent of the ocean, and the beads made me think of pearls and the softness of lights seen through water.

In any case, now I have yet another half-finished project on the go as my main holiday souvenir, along with half a dozen bottles of mead and a sunburned nose!

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May 2015 – Pansies Kit Review

I spent most of May working on larger projects, none of which are finished enough to show here, but I did get time to make a birthday card for my mother-in-law.

Pansies birthday card - DMC Floral Quick Kit

Pansies birthday card – DMC Floral Quick Kit

I found this little DMC Floral Quick Kit in yet another bag of inherited stash. I think it must be very old as I can’t find any internet references to this series of kits, except for one or two eBay listings, but it has held up well  and had no wear or damage at all. I did make one small change and backstitched the leaves and stems of the flowers in green instead of black, because I had a lot of green left over at the end and I thought the black looked too severe on the model. Looking back, I think the leaves lack definition now, so I should have either stuck with the black and just did as I was told, or looked for a darker shade of green. I’m not the best at following instructions, I tend to just wander off with my own ideas sometimes when I really shouldn’t!

DMC Quick Stitch Floral Kit - Pansies

DMC Quick Stitch Floral Kit – Pansies

Even though you probably can’t buy these any more, and it is a super tiny kit, here’s a quick review.

Pros – 

  • Tiny and very quick to stitch, as the title suggests! I think it took me about two evenings to get this done. Also a good size to be turned into a card or small gift.
  • Lovely traditional design, perfect for someone with more classical tastes.
  • High quality materials and printing. Chart was easy to read and the threads had not worn or frayed over time.

Cons – 

  • Black and white chart only, backstitch instructions were therefore unclear but manageable. No suggestion on number of strands to use, so I just went with what felt right.
  • Ran out of pink thread about half way through, and had to salvage a similar colour from another kit. No thread numbers provided to make an exact match,