Sunday, June 6, 2010

Charlie's Falling Star and Mother Nature Birth Sampler

“Charlie’s Falling Star” and “Mother Nature”

For the first time, I decided to have a couple of my cross stitched pieces professionally framed. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t do this, as it’s very expensive to have done, but for these two pieces, I thought I’d do it as a bit of a treat for myself as they are both gifts for my son, Xander.

The first one is “Charlie’s Falling Star” (a Charlie’s Ark kit). It’s stitched on cream 16-count aida which was a good size with plenty of room for framing and there was more than enough thread in the colours required. My only wish for anything different was that the threads be pre-sorted as several colours were very similar in shade and although a list was given with the numbers of strands of each colour in the pack, some of them had the same amounts so it made no difference in the ease of sorting the colours.

The chart was large, clear and very easy to follow. It’s printed in black and white, but the symbols are clear and easy to distinguish from one another. There are large areas of one-colour blocks, making this a quick stitch, despite its size, and although there is a moderate amount of back stitch, the chart is easy to follow and it doesn’t take very long to stitch it – it really does bring out the detail of the piece. There are relatively few colours involved, but the effect given by them is both delicate and striking. It’s all full crosses in either one or two strands and there is only one French knot.

This kit was an absolute joy to stitch from start to finish. It was fun to stitch the window panes and then watch Charlie appear in silhouette before I started stitching him as the central figure. It didn’t take very long to stitch – going by my day-to-day log, it took less than a month with just a couple of hours stitching in each daily session, to complete it. It was such fun to stitch that I was almost sorry to finish it as I’d no longer have it to work on! I’d definitely stitch another Charlie’s Ark kit.

The second one is “Mother Nature” – a birth sampler. It’s stitched on 20-count gold and cream lugana evenweave from Wichelt in the colours indicated on the chart. The design was in the Christmas issue of Crossstitcher Magazine and the designer is Lesley Teare (Thanks, Line, for letting me know!). It’s a very sweet little scene of birds, lambs, woodland animals and flowers, with a full alphabet and space for a name and date of birth.

If I remember correctly, the chart was originally meant for 14 or 16 count, which would have made it larger than my finished piece, but I wanted it the smaller size and none of the details suffered for it. Initially, I was a little worried that the stitching wouldn’t show up so well against the gold-flecked background, but I think it worked out rather well.

Yo can’t really tell from the photographs, but the border mount is a creamy shade with a slightly grainy effect which works equally well with the cream aida and the gold-flecked cream evenweave, and I opted for a very simple, narrow wooden frame with a light wax finish, so tha the focus would be on the stitching, rather than the frame.

I’m very pleased with both finished pieces and look forward to seeing them hanging on Xander’s bedroom wall!


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