1992-2013 Finishes

These are the projects I completed between 1992 and 2013. I occasionally come across a little piece I stitched but had completely forgotten about, so this page is still being added to. It's interesting watching how my project tastes have changed over the years, although I still love everything I have stitched. The oldest projects are at the bottom, the newest at the top. Enjoy!




31 - CELTIC CHRISTMAS


Lavender and Lace
Stitch count 159 wide by 238 high
Stitched on 16ct Heritage hand-dyed Aida by Picture This Plus 2 over 1
Started - 1st November 2012
Finished - 15th October 2013
Total stitching time - 130 hours 25 minutes

I really, really, really enjoyed stitching this lady, although I did make a few alterations: (1) she is a little lower down so that her head does not break the border, (2) there is a one stitch gap where the border and dress should meet, (3) some of the border designs have been slightly changed, (5) there are less beads in the borders than suggested and (5) there are no beads in her dress, just metallic thread. With there being big blocks of colour she stitched up quickly and I did not get bored of using just greens and reds. And, despite the trepidation, I actually enjoyed stitching on the 1000 or so beads! The hand-dyed fabric has quite subtle colour changes, which are not very clear on the photograph, and which help give this piece an olde-worlde type look. Instead of taking her to the framers, I used an online shop where I could upload the picture and spend as much time as I liked changing the colours and sizes of the frame and mounts until I was completely satisfied. The frame arrived within three days and was exactly as I had ordered (the inner mount is actually red not pink as it looks in the photo). I put her in and - job done! I have the matching Celtic Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter ladies and intend to stitch them up too..... one day!




30 - RAINBOW ROSE

Celtic Rose Needlecraft
Stitch count 110 wide by 110 high
Stitched on 16ct White Aida 2 over 1
Started - April 2012
Finished - April 2013
Total stitching time - unknown



This design was bigger than the area I actually stitched but as I didn't like the bottom third of the chart I chopped it off!!! Would you have known if I hadn't told you? I love the bright colours in this rose which made it a thoroughly enjoyable stitch. The finished piece was mounted in a frame bought at a car boot sale for 50p! It's a couple of inches too small but will do for the time being. And - surprise surprise - it's hanging in my mum's room!




29 - SLEEPY

DMC
Stitch count 96 wide by 96 high
Stitched on 16ct Cream Aida 2 over 1
Started - October 2007
Finished - March 2012
Total stitching time - it's written down somewhere!

I couldn't resist the lure of this little kitten even though I assumed I'd get bored with the sepia colours. But I didn't! Most of the background was in blocks with the only confetti stitching being the kitten himself. I probably stitched about a quarter of it in 2007 before completely laying cross-stitching aside to do scrapbooking. It was during a long weekend spa break in January 2012 that I decided to stitch on it again. What better way to relax than having a needle in hand, the first two seasons of Merlin playing on my laptop and a bottle of wine beside me? The frame was bought in a charity shop and the mounts are just core'dinations cardstock. Despite the low cost of putting this together I am pleased with the result - except I must get some non-reflective glass! Cottonsocks, as he has been named, has been claimed by my mum and now hangs in her room.




28 - LITTLE BALLERINA


Designed by Betty Davis for DMC
Stitch count ??
Stitched on 16ct Antique White Aida 2 over 1
Started - January 2006
Finished - May 2006
Total stitching time - unknown

I know that this was the last piece I finished stitching at the Cross Stitch Club I belonged to. She was stitched for my daughter who had just taken up ballet at the age of 3. The tutu is stitched using a blend of one strand DMC cotton and one strand metallic. It was a pain to stitch but the effect is really good. It's a shame it doesn't show up on the photograph. She's supposed to have a border of flowers around her but I thought she looked better on her own. The glass in the frame got broken when we moved and since Heather's long since grown out of ballet (she's now into skulls and being a goth) this piece is in storage.





27 - KIPPER


 DMC
Stitch count ??
Stitched on 16ct White Aida 2 over 1
Started - October 2005
Finished - January 2006
Total stitching time - unknown

Kipper was stitched as a bit of fun for my children who were just beginning to like Kipper the Dog videos and books. Unless I can find the chart I worked from I don't have any information about when this was stitched or how many hours it took. But with large blocks of colours I assume it didn't take long.




26 - ROCKING BABY

Lanarte
Stitch count 102 wide by168 high
Stitched on 16ct Light Blue Aida 2 over 1
Started - 21st June 2004
Finished - 5th October 2005
Total stitching time - 60 hours

I wanted a birth "sampler" for my son without repeating Sepia Baby. I found this kit suitable as the tiny baby resembled Toby who was born weighing just 4lb 11oz. With hindsight I wish I'd changed the background blues and lilacs into something a bit more boyish and as a result have never been completely happy with it. And it niggles me. It was stitched while I attended a weekly cross stitch club so progress was fairy slow but steady (too much yapping!)




25 - SEPIA BABY

Vervaco
Stitch count 108 wide by 81 high
Stitched on 14ct Cream Aida 2 over 1
Started - 27th February 2004
Finished - 20th June 2004
Total stitching time - 35 hours

This project commemorates the birth of my daughter. I do not like birth samplers with lots of baby toys, alphabets and fuss so chose this for its soothing colours, simplicity and cuteness. It stitched up very quickly and was framed by a professional. The cores of the cream and brown mounts are painted gold to match the frame. One day (ha, ha) I would like to stitch this in mirror-image to commemorate the birth of my son.




22-24 - WITZY TRIO
ASLEEP, LADYBIRD FRIEND, PASSING TIME



DMC
Stitch counts ??
Stitched on 14ct White Aida 3 over 1
Started - October 2003
Finished - February 2004
Total stitching time - unknown

I bought these Little Suzy's Zoo Witzy kits when my daughter was about a year old. Her favourite cuddly toy was a little yellow Snuggle Chum duck which resembled Witzy so it made perfect sense to stitch these for her. However, I only started the first project whilst in labour in hospital with my son just after her second birthday. My waters had broken 6 weeks early and I was on the labour ward under observation for infection. Having sat and stitched all day I thought I had a bit of indigestion, not realising my labour had started. I gave birth early the next morning. With Toby being in the Special Care Baby Unit, I had lots of time on my hands which I divided between the Post-Natal ward and sitting beside his incubator. Being fed through a tube every two hours and having the odd nappy change meant I (rather selfishly) had lots of spare stitching time so they stitched up quickly. The mounts are just aperture cards and the frames from a market stall. Cheap but effective.




21 - ANGEL OF AUTUMN

Lavender and Lace
Stitch count 270 wide by 228 high
Stitched on 18ct Sage Green Aida 2 over 1
Started - 25th July 2000
Finished - 20th June 2003
Total stitching time - 228 hours

I love autumn colours and fell in love with this chart the first time I saw it. I knew it would be a big undertaking but was prepared to give it a go. I managed to get two weeks off work during the 2000 Sydney Olympics, during which time I got a lot of stitching done. Another large chunk of stitching was completed during the latter stages of my first pregnancy (until bump got too big) and in the first few months after the birth of my daughter, who would wake at 6am for a feed before dutifully returning to sleep until about 9am. Guess what I did during the intervening three hours? Having spent so much time on this project I had it professionally framed with an inner gold mount and an outer dark green mount. I absolutely adore this picture and maybe one day will stitch her sisters, Angels of Spring, Summer and Winter.




16-20 - HARVEST MICE QUINTET













Framecraft
Stitch counts ??
Stitched on 18ct Antique White Aida 2 over 1
Started - February 2001
Finished - March 2001
Total stitching time - unknown

These were stitched on the good days during the early stage of my first pregnancy. Acute morning sickness meant I was signed off work for four months. I would have 3-4 days of being sick up to 17 times a day, then 2-3 days of feeling well enough to eat a little and do something easy before the sickness started again. These little fellas were an absolute joy to stitch, watching their progress as the mouse got slightly fatter. These were a present for my mum and still hang in her room of my house. She and I love them!




10-15 - COLOURFUL KITTENS

Magazine Chart
Stitch counts ??
Stitched on 16ct Antique White Aida 2 over 1
Started - February 2000
Finished - March 2000
Total stitching time - unknown

I thoroughly enjoyed stitching these six cute kittens as they were quick and easy yet very effective. They provided me with a break after a hard week of working in the City, going to college three evenings per week and studying at weekends. Colour-coordinating aperture cards which I just happened to have finished them off nicely. Fifteen years later these are still some of my favourite finishes.




9 - KOALA

Magazine Chart
Stitch count ??
Stitched on 14ct Cream Aida 3 over 1
Started - January 1999
Finished - July 1999
Total stitching time - unknown

I clearly remember that this was stitched when DMC were having problems with the colour-consistency of their 413, 414 and 415 greys. Luckily the finished picture does not show the various cheats I used to maintain the correct colours, including the use of Anchor threads (shock horror!) A lot of blending of the greys was also required which got a bit tedious at times but well worth it in the end. This was professionally mounted with the framer staining the wood to match the Koala colours. Again the mount cores have gone brown so will be replaced at some point.




5-8 - A BEAR FOR ALL SEASONS

Framecraft
Stitch counts ??
Stitched on 18ct Natural Aida 2 over 1
Started - April 1998
Finished - November 1998
Total stitching time - unknown

I started the Autumn teddy on our honeymoon flight from Heathrow to Toronto when having scissors and needles on a plane was not considered dangerous. The other three were stitched back in England over the following few months. Although happy with the results, the numerous colour changes for only a few stitches were a complete pain in the proverbial! The cards used to mount the pictures were from my stash at the time but probably not what I would choose nowadays.




4 - DARBY AND JOAN

Magazine Chart
Stitch count ??
Stitched on 14ct Antique White Aida 2 over 1
Started - March 1995
Finished - April 1995
Total stitching time - unknown

I found this simple but romantic chart in one of my future mother-in-law's cross stitch magazines. It was very easy and quick to stitch and was the first time I used the loop method for starting thread. However, as 2 over 1 on 14ct does not give enough coverage, it was the last time I chose to work on that size fabric with just two strands of thread. The frame and mount were bought in a craft shop and work perfectly. But - note to self - I must get some non-reflective glass!




3 - DOLPHIN SPLASH

Pegasus
Stitch count 94 wide by 103 high
Stitched on 11ct shiny Aida 3 over 1
Started - November 1994
Finished - December 1994
Total stitching time - unknown

I started this chart just after I had been in hospital for two weeks having being diagnosed with Crohn's disease. A trip to Centre Parcs with my sister and young niece a month later gave me enough time to complete it. I love dolphins, having had my university rooms covered with pictures and posters of them. The fabric was very soft to work with and gives a lovely subtle sheen. Considering the fabric was 11ct the finished project is not actually too big. I chose two mounts of the same colour, which the framer thought was bizarre, but I think it works well and have always been happy with the result.




2 - MORNING SONG

Dimensions
Stitch count 112 wide by 240 high
Stitched on 11ct Cream Aida 3 over 1
Started - March 1994
Finished - November 1994
Total stitching time - unknown

This was my second large project and made a colourful change to the greys of Midnight Elephant. Having just completed Midnight Elephant on 14ct Black I decided to go for a smaller count but, being a novice cross stitcher, I didn't realise just how big the finished project would be! This was also stitched during my 3rd year at university and completed a few months later during a two-week stay in hospital. I had the picture professionally framed but choosing the mounts took my mum and me over two hours as I was desperate to have pink! The inner dark green mount has slipped to the bottom left but as the back is stapled on I am reluctant to open it in case I damage the frame. Maybe one day, when I cannot stand the wonky mount any longer, I'll be brave enough to try!




1 - MIDNIGHT ELEPHANT

True Colours
Stitch count 126 wide by 126 high
Stitched on 14ct Black Aida 3 over 1
Started - October 1993
Finished - March 1994
Total stitching time - unknown

This was my very first project, having been introduced to cross stitching by a friend at university. My mum liked elephants so I thought this would be a nice gift. I must have been mad starting on black but I thoroughly enjoyed stitching this project and didn't even get bored stitching so many greys. This is still one of my favourite projects and currently hangs in my mum's room. I may get it remounted at some point, though, as the mount cores have gone brown and look awful!

Thanks for looking!
Rachel x

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