Sunday, 31 July 2016

merrily tripPINg n skipPINg

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Yay , I finally reached my study for the monthly pinterest challenge ! Er, not to dust the books & shelves, but within the pages of my books. And look, Suzanne, no tatting :-)))
I love to hand embroider, especially freehand styles – lines or fillings, choosing from the multitude of stitches, & embroidering with a single strand of thread.
Not possible now, so I fell back on counted cross stitch. I’ve done my share of cross stitch projects, though it is not my favorite style. This time it got so addictive that I merrily tripped along with 3 bookmarks & was going for more when a tatting question pulled me back into TatLand. There’s always another day for dancing & tripPINg …

All 3 bookmarks are from my Edgings & Laces 3 : Embroidery board.
And unlike tatting where it is required occasionally, I had to wear my magnifier throughout. 
Oops, I forgot to iron them after finishing off :-(

Better Cross Stitch Bookmark 1

Excellent free pattern pdf, with choices for black & white or colour printing. The symbols & grid size made reading the pattern very easy.
Changed the Anchor pale blue to a darker but brighter shade in silk thread .
I like to thread multiple needles, especially when few stitches are required - hate long threads spanning the fabric behind. Threading multiple needles ahead saves so much time & one can maintain one's momentum & rhythm.
While rummaging for a lining, I hit upon a fabric with a very similar pattern ‘embossed’ on it !! (pic towards end) 
Edged with brown satin ribbon.

Frieze Bindweed  
free pattern by Brigitte Dadaux
I had this long scrap strip of blue Aida left over from some old sewing (I had once sewn a seat cushion cover forthe swivel chaur in my study, using this blue Aida & corded piping in black). Plenty for a bookmark ! 
I deliberately chose a single colour. Would've preferred a silhouette, but the elegant curves in this pattern called out to me. 
I shifted the borders from the side (in original pattern) & moved them to the top & bottom. minor tweaks were made in order to maintain symmetry.
All I had to do was fold the strip back on itself & sew – no separate lining required. (This is the true shade of fabric when seen for real).

Fruity Delight
There isn’t a name, so I’m calling it my Fruity Delight !!! As I embroidered, fruits leaped to mind – strawberries, mangoes & purple raspberries !
I decided to not embroider the border (as in original pattern) - this looked soooo good & I feared a border would detract from the main body.
One would've thought that I'd be bothered by the frequent changes of needles/colours/threads, but for me there's always a magical enigma in embroidery... to see a pattern on paper coming to life on fabric, is always so fascinating & I usually find it difficult to drag myself away.
And counted cross stitch does have that element of a jigsaw puzzle - each cross is a tile or piece that needs to fit in precisely !

Finishing Off
I like to try different things. Each of the 3 bookmarks has a different finish. Hand-sewed the first 2, & basted a satin ribbon edging for the first. Third was cut with a zig-zag scissors. 
The first bookmark has a printed fabric, chosen because of it's resemblance to the cross stitch pattern. Machine-sewed the ribbon.
The blue one is simply folded back on itself & hand-sewn. I should've top-stitched the edge.. next time I sit at the machine...
For the middle bookmark, I fabric-glued some scrap fabric. After it was dry, cut the edges with the serrated edge scissors. Even caught the ring finger skin between the handles (that scissor is pretty tough to handle!) & bled for a while. So, if you look closely, you will see the top right corner is not in line (seen in pic below).

The Boring Stuff
To make it a wee bit interesting, I’m interspersing the boring details with pics from my collection of books that have cross stitch patterns .
I have this dream that when I finally give away my books, there will be a handmade bookmark, made in different media,  in each book.

Better Cross Stitch Bookmark 1
Aida 15 count. White
Anchor Embroidery Cotton Art 4625 – 3 strands. Shades : 0314, 0333, 0359, 0250
Besto Silk thread – 3 strands. Shade : 49
Stitches: 22 x 110
Embroidered Size: 1¾” x 5½” 

Finished size : ~3½” x 7¾” 
All 4 books were handed over to me by my dear MIL.
I have embroidered a wall hanging from the Motifs and Embroideries book. The other 3 booklets have some good border & filled-in designs, but too geometrical for my taste. 

Frieze Bindweed Bookmark
Aida 21 count. Blue
Anchor Embroidery Cotton Art 4625 – 3 strands. Shades : black
Stitches : 26 x 66 (main body) ; 28 x 9 (each border)
Embroidered Size: 1½” x 4½” (main body)
Finished size : 1¾” x 6½”
These are notepads with grids. The left one has patterns collected from various sources & colour-coded. The right one is my working pad. When a pattern needs to be enlarged, as from the above books, I do it here, using colours &/or symbols. Makes it easy to keep track of the stitches & pattern. Bought a new one because this dance ain't ending here !

Fruity Delight Bookmark
Aida 15 count. White.
Anchor Embroidery Cotton Art 4625 – 3 strands. Shades (from dark to light): black; ‘strawberry’ - 069, 027, 024 ; ‘mango’ – 0326, 0314, 0291 ; ‘purple raspberry’ – 0127, 0102, 0108 ; greens – 0879, 0258
Stitches: 19 x 77
Embroidered Size: 1½” x 5” 

Finished size : 2½” x 7” 
I bought these after my marriage & have made several projects from Creative Stitchcraft, which has more than just cross stitch patterns). I bought the left one specifically for one centerfold pattern,  which, happily I did make.
Will hopefully find the time to share them all some time.

Let's dance over to see what my dear Pin Chicks are up to ...

Hope you enjoyed tripping along with me :-) 


  1. All s love very and for different reason each!

  2. Love all of them, but my favorite is the first one!!Beautiful..

    On a very serious note,whenever you're giving away the books,consider me as the first in line.{big grin} I plan to give away my books only when I am 75 and about to leave others in peace ;)Are you too planning the same? In that case,we need to check our kundalis to see who has a longer life ;)

    Just kidding..Keep tripping 'nd skipping :)

    1. You're in luck, Deepa! I'll be off this earth before you, so yes, you can have my books :-) Make sure you have a big enough room with lots of shelves to accommodate them all ;-P
      My DH liked the first one best, too.

  3. I love your pin this month, something different and they are sooooo pretty,
    I have not done cross stitch for years, they last piece was our wedding sampler.
    Well done I am glad you enjoyed it

    1. Thanks, Margaret :-) It was nice to do something different yet have a use for it

  4. Oh these are beautiful! No tatting this month? I kind of missed it but I do love these bookmarks and what a great idea to put one in each of your books. I used to do cross stitch but that was a long time ago now hmmm maybe I will dig out my cottons for a future pin lol
    Well done on this moths pin. I love them!

    1. LOL, Suzanne - don't tempt me ;-P So glad you liked the pin & hope you do dig out your cottons :-)

  5. I love your cross stitch pieces! Before becoming obsessed with tatting, I was obsessed with cross stitch! I love to stitch on linen. In fact, I've just received some linen that is destined to become something beautiful.

    1. So true, Diane - before tatting, I used to embroider a lot. And that's the reason most of my embroidery is from before my wedding, with no pics to share :-(
      Looking forward to your linen escapades :-)

  6. Every one have a love for cross stitching and I to have been wanting to try some mini pictures to place in a brooch and then of coarse tat around that :) Well done looks fantastic!

    1. Carollyn, your miniature work amazes me ! Looking forward to your new brooch :-)

  7. I like doing cross stitch - I think of it as rhyming verse as opposed to free verse - and your bookmarks are delightful.

    1. What a superb analogy, Jane ! This has given me a new appreciation for cross stitch :-) Thanks

  8. Awesome bookmarks!!! :) You chose fabulous designs and colors!!!!!!!!!! :)

    1. Thanks, Sue :-) You can tell I prefer flowers & floral patterns that undulate ;-)

  9. Lovely bookmarks! I'm not going for cross-stitch any more, though. 18 years ago I could barely make out the contrast between the stitches and the fabric - it would be much worse now! I take my hat off to you. Tatting isn't so demanding on the eyes...

    1. Oh Grace, that is a pity. I chose cross stitch because the fabric weave is loose & easier on the eyes than other hand embroidery stitches that need more precision. Yet, I had to put on my lap magnifier throughout :-( So true, tatting is less demanding & I can even tat simple rings & chains without looking continuously (while watching tele, etc.)