Pansy in progress

Progress on my pansy cross stitch piece is being made as you can see. I am learning or perhaps it is actually remembering a few key things about me and cross stitch. I had forgotten how much I hate Aida cloth its harsh and horrid to stitch. Next sample I work even if it is just a test piece I am opting for linen.

The main reason I am so pleased to receive this is that for quite a while now I have wanted to translate some images created in Photoshop into stitching but Linda left some comments yesterday about how she uses a similar program for a PC. For years now Linda has been incorporating cross stitch designs into her crazy quilting blocks using waste canvas and has published full illustrated and described instructions on her site.

Pansy in progress

This morning I have a report on my progress with the pansy design I worked out in MacStitch yesterday. The chart produced is easily read and I am finding it easy to work from. No problems there. As you can see the main dark area is blocked in and I have started on the yellow. I did convert the colour suggested for this dark area as the program interpreted it as a dark brown. The original colour of the pansy was a very deep dark plum. I did not have a dark plum to hand to substitute the brown so I used a very dark purplish blue sprinkled with some shadings of purple.

So far I know I will be using this program a lot. There is a down side to this however, if I am going to use this software regularly I can see that I will need to have on hand a good range of embroidery floss colours. I decided to sort out what colours I had and think about building up the range. I have dyed my own threads for years and had quite a few to sort through pulling out the stranded flosses. After a grand sort – which was quite a task discovering old Semco and Anchor threads along the way (which I can use as substitutes) I decided that a shopping trip was in order. Our local Spotlight is having a clearence sale. One of their discounted items is 15% off DMC threads so armed with some Christmas gift money and a DMC shopping list for embroidery floss I toddled off to top up the range of colours I have to hand. Our local spotlight store is not so local, it’s the largest is Australia, so its fatal to simply pop in. In fact there is not such thing as simply popping in as the embroidery supplies are right at the other end of the shop. So you end up running a gauntlet of desires just to buy a packet of needles. You can’t get out of there without seeing something else to buy. Needless to say I not only picked up some threads but some linen, needles and thread bobbins just happened to fall in my basket too but since they were all discounted the checkout total was not quite as cruel as it could have been.

While quietly stitching I can see that due to this software I have restimulated my interest not only in cross stitch alone as there are plenty of experiments to be done and designs to worked out using even weave stitches. I can also see that in order to be organised a thread inventory system would be a sensible start. Normally I organize my threads by colour because in crazy quilting you are always looking for a thread that adds zing to a particular area. It does not matter if its cotton, silk or rayon or what number it is. What matters is the sheen, weight, texture and colour of the thread so I keep them like this.

Now I have stranded floss pulled out and in plastic floss storage containers and all other threads are still in these drawers which sits next to me while I stitch.

So to report in brief I have had a huge thread sort out, gone shopping, and done a little stitching. Even though the weather is mild today and it’s not too hot to be in the garden, I plan to sit on my bum and stitch some more today. Can anyone tell me how large weeds have to be before they are socially unacceptable? This is one of those questions in life no one has been able to answer for me. Ooooohh I could photograph them and stitch them! What do I want – dandelions or thistles, Patterson’s Curse or bindy weed? The choice from my garden is quite extraordinary since what was the forest was burnt out last year in the fires weeds have taken over not only the forest area but they all like it in my yard too!


Sometimes the coincidences that happen online are quite extraordinary. I have been experimenting with buttons as medium to draw with. By drawing with buttons I mean arranging them in such a manner that they form patterns, shapes and make linear marks. In this sample piece you can see triangular formations. I wanted to see if I could make them ‘read’ so I have been experimenting. These are all mens shirt buttons. You know how if you need to replace a button you can never quite match the shade? They all look white or cream until you place them side by side? Well working like this is a bit like that as getting the shading right has taken me an age! Its an interesting challenge and its only a sample …

Tonight I noticed that Serena Fenton of layers of meaning has posted a piece on pointillist button art! Now how amazing is that?



Well reading these knitting blogs has had a bad effect on me as a month or so ago, Lincraft had some yarn out on sale so in a moment of sheer crazyness I picked up a few balls. I am not a really a knitter anymore but at a $1.00 or so a ball this ‘feathers’ yarn looked to be fun. Anyway I finished this scarf through the week and I now remember why I don’t knit often. It’s not really my thing as for me the process is pretty boring. Anyway I finished it so at least it is not in my UFO pile.