cross-stitch blackwork counted-thread

7 February, 2007

A cover for a disposable lighter

Filed under: Uncategorized — Annette @ 8:09 pm

My second download is a cover for disposable lighters. My brother was fed up with having his lighter getting mixed up with those of his friends, so wanted something to make his easy to identify. It is not often a stitcher is asked to make something for a younger male, so I was happy to oblige, even though I would prefer that he give up smoking!

However the path to a suitable cover was not smooth. My first attempt was coming along nicely when I realised that cotton thread stitched on cotton aida cloth would not only catch alight easily but would also flare up quite dangerously. Wool thread on plastic canvas would only smoulder or melt in the worst case and would not catch alight easily. But I live in a country town, and no one sold thin embroidery wool or plastic canvas. After driving to the next town I found 10 count plastic canvas and tapestry wool, back to the design board to make up something for this larger scale.

So my second attempt was started and after stitching for years on fine linen, 10 count plastic canvas took a bit of getting used to. My brother liked his cover, which made up for all the angst, in fact it was so successful that his mates asked me to make covers for them. Oh, what a happy situation to be in!

Then came the problem of printing up a design to share. Young males like cars, so my covers used the colours of various racing teams and the names of the car models. But same car manufacturers have big legal teams protecting their copyrights. Making a one-off item for no personal gain is [probably] OK, but sharing on the internet is quite a no-no. So my last cover, for a less car-mad mate, used an abstract pattern using muted colours.

All in all my brothers request turned into quite a successful exercise. The icing on the cake was when I used the same technique to make a cover for his USB flash drive. Having something bright makes finding the little thing in his office stash much easier.

I hope that you find this second design useful. I also send many thanks to all those readers who have sent in supporting comments and feedback. I am such a newbie to running an internet site that all and any comments are gratefully appreciated.

kindest regards and happy stitching, Annette

p.s. The covers also make good kitten toys. We recently adopted two kittens and I, stupidly, left my work bag on the floor. When I came home all my threads were strewn over one room, but the collection of covers was spread over two rooms. One of the covers was on the table, all the table mats etc. were on the floor and both kittens were asleep! Obviously a good time had been had.

5 January, 2007

First free design posted

Filed under: Uncategorized — Annette @ 2:59 pm

whew! At last i have reached a milestone with my web-site and posted my first design. You have no idea what a big step this is for me. It is almost as bad as sending one’s firstborn off to start school.

My first design is a free download and is a project for a small embroidered holder. I keep thimbles and spare bobbins in mine. The embroideries are small blackwork designs and should only take an hour or so to complete for someone with any experience in the technique.

See it on http://www.xstitchandbeyond.com

Following feedback from, ahem, straight talking friends, I have also played around with my pages and got something that should be easy to navigate around and not to hard on the eyes. Any comments for further improvements will be gratefully received.

I am still working on my first big design for sale, but my brother has requested that I do a couple of small items for him. So my next free download will be something suitable for blokes. I suspect other stitchers are “blessed with” or “endure” such male relatives and so may find it useful.

Best wishes for 2007 and hope you all have successful stitching this coming year, regards Annette

27 December, 2006

Welcome to my cross-stitch blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Annette @ 2:30 am

Welcome to my cross-stitch blog. I intend to use this space to discuss my designs and work in progress.

Currently my site is very basic, for which I apologise but it will improve as I learn more about setting out web-pages and develop content. It is great fun to learn new skills, especially after being a keen user of the internet for a decade or more. I am working in getting some interesting links to add to the pages and have my initial “tips” emails available. As I develop or learn about new tips I will add them to this library.

Embroidery work in progress, or more truthfully work in a stalled state as the family gets through Christmas and the New Year holiday. Nearly finished is a little blackwork embroided container, based on ones that my great-aunt used years ago. I have tried to remember how they are put together and think I have come up with something workable. I will be putting this on my site as a free download.

My other design is a tray cloth, with NZ native flowers in cross-stitch, with some leaves done using pulled-thread stitches. I want to use the DMC linen threads as I love their subtle colours. So far this is still on paper, but I will be stitching the model soon.

I hope you all had a peaceful Christmas and best wishes for the new year, regards, Annette

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