Hello again all my incredible cross stitchers! Wow, did I just flip my calendar to December? Where did this year go?! The holiday season is upon us and schedules are now busier and more hectic for most of us. So what about our x-stitching time in the midst of all this chaos? Well, if you haven’t got your Christmas projects done or extremely close to being finished, don’t put them on the front burner now. I call this burst of stitching, “frenzied” stitching and it is the worst kind I know. Why? Because it is not being done in the true spirit of stitching for the love of it, instead it is stitching from the pressure of getting it done. The solution is to keep stitching on those ornaments, stockings, advent calendars, etc., with the idea that they will be done and ready for Christmas 2019. This is the time of year to be with family and friends and not be haunted by stitching projects of Christmas past and present. Now, don’t you feel less stressed already? Good!
I mentioned last month that I would discuss Faber-Castell Gelato’s this month so let’s get started. Along with the Derwent Inktense Color Pencils, these work wonderfully well on Aida cloth. They love water too, so you can wet your fabric and add color straight from the tube, cut a small chunk off and let it dissolve in a mini-mister and spray it on, or rub some on a palette and load a wet brush and apply it that way. You want more intensity? Just apply to fabric straight from the tube. There is no wrong way to use this medium, only fun ways! They are odorless and hypoallergenic and are color-fast when heat pressed. The color range is terrific and Faber-Castell is always adding scrumptious new colors and finishes to the line. Soap and water clean up and you’re done. These also can be applied to a variety of surfaces so you can “Gelato” all over the place! LOL! Whatever x-stitch fabric you use, be sure to get enough for a small sample you can play with on before you go bonkers on your project fabric. Why not ask Santa to put a few of these in your stocking this year?
This is so exciting because in using these different media you will discover that cross stitch can include painterly effects! This isn’t the end of it though. Fabric friendly acrylic and oil paints will be explored as well in future columns. Yes, oil paints!
Never Fear the Fiber! Let me tell you why this is my mantra. I love fibers and I noticed there were a lot of different fibers used by other needle arts that cross stitchers didn’t. Why not? So I decided to try them out for myself to see what would and wouldn’t work. Now I am going to let you in on my discoveries so you can enjoy them without spending your own precious time or hard-earned money. I designed and stitched a sampler that used all the different fibers I will talk about monthly. Last month we talked about the new DMC Etoile floss. This month I want to talk about another sparkler that adds so much texture and interest there should be at least one skein in every cross stitcher’s work basket, it is Threadworx Legacy, a 100% polymade hairy specialty fiber. This hand overdyed fiber comes in 50 gorgeous colors so you are bound to find one you need.
There are a few things to consider when you are using this fiber. You will have to use a very large-sized tapestry needle when stitching so you can increase the size of the hole the fiber goes through and decrease the amount of friction for it. Because this is such a fluffy fiber, you don’t have to use it in side by side stitches. I have stitched it using every other stitch with half stitches to great effect. Legacy is not fragile, I used it on 14 count and lost only a few fibers in the doing. If you cut it however, you will have a lot of little fibers about so you may want to put something down to catch them when you cut your skeins. It does require extra work to use this but the result is so worth it! This is something that most shops, online and mortar and brick, do not keep in stock, so there may be a little wait for it to be special ordered. This fiber is made to experiment and have fun with so don’t be afraid to try it using different spacing between rows or even making larger half stitches going over two instead of one on 14 count. The possibilities truly are endless!
One of the most important tools in a cross stitcher’s toolbox is a nice variety of different sized tapestry needles. I’m talking from sizes 28 to 13 and even larger. We are going to be using various sized fibers and it is important to have the right needle to go with it. The exact size is purely up to the stitcher, you will use the size you are most comfortable with according to the fiber you are using. Another factor is the size of the eye of the needle. Obviously the eye has to be large enough to accommodate the fiber as well.
WHAT THE HEY!
If you have heard anything about Kreinik discontinuing their metallic thread #5760 Marshmallow, Don’t Believe It! Kreinik has no intention of discontinuing it and are busy generating even more! This goes for their Braid and Ribbon versions as well. If you don’t have this in your toolbox, you may find it handy to have around the holidays as it is a brighter white than their 032 Pearl, think stitching snow, Santa’s beard, snowmen, etc., etc., etc..
LADYBUG LAKE UPDATE-I am putting the final stitches on it and will be adding the beads as the final step. I will have a picture of it up for you next month!
FOR NEXT TIME-We will discuss the many possible excuses and solutions for not getting that cross stitch project done. Future columns will contain information about more fibers, ways to color your fabrics, using embellishments of every sort, designing your own creations, and so much more, so stay tuned!
So that’s it for this month. I want to wish you and yours the best and most joyous holiday season and remember to Keep Creating!
Debbie Monachella (aka Pear Blossom Designs because it is easier to spell) has been cross stitching and driving her family and friends bonkers with it for over 30 years. After 22 years, she retired from medical office work, and when she isn’t busy telling people where not to sit or step because of a lost needle, she enjoys making up her own cross stitch work, cross stitching, exploring cross stitch, blogging about cross stitch and riding with her husband of 39 years on their Harley motorcycle. They have two lovely daughters, three grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and one granddog named Hannah. She resides in her adopted state of Oklahoma.