Let’s start something new!

Good morning lovely stitchers! We had so much fun with the last stitch along that I thought I’d start another one.

This one won’t be a mystery. It’s a design I created for American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) for their Holed Up Minis (HUM) series. As requested, I provided the chart without instructions or thread guidance. The intent at the time of the request was that stitchers would be allowed to interpret however they chose. And I’ve seen that a couple of stitchers have done just that.

But it feels unfinished to me, so I decided to make that the next stitch along. I’ll write instructions as I go, and you can stitch with me if you like, or wait until the whole thing is finished. But since this one isn’t a mystery, you may decide to stitch along. Be sure to share your pictures with me!

Here’s a pdf of the entire chart:

Click here for Spring Quilt Block

For those who would prefer a picture of the chart, here it is:

You can probably figure out what the stitches are, but I’ll add diagrams and thread choices as I stitch it.

I’ve been diving into my thread storage lately, in an attempt to bring some organization to what I have so I’ll KNOW what I have and not have to guess. And I ran across some lovely threads that I haven’t stitched with yet, and decided they might be perfect for this project. Don’t you love stitching with something new!

These are Gumnuts threads. According to their website, they are natural fibers hand dyed in Australia. I got all of these threads from Judie Solomon at Thistle Needleworks, a distributor for Gumnuts. You can buy them from her shop if you find them interesting. They come in a wide range of colors, but I only had a few colors on hand. Guess what – the colors I have on hand are blue, purple, green and yellow! Could they be more perfect for this project!

I have three different weights of Gumnuts – Stars, Buds and Poppies, and three shades of each color in each weight. I was going to weed out some of them but have decided to keep all of them in my stitching bag. I may or may not use all of them; after all it’s a small project. But I like to keep my options open.

Stars are 6 strand silk skeins, 8m in each skein. According to the website, they have 40 color families with 5 shades in color family. I have a light, medium and dark in 4 color families in the Stars line:

Gumnuts Stars

As you can see they are subtly variegated, which I think adds a nice effect to stitching.

I also have Gumnuts Buds, a perle silk in the same color families and shades as Stars:

Gumnuts Buds

It looks to be between a #8 and #12 cotton pearl, so we’ll see as I stitch with it.

Finally I have Gumnuts Poppies, a silk/wool blend. I don’t normally stitch with much wool, since I seem to sneeze and break out in a rash when I do, but we’ll see how this goes. Due to the size of the yarn, and the fact that’s it’s non-divisible, and the wool content, I don’t know how much of this I’ll use, but it’s nice to have as an option.

In a rather unusual step for me, I’m not going to pull any metallic or other specialty threads. I think the range of colors I have will be enough contrast for when I need contrast, without adding any sparkle or glitter. We’ll see how long I hold out!

I think I’ll cut a piece of eggshell mono canvas, which I think will be a nicer background for these relatively soft shades. The design is 6″ x 6″ so I’ll cut my canvas 12″ x 12″. But I think these colors would be just as nice on sage green, French blue or blush pink. I haven’t done a “floss toss” to see, but just looking at the colors of the threads I think those colors would work.

So when you start pulling threads to stitch along, I recommend a stranded floss (silk, cotton or rayon), a medium weight pearl (again, silk, cotton or other blend) and a heavier weight thread like a bigger pearl (#5) or a thread like Caron Collection Watercolours or Rainbow Gallery Overture, if you have appropriate colors for what you want to do. If you want to stitch on 24 ct. Congress cloth, you’ll need less heavy threads.

I’ll get my canvas mounted and we’ll get started!

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