25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 5 Part 2

Okay, so I did warn you that I might not be able to keep to daily posts.  A combination of depression-induced sleepiness and trouble with the craft have put me a little behind.

Day 5 was supposed to be a nice simple Christmas cross stitch.  I’ve been experimenting with waste canvas with the hopes of being able to make patches one day.  I have a blog post all set up for January about my first attempt.  Day 5 was to be my second attempt.

I cut my felt and my waste canvas and basted them together.


And then I got to stitching.  The problem I have is that when using waste canvas you’re supposed to stitch through these teeny tiny holes…


…which are really hard to see amongst all the other holes. The fabric is made that way so you can easily pull out the strands once you’re done, but when you look at the normal cross stitch fabric (aida), you can see why it’s so difficult.  This is where you put the needle in aida.


So I’ve been having real trouble with the waste canvas.  I got this far into my project…


…and I was really unhappy with it.  So I decided to do it on aida and see if I could just pull the strands out.  So I cut my felt and my aida, and basted them together, and had a much much easier time of the stitching.


Looks good.  Next step, remove the basting stitches, trim the aida a little and attempt to remove the strands one by one.  It did not go well.


At this point I decided to go back to the original piece of waste canvas and have another go at the teeny tiny flipping holes.  The little bit of blue on the right.  I also had a go at using the bigger holes, in the hopes that I’d still be able to remove the threads – that’s the blue square.


Removing the threads didn’t go so well.  I got all but one out of the little piece, but the stitches were all distorted.  I got part way through the square and had trouble.  I also removed the threads from the original, badly stitched, attempt.


I was getting exceedingly frustrated at this point.  Very, VERY frustrated.  I looked online to see if I could find a waste canvas with more stitches per inch – maybe that would be easier to use.  I searched for YouTube videos, I googled tutorials.  And I calmed down a little.  I remembered the first rule of learning something new: practice, practice, practice.

I recognised that although it was harder, removing the threads whilst stitching through the bigger hole was still possible.  So I set my horrible red felt aside and got a fresh piece of a nice blue.  I stitched myself a little gift…


I trimmed it down and removed as much as I could easily.


And then slowly and gently, and patiently, I kept going.


The stitches are still more distorted than I’d like, but I guess I still need more practice.

Author: Colette Horsburgh

A 30-something creator/baker/writer/doodler/crafter living with several (but not enough) scatty animals.

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