As it is Valentine’s Day I thought I would blog about my new love. Not my baby grandson, though he is indeed the most adorable new love and we’ve been having lots of lovely grandma cuddles over the past few days. Indeed his Polar Bear Rug and sparkly new rattle are waiting in my living room ready for him to enjoy again later on today …
He met the Newfies for the first time last week and it’s fair to say that I have never seen a pair of dogs more besotted! They have turned into baby worshippers, following his every movement with soulful eyes and instantly alert should he squeal or wave a plump little arm in their direction! It will be a while yet before he can play with them of course, but they are eagerly anticipating the moment! Nanna in J M Barrie’s Peter Pan was a Newfoundland dog and they are renowned for their love of small children, but I didn’t expect such a strong and immediate reaction from them both.
Even so this is not the love I was planning to blog about but rather that I have rediscovered my younger self’s love of cross stitch. I have in the past been quite frustrated by this technique, always miscounting my stitches and forgetting which way the top stitch should be angled. Perhaps it’s as I’ve become older I’ve learned more care and patience – but I have really enjoyed creating my first-ever cross stitch pattern for Bustle & Sew. I decided to keep it simple …..
And easy to count. I don’t think at the moment I will be attempting to put together very realistic – almost photographic – designs like some very clever designers do. Rather I am planning on keeping the cross stitch part of my patterns fairly simple as what I really want is to try combining cross stitch with free hand embroidery. Although I’ve been googling around I haven’t discovered anyone trying this at present – perhaps it doesn’t work – though I am fairly confident it will and in fact have already begun to stitch my first “fusion” pattern for the April Magazine.
I don’t want to work my new design onto evenweave as it won’t be the best background for the freehand embroidery. So I will first stitch the cross stitch element using waste canvas (obtainable from the fabrics section of Sew and So and other good sewing stores). This is a canvas held together with a starch glue agent. It’s used to add hand-stitched cross-stitch to garments or other plain weave fabrics, and is easily removed once you’ve finished by dampening your work and pulling out the canvas threads, leaving behind your cross stitch. I’ll then add the freehand embroidery, overlapping with the cross stitch.
If you haven’t used waste canvas before, then please don’t be put off, it’s really easy to use and does give a nice finish to your work. A little while ago I included an article on waste canvas in the Bustle & Sew Magazine and I’ve now uploaded it as a free guide. If you’d like it then please do CLICK HERE to download. My new Deerly Loved “fusion pattern” will be in the April issue of the Magazine, but meanwhile I’ll leave you with a shot of the little zebra head for this month’s issue ….
Which, needless to say, has already been snaffled for the nursery!