In January, I resolved to try to stitch every day. I didn’t take into account that my cataracts would progress so quickly, making stitching nearly impossible until I got them fixed.
I had cataract surgery in April, first one eye and then the other eye two weeks later. Then it took several more weeks to resolve the eyeglass/being able to see clearly situation. Now I have happily gotten back to stitching every day.
While I was waiting impatiently for “normal” sight again, I got itchy to stitch, but I couldn’t see well enough to do anything too tiny. DH came to the rescue by suggesting that I start with something easy to get back into stitching. He told me to not try to do the “fancy” stuff, but start simple.
DH often comes to my rescue when I’m overthinking things and reminds me of simple solutions. Also, I think he was just getting tired of listening to me complain and he knew that stitching would calm me.
So, I chose to stitch Amy Mitten’s World Pin Keep Kit. It just required stitching around the continents, then simple construction and I was done and I was calmer.
Another simple project I’ve been intermittently working on was a Stich Along (SAL) offered by Janet Brandt. She shared a free printable pattern, stitched her own colorful version and has shared other people’s finished projects.
I chose to make my version smaller and use only one color, BLUE, to keep it more portable (in my cute zipper bag from Paris). No, I’m not using a hoop. I pick it up while in waiting situations and will be sad when it’s finished. Everyone who sees me working on it asks what it’s going to be when it’s done. My answer is I don’t know.
To transfer the design, I got this cotton poplin Photo Fabric at my local craft store and just ran it through the printer. Too easy.
I also almost finished the Winter Casket Keepsakes I started a few years ago. I still need to learn how to do finger braiding to make the cord for the pouch.
I love, love Amy Mitten’s kits and tutorials. They come preprinted and ready to stitch with all the beautiful supplies needed.
Mary Corbett wrote a wonderful post recently about the value of Designer Embroidery Kits and why they are worth the money. I’m a believer.
I’ve moved on to Amy Mitten’s Harmony Casket Keepsakes. I am falling in love with Amy’s hand-dyed silk threads. The variations in color add such beautiful texture, like on the body of the large lute above.
Are kits a cop out? Just a way to procrastinate before moving forward on my own designs for my casket(s)? Maybe, but I don’t care.
The kits I am choosing to do, particularly Amy Mitten’s kits, are based on 17th century embroidery techniques and the tutorials walk me through many of the techniques I plan to use on my own designs, such as gold work, needlelace, or nue, and more. Baby steps to build my confidence.
I have two more kits in the wings waiting for my attention.
First is a Flemish Fantasy Ornament Kit by Rachael Kinnison. She’s the designer who makes and sells the slate frames I bought. Go to the link and see how lovely this is going to be.
As you can see, she gives full spools of Piper’s floss silk. I have wanted to try this extra-fine silk for possible use on my mini casket.
Lastly, I’ve got another Amy Mitten kit to make The Queen’s Crown. Amy’s in Canada, so the cost is in Canadian dollars making them less expensive than they seem. (Yes, I’m justifying myself here.)
I don’t know if I’ll do all the kits before I get back to my original casket designs. I think I’ll finish the Harmony kit I’m working on and then go back to designing my casket and see if I’m brave enough to get started stitching.
Glad you enjoy working on the SAL! I can’t wait to see it done all in blue. Should be beautiful.
Hope the eye issues are resolved soon.Our eyes and our hands are our everything when it comes to stitching.
Thanks Janet. Eyes are good now, I just still need bifocals and I need magnifiers to stitch. Not what I planned, but I’m over being freaked out and I can see. I’ll post a picture of the SAL when I’m done. I love carrying it with me everywhere just in case I need to stitch.
Thank you for sharing these beautiful kits. I too have medical eye issues and gave up needlework some years ago. I found a different Ophthalmologist and am seeing much better, until my cataract gets worse (or I am old enough for surgery).
One of the days the waters will stir and I’ll get back to needlework! Meanwhile my dolls and their clothes require my needle skills : )