Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Stitch: Oh What Fun it Is!

Who would think a grid woven fabric, colored floss, a needle, chart, and rhythmic counting stitch in-stitch out could be so much fun and produce a plethora of objects d'art to suit every skill level and personal taste? I'm talking about counted cross stitch, a crafty pastime that brings me great joy. Perhaps my greatest stitching joy comes in the creation of a holiday piece to be displayed just once a year when the season is right. Remember KeepHerKitty's Halloween Treat Bucket, check it out here: Halloween 2014

Holiday and Seasonal designs are very popular for being on trend while holding the promise of an heirloom in the making. If you've perused a stitch catalog, magazine, or online needlework store you know holiday designs are tops among designers and crafters . I'm not sure which I enjoy more: the act of crafting the holiday stitch or the feelings of joy and freshness in seasonal displays that stay for but a wink  when the season is at hand. Pulling a carefully stored piece from the tissue wrap for holiday display triggers recollections of the creation process, the joy of completion, and the pride of practicing a skill for the sake of adding a home spun touch to our holiday vignettes.

KeepHerKitty for Christmas

 KeepHerKitty for Christmas
This is one of my most favorite crafts projects ever. This pattern is designed by Beverly Johnston for Applejack Art Partners and sold as Kit #03358 by "Weekenders". In Ms. Johnston's original design the kitty is a sweet gray and silver stripped tabby with lime green eyes. As cute as that kitty is I simply could not resist changing out the colors to resemble my little buddy, nothing short of adorable if I do say so! What do you think? Do you see the resemblance? It was absolutely thrilling to watch my little companion come to life in floss, right before my eyes. This stitch worked up quickly in November and December of 2012.
Now, this next project was spur of the moment, started the day Issue 33 (December 2012) of Cross Stitch Gold from the United Kingdom arrived in my mail in late November.. I instantly fell in love with Durene Jones' "Christmas is Coming" on pages 46-51.


Countdown to Christmas!

Quickly I assemble the materials: 14-count white Aida cloth, DMC threads, and a needle and went to task counting and stitching. I was missing a few of the colors Ms. Jones recommended so I made substitutions with what I had without changing the palette. The deep hues were the first thing to catch my eye when I beheld this design and I didn't want to compromise that.  I managed to get the main design done with a few days to spare before St. Nick's arrival. As a shortcut instead of stitching the countdown tags I used die-cut stars and adhesive numbers for the count. To secure them to the stitch I used adhesive Velcro dots and without delay the countdown was underway. We've enjoyed this piece every year since, and I never did return to the project to make the tags as I was happily pleased with the glittery stars. Don't you love the whimsical colors and vivid graphics? Another family favorite in our home that is certain.

Now, as Christmas draws near (21 days don't ya know?) I am scrambling to finish a sweet stitch of two kittens each nestled in their own Christmas Stocking hanging from a bough. As you might expect I've altered the design so one little kitten is the likeness of KeepHer and the other the likeness of our outside cat, Crazie Kitty - a petite tortoiseshell calico with a shy demeanor and a big heart full of love. I hope to show it to you soon! Gotta run - the holiday stitch is calling my name!  Have a great evening, everyone.

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