A panic project

After several months spent stitching mostly for the Song of the Weather SAL, I felt I’d like to get my teeth into something a little bigger for a change, so I got out my 12″ hoop and the chart for Walled Garden. It’s stitched with nothing but Caron threads (and some beads), and I love the way they look together on that empty and expectant fabric.

Fabric & threads for Walled Garden

Last Sunday I was putting together a project folder for it so I could take it to my stitching group on Monday, when realisation dawned on me and panic set in – it was less than a week to my father-in-law’s 90th birthday, and not a single stitch had been worked on his birthday card yet! The Walled Garden project folder was abandoned, and I charted “90” using 1-2-3 and my husband picked a shade of Caron thread to suit his father’s taste: 236 Appalachia, a striking combination of green, purple and blue. Thinking it might get a bit too psychedelic if I used it for the border as well as the numbers, I looked for a slightly calmer shade to match it, and found it in an orphaned bobbin of Impressions (Caron’s silk/wool mix) 66 Jade. In fact they go so well together that I may have to add a skein of Watercolours and Wildflowers in that shade to my collection!

For the border I decided on four-sided stitch embellished with beads (a combination I may well add to the 1-2-3 chart pack as it looks quite effective). Unfortunately the number of squares in the border meant I couldn’t do alternate beads, nor a bead every 3 or 4 squares; and a bead in every square would just be too much. Some furious mental arithmetic and pencil scribbling resulted in a sequence of 2 beads followed by 3 empty squares, with a slight variation in the corners.

At one point yesterday I sincerely wished I’d never thought of including beads – on my way home from stitching group the bead container came undone, spilling its entire contents into every nook and cranny of the project folder and the cotton bag I was transporting it in. There are a lot of beads even in a tiny container. But with the help of my husband and fortified with a mug of tea I managed to round them all up, and apart from the ones now adorning the four-sided stitch border they are all safely back in my bead tin.

Now all that remains to be done is the cutting and the bars and filling stitches. For the latter Petite Treasure Braid seemed a nice festive touch – but which one? Gold or Silver? A straw poll at the stitching group ended in a draw, so I’ll mull it over for a bit; for now I have a vague preference for silver, possibly because of the blues in the thread and the bright white fabric. I’ll post the final version some time after the weekend, but here is the uncut version.

A 90th Birthday card

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