A new pair of designs?

The Guildhouse course is definitely taking shape! Last Saturday I was at the Open Day, and although there weren’t that many people (it didn’t help that I started out upstairs) I did get a few who were interested to know what the course was about, and whether they’d be able to do it. I’ve heard it so often even from people who have actually enrolled for a course, “I’ll never be able to make something like that!” The great thing about teaching is the moment one of those people looks at what she has just created and realises that she is able to make something like that – and more.

But whether or not enough people sign up for the course to run, the models need to be stitched; if not for this term, then for a future one. In spite of being a bit more challenging than the models for the first course, I find them quite relaxing to stitch in the evenings, and over the past week I finished another two. One of them is based on Frills (as is the one remaining model I haven’t stitched yet) with a few changes to include the stitches I want to teach, such as double woven bars. This model is stitched on Sparklies hand-dyed Hardanger in a shade called Ocean Depths.

Based on Frills and stitched on Sparklies fabric

Most designs I use in my courses are adapted from existing designs – I’m a great believer in recycling! But occasionally none of the existing ones are quite what I want, so I have to come up with something new. This one is used to teach several beaded stitches as well as the X-bar (and no, that’s not the X-Men’s favourite pub…). I like it’s not-quite-symmetrical shape, although when I stitch it again I’ll probably use a rather brighter colour for the beads and double cross stitches.

An original design for the 2013 Guildhouse course

When I stitch it again? Yes – it seems a shame to let it be seen by only 8 or 10 people, so I’m thinking of pairing it up with another design and putting it in the shop. Sometimes, instead of sketching a complete design I just draw pleasant or unexpected shapes, then see if they’ll work in Kloster blocks or other stitches, and I have a shape in my doodle file that I think would go quite well with this one. Now all it needs is a catchy name (and a finished chart, of course. And a stitched model. But that’s OK.)

And talking of stitching models, a friend from the Cross Stitch Forum recently sent me pictures of some Sweetheart Tree designs that she has her eye on, and they are really elegant and dainty. They reminded me of a couple of Victoria Sampler kits I have in my stash, bought before Mabel’s Fancies took off and subsequently relegated to a neglected existence in one of my stash drawers because I didn’t have the time to stitch them. But why not? Yes, models need to be stitched if designs are to make it on to the website, but that doesn’t mean that models (and the odd card for special occasions) are the only things I can stitch! So when the Guildhouse models have been completed (and I am half-way on the last one) I’ll take a short break from Mabel and stitch someone else’s design for a change – it’ll be relaxing not to have to worry about possible changes or chart packs, and hopefully give me a fresh look at my own designs.

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