Buy the pattern here
Ahoy, the signal flags sampler is finished! I am so pleased with how it turned out; although I did have a dye-bleeding scare when I washed it, I have fixed it and now it is perfect.
You can’t even tell that the DMC 321 gave it pink spots! I think that the dye bled when I ironed it with a steamy iron. I managed to get the stains out by soaking it all day in an ice water bath, and I rubbed some of the pinkest areas with an ice cube. Now I know to prewash that floss!
The big flags on top are the alphabet flags (A-Z), the small square flags in the middle are a famous message sent by Horatio Nelson, and the trapezoidal flags at bottom are the numbers 0-9. The border is a visual representation of Morse Code, starting with A at the top left and continuing around clockwise through the numbers, ending with zero (the bottom border should be read upside down).
I backed the project with this great blueprint-style nautical print. There was no designer information on the selvage, just a note that it was exclusively available at Joann Fabrics. I found it in the quilting section with the other cotton prints. I bought a yard and have a lot leftover, so I might make some pillowcases.
And here it is hanging up in my bedroom, right above a poster for my alma mater’s centennial (it’s also right above the wireless router and the modem, but I didn’t think you’d want to see those.) I attached a length of ribbon to the back so that it can hang invisibly from a dowel (or from a take-out chopstick, which is what I actually used, being short on dowels at the moment).
And if you want your own signal flag sampler (to hang above your wireless router or anywhere else), you can buy the pattern in my Etsy store! It’s only four dollars and the pattern includes an explanation of what the flags and the Morse code mean.
This past weekend I had the pleasure to visit Sisters, Oregon and the 40th Annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show! Although I’m not a quilter (yet), it was so amazing to admire all the gorgeous quilts that they had displayed — and there were even more I couldn’t see before my feet got tired and I had to call it quits. Take a look (warning: this is a super photo-intensive post):
The first quilts I saw at the show.
“Galaxy Grays” exhibited by Susan Cobb, quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe
Assorted colorful quilts
Two quilts exhibited by Robert Kaufman Fabrics to celebrate 30 years of Kona cottons. Left quilt made by Empty Bobbins; right quilt by Red Pepper Quilts (both quilts from Los Angeles)
That mannequin stole my dress! (actually, I stole the mannequin’s dress — we’re both wearing Sew Liberated’s Ashland dress. Who wears it better?)
“Red Giant Dahlia” made by Jan Larson of Redmond, OR.
“Remembering Mondrian,” exhibited by Susan Cobb and quilted by Betty Anne Guadalupe
detail of quilt titled “One” exhibited by Kristin Swan and quilted by Sandy Lachowski — I loved this one because the design reminded me of Necker cubes
“Trees Around the World,” exhibited by Jean Wells Keenan, made by an unknown quilter
Quilts & quilts & more quilts. It was almost impossible to get a picture that didn’t have other people in it.
“Robot at the Whitehouse,” made by Mary Ann Pettway and exhibited by Gee’s Bend 2015
“Railroad Crossing” hand quilted by China Pettway and exhibited by Gee’s Bend 2015 — I love this one but it was $13,000 to take home.
This is getting my creative juices flowing and making me excited for trying my hand at some quilting! I’ve posted even more pictures from that day on the PDX-Stitch Instagram. I think the last quilt here (“Railroad Crossing”) is the one that inspires me the most, but I love the quilts that use lots of blacks and greys with just a little pop of color. Which quilt is your favorite, and does anyone have plans to attend Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2016?
Another Wednesday, another work in progress shot. I’ve nearly finished the alphabet flags and made good progress last night on the Morse code border.
Just two more letters to go and then I’ll start on the numbers!
I’m having fun participating in my first mystery stitchalong with the 3rd annual Steotchalong! Who knows what the pattern will end up being, although I’m guessing based on years 1 & 2 that it will be slightly subversive and pop-culture influenced.
How it works is that Steotch is releasing 1/8 of the pattern each week between now and August 3rd. For some reason I thought that this would mean we’d get the pattern for all the stitches in a section each week, but of course that would make it too easy to guess what the project was going to be. Instead, each pattern is some scattered stitches. I stitched up week one yesterday, here’s what it looks like:
Does anyone have any guesses about what this is going to be? I think the top parts are going to be some floral border or accents. I have no idea what the gray-brown blob is supposed to be. A dinosaur? The Death Star? A Rorschach ink blot? A weird cave/cliff… thing? I haven’t a clue.
I took a break from cross stitch to do some regular embroidery and made this tiny (5 inch) hoop with a quotation from Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale:
The hoop says “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum,” which is fake-Latin for “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” It’s a phrase the features somewhat prominently in Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which is one of my favorite books ever. I need to put it on my re-reading list.
The technical specs for this piece:
- Pattern: self-made in Adobe Illustrator
- Fabric: Grey printed quilting cotton from Joann Fabrics
- Thread: 2 strands of DMC 321 (all back stitching)
- Hoop: 5 inches
- Time spent: 1 afternoon
I am not actually as thrilled with this piece as I thought I would be. It’s nice, but when I was finished I just thought ‘meh.’ Don’t hate it, don’t love it. Don’t know what to do with it now. I think I’m going to stick with cross stitching.
I want to apologize in advance for the dark photos, but the sun in Portland has decided to take a vacation. I’ve finished five of the flags on my signal flags sampler:
And since people have been asking for an explanation:
Each flag represents a letter. Now you may be wondering why I say that I have five flags finished. Well, obviously, the Y isn’t done yet, and even though the Z looks done, I actually made it two squares too short and I have to go back and pick out all the red and redo it. I literally threw this piece across the room when I discovered that last night. I’ve had to do too much unpicking on this project! But I like how it is turning out.
Today I have a quick helpful thing to share with you, dear readers. It’s just a Google Doc that I created that easily calculates the size of your cross stitch projects for different evenweave fabric sizes.
The first page calculates size in inches and centimeters when you enter in the dimensions in stitches
The second page calculates the dimensions in stitches when you enter in the finished size in inches or in centimeters
Open the spreadsheet here. Update: This is now available as a Google Doc template, making it even easier to save a copy to your Google Drive and use it all the time!
It handles both inch and centimeter measurements and 5 different sizes of evenweave cloth (11, 14, 16, 18, and 22; the calculator assumes you’re stitching over one, like on Aida cloth).
I hope this makes your cross stitching just a bit easier! Share & enjoy!