Cross Stitch, Stitching Smalls, Works in Progress

Pyramid Etui update

At last I can show you the first sections of my Etui all finished … you have no idea how much time has been spent labouring over these few little panels!  I was very happy with my thread choices until it came time for the stitching – I stitched as much as I could on the little triangles for the pincushion pyramid bargello sections, but couldn’t complete them as I was waiting for my main thread to come from Hand-Dyed Fibers. 

After three of them I decided a change of scene was in order, so I started on the two boxes for the base.  I’ve managed to stitch the oblong tied cross stitch on the first box a sum total of 4 times … not to mention other frogging due to colour changes and my own stupidity of not being able to count properly!  I spent more time frogging than actually stitching the other night   One of the main problems I had is that the pale blue I chose was very pale when just using two strands, and I needed something richer to ‘lift’ the piece … my first trip to the not-so-LNS (an hour’s drive away) saw me come home with a slightly lighter version of the Vikki Clayton silks I’d be using for my ‘main colour’ – and I have to say it looked so much better than the pale green or pale blue versions I’d previously stitched, so I was happy with attempt number 3 … that was, of course, until I started stitching the border in the variegated silk …!

The problem is that when stitched up the variegations show as a very different blue … without that purplish tinge I originally saw on the whole skein – meaning that new blue thread I’d just stitched up was now sticking out ever so slightly like a sore thumb (slight exaggeration, but it just didn’t look ‘right’, as much as I really adore the colour).  I’d already been to this same not-so-LNS a few days earlier trying to track down some silk ribbon to finish off a couple of birthday gifts that are now WELL overdue, because I’d been unable to find anything locally that was suitable … hence the reason I’d returned the 2nd time for the silk thread, as I knew already they had what looked like the full range of AVAS and Madeira silks …  Unfortunately, though, that also means the Vikki Clayton silks aren’t going to match either … oh what a quandary, and a severe dampening of spirits was in order!!

Yesterday we decided to hit the LNS’s (of which there are two) – the Embroidery Den in Brighton, and Broderie in Bentleigh … I bought one half skein of Kreinik at Broderie just in case I couldn’t find anything else, and a couple of Madeira silks at the Embroidery Den, but it was still niggling me that they weren’t ‘quite right’ … what’s a girl and her Mum to do?  You guessed it … back across the city again to Bustle & Bows at Surrey Hills where I found a closer match in AVAS, plus a replacement for the main colour (to replace my Vikki Clayton silks).  While they’re still not 100% perfect, they’re as good as it’s going to get at this late hour.  I’m pretty unhappy how dark the darker blue is against the rest of the stitching, and it seems to be overpowering everything, but we just couldn’t find a lighter blue that was still within the tonings of the variegated thread 😦  It means when my VC silks arrive they’ll be used for either With My Needle’s My Stitching Treasures or Quaker Huswif … they certainly won’t be going to waste!  Mind you, I’m still tempted to re-stitch this Etui again in the ‘Monet’ colours I have in my head … I just have to search for the perfect variegated thread to fit in with it (or attempt to dye my own!) – that won’t be for quite some considerable time, though, if ever, but you might find me stalking websites for such yummies as Gloriana over the next few months 😉

I’ve spent so much time on this project over the last two weeks, inbetween the dreadful heatwave we were having which made it ridiculous to even attempt picking up a needle (I managed to go through an entire packet of needles in one week!) … and I’m so far behind with my stitching goals for it, it’s just not funny!  By this weekend I should have had three of my assignments done (I set myself stitching goals for each week which would see me getting everything stitched in time) … at this stage I will be lucky if I manage to complete two of the weeks assignments where I should have done three.  I’m now starting to stress big time, as my shifts coming up aren’t fantastically conducive to stitching … and because of that I’ve had to put my other stitching commitments on hold until I can get a bit more comfortable with the stitching deadlines I’ve got.  I’d be gutted to go all the way to Perth for this class not to have the stitching completed!

Anyway, enough moaning … with any luck things will work themselves out, and now I have my colours committed to I might get the stitching done more quickly. 

Without further ado, though, here’s the stitching of my two square bases (one inside, one outside) for the main ‘outside’ pyramid …


And here’s the stitching of one of the small bargello triangles for the inner pincushion pyramid (I still have one more triangle and the square base to complete) … this is probably where I find the darker blue a bit overpowering, but I’m sure it’ll all look fine when it’s stitched together and it won’t seem as bad.

Next up is to complete two of the large outer triangles (ie one full ‘diamond’ shape) before I switch over to the Peacock Needlecase to complete that over a couple of weeks) … then it’s back to completing whatever I can of the three remaining outer triangles of the Pyramid Etui – easy!

29 thoughts on “Pyramid Etui update”

  1. Well, I think it looks gorgeous! I’m sorry you’ve had so many problems with it, but try and think of the class in terms of learning a great finishing technique, rather than being too worried about the actual stitching. As you said, you can always stitch it again in your “Monet” colourway and you can spend as much time as you need gathering the perfect set of threads 🙂

  2. Great work on your etui. Personally I think the colours look great, but I know what it’s like when you have an idea of the colour you want to use, nothing else will do.

  3. Wow, they are very pretty despite all the trouble you had and the frog visiting you. :o) Looking forward to seeing this all come together.

  4. I personally love the color choices you made…… is looking great! But… KarenV said………..think of the class as a great new way of finishing things! That is exactly what she is teaching!!! The Etui is just a side product of it!!! I will probably use her Bertha and Sam method quite a few times before I even get around to stitching the pyramid!

  5. I think it’s absolutely beautiful, Anne. That dark blue does not look too much at all – it is so you, after all! 🙂
    I hope the rest of the stitching goes much more smoothly 🙂

    Good luck with all those bad weekend shifts! I’ll be thinking of you. 😀

  6. It looks amazing, Anne. Truly amazing. I’d be thrilled with it if I were you!!

  7. I think it is perfect! But you have had a lot of worry and stress over it haven’t you?!
    The colors are really very nice 🙂
    I’m sure it will be wonderful perfection when it is completed!

  8. Very nice! I totally agree with Karen on the outlook. Look how much you’re learning!

  9. I love it! Personally I think the colors work well together and you’ve done a great job. I love watching your progress on this and can’t wait to see it all finished up, it’s going to be beautiful!

  10. Wow Anne they look simply goregous! I think the colours you have chosen are womderful! I am sure with your committment you will finish them all in time…you have a bit of stitching time on the plane too remember 😉 I”m sure i’ve heard of stitchers taking needles on planes now. Scissors still a problem but nothing a clover cutter can’t help (or a dental floss box!)

    By the way – I’ve not heard of “Broderie” and I”ve never been to Embroidery Den either! I must take myself there one day! There are NO LNS nywhere near me in Cranbourne!

  11. I think the color changes you have made are lovely. Don’t stress so much – you’re going to have a great time in the class!

  12. Well I think they look absolutely beautiful! That dark blue doesn’t stand out at all to me – you need a bit of a darker colour in there to bring the others out. I really do think it looks lovely 🙂

    Try not to stress and to enjoy the stitching. I’m sure you’ll get it done 🙂

  13. Poor, Anne! I feel your frustration coming through so intensely. I’m casting my vote with the others – it’s great!

  14. I think your color choices look FABULOUS, Anne! Also, a hint: CA usually wants the four-sided stitches to be pulled quite tight. Tight enough that they make holes because those holes (the ones they make, that is) are important in the finishing process. (As a bonus, when you pull those tight, I think the dark blue will seem less noticeable and less not-quite-right to you.)

  15. Crikey Anne, your thread choices are just fabulous. Well worth another trip your to not so LNS. I love the blue and you have had some gread advise too from some of the other ladies. Looking forward to seeing your Etui made up.

  16. It is looking fantastic, but I totally understand that feeling of things being not quite right in the piece. I am looking forward to seeing more of it.

  17. Gorgeous Anne! I think the colors that you’ve chosen look great and the overall feel of the piece is very “you.” I know you’re stressed about it, but try to enjoy the stitching along the way, if you possibly can. 🙂

  18. I think the colors are absolutely gorgeous! They compliment each other very well with beautiful rich tones. I love your choices even more than the original.. great descision!
    Don’t worry at all if you don’t finish your pre stitching in time for class. I’ve taken several classes with CA in the past & have found I was much more successful & able to absorb more information by in taking detailed notes in class.

  19. Anne, I know what you mean about the colors not looking just like you saw them in your minds eye, but they do look fine. I think the blue is good. You need the contrast to bring out the other colors. Once everything is put together, you won’t see it pop out so much. I like it very much! And, good luck catching up with your list of things to do for the month, too!!

  20. Well, I’m a “blue person” so this is right up my alley! I think it’s just gorgeous, and I wouldn’t worry about a thing (easy for MOI to say). We all know the frustration of learning through a difficult and very s-l-o-w process of over & over again, but it’s all worth it in the end, and you’re stitching an original heirloom there. If you don’t like it when you’re done, I’ll take care of it for you!

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