Sometimes, you just need a stitching break!
Now, don’t get me wrong. By stitching break, I don’t necessarily mean a break from stitching! I mean a project that’s a stitching break. It breaks up more demanding projects; it’s relaxing; it’s comfortable; it’s fun. And it might even serve a good purpose!
That’s the kind of project I’m working on right now. It’s my stitching break, between some more demanding needlework. It’s very simple. And the finished embroidery will make a terrific addition to a Christmas gift basket.
So let’s take a look at my “stitching break” project! I’ll tell you a bit about it and why it’s perfect for this time of year.
I’ll also announce the winner of last Friday’s Stitcher’s Christmas give-away at the end of the article, so read on through, because it just might be you!
I’m working on a recent adaptation of this Boughs of Holly embroidery design that’s been available here on Needle ‘n Thread for a while.
I’ve filled the design out a bit with some evergreen twigs and speckled in a few more berries. I’ve also broken the design down into a couple smaller embroidery patterns, for stitching a coordinating series of things more quickly.
It’s a fun and cheery pattern. I like the new version with the evergreens mixed in a little better than the earlier design. The evergreen bits fill out the design and balance it a bit.
The whole design is stitched only in four stitches, but each stitch brings a particular look or texture to the finished piece.
This time of year, I like to keep things simple. Even though the world seems to be winding up towards Christmas rather than down, as December glides forward, I like to wind things down. I like things to be quieter. Simpler. Less complicated. And this type of embroidery project – which is easy to pick up and put down, to tote around, to “veg” with in the evening – helps keep things simple and relaxed!
And so, with that in mind, I transferred the revised design onto the corner of a flour sack towel, picked up some suitable greens, reds, and browns, grabbed a hoop, some scissors, and a needle or two, and started stitching!
I’ll be able to use the finished towel to line a gift basket for Christmas. If I don’t get around to the whole basket, I can use it to wrap up a bottle of wine. Either way, I’ll be adding a personal touch to a gift. Embroidery is terrific for that!
There’s no pressure in stitching a project like this. You can do it while you’re visiting with friends or family. You can take it with you to work and pull it out on your lunch break. You can stitch it in the car or on the train while you’re commuting.
It’s a wonderful companion when you’re listening to a favorite audiobook or your favorite radio station.
It’s the ideal type of project if you like to stitch while watching a movie or TV – there’s nothing to count, you won’t lose your place, there are no complicated switches to new and unknown stitches!
And it’s not a project to obsess over. So what if the holly berries aren’t perfectly round?!?
And while a corner design this size doesn’t necessarily work up fast (you won’t start and end it in one evening or one day, like you would with some of my Twelve Trees for Christmas designs), it’s the type of project that you’ll look forward to getting back to in the evening, or snatching up whenever you have a few minutes of time. It can easily be finished in less than a week, if you’re an evening stitcher.
Yep. I’m enjoying the heck out of this project! I’ll probably finish it tonight. Then what?! (I might have to do anther variation!)
I’m planning to put this design and two variations together with a simple materials and stitch guide for you. Keep an eye out for it!
Crewel Kit Winner!
And we can’t forget the give-away series going on right now – A Stitcher’s Christmas is well underway! Last Friday, courtesy of the Crewel Work Company, the give-away focused on a beautiful Christmas crewel embroidery kit.
The randomly drawn winner for the crewel kit is Rosalyn Schultz! Congratulations, Rosalyn – I will drop you an email. Please look for it and reply as soon as possible!
If you have your heart set on the redwork crewel kit We Three Kings from the Crewel Work Company, you’ll find it available here. There’s still time to get it wrapped and under the tree!
See on you Friday, with another exciting installment of A Stitcher’s Christmas! Think: silk and scissors!