Saturday, 26 December 2015

A well kept secret - my first finish for the year.

I don't normally make it a habit of stitching gifts for people. I hate stitching to deadlines, but this year I broke that rule early on with a rather large project that I have been keeping secret most of the year. No updates on the blog were posted just in case my daughter happens to follow my posts.

My oldest daughter turns 23 today.  Like most parents through her later teen years we had our ups and downs and a bit of a roller coaster ride with her at times. She is not a bad kid, I am thankful that there was never problems with being in trouble with the law or drugs,  just your typical rebellious behavior. As she slipped into her 20's this started to ebb but she still had no real direction in her life and didn't really look to be applying herself in the job finding department.

Early this year she accompanied me to the hospital to my final appointment where they told me I would be having surgery some time early in the year.  I think this was a pivotal moment for her because afterwards we started to see some serious changes in her attitude.   She started helping me around the house more, knowing she would be needed when I was laid up after surgery for a number of weeks,. She actively started looking for work and the bit that floored me the most. She actually apologised for all the angst she had put us through and her crap attitude and behavior.

That was when I knew I was going to make her a very special gift this year.   Emma is a huge Harry Potter fan, being the first lot of kids to grow up with the books etc. Once she got bit by the HP bug it became a huge part of her growing up. She loves the books, the movies, everything Harry Potter. Nearly every Christmas and birthday something Harry Potter in nature is given to her ever growing collection, but this year this one thing couldn't be bought it was made.

The family and some of my Aussie facebook groups are the only ones that knew I was stitching her the huge Harry Potter Banner from Cloudsfactory.  I could only work on it on weekends as she stays at her fiances parents place on weekends.  So from the 28th of February until the 20th of November I stitched away when ever possible all the little elements and characters.  I decided even though it was huge to get it framed to keep it pristine and she was given it last night (Christmas night ) as an early Birthday present in front of all her friends and family who were here for Christmas.

Needless to say she was gobsmacked.  She did cry a little. She admitted she had no idea at all.   I puffed up in the knowledge I had kept it a total secret from her all year which isn't easy. The best bit was I had shown her this chart about 2 years ago and she had said you need to stitch this Mum and my standard reply was.. why don't you learn it's an easy one lol.

I don't normally review patterns that I finish and post about but I would like to start doing something along those lines to pass on some helpful information for anyone who needs it.

The chart is very easy to read and follow.  You can either stitch from your computer via adobe as it arrives in pdf format or print it out if you like a hard copy to cross off  like I do. I stitched this piece on 32ct over 2 with DMC,  by memory I think I used a fat half cut of fabric.   You can use aida if you wish as there are minimal fractional stitches and some french knots but I would recommend only going as low as 28ct  on evenweave to make the characters slightly bigger. I used 32 ct as that was what I had at the time.   Some of the little elements end up very small on 32 count.

I only used the recommended DMC light effects metallic thread in certain elements and not all where it is recommended,  as I hated using it.  Nasty stuff in my opinion. I should have changed it to Rainbow Gallery  Petite Treasure Braid.
Also I would recommend anything other than white fabric.  Some of the elements such as owls etc are stitched in B5200 but I found they were not showing very well so I went back and back-stitched around them to make them pop a bit more.  As I said previously I had the fabric on hand otherwise I would have considered doing it on a parchment coloured type of hand dyed fabric  such as colour cascades Gold-digger old map style   or something very similar.

I thoroughly  enjoyed doing this project and have a few more of the clouds factory charts on my to do list for other family members. Youngest daughter is a huge Dr Who fan so I guess the clock or something is next.

Happy Stitching everyone,

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