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Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Dance: Challenge Ornament

Last week, I finally pulled out the instructions for the Challenge Ornament from Gay Ann Rogers.

Step 1: This was a great opportunity to use up some of the threads in my stash. I started with a skein of Watercolours in shades of violet, periwinkle, and olive green, and then pulled other threads to match it. I found some pale gray canvas that worked well with the colors.

I couldn't really figure out how to start with step 2, but knew I wanted to use the variegated Watercolours on the partial scotch stitch in step 3.

After that, it was a little easier to pick colors for the long couched borders for step 2. I used the Watercolours on the outside border, a bright olive green (though it shows up too bright in the picture) Shepherd's Wool for two other borders, and some purples left over from my Mystery in a Corner for the remainder.

The waffle stitch in the center was step 4. I started with silver metallic ribbon, picked up a heavy purple thread from a grab bag purchase, and finished it with some laid Splendor silk in periwinkle. I really like the effect of the multiple colors, and the use of a thicker thread for two rounds gives it a bit of dimension.

Step 5 brought me to some diagonal borders. I continued to use the periwinkle silk, then just a touch more of the brighter green.

For the rest of step 5, I repeated one of the overstitching combinations I used in Mystery in a Corner, with metallic stitches nested inside longer stitches with Impressions. This brought the violet from the inside borders out toward the corners.

I used a bit more of the metallic violet in the smyrna crosses at the center of each side. These anchored the rest of the overstitching on the sides. I added some pale stitches in Impressions from these to just inside the green border, embellishing a bit on Gay Ann's original directions. I finished off steps 6 and 7 with a lightweight olive green thread in a slightly darker tone than used previously.

That finished off the stitching according to the ornament directions, but I thought the corners seemed a bit bare. I added just a bit more overstitching, again with the violet metallic.

Now, the stitching is finished. I'm going to (eventually) finish it into an ornament on point. I think it looks a little more "right" this way.

On a more personal note: Thank you to all who left such encouraging comments on yesterday's post. All is still well as of today. The pregancy ticker is officially at 28 weeks today (out of a normal term of 40 weeks). We'd like to reach at least 34 weeks to minimize future complications. I'll continue with an update at the end of each blog post. It helps to know so many of you are pulling for me. Thank you.


BW said...

What a beautiful ornament! I love the colors you chose!

Elmsley Rose said...

I'm glad you are going to update us each time - it was the first thought when I opened your blog.

Pretty ornament!!!! Glad you can embroider in bed.

Beth in IL said...

Love your choice of colors for the Challenge Ornament. Continuing to pray for you and your pregnancy!
Beth in IL