Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I always have a hard time letting go of it. I always keep my decorations out until Thanksgiving, and on that same weekend, I start with the Christmas decorating while simultaneously putting away the Halloween. It is a little like working in a retail store where you have mountains of Christmas stuff to put out while you are still trying to deal with the Halloween and Fall stuff! One of these days I'll make it easier on myself by starting to at least put the Halloween stuff away on the weekend before turkey day, but not this year!
I do have a good and valid reason to still be working on a Halloween needlepoint, though. Over on Stitcherie, we set up a Counted Canvas Challenge for the Fall season. The idea for this project came from this fabulous design by Susan Kerndt and stitched by Carolyn Stolhand:
I fell in love with the idea of making a collage-type design that could be built around a theme using great fabrics and embellishments from my stash, plus fun stitches and threads that I've never found a perfect place for. So thus came the Challenge rules: pick a theme, a thread or color scheme and then hit the stash for fabrics and embellishments and put it all together with your favorite stitches.
Since my stash has a LOT of Halloween goodies, of course that was the theme I picked. Here is what I came up with:
Not nearly as elaborate as I had hoped it would be, but not bad considering the amount of distractions and obstacles I have been faced with lately! I'm just happy to have managed to participate somehow. I started out the design plan with the main thread, Thread Gatherer's "Halloween Confetti":
This color being one of my all-time favorites, I knew when I decided on a Halloween theme that this was going to be my thread!
The next step would have been some cute Halloween fabrics, but I will admit publicly here that my fabric stash is STILL packed and I just couldn't make the time to start trying to break into it. But, my ribbon collection was relatively handy, so I pulled out these two spools:
Moving on to embellishments, my button and bead stash remains in a shambles as well, but I regrouped by simply going out and buying more! :) I found a couple of fun Halloween-themed packs from Dress It Up and put them together with some more coordinating threads:
I realized if I had any chance at all of completing this challenge, it was going to have to be simple, so I did not make my collage grid very elaborate and I did not use any mind-boggling stitches. I am relatively pleased with the final project, however. I did employ a little fun detail in the border, which is a modified Ashley stitch that couches over four different colors of Fyre Werks. I reversed the color placement of the Fyre Werks on each side and corner for the most varied effect. The inner borders are Caesar with a #8 Kreinik braid underneath. I knew that I definitely wanted to do some Bargello stitches too, so I picked a simple zig-zag pattern and stitched it in candy corn colors. It made a really good background for the candy buttons I think:
As I said, I am in love with the concept behind this design, because the possibilities are endless and it allows the stitcher the opportunity to be able to use the embellishments and stitches that have been waiting for that perfect project that never seems to arrive. If you have a thread/stitch/button that you have been wanting to use but never found the right canvas for, then just create your own opportunity to showcase said goodies. I am hoping to do at least one more of these collages, the next one in a Mermaid theme as I have the most gorgeous fabric I want to use, plus I have an idea for a Bargello border that will look like waves. But first, I do have to finish up my canvas painting as the next TNNA show is coming up fast, then I still have more "excavating" to do in my sewing room to get to that cool mermaid fabric. So maybe next year, if all goes well! Until next time, Happy Stitching!