Monday, 18 June 2018

Scrappy Patchwork Cross Stitch: Another Colourful Work-in-Progress.

As well as having an actual patchwork quilt in progress, one of my other UFOs (UnFinished Objects) is a cross stitch homage to patchwork quilts: a colourful patchwork of blocks stitched from Xs of thread instead of fabric.

I started this cross stitch back in 2014, as a way to make use of those scrappy bits of leftover embroidery thread which aren't big enough to be worth keeping but still have a few stitches left in them.
By March 2015 I'd stitched 23 little blocks of colour...

... and by June that year it had grown to 40-something blocks and looked like this:

I've been working on this in stops and starts over the years. I save up thread scraps when I have them, then sit down to add a little batch of blocks when I've got a decent amount of thread saved up.

I guess I could add a block at a time, each time I have a piece of leftover thread, but I quite like spending a few relaxing hours working on this from time to time. Plus, adding a bunch of colours at once helps me make the randomness of this project more of a controlled randomness - I can spread out the colours more easily, and get a more pleasing mix of tones and shapes than I think I would end up with if I added a block each time I had a scrap of thread to use up.

I like the randomness of this project and how the colour palette (and the speed at which it's growing) is entirely dictated by what other projects I'm working on, and the luck of what size thread scraps I'm left with... but I also want it to be something I love the look of when it's finished!   

By October 2015 it looked like this...

... and it grew a little in July and August 2016.

I didn't photograph it for a while, just quietly collected leftover threads...

... and added blocks in little batches, until it December last year when it looked like this:

That photo ended up being really popular on Instagram after it got featured by A Beautiful Mess (very exciting!) and quite a few people asked me for the pattern. I don't think this is something I could really do a proper pattern for, though, as I'd have to find matching colours for soooo many random bits of thread.

I am thinking about drawing a chart of the blocks when it's finished (in case anyone wants to copy the exact pattern of shapes I've chosen) but really the best way to replicate this project would be to use your own leftover threads from your stitching projects and make your own unique patchwork piece. I find it a really relaxing project to work on, and it's hugely satisfying creating something so colourful from scraps that would otherwise have just been thrown away.

At the moment it looks like this:

As you can see, I've decided to make this piece a square one instead of filling the whole of the fabric. This is because a) I think it looks great as a square (and it'll look fabulous when its framed) and b) I wanted to reign it in a little so I don't end up cross stitching little coloured blocks forever.

Now there's a limited number of spaces left to fill up, the end is in sight... but who know how long it will take me to actually have the scraps (and the time) to fill them and get this piece finished!


ceita said...

I love beautiful colors of blocks, it looks great!!! Super crosstichproject!!!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks, ceita! It always cheers me up working with so much bright colour :)

Maria said...

This is going to look gorgeous framed up! A frame with a big white mount will really set off those beautiful bright colours! You must show us when it's finished and framed... even if it's ages away :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks, Maria! I'll definitely show off the finished piece eventually - you know me, I'm a slow blogger but I get there in the end! ;)

FernParkLily said...

I did this one very hot summer and made 3 pillows they are some of the prettiest I have .I also did a leaf outlins and used this as a fill in so great.

Bugs and Fishes said...

FernParkLily - Ooh, I love the idea of creating a shape to fill in like this!