Sunday, January 4, 2015

HAED Starts and Progress

Oh my, these charts could quickly become an obsession. I started two Heaven and Earth Designs (HAED) projects, Shakespearean Fantasy and QS Christmas Presence. I have been fascinated by HAED charts for years and have three in my stash, but never got up the nerve to start them. I am really not sure what scared me from starting, they are full crosses so not technically difficult and I have stitched pieces with more colors, but there is a mystique about them on the interweb so maybe I just bought into that.

Anyway, I finished gridding for Shakespearean Fantasy and set it aside to start QS Christmas Presence. I found this chart while reading around the HAED bulletin board - I happened to be accepted at just the right time as sign-ups for the 2015 Freebie SAL were happening. We had the choice of four patterns and when I saw

I knew I had to participate. There are four pages. I don't remember the exact mailing schedule, but I think the last one will be sent in June. Fortunately, there isn't a requirement to finish a page to get the next one, but I think a 2015 finish is possible. I stitched for about three hours Saturday morning and got this much done:

I am stitching one-over-one with full crosses on 28-count Platinum Cashel. All those ratty ends around the edge are away knots or ends that will be cut off as the threads on the back are covered by subsequent colors. I have learned a lesson already, I don't care for this style of stitching on linen-type fabrics. The threads are too inconsistent so the stitches are inconsistent. On a normal project that isn't a problem but with the full coverage stitching like this, it makes a huge difference. I will finish this one and the other smaller one I have ready to go on the same fabric, but will not use it in the future.

Around noon I switched over to Shakespearean Fantasy.  Here is a photo of the fully gridded piece:

Fabric for Shakespearean Fantasy, 28-count Antique White Jobelan, fully gridded for stitching one-over-one
The blue lines are page lines, the gold lines are block lines (10x10). While it took me a long time to do, it was definitely worth every minute. I can leave and come back and know exactly where I am and it is very easy to stitch cross country (all of one color in a defined area) and as more colors are introduced I think they will be invaluable. I got this much done in about five hours of stitching:

There are scattered dark navy blue (DMC 939) stitches on page on 1 and 2, in order for them to not be missed as I stitch the yards and yards of black, I started that color first and stitched all of them for those pages (and a little bit of page 3). I am highly doubting that those individual stitches will show up on the finished piece, but they are there so they must make a difference (somehow). Because there is so much black (41 skeins to be exact) I am stitching one color, then doing a length of black, then the next color, a length of black, and repeat.  I know if I try to stitch all the black at once (that little rectangle is about 600 stitches) that I will get bored and frustrated and this will become a UFO and I don't want that. Again, the ratty ends are away knots and thread ends that will be buried later. The longer pieces wound on the bobbin are parked threads on page 7 (there are 60 pages in total).

Lizzie*Kate's Holly and Hearts Sampler will be going on the frame later today. The stitches are going to look HUGE when compared to these two but will be a nice change.  I may push this one though to a finish but will see how I feel come Saturday when it is time to change again.


Caitlin D said...

Wow. Great progress! I'm loving my first HAED too. I just can't believe there are 41 skeins of black!! Goodness that's a lot.

Ineke said...

Great starts! HAED is very addicting. I am stitching my Forest Door again after some years of neglection. Now I neglect the house and the laundry...

Shebafudge said...

Oh my word! I wish I hadn't looked at your gridding! I am feeling really daunted now. Yikes!

Great progress though :)

Robin said...

Very nice progress, Susan!

Robin in Virginia

Linda said...

Awesome starts on both of them Susan. I am doing some huge full coverage designs on 14ct but they aren't HAED's. Not brave enough.


Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Well, your photos explain very well to me why I would never stitch one of these designs! I like your way of stitching though, you can actually see the shape of the Santa's face in the first piece. It's so funny seeing all the people who start in the top left corner and just have big black blocks to show!

Anyway, good luck with it all, I will be following your progress with interest. And gratitude that it's you stitching it not me LOL.

Chris said...

Wow! Looks like a great start. Looking forward to seeing these project progress throughout the year!

Leonore Winterer said...

You have a quite unique way to tackle projects this size, it looks like lots of fun :) Nice progress so far, I hope you can keep yourself motivated for all the black!

Becca H said...

Eek! HAEDs terrify me at the thought! But you look so organised I bet you'll race ahead. I'll just sit back and enjoy watching!