My new found fondness for beading will save this project from heading straight for the trash. I started this project last year during Project Spectrum, a creative art project where we were to concentrate on working with three colors for six months with colors changing every two months. Now this might work for people who are knitting socks or scarves or people working on Art Trading Cards, but even a moderate stitching project is going to take more than two months. A lot of my UFOs from last year are failed Project Spectrum projects which I am trying to finish up this year.
Every since Winter, I know I am not a one color (or even two color) stitcher. Give me a rainbow! There are a lot of other problems with this project. First, the pattern is in French. Maybe I mistranslated the size of the stitching or am stitching this on larger count fabric than called for (this is 30 count), but I cut the fabric way, way too small for the pattern. There is supposed to be text entirely around the main box, but I will be lucky to have enough fabric to finish the top of the pattern. It barely fits in Q-snaps now. I also hate this fabric because it is lacy and see through. Great for getting the threads through the holes, but not so great when you need need to cross behind even one thread. Everything on the back shows through. And there are supposed to be random stitches in the background of all four corner motifs. Please don't take these as complaints. These are learning experiences. I will know not to make the same mistakes again and I have found some creative ways around my problems.
First, I noticed how similar the colors and subjects in this project are to the Kitchen Collection's Toasty and Bowled Over that I just finished. Lots of red and green; tomatoes, jam, and cherries that fit a kitchen theme. All I needed to do was to add some beads to tie these two projects together. And so I did, starting with the heart. The pattern called for a coral thread (the lightest part of the tomato, DMC 3801) that I think clashes with the other two reds already in the heart. I had already changed out the too contrasty White in the highlights of the tomato and cherries for DMC 353. I didn't take me long to find a Mill Hill bead in an orangey-red (3043) that looks perfect. And beads also solve the second problem with the see through fabric. I will change the single random stitches to beads and sew them with invisible thread. There is nothing I can do with the missing text around the box, but when I frame this in a similar frame to the rest of the Kitchen Collection, I think they will all look good together.
How did I decide which beads to use? The Mill Hill website has a handy chart that matches their bead colors with DMC colors. Unfortunately that only worked for one bead needed, DMC 3047 (the same color used for the boxes). It translates to Mill Hill 2019 Crystal Honey. I even have some of those left over from the Kitchen Collection. The rest of the colors I picked from using the pull down menus on the Mill Hill site that separate out beads by type and color family. The only problem with my master plan is that although I do have lots of beads, most of them are in my favorite colors (blue, purple, and dark greens). I didn't have any beads that were light green. So I have several candidates on order. Which means that though I can finish up the cross stitching in the next week, I'll have to wait until we get back from Hawaii at the end of the month to finish the last of the stitching. It's worth the wait to have saved this project.