Well, despite my best efforts I did not progress very quickly on my sampler this weekend, mainly because I went to a couple of family events which seemed to take up a fair bit of time with the travelling etc, but I am not complaining because weekends at the moment are a bit of a trial for me, so it was nice to be able to spend time with people and catch up on news. This week is my holiday week from work so I can devote a bit more time to hobbies etc, although studies are also back on the agenda as I only have 4 more weeks until I am back at Uni for the final year of my MSc - I cannot believe that the past few months have slipped by without even blinking!).
I received my subscription copy of Cross Stitch Collection yesterday so I am pleased to review it for you.
For anyone who likes samplers, traditional charts, floral designs and cute cottages, this is the issue for you! As I was leafing through the pages, I realised what a great issue it is and that my To-Do list is even greater now, especially as this month's Cross Stitch Gold issue is also chock full of great projects. Still, I mustn't grumble, it is better than not liking anything in the magazine which is far more frustrating :-)
John Clayton has created a really pretty circular design called The Summer Meadow. It has poppies and daisies in the foreground and trees and a meandering river in the background. The colours are very "late-summer" with golds, reds and yellows quite prominent, together with the late summer green leaves on the trees. I really like the design, but recently bought a beautiful Anchor kit which was on special offer (I reviewed it in a previous entry in my blog in case you are interested - around April/May time), so would rather stitch that. As always, Collection also includes some details about John Clayton which is a very interesting read. Their editorial is undoubtedly the best quality of the magazines I buy.
Maria Diaz features prominently in this month's magazine - her first offering is "Garden Birds" and is an authentic and colourful 'sampler' of 6 different birds. I use the term 'sampler' loosely, to describe the fact that she has featured each bird with its name next to it (Song Thrush, Great Tit, Bullfinch, Blue Tit, Gold Crest and Robin). As always, you can rely on Maria to produce a top quality chart, a beautiful study of birds and some additional flora (Apple Blossom and Blackberries). Next month's issue will include Maria's companion chart called "Riverbank Birds".
The Historical Sampler Company's (HSC) offering this month is a beauty! If you would like to stitch a traditional family tree sampler, then look no further. As stated by Joanne Stellig of HSC, they have used fabric and thread colours that give it an authentic and 'aged' look. The magazine also includes the full alphabet in upper and lower case characters to enable you to include up to 3 generations. Collection also features 2 pages of information on other kits you can source from HSC, including a wedding sampler and even one for Christmas!
Sandy Littlejohn is famous for her huge designs featuring costumed ladies and gentlemen from bygone times. They normally span across three issues which makes for quite a spectacular end-result. This month is the final part of a 3 part chart called "The Summer Ball". I think her charts are probably the most requested in the "Wanted" adverts ... people end up with 2 out of the 3 charts and have to search around for the 3rd part if they go on holiday or forget to buy an issue one month! That's where a subscription is handy :-) I must admit I am not at all keen on stitching people - for some reason, I have always favoured more abstract designs, samplers and wild animals, birds and flowers, but that is personal taste as I know many people love to stitch humans!
Faye Whittaker has her normal nostalgic style with a Birth Sampler in the "All Our Yesterdays" range. It has 8 little boys and girls in a circle, each carrying a childhood toy: a balloon, teddy, kite or a doll. The middle has been left for you to add the name of the baby, date of birth and birth weight. This is definitely a chart I will keep for the future as it would look beautiful in a nursery and would be loved by the child and his/her parents.
Lesley Teare is one of my favourite designers as I love her colours and subjects. This month, she has produced 4 gorgeous cards, each with a "dream cottage" on. Around the edge of each design she has included flowers that climb around beautifully. They are definitely on my To-Do list, as they suggest you can either stitch them as House Warming cards, or stitch all four as a combined picture.
Samplers feature throughout this issue of Collection and Jane Greenoff (the Grand Ma'am of Samplers!) gives advice and tips about how to design your own. There is also a free supplement this month which includes a selection of Jane's flowers which she shows you how to stitch onto an afghan. There is plenty for you to read in her editorial as well - a real treat for all who enjoy her works.
Maria Diaz's second offering is a set of small pictures called "Fashion Accessories" using metallic threads. They feature glamorous fashion items like a dress, a handbag and shoes. All the colours are soft pinks, purples and aqua greens and use beading around the handbag. Very smart!
As you can see, there is a lot to keep you busy until next month - Happy Stitching everyone.