Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Almost a Finish!

Some of you may remember when I finished this piece in 2015.
(That blog post is here.)

While working on this "Santa and the Mouse Ornament", featuring artwork by Scott Gustafson, I learned that cross-stitch projects should be washed in mild soap (like the blue Dawn dish soap) to remove oils that naturally transfer from our hands and can cause the fabric to yellow over time.

When I first washed it, some of the colors bled (an issue I had never encountered with DMC floss in the past.) I was panic stricken. Thankfully, it was not as noticeable after rinsing with cold water. I let it air dry and it lightened up. 

Then, I realized I forgot to add my initials and the year. I had also made the mistake of leaving it in the hoop too long while I was working on it. The fabric outside of the hoop had yellowed and it clearly needed another wash before being framed. I was just too nervous to try that again. So, I put it in a safe place and the poor thing became a UFO (unfinished object.)

Last December, "Santa and the Mouse Ornament" became #9 on my 2017 UFO Challenge through All People Quilt.

#9 was the November project for the UFO Challenge. I planned to make a wall quilt with it, but my husband felt it should be framed.

Last night, I finally gathered up my courage and added the year and my initials to the cross-stitch. 

Then, I groaned. Every time I looked at this UFO, I reminded myself that I needed to add the year 2015 (the year it was completed.) Of course, I stitched 2017. 

Oh well... It was not a huge error, as I still plan to add a label to the back indicating it is a HAED chart with art by Scott Gustafson and my start and finish dates. 

Next was the scary part. I washed it again. The discoloration on the fabric from being in the hoop too long was barely noticeable after this second wash (and would not show at all once framed.) However, the reds bled into the beard and fur on Santa's coat again. Feeling rather ill, I rinsed it really, really well under cold water. Once it looked a bit better (which was still terrifyingly dark while it was wet), I turned it upside down on a fluffy white towel and carefully ironed the back.

Once it was dry, it looked soooo much better. Whew! (I should have taken a wet photo to share with the after photo pictured at the beginning of this post! You would not believe the difference.)

Today, I met with a framer. She also cross-stitches, so it was fun to chat as she helped me select a mat and frame. 

It should be ready to pick up by December 20th, so I will have one more finish this year!

Although this particular chart has been retired, there is a similar chart on the Heaven and Earth Designs website called "QS Santa and Mouse-Gustafson" you may find here. (QS = Quick Stitch) It is a snippet from "Santa and the Mouse" - an adorable scene by Gustafson that you may find charted here.

Thank you so much for visiting!

This is day 6 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge hosted by You may read more about the challenge and find participating blogs here.

12 comments: said...

Oh how disheartening when things like that happen. Good job sticking with it and getting it to the framers.

Queeniepatch said...

All's well that ends well!
It must have been scary while waiting for Santa to have his beard washed and dried, though.

Justine said...

How worrying! It sounds like it all came good in the end though, and you will have a beautiful picture to display this year!

Mii Stitch said...

Sounds like all is well in the end. I can't wait to see it framed, it really finishes off the designs. Looks rather promising judging by your photo :)

Bethany said...

That is really beautiful!! Is there anything that makes a stitcher more nauseated than color bleed?

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I was sick for you when I was reading this post. I have read several posts by stitchers that tell of red thread bleeding and how they have saved a project. Do you think that all red threads should be rinsed, perhaps in vinegar, before using it on a project? Have you had this issue before, or with other colors? How about Brands? Just wondering.

I love this Santa piece and I am so happy for you that you were able to save it.
xx, Carol

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Oh my goodness - my heart would have stopped if that happened to me. I think I would contact DMC and let them know. So glad that all your beautiful work could be salvaged though....phew.

Brigitte said...

Good to know that everything went well with this lovely design. It will be great to see it framed.

Susan said...

I do remember when you finished it. I'm so glad you were able to wash it without it being ruined, even though it might have stopped your heart a time or two. =) Do you ever use Retayne or even Synthropol?

Katie said...

I'm so glad it came out. Can't wait to see it framed and perfect.

Catherine said...

Oh my, how terrifying! It's always my worst nightmare to have something bleed. I've got a blanket I made years ago and it has bleed dreadfully and I just can't work out what to do to fix it.
How lovely to finally have it finished and framed for this Christmas!

Renee said...

Oh Catherine, that would be awful with a blanket! Have you tried washing it with the color catcher sheets? I haven't really used them, but a friend was making a quilt and the shop owners told her they never wash their fabrics before sewing them, but always wash them with a couple of color catcher sheets. I wish you the best with it!

It will be fun to display Santa and the Mouse this Christmas!