Like most stitchers, I have a stash of cross stitching supplies including fabric, floss, notions, and patterns. Last year I began a journey toward a less cluttered and more minimalistic lifestyle, inspired by the book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Using her category checklist and method of eliminating all things from my life that do not “Spark Joy”, I have systematically been purging and organizing my life & home. One of those categories is Crafts, with a subcategory of Cross Stitching. It was difficult to purge items associated with my favorite pastime, however, asking myself “Does this spark joy?” and really listening to the answer, helped to eliminate a good 50% of my stash. What I am left with are patterns and kits that I am so excited about and desperately want to stitch. This included an entire collection of Nancy Spruance Designs.
Over the years of shopping at Stitch by Stitch in Cape May, NJ, I have managed to acquire the entire collection of these beautiful architectural patterns, including one of the Victorian Miniatures. Unfortunately, they had gotten lost in the massive stash, but now they are a predominant item in my collection, and it was easy to one into my rotation. Roseland Cottage was selected for the first one to be kitted up as part of my 2018 Stitching Plans. This past Wednesday marked the beginning of the first stitches and so far it has been very enjoyable.
Before starting, I spent some time with the pattern itself. Unlike the patterns I am used to stitching, Roseland Cottage, and her sister patterns, look to be designed by hand and then copied for reproduction. So it was a little trying at first to get my eyes used to a different style. The second thing that is distinctive about these patterns are the directions. Contained within the packet that includes the pattern are very specific instructions for stitching your piece. At first, I was a little intimidated because I thought it was a very complicated process, now I believe the specificity of the instructions are so that anyone from a beginner to an advanced stitcher can enjoy working from the pattern.
The last thing that gave me pause was the number of fractional stitches utilized. Now I’ll be honest, while I have been stitching for many years, I stitch for my enjoyment and to that end, I tend to stitch patterns that mainly use full cross stitches. However, included in those very detailed stitching instructions are some very excellent directions on recognizing and stitching the fractional stitches. As a matter fact her instructions on fractional stitches has alleviated some of my displeasure in utilizing them so I may not shy away from those patterns in the future.
Today I am five days into working on Roseland college, and thus far I am thoroughly enjoying myself. I started off with the main section of the cottage and with one of the predominant colors. Additionally, I am very pleased with my fabric selection, I had ordered some fabric last year during the Picture This Plus Christmas in July sale, and had selected a fabric for this piece in that purchase. As we know though, sometimes the way fabric looks on a website is not the same as how it looks when you get it home. This fabric. which is 14 count Aida in Tycho, is really what I had envisioned for the piece. It is a kind of pale yellow with shades of a grayish blue-green swirled throughout and I thought that the bright pink & rose colors of the cottage would pop off of this fabric. So far I think I was correct.
Wrapping this up, I would say that my initial reaction to the Nancy Spruance patterns, is that they are beautiful patterns and a pleasure to stitch. If you think you would enjoy trying one for yourself, the LNS where I got my whole collection, Stitch by Stitch in Cape May, NJ, does do web orders. I believe they still have a large number of her patterns in stock, I haven’t been there since last summer so I can’t guarantee it.
That’s all, for now, I hope you have a great week and thanks for taking the time to read my post.