Dating A Q-Snap

It came in the mail two weeks ago. It wasn’t in some fancy package that said, “look at me”. The box was plain and ordinary and once it was opened, the plastic it was in was just the same. I expected something a little more. A party popper explosion and something draped in glitter, perhaps.

It wasn’t.

I don’t know what I expected really. The only thing that came out of my mouth as I stared inside that plain box was “it’s much bigger than I expected”.

Who knew that an 11×17 Q-snap would ever have my eyebrows raised so high.

My very first Q-snap.

I’m sure many of you know about the Q-snap already. Yes, even I knew about it, but I was too stubborn to even shy a glance of curiosity its way. Who needs one of those when I have my lovely hoop. Then…I got curious and ordered this one out of the blue. Seriously! Unfortunately, this funky thing didn’t come with assembly directions. (>__<).

It did come in three different parts. (This is, more or less, for all of you who have zero idea about a Q-snap. Like me!).

Qsnap 1

I did have a clue, mind you, that it had to be assembled in a squarish-shape. As I looked about all these parts, I noticed that Part B had these grooves around it.

Part B

And Part A had grooves inside it.

Part A

With some funny manipulation I got the two together.

A & B

The next part was easier. I just fiddled with the angled parts until I got my nice squarish shape.

Squarish Shape

All that was left was to put some fabric on this sucker. That…was rough. I tried SO many ways to put my fabric on. I don’t know how anyone else does it (omg guys I never once looked up how to put the fabric on until afterwards and let me tell you…google is always the best friend who has ESP and calls you when you’re at your lowest) but I just laid my fabric on top and snapped my fabric in. I don’t think this thing would work if the four snappers, or Part C, didn’t have these little gripper grooves inside.

Part C

As I’ve been using it in the past two weeks, I can’t say I could do with or without it. Yes, to all the naysayers about hoops, it does not leave a mark. (Actually it probably would if I didn’t take it out after use). That’s a plus. I don’t like how it doesn’t get as tight as I like it. It’ll be tight for a couple of minutes, but then it’ll get slack later. When it does, I try to either move the snappers and roll them or just roll the snappers to get my fabric tight. Still, I can’t get satisfied with it. I’m also not liking how the snappers move when you roll one of it’s siblings. I’m glad they have something to grip, but they don’t stay in place.

Does anyone who uses Q-snaps have suggestions about this? Maybe even a trick or two to keep the fabric tight? Maybe I’m just doing it wrong lol. I did watch a YouTube video, or two, but still no change. I might need to by a larger one?

Eh, I’m still going to use it though. It might not be my trusty hoop, but I’m happy to have tried something new for stitching. I think I’ll invest in scroll next time (^_^).

 Happy Stitching!

-waffu-

 

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Waffu’s Cross Stitch Principles

Hey guys!

Before I go on to this post, I want to apologize for no post last Monday. I knew I wasn’t going to be around for the holidays and decided to use WordPress’ schedule-a-post thing. Well I was in such a hurry to start my holiday that I guess I didn’t pay attention to the scheduled posting date. Instead of 11-24-14, I put 12-24-14. It was a total slip of finger, but still I was shocked to come home and see that I had no post! I was doing such a great job with posting on time too. It’s just a bummer.

I had a great holiday, though. That makes up for it.

My unposted last post was me wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, if you celebrate, and I talked about how I’m slowly working on KL. There wasn’t a photo update either. I have zero motivation to work on KL guys. I’m trying, but it’s frustrating. This means still no stitching update right now, buuttt I’m going to show you guys how I cross stitch!

You have to understand something about me when I stitch, first. If you are not aware, from my previous blogs, the way my back looks is super important to me. A lot of what I do, as I stitch, comes down to making sure the back of my project looks just as good as the front. I want to see the mirror image on the back of my project. There’s this feeling of pride and accomplishment I get from achieving that clean back.

I started as a cross-country stitcher. I would stitch as much as I could with one color and then move on to another color afterwards. Here’s an example, used from previous pictures, on what cross-country looks like.

Asian Fantasy 4 WIP 1 (020714)

Do you see how I have stitching all over the place? It makes sense to me, as I am using the pattern, but I can freely go wherever I want. No reins, man. No reins.

Now, the Parking technique has become a very vital stitching technique. Instead of going wherever I want I work in columns. It’s a very effective cross stitch technique. It’s also achieving a clean back for me. I’m still playing with the technique, but I see important concepts from how I use to cross-country being used to park.

Here are my four cross stitching basics that I use!

**Note: I am using 25-count fabric as an example here. That means I might adjust my basics if used on another type of fabric, but for now you can get a jist.**

Basic One

Always…always…do your crosses one way. This is the most basic rule of thumb. You never want your crosses to look different.

Uniform Crosses

Now in this example I spaced out the crosses to show how they look uniformed. The one on the right-hand side has a change in color so you can better see that the stitches are going differently than the others. Instead of having the bottom left/ top right go across the treads, the bottom left/top right are going underneath. It might not look like much but it can be very noticeable when you have your threads interchanging, trust me.

I personally come up on the bottom left and go down top right first. Then when crossing the X, I come up bottom right and then go down top left.

My Crosses

Basic Two

Don’t skip over more than 3 stitches when going vertical or horizontal to the same color. That means you can only go up, down, left, and right over only 3 stitches and no more if you have to get to the same color you are using.

Over 3

If you have to go over more, just run your thread through the back to get where you need to be. Don’t jump the back threads. It’ll look messy.

Basic Three

You can go diagonal to get to the same color, but don’t go skip more than 2 stitches.

Diaganols

I do NOT thread diagonal from the back here. Having the thread go diagonal under stitches can be seen quite well. It makes the back look odd. Not saying you can’t do that, but I just don’t.

Basic Four

When it comes to securing my thread when I’m done, I always run my thread underneath at least 5 stitches on the back. Then I either go up a row and run my thread underneath 5 more stitches or I go down a row and run my thread underneath 5 more stitches. I do two rows at least to secure. This might be over kill but I DO NOT want my threads wiggling through. My worst nightmare are threads coming out everywhere and having to restitch it all.

Securing at End

Then I just cut the thread and voila…done.

Got it?

I was trying to think of how I’d cross stitch in general, regardless of technique. Again, I’d adjust given the fabric I’m using. I’m sure if my thread count were higher, I’d change to higher numbers on Basic Two and Three. If the thread count were a lower, I’d go down on the numbers on Basic Two and Three.

I do have more rules with Parking. I didn’t go into that because I’m still currently trying to figure out what’s best.

I’ll try to work on KL guys, but I’m not being optimistic here these days. I hope everyone had a good holiday, if you celebrate, and have a great week!

Happy Stitching!

-waffu-

Fixing My Sad Lightbox

Ahhh! I forgot to post last week. I didn’t even think about it until it was in the middle of the week and thought to just wait to post the beginning of this one.

I was going to show an update on Kitty Litter, but I’m almost done with all the cross stitching. I’ll have to dangle that and leave you anticipating it for the next post ^_^. I’m evil like that.

For now, I’ll share in all my joy of making that darn Lightbox out of the bigger box I found. I had made it a while back but forgot to show how it looked. Then just a week or so afterwards, I noticed it began to fall into itself. Honestly, I wasn’t sure why. I hadn’t seen any buckling of the sides when I made it. It was nice and sturdy. Then the most awful thing happened. It started to cave in completely.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 1

It’s the saddest looking box ever. Isn’t it? I thought so. Once it started looking like this, I figured I’d just throw it away and just buy one. But….I’m stubborn. I figured I could fix it.

So, I did.

First, I had to figure out how I was going to reinforce the edges to not cave in. I had some thick wire, in the basement, and thought I could use it.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 2

It wasn’t flimsy wire. It was really thick. I knew it would do the job. I then proceeded to use some wire cutters to cut through the wire.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 3

Sadly enough, these wire cutters were not tough enough to cut through the wire.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 4

Trust me when I say I tried my hardest to work with those cutters. I even tried to find some bigger ones and they wouldn’t cut through them. There I was sadly on my floor trying to figure out a way to cut the wire when my mother brought me a awful looking hand saw. She had heard the exasperation I had with using the cutters.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 5

I was skeptical. How exactly would a rusty, and dull, saw going to help me here. But, I tried it.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 6

I was surprised to find that sawing through the wire was relatively easy. Well…after I figured how to saw it properly. The saw gave me hell for the first 30 minutes. Took some trial and error. It was dull at the middle and bottom part, but at the vvveerrryyy tip top it worked like a champ. There was no stopping me then after I found this out.

The plan was to saw three sections to reinforce my sides. I’d have three pieces for each side. Then when I had problems, before I found out the top part was the sharpest and best part to saw with, I decided to just bend the wire and then saw off the rest. I only had three sides. I only had to bend in two places. It was easier than trying to take all my time sawing three pieces. (Oh, the wire was really long btw. If it wasn’t I would have had to go with my original plan.)

Now that I was done sawing I knew beforehand that I would use duck tape to tape the wire inside the box.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 7

The first step was to insert the wire inside the box along the droopy edges.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 8

I did a good job of making sure the wire was firm and in place, thank goodness.

The second step was to begin placing the tape on the outside of the box to wrap it around the wire.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 9

Then I folded the tape over and began to seal the wire.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 10

Once I was happy with how one side looked, I continued to tape the other two sides until all were taped into place.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 11

Tada! After I finished reinforcing I was super happy that the edges were not only sturdy, but it would always stay sturdy.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 12

The only unfortunate thing of the whole ordeal was that I had ripped a couple of holes in my paper. Which was fine. I did the inside of my Lightbox differently than I had done before. I had experimented with keeping the paper on the inside instead of outside. Really, it was a good idea but it never stayed tight enough to be effective. Now that I had rips I just decided to pull all the paper off and redo it.

This time I made sure to keep it on the outside of the box.

Fixing a Sad Lightbox-Step 13

Doesn’t it look nice? It’s tight and the light looks better now that the paper is tighter. (I know you can’t see that in the picture above haha.)  I may not like seeing the brown in the inside, but it’s effective.

I placed the rest of my paper inside just as a background. I stapled the top, as to hold it in place, but left the bottom to drape. I store my box under the bed, so I have to flip it on the back part and leave it open and up. It’s easy to store and I don’t have to worry about it ripping.

I’m just glad that I fixed it ^_^. Maybe if anyone’s had drooping box issues, try this out. It’s easy and having it reinforced will ease your mind of how flimsy it can be. I can’t wait to use it for pictures now.

Next week perhaps hehe.

Have a great week!

-waffu-