I love it all: embroidery, canvaswork, quilting, crochet. So much to do, so little time.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Leap Year List - August Report

Hey Blog Buddies,

July sped by quickly, despite it being one of the longest months.  It's been too hot here for my liking.  And the last part of July went from drought to deluge.  As a matter of fact, we had such a series of torrential downpours here last Friday that we got seepage in our below-grade family room for the first time in years.  But luckily, we were home when it started, and it was abated by the one-two punch of a shop vac and box fans.  It also helped that the rain stopped a little while after the water started to come in.  It was more of a nuisance than anything.  Lots of others in this area weren't so lucky.  Molly's cushion had to be temporarily relocated "inland" from the wet wall after her bedding was cleaned and dried, but it didn't seem to faze her.

On to the stitching... 

First up is Prairie Schooler's Farmer's Almanac.
Here it is as of last month.

And here it is now.
I constructed a farm house, planted trees,
and did more of the verse, from the bottom up, of course.
I know I can't avoid stitching
the rest of that grass for too much longer, though.
All this over-one stitching is slow going.

Next is another Prairie Schooler design:  
the A from the ABC leaflet.
I had it started last month.

And now it's finished.  Woo hoo!

I originally toyed with the idea of
doing this entire piece over one.
I'm so glad that I didn't!
It's been a joy to stitch so far.

Finally, we have Jennifer Riefenberg's 
The Missing Piece:

Here it is as of last month.

And here it is now--all finished!
Some of the various stitches
were a little tricky to compensate.
The bargello section
had me talking to myself.
I've been spoiled with Kathy Rees' 
Needle Delights Originals designs.
She graphs out all the compensation for you.
But it's nice to know I can do it on my own
if push comes to shove.

And speaking of Needle Delights Originals,
she came out with a new "Log" design
for Halloween (uh-oh).

I just couldn't resist this one.

And, yes, it's all kitted up.

Last month I showed you a little 
design from La D Da that I stitched.
I sent it over to Averyclaire
who crafted this sweet needle roll finish.
The outside.

The inside.

Here it is all rolled up.

So cute!
And I do plan to use it, not just look at it.

Last, but not least, here is
The Lake County Fair Report

Exhibitors' Night was last night
at the Family Arts and Crafts Building.
It's a sturdy two-story brick edifice,
with the second story
being just a balcony around the perimeter.
The building has no air-conditioning,
just a couple of strategically-placed fans.
Did I mention that yesterday the outside
ambient temperature was in the low 90's
with very high humidity?
Each exhibitor gets two passes,
and there are lots of exhibitors.
Many of them do bring a guest.
Think body heat.

Of course, I knew all this going in,
but I went anyway because
it's a rollicking good time.

This photo is from 2013,
with the Fair mascot in the doorway.

The baked goods,
which have already been judged,
are always given away to the attendees
who are willing to stand
in the very long Free Food Line.

But I, and many others, were not food-oriented.
Our main objective is peering into the
display cabinets and over them,
looking at the hanging pieces
that are set up out of harm's way,
squinting at the tags,
looking for our own entries and,
almost as important, our friends' entries.

There is lots of camaraderie,
with people greeting each other,
giving congratulations and just chatting.
Yes, the competitors who I know personally
are truly happy for each other's wins,
even if it might be at their own expense.

This year I had 12 entries,
10 of which won various ribbons,
so I did good, as did most of my friends.
Yes, the blackwork horse got a blue ribbon.
(I was the only exhibitor in that class.)

I do have one photo to show you.

After 25 years of exhibiting at this Fair,
this is my first Best in Show.
I have to say I was a bit giddy last night
and very, very surprised.
I was with Averyclaire (she was my guest)
and we got to scream and jump up and down together.
I truly believe it was her gorgeous finishing
that put this piece over the top.

"Best in Show" is a misnomer anyway,
because there are many Best in Show winners.
What it refers to is your Section,
which in this case is Needlecraft II,
limited to the embroidered pieces,
with the exception of holiday decorations and ornaments.

And, yes, I'm already thinking of 
what I might enter next year.

This post turn out to be a bit longer than planned.
If you're still reading,
thanks for sticking with me.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Leap Year List - July Report

Hey Blog Buddies,

How's your July going?  We finally got some much-needed rain here overnight, and now it's really hot and steamy. Good weather to stay inside and stitch!

We've reached the halfway point of the year, and of the eleven pieces that I wanted to make progress on back in January, six are finished and two are active WIPs.  Here are the three that have been sadly neglected...

From the top:
Kindred Spirits by With My Needle;
Save the Stitches by Blackwork Journey;
Chicago Collage by Lynn Deininger.
Of these three, the top one, Kindred Spirits,
has been calling to me very softly.
I have five sides of the pin cube stitched,
so if I can finish that, maybe I can get going
 on the other small pieces in that group.
Notice I'm not saying anything about
the other two WIPs UFOs.

But, anyway, here's what's been going on since last month...

Tanya Berlin's Blackwork Horse looked like this last month.
I was hoping to finish it...

...and I did.  He's one of the 12 pieces I'll be taking
to the Lake County (IN) Fair this year.
Wish me luck.

I wanted to start (and finish) the "A"
in Prairie Schooler's Alphabet this month, too.

I didn't quite make it.
This block is about 40% finished.
Maybe next month.

I was working on another PS project,
so I can blame that for
my lack of progress on A is for Anchor.

This is where I was on A Farmer's Almanac
back in May.

Now, the barnyard has animals!
I'm doing this on 25-ct lugana over one,
and all that green just about did me in!
And yes, there is even more green to the left of the path.
The linen color is blue, similar to the first photo.

And I started and finished this, too:

La-D-Da's Summertime Roll-Up.
It will get finish-finished into a cute needleroll.

Last month I sketched out the pattern for 
The Missing Piece by Jennifer Riefenberg...

This month I got some outlining done...

And we have two additions(!) to the rotation...

This is another one by Needle Delights Originals.

This is my start.
I think I've done the only easy part.

And finally, last year I took a workshop
taught by Kay Stanis, Copper Illumination.

I haven't worked on this in over a year,
but the good ladies of my ANG chapter
chose this piece as my "challenge" for next year.
The vote was between
The Missing Piece (the smallest one),
Ripple Rotation 2 (probably too "easy"),
and Copper Illumination (the winner!).

This is where I'm at.
I have until the end of next June to finish it.
I forgot there were so many beads (all the flowers).
All I could think about was the blank piece of
copper that needs to be sculpted into a tulip.
If I don't finish in time, I'll owe the treasury $10.
I'd better start saving my pennies.

That's it for now.
Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Leap Year List - June Report

Hey Blog Buddies,

This month things got finished, moved along, and there were even a couple of new starts, too (no!!).  Make yourself comfortable and get ready for lots of photos.

Our old friend, Autumn Logs
by Needle Delights Originals.
This is where I was at last month.

Finally, it's finished!
We can bid this project a fond farewell,
but first a couple of close ups...

Onward!  Last month Dawn Chorus
by Long Dog Samplers looked like this...

I didn't think it would get finished this month,
but lo and behold!
Yes, my framer is really fast.

And the farewell close-ups...

Moving on, here's what Tanja Berlin's
Blackwork Horse, Haflinger Breed looked like
last month...

The clock is ticking on this one.  
My self-imposed deadline is the end of this month.
I'll make it if I stick with it.  Here's what he looks like now...

There'll be a little more definition in
the head once I do the stem stitch outline.
That will be done last.
The mane has a lot of dense stitching,
so that will probably take a while.

Way back at the beginning of the year
I showed this piece as part of my list,
and you haven't seen it since.
This is The Missing Piece by Jennifer Riefenberg.
Quite apropos, no?
It was last October's class at my local ANG chapter.
As you can see, there are rectangles
(each one a different stitch and a different thread)
and the puzzle piece outlines kind of overlay them.
The reason I hadn't started this piece
is because I had to draw all that on the canvas,
and I procrastinated because I thought it would be
a nightmare.

I finally took the plunge,
and the drawing of the canvas went a
lot more smoothly than I had anticipated.
This piece is designed to be an exercise in compensation.

Here is a small seasonal piece
which is not part of the Leap Year List.
I started and finished this piece in May.

Red White and Blue by Lizzie-Kate.
I finished it as a small picture,
instead of the pillow it was intended to be.
The fabric in the background was
included in the kit to be a pillow backing.

This past month, I also started my
EGA Chapter's mystery sampler.
The basting is completed,
and one of several borders is stitched.
The four sections will depict the four seasons.
That's I all know about it so far.

Finally, as a reward for finishing Dawn Chorus,
I started yet another piece this month.
Frequent readers of this blog will not
be surprised to learn that it is
The Prairie Schooler Alphabet.

I was fiddling around with the colors a lot.
I started out using the called-for DMC,
but most of my colors appear a lot darker
than the photo on the leaflet.

The color on the left is the "red" that was called for.
The color on the right is the red I ended up using.

As you can see, if I had used the called-for "red," 
the B would not have been distinguishable.
The gray-green on the pie pan is too dark as well.
You can't really see the design very well.
But I'm not ripping it out.
I substituted a lighter shade for the door.

This has been put away for now,
but I can't wait to start the A.
(I did the B first because it was in the middle of
my three-across row, and I like to start in the middle.)
The biggest difficulty so far has been
rolling the 70 inches of fabric onto my scroll bars!
It was a challenge getting it tight enough,
but now this project should be smooth, if lengthy, sailing.

That's it from here for this month.
Thanks, as always, for visiting.