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





Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Leap Year List - February Report

Hey Blog Buddies,

Happy Groundhog Day!  Both Punxsutawney Phil (the celebrity groundhog) and Woodstock Willie (our local groundhog) predicted early spring this year.  They may be on to something, because we are having a thunderstorm right now!  Near Chicago.  In early February.

But enough of weather predictions.  You're here to see some stitching, right?  Let's get right to it.

I worked on four pieces from my 10-item rotation this past month.  First up is Needle Delights Originals' Autumn Logs:

This is where I was last month.


And this is what it looks like now.
I am where I need to be with this SAL.
(It's kind of slow moving.)
The photos look very similar,
but three logs were added.

Next we have Carriage House Samplings'
The Song They Sang.
This is where I was last month.


Here's where I'm at now.
I've been working on this in the evening,
because it's relatively small and easy.


This is Rosewood Manor's
A Tree by Itself.
Not gonna show the entire project
because I'm unwilling to
deconstruct my Millennium frame
to get the whole thing in the photo.
But this is where I was at last month.


Here it is now.
This photo is a tad misleading
because the motifs to the right
of the largest "tree"
have been there for a while.
The ones to the left of that tree,
on the bottom, are the new ones.
This is going really slowly
considering that it's worked on every day.
But I'm chipping away at it.

Last but not least, here is
Angles by DebBee's Designs,
my ANG chapter's challenge project.
This is where I was at a month ago.


And here it is now.
I am really surprised at how much I have done.
I gave myself a monthly goal of 15 "areas,"
as they are called in the lengthy chart,
so that this would be finished by
the deadline at the end of June.
But I went way beyond that
because this piece is actually addictive.
The only thing that's annoying
is the satin floss, but I'm dealing with it,
and it does give the piece a nice sheen.

So that's it from here.
Hope everyone that's in the path of
the blizzard that's north and west of here
stays safe and warm.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Last Finish, First Finish

Hey Blog Buddies,

How's your January been going?  Mine is "so far, so good."

I realized that I never showed a photo of my last finish for 2015.  I finished stitching it last year, but it was finish-finished this year.


This is Winter Strawberries by Theron Traditions.
The cost of this kit was subsidized by my EGA chapter.
The finished project is all bundled up in this photo.
If you're wondering what it is...


It's a needleroll.
The project came with a pincushion and scissor fob,
but I chose not to stitch the fob.
You can see it has a pocket for scissors on the bottom.


And if you lift the top flap, you'll find a little needlebook.


Here's a close-up of the pincushion.
All the stitching on the pincushion was over 1,
with the exception of the Palestrina knots on the sides.
This piece was finished to perfection by my friend Averyclaire.
Thank goodness for her, is all I can say.

And now, for my first finish of 2016.


It's Tanja Berlin's Eastern Bluebird.
I'm very happy to have this guy finished!
Working with one thread of cotton floss
was pretty challenging.

I've been very good about sticking
to just the projects in my rotation this month.
I have a few kitted-up projects 
that are calling to me,
so we'll see what happens with those
next month.

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

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Leap Year List

Hey Blog Buddies,

Hope your holidays were happy and fun.  Thank you so much for the nice comments on my end-of-year recap post, and throughout last year.  They make my day.


Happy Leap Year!  I've seen quite a few leap years (more than 10, less than 20, heheh), and in my experience, major life events tend to occur during leap years.  My parents' wedding, my birth, our wedding, the adoption of our first dog, and the purchase of our current house all happened in leap years.  Maybe I just have too much time on my hands to be coming up with this trivia?!

Anyhow, I thought I would call my rotation a Leap Year List this year.  It's a catchier name, and I don't usually stick with a strict rotation anyway.  I just stitch what I'm in the mood to stitch on any particular day.  Eleven projects that I'd like to focus on made the list this year, some old, some new.  Let's start with our old friends:



  Dawn Chorus by Long Dog Samplers.
Still haven't fixed that tree, so it's currently at a standstill.

Save the Stitches by Blackwork Journey.
Hopefully including this piece
will inspire me to get going on it.

The formerly neglected A Tree by Itself
by Rosewood Manor.
I worked on it most of last month and
I'm still working on it!
Here's the photo I took at Christmastime.
Notice the treetop with no trunk next to the
rabbits at the bottom left.

Now it has a trunk and flowers.
I count each completed motif as a mini-finish.
Woo-hoo!


Here is Autumn Logs by one of my favorite designers:
Kathy Rees of Needle Delights Originals.
I have done a lot of her pieces,
and have quite a few more in my stash.
This is my ANG chapter's SAL.
Anticipated completion date:  end of June.

Kindred Spirits by With My Needle.
This is the workshop I took in Shipshewana, IN,
in October.
It's true that most of these are smalls,
but taken together,
it's a good-sized project.

I showed these four sides of the pin cube a while ago.
This project has been neglected ever since.

This one is brand new (to me):
The Song They Sang by Carriage House Samplings.
I bought the chart a few weeks ago,
and it just elbowed its way onto the list
(and I even started it!).
The verse starts out:
"It was early, early in the Spring..."
so the drab colors are appropriate for how it looks here in March.
Can you tell that this is my new favorite?
I'm so fickle...

This was an ANG class that I signed up for but missed
because I was out of town at said 
Shipshewana workshop.
The design is by Jennifer Riefenberg.
I haven't started it yet.
It's not huge, but it's tricky because
I have to transfer two designs
onto the canvas: the puzzle pieces and the
overlapping rectangles containing the various stitches.
This one will need some study
before I'm able to start stitching it.

This is a rare (for me) painted canvas:
Chicago Collage by Lynn Deininger.
This has been kitted up in my stash
for at least four to five years.
I have a stitch guide by a third party (not Lynn)
which is complete gibberish to me,
so I'll have to make my own stitch decisions.
I think that a lot of the areas 
will get the tent stitch/basketweave treatment.

Here's another one that hasn't been started:
Blackwork Horse by Tanja Berlin Designs.
Transferring the design to the fabric
will be a challenge with this one.
I won't elaborate here but, trust me,
you'll hear about it down the road.
This one has a deadline, too:  end of July.

I had actually planned to start the
Prairie Schooler Alphabet on January 1st,
but I decided that postponing that start
would be the prudent thing to do!
I have all the charts, and they
keep beckoning me.
So, to satisfy my desire for a PS project,
I plan on starting this one:

It's a much more manageable size,
and I think the verse is very appropriate
for this leap year, too.

Instead of starting the PS Alphabet on January 1st,
I did the sensible thing and finally put some
stitches into this one:

Angles by Debbie Rowley.

I finished the Spratt's Head stitches
--I love that name--
in the upper left corner (Area 1).
For the longest time all I had
was the one blue Spratt's Head stitch.
Area 2 contains the large upright
rice stitches on the diagonal.
Area 3 is made up of four Amadeus stitches.
They are a kind of Rhodes stitch
for those of you not familiar with them.
Only 79 more Areas to go.
Seriously, the chart is 105 pages long
with two additional fold-out sections!
But it contains detailed diagrams of
all the nutty stitches that make up this piece,
so I'm not complaining.  Much.

This is my ANG chapter's challenge project.
If I finish this piece by the end of June,
I'll get rewarded with a tote bag.
If not, I'll owe the chapter's treasury $10.
Gotta get busy.

I have a couple of smaller projects
that I'd like to finish this year, too, namely,
Eastern Bluebird by Tanja Berlin
Yes, the bird is actually finished!
I have to be in the mood to do
the last blossom and all those leaves, though.

and 


Ruby of the Forest by Marsha Papay-Gomola.
This one is from 2011.

Both of these were EGA-sponsored classes.
That's part of how I get into trouble.

And you know that  later on this year, 
something new will
come along and catch my eye
that I'll want to start right away.
It always does.

Wishing everyone a happy,
healthy and stitchy New Year.
Thanks for visiting!



Monday, December 28, 2015

Rotation Recap

Hey Blog Buddies,

Hope your December holidays were happy and fun-filled.  The Southpaw Stitcher staff had a great Christmas and look forward to a New Year celebration consisting of stitching and old movies.  

At the beginning of the year, I picked out ten medium-to-large-sized projects that I wanted to finish or at least make significant progress on this year.   Here are the photos of how each looked at the start of the year, and how they look now.  

In no particular order...


1.  Pristine by Cindy Valentine Designs


This was the albatross around my neck.
Started in 2006, messed up and cut a thread in the ground,
thrown back into the bag for about eight years.
I got really motivated with it this year.


Now it's all finished!
It's a shame that all the eyelets
and the satin stitch motifs
don't show up well in this photo.
At the beginning of 2015,
if I had had to pick a project
that I thought wouldn't get done,
this would have been it.

2.  A Tree by Itself by Rosewood Manor

The second biggest of the ten,
this one was left "by itself" (ha!) for most of the year,
but I've been working on it this month.

Here's where I'm at now.
As you can see, I'm over halfway done.
There's no good reason why
this piece shouldn't get finished next year.
And if you glance at the lower right,
you'll see I stitched in next year's date.
Now I'm committed.

Here's a close up of part of it.
It's hard to see the individual motifs when 
the entire piece is in the photo.

3.  99 by Ink Circles
At the start of the year,
there were only 55 bottles...

But now there are 99.

4.  Nordic Panel by Laura J. Perin

This is a Nordic Needle exclusive
stitch-along from 2014.
I was only about halfway done in January.

I finished this one, too.

5. Carrots by Jennifer Reifenberg
Not only wasn't I very far along with this in January,
but I managed to photograph the piece
face down!

Luckily, after I finished stitching
and attached the beads,
I photographed the correct side.
Some pieces just become favorites,
and this is one of them.

6.  Liberty Inn by Plum Street Samplers
This was my modest start in January.

I was shooting for an Independence Day finish
(and was successful),
but this piece is being displayed
all year long.

7.  Frederika by Carriage House Samplings
In January I had a wing...

And here is Freddi all her glory.
I don't understand why I had never stitched
anything from CHS/Kathy Barrick before,
but this piece definitely won't be my last.

8.  Summer Logs by Needle Delights Originals
I had just started on the second
quadrant in January
This was my ANG chapter's stitch-along,
with a scheduled finish date in June.


It was pretty easy to keep up with the SAL.
NDO charts are usually fast and fun.

9.  Save the Stitches by Blackwork Journey
This was (and is) a very generous 
free pattern from Elizabeth Almond
As you can see, it's huge.
Here's where I was in January.

I did get a little bit done,
but I haven't touched this since February.
I just had too many projects going;
something had to give, and this was it.

And if you've checked out the newest
freebies on her wonderful website,
isn't Pandora's Box stunning?!
I just love the combination of
blackwork and pulled work.
(Uh-oh.)

10.  Dawn Chorus by Long Dog Samplers
This was my New Year's Day 2015 start.


Here's where I'm at now--
about 60 percent done.
I hit a roadblock when I noticed
that my somewhat tight tension
was really showing up in the middle tree.
You can't really see it in this photo,
but there's a lot of white showing.
I tried pressing it, but it didn't help.
Once that tree is "fixed,"
this piece should get finished sooner
rather than later.

Seven finishes out of ten isn't too bad.
The rotation list does help to keep me focused.
I intend to do another in 2016,
which I'll share next month.
My three unfinished projects
will definitely be part of the list.

OK, those of you who know me are
well aware that I have way more than those three WIPs,
or for that matter, even the ten or so
which will make the 2016 list,
but we're ignoring those for now.
They'll get finished someday.
Well, most of them will.

Have a happy and safe New Year,
and thanks, as always, for visiting!