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

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.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Another Month, Another Trip

Just two weeks after returning from Pennsylvania, I went away again, this time on a girls' getaway to Spring Green, Wisconsin.  You may have read about the Country Sampler on other blogs, because they have a wonderful 3-bedroom apartment above their store that they rent out to groups of 7 or less.  It's set up so that you can either stitch or quilt (or both), with a large U-shaped work table, cutting tables, irons and ironing boards.  It's been used by many happy stitchers and quilters.

Here is the store, and you can see
the windows of the apartment above.

And here's a peek inside the store...

Lots of fabulous stuff for both
stitchers and quilters,
with a definite prim flavor.

While we were in Spring Green we visited Taliesin East,
the home and studio of the late
Frank Lloyd Wright, an American architect.
It is a sprawling compound that
includes not only his house and studio
but also a school, theater and farm
on over 600 acres of lush rolling hills.
Here are "a couple" of the 
many photos I took.

The house wraps around a hillside.

He used a lot of limestone, both inside and out.

This land is all part of the estate.

You can peek into the dining room
from the upper floor.

This curtain in the theater was designed by Wright,
depicting the hilly landscape of
this area of Wisconsin.

I love the way the stairs are tucked away...

Looking into a multi-functional room:
a sitting area and dining table on one side,
and a long work bench with built-in shelves on the other.
Only a partial wall separates them.
He was doing "open concept" in the early 1900's.

I took a lot of ceiling photos; I love geometrics.

We were lucky to be able to take photos
of the interior of the buildings.
Prior to this year, they were prohibited.

Of course, in addition to Taliesin
and exploring the shops of Spring Green,
our main activity was stitching,
with some knitting and sewing, too.

Karen J was working on this
stunning French boutis piece,
one of many samples she plans to have
for an EGA regional class that
she will be teaching this fall.
She is also the person who
finishes my smaller stitched pieces
to perfection.

Karen P was working on this
lovely holiday runner.
It's actually a stamped cross stitch
design, but you would never know it
because her stitches are so perfect
they look just like counted cross stitch.

Anne had a good bit done on the
Prairie Schooler R is for Rabbit.
This chart is on my to-do list!
I will probably get to it around 2020
after I finish letters A through Q.
(No, I haven't started yet.)

She alternated between the rabbit
and this delicate knitted piece.

Joyce was working on a couple of cross stitch pieces.
This one is a cute Halloween design from The Primitive Hare...

...and she finished it, too!  (happy dance!)

Sue was cutting fabric for a tote bag 
that she plans to make and use 
on a trip around the world
coming up in just a couple of weeks!

She was also working on this
beautiful canvaswork piece
featuring a free-form tree
made from silk ribbon.

I worked on Autumn Logs, and came close 
to a finish, but not quite.
You guys have seen it so often,
I won't show it here until it's completed.

I also started this hardanger bookmark on the trip...
...and finished it after coming home.
It's from the 2011 Nordic Needle
Bookmark-of-the-Month Club.
I only have (ahem) six more to go now.
I should tackle a few more,
because they really don't take much time.

On the way home, we stopped at Lynn's
in Madison, Wisconsin.
It's a large store whose merchandise
consists of half needlework and half art supplies.
Here is my stash enhancement:

From top left:  a Permin miniature kit "Two Horses"--
they are hard to see in this photo;
a gold frame that I have in mind for a
Lizzie-Kate piece that's almost finished
(they had a wonderful selection of frames there);
a Mill Hill kit by Laurel Burch: "Fur-ever Friends;"
another PS chart "Happy Christmas" (really?!);
and finally two coloring books
featuring designs from one of my
all-time favorites, Charley Harper!
(I had to buy both because 
I couldn't decide which one I liked best.)
I might try transferring one or two designs
onto canvas to see how they stitch up.
DH has already expressed an interest
in the toucan!

It was a fun trip with good company.

That's it from here for now.
Hope you've had a fabulous weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Pennsylvania Six-Five Thousand

OK, the title of this post is a stretch.  It has nothing to do with the jazz song that the Glenn Miller Orchestra recorded in 1940.  I do love the song, however.  But we did go on a short trip to Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago, and here are the highlights.

This is the cottage we stayed at near Somerset.
We had it all to ourselves.

First we went to the Flight 93 Memorial.
It was a very solemn place.

Next up was the Johnstown Flood Memorial.
The flood occurred in 1889 after a
catastrophic failure of a dam upstream of the town.
Over 2,200 people were killed.
This was part of an exhibit inside the Visitors Center
depicting some of the carnage.

We visited the Allegheny Portage Railroad
National Historic Site.
This is the Skew Arch Bridge.
The railroad was the first to circumvent
the Allegheny Mountains in 1934 and included
the first railroad tunnel be to built
in America.

We also went to Fort Necessity National Battlefield.
The confrontation there in 1754 was the prelude
to the war fought by England and France
for control of the American continent.
This was the first major event in the
military career of George Washington,
and it was the only time he ever had to
surrender to an enemy.
As you can see, it's a pretty small fort.

There is a lot of history in Pennsylvania,
and we explored only the western part
of the state!

We spent a little time in Pittsburgh, too.
We took a tour on one of the ducks
(amphibious vehicles built for the Army in the 1940's).
It was entertaining, informative and a lot of fun.
We quacked at passersby
and they quacked right back at us.

We rode for free on the Duquesne Incline
(one of the perks of being old).

The view from the top of the hill was great.
Tall buildings and a river or two?
I felt right at home.

Pennsylvania is a really pretty state.
I love all the hills, having lived in
the flatlands of Illinois my entire life.

Meanwhile, back at home,
a friend and I went to a "Sip & Paint" class.
If you're not familiar with the concept,
they are usually held at a restaurant or bar
and you go there to paint a picture
under the guidance of an instructor
while sipping some wine purchased at the site.
Our class was held at Color Cocktail Factory
and it was a BYOB (and snacks if you wanted).
No painting experience is necessary.
Our instructor was great
and took us step-by-step through the process.
Both my friend and I had a blast.
And here is my post-impressionistic "masterpiece," 
Van Gogh Comes to Chicago:

And since this is a stitching blog,
I do have a small new piece to show you:
This is the May Flip-It Bit
from Lizzie-Kate, wonderfully finished
with French knots and a bee charm
by Averyclaire.

That's it for now.
Hope you had a great weekend.
Thanks for visiting!