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

Friday, June 29, 2018

The First Half

Hello People in Blogland!  It's been quite a while.  I wasn't sure if I was ever coming back to this little piece of stitchy paradise.  Those of you who are on Instagram know I haven't stopped stitching, but a lot of you aren't (on IG), so here I am!  It's the end of June and the year is half over, so I'm here to do a recap of The First Half of 2018!  Let's start with the finishes, shall we.  Where did I leave off?  Oh yes, somewhere toward the end of January.

(oh frabjous day, she finally figured out how to make a collage!)
From top right,
this is the PSS Merry Friends design I showed you,
all made up into a tart
(I took the tart class from Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher,
at the Fancy Works retreat in March);
next is Hands on Design's Winter Thyme;
then Summer House Stitche Workes' Liberty Starburst;
and finally, Heart in Hand's Monthly Mania-April.
Liberty Starburst was my contribution to the
Patriotic Pincushion exchange at the retreat.
Here's what I received...

Most of the pincushions were like this one:
cording, buttons, cute pins, etc.
Mine, in comparison, was pretty plain
because it was finished by me,
as were all of the above smalls.
And guess who ended up with my pincushion?
The queen of finishing herself: The Twisted Stitcher.
Of course she did!
But she was most gracious about it.

Back to the finishes...

Here are a couple of small things
that I did as gifts:
I did this Victoria Sampler ornament for myself last year
on an ecru fabric, but I like this red one better.
(It's gone now.)
The bookmark was from a Vervaco kit;
small, but a lot of color changes.
I even sewed fabric onto the back,
which I wouldn't have done if the
bookmark were for me.

Here's a cute sentiment from Lizzie Kate.
The fabric is greener in real life.

I cut and sewed a queen-sized quilt top!
(OK, a lot of the fabric was from precuts, but still...)
Bonnie Hunter came to our quilt guild
and taught her Pineapple Blossom design.
This is the largest item I've ever sewn,
and it was fun to sew it mostly from stash.
It's at the long-arm quilter's now until mid-September.
Yup, they said 12 weeks for the turnaround time.

These are all of the bonus blocks
(224 of them) that were created as I was
putting together my quilt blocks.
I have a number of potential projects
that I could use them for.

Stay tuned...

I finally got a chance to meet, 
and take a workshop from,
my favorite needlepoint designer:
Kathy Rees of Needle Delights Originals.
Here is her Highland Circle design,
all stitched and framed.
Yikes, I must have cropped out the frame!
(I may be too old to be blogging...)

And finally, I believe I showed you 
the P from my Prairie Schooler alphabet
that was partially done last time.
Here is how I've progressed on that project:

This is the P-Q-R leaflet finish.
If you're familiar with the design,
you'll notice that I left off the bars on the birdcage. 
The cage was too small for him, anyway.

The S-T-U leaftlet.
I'm not quite finished with the U,
which stands for -- are you ready? --

She will have to put her Umbrella down
before she can Unlock the door with that gigantic key!
But this is why I love Prairie Schooler.

And this segues nicely into my WIP pile.

First, last and always (for the foreseeable future anyway)
I'll be working on the Prairie Schooler alphabet.
I would dearly love to finish it by the
end of this year, but that's a tight schedule for me.

I am almost done with this blackwork chickadee,
from the brilliant but evil mind of Tanja Berlin.
I've been hankering to start 
a new little something-something,
but this is my blackwork entry for the Fair this year, 
and it's the eleventh hour, folks.
I must finish this before I start anything new.

Here is Blue Jeans and Daisies by
Blue Ribbon Designs.
The fabric is a much nicer blue in real life.
This was going to be my sampler entry for the Fair
(cue the insane cackling)
but it's nowhere near completed.
I do hope to finish it before the end of the year
so that I won't have to pick out the date!
No promises, though.

Here is good old Poppers by who else but
Needle Delights Originals.
I've been at this one for quite a while.
It's the project that I work on only at guild or stitch-ins, 
so it receives regular but limited love.

Last but not least, this is more of a UFO than a WIP
since I haven't worked on it for over 18 months,
but it needs to become a WIP fast
because this is the piece chosen by
the members of my ANG chapter
as my challenge project for 2019.
Of the three that they had to choose from,
this was the one that I thought should be chosen,
but I probably should have been a 
bit more careful of what I was wishing for.
Lots of bullions on this one,
with a bunch of weird threads doing weird things.
It should be interesting.

That's it from here.
Hope you had a fabulous June.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

First Finishes of the Year

Hello, people.  Hope your January has been going well.  I've been down with a nasty case of bronchitis this past week but am not complaining since I have the luxury of staying in bed all day if I need to (which I have for a couple of days).

Since photos of my pieces have all be taken, I'm hoping it won't be too taxing to do this little post.

My prediction about my first finish was correct, it was Prairie Schooler's Winter Wind...

and it was even framed...

I love this frame,
but I did make one bad framing decision recently.

When I took Ripple Rotation II in to be framed,
the first piece of moulding my framer pulled
was  a light orangeish salmon
which exactly matched the color in the 
corners of the piece below...

I loved it, but it was a flat finish and for 
some strange reason I thought the piece needed
a "shiny" frame, and that molding didn't have a shiny option.
So I selected a shiny green that
matched one of the darker shades in the piece.
Bad choice.
I got the piece home, hung it up,
and found that the frame actually 
sucked all the light and fun out of the piece.
I was a very unhappy camper.

I lived with it for a couple of days before
taking it back to my framer.
I explained my problem and asked to see
the orange frame again.
(You should always go with a color that you love.)
So they swapped out the green frame for the orange.
The day I went to pick up the piece,
I intended to pay for the new frame and any additional labor
because this was my mistake.
I did not expect money back on the green frame either,
because it was custom cut.
But they were going to have none of that.
"Put your money away," they said.
"You are such a good customer, this is on us."
So I left the shop with the newly framed piece,
and my original green frame, which I may use someday.
Even the lady at the framer's,
who was a little skeptical about the green being horrible,
agreed that this color works much better.

Back to the other finishes.

Hot on the heels of Winter Wind,
I finally finished M N O.
Of course, the bulk of this piece
was stitched in 2017, but it still counts
as a January finish.

And finally, I started and finished
my PSS Merry Friends piece
for the tart class in March.

I have two pieces that I'm currently working on:
Winter Thyme, a small seasonal pillow
which should make an appearance here
in the not too distant future,
and of course...

...the letter P.
I figured you might want a peek at the bird.
Ever onward with the alphabet!

This has been more or less my constant companion
during the last week when I didn't feel
up to stitching.

I like Annie Proulx's quirky sense of humor.
As you might guess, this is a library book.
It was written over 20 years ago,
so once I return it, hopefully no one will want to 
take it out any time soon.
As for me, if I need another book from the library,
I'm going to limit myself to those in ebook format,
at least until cold & flu season is over!

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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

This Year's Goals

Hey stitching peeps. How's 2018 been treating you so far?

I've put some effort into planning my stitching line-up for this year, and the list is surprisingly far.  Let's start with my current WIPs:

This is Winter Wind by Prairie Schooler.
This photo shows only the top third of the design,
but I'm quite a bit farther than that.
I generally don't like to predict,
but this will likely be my first finish this year,
perhaps some time this week.

I've got a bit done on Blue Ribbon Designs'
Blue Jeans and Daisies.
This is a fairly good-sized piece, and
I'm hoping for a mid-year finish. (hehe)
If I don't finish it this year,
I'll have to pick out the date!

Here is Ho Ho Ho by Debbie Forney.
At a minimum, I need to do Santa's beard,
to convince myself that I still remember
how to do the bullion knots that make it up.
If I get the beard and mustache done,
it will all be downhill from there.

And my last current WIP is
our old friend the Prairie Schooler Alphabet.
Poor headless owl.
A little more done in the past couple weeks, no?
My fervent desire is to finish O through X this year.

A piece that I need to get started on
is Plum Street Sampler's Merry Friends.
This needs to be finished by the vernal equinox,
because I will be taking a tart finishing class 
from Vonna (the Twisted Stitcher) at
the Fancy Works retreat in March,
and this will be the tart!
No, I have not started this one yet.

There will be a patriotic pincushion exchange
at the retreat, and if the tart stitching goes well,
here is something that I had planned
to make for the exchange:
Liberty Starburst by
Summer House Stitche Workes.
This one is a definite maybe.

And I simply must do a blackwork piece, right?
I have this cute bird from Tanja Berlin, all ready to go.
I must admit that it looks a little intense.

In March I have two workshops to attend:
Kathy Rees (Needle Delights Originals)
is teaching one of her pieces at my ANG guild!
I'm really excited about this one.
I've done so many of her pieces,
but I've never had the opportunity to take one of her classes.
The name of the piece is Highland Circle.

Then my quilt guild snagged Bonnie Hunter (Quiltville)
and she will be teaching her Pineapple Blossom quilt.
I'm a little nervous about tackling this,
but the only way to improve a skill is with practice, right?

And that's it, so far.
As I said before, a modest line-up for me.
We'll see what the rest of the year brings.

Hope you're having fun with your stitching
because that's what it's all about.
Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Year in Review

2017 seems to have sped by, much like previous years have.  Since the New Year is almost upon us, I thought I'd take a look back to see how I've fared regarding my stitching goals.

In January I listed my ever-ambitious list of projects that I wanted to make progress on or complete this year: 16 in total.  This turned out to be my all-or-nothing list.  Five projects never even saw the light of day:

Clockwise from upper left:
Victoria Sampler's ornament finishing booklet 
(I planned to do the heart);
With my Needle and Thread's Kindred Spirits stitching tray and accessories;
Marsha Papay-Gomola's Ruby of the Forest
Hillside Samplings' Pines and Needles;
and Nordic Needle's hardanger ornament
from the 2012 JCS Ornament Issue.

From the other 11 projects,
I have 10 finishes and an "almost."
Left to right, from the top:
Barbara Ana's Funky Bird;
Needle Delights Originals' Independence Day;
Kay Stanis' Copper Illumination;
Carol Collection's Joseph's Coat sock;
Permin's Two Horses;
Needle Delights Originals' Spring Logs;
Hands on Designs' Underwater Basketweave;
Blackwork Journey's Wandering Star; and
Sam Sarah's Winter Cardinal.

This obviously isn't stitching, but I did make
this 3" x 3" quilted wall hanging
inspired by an Eleanor Burns book...

And now we come to the Prairie Schooler Alphabet.
I had wanted to finish the letters G through O this year.
I almost made it; as you can see,
I have a modest start on the O
but the main owl is massive--
not to mention the tree branches and,
of course, more leaves--
and I will probably be working on this letter for
a good part of January.
And guess what!
I've decided that this design will
really benefit from a back-stitch border
around each letter,
and I'm starting with the MNO row.
That will slow me down even more,
but I am one of the few people I know
who doesn't mind back stitching.

As usual, I got sidetracked by
a number of other projects not on my original list.
Here are the (mostly small) finishes...

Clockwise from top left:
LHN's Old Glory; L-K's Easter;
L-K's A Bit of June
PS Double Eagle Sampler;
and BBD's In Full Glory.

BBD's Bittersweet September;
NDO's Independence Day;
Plum Street Quilts' Shadow Play;
Summer House Stitche Workes'
Fragments in Time Squirrel;
Satsuma Street's Forest; and
Victoria Sampler's Christmas Spool.

My latest finishes, not yet seen here are:

From the Prairie Schooler Spring and Fall booklet,
the November design.
I omitted the name of the month.

A cute turkey freebie from
Plum Street Samplers.
I think its name is Bok Bok,
which sounds like a chicken to me.

Needle Delights Originals'
Holiday Delights Christmas, which will go into the top
of a Sudberry box, an easy finish.

And, finally, another Needle Delights Originals design:
Ripple Rotation II.

This one is my 2018 ANG challenge piece,
which I no longer have to worry about.

And that's it!

Happy New Year to all of you who celebrate it.
I plan to come back in January with
a peek at the plan for 2018.

Thanks for visiting!