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

Sunday, June 28, 2020

My Trips to the Framer

My framer reopened a few weeks ago, and I had five finished pieces that had been just waiting for that day!  I decided to take them in one at a time, however, because we've been having a lot of protests in the area and, quite frankly, I figured it would be bad enough to lose one piece, let alone five!  They (father/daughter framing team) understood.  But my pieces are all back home safe and sound now, so here they are:

The first piece that I had framed was Spring Robin
by Widgets and Wool Primitives.
I didn't get it in time for this spring, but I'll have it next year.

Next up, Rainforest Birds, my Charley Harper piece.
My framer actually took this piece home with her
one night for safekeeping.
I can't say enough nice things about these people!

This is my "Covid" piece that I designed myself.
I just took a quote that I liked,
and added some motifs from a
folk art embroidery book that I've had for decades.
I did it the hard way,
scratching the chart out on graph paper by hand
since I don't have any cross stitch software.

This is my favorite piece;
they couldn't have found a more perfect frame!
Pandora's Box, a freebie from Blackwork Journey.
The photo doesn't do it justice.

Last but not least, I decided to double-frame
this needlepoint piece.
The canvas is by Eye Candy
and the design's name is self-evident.
I was really surprised when I went to pick it up
and they said, "No charge."
I do give them a lot of business, but I wasn't expecting that!
These folks are the best!

And finally, a small pillow finish...
...from the Little Dove's Year series of monthly patterns.

What do I have in the works now?
So glad you asked, because I have more photos...

I'm actually done stitching this one,
but it still needs to be pillowfied,
hopefully before July.
Little House Needleworks, Freedom

Plum Street Samplers,
Serial Bowl Collection, Lesson Two.
Here's another future pillow.
Once I've finished "painting" the house,
there's a huge bowl of flowers on the roof,
and a large swath of grass on the bottom,
so I've got a bit more to go.
There are five charts in this series,
and they all come with over-dyed threads,
but the suggestion is to use one strand
because if you use two strands you might run out.
I do use two strands and
I've had good luck so far not running out,
except with the red in this piece.
I was able to stitch all the letters except one,
and believe me, I used every scrap of thread.
Since the kit is five years old,
I figured I might not be able to match
the color, even with the same thread.
So I pawed through my stash first and,
lo and behold, I found an almost exact match
with a different color from a different manufacturer.
And since both threads are over-dyed,
no one, not even DH "the color guy" as I call him,
can tell the difference.
So you might keep that in mind
if you run out of an over-dyed thread in the
middle of a project.

This is a workshop that I took through my 
local ANG chapter last year,
Jennifer Riefenberg's Pumpkin Patch.
There's a lot of laying of threads involved
which I'm not fond of
so this will take a while, I think.

This is one of the 35 projects in the book
"Splendid Samplers to Cross Stitch" by Chris Rankin.
It's called Caribbean Sampler in the book;
I call it Southwest Sampler.
I love the rainbow bands between the squares.

Last but not least, this is my start on
And Heaven and Nature Sing by Kathy Barrick.
I usually like to stitch seasonal pieces
closer to the season, but since I'm using
the called-for silks, summer stitching it is
because silk catches on my dry, flaky fingertips
in the winter and drives me crazy crazier.
The linen photographed blue
(and a lovely blue it is)
but in real life it's light gray.
And the wreath is stitched in 
two shades of green.

That's it from here.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

I Love Charley

Harper, that is.  In case you're not familiar with him, Charley Harper was an American Modernist artist, best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints.  Luckily for me, many of those prints are available as painted needlepoint canvases, and I have two of them.  I have a finish on my first one...

This is called Rainforest Birds.  Painted canvases alone can be quite pricey.  I saved a little money by doing this piece almost entirely in DMC #3 Pearl Cotton, which I like to work with.  Some needlepointers may look down their noses at that, but I don't care.   Rainbow Gallery specialty threads can add a lot to the cost, and there are a few of them that I avoid like the plague (or should I say Covid-19, hah!), such as Neon Rays, a rayon ribbon. I did the eyes in black #12 Kreinik, but the sparkle doesn't show up on the photos.

Here are some close-ups:

Some canvases have stitch guides, but if this one did, I wasn't aware of it, so I wound up choosing which stitches to use.  At first, it was a very daunting task, but I had a little book called "Stitches to Go" by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson that has diagrams for hundreds of stitches.  I relied on it a lot.

I decided to do a different stitch for each color.  In retrospect, that may have been overkill.  I did the background all in basketweave.  A lot of needlepointers avoid basketweave because it takes a long time to stitch and can be boring, but I view it as zen.  When I couldn't decide on a stitch to use, I did a bunch of basketweave, a no-brainer.  That worked out well because once I was done with the birds and flowers, I had only a little corner of basketweave to finish.

Some of the stitches I used were:  brick, byzantine, milanese,  French knots, jacquard, diagonal mosaic, scotch, reverse scotch, kalem, nobuko and serendipity.  Don't you love those names!  I did the little guy at the top in basketweave because he was so small and far in the background, and probably because I didn't want to make any more stitch decisions, if I'm being honest.

Well, that's it from here.
Thanks for listening to my blatherings.
And thanks for visiting!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Pandora's Box

We have a finish!

Pandora's Box,
a freebie from the very generous Elizabeth Almond
of Blackwork Journey.

You know how you notice things
after you take a photograph
that you didn't notice
while stitching a piece for months on end?
Well, I've just noticed that
the first and last whitework squares in the top row
are not outlined like all the rest are.
So I think I'll outline them before
this piece is framed.
I'll have lots of time to do that
since who knows when "nonessential" businesses
like my framer will be allowed to open.

Anyway, here are some close-ups...

I do love this piece, but I had to do a lot of
thinking with each new square.
I will be happy to get back to some
good old mindless cross stitch!
And there's nothing wrong with that!

That's it for now.
Thanks for dropping by...
and hang in there!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Stitching While S.I.P.

Hello, My Fellow Shut-Ins!

Of course, the S.I.P. in the title refers to sheltering in place, which most of us are doing right now.  So while I have a captive audience, I'll take this opportunity to show you some finishes and also what I've been working on lately.  Let's start with the finishes...

I love the robins on this pillow.
March is the month when you start to see them again
around these parts.
From Heart in Hand's Square Dance series.

Jeanette Douglas taught this class last year
at a retreat in Bloomington, Indiana.
I just recently got these two pieces back from the finisher.

About five years ago, Plum Street Samplers 
came out with a series of Sampler Lesson bowl fillers.
I, of course, bought all the charts (with thread).
This is the second one that's completed.

And yet another March pillow.
This is from the Little Dove's Year leaflet.
In the chart, the fourth sheep was on a hill
that was floating above the ground.
I decided to extend the hill downward
and backstitch the month over the cross stitching.

Now for the WIPs...

I'm close to a finish on this Charley Harper piece.
Just a couple of sections on the large bird and
a small piece of the background need to be stitched.
The name of the piece is Rainforest Birds.

I'm getting close on this one as well.
This is a freebie (!) from Blackwork Journey
entitled Pandora's Box.
In addition to the blackwork motifs,
there are boxes with cross stitch,
pulled work and pattern darning.

This book is from 1995,
and I came across the cover piece on Instagram.
It was love at first sight.
There are a lot of enablers on Instagram!
I found the book for sale on Etsy,
and started kitting it up right away.

Here is my start.
It was somewhat of a challenge.
The book was in perfect condition,
but the printed chart was so small
as to be unreadable.
So I enlarged it on my copier/printer.
The model was stitched with Anchor yarn,
which doesn't necessarily correspond to DMC colors.
I matched colors from my fairly large stash
of DMC floss to the photo as best I could.
Finally, the chart did not have every tenth
line bolded, and no stitch count was given.
So, after manually counting and
marking every tenth line, I was ready to go.
I know that two empty boxes
are not very exciting, but just wait.

Here is my final WIP, Spring Robin
from Widgets and Wool Primitives.
The chart was gifted to me by Averyclaire
a couple of years ago.  Thanks, K!
The fabric is 20-count "Summer Sunset" Lugana.

So what is on my staying-at-home horizon?
More small pillows, of course.
I have a very fun painted canvas
that I plan on starting when
Rainforest Birds is completed.
And after that, who knows?

Thanks, as always, for visiting.
Stay well.