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

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Exciting News!

Did that get your attention?  
No, I haven't won the Lotto or 
had a date with Channing Tatum,
but I am halfway done with the background
on my blackwork piece.
Well, I think it's exciting...

After the background is completed,
I'll still have some shading to do on the petals,
and then I'll be done.
But it's a very, very slow process.

And just in time for May...
I've developed a renewed appreciation for Aida cloth.
I began my cross stitching life using Aida cloth,
and then abandoned it for linen.
I belonged to the group who had "moved beyond" Aida.
But now Aida comes in so many pretty colors --
the above is an over-dyed piece from Picture This Plus --
and it is so easy to work with and hide your thread ends,
that I've started using it again.
I wish I had chosen it for my blackwork piece!
The pattern is from Hands on Design's
A Year of Celebrations leaflet.

Here's Heart in Hand's Checker Bird...
I used the called-for colors,
but changed the bead color to red,
because I didn't think the included white beads
would show up on my... 
light-colored Aida cloth.
Am I being a reverse snob?
Just slap me if I am.

I don't think I've mentioned it here,
but for the longest time I've wanted
to get one of Charley Harper's
designs for needlepoint.
They are painted canvases and,
therefore, very pricey.
So I not only had a birthday in March,
but I had a 20-percent-off coupon from
my local needlepoint store, too.
The perfect storm.
I was planning on buying only one,
but I couldn't decided between these two...

I have a thing for birds.
And there were a lot of bird designs to choose from.
It's a miracle I was able to
whittle it down to just two.
If you're not familiar with Charley's wonderful designs,
you can google Meredith Collection
to see what I was up against
in picking just one two.
They all make me smile.

Last but not least,
I've been doing so many colorful pieces lately
that I had a desire to do something
a little bit more drab.
Enter my only other WIP at present...
...Kathy Barrick's Good Intentions.
This fills the bill for drab!

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

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Catching Up

The time since my last post has been rather hectic, so we have a lot of catching up to do.  Let's get right to it, because there are a lot of photos.

This is my Prairie Schooler alphabet, finished as a quilted wall hanging by Vonna, the Twisted Stitcher.

I was able to find coordinating fabric that had a "stitched" alphabet pattern in it.  It was perfect for this piece!

I finished the last little bit of this Needle Delights Originals Easter design, and now its home is in the lid of a Sudberry box.

Another very recent finish is this little pillow from Hands on Design's A Year of Celebrations.  It's not my best finishing job, but it is what it is, and it looks cute from across the room.  The word "grow" under the daisies could almost be mistaken for "snow" which is what we got today.

This is from Prairie Schooler's A Prairie Year leaflet - the design for May.  A future pillow.

This design from Lizzie-Kate's Spring Smalls booklet is another future pillow.  I haven't been finishing these things too quickly, so these two may not make it for Spring 2019.

The ladybug that I showed a couple of posts ago now has a daisy to sit on...

I've started the background, and it is a painfully slow go.  I had planned to take this one to the county fair in August, but I'm not confident that it will be done in time.  We'll see.

I have a good start on this design by Jeanette Douglas.  It was featured in a class that she taught at the Fancy Works retreat in Bloomington, IN, at the end of March.  This will be a little tray, and there's a scissor fob and drum pinkeep in the set, too.  The overdyed ground fabric is really very pretty, but I guess my camera didn't like it.

This is the progress I've made on my ANG challenge piece.  Two and a half packages.  This one definitely won't be finished by the end of June, and I'll be $10 poorer.  But at least it's no longer a UFO.

Last but not least, this is what the stylish, color-coordinated dog will wear on a stroll if she's recovering from foot surgery and has a bandage that needs to be kept clean and dry...

Molly looks about as happy with the whole thing as we are.

I think we're caught up now.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Hall of Shame

Certain stitching bloggers from time to time "show off" their UFO's, whether for a challenge, a SAL or other reasons.  I had mentioned mine a while back, and thought that I would catalog them here, in hopes of (shaming myself into?) finishing one or more by the end of this year.  I probably have fewer than some, but more than others.  I do find, however, that my UFO's seem to have one thing in common:  they are all, except two, from either a class or workshop that I once attended.  So here they are, all 14 16 of them (I just found two more as I was going through my stash), from the most recent to the oldest...

Austin Patch, a 2017 workshop given by Tony Minieri
through my local ANG chapter.
This is Tony's model.

I've got a good start on it, haven't I?


This one is Fire and Ice by Toni Gerdes,
another 2017 workshop hosted by my ANG chapter.
This is Toni's model that she brought
for our inspection.

This is what I was able to finish in class.
The stitching is fun and easy, but the silk thread
needs to be ironed before using.   (sigh)

This trio of ornaments is from the
2016 Illinois State Day workshop hosted by
my local EGA chapter.
These were the three colorways
and you needed to pick one for your kit.
I felt that I needed to support my chapter by attending.
That's all I'll say.

Here's my start.
That's a practice motif on the lower right.

This was a 2016 boutis workshop held after
a regional EGA meeting.
The finished needlebook is beautiful.

Here is my start.
Yes, there are stitches on that fabric,
you just can't see them
because the thread matches the fabric.

This is very sad.
This is my challenge project for my local
ANG chapter this year.
The deadline is the 4th Saturday in June.
As you can see, it will be a
very cute, 3-sided Christmas stand-up.
One day.
I have not worked on it at all since last June,
when it was chosen by the members
from the three projects I brought to the meeting.
I've thought about it a lot, though.
There's still time, but I may end up
paying the $10 penalty for not finishing.

This is where I'm at.
It's been sitting around since 2016.

This is called Dresden Doodle.
It was a blackwork workshop taught by
the redoubtable Marian Scoular in 2015.
Each participant received a large piece of
fabric with the design drawn on.
Then we were given a variety of "diaper" patterns,
and told to have at it.

 Here are some of Marian's stitched models,
three showing various Dresden designs.

This was another 2015 workshop, this one
taught by Ellen Chester.
Participants received the wooden carry-all,
with instructions and materials for a pin cube,
needle roll, pipkin, ruler cover and scissor case.

I did stitch and finish the pin cube!
I've shown it here before, but you don't
mind looking at it again, do you?

None of the other pieces
have even been started.

This was a 2015 cyberclass on
reversible cross stitching.
I think I was confused about the half cross stitches,
so I put it aside.

Here is what I've stitched so far.
And it is reversible.
The material provided is very nice.
Looking at these now, I think
I should just finish them up however I can.
I have enough material for
four little coasters.
They won't take long to stitch.
So what if the back isn't perfect.

This project really fell into my mental dustbin.
I had it listed under "Kitted" instead of "Started"
in my cross stitch app.
But rummaging through my stash
I did find that I had stitched a wee border
for one ornament.
It's kind of hard to see.
The wavy lines may be due to the
flecks of metallic thread woven into the canvas.

This was a class from my ANG chapter.
If I finish it, I'll get another pin for my nametag.
But on the other hand,
 I may already have enough pins on my nametag.
However, I'm not quite giving up on this one yet.

This was a 2014 pilot class that I took through
my ANG chapter.
We were given the middle and the right trees
to stitch and give feedback to the designer.
All required feedback was given.
The one on the right is done.

The middle one is not.

This is Elizabeth Almond's 
wonderfully generous 2014 blackwork freebie called
"Save the Stitches."
I fell in love with it back then.
Yes, it is huge.
I don't have a photo of anyone's finished piece.

Ah, the Little Bee Eater by Trish Burr.
This was a needlepainting class
that I took at the 2014 Nordic Needle retreat.
Since then, I took another needlepaintiing
class with Tanja Berlin.
(I did finish that piece.)
I plan to rip out what I started
and do this one Tanja's (better) way.
Honest, I do.

This is from the 2011 EGA Indiana State Day.
The piece is Ruby of the Forest by Marsha Papay-Gomola,
who is a wonderful teacher with a great sense of humor.
Take a class from her if you get a chance.

I swear, every single year I say to myself,
I need to get this guy finished up.
I've got all the padding done,
and a lot of the stitching on the bird.
Those were the only tricky parts.
The finished size would be a small ornament.
I can do this.

This was a 2011 workshop hosted by
my EGA chapter.
My start is on the left.

As I was examining it today,
I find that it will finish to an odd size (5.3" square).
I have a 4x4-inch box.
Maybe I can eliminate some of the borders
and make it fit into that box top.
It's a plan.

This is a workshop that I took at a
2010 EGA regional seminar.

Here is the teacher's model...
Yes, it's supposed to be a nametag, but it's
almost 5" in diameter which, to me,
seems too big for a nametag.
We did do most of the tricky parts in class,
and it wouldn't take long to finish stitching,
but I'm not sure how I would want
to use this piece, if I ever finished it.

And finally, last but not least...
This is truly my oldest UFO.
It's a dresser scarf that I started
around 2000-2001, before I started keeping records,
using one of the patterns from the hundreds 
in this cool folk art embroidery book
that I bought back in the day.
I'd give you the title--I still have the book--
but am not sure where it is right now.

Unfortunately, when I peeked into the bag 
to check which colors I had been using,
I saw that the red is an overdye: Buckeye Scarlet.  Uh-oh.
Someone wasn't thinking when she chose her colors!
Not being able to wash a dresser scarf is not a good thing.
It's probably the end of the line for this one.

Well, that's it, I think.
If you've stuck with me through
all my thinking out loud, congratulations!
We'll see which, if any, I finish
by the end of this year.
My deadline piece
should be at the front of the line--
and it has the most left to do
(after Save the Stitches, of course).

Hope your projects are going well.
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

I Have Conquered "The Beast"!


Yes, it's true.  I have prevailed over the Beast!  Not only is it finished, but framed as well.

My framer tends to finish these pieces in record time.  (Maybe he feels a sense of urgency because he's 94!)  Anyway, he works with his daughter, and she wasn't there when I went to pick this up.  They have a new credit card reader, and he hadn't yet gotten the tutorial on how to operate it.  So he just sent me on my way with the framed piece and said we could worry about the payment later!  We did go back later that afternoon, with our checkbook this time, even though he said it wasn't necessary that we come back the same day.  I hope he wouldn't do that with a new customer, although I wouldn't be surprised if he did--he's very nice.  And they do know me well.

Here are some close-ups...

I didn't bother to change the date!

Blue Jeans and Daisies
by Blue Ribbon Designs

I mentioned a March small that was being pillowfied in my last post.  Here it is...

It turned out OK!
A Prairie Year - March
by The Prairie Schooler


My Lizzie-Kate Spring piece hasn't received much love, so I won't show that here, but I'm moving right along on the Easter piece.

Holiday Delights, Easter
by Needle Delights Originals

New Start

I usually like to throw a blackwork piece into the mix, and this year I chose a PDF download from Ajisai Press...

Here is my start on the ladybug...
It's kind of scary looking, and way bigger than life-size.
It's like the ladybug that ate Cleveland!

So that's it from here.
Hope your February is going along well.
Thanks for visiting!