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

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Finished Quilt Top ... and a BBD

Hey Blog Buddies,

Today marks another milestone in my quilt project:  all 30 blocks have been completd and assembled into a quilt top.  I like it well enough, but the combination of the 2-1/4" squares, with lots of half square triangles thrown in, plus the pattern in my "light" fabric make it all a little ... well ... busy.  Sometimes I think I should just stick to quilt kits and leave the fabric selection to the professionals.

The display hanger in this photo
is the Southpaw Stitcher staff.

Now I'm rethinking sending it out
to be quilted because
I'm not sure I want
another pattern
on top of it all.

I've never quilted anything
quite this large before,
but I may attempt a simple
stitch-in-the-ditch finish.

I'll take it to my LQS tomorrow
to pick out backing fabric
and make my decision then.

But anyway, last week I had taken Molly
to the groomer for a soothing
oatmeal bath for her skin.
As we were leaving,
the owner of the shop
thanked me for getting a BBD.
"A beebbee what?" I asked.
It was pretty early in the morning.
"A BBD--big, black dog," she replied.

(Yes, she's big, black and a dog.)

I was probably eyeing her strangely at this point,
because she went on to explain
that shelters and rescues have
a harder time adopting out
BBD's than other dogs.
Theories abound on why this is so.
They don't photograph well, and
a lot of folks pick out dogs on the Internet.
People associate them with
Rotties and Dobermans
and are more fearful of them.
They can't be seen as well in
the back of a cage.
BBD's even have their own rescue.

Needless to say, I was surprised.
I had never heard about
the BBD syndrome before.

We chose Molly because she seemed
so calm, we leaned toward females,
and thought she was a "good" size.
Who knew?

This happens almost every time she
goes out into the yard.
She's obsessed with squirrels.

If we had known about
BBD syndrome beforehand,
we would have added "black"
to our list of preferences.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Two (Count 'em) Two Finishes

Greetings, Blog Buddies,

Thanks for all your comments--I enjoy reading every one.  Today I have not one, but two, finishes to share with you.  First is Jack O'Lantern, found in the BBD 'Tis Hallowe'en booklet....

He's such a happy fellow.

This is another 40-count-over-2 piece.

He might be appearing somewhat larger on-screen
 than he is in real life.
Many tiny crosses were involved in this piece.

Which is why I particularly enjoyed my next finish...

This is from Laura J. Perin's
Holiday Ornaments, Series 1

It's on 18-count canvas (love it!).
I don't need magnification to work this one.

This canvaswork piece is a whopping 4-3/4 inches square--
too big to finish as an ornament, in my opinion.
It can't hide behind Jack O'Lantern!

So I decided to make all four ornies in the set
plus one extra, then finish them as a cube.
The sixth side will be covered in fabric.
Fortunately, I realized at the outset
that each ornie in the set was a different size!
They varied from 80 stitches square
up to 86 stitches square.

I figured the easiest route would be to adjust the smaller ones
so that they would be 86 stitches square.
This one was charted for 82 stitches square--
I added the extra ecru border over two
to make it the size I needed.

We're having "October's bright blue weather" here today.
Hope you are enjoying your weekend,
whatever the weather.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Very Stitchy Weekend

Hey Blog Buddies,

Yesterday was Indiana State Day.  "What the heck is that?" many of you may be wondering.  Once a year, the various chapters of the Embroidery Guild of America (the Mothership)  in each state get together for a workshop, lunch, prizes and various other stitchy festivities.  So yesterday, the ladies of the Indianapolis chapter were the hosts for Indiana State Day.  You don't have to be a resident of the state to participate (which I'm not), or even a member of one of the state's chapters (which I happen to be), just a member of the Mothership.

My festivities started on Friday when Averyclaire and I began our Indiana road trip/shop hop.  Our first stop was Persnickety Stitchers in Zionsville, IN.  What a great little shop!  It sells supplies for both canvaswork and linen, and it's well worth a visit if you're anywhere in the area.  Zionsville is also a very pleasant artsy-craftsy little town, so we had lunch there with Linda, another member of our Guild who we ran into (where else?) at Persnickety Stitchers. 

My Haul from Persnickety Stitchers
The top photo shows two charts from The Prairie Schooler.
Bottom photo is a canvaswork piece
from Needle Delights Originals.

Our next stop was Needle Fever which is more of a counted-cross-stitch-type place.  They have tons of merchandise (many items of which actually seemed to know me by name--but I somehow managed to restrain myself).  This is another recommended stop if you're in Indianapolis.  Our last stop before the hotel was Quilts Plus, on the same street as Needle Fever and not too far down.  This shop was another winner, and I recommend it if you're into quilty stuff.  After we got to the hotel for a short rest after our journey, we went to the stitch-in hosted by the Indianapolis Guild.

Saturday morning bright and early at 9:00am (8:00am Illinois time) the workshop started.  It was a class in stumpwork ("dimensional stitching") taught by Marsha Papay Gomola.  I can't say enough good things about Marsha:  her instructions are clear and informative, and she's funny and very encouraging to all her students.  Our project was a little cardinal, the state bird of Indiana.  (What a coincidence:  it's also the state bird of Illinois!)

Here is the stitched example that Marsha brought which illustrates how to get the dimension in the cardinal.  First you tack three pieces of felt onto the design, one on top of the other and each one slightly bigger than the last.  Then you stitch the design on top of the felt, being careful not to pull the stitches too tightly, which would mash the felt down.  The stitch we used on the cardinal was the long-and-short stitch.

The following are some examples of Marsha's beautiful work:

After everyone got a good start on their bird, it was time for lunch.

Eight gals from our Guild attended State Day. 
Karol, Linda, Renee and Joyce were at one table.

Sue, her mom Jackie, Karen and I were at another table.

Why did we split up?  Well, I try to avoid complaining on this blog, but I'm going to do it now.  All of the people with "special diets" (vegetarians, gluten intolerance, carb intolerance) were segregated from the general population (and their friends) and had to sit at this one table.  It was in the far corner of the room.  The Special-Diet Ghetto.  I've never run into this policy before (probably the brainchild of someone on the hotel's management team).  I felt a little like some sort of freakazoid.  If my other "weirdo" friends hadn't been at the table with me, I would have rebelled, and it wouldn't have been pretty.  Just sayin.'  I should add here that everyone at lunch got a door prize, courtesy of the Indianapolis Guild, and we all got cute little goodie bags made by the members of the Indianapolis Guild, filled with stitchy stuff, to-wit:

Clockwise, from top left:
Mill Hill Autumn Harvest ornament (door prize)
Goodie Bag with needle
Stitch markers
Scissor fob
Paper ort container
Pinkeep to match goodie bag
Embroidery floss

After lunch, we had time to go back to the classroom and stitch and get more tips from Marsha about finishing our piece, etc.  Many of the workshop participants brought completed projects for show and tell.  Below is the eye candy.

Here is what our Guild brought...

If you have stuck with me this far,
you may be wondering
"When is this post going to end?"
"How did Southpaw's cardinal turn out?"

(I prefer to believe the latter.)

So here is my progress on the cardinal, my newest WIP.
I've lost count of how many I have now....

Averyclaire was the only one from our Guild
who finished the whole bird (minus beak).
I didn't get a photo.
I know, it's not a race.

Hope you're doing fun things this weekend.

Thanks for visiting!