Hey Blog Buddies, For those of you celebrating the holidays, I hope you had a wonderful time. I did. I even managed to carve out time to stitch!
In an effort to catch up with the actual calendar month, I stitched two months' worth of Crabby All Year this month. If I do the same thing in January, I'll be caught up. October you've already seen--here is November:
That cat is awfully fat!
I don't know if he's a relative, too, or just a friend...
I've also made progress on my Circle Dance quilt top this month:
I've been sewing just three blocks per day.
As the tortoise said in the fable:
"slow and steady wins the race."
About a week ago I decided to sew
what blocks I had into rows.
Above are four of the five rows I've sewn together.
If I keep at it, this should get done
in a couple of weeks.
I've also made progress on Hare's Christmas.
I'm hoping to finish it soon, and
will show you a photo when that happens.
We survived the Apocalypse and even the WIPocalypse, too! This was a fun SAL, and though I didn't complete everything on my list--it was a really ambitious list--it kept me focused throughout the year. I had 22 projects on my list, 12 were finished, 3 are WIPs in my current rotation, and 7 are (cough, cough) still UFOs. Of those seven, there are only two that are still calling my name. I'm working on my 2013 to-stitch list, and it's really hard to get it down to a manageable size. I'm trying to be more realistic about what I will actually have the time to stitch next year!
All of my 2012 WIPocalypse before-and-after photos are on a separate page. If you have some time and are so inclined, grab a cuppa and click here to peruse them.
This is the last IHSW for 2012, and it was a good weekend here for indoor activities such as stitching: chilly, gray and rainy all weekend. I did do things other than stitch: got my Christmas cards done--another indoor activity. But Christmas card writing is not what brought you here. Let's check out my finish...
This is my fifth (of five) Laura J. Perin canvaswork ornament.
The first four were from her
American Quilt Collection, Holiday Ornaments-Series 1.
Not wanting to have to stitch a duplicate from there
(I plan on finishing the five as a cube),
I discovered a bonus ornament chart to go along with
her Red Hot Peppers chart which I also have.
I switched the colors around to make it Christmasy.
Here is a collage of the first four charts
to refresh your memory...
All five of these charts are at the finisher's as I write this.
They won't be ready for Christmas,
but I've got a headstart on the holidays for 2013!
Recently, I've been kitting up a lot of things for next year,
and I had a hankering to start one of them.
But I was good (surprise!) and went off of my 2012 list
and started Plum Street Samplers' Hare's Christmas.
I got more done than I expected...
The fabric is a pretty buttercream,
but the lighting was bad for all the photos.
I decided to stitch this one in hand,
and I think the stitching went faster.
Back in the day (waay back in the day),
I stitched most projects in hand,
but then went to Q-snaps.
Anything bigger than 6" x 6" is a little too heavy
Several days ago I was looking at my Victoria Sampler Tudor Tassel ornament chart--just the cutest thing--thinking I should start it, but when I started looking at the finishing instructions, it gave me a headache. I realized what I needed to do at that point was some nice, mindless block stitching, so out came Crabby. Of course, I'm a couple of months behind (October was up next) but who cares if Halloween was six weeks ago! It finished up fast, so here is October from Crabby All Year:
I'm pretty sure those green things
are zombie hands coming up out of the ground
beside the headstone.
Again, I just placed the buttons on top of the piece.
I'm going to have a lot of buttons to sew on
once all the stitching is done!
The other thing I wanted to share with you
is a gift I received yesterday from my friend Anne.
Isn't this just the cutest thing!
It's about 3 inches long, and it's already on my tree.
It's a lovely, if somewhat brisk, day here in Northern Illinois. Our embroidery guild hosted its annual Christmas party last night, and everyone had a grand time. One of the things we do each year is an ornament exchange. Those who want to participate bring a wrapped ornament that they made and get to pick another ornament sight unseen. Here is the beautiful ornament that I unwittingly chose:
It's full moon time, and that means a WIPocalypse check-in--the penultimate one, I might add. And the exciting news this month is that we have a finish-finish! I started Shepherd's Bush Take Joy on Sunday evening and finish-finished her up late last night.
I had no finishes this time around--and I knew that would be the case going into the weekend--so I decided to do something a little zany for me: three starts! I'm feeling a little chatty today, so maybe you should get a "cuppa" or an energy drink before we embark on our journey... ...Got everything you need? Good, let's go!
As the year draws to a close, I keep glancing at the 2012 goals list on my sidebar. Now I knew quite a while ago that I wouldn't be able to finish all the projects, but it would be nice to at least put a few stitches in all of them. So that is the reason for the three starts.
First, I chose Christmas Elegance by Milady's Needle. Here is what the pattern looks like:
I chose the top left version,
only I'm doing it in green silk.
The difference between the top and bottom versions
is that one is the negative image of the other.
In other words, the top trees have the background stitched
and the bottom trees are the opposite.
They call the top versions Assisi stitching.
Normally in Assisi the entire background is stitched
and the design is left blank.
That's true here only for the tree.
Since I was doing the design with one strand
on 40-count linen, I was somewhat concerned about coverage.
The directions suggested doing "Two-Sided Italian Cross Stitch"
for better coverage, and the stitch was even diagrammed.
The best way I can describe it is
a cross stitch with a back stitch on the left and bottom.
This makes for a very dense, chunky stitch,
even if you're using only one strand!
I did the border in regular cross stitch and
decided to do the potted tree in Two-Sided Italian Cross Stitch.
You would not believe how long it took me
to stitch the pot!
And no, ripping the pot out at this point
is not an option.
Ripping anything more than a couple of stitches of
Two-Sided Italian Cross Stitch is not an option!
I don't have a crystal ball,
but this little guy might not get finished
by the end of the year.
Next I decided to go for another challenge:
Elisa's Backporch Circle Dance quilting pattern.
Sewing curves (shudder).
Here is a photo of the pattern to refresh your memory.
I wasn't crazy about the fabric in this photo,
so I decided to start over with some very bright batik fabric instead.
Don't worry--I hadn't gotten far
and the above fabric was used to make
some very cute ort bags this summer.
No sewing yet, just cutting,
and only 12 pieces of each element cut.
I'll need to cut 40 total of each of the smaller elements,
and (ahem) 106 of each of the larger.
But it's a start--and I love the fabric!
The last is not technically a start
since I've been working on this project a good part of the year,
but it's a start on a month.
Yes, Crabby All Year is back after an extended absence!
You may remember Quaker Cardinal, my rotund bird, that I finished stitching last month. I gave him to Karen from our Guild (to finish-finish) at the October meeting and I got him back already! I wasn't expecting her to do this so soon because this is obviously her busy time with lots of holiday ornies to do, etc. It's kind of like Christmas in November...
The light isn't good today.
I'm not fond of using flash, so I took him outside.
The full moon is here once again, and I'm happy to report I did much better on my WIPocalypse list than I did last month--which was no progress on anything, so the bar was really low to begin with!
I finished Blackbird Design's Night Song Hallowe'en ornament. The photo is here. Also completed is part four of Laura J. Perin's Christmas Ornaments, Series 1, as reported earlier this month. The photo is here. And since I was in a Hallowe'en mood after putting up my small black tree, I decided to tackle Blackbird Design's Haunted House because I still have a lot of empty branches!
My linen was not as dark as the model's (it may not look that way from the photos, but, trust me, it is!) so I used darker-hued floss instead.
In order to make the house look a little more haunted, I "turned off the lights," opened the front door a little way,
made the chimney crooked, and added a couple of bats flying over the roof. Since I used DMC 3371 for the stepping stones, they look more like spiders to me. That was unintentional, but I like it!
Below is the stitched model:
Hopefully, the ornie will be finished-finished by Hallowe'en! I'm currently working on a little craft project but can't show it to you now, because it's going to be a gift!
Click here to see everyone's October WIPocalypse progress.
I hope everyone on the Eastern Seaboard of the USA stays safe from hurricane Sandy.
For the past few days, we've been having what has been described in a poem as "October's bright blue weather"--beautiful bright blue skies which set off all the glorious autumn colors on the trees, but it's been somewhat chilly. Great weather for stitching! But you could make a case that all weather is great weather for stitching!
So, on to the stitching. I made the last item that I'm planning on selling at the Quilters Plus Boutique (see shameless plug on my sidebar). It's a hardanger tree that I made earlier this year. The first version was white on white--you can see it here. I like this new red version better.
I used red congress cloth, #8 red perle cotton
for the blanket stitch and klosters,
#8 red Kreinik metallic for the eyelets,
and white #12 perle cotton for the woven bars.
The color variations are endless on this one.
And, since it's October already,
I finally finish-finished my two little Halloween ornies:
The owl from Prairie Schooler's Heads Up booklet...
...and the tombstone from the same booklet.
Very simple finish--just mounted the little pieces
on some matboard, then glued it to black felt,
with an orange ribbon sandwiched between the two pieces.
I'm also working on Night Song from the
BBD booklet "Tis Halloween."
I'll show it to you when it's done.
Hopefully, that will be finished and on the tree before the 31st!
This past weekend, Homewood Embroiderers Guild participated in the Pieces & Patches Quilt Guild Show--the best of both worlds--and what fun everyone had! The following are a very small portion of the photos I took on Sunday...
There's a lot going on in this photo--so many beautiful pieces!
Ummm, yes, I know it's now October, but I haven't done my September report yet and Measi, Mistress of the WIPocalypse, gives slackers like me a grace period. If being late isn't bad enough, I did nothing from my WIPocalypse list last month. Nada, zip, zilch--not one stitch. Not even Crabby. Blame it on commitment stitching. Oh, wait. I did have one tiny start/finish last month, which was not really part of my WIPocalypse list (and not commitment stitching, either)--it almost slipped my mind. Since you haven't seen it finished, might as well show it to you now...
This is Quaker Cardinal by The Workbasket.
He's quite chubby--must have been spending a lot of time
at the backyard feeder.
For the threads, I substituted Gloriana silks in
Poinsettia, Charcoal and Lacquered Gold.
If the red looks familiar, it's the same red
that I used for CT13. I had quite a bit extra.
Karen from the Guild will finish him as a stand-up.
He'll make a return appearance on this blog
when he's all finished-finished.
And now for the comic relief: my commitment stitching.
I crocheted a boa for my quilt guild boutique.
The instructions said to make a chain 70" long (quite long),
but it must have stretched out a little while I was crocheting.
It's now eight feet long.
I took it to my stitching retreat to finish it this weekend
(more on that in a separate post).
The ladies were very kind.
They said some teenager would want to buy it.
But I'm afraid it will come back to me.
So I'm exploring some home decorating possibilities for it: