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

Monday, January 28, 2013

We Have a Winner!

Hey Blog Buddies,
Thanks for the wonderful response to my little giveaway!  I always have so much fun when I do these.  I really appreciate everyone who follows this blog and all the kind comments that I receive throughout the year.  I honestly wish everyone who entered could win!

Well, our Giveaway Supervisor (Molly) had to get into the act again this year.  I think she just wants to have her photo up on the blog!  I put a little dab of margarine on the bottom of a bowl and threw all the names in.  (Without the margarine, she would have just sniffed and walked away.)

This bowl was a little too big
for the amount of names that were in it.
It took quite a bit of sniffing around
before she knocked a name out.

Then she had to be dragged away
because she was not done investigating the bowl.


...whose name is that?

It's Anne of Doll's Musings who commented:

Wow! What a generous giveaway! Congrats on your 2 years of blogging! It goes by fast doesn't it?!Hmm, I started stitching when I was 9 I think. Fav techniques...hmm...I like to start stitching with the loop method if I'm using two threads. I try to make my stitches lay flat but I find it hard sometimes. I love using my Qsnaps and scroll rods to work on my bigger projects!

Congratulations, Anne!
Please email me your snail mail address
so I can send out your package.

That's it for now.
Hope everyone had a great, stitchy weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Start: Canvaswork Class

Hey Blog Buddies,
January has turned out to be a very busy month, stitching-wise, here at The Southpaw Stitcher.  I've put stitches into 12 projects (the usual rotation is about one project per week) and finished 7 of them, and the month isn't even over!  Most of them were small projects, or projects left over from 2012, but still.   I signed up for a canvaswork class which was held today, and now I have a new start to show you:

This is the start of Variations on a Rhodes Theme by
Freda's Fancy Stitching.
Like the name of the project says,
all the stitches are some type of Rhodes stitch.
I couldn't get the colors right
no matter how hard I tried.
The center square is gray/purple
and not green/burgundy
(it's Watercolours Flagstone),
and the aqua isn't quite as intense.
There's nothing like a canvas full of Rhodes stitches
to generate an immediate wow factor.

Unfortunately, this little beauty must be set aside.
I'm stitching on a valentine-themed piece
for Jo's Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop.
I'll be keeping this one under wraps until the 14th of February.
Click here if you'd like to join in the fun!

Finally, don't forget to check out my giveaway,
if you haven't already.
The last day to enter is tomorrow,
January 27th at 11:59 p.m. Chicago time.
Click here to find out all about it.
Good luck!

That's it for today.
Hope you're having fun this weekend.
Thanks, as always, for visiting.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The First Saturday in February ... Stitch-in-Public Day according to the EGA (Embroidery Guild of America or, as I like to refer to it, the Mothership).  Our local chapter will be having a Stitch-in-Public event at the St. John (IN) Public Library from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, February 2nd.  If you're in the vicinity, please do stop by and stitch with us!

Our chapter will also have a hearts-and-Valentine-themed exhibit at the library during the month of February.  My modest contribution is my latest finish...

This is Lizzie*Kate's A Bit of February.
Started on 1/21/13, Finished on 1/24/13.
Stitched on 28-count Light Mocha linen
with the called-for DMC threads (mostly).

That's it for today.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway!
If you're interested, go to my giveaway post and leave a comment.

Have a stitchy weekend and
thanks for visiting!

Monday, January 21, 2013

2nd Blogoversary Giveaway! *EDITED*

Hey Blog Buddies,
Today is the second anniversary of my first post on this little blog.  Time sure flies when you're having fun!  To celebrate this wonderful event, I'm having a giveaway.  Here is the giveaway package:

The chart for Plum Street Samplers' Hares' Christmas
(good as new)...

...kitted up...
36-count vintage Buttercream linen (actually is new)
and all the called-for GAST overdyed threads
(slightly used, but should be enough to finish the project)
Or you can use them on whatever strikes your fancy!

And since we all can use more linen:

A sampling of some smaller pieces
of 32- and 35-count linen--great for ornies or other smalls.
And let's not forget the little cloth ort bag--
handy for when you're stitching on the go.

To enter yourself in this giveaway, please do the following:
leave a comment on this post;
be a follower of this blog; and
answer the following questions:
when did you start stitching and
what are your favorite techniques?

That's it for now.

Ooops!  I forgot to mention when the drawing will be
first time around. 
What a ding-dong!
Deadline to enter is 11:59 p.m. CST
on Sunday, January 27th.
I'll draw the winning name on Monday, the 28th.

Good luck, and thanks for visiting!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

First IHSW for 2013!

Hey Blog Buddies,

This weekend was International Hermit and Stitch Weekend (IHSW).  For those of you who may be new to this phenomenon, it's a virtual stitch along, happening once a month, hosted by Joyce over at her blog Random Ramblings.  You can click here to find out all about it.

So this is what I accomplished:

I'm doing an ornament a month for the
This is from the Prairie Schooler Heads Up booklet.
I used DMC 310, WDW Carrot and one of my DMC greens.
The linen is 40-count to make it nice and small
so it won't overwhelm my tree.

Then, I switched gears to crochet.
It's getting pretty cold here finally,
so I made a cowl or neckwarmer, if you will.
It's only about 6 inches high.

Boy, this is an ugly photo!
The yarn is Sensations Angel Hair Stripes,
fuzzy but not itchy because it's acrylic.
This only took me a couple of hours--
crochet goes fast!

Here is the grayer side of the piece.
It really doesn't look too bad,
although I wouldn't categorize it as "pretty."

Finally (there's more?  oh yes!),
I did a little commitment stitching.
I'm teaching a mini-hardanger class
later on in the year, and this is the model:

This is a freebie from Victoria Sampler.
I stitched it on 25-count linen,
and I probably should have used #5 pearl cotton
for the satin stitch instead of #8.
And my wrapped bars need work.
I'm a firm believer in pointing these things out
to my class so that they can learn
from my mistakes.
I probably should do one or two more samples
on different grounds and with different colors,
if only to practice the needleweaving!

That's it for now.
Be sure to come back tomorrow because
it's my blogoversary, and you know what that means...

To check out what my fellow hermitters
have been up to this weekend,
click here.

Hope you had a grand weekend.
Thanks so much for visiting!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Still Crabby in 2013

Hey Blog Buddies,
Thanks for all the great comments you've been leaving!  I really do appreciate them so much!

Raise the Roof Designs' Crabby All Year is one of those rare projects from my 2012 WIPocalypse list that made the jump with me from 2012 to 2013.  It is still very much a WIP, and I finished up December this week:
That blue on the check is a bit brighter than in real life.
The amount on the check is "2MUCH" -- heheh.
There was an error on the chart that I didn't catch:
the pen was supposed to be blue (as in their photo)
but the color listed on the chart was salmon.
I know, no big deal.
But the coins on the bottom were charted as copper pennies
which I thought might "clash" with the pink,
so I changed them to nickels and a dime.
I have no idea why the buttons for the month
are little flowers, but they are.

I am growing a little weary of this lovely BAP,
but not to worry:
I intend to keep plugging along.
Only three more months to go!
And the header.
And all the buttons.
Oh, and I'm changing the size of the word for May.

It looks like 2013 will be the Year of Halloween
here at The Southpaw Stitcher.
I joined Lainey's 2013 Halloween Ornament SAL,
and we are doing one ornament a month.
The theme for January is pumpkins.
I'll be working on my January ornament this weekend.
So hopefully I will not be whining about
how I need more ornies for my Halloween tree come October.
(If I do, just slap me!)

Speaking of stitching for 2013,
there's a list of this year's goals under my blog header.
It's longish, but I don't think it's as unrealistic as last year's.
Or maybe I'm being delusional.
And it's good for a laugh.

That's it from here.
Have a great, stitchy weekend!
And thanks for visiting!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Random Thoughts of Winter

Hey Blog Buddies,
How have you been faring this winter?  Do you like snow and cold, or do you prefer to be in a warmer clime?  Here in the Chicago area, the winter has been really strange.  The low here this morning was around 10 degrees Fahrenheit, I believe the coldest of the season--which really isn't that cold for January.  We have yet to get more than one inch of measurable snow in any of our infrequent snow storms.  Not that I'm complaining--I'm not a fan of snow and cold, but I know people who are.  I'm sure that we'll get a blizzard eventually--this is Chicago after all--but every day without snow gets us one day closer to Spring.  And the weatherman said little or no snow for the coming week, too.

All this was leading up to my latest finish:  Random Thoughts of Winter by Erica Michaels which I started on New Year's Day:

This was stitched on 28-count Amsterdam Blue linen,
with DMC 762, which is a very light gray.
The linen has a greenish tinge in real life, too,
but it's a few shades darker than the photo.

I changed a few of the motifs in this piece:
a mitten replaced a Christmas stocking,
two snowmen replaced the words "fa la la,"
the word "snow" replaced the word "peace,"
the diamond motif replaced a bell,
and I omitted the entire bottom row
of Christmas trees.
This was because I wanted to make the
piece more "winter" than "Christmas."
You'll notice that the piece still has
a reindeer, a present, a sprig of holly
and a star!

Below is a photo of the piece as charted:

She gives you two choices,
along with a suggestion for an ornament.
I think she'd be fine with my tinkering.

I'm really happy with the piece.
It got finish-finished so fast
because I found that white frame last week.
This is my first 2013 finish
from a 2013 start!

Hope your weekend was enjoyable,
with maybe a little stitching, too.
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Girls' Day Out

Hey Blog Buddies,
Yesterday I met my GF Joyce (who lives 60 miles away) at a new (to both of us) needlework shop:  Tomorrow's Heirlooms.  My "excuse" for visiting the shop was to pick up some kitting supplies for a couple of classes I will be taking at my needlepoint guild, which I did.  I guess Joyce's excuse was when I said "Let's meet at Tomorrow's Heirlooms before we have lunch."  While I was there, I decided to kit up a chart I've had for about a year now, Rosewood Manor's A Tree by Itself:

The fabric (on the right) is 36-count lambswool linen.
About 2/3 of the called-for floss is shown.
I had the other 1/3 in my stash.
I can hardly wait to start on this beauty.
It's a BAP:  300 x 270 stitches!

I was also looking for a very specific frame
for the piece I started on January 1st
and which is now almost finished.
The frame had to be approximately 5" x 6"
and I strongly preferred white.
How often do you actually find that kind of specific item?
Never, in my experience.
But lo and behold, after looking through a few of their frames,
I found this:

Now this might not be a very exciting photo,
but I was beside myself with glee
when this little frame jumped into my hands.

My last purchase was--dare I say it--an impulse buy:

Two Lizzie*Kate Snippets
which I will simply have to make time
to stitch this year.
I am particularly fond of
Good Things.

While we were having lunch,
I gave Joyce a little ornie I had made
and which I can now share with you:

This is Little House Needleworks' Baked Goods
stitched on 40-count Abercedarian linen.
I had finished stitching the ornament back in early December,
but put off actually making it into an ornie
until Monday of this week!
I grumbled so much about finish-finishing it
that DH suggested I just give it to her as a kit.
I thought that was a splendid idea!
But I bit the bullet, and she got a finished ornament.
Yes, she likes it--she bakes quite a bit.

Here is the back.
The cording was purchased at JoAnn's.
Since the finishing of this ornament
straddles both 2012 and 2013,
I have arbitrarily decided that
this will be a 2013 finish.

That's it from here.
Hope you have a groovy weekend,
and thanks for visiting!

Monday, January 7, 2013

First Finish of 2013!

Hey Blog Buddies,

First of all, thank you all so much for the kind comments on Hare's Christmas!  I think I photographed the piece while it was still a little damp.  As it dried, the small bleed became less and less noticeable, so that's good news.

I didn't finish my January 1st start, if that's what you were wondering.  My "slow and steady" sewing strategy paid off sooner than I expected:  I finished piecing my quilt top yesterday!  And sewing only 2 or 3 blocks a day was a totally painless way to do it.  (Definition of a block:  two pieces and one curved seam.)  I started cutting the fabric in early November, so the entire process took about two months.

It was a little tricky
laying out the blocks to be sewn.
The pattern is somewhat random,
but I wanted to keep the circle-in-a-square design evident.
The batik fabric is just beautiful--
the photo doesn't do it justice.
DH (he's in the above photo,
you can see his fingers in the upper left corner)
likes muted colors and traditional quilt patterns.
He did say that this quilt top is "growing" on him.
I plan on using it as a wall hanging in my dining room
which is very neutral and needs a pop or two of color.

Here is a close up:

The curved seams were a big challenge.
I'm happy with the way the project turned out,
but I am "one and done" sewing curves--too stressful!

Hope your new year is off to a flying start!
Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hare's Christmas

Hey Blog Buddies,
Hope you all had a fun and safe New Year's holiday.  As for me, I was asleep before midnight, and prior to that I completed my final project of 2012:  Hare's Christmas by Plum Street Samplers.  (The partying never stops here at The Southpaw!)

This piece had a stitching misadventure.
There were some ugly water spots on the fabric,
just above the lettering--don't ask!
Even though all the floss was overdyed (GAST Simply Shaker),
I had no choice but to wash the piece and hope for the best.
The labels on all the skeins of floss said "colorfast."
The red bled just a tiny bit (around the "l" in the last "Jingle")
which wasn't surprising--
not very noticeable in this photo--but it's not ruined (IMO)
and it's a vast improvement from the water spots.

Here are some close-ups:

I just love these little guys, they're so silly.

Did you think that Mama Hare has a reindeer?
No, the horse has tied-on antlers
and a wreath with a bell around his neck!

Every time I look at this piece it makes me smile.
And now it's all ready for Christmas 2013!
(Well, I just have to finish-finish it--heheh.)

I made a new start yesterday:
Erica Michaels' Thoughts of Winter.
Didn't get too far--
I'll show it when more is completed.

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