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

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blackwork Exhibition

Hey Blog Buddies,
I got the latest copy of NeedleArts magazine in the mail today, and, being the blackwork fan that I am, when I saw the cover, all I could say was "oooooooooo!"
The Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA)
is having a contemporary blackwork exhibition at their
headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky from now
through the end of June.
The cover features one of the prettier pieces on exhibit--
and there were a bunch of very "interesting" pieces
illustrating the story inside the magazine.
Now that I've seen selected photos of these beauties,
there may be a road trip to Louisville in my future!

In other news, I was the winner of Sharon's giveaway!
I got this cute Purple Heart chart
by Ewe and Eye and Friends,
and a bunch of limited edition GAST overdyed floss,
in an array of happy spring colors.
Can't wait to stitch the heart!
Thanks again, Sharon!

I've made some progress on
Variations on a Theme of Rhodes:

The sheaf stitches are new, as are the small squares.
I'm actually a little farther along than this photo shows,
but I stopped at a point where the elements were not symmetrical,
and didn't want to photograph the piece that way.
(I'm a little nutty in that regard.)

I went to a scissor holder class on Saturday.
It's my first painted canvas in almost forever.

Hey, I mounted it on the stretcher bars!
Does that count as a start?
This project should be a lot of fun.

Last but not least,
my right mitten and left hand are very happy
that I completed mitten #2.

I will be wearing these when I go out this evening.
They have already seen action at
the local home improvement warehouse store
earlier today.

Well, that's it for now.
Hope you had a fun, stitchy weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Last Dance

Hey Blog Buddies,
This will be the very last post featuring my Circle Dance quilt, I promise!  I had my pieced top quilted by a very talented lady named Inta from my quilt guild.  She got it done in record time.

Can't see the quilting very well?
Don't worry--I have more photos.

Inta is a free-motion quilter,
she doesn't use pre-programmed software.

When I suggested that I wanted to emphasize
the curved seams in the quilt,
she did a lot of very dense quilting with circles!

This is the back, which is solid yellow!
The color's all wrong, but you can sure see the quilting!

Needless to say, I'm quite happy with the finished product.
It will be going up on my wall very soon!
But to reiterate:  no more curved seams for me!

Hope you have a fun, stitchy weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, February 18, 2013

February IHSW

Hey Blog Buddies,
I got a bit of stitch time (and a bit of knit time) in this weekend, and I have one finish, and half of a finish to show you.  First my stitchy finish:

This is Lizzie*Kate's
A Bit of March, stitched on 40-count Heritage linen.
I attached only 2 of the 3 buttons provided.
As I was reaching for the third button,
I dropped it, and it just disappeared.
I don't think it fell into my chair,
but that's the only explanation that makes sense.
The buttons look a lot larger in my piece
than in the photo of the stitched piece.
That's the chance you take when you switch to
40-count from the recommended 28-count!

Next, a mitten update:

You can see that I've finished(!) one mitten,
except for the blocking.
I think this wants to be the right one,
although with this pattern,
you can wear either mitten on either hand.
Our final class will be embellishment ideas,
which should be fun.
I've started on the second mitten, too,
and hope to finish knitting (if not embellishing) it
by the end of this week.
I don't believe I'll ever be a fan of
knitting with 4 double-pointed needles!
I've even signed up for a class on continental knitting
(because I'm a thrower).
We'll see if you can teach an old dog new tricks.

That's it for this weekend.
Click here to find out what the other hermitters
have accomplished.
Hope you had a fun, stitchy weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine Project Revealed

Hey Blog Buddies,
Now that Valentine's Day is over, I can show you the "secret" project that I was stitching:
This is Love Tokens from The Gift of Stitching e-magazine.
The designer is Nancy Pederson.
I stitched the hearts as called for in the design,
but switched out the blackwork squares.
This was the photo I used for
Jo's Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop,
so that's the reason for all the secrecy.
I am still using the leftover Gloriana silk
from when I stitched CT13 last year!

We've now arrived at the 2nd International Hermit & Stitch Weekend
for 2013, starting today!
If you've never heard of it
and/or want to get in on it,
hurry over to Joyce's blog and check it out!
The more, the merrier!

This weekend I'm hoping to finish a little Lizzie*Kate Flip-It
for March that should have been finished
a week ago, except that (ahem) knitting
has kind of derailed my stitching rotation.

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

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop

Hey Blog Buddies,
Happy Valentine's Day to all of you!  This year I'm celebrating by joining the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop coordinated by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching.   All the participants send a photo of a valentine-themed stitched piece to Jo.  She then sends each participant someone else's photo to post on Valentine's Day.  Here is the photo I received:
The word "LOVE" with a sweet little rose.
Oh, Secret Stitching Sweetheart, who are you?

To see the photos of everyone who participated,
click on over to Jo's blog.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Hey Blog Buddies,
Feeling somewhat guilty for all the new starts on my 2013 To-Do List, I decided to rescue this poor hardanger table topper from my UFO pile.  I started it in 2006, worked on it for a couple of months, and it's been folded up in a project bag ever since.

This is Pristine by Cindy Valentine Designs.
The design is almost two feet square,
and as you can see I have a fair amount done.
It's the largest hardanger project that I have ever started.
Back in 2006, I cut a thread from the ground
that I wasn't supposed to, and I freaked out.
There were also several smaller mistakes
(which I have yet to run across),
and so I decided to cut the fabric up
and save what fabric could be saved for smaller projects,
but fortunately I never did.
I'm older and calmer now.

After a bit of searching, I found the cut thread and
unwove it--not all the way--but to a place where I could anchor it.
Satin stitches are good anchors.
Then I took a thread from the very edge of the ground,
running in the same direction as the cut thread,
and wove that in its place.
You really can't see it, and it wasn't as hard to do as it sounds.

Next I decided to do the rows of satin stitches in the center.

I can see the look of horror on the faces
of those of you who do hardanger.
Why is she doing satin stitches after she started to cut?
Wellll, I believe what I was thinking in 2006 was
that I was just going to leave the center plain.
But now I want the satin stitches in,
so I'm taking a chance that it won't
loosen the ends of the cut threads.
(Kids, don't try this at home.)
I was hoping to have the center satins done
by the time I went to my next rotation piece,
but these satin stitches are taking a lot longer
to do than I had anticipated!
Isn't that always the way?

Here is a close-up of the corner design.

This will probably be a multi-year project
so I'm not going to bombard you guys with
photos of white-on-white hardanger
which will probably look virtually identical.
But I am hoping that this piece will stay in my rotation
until it's completely finished.

That's it for today.
Hope you are having a good day,
with maybe some stitching time thrown in.
Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

This is Cra-Zee!

Hey Blog Buddies,
I went to a knitting class today, although I have known how to knit... let's just say for many decades.  I learned to knit when I was about 18, knitted a lot for about 15 years, then moved on to crochet.  I know many very nice people who knit, and when they have asked me if I knit, I usually sniff "I know how to knit, but I crochet now."  Why they still speak to me is anyone's guess.  Recently, I received an email from Loopy Yarns (maybe they're called that because they're located in the Loop?--I haven't asked).  They're featuring mitten classes in February--both knitted and crocheted.  I've done crocheted mittens (I threw them out because they weren't very warm), but knitting a mitten on four needles is something I tried long ago and failed at.  I thought that maybe if I could learn "the right way" I'd be more successful.  This is what I got done in class:

Yes, like the title of the post says:  crazy!
The yarn is Malabrigo Merino Worsted--very nice.
The shop wound it into a ball for me.
I have to admit that my usual yarn purchase is a pull skein
 from Joann's--this is quite upscale for me.
I kept muttering to myself in class,
"This is insane!  Crochet is so simple--
one hook and one loop..."

But I kept at it.
Our teacher Denise is very nice
and I've learned a lot already,
including a better way to cast on.

So, am I going back to the Dark Side?
Nah.  But I hope to finish at least one mitten
by the time the class is over.
Maybe I can just put my other hand in my pocket!

We have two more class sessions.
Wish me luck!

Hope you're having a great weekend.
Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

This 'n That

Hey Blog Buddies,
First off--welcome to all my new followers!  I'm glad you're here!  I've been kinda quiet this week because I was stitching away on a Valentine-themed project which is done now, except for the framing.  Unfortunately, I can't show it to you before VD--Valentine's Day, of course!  (heheh)  Yesterday, I went to my LNS and found the perfect frame for it, so I have no excuse not to finish it today, but I'll probably think of something.  Don't worry though, I have photos for you!

While I was at my LNS...  ...I'll bet you're thinking that I purchased at least half a dozen new charts.  No!  I was good, but I did have a list with me for DMC threads.  Usually, when it comes to DMC floss I'm kind of frugal and try to buy it at Joann's, but the store near me is poorly managed, skeins of floss all over the floor, in the wrong trays, etc.  And they're usually out of many of the colors I need, which is frustrating.  So I decided to bite the bullet, paying almost double, and get what I needed at the LNS.  They were having a buy-3-get-1-free sale (no, I didn't know about it ahead of time), and they had every color I needed!  So I got the rest of the threads for this beauty, which is on my 2013 To-Stitch List:

Many of you may recognize this as
99 by Ink Circles,
inspired by the bus song of our youth.
I already had the chart and the Ale linen
(yes, the color of the linen is "Ale")!
Now I have the rest of the DMC that I need.

I also selected and kitted up my
February Halloween ornament for the SAL.
This month's theme is black cats, so I chose...

Fraidy Cat by Jamie Kile of Knotted Tree NeedleArt,
from the JCS 2011 Halloween Collection book.
I really like the light orange 40-count linen (from my stash!)
that I chose for the ground.
This Halloween Ornament SAL is really keeping me on track!

Yesterday I started stitching another model for
the hardanger mini-class that I'll be teaching.
Each person in the class will be choosing their own materials,
so I wanted to give them more than one idea.
I finished the model this morning--
the stitching takes no time at all, really.
The new one is on the left.
Readers of this blog have already seen the one on the right.
I plan to stitch a third one before next meeting.

Last but not least, since many of you shared with me
when you started stitching and what technique(s) are your favorite(s),
I thought I'd do the same because you're dying to know, right?
Well, I started out with stamped embroidery designs
when I was pretty young (12ish?).
A few years later my mom stitched a lovely stamped-cross-stitch tablecloth
on white linen with 2-tone pink roses and green leaves.
I liked it so much, I decided to stitch one, using my own colors.
I believe this was probably from my later teen years...

Yikes for the colors!
And double yikes for the execution!
And my eyesight was better in those days, too!
But stamped crosses never look as precise as counted.
I lost interest in this project,
and my mom kindly finished it for me.

Her crosses were much neater!
The first photo is the best representation of the colors
because I used a flash.

As far as which technique is my favorite, I can't pick just one:
there are so many cool cross stitch designs out there,
then there's hardanger, blackwork, and canvaswork.
Those are my top four.

You're very tenacious if you've read this far.
Hope you're having a fun, stitchy weekend!
Thanks for visiting!