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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dance with Me!

Hey Blog Buddies,
Come dance with me!
I've just finished a project
and the happy dancing is in full swing...
I was going to give this project just a week in the rotation,
but when I finished the allotted segment
I felt so good--and it was so close to being finished--
that I decided to just go for it.
Can it be??
After an entire year...
Crabby All Year by Raise the Roof Designs
Started:  June 2, 2012
Finished:  May 29, 2013
The above photo shows my button-sewing work area.
As you can see, I needed:
a magnifier so I could see;
a box with all my DMC floss
to match the color of floss to each button;
photos of the months for button placement;
a portable phone so I wouldn't have to get up to answer a call;
and an iPod (music makes every task more pleasant).
I had everything but a glass of wine--
and that wouldn't have been a good idea!
I started this project last June with the June "row"
(April, May and June)
so this is the last row that I finished.
I had February and March (and the header)
to finish when I picked this up about 10 days ago.
I just noticed yesterday that I was missing
two tiny heart buttons for the header.
I decided to rummage through my stash
and came up with the black star button.
It was from Joann's, and the holes are
much bigger than the JABC buttons
called for in the design.
It was a dream to sew on!
Those are little chicks being blown around
in the March square, BTW.
I also ripped out, recharted and restitched the word
"Rabbits!" in the May square.
This is the way it was originally charted.
I thought the lettering was too small.
What do you think--would you have changed it?
The July design is my favorite.
But sewing on two buttons,
one on top of the other,
was not my favorite thing to do.
JABC buttons have tiny holes!!
Some stitchers have changed out
the flower buttons in the December square
to something more closely related to money.
While they don't relate to the theme of Bills,
I thought they were cute--so they stayed.
Are you up for looking at the whole thing one more time?
Why not!
This is such a goofy design--
it was a lot of fun to stitch,
even though I might have lagged a bit at the end.
That's it from here.
Until next time..
thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Hey Blog Buddies,

Today has started out very chilly (upper 40's) and rainy here--a great day to stay home and stitch, which I plan on doing later.  Last week we took a short trip to Louisville, Kentucky, so here is a little tour of the area:

Downtown Louisville, from the Indiana side
of the Ohio River.
I was surprised that we found on-street parking
in the downtown area on a week day,
and that it was so inexpensive.
Of course, any on-street downtown parking is cheap
by Chicago standards.
We visited the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory
and saw how the bats were made.
The machines were noisy, but it was a fun tour.
That's me next to the gigantic bat!
We did our own small tour of Old Louisville.
This is the gorgeous parkway that
runs down the middle of St. James Court.
There were lots of interesting old houses like this one.
Turrets are so cool.
Many of the houses had front gardens in full bloom.
We took a guided tour of the
Conrad-Caldwell House and Museum.
The Conrads had the house built in the mid-1890's.
He made his fortune in leather tanning.
It was sold to the Caldwells ten years later.
Mrs. Caldwell was a shopaholic (my description).
She wanted to redecorate, so she went to Europe
to get a few trinkets like
gigantic chandeliers and many new fireplaces!
Unfortunately, photographs were forbidden
inside of the house, so the outside
is all that I have.
Last but not least, we visited the Mothership...
...the Embroidery Guild of America's headquarters.
They are in a building called The Pointe
which has a warehouse/loft vibe:
very high ceilings with exposed ductwork, etc.
They had a small blackwork exhibition.
Some of my favorites:
Skull by Jo Dixey.
Hohokam Golden Prize by Anna Crowder.
Nebraska by Ann Erdmann.
Grotesque by Shirley Kay Wolfersperger.
(This is actually my top favorite.)
As you can see from this small sampling,
you can do a lot with shading in blackwork.
They also had this fantastic dollhouse:
I would guess the overall dimensions to be
about 3 feet by 2 feet.
There was a living room, dining room, kitchen
and many bedrooms.
Where is the bathroom?!!!
There was so much to see in each little room--
so many tiny, tiny embroidered and sewn items!
The photos are a bit blurry because flash isn't allowed.
Look, they even have a black dog
who closely resembles Molly!
It's hard to see, but check out
that tiny alphabet sampler on the wall!
And the pillow on the chair!
The rugs looked like they were petit point--
at least 50 over 1!
And the doily under the teapot looks tatted to me.
The baby's room.
Stitched picture behind lamp!
Of course there was a sewing room!
I think that I may have liked the dollhouse
even better than the blackwork exhibit,
and that's saying something.
And, credit where credit is due,
I wouldn't even have seen the dollhouse
if DH hadn't been bored while I was poring over
each blackwork piece and gone exploring.
I thought the blackwork exhibit was all they had.
He came back and asked me if I had seen the dollhouse.
I had no clue, so he said:
"C'mon, I'll show you."
It was tucked away in the back.
Our tour has now come to a close.
Take care when exiting the bus.
Don't forget your belongings.
Have a wonderful rest-of-your-day!
Thanks for visiting, and do come again!

Monday, May 20, 2013

IHSW: May 2013

Hey Blog Buddies,
I signed up for the IHSW (International Hermit and Stitch Weekend) this month even though I knew I would be able to stitch only on Sunday.  BUT... I was able to put the finishing touches on two projects!  The first was my knitted cowl, which I started at the end of February.  And now I'm all ready for...  November?
Molly looks a little glum here.
She's thinking, "It's 80+ degrees and dinner time.
Why do I have to pose in this woolen cowl?"
Yes, that is a black T-shirt that she's wearing
to protect the knitted cowl from her black hairs.
Needless to say, I was rather disheartened
when she plopped herself down on the carpet
which attracts dog hairs like a magnet.
You can see in this photo that the wool is
variegated--it's kettle-dyed--Malabrigo Merino Worsted,
and the color is Red Java.
The cowl is long enough to wear as a sling for your arm,
although I'm hoping I won't need it for that.
Molly was disrobed and fed immediately after
this photo was taken, and all is now forgiven.
My second finish is my Prairie Schooler Heads Up Witch:
Her face was originally charted as orange,
but I thought that any self-respecting witch
would have a green face.
Stitched 1 over 2 on 40-count Heritage linen, as usual.
I was going to use my Gloriana silk for the black,
but I've somehow misplaced it.
Don't know how that happened,
I have so few stitching supplies!   hehehe
So I thought I'd try No. 12 pearl cotton.
I used it on her mouth and eyes,
but it was way too chunky to continue using it
for the rest of the black,
so I switched to Crescent Colors Blackbird
for her hair, hat and clothing.
She is the April ornament for
the Halloween Ornament SAL 2013.
You can see everyone's ornaments
by clicking here.
I may be a month behind, but at least
the ornie is finish-finished
I should be starting the May ornament now,
but instead I decided to give some love to
Crabby All Year, which has been neglected recently.
I didn't stitch enough on it to show here,
but I hope to have February finished soon.
To see what my fellow hermitters did this weekend,
click here.
That's it for now.
Hope your weekend was fun!
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Patchwork Pumpkin Workshop

Hey Blog Buddies,
Did you guys enjoy the first weekend in May?  We had great weather here, but I spent the better part of the weekend indoors, since I had the good fortune to be able to attend a workshop led by Debbie Stiehler, a talented canvaswork designer.  Fourteen of us were stitching her Patchwork Pumpkin.  She has two versions--this is the one I chose to stitch:

This is the "autumn" version.
Isn't it just the cutest thing you've ever seen?
I've had my eye on this piece for at least two years
(more about that later).
Here is her Halloween version:
This is simply adorable, too.
I chose the autumn pumpkin because
I didn't want it to be too holiday specific.
Here's my progress after two days:
There will be four other football-shaped pieces,
each with 16 different "patches" to be stitched.
The canvas size is 24" x 14", so it's another BAP!
Here's a close-up of the two patches that are completed...
...along with some others that aren't.
That's the nature of workshops:  you hop around a lot!
I discovered this piece a couple of years ago,
and lusted after it immediately.
It was being offered at an ANG seminar in Texas--
too far for me to go, and a little too expensive to get there.
Last year it was being taught in Green Bay, WI--doable!
But the class was full by the time I registered.  (sigh)
This year my local chapter had Debbie scheduled
to teach another one of her pieces right here in Chicago,
but it was changed at the last minute to the pumpkin!  Woo-hoo!
This was my first workshop with Debbie:
she's a great teacher, very funny and down-to-earth.
Unfortunately, it will be my last one
since she announced that she won't be doing
any more traveling after this year.   :(
But I'm really happy that I finally got the opportunity
to do this piece before she retires!
I will squeeze it into my rotation somehow!
Hope you all had a fun, stitchy weekend.
Thanks, as always, for visiting!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Redwork Tea Towel

Hey Blog Buddies,

Happy May (a day late)!  The crazy weather continues here:  mid 80's (F) yesterday, and mid-40's this morning.   But the grass is growing and the leaves are popping and the 80's will return soon.  Too bad we didn't have much of a Spring!

As you might guess from the title of this post, I finished my redwork tea towel:

I used the stem stitch, chain stitch, split stitch,
but mostly the backstitch.
And it is tea time for me now.
Can you believe I'm writing this post
before having my morning cup of tea?
This little project was finished last Friday.
In the meantime, I've done some commitment stitching:
a name tag for myself.
The group that I joined last year gives new members
directions and materials for a name tag.
I think the design is clever, so here it is:
Worked on 24-count congress cloth,
the design depicts the Chicago flag:
blue and white stripes with four red stars.
The beige element is the outline of the
old Chicago Water Tower, which
survived the Great Fire of 1871.
The group's logo is at the top,
and my name will be at the bottom.
Just a little more stitching,
and all that remains is to finish it.
It will be good to check this off my 2013 To-Stitch List!
I ran out of time to stitch my April Halloween ornie,
so you know what you'll be seeing next on this blog!
Oh--almost forgot--I'm really excited about
attending a workshop with Debbie Stiehler this weekend
(she designs canvaswork pieces)
so... maybe that first!
That's it from here.
Hope you all have a great weekend!
Thanks for visiting!