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

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016 Year in Review

Hey Blog Buddies,

Hope all of you are having a fabulous holiday season.  The end of the year prompts many people to take a look back, and since Blogger has discontinued its Slideshow gadget (I kind of miss it), I thought I'd do a quick stitchy year in review, with a minimum of blathering.


Angles by Debbie Rowley

A Tree by Itself by Rosewood Manor

Bluebird by Charley Harper

The Song They Sang by
Carriage House Samplings

April by The Prairie Schooler

May Flip-It by Lizzie-Kate

Eastern Blue Bird by Tanja Berlin Designs
(yes, I could have used a different photo, but...)

Autumn Logs by
Needle Delights Originals

Dawn Chorus by Long Dog Samplers

Blackwork Horse-Haflinger Breeed
by Tanja Berlin Designs

Red, White and Blue by Lizzie-Kate

Summertime Roll-Up by La D Da

The Missing Piece by
Jennifer Riefenberg

A B C by The Prairie Schooler

Four Bookmarks from the
Nordic Needle 2011 Bookmark Club

Nevermore by Lizzie-Kate

Goodness and Plenty by
Plum Street Samplers

Kindred Spirits pin cube by
With my Needle

And my latest three finishes,
not seen here before:

First Star from the 2012
JCS Christmas Ornament magazine

Merry Merry by Birds of a Feather

...and, just under the wire...
D E F by The Prairie Schooler

When you look at them all together,
it seems like a lot.
I wish I could have done more.
I have so many projects in my stash
just waiting for their turn to be stitched.

I'll be back in a week or so
to show you what's on the
stitching horizon for 2017.

Have a happy and safe New Year.
Thanks, as always, for visiting.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

2016 Advent Calendar

Hey Blog Buddies,

This year I'm taking part in Jo's Advent Calendar Blog Hop.  Each participant displays a holiday-themed stitched piece and answers a question.

I wanted to show you something that hasn't been on this blog before, so I chose this picture that I stitched sometime in the 90's.

This is one of Mary Engelbreit's designs.
I'm not usually fond of Santas, but I do love this piece.

The question posed to each of us was:
Decorations - do you have a favourite decoration
you must have on display every year,
maybe an heirloom, one the children made
 or something with a special story behind it?

This is the first ornament that I ever stitched,
most likely from sometime in the late 70's.
The long-and-short stitch on the dog was 
challenging to do, but I was determined to make it
because it's a basset, and at the time we had
our first of many of these lovable dogs.

There were a few years when we didn't put up a tree,
but this cutie always made an appearance somewhere.
This year it's on a door knob because my tree is a bit crowded.

A big thank you goes to Jo,
who organizes this blog hop each year.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Leap Year List - November Report

Hey Blog Buddies,

Less than two months left until 2017.  How time flies!  Do you all have a list of projects to stitch for next year?  I do--but I'll wait until January for the Big Reveal.

In the meantime, I'm still plugging away on my 2016 list, which tends to get longer as the year wears on instead of shorter.  What's up with that?  Here's what happened since we last got together.

In the middle of last month I attended another workshop--my last one for this year, I swear!  This one was Ho Ho Santa, taught by Deborah Forney.  It is a cute 3-sided stand up.  

This was our class kit.  Look at all those Rainbow Gallery threads!  And it came with a 30-page instruction book.

Another view of just the threads.  You can't see them all, because they're piled one on top of the other.  On the right side in the plastic sleeve are two bullion needles:  5" and 7" long(!), respectively.

Here are what the three sides of the piece will look like... someday.  Santa's eyebrows, beard and mustache are all bullion knots.  Now I have had a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with bullion knots in the past, especially the ones on canvas. But Debbie sat down and demonstrated the construction of one bullion knot after the other until we were all confident that we could do one.

I'm really excited about my doodle canvas.  I know it's only five knots, but the top right knot has 30 wraps!  Very fiddly, and it took a while to get done, but these things don't just pop into place, even for Debbie.  Fortunately, most of the bullions on the beard are 7 wraps or less, like my row of three on the far left.

The mustache, however, will be the most challenging part of the project.  And look at that red nose!  I think that Santa must be a tippler.

Here is what I've gotten done so far.

(close up of the packages)
I can hardly wait to be able to get back to this fun project.

But enough of that.
Let's get down to brass tacks with the rotation.

First up is Needle Delights Originals' Spring Logs.

Here's where it was last month...

...and this month.

A close up so you can see the texture.
Some of the SAL participants think that the
variegated gray on the outer edge looks
out of place with all of the bright spring colors.
I say that Spring around here is always rainy.

Here's one we haven't seen in a while.
In January, I had 4 of the 6 sides
completed for the pin cube, part of 
With My Needle's Kindred Spirits project.
I have been doing a little here and there
on the last 2 sides during the past few months.

And now I have a completed pin cube.
And I put it together myself!
There was an awful lot of over-one stitching
on 36-count linen here.
I found that cubes are very hard to photograph.
One side always seems to be in shadow,
even with lights on every side.

Here is the bottom of the cube.

Now all I have to finish are
the needle roll,
the scissor case,
the ruler cover,
the pipkin,
and the lining of the wooden carrier!
The pin cube took me a year.
Hmmm, let's see...

Finally, the month wouldn't be complete
without Prairie Schooler's Alphabet.

The D, last month.

And this month--another finish!
The eagle's head was charted in yellow,
but I didn't care for that
so I switched to white and back stitched
in 3371 so that the head would show up.

I even got a modest start on E.
Wanna see? (Of course you do!)

The stitcher on the bottom looks like
she's conducting an orchestra.
I think she needs to sit a little closer to her work.
But her posture's great, though.

 Last month I showed you a little raven
that I had stitched.
This month it's finish finished
courtesy of Averyclaire.

I love the pompom finish.

And here is a pompom tip:
I bought my pompoms from my LNS
and they are fine.
Some discount stores carry
 the mini-pompoms, too.
As I was examining the package in one such store,
I noticed that the material used is
100% nylon, and if the pompoms get
near a hot iron, they will melt
quicker than you can say "Eeek!"
So if you see mini-pompoms in a store,
be sure to check the package.
Just so you know.

That's it from here.
Congratulations if you've read this far.
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Leap Year List - October Report

Hello Blog Buddies!

How did your September go?  Mine went very quickly!  We had a very warm month here, so my head is still in summer mode and it's hard to believe that there are only 79 days until Christmas!  (Somebody slap me...)

Rotation stitching took a small hit this past month, but I did OK considering I had a few distractions, as follows...

I started and finished this piece by
Plum Street Samplers, one of three patterns
from the Goodness and Plenty leaflet.
It will be made into a small pillow.

In September, I took an EGA French Boutis class,
taught by my good friend Averyclaire and
Elizabeth Janzen, the designer of the piece.

We were given a very detailed 10-page 
set of instructions to create this beautiful needle book.

Here is what I accomplished in class
on the wing of the cicada.
It's just a running stitch--
but there are a lot of them!
Then you take the provided yarn
and run it through the channels,
giving you a beautiful quilted look.
That is the short version.

This past weekend, I attended another EGA class
for Illinois State Day.
Kay Stanis was our teacher,
and Elegant Egg was our project.

We had three different colorways to choose from.
Most of us chose the purple.

First we had fun lacing up our canvas,
then we transferred the pattern onto the canvas
using the tissue paper method.
I didn't take a picture of that in class,
but it's similar to what I did
on Tanja Berlin's horse.

Here is my start on the
Milanese stitch background, 
done with metallic filament
right over all the lines that we basted!
The funky little flower in the lower right
corner was just for practice.
Hopefully, I'll do a better one
on the actual egg.

Speaking of Kay Stanis, I will segue right
into my rotation, and her
Copper Illumination piece.
You may recall this is my ANG challenge piece.

Here's what it looked like the last time we peeked at it.
Basically, this is what got done in the 2015 class.

Here it is now--all borders completed!
There's nothing like a little challenge to get
a project going again, eh?

A couple of close-ups.
I think this piece may go on hiatus
for a little while because
I don't need to have it finished
until next June...

For the past three years, my ANG chapter
has chosen one of the "log" designs
by Needle Delights Originals
as their ongoing project,
and this year is no different.

Here is my start on Spring Logs.

You can see that the logs
don't really line up on this piece.
This should be another fast, fun stitch.

Finally, one or two of you
may be wondering if I had any time
for my Prairie Schooler Alphabet piece.

I did.
My D isn't quite finished,
but I got a good start.
I love starting the day with this piece.
It's so easy, it's keeping me (somewhat) sane.

Well, that's it from here.
Thanks, as always, for dropping by.