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





Monday, June 26, 2017

Copper Illumination

How was your weekend?  We have had some gorgeous, cool (lower 70's), sunny weather here the past few days. I'm afraid we are using up our allotment of nice weather days.  But enough idle chit-chat.

As readers of this blog know, Copper Illumination, a silk and metal design by Kay Stanis, was my challenge piece for my ANG chapter.  It was due this past weekend, and I'm happy to report that I made the deadline.  Some of you will remember that if I finished this project by the deadline, I got a small prize.  If not, I would have to pay $10 into the chapter's treasury--the old carrot and stick approach.

I did have a bit of trouble tracing and stippling that flower onto the copper sheeting.  Can you tell that it's a tulip?  Maybe if I could have had three or four sheets of copper to perfect my technique, it might have turned out more to my liking.  The larger, filled-in areas are blackwork which is not usually a problem for me, but on canvas you have to watch where you carry your threads on the back so that they don't show through.

The hyacinths were constructed with two layers of beads to make them appear fuller.  The stems and leaves are made out of jaceron; I've also heard it called purl purl.  It's a tiny metal coil, and here it was attached to the canvas through its center like a bead.

In this area, jaceron was used for the main stem, and it was couched down with silk thread.  The smaller stems attached to the flowers are short strands of Kreinik, also couched down with silk.  The turquoise borders that you see, and there are many of them, were also finished with couched Kreinik, both on the inside and outside.  That was the last thing that needed to be done, and it seemed to take forever.  This wasn't my biggest WIP, but it lived up to being a challenge.  However.  It's done now!

And here's my little prize:  it's a magnetic needle minder.
And I got to keep my $10.

So after all the prizes were awarded
(and money paid in some cases), 
we chose projects for next year's challenge.
Every who wants to participate brings three WIPs;
they have to be a certain size
(the bigger the better),
not more than 50 percent completed
(the less the better)
and they have to be canvas projects.
The gentle ladies of the guild then vote
on which project the participant should finish.
Given their past voting record,
I thought I had them all figured out.

The three projects I brought were:

1.
Ripple Rotation 2 by Needle Delights Originals.
Lots of color changes, but no weird threads
or weird stitches.

Here's what I've done so far.
This piece will measure 8" x 8".

2.
Ho Ho Ho by Debbie Forney,
a 3-sided holiday stand-up decoration.
Lots of weird threads and weird stitches,
including dozens of bullion knots
on Santa's beard.

This is what I have done.
The piece will be about 12" high (without ornamentation)
and 15" around the base.

3.
And finally I dug out this little piece.
It was a fundraiser for autism designed by Sue Reed
that I purchased about six years ago.
No weird threads, but some weird stitches.
It's probably not larger than 6" x 6".
It would make a good box top insert.


So the ladies voted, and they chose...

Ripple Rotation 2!
(hereinafter referred to as Rip-Ro)

And it wasn't even close!

What the...  what?!

What about Ho Ho Ho?!
It's larger, more complicated,
I have less overall completed on it,
and I was mentally geared up to do it.

Of course, if I had a project that
I have no interest in completing,
I wouldn't be taking it to the challenge.
There is certainly nothing preventing
me from finishing Ho Ho Ho.
And I would have done Rip-Ro anyway.

I'm not complaining.
It seems that I got off pretty easy this year.
They'll probably make up for it next year.

That's it for now.
Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nine Down, Eighteen to Go

Good Monday morning to you!  It's a beautiful, sunny day here (so far), so I took the opportunity to take a few photos outside, so that I can show you my latest stuff.  I'm not a "fancy" photographer--I just plop the items down on my front stoop and snap away.  My neighbors probably wonder about all my stoop shots, among other things (hehe).

So anyway, some of you may have guessed what I'm about to show you from the title of this post.  Yes, it's the Prairie Schooler alphabet.

The "I" was finally finished
at 6:40 this morning.
But it's not only a letter finish;
it's also a row finish 
and I'm done with the GHI leaflet, too!
Kowabunga!

Here's what it looks like so far.

And here's another smaller finish
that happened last night...

This is Little House Needleworks' Old Glory.
I did rip out those flower stems on the bottom
and use a darker shade.

Over the weekend, I took a workshop
with Tony Minieri that was hosted by
my ANG chapter.

Here is the model he brought to class.
It's called Austin Patch.

And here's my start.
The black canvas was slowing me down.
But.. a decent amount of stitching
for a 1.5 day workshop,
if I do say so myself.
On Day 2 I forgot my magnifier
and thought I'd really be in the soup.
But the two gals sitting at my end of the table
(neither of whom I knew, BTW)
each stepped up.
One offered an extra pair of reading glasses
and the other had an extra clip-on 
magnifier, which I wound up using.
Stitchers are the nicest people!

That's it for now.
Hope your day is going swimmingly.
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Finishes!

Hey Blog Buddies,

I have a quartet of finishes to share with you today.  Some are brand new and one is so old it's new again.


First up...
Needle Delights Originals' Spring Logs.
I finished this slightly ahead of 
my ANG chapter's SAL schedule.
The colors are more muted in real life.

Next is a trio of smalls
adorably finish-finished by Averyclaire.

Lizzie-Kate's A Bit of June.
I love the rick rack that is reminiscent of sea waves,
and the ship's wheel charm that she added.

Next up, a pair of birds from
Prairie Schooler's Nordic Holiday leaflet.
This was stitched a couple of years ago, 
misplaced for a while,
and just now finished.
I love the addition of the pine cones!
I added the stork scissors in the photo
to give a sense of the scale of the piece.

Finally, a canvaswork sock,
stitched on "soft" Congress cloth;
the design is from Lois Caron.
It's lined with tiny Christmas tree fabric,
and the back of the sock is a
gorgeous red velvet.
Photos do not do these pieces justice.

I like to celebrate my finishes with a new start,
and I was in the mood for a
small patriotic piece.
I knew I had several such charts,
so I started rummaging through my stash.
This is usually not a good thing,
since I tend to find so many things there
that I really want to get started on ASAP.
As I did this time.
I did find a few (but not all) of my
patriotic charts, and I started
Little House Needleworks' Old Glory.

I'm not too fond of the drastic
color changes in the green.
As of this writing,
I don't think that I'll rip it out,
but the stem of the plant in the large pot
will be a DMC solid color.

Well, that's it from here.
Hope your May is going well.
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

April's Rotation

Hey Blog Buddies,

There's been a bit of stitching and some sewing (say what?) since my last proper update in March, and I've got a bunch of stuff to show you.  Let's take a peek.


First up is a finish!
Barbara Ana's Funky Bird.
She suggested finishing this as a ditty bag,
but I'm going to do a small framed piece.
He looks like he's been eating
a lot of those flowers, doesn't he?


Here is Needle Delights Originals'
Spring Logs.
It was half done last time we checked.
Actually, I'm a wee bit farther than this,
but this was a good point to take the photo.
I'm on track for a June finish.


I picked up Kay Stanis' Copper Illumination, too!
Here's where I was at last year.

And here's where I'm at now.
I was humming along, doing a little each morning,
then I took a break for my small trip.
And I haven't picked it up since.


Here's a close-up of the hyacinths.
They're double beaded, first in black,
then the purple goes on top
in a somewhat haphazard fashion.
It's still doable to finish this by the end of June,
but I'm setting aside a 10-dollar bill
just in case this challenge project remains stalled.


Since my morning stitching slot was vacant,
out came Prairie Schooler's I.
At first I thought Indian corn 
was an odd pick for the letter I,
but when I tried thinking of "I" words,
all I could come up with was
idiot, imp, ink, interstate...
maybe ice cream.
I think Indian corn is perfect.


I took a quilt class(!) last week,
sponsored by my quilt guild.
I liked the pattern,
Plum Street Quilts' Shadowplay.
This is my modest start.
It should look like 3-dimensional blocks
when it's finished--
hopefully, some time later this year.


Since I finished a project, why not start a new one?!
I've had this pattern in my stash for years.
Joseph's Coat by Lois Caron.
I'm doing it on white congress cloth,
and it's about four inches high.
The 18-count canvas that was provided
would have made the piece
way too big for an ornament.
(Congress cloth is 24 count.)

Carla asked about the Easter finish
on my last blog post, specifically
did I follow any kind of tutorial
(I'm assuming for the rick rack).
The instructions I used
can be found at A Spoonful of Sugar.

That's it for today.
Hope April is going well for you.
Thanks for visiting!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop

Our friend Jo of Serendipitous Stitching is coordinating the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop again this year.  Blogs participating in the Hop are instructed to post a photo of an Easter or spring-themed stitched piece, and reveal a letter of the alphabet.  All the letters will spell a secret phrase.  Be the first person to guess the phrase and you win a prize!

My Easter-themed piece is called, unsurprisingly, Easter by Lizzie-Kate.


This is one of the charts I won as a
participant in the gift exchange at
the Fancy Works retreat.
And I finish-finished it myself!

The letter I have for those of you
trying to ascertain the secret phrase is...

To find the next letter in the phrase, go to:
Happy hopping, 
and thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Fancy Works Retreat

Hey Blog Buddies,

Did you know that there's a needlework store in Bloomington, Indiana?  I didn't until a couple of months ago. This past weekend, my friend Joyce and I were two of the attendees at their first annual retreat.



Yes, the name of the store is Fancy Works,
owned by a sweet lady named Dianna.


The location of the retreat was lovely:
The Canyon Inn at
McCormick's Creek State Park in Spencer.
The inn was originally a sanitarium!

The retreat ran from Thursday afternoon
through Sunday morning,
and for me the weekend just flew by.

There were lots of goodies lining the walls
in the stitching room to tempt us.

Vonna, The Twisted Stitcher,
conducted four finishing classes:
two on flatfolds and two on ornaments.
She has a wonderful blog
with all sorts of helpful information
for finishing needlework;
if you're not familiar with it, click here.

This is one of the finished flatfolds.

And this is the finished ornament.
Everyone who took a class
left with a finished item.

I chose not to take either of the classes
because Averyclaire! does all of my small finishes,
and I'd rather be stitching than finishing.

On Friday morning, Stacy Nash
made a surprise appearance at the retreat.

Dianna is on the left, Stacy on the right.
It's fun to meet designers that you've
been following.

The retreat organizers thought up
all sort of games for us to play so that we 
could be entertained and win prizes at the same time.
The scavenger hunt was particularly
crazy and diabolical (but fun).
If you didn't win any of the games, not to worry.
There was a steady stream
of free stash given to each attendee
starting before the retreat even began
(a small chart was included with the retreat schedule
and directions that were mailed out),
through and including Sunday morning.

It's hard to show all of the freebies--
the table isn't that big.

And did I mention that a $75 gift certificate
to the Fancy Works store was included?
This is how I used it to further enhance my stash.

There was a wonderful masseuse available on
both Friday and Saturday.
Joyce threatened to take a photo of me
getting a massage,
but fortunately that didn't happen.

Most of us participated in a gift exchange, too.
I forgot to take a photo of what I gave away,
but here is what I received.
Yes, it's an Easter-themed basket
with jelly beans, a floss-filled egg,
four Easter/spring charts and some white linen.
Fabulous!
I was actually thinking of buying an Easter chart,
and now I have several.
I've already kitted one up;
over half of the threads came from that egg!
You'll see it here later this month.


Old Friends Meet New Friends

The seating was six to a table and,
let's be honest here,
sometimes you find yourself seated next to a pill.
But I'm happy to report that
everyone at our table was very congenial.


From the left: Carol, Donna, Joyce, me, Claire and Liz.
It was a bonus to meet four new friends.

As for what I stitched, I took
only three projects to work on:
Needle Delights Originals' Spring Logs
Barbara Ana's Funky Bird and
Lizzie-Kate's A Bit of June (below).


I started this at the retreat,
and finished it after I came home.
I did make progress on the other two,
but they are not quite "blog ready" yet,
and this post is way too long already.

Dianna announced that they are having
another retreat next year,
and there was general merriment
when the attendees heard that bit of news.

A big Thank You goes out to Dianna, Sandi,
and the many Elves who worked so hard
and made this retreat so much fun for all of us.

That is it for now.
Hope your April is getting off to a good start.
Thanks, as always, for visiting.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Taste of Honey

Hey Blog Buddies,


Within the past week or so I've had a few finishes, 
and I've taken some other projects to the framer's, 
so it's time for a little show and tell.



First up, my two(?) or three-year project, 
Prairie Schooler's Alphabet. 
These letters always seem to take more time
than I think they should.

H has not been my favorite letter thus far
because it was a little repetitive.
On the other hand, once I stitched 
one of the bee skeps, or got started
on the flowering vines, I was able to use
what I had just stitched as the chart!

The H is also one of those problem letters
for those of us stitching this project as
one gigantic sampler.
Most of the letters are a uniform size
(70 x 100 stitches).
The H is larger, so I had to make the buds
opposite each flower smaller, and
chop off the ends of the bees' wings
on the top of the piece
in order to make it the
same size as the other letters.

But it's done!

I think the whole piece,
even though it's obviously unfinished,
looks so much more impressive
than the individual letters.

I'm putting this project on hiatus for a while.
I have to make some progress 
on my chapter's challenge piece,
Kay Stanis' Copper Illumination.
Wish me luck.

Next is my blackwork project,
Blackwork Journey's Wandering Star.


Here's where I left off...


Here it is finished and framed.
It's hard to tell from the photo,
but I chose a light purple frame
to try to bring out the purple quadrant
in the upper left.
I'm a little disappointed in the result,
but it is what it is.

Next up is Hands On Designs'
Underwater Basketweave.


This is what the model looks like.
It was my ANG chapter's February class.


I decided I wanted a sunnier colorway.
This was a fast and fun piece.
This will be finished either as a box top
or a small picture.
It's only about 5" x 5".

Speaking of small,
you've already seen
Permin's Two Horses on this blog,
but now it's framed.


The whole piece, including the frame,
is only about 6.7" by 7.2"
DH thinks the top (brown) mat
makes everything look too dark,
but the stitchers at my Guild said "No way."
What do you think?
The lighting has washed out the piece just a little.
It's somewhat darker all around IRL.

Finally, I have a new start to show you.


Barbara Ana's Funky Bird.
It's a fun piece.



Here's my start.

Well, that's it from here.
Hope your March is going well.
Thanks, as always, for visiting.