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

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.
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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Another WIP Wednesday

Hey Blog Buddies,

I'm back, with just a tiny bit of progress on my Spring Logs piece.  You'll recall that the designer is Kathy Rees of Needle Delights Originals, one of my favorites.

I had gotten this far by the early part of January.

This is where I'm at now.
Pretty impressive, huh?
I'm officially at the halfway point.
The instructions for the green border
were to do every other row,
then fill in the skipped rows
in order to get a stripey look.
Since there's a lot going on with the various logs,
I decided not to skip rows as I stitched,
giving the variegated thread (Watercolours)
a more gradual change, which I prefer.
I find that the borders on these log designs
are the only things that actually take less time
to stitch than I think they should,
probably because they are such fun to stitch.

I flipped this photo around
so that you can get a better look at the stitches.
This piece will get put away
until next month.

I still haven't started anything new
as I threatened to do after my quilting finish
because I just don't like starting projects!
It's a wonder that anything gets started around here.

Well, that's it for today.
Thanks, as always, for visiting!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

WIP Wednesday

Hey Blog Buddies,

Here lately I've been working on only two projects, so I thought I'd catch you up on the one you haven't seen yet.  But first, a Molly update.

She's Not Happy

First she had to go "under the knife"
and now there's this indignity.
She doesn't wear it all the time,
only at night and those infrequent times
that we need to leave her alone during the day.
I'm convinced she would chew open her stitches
if left to her own devices.
But other than hating her collar,
she is fine and acting like her old self.

Today we received the pathology report from our vet.
There's good news and bad news.
The bad news is that her growth was malignant.
The good news is that the vet removed
the entire thing (including one of her nipples!),
was happy with the margins,
and feels that the surgery will be "curative."
Let's hope so.

Back to the WIP.  A little while ago I showed this blackwork chart that I wanted to start...

...Blackwork Journey's Wandering Star.
Looking at the black-and-white chart above, 
it took me a while to figure out the star reference.
So I thought I'd make the stars a different color.

I will admit that some of the
filling patterns in this piece
almost make my head explode,
but I'm happy with how it looks so far.

That's it from here.
Hope your February is going along swimmingly.
Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Two Years and Three Months

Happy Ground Hog's Day, folks!  Woodstock Willie, our local prognosticator, saw his shadow this morning (bright sun all day today for the first time in forever), so that means six more weeks of winter.  January has been extremely mild and dry so far, so I wouldn't be too upset with more of same.

As for the title of this post, today I finished something that I've been working on for two years and three months.  OK, part of two years--I started it at the end of December last year--and part of three months.  I did work on it every single day in January, though.

...a bee skep...

...and a lovely gazebo.  You know what this is.

The Prairie Schooler Alphabet inches forward.

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

Monday, January 30, 2017

Finally... quilted wall hanging is done!

The overall effect is a bit more autumnal than I'd like.

And here is it hanging from it's wooden bar.

I think as a reward for finishing this,
I'll start another project from my list.

Thanks so much for all your kind comments
on my last post!
To Bea who said that I did a good job
coordinating the fabric with the piece--
that is all my finisher, Miss Averyclaire.
She has an awesome fabric stash
because she's a quilter;
and if she can't find just the right match,
she takes the piece to the fabric store
to make sure it's perfect.
I and her other customers are
lucky that we have such a gem.

That's it for now.
Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Two Winter Finishes

Here are two finishes that have made an appearance on this blog, but I thought I would show the finish-finishes.

This is  the SamSarah Winter Cardinal,
finished as a flat fold.  So cute!

And this is First Star, from the 2012
JCS Christmas Ornament issue.
The back is covered in a luxurious flannel
that feels like velvet.
I think it has a sophisticated look.

Both of these adorable finishes
were done by Averyclaire.
I was going to wait until I had my quilted
wall hanging finished and show them all together
(all I have left is to tack down the binding)
but that's going a lot slower than anticipated.
Besides, I kind of like the idea of
more frequent, shorter posts.

Hopefully, I'll be back before the end of the month
with another finish.
At the rate I'm going, it will be
Prairie Schooler's "G" and not the quilt.

That's it for now.
Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The 2017 List - Part 13

I've finally reached the end of the road
with my 2017 to-do list.
Here are the last two.

It's hard to see in the photo, but the bottom tree is done in hardanger stitches.  This is an old design, from the 1990's, and I may have a hard time finding the two gold tree charms that you see in the bottom third of the piece.  I can always stitch a couple of trees in, though.

The name of this piece is Funky Bird.  

Obviously, both projects are kitted up and ready to go, but I can really only handle four to five active WIPs at once.  The ones I'm working on right now are the Prairie Schooler Alphabet (G is proving to be quite fiddly), Spring Logs (needlepoint), Wandering Star (blackwork) and my small quilted wall hanging.  The quilt should be my next finish.  Something on this extensive list should hop in to replace it, but I do have a lot of cute valentine designs in my stash, and February is just around the corner...

That's it for a little while.
Hope you had a great weekend,
and thanks for stopping by
and staying with me while I
meandered through this crazy list.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The 2017 List - Part 12

Today I have an almost-start to show you.

This is Blackwork Journey's Wandering Star design.
It was named after a song from the 1970 movie
"Paint Your Wagon."
I had ordered this design 
about a week ago, and I've spent
the time since wondering why I didn't receive it.
Then it dawned on me:
my Paypal account is under a different 
email address that I don't check too often.
It's sad when you get old and the mind goes...

I got the fabric cut and colors chosen.
They are not the recommended colors,
and my computer screen is making the
burnt orange a lot redder than it is IRL.
But I just didn't have the time to start it.
Tomorrow it will see its first stitches.

That's it for today.
Thanks for visiting!
See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The 2017 List - Part 11

Greetings from the icy Midwest section of the United States!  Everything outside that hasn't been salted is covered in 1/4 inch of ice.  It makes stepping out in the yard with your dog somewhat hazardous.

I can cross an item off of my list today...

Here again is Permin's Two Horses.
The only change I made was outlining
the horses in black instead of DMC 3371.
I wanted them to stand out a bit more from the gloom.
I overestimated the finished size in my other post;
the piece measures 2" by 1.5."
It wasn't nearly as difficult to stitch as I had expected,
since there were no confetti stitches to deal with.
I plan on finishing this as a tiny picture.

That's it for today.
Happy Friday the 13th!
Thanks for visiting,
and I'll see you tomorrow.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The 2017 List - Part 10

Here is another small project...

This is an EGA class that I took in 2011!
The designer is Marsha Papay-Gomola.
It's funny how you have to take a photo of something
to notice various things.  For instance, I just now
noticed that there is a second "r" in the word Forest.

Anyway, here is my progress so far...
It's basically what I got done in class.
I had this on my to-do list last year,
and I had high hopes of finishing it.
It's not a large piece.
I never even took it out of its bag.
It's on my list again this year,
but my hopes are somewhat dimmed.
We'll see.

That's it for today.
Thanks so much for visiting,
and I am thrilled that
so many of you are taking the
time to comment.
See you tomorrow!