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

Thursday, July 18, 2019

UFO No. 1

This will be a short post (for me) since I am prone to blathering.

Earlier this year I posted a list of my UFO's with the intention of reducing its size.  Well, progress has been made on that intention!  First, I said good-bye to those projects which I knew I was never going to finish.  That shortened the list by five!

Then I picked three that I thought were doable and made finishing them one of my stitching goals for this year.  Here is the first of those finishes:

The "before" shot of Marsha-Papay Gomola's
Ruby of the Forest.

And we have a finish!

This was originally supposed to feature a spider web
and a spider hanging by a filament
in front of the cardinal's nose.
On the branches there were to be pink flowers.
Since I intend to use this as a Christmas ornament,
I decided to ditch the spider theme and make it more wintry.
The finishing isn't the greatest, but I did the best I could.

From this angle you can see how the cardinal
is somewhat three-dimensional,
with padding under his body.

I am hard at work on UFO No. 2, and hope that it will
be featured soon on this blog.

Thanks, as always, for visiting!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Stitching and Quilting

Hope everyone is having a great July.  It's been really rainy here, so I've been stitching away, although I really don't need an excuse to stitch!  Here's what's been happening.

Debbie Forney's Ho Ho Ho
I'm calling this a mini-finish (I have two more panels to stitch on this project).  It was my challenge project for my ANG chapter, due last month.  I knew that I wouldn't finish the whole project, but wanted to finish this panel so that I would have some momentum going forward.

As readers of this blog may remember, each June members of my chapter have the option of submitting three unfinished projects.  Their fellow members vote on which project that they want to see finished by the following June.  The larger the project and the less stitching that's completed is usually, but not always, the determining factor.  The project is disqualified if it's the size of an ornament, or more than 50 percent finished.   I submitted Ho Ho Ho for consideration again this year because I'm not even close to halfway done with it but, alas, it was not chosen.

Once everyone eyeballed this painted canvas from a design by Charley Harper (Rainforest Birds), poor Ho Ho Ho became Ho Ho NO.  The fact that I haven't taken a stitch on Rainforest Birds yet may have played a minor role as well, but everyone just seemed captivated by this one.  So Ho Ho Ho will be going on a long (hopefully not permanent) hiatus.

I finished this little July pillow from Little Dove Designs.
After I attached the fluffy chenille on the edge of the pillow,
I thought it looked like fur trim,
which is a little strange for July!

I'm making good progress on Jolly Robin.
There are a lot of color changes, but no confetti stitches.
He has been unexpectedly fun to stitch!

My kitchen has had light gray walls for about a decade.
(When I like something, I usually don't tire of it quickly.)
But it was time for something new,
so I chose my favorite color: orange.
The floor tiles have gray in them,
so I decided to quilt myself a little tablecloth
to go with the new color scheme.

I even had the Carrots piece,
on the wall to the left, reframed.
The old frame was red, and it wasn't working.

Then I had some fabric left over,
so I went all matchy-matchy with my bowl cozies.
(My old ones were red.)
I think my sewing machine (and I) need a long rest!

I've also been making progress on a couple of
long-standing UFO's.
I hope to be able to show you
a finish on at least one of them soon.

That's it from here.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Even More Exciting News...

...Ladybug and Daisy, my blackwork project, is finished...

...and framed...

Here are a couple of close-ups...

The cross-hatching on the petals drove me bonkers.
It was "random" but charted, so I kept having
to look back and forth from the chart to the piece.
I would have gladly paid someone to do it for me,
if I could have found any takers.
I'm elated that this is done!

Here is another framed finish...
Kathy Barrick's Good Intentions

I seem to go a while without any finishes,
then I have a bunch all at once.

Let's get to the pillow parade...

A monthly from Heart in Hand's Square Dance

Bent Creek's Flag of Stars
The trim is not cording, but a braid.

Lizzie-Kate's Buzz from their Spring Smalls leaftlet.
I stitched this a couple of months ago,
and just got around to finishing it.

Here's what I'm working on now...

This is the July monthly from the
Little Dove's Year chart.

This chubby fellow is from Bothy Threads.
The chart is called Jolly Robin.

Here is my start.
It's going to look like a blob for a while.

This is my ANG challenge piece,
due next Saturday.  😄

I got quite a bit done
since the last time I posted.
My revised goal is to at least get
the panel on the right completed.
As I was stitching it,
I discovered that this piece
is not quite as easy as it looks.
But I probably could have completed it
if I had picked it up before last month.
I had all year to do it.

When you're as old as I am
you should stitch what calls out to you,
which is what I've been doing.
Hence, the DNF on my challenge piece.

Well, that's it from here.
Hope your June is going splendidly.
Thanks for dropping by.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Exciting News!

Did that get your attention?  
No, I haven't won the Lotto or 
had a date with Channing Tatum,
but I am halfway done with the background
on my blackwork piece.
Well, I think it's exciting...

After the background is completed,
I'll still have some shading to do on the petals,
and then I'll be done.
But it's a very, very slow process.

And just in time for May...
I've developed a renewed appreciation for Aida cloth.
I began my cross stitching life using Aida cloth,
and then abandoned it for linen.
I belonged to the group who had "moved beyond" Aida.
But now Aida comes in so many pretty colors --
the above is an over-dyed piece from Picture This Plus --
and it is so easy to work with and hide your thread ends,
that I've started using it again.
I wish I had chosen it for my blackwork piece!
The pattern is from Hands on Design's
A Year of Celebrations leaflet.

Here's Heart in Hand's Checker Bird...
I used the called-for colors,
but changed the bead color to red,
because I didn't think the included white beads
would show up on my... 
light-colored Aida cloth.
Am I being a reverse snob?
Just slap me if I am.

I don't think I've mentioned it here,
but for the longest time I've wanted
to get one of Charley Harper's
designs for needlepoint.
They are painted canvases and,
therefore, very pricey.
So I not only had a birthday in March,
but I had a 20-percent-off coupon from
my local needlepoint store, too.
The perfect storm.
I was planning on buying only one,
but I couldn't decided between these two...

I have a thing for birds.
And there were a lot of bird designs to choose from.
It's a miracle I was able to
whittle it down to just two.
If you're not familiar with Charley's wonderful designs,
you can google Meredith Collection
to see what I was up against
in picking just one two.
They all make me smile.

Last but not least,
I've been doing so many colorful pieces lately
that I had a desire to do something
a little bit more drab.
Enter my only other WIP at present...
...Kathy Barrick's Good Intentions.
This fills the bill for drab!

That's it for now.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Catching Up

The time since my last post has been rather hectic, so we have a lot of catching up to do.  Let's get right to it, because there are a lot of photos.

This is my Prairie Schooler alphabet, finished as a quilted wall hanging by Vonna, the Twisted Stitcher.

I was able to find coordinating fabric that had a "stitched" alphabet pattern in it.  It was perfect for this piece!

I finished the last little bit of this Needle Delights Originals Easter design, and now its home is in the lid of a Sudberry box.

Another very recent finish is this little pillow from Hands on Design's A Year of Celebrations.  It's not my best finishing job, but it is what it is, and it looks cute from across the room.  The word "grow" under the daisies could almost be mistaken for "snow" which is what we got today.

This is from Prairie Schooler's A Prairie Year leaflet - the design for May.  A future pillow.

This design from Lizzie-Kate's Spring Smalls booklet is another future pillow.  I haven't been finishing these things too quickly, so these two may not make it for Spring 2019.

The ladybug that I showed a couple of posts ago now has a daisy to sit on...

I've started the background, and it is a painfully slow go.  I had planned to take this one to the county fair in August, but I'm not confident that it will be done in time.  We'll see.

I have a good start on this design by Jeanette Douglas.  It was featured in a class that she taught at the Fancy Works retreat in Bloomington, IN, at the end of March.  This will be a little tray, and there's a scissor fob and drum pinkeep in the set, too.  The overdyed ground fabric is really very pretty, but I guess my camera didn't like it.

This is the progress I've made on my ANG challenge piece.  Two and a half packages.  This one definitely won't be finished by the end of June, and I'll be $10 poorer.  But at least it's no longer a UFO.

Last but not least, this is what the stylish, color-coordinated dog will wear on a stroll if she's recovering from foot surgery and has a bandage that needs to be kept clean and dry...

Molly looks about as happy with the whole thing as we are.

I think we're caught up now.
Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Hall of Shame

Certain stitching bloggers from time to time "show off" their UFO's, whether for a challenge, a SAL or other reasons.  I had mentioned mine a while back, and thought that I would catalog them here, in hopes of (shaming myself into?) finishing one or more by the end of this year.  I probably have fewer than some, but more than others.  I do find, however, that my UFO's seem to have one thing in common:  they are all, except two, from either a class or workshop that I once attended.  So here they are, all 14 16 of them (I just found two more as I was going through my stash), from the most recent to the oldest...

Austin Patch, a 2017 workshop given by Tony Minieri
through my local ANG chapter.
This is Tony's model.

I've got a good start on it, haven't I?


This one is Fire and Ice by Toni Gerdes,
another 2017 workshop hosted by my ANG chapter.
This is Toni's model that she brought
for our inspection.

This is what I was able to finish in class.
The stitching is fun and easy, but the silk thread
needs to be ironed before using.   (sigh)

This trio of ornaments is from the
2016 Illinois State Day workshop hosted by
my local EGA chapter.
These were the three colorways
and you needed to pick one for your kit.
I felt that I needed to support my chapter by attending.
That's all I'll say.

Here's my start.
That's a practice motif on the lower right.

This was a 2016 boutis workshop held after
a regional EGA meeting.
The finished needlebook is beautiful.

Here is my start.
Yes, there are stitches on that fabric,
you just can't see them
because the thread matches the fabric.

This is very sad.
This is my challenge project for my local
ANG chapter this year.
The deadline is the 4th Saturday in June.
As you can see, it will be a
very cute, 3-sided Christmas stand-up.
One day.
I have not worked on it at all since last June,
when it was chosen by the members
from the three projects I brought to the meeting.
I've thought about it a lot, though.
There's still time, but I may end up
paying the $10 penalty for not finishing.

This is where I'm at.
It's been sitting around since 2016.

This is called Dresden Doodle.
It was a blackwork workshop taught by
the redoubtable Marian Scoular in 2015.
Each participant received a large piece of
fabric with the design drawn on.
Then we were given a variety of "diaper" patterns,
and told to have at it.

 Here are some of Marian's stitched models,
three showing various Dresden designs.

This was another 2015 workshop, this one
taught by Ellen Chester.
Participants received the wooden carry-all,
with instructions and materials for a pin cube,
needle roll, pipkin, ruler cover and scissor case.

I did stitch and finish the pin cube!
I've shown it here before, but you don't
mind looking at it again, do you?

None of the other pieces
have even been started.

This was a 2015 cyberclass on
reversible cross stitching.
I think I was confused about the half cross stitches,
so I put it aside.

Here is what I've stitched so far.
And it is reversible.
The material provided is very nice.
Looking at these now, I think
I should just finish them up however I can.
I have enough material for
four little coasters.
They won't take long to stitch.
So what if the back isn't perfect.

This project really fell into my mental dustbin.
I had it listed under "Kitted" instead of "Started"
in my cross stitch app.
But rummaging through my stash
I did find that I had stitched a wee border
for one ornament.
It's kind of hard to see.
The wavy lines may be due to the
flecks of metallic thread woven into the canvas.

This was a class from my ANG chapter.
If I finish it, I'll get another pin for my nametag.
But on the other hand,
 I may already have enough pins on my nametag.
However, I'm not quite giving up on this one yet.

This was a 2014 pilot class that I took through
my ANG chapter.
We were given the middle and the right trees
to stitch and give feedback to the designer.
All required feedback was given.
The one on the right is done.

The middle one is not.

This is Elizabeth Almond's 
wonderfully generous 2014 blackwork freebie called
"Save the Stitches."
I fell in love with it back then.
Yes, it is huge.
I don't have a photo of anyone's finished piece.

Ah, the Little Bee Eater by Trish Burr.
This was a needlepainting class
that I took at the 2014 Nordic Needle retreat.
Since then, I took another needlepaintiing
class with Tanja Berlin.
(I did finish that piece.)
I plan to rip out what I started
and do this one Tanja's (better) way.
Honest, I do.

This is from the 2011 EGA Indiana State Day.
The piece is Ruby of the Forest by Marsha Papay-Gomola,
who is a wonderful teacher with a great sense of humor.
Take a class from her if you get a chance.

I swear, every single year I say to myself,
I need to get this guy finished up.
I've got all the padding done,
and a lot of the stitching on the bird.
Those were the only tricky parts.
The finished size would be a small ornament.
I can do this.

This was a 2011 workshop hosted by
my EGA chapter.
My start is on the left.

As I was examining it today,
I find that it will finish to an odd size (5.3" square).
I have a 4x4-inch box.
Maybe I can eliminate some of the borders
and make it fit into that box top.
It's a plan.

This is a workshop that I took at a
2010 EGA regional seminar.

Here is the teacher's model...
Yes, it's supposed to be a nametag, but it's
almost 5" in diameter which, to me,
seems too big for a nametag.
We did do most of the tricky parts in class,
and it wouldn't take long to finish stitching,
but I'm not sure how I would want
to use this piece, if I ever finished it.

And finally, last but not least...
This is truly my oldest UFO.
It's a dresser scarf that I started
around 2000-2001, before I started keeping records,
using one of the patterns from the hundreds 
in this cool folk art embroidery book
that I bought back in the day.
I'd give you the title--I still have the book--
but am not sure where it is right now.

Unfortunately, when I peeked into the bag 
to check which colors I had been using,
I saw that the red is an overdye: Buckeye Scarlet.  Uh-oh.
Someone wasn't thinking when she chose her colors!
Not being able to wash a dresser scarf is not a good thing.
It's probably the end of the line for this one.

Well, that's it, I think.
If you've stuck with me through
all my thinking out loud, congratulations!
We'll see which, if any, I finish
by the end of this year.
My deadline piece
should be at the front of the line--
and it has the most left to do
(after Save the Stitches, of course).

Hope your projects are going well.
Thanks for visiting!