Friday, February 5, 2016

And Still More Finishing

I an working on finding my dining room table beneath the piles of fabric, stitched pieces, trims, and fusible interfacing.  I managed to finish two more items yesterday, bringing the total up to 12 for 2016 thus far.





I am pleased with my first oval ornament. PS Queen Bee.












But not as pleased with the stand up Easter Egg Sampler.  I'll be making some changes as I use the same basic technique for an Easter Rabbit stand up.








I am hoping to spend some time today on the rabbit stand up and running up 2016 Trick or Treat totes for the grandchildren.  I like to have things ready far in advance so as Halloween approaches I'll have plenty of time to find the right goodies and mail everything to the West Coast.  

I finally figured out how to use the automatic needle threader on the Pfaff sewing machine so changing thread color will be easier.  I really prefer my antiquated [48 years old] Dial and Sew but it's going into the repair shop for work on the tension assembly.  I've got to hope it's not quite at the DNR stage just yet.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Little More Finishing

A surprise visit yesterday by my daughter from the West Coast had us occupied until a little after 2 pm.  We'll see her again on Saturday when we try to gather the larger family for a brunch.   She leaves again on Sunday and has many people to see, places to go in the interim.

I spent the rest of the afternoon on sewing and assembly finishing with these results:



I want to make an ornament for each of my three grandchildren.  This year's theme will be Christmas trees.    First up is this little beauty for my diva of all things pink.  I've photographed it atop the backing fabric.  Hey, I know pink isn't a traditional holiday color but the diva will like it.










Next, a mini Love Bird Sampler for the January [wedding anniversary] through Valentine's Day display.












And then there's this Prairie Schooler promo card for the patriotic display from May 31 to July 4.













Finally. there's this pin pillow, stuffed with ground walnut shells and trimmed with chenille.










I got as far as prepping the cardboard for the Queen Bee ornament, the first oval shape I've attempted.  We'll see how that goes today.  This ornament would meet my goal of 5 finishes in a month but I plan to keep doing finishes until I can see the surface of the dining room table/  Who knows, I may even use the table for a meal!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Gallery Post - Town Square Series - 2016 Update

Starting in 2013, I got serious about trying to stitch one of these charts each month as an ornament. Though I still have a few more that need finish-finishing, these represent the bulk of my work on the series.

So far I have stitched and finish-finished 31 of the charts.  I have stitched one more that is awaiting transformation into an ornament

I 'll probably select four more charts to bring the number up to three dozen.







The Antique Samplers Shop by Barb Allen for The Needle's Work Antiques











The Bakery by JBW Designs






The Book Shop by Mosey and Me



The Button Shop by Cecile McPeak for Just Another Button Company








Cafe du Monde by Leslie Wristers






The Church by DebBee's Designs
















The Creamery






The Cross Stitch Shop by The Cross Stitchery & MSF












The Fiber Shop by The Heart's Content




The Fire Station by Wild Heart Designs













The Fishmonger











Flocking to Knit




The Flower Shop by My Mark












The Frame Shop by East Side Mouldings














The Gourmet Shop






The Honey Shop by Shepherd's Bush












Milady's Tea Shop by Milady's Needle















The Pet Shop




The Post Office by Knotted Tree Needle Art





The Primitives Shop by Prairie Moon












The Quilt House by Nancy Pfeiffer






The Saloon by Crescent Colors














Sandi's Sweet Sjop




The Shoe Shrine by Sam Sarah Design













The Silversmith by Charland Designs: by some weird trick of the light, this fabric is not showing its true blue color.













The Star Theater by Heart in Hand




 The School House by La-D-Da









The Town Clock by Cricket Collection



The Town Hall by Weeks Dye Works












The Toy Shop by Olde Colonial Designs



The Train Depot by Val's Stuff














And this is the backing fabric that I have used for all the ornaments .  IRL it is a bit of a darker navy blue.  When I rn out of the star dotted fabric, I used a bavy with white [olka dots in the sa,e scale.











A reader, in a recent comment, asked me to explain the Indy Town Square SAL.  The simplest way to do so is to direct you to the SAL blog .  I don't know if the charts are still available.  If they are, obviously I think they are well worth obtaining.  So many people have jumped on the various more expensive versions of a townful of buildings, e.g.: the various Hawk Run Hollow seasonal series and the LHN Cottage series and the Santa's Village series.  I got 42 charts of buildings for the investment of $5.  It seems a better bargain to me than any of the above.    And the variety is amazing since, not only are there 42 different shops and public buildings, each is designed by a different designer.  I am stitching mine as ornaments but people can stitch them as block style samplers like the HRH series, as afghans, or as separate smalls.  It's an extremely versatile set of charts.  I am maintaining unity in my ornament collection by using one of three very similar light to medium blue linens to stitch the ornaments and using the same backing fabric and homemade cording made from coordinating shades of blue DMC floss.   I am not sure I will stitch every chart in the series but I do intend to stitch at least three dozen.  I am not generally much of a shopper so visiting shops in cross stitch serves as my version of retail therapy ... with the added benefit that it is not nearly as expensive as the real deal.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Candlemas Day/Groundhog Day


I am providing you with a link to Julie's blog for some interesting background on the day.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Assessing January Goals, Setting February Goals

It's been a good start.  In addition to meeting two of my goals I started and finished three additional projects: Homespun Elegance. Birds and BeesSamplers and Such. ABC SamplerMystery Sampler, French Style.  I also started and am nearly finished with Whispered by the Wind's Scherzo.

January Goals

  • Complete at least five Sewing Finishes  Four complete and one nearly so.

I assembled and trimmed two Town Square ornaments: The Creamery and Sandi's Sweet Shop.

And I made a small pin pillow from Homespun Elegance's An Elegance of Owls, trimming it with some soot colored chenille.



And I turned the Samplers and Such ABC sampler into a jar lid, overlaying two different braids to trim the edges of the lid.


  • I started om A is for Acorn, making another pin pillow, though this one will be stuffed with ground walnut shells.  I have yet to decide on a trim,  I'll have to do a liile stash diving. 
  • Continue work on Making Waves  NO.
  • Continue work on Slow Down Sampler.  FINISHED.
  • Continue work on The Jacobean Elegance Afghan  NO.



FEBRUARY GOALS
Complete at least 5 sewing or assembly finishes.
Continue work on Jacobean Elegance Afghan.
Start the next Workbasket Quaker animal.
Get back to Work on Making Waves.
Finish Scherzo.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

WIP/UFO Progress Report

Unlike my previous posts under this title, I am unable to cross anything off the lost.  As any inveterate list maker knows, crossing items off a list is one of the purer pleasures in life.  But, alas, not today.   I did make progress on Scherzo.

  1. Lori Birmingham's Pansy Garden Nantucket Style Basket (2005 CATS project)
  2. Catherine Jordan's Pretty Picot Edges (2006 CATS project)
  3.  Karen Bovard's Filet Lace (2006 CATS project)
  4. Peyote stitch bracelet (Willow Tree, Boothbay Harbor , Maine)
  5. 2007 Stitcher's Hideaway at Mystic Victoria Sampler projects: a stitchers pocket, biscornu, needlebook and fob
  6. 2009 Stitcher's Hideaway at Mystic Brightneedle's Ghoulies and Ghosts Etui and accessories.
  7. 2010 Stitcher's Hideaway at Sturbridge.  Victoria Sampler's Sturbridge Box and accessories.
  8. 2012 Stitcher's Hideaway Martha Washington Sampler.
  9. 2013 Stitcher's Hideaway Victoria Sampler's Christmas Sampler
  10.  2014 Stitcher's Hideaway Brightneedle Kindred Spirits Sewing Journal.
  11. The Jacobean Elegance afghan - with 15 more squares to be stitched.
  12. Making Waves needlepoint project - with more than 3/4s of the bargello rows and more than 2/3s of the eyelet area to be stitched.
  13. My own design, Fertile Circles needle book, the back panel needs finishing.
  14. My own design, Beach Find Pansies, to be completed and incorporated into an embellished crazy quilt square
  15. Whispered by the Wind Scherzo.  Started 1-13-16.  MADE SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS.  
  16. Another needlepoint project, Rice Pudding, using many variations of the rice stitch.
  17. Yet another needlepoint project, an Owl, again a project using lots of specialty stitches.
  18. Piper's Christmas stocking  adapted from a Dimensions kit.
  19. HAED's The Tangle Fairy, barely started
  20. Morning Glory The Sheltering Tree.  

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

    Nearing the Finish Line

    I've used four of my six skeins of Blue Spruce and have started on the fifth.  I have stitched a little over 2/3 of the design.  This design is addictive.  I am compelled to stitch just one more element and than one more and so on.  With all the handling, the rather stiff Monaco has softened up enough so that I am no longer injuring my forefinger with each stab of the needle.  But the whole experience reminds me why I prefer linen.  Unfortunately, I have two more pieces of Monaco in stash which my frugal soul will insist on using up.  A quick pre-wash will remove most of the sizing and, one hopes, most of the problem.

    I need to attend to some chores but if I have time to stitch tonight, I'll concentrate on the corner motifs and the roses.  

    Sunday, January 17, 2016

    UFO/WIP Progress Report

    For 2016, I have merged my class project and UFO/WIP into one master list.  The class pieces dropped off my radar last year and I want to avoid that this year.  For now, I'll track progress weekly, on Sunday evenings.

    1. Lori Birmingham's Pansy Garden Nantucket Style Basket (2005 CATS project)
    2. Catherine Jordan's Pretty Picot Edges (2006 CATS project)
    3.  Karen Bovard's Filet Lace (2006 CATS project)
    4. Peyote stitch bracelet (Willow Tree, Boothbay Harbor , Maine)
    5. 2007 Stitcher's Hideaway at Mystic Victoria Sampler projects: a stitchers pocket, biscornu, needlebook and fob
    6. 2009 Stitcher's Hideaway at Mystic Brightneedle's Ghoulies and Ghosts Etui and accessories.
    7. 2010 Stitcher's Hideaway at Sturbridge.  Victoria Sampler's Sturbridge Box and accessories.
    8. 2012 Stitcher's Hideaway Martha Washington Sampler.
    9. 2013 Stitcher's Hideaway Victoria Sampler's Christmas Sampler
    10.  2014 Stitcher's Hideaway Brightneedle Kindred Spirits Sewing Journal.
    11. The Jacobean Elegance afghan - with 15 more squares to be stitched.
    12. Making Waves needlepoint project - with more than 3/4s of the bargello rows and more than 2/3s of the eyelet area to be stitched.
    13. My own design, Fertile Circles needle book, the back panel needs finishing.
    14. My own design, Beach Find Pansies, to be completed and incorporated into an embellished crazy quilt square
    15. Whispered by the Wind Scherzo.  Started 1-13-16.  MADE SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS.  
    16. Another needlepoint project, Rice Pudding, using many variations of the rice stitch.
    17. Yet another needlepoint project, an Owl, again a project using lots of specialty stitches.
    18. Piper's Christmas stocking  adapted from a Dimensions kit.
    19. HAED's The Tangle Fairy, barely started
    20. Morning Glory The Sheltering Tree.  JUST NEED TO FINISH THE OVER ONE LETTERING.

      Saturday, January 16, 2016

      Scherzo

      This Whispered by the Wind piece is my newest start.  I've had the chart for several years, one of those someday projects.  Now that I am retired, someday is finally here.  I am using the recommended WDW Blue Spruce.  I have 6 skeins in the same dye lot.  Both chart and floss were gifts from a Secret Sister exchange.  Instead of the recommended 28 count antique white linen, I am using 28 count white Monaco.  It's been a long time since I have used this 100% cotton fabric.  I'd forgotten how sturdy and stiff it can be, slowing down the stitching experience.  Using a size 26 needle instead of my usual size 28 helps.

      Friday, January 15, 2016

      First Finishes of 2016

      I have finished the mystery sampler.  I had to eliminate some of the charted cartouches to adapt the chart to the size of my linen.   I switched the animals about somewhat, choosing my favorites: peacock, dog parakeets, owl, robin, rabbit and squirrel, stitched in soft and bright pastels,  I filled in the empty spaces with motifs stitched in the same Blue Lagoon I used for the cartouches.  It was necessary to tinker with the motif as well, turning the roses on their side, changing the squat loving cup into a slender chalice and adding a bunch of grapes.  I wish I could provide more of a provenance for this design.  I seem to recall downloading it from one of the French free sites ... it definitely seems to be in that style.  In any case the final result is very different from the original chart.


      The next finish is from Donna of By the Bay. .  I used WDW 30 count Periwinkle linen and Belle Soie silks, mainly Indigo with Boysenberry ans Lilac.  The simple words Slow Down looked pretty naked on the linen so I added a border of my own design, accenting it with some beads in the same shade as the deepest tone in the Boysenberry.  The corner treatment is a simple Rhpdes rectangle
      .



      And there's this one day wonder from Samplers and Such: Bitty Baskets ABC Sampler, a sampler designed to be finished as a pin keep but which I will finish as a jar top.  I used Aurora 32 count linen and Caron Waterlilies Tahiti for a subtle tone on tone [in part] effect which looks much better in reality than in this photograph.  In real life, the pale melon in the floss doesn't fade quite so badly into the background linen.




      I seem to be choosing my projects to use up the odd scraps of linen I have on hand.  I guess it's a sort of New Year's sweep and clean up effort.  This latest finish is from Homespun Elegance:
      Country Spirits Birds and Bees,   .  I used my Belle Soie silks instead of the recommended DMC.  They are Beanstalk, Chocolate, Cinnamon Stick, Lasagna, Old Crow and Scarecrow.  I still have an extensive stash of partial cards of Belle Soie and am using them for all my small to medium projects: waste not, want not.




      All I need to finish this last piece are two Olde Brass bee charms but that will have to wait till I have the time to put together an order.  I need some scroll rods, the proper linens for Sleepy Hollow and the Workbasket Quaker animals.  I'll need a quiet moment to sit down and make up a complete list of my needs for the next few months.