- Limit the purchases of new charts to 5 this year: primarily those needed to complete series I have begun purchasing already. Purchase only fabrics and floss needed to complete charts already in my possession. Do any and all chart shopping from my own stash which now numbers approx. 70 charts, not counting magazines and books.
- Stick to reasonable monthly goals consisting of one main Focus project, a medium project and a few smalls to provide variety and the immediate gratification of frequent finishes.
- Continue the plan of doing two sewing finishes from the backlog basket each month and keeping up with current finishes.
- Assign T Wentzler's Autumn Faerie and Woodland Angel Stocking top priority as BAPs for 2009.
- Assign the M Design Name Tree ornaments top priority as smalls for 2009 and using them to meet the monthly Christmas ornament portion of the Seasonal Monthly Ornament Blog challenges.
- Assign the Dragon Dreams, Sue Hillis, Prairie Schooler and Workbasket charts top priority as medium projects for 2009.
- Return my attention to my own design ideas, particularly the Ghandi quote sampler incorporating the colors and design motifs of sari fabrics into the rows and borders.
- Withdraw from exchanges to save money and focus on personal stitching goals in 2009.
- Work seriously on converting junk room into a stitching/sewing room.
- Try to blog every other day.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
--TW Woodland Angel Christmas Stocking .... not a stitch
--Keep up with current finishes: Stitching For the Cure Ornament #2: Dragonfly Stitches' Hope; Imaginating's Snowman Ornament [Promotional Chart], About Cross Stitch's Ruffled Diamond finished as a biscornu, Imaginating's Cardinal ornament, two Heart ornaments from the Gift of Stitching, Imaginating's Heart ornament, Imaginating's Rabbit ornament.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
- Choose one Focus project, usually a BAP or medium-to-large project, and work on it steadily throughout the month ... carrying it over into as many months as needed.
- Choose one medium sized project to complete during the month.
- Start and finish as many smalls as needed to keep the mix interesting and provide the necessary gratification of frequent finishes, never having more than two smalls in progress at any given moment.
- Finish two sewing finishes from the backlog basket each month and keep up with current finishes.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
As a small project that requires less concentration, I have been using the WDW Noel that was part of my Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway goodie bag to stitch another biscornu ... I have the absolutely perfect buttons to complement the colors in this overdyed floss: square buttons divided into triangles of green and rose that pick up the colors in Noel as if made-to-match. ... but since these buttons are "vintage" buttons, it's all just one of those happy accidents. I'll have quite a basketful of these little projects fairly soon as this is the 8th biscornu I will have stitched this year ... so far I've given away 3 and kept 4 ... they are decorative and useful and somehow very appealing. And then there is my second Stitching for the Cure ornament for the 2009 Tree. This is Dragonfly Stitches' Hope and I have stitched it on a 32ct ivory mystery linen [DMC or Zweigart, can't remember] in Carrie's Creations Strawberry Shake overdyed cotton floss.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
The first of my Stitching for the Cure ornaments, Kylie's Heart designed by Terry Louise, stitched in Carrie's Creations Sassy and Purple Pansy floss on antique green linen from Zweigart and trimmed in a pale blue spiral braid from Farmhouse Fabrics. This was actually stitched in November but I did the finishing Sunday morning before Mass. While in a "finishing" mood, I also prepped the cardboard hearts for the Holly and Hearts flat ornament [yet to be stitched] with quilt batting and backing fabric.
I had committed to stitching two ornaments for the Stitching for a Cure tree to honor two breast cancer survivors in my family: my kid sister, Angela and my first cousin, Maureen. So here is Dragonfly Stitches' Hope designed by Kristine Herber ... a one day stitch completed Sunday on mystery ivory linen stitched in Carrie's Creations Strawberry Shake floss, and embellished with some clear and pearl beads left over from other projects and a JABCo small pink flower. I'll finish this as a flat ornament as I did Kylie's Heart, backing it with a bright pink fabric with white polka dots and trimming it with a white shell braid. While at work today, I'll use my paper slice to cut out a couple of diamond cardboard forms with which to finish Hope. I plan to have these ornaments ready to mail by the end of the week.
Today, I'll get back to the Holly and Hearts Sampler ... it'll be an unusual Monday for me: just office hours without the usual 4:30-6:oopm and 7:00-8:30pm classes since we have to keep the parking lot we share with the church clear for evening Masses for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. So, I hope to get in some quality stitching time after work.
Friday, December 5, 2008
As to my progress on The Sweetheart Tree's Holly and Hearts Sampler, here is a photo showing my stitching. I completed all the beading in Row 2 as well as the Rhodes Heart and Multicolor Half Diamond Wednesday night.
Then, on Thursday, rows 7 and 8. The crystal heart that was accidentally left out of the kit arrived in the mail just in time to be added in its proper space. Thus far today, I have completed Row 9-12: the silver metallic herringbone stitch, the backstitched line in green, the combination of cross stitches, satin stitches and beading and deep red cross stitches with silver beads. And I have started on Row 13 which is another large area of vining and tracery in the shape of a heart with inserts of lattice work, Rhodes Hearts and an alphabet. I expect to be on Row 13 for a very long time ... probably 3 or 4 days.
The specialty stitches are a joy and, for the most part, relatively quick stitches. It is the backstitching that slows me down though I believe I have finally found my ryhthm with this piece. While at the Mystic retreat, I picked up another Sweetheart Tree chart, The Cherry Blossoms Biscornu. Since the retreat project also included the Holly and Hearts Ornament and, either in the goodie bags or door prizes, the Fourth Day of Christmas Ornament chart ... I now have a fairly respectable sampling of this new-to-me designer's charts. Not my usual style but one I shall certainly enjoy as a change of pace from time to time. Very delicate designs, a refined color palette, lots of interesting and challenging stitches and loads of the beading I love. For all the beads Sandy uses in her pieces, the projects always finish up looking elegant ... never cheap, gaudy or glitzy. I saw over 40 of her model pieces while on the retreat and admired all of them. It's the quality of the beads she uses and her unerring designer's instinct that maintain the high aesthetic standard. In any case, I am very glad to have found another designer whose charts are such a pleasure to stitch ... and isn't that what stitching retreats are all about?
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I have decided to do the beading as I go and roll the piece up with a bit of flannel and some quilt batting ... it's that old immediate gratification thing again. I really need to see the finished look to keep motivated. The more I stitch on this piece, the more I like it ... although, initially, I thought it much too fussy for my tastes and planned to use it as a gift ... now, I believe I shall frame it and keep it for myself. I figure I should be able to stitch the Rhodes heart and the Half-Diamond on my dinner break leaving only the beading to finish before bedtime. I still haven't the heart to tackle the companion piece: a large flat heart-shaped ornament with loads and loads of vines to back-stitched ... mainly because I'll need to frog a good bit of what I stitched in Mystic. Somewhere along the line I made a mistake that threw off the symmetry ... and since the symmetrical tracery is what makes the piece so charming, frogging is an absolute necessity. Oh, well, I hope to have both sampler and ornament done before Christmas.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Next is a Christmas ornament: Country Cottage's entry in the 2007 JCS issue, stitched on 32ct sage linen using GAST floss and the same eyelash trim as I used for the Thanksgiving ornament.
These two ornaments were stitched for the Seasonal Ornament blog:
which is well worth visiting if you like to browse photo collections of smalls ... started in mid-November 2008, this already promises to be a lovely collection of small finishes.
The last piece is one that has been stitched and assembled for over a year, awaiting trim. Well, I finally learned how to make braided cord at the Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway in Mystic, Ct. earlier this month and was able to finish the piece. I'll put it aside for display next October. I left a small slot in the bottom of the piece in which to insert one of those small acrylic stands that turn a flat finish into a stand-up.
The rest of my stitching time was spent on my project from the Stitcher's Hideaway: The Sweetheart Tree sampler. I stitched most of the half diamond stitches in Row 4 before I decided I was too tired from all the holiday hulabaloo to take another stitch.