The winner of the Prairie Schooler Ltd. Edition Santas is dani [tdchick] ... and my apologies for taking so long to announce a winner ... I had forgotten that the 10th of this month fell during the Columbus Day Weekend when I was not planning on being near a computer on a regular basis. I will be e-mailing dani and asking for her snail mail address and hope to have the charts in the mail by the end of the week. I do admit that I am surprised by the fact that last month's giveaway of Halloween charts had 42 entries while this month's giveaway had only 18. Is the stitching community at large embracing Halloween with the same enthusiasm once reserved for Christmas? Or, perhaps, are Prairie Schooler charts an acquired taste with a limited audience? I will have to come up with something special for November. I had been planning to give away more Christmas charts but I may have to rethink that strategy. We shall see.
I spent most of the Columbus Day weekend working on PS Ltd. Ed. Santa 2008 and managed to finish everything but filling in the CC Baby Spinach in the fireplace and the stockings. I'll save that for my car stitching while on the way to the Stitcher's Hideaway in Mystic CT. It'll be just the easy sort of travelling stitching I like: only one color which means I can keep the floss in my blazer pocket; no chart to consult since I'll just be filling in an already outlined space; add my scissor keep necklace to the mix ... and even stitching in the "navigator's" seat will be a breeze. I'll be bringing along my Teresa Wentzler Autumn Faerie and my Brightneedle Esmeralda's House for additional stitching during the retreat, just in case ... though I understand the retreat project will be a lot of fun, it's always nice to have a change of pace piece on hand.
I also got a little more time in on Workbasket's Quaker Sheep. I am hoping to have him done by the time I leave for the Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway, since I plan on showing all the Quakers I am sitching for my queen size quilt on Show & Tell night ... though I may bring some of my framed samplers or framed dragons for Show & Tell as well. I really haven't decided yet. It'll depend on how I am feeling the day I pack. I am looking forward to this trip quite a bit. Sue Donnelly always puts together a great retreat but this one promises to be especially good: a great Halloween project, a spooky surprise field trip and the usual good food and fine company.
The above mentioned Christmas and Quaker projects notwithstanding, I am in a Halloween frame of mind and got back to working on Esmeralda's House as well. Pictured here is the progress over a three and a half week period. I am trying to complete a room a week: I finished the outline, foundation and exteriors during the first week of stitching; the attic during the second week [enlargeable photo posted Monday 9/28], the bedroom in the third week and started the kitchen last week which was the fourth week. It is deceptively detailed. When you first look at the chart, it looks like such a wide open design with loads of white space ... hence an easy, quick stitch, right? Not quite! Look at the tiny portraits or the quilt on the bed. It is an easy stitch, to be sure, pretty basic cross stitching, precious little back-stitching and just enough specialty stitching to avoid boredom. But it's all in the details and that makes it time-consuming. I have the day off tomorrow and will spend a good part of the day stitching. With luck, I will finish the kitchen, which according to my original plan should have been finished last Friday but life does have a way of getting between me and my stitching. Since I expect to spend the better part of my morning sitting in the NYDMV office waiting for a new copy of my lost registration, I should have plenty of time to complete the kitchen. And, with luck, I'll finish the back hall on the first floor during the weekend, leaving only the front hall to complete next week. Then all I'll have to do is head down to the Happy Quilter to get fabric, batting and some Sulky quilting thread to turn it into a wall hanging in time to display at Halloween. Well, one can hope ... can't one?
I have also kitted up the Halloween ornament from Monsterbubbles Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun from the recent JCS issue ... I plan on stitching this twice: once for me and once for my daughter. These will be my next starts, once I have finished Workbasket's Quaker Sheep and Brightneedle's Esmeralda's House. Also, on my stitching horizon are two Christmas ornaments from the JCS 2005 issue, each featuring the partridge in a pear tree motif, and Sue Hillis' Cookie Baking Santa. That along with my BAP, the Teresa Wentzler piece, should keep me nice and busy this month. I hope to have all these kitted up and in my stitching bag for Mystic ... I always think I will stay up later and get more done than I actually do ... but the one time I don't have loads of stitching on hand will be the one time I want it.