As I had promised a few days ago, I am showing my Halloween finishes just as I have shown my Autumn finishes ... or at least as many as I have photographed. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays - perhaps because I work with children and continue to see it through their eyes.
This first is a Homespun Elegance design, a companion piece to The Stitcher, clearly entitled Witches Stitch Too. I have stitched both pieces and will eventually finish them as pillows.
This is Miribilia's Halloween Faerie. Though I love the finished piece, I was not thrilled while stitching it. The charted colors just didn't seem quite Halloween-ish enough. I am very glad I stuck with the kitted materials though because it really did come together beautifully in the end. Just an aside: I seldom buy kits because I like to keep my options open as to fabric and fiber. But this kit was worth the investment.
This is one of the entries in the Shepherd's Bush Be Attitudes monthly series, stitched large on a 10ct fabric. Ultimately, I'll stitch it into a Halloween Trick or Treat bag for my grand-daughter. But she is still in the "I love pink - I am a little princess" stage, so I'll wait a bit on this one. She's only three and I think a trick or treat bag like this would make her cry.
This is one of my favorite ornaments from the various JCS Halloween issues. Called Full Moon, it is actually an excerpt from a larger piece, Sleepy Hollow, from Ink Circles which I also have in my stash to be stitched someday. In any case this is just one of two versions I have stitched: the second was on a purple linen and was given away in an exchange.
This is Blue Ribbon Designs's Perched on a Pumpkin, yet another of the JCS Halloween issue goodies. I love owls and pumpkins, so what's not to like?
This is Winifred Witch from M Designs, also a JCS Halloween issue ornament, I knew I had to stitch this one as soon as I saw it. In spite of the green skin tones this is one pretty witch.Another Ink Circles contribution to the JCS Halloween issues, this is Fleur de Boo: a geometric in Halloween colors with Sharon Crescents Belle Soie. I think I liked this one just because it was so unexpected. And of course, any excuse to stitch with Belle Soie is a good one. I am constantly expanding my collection of Belle Soie silks so that I can convert charts using cottons to my favorite silks. I don't have a complete set by any means but I am working toward that goal.
This little clothespin witch doll was another of those rare kits in my stash. It was an "extra" in an exchange and was a really fun stitch. I had it in my office one Halloween and ended up giving it away to one of the children who admired it. I still have the chart and some more black linen and have always intended to stitch it again someday.
Jane Greenoff's Blackwork Owl: Owls and witches seem to go together, at least since the Harry Potter stories ... so this little blackwork owl is one more ornament for my Halloween tree.
This is Elizabeth Design's Spooky Tree, from the first JCS Halloween issue. I trimmed it as suggected with raffia.
Homespun Elegance is one of my favorite designers and I love her Olde Brass charms ... they really add a je ne sais croix to her design, Boo Pumpkin. I also like her practice of stacking motifs for more visual punch.
This is the Prairie Schooler Night Owl ornament from an early JCS Halloween issue. I love this little guy but he gave me fits for some reason. I kept counting my stitches incorrectly. I own another version of this same chart, stitched one over one, and received as an exchange. I couldn't help but marvel at the perfection of the one over one version when I had had such trouble with the 2 over 2. And it is a very straightforward chart. I have stitched many more difficult and complex projects than this with no trouble at all. I still can't figure out why it gave me such trouble.
From the very first JCS Halloween Tree issue, this is The Sweetheart Tree's entry, Pumpkin on Gingham. It is another of those painlessly repeatable designs that I have used for exchanges and gifts and will do so as long as I have some of that gingham linen in my stash.
La-D-Da's Trick or Treat featuring witches boots and stockings was another must stitch but for a different reason than usual. I had this great blue and yellow cording that I wanted to use so I adjusted the color of the stockings to match.
I am not sure what sheep have to do with Halloween but this ewe in a witch's hat beside a pumpkin stack is irresistible. It was a gift and is Shepherd Bush's Boo Sheep.
This simple little beauty was designed by Sue Donnelly and was part of the loot in the swag bag of one of her Mystic Stitcher's Hideaways that I attended. Sue always includes a little gift kit of her own design. She is not only a very organized provider of great stitching retreat experiences; she is an extremely creative and gifted designer as well!
This childhood taunt keeps showing up in Halloween ornament designs: I am not particularly crazy about this version but it was a quick and easy stitch. The designer is Cherry Wood Designs.
I really enjoyed this very quick little stitch. It came from the same leaflet as the tall skinny witch with a pumpkin that you see several photos below.
This is a Glory Bee design. If I remember correctly [I no longer have the chart] this was one of three designs meant to be stitched in a row. I used a higher count fabric and stitched them as Halloween ornaments. I also embellished them with some beads in the borders to give them a little more glitz and glamour as ornaments.
I know I stitched all three of these Glory Bee designs, but these are the only two I have on hand, so I must have given the other, Treat Time, featuring candy corn, away long ago
This is another Glory Bee ornament, this one from a JCS Halloween issue. I may be slow on the uptake every now and then but I honestly didn't get the visual pun of the skeleton key until I e-mailed the designer about it. As the kids would say, "Duh!"
This is another of my favorite Halloween ornament designs, Starry Pumpkin, a complimentary chart from Homespun Elegance, I have stitched it at least half a dozen times for gifts and exchanges. Shown here are two versions. The photo directly above is one version of the Homespun Elegance Star Pumpkin ... only without the star charm. This round example was given away at a retreat as part of an exchange grab bag.
But the one with the bright orange cording and the Olde Brass charm is the one I kept for myself.
This tall skinny witch was one of two designs in the leaflet [see the Salem 1692 design above]. I think she is very sweet in her own endearingly primitive fashion.
And here are some of the ornaments displayed on my entry hall table along with a few of my owl figurines.
For over 25 years, I have worked in a Catholic parish, either as a teacher in the parochial school or as the Coordinator of the Religious Education Program for children attending public schools. We never throw anything away in Catholic schools! While browsing in the school library one day, I found an ancient volume with this very old-fashioned Halloween poem that reminded me of my own school days in the 50s. So I stitched it into a classroom door banner. Many of you will recognize the Black Cat Motif and vining from Prairie Schooler's Designer Series Halloween chart and the Homespun Elegance Starry Pumpkin motif at the bottom. I had a lot of fun stitching this piece on my lunch hours in the faculty lounge. But I remember one of my colleagues questioning how I could just stitch the verse on blank linen. I was surprised and replied that if I could write with pencil and paper, why shouldn't I be able to do the same thing with needle and thread? I couldn't understand why she thought it would be so difficult!
This is a Monster Bubbles chart, again from the JCS Halloween issues. It is a witty and clever design and much funnier in real life. It is hard to see in the photo, but those loops of ribbon are actually the over-the-top hair do of a skull sipping from the martini glass. The satiric take on Madonna's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was simply irresistible. This was another of those charts that I knew I just had to stitch the moment I saw it.
This is Primitive Needle's Halloween Revelry, a chart which appeared in JCS Sept. 2009. I was attracted by the offbeat and quirky design. I believe this is the first Primitive Needle piece I stitched. Of course, I have gone on to stitch many of her designs since that time. Her untimely death in the terrible flash floods that hit her area a few years ago was a terrible tragedy.
All I cam tell you about this piece is that it is a freebie that a stitched a very long time ago.
Brightneedle's Esmeralda's House was one of the cleverest and quirkiest pieces I have ever stitched. Every room has a bunch of little surprises. It's like one of those Where is Waldo? books ... lots and lots of visual stimulation. I took a class with one of the Brightneedle ladies and was able to get this chart autographed.
And this is another one of my favorites: Not Forgotten Farms, The Giving Sisters. It reminds me of the old woodcut illustrations found in 19th and 18th century books. My only quibble is with the green faces. I tried all sorts of different flesh tones but ultimately frogged them all and went with the charted green.
This trick or treat bag uses Raise the Roofs' Boo Whoo as its centerpiece. Instead of stitching it over two on 40ct to come up with an ornament , I stitched it over two on 28ct for this larger version. I think it made a really adorable Halloween accessory for little Liam.
Another Trick or Treat Bag for the grandkids: this one featuring Homespun Elegance's Mr. Jack-o-Lantern. It reminds me of another piece I stitched long ago and made into a classroom banner for my niece, Raise the Roof's Sweet Tooth, which I somehow never got around to photographing.
And yet another Trick or Treat bag: if I remember correctly this is a Glory Bee design. But I am not about to swear to it.
And I have even brought the Halloween theme to my love of tea. I wish I had a teapot just like this stitched one with some pumpkin mugs to match. Wouldn't that be fun! This is a chart from Silver Needle;s Secret Needle Night and is one of Mona Best's designs.
There are still quite a few Halloween pieces that I have stitched but that I have never photographed. It happens to be a favorite theme of my daughter's as well and I gave her many pieces before I got in the habit of photographing them. And I can't even begin to estimate the Autumn and Halloween charts I still have in my stash. Perhaps doing just such an inventory could be material for another post. I'll have to think about that.