Today we are expecting highs in the 80s and are suffering from 90% humidity. Where, oh where, are the crisp autumn days I love? In the hopes that I can produce a few real Fall days with self-fulfilling expectations, I am going to share some Fall stitchery photos with you today.
This first is a Handblessing's free chart: a lovely bookmark formed by intricate tracery and a center panel of maple leaves turned red. As I do with all my bookmarks, I finished the back with a soft bit of flannel cut from an old sheet and then fringed the edges.
This Bent Creek Blackbird Sampler was another fun stitch: lots of cotton overdyes in beautiful colorways, graceful motifs and an alphabet just quirky enough to make it an interesting stitch.
This is another complimentary chart from that period when most of my stitching was perforce from those blessed gifts from designers ... back when my three children were young and out house was a money pit. It is a San-Man Original. Simple and sweet.
This a Liz Turner Diehl piece from one of the CATS dinner stitches. There were three seasonal pieces all meant to be pillow bands but I finished this one as a bell pull since I found the rods with perfect acorn finials. If you click to enlarge the photo you will be able to see the rods and also the details of the beaded acorns at the top which had me falling in love with the piece in the first place.
Another Handblessing's Bookmark. Again this was a free chart. I love the oak leaf and acorn pattern and stitched it in a Belle Soie overdyed silk.
This is one of the old Silver Needle Secret Needle Night designs ... back before Brooke Nolan began doing most of the design. I think this design was be Mona. I finished it as a classroom door banner and really loved the fabric I found for the purpose.
Sad to say I cannot remember the designer of this piece ... it dates back to a time when I wasn't really paying attention to designers but just stitching anything that caught my fancy. I think it is a Plum Street Sampler's design but I wouldn't swear to it. And since the chart has long since been culled from my binder of free charts, I have no way of verifying my suspicions.
Here is the same piece stitched into a small talisman bag for my daughter's use
This is a Round Robin from just a few years past. Linda, a message board friend of mine, gathered a group together and suggested we each choose a theme dear to our heart, stitch a border and a theme setting section and then see what happened. Since Fall is one of my favorite themes and Prairie Schooler one of my favorite designers, I chose to use two of their charts. The border came from one of my BH&G hardcover go-to books. Most of the other participants choose to stitch the leaves in the middle row, though one stitched the house with pumpkins, bottom left. I stitched the border, the top panel and the center and right boxes in the bottom row. I still haven't figured out what I am going to do with the piece. Maybe a wall hanging or the centerpiece of a lap quilt? What do you think.
This is a SAL I participated in using Debbie Draper's Spots of Fun as our starting off point. I chose to stitch it in autumnal colors and made it a true sampler by trying as many different fibers as I could possibly find to stitch the motifs. I used silks, wools, cottons, metallics, and bamboo, overdyes and solids, from a wide variety of manufacturers and dyers. No two motifs repeat a fiber. I loved stitching this piece. It was great fun to play with fibers.
These are the Homespun Elegance Sheepish Designs for September, October and November. They are actually miniature saddle blankets meant to be tossed over the back of a lightly stuffed little primitive sheep shaped pillow. There is one blanket for each month of the year but these are the Fall designs. Each has a small bronze charm: September [top left] has an acorn, Octobr [top right] has a ghost and November [bottom] has a pumpkin.
Some more Prairie Schooler. This one is from one of those promo cards PS used to give away. I made up PS houses in all four seasons and then finished them as the floss tags you can see below, somewhat out of order: summer with it's blooms, autumn with its raven and changing foliage, spring with its steady drizzle and winter with its snow.
I was never able to master the fine art of making floss tags till I invested in a Crop-a-Dile which is actually a scrap booking tool. The Crop-a-Dile works so much better than the hammer and chisel deal that most people use to set the grommets.
Surprise, surprise, another Prairie Schooler gem: this one is their contribution to the very first JCS Halloween ornament issue. I have stitched it a number of times and given it away. But this is one version I kept for myself. I made the hanger from a leftover ball point pen spring which I had gently stretched and to which I added a few beads before tacking it into place.
Like many people I associate squirrels with Fall. I have no clue where this little free chart of a red squirrel came from. It dates from the days I was downloading free charts from the internet almost daily. But back in those days I was more focused on the chart itself than on noting designer names. Anyway it made a nice gift tote.
This a Prairie Schooler complimentary chart that just says Fall to me. Granted as a born and bred New York City kid, I may have it all wrong; but pheasants seem to be an autumnal sort of theme to me. I liked the way the bronze tones in the metallic cording echo some of the colors in the stitched piece. You can't tell from the photo, but some of the blue in the male pheasant head appears in the irridescence of the cording.
This is a close-up of a pin pillow I made as part of an exchange [for what I received, see the photo below]. You may recognize the same Prairie Schooler design from the round robin a few photos above. In the round robin, I split the charts up to fit the boxes. Here the Autumn design from the Four Seasons leaflet is stitched exactly as charted.
These are a lovely pair of over one Prairie Schooler Fall charts made into lapel pins sent to me as part of an exchange. Since I wear blazers at work quite a lot, I get a lot of use of these little beauties. People always compliment me on the fine work and I have to admit they were a gift and not the product of my own hands
This is a free chart from Heartstrings: one in her series of Earth Day Samplers. I changed it about a bit. I used hand-dyed cottons from a Catherine Jordan CATs class on color. Typically, I had been drawn to an autumnal palette when allowed to select colorways for my own use. I evened out the original border which was not symmetrical and moved the text to the center position and flanked it with squirrels which I tend to associate with frugality and with autumn.
And, for the piece de resistance, Teresa Wentzler's Autumn Faerie. May she work her magick and bring on the crisp Autumn days I long for.
As the time approaches a little more closely, I'll show all my Halloween stitches ... and there will be many of them since I really enjoy that holiday: candy, costumes and children - it doesn't get better than that especially now that I have grandchildren to fuss over.