Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: Year in Review & Goals Assessment

Every year I seem to have fewer and fewer finishes.  I suppose that is to be expected as I slow down with age.  But I'll be retiring 3/4s of the way through 2015 and should see the trend reverse in future years as I have more leisure time.  I look forward to that most heartily.

Total # of Projects completed: 40
Total # of Smalls/Ornaments: 26. 1 Patriotic Heart ornament, 3 Valentine's Heart ornaments, 12 Town Square ornaments, 1 PS Christmas ornament, 5 small pin pillows, 1 Baby Bib, 2 Autumn ornaments, Mystic Smalls Needle Book
Total # of Medium projects completed: 12.   By the Bay Needle Arts 2010 Easter BunnyCross My Heart's Cumin [tea towel], Cross My Heart's Rosemary [tea towel], Cross My Heart's Sage [tea tpwel], Dragon Dreams' Here Be DragonsDragon Dreams' Compass Rose DragonEaster Egg Band SamplerHomespun Elegance's Owls' Night OutPineberry Lane's Autumn on Marigold LanePineberry Lane's Mehitabel's Redwork SamplerPineberry Lane's Tansy, Yarrow and Rue samplerSue Hillis' The Pirate's Creed.
Total # of Large projects completed: 2.  Dragon Dreams' The Dragon of the Winter Moon, Dragon Dreams The Dragon's Tea Party
Total # of BAPs completed:

Total # of Sewing & Assembly Finishes: 25
Ornaments: 22
Totes: 0
Pin Pillows: 2
Throw Pillows: 0
Scissor Fobs: 1
  • There has been more positive movement than negative on these goals.  I am really quite pleased with my stitching year.
  • 1. My Own Crazy Challenge: work on unfinished class pieces from 2005-date.  I did get back to the Mystic Smalls projects and continued work on this year's class project, The Kindred Spirits stitching journal.  I am nearly done with the former and have made some progress on the later.  I should be able to tackle the Sturbridge Box and accessories sometime in the first quarter of 2015.  And in the second quarter, I'll work on The Christmas Sampler from 2013.  Since I'll be taking a class with Thea in October, I'd like to get all my Victoria Sampler class projects from previous years done to bring to Show and Tell night.  I'd also like to finish a sampler I purchased, The Pumpkin Farm.
  • 02. Complete two BAPs: Stitch stockings for Piper and Rocco.  I am afraid I let this slip by the wayside, focusing mainly on The English Band Sampler as my primary BAP this year.
  • 03. Stitch a few more Heart ornaments for the Anniversary-Valentine's Day tree.   I stitched four more heart ornaments, one for the Patriotic tree in May and three for the Anniversary and Valentine's Day tree in Jan/Feb.  A goal met in full.
  • 04. Stitch one ornament a month from the 2006 Indy Town Square SAL.  I stitched and did the assembly finishes on twelve more ornaments this year ... so this goal was met in full.
  • 05. Continue to work on UFOs and WIPs list going into 2014.   I am very near a finish on The English Band Sampler, which leaves seven projects remaining on this list.  I would have liked to eliminate a few more pieces from this list but it was not to be.
  • 06. Limit stash purchases to fabric, fiber and tools needed to complete charts on hand.  I didn't buy any new charts this year, though I did pick up a few free charts at the Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway.  If you look at my previous post, you will see that my expenditures were limited to a retreat and to fabric, floss and tools.
  • 07. Continue to blog regularly, aiming for every other day.  Just as in the past few years, I haven't actually blogged every other day but the number of my posts does exceed half of 365.
  • 08. Make an effort to catch up on sewing finishes and frame 2 or 3 pieces professionally.  I left this rather late in the year, but since October 1, I have completed 25 finishes which works out to 2 a month, meeting the goal.
  • 09. Inventory and declutter existing stash.  I have been systematically pulling charts from stash for my one new start each month.  This year, I concentrated on my Dragon Dreams charts.  I stitched five of these charts and passed them on to other stitcher's as I completed them.  I also gave away a number of Pineberry Lane and Homespun Elegance charts as well as some door prize charts from the Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway that I knew I would never stitch.  And I culled a number of other charts that I had stitched but, for no particularly good reason, I was saving.  They were offered as giveaways in November and December.  I plan to continue to give away charts I have stitched, with a very few exceptions, and by mid 2015, I should have trimmed my chart stash down to a manageable level.  At that point, I will actually take an inventory, make up a spread sheet and start planning for the future.  In 2015, I hope to work on Workbasket Quaker animals  and my remaining dragon charts as my monthly new starts.
  • 10. Change EGA membership to cyber-stitcher.   I missed the chance to do this because my renewal doesn't come up again till March 2015 ... I'd forgotten that I had signed up for a two year membership last time around.  

                GOALS FOR 2015
  • 1. My Own Crazy Challenge: work on unfinished class pieces from 2005-date.   There are still 9 projects on this list.  I'd like to pare it down to four this year.  I'll be concentrating on the Victoria Sampler charts since I'll be taking a class with Thea in October and would like to bring my finishes of her designs to Show & Tell night.
  • 02. Complete two BAPs:  Stitch stockings for Piper and Rocco.  
  • 03. Seasonal Stitching Disorder Projects.  Stitch one Prairie Schooler Year Round in the appropriate month, thus adding to my seasonal ornament collection in a disciplined and consistent fashion.  Furthermore, stitch The Trilogy's Winter Spots  for the late February tree and a few Easter ornaments for the Spring tree.  
  • 04. Stitch one ornament a month from the 2006 Indy Town Square SAL.   I am not sure I will stitch all of the 12 remaining buildings.  Some of the shops, like the Wedding Shop, the Tannebaum Shop and the Abecedarium, don't really interest me.  But we shall see how many others take my fancy.  I had thirty ornaments done by Christmas 2014 which made for a fairly respectable Small Town USA themed Tree.  Anything I stitch in 2015 will be icing on the cake.
  • 05. Continue to work on UFOs and WIPs list going into 2014.   There are  seven projects remaining on this list.  I'd love to pare it down to just two or three.
  • 06. Limit stash purchases to fabric, fiber and tools needed to complete charts on hand as well as my annual Stitcher's Hideaway and some framing.  
  • 07. Continue to blog regularly, aiming for every other day.  
  • 08. Make an effort to catch up on sewing finishes and frame 2 or 3 pieces professionally.  
  • 09. Inventory and declutter existing stash.  My inventory is slowly shrinking.  I have been systematically pulling charts from stash for my one new start each month.   In 2015, I hope to work on Workbasket Quaker animals and my remaining dragon charts as my monthly new starts.  Once I have caught up with those, I will work on the remaining Halloween charts.  This should eliminate another dozen or so charts.
  • 10. Change EGA membership to cyber-stitcher.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Accounting

Over the past five years I have been keeping track of how much I have spent on this obsession of mine:

2010:     $ 630.97
2011:     $ 981.26
2012:     $ 373.97
2013:     $ 779.79

The only reason 2012 was so low was that I did not go on a Stitcher's Hideaway that year.

And now for 2014:

Charts:                                      $   0.00
Fabric:                                      $  96.80
Fibers:                                      $131.24
Charms and Beads                   $  84.72
Tools & Accessories:        $  39.29
Classes ^ Retreats:                   $450.00
Subscriptions/Books:                $  25.98
Framing:                                   $     0.00
Memberships:                           $    0.00
Shipping/Handling Fees:            $   10.39
TOTAL FOR 2014:               $738.49

Since 2010, I have been trying to stitch almost entirely from stash.  I already have so very much in the way of charts, linen, and fiber, I really haven't much need for new purchases.  For the most part I have managed to stitch using only what I have on hand.  Though, when the opportunity presented itself to buy heavily discounted fabric and silk fiber from Chris' Collection, I did indulge quite happily.  But I didn't buy any new charts in spite of the temptations.  One of the reasons the fiber, fabric and charms figures ae so high is that I ordered the full kit to make the pin cushion doll featured in SANQ.  The chatelaine charm for that doll alone was $50.00.

So my total expenditure for the past five years has been $3,504.48 which averages out to $700.89 a year.   When added together like that, the sum is impressive.  Even in these days of interest rates of a fraction of a percentage point, this money could have been earning for my retirement.

And as I come closer and closer to retirement, I may have to rethink the amount I spend, reducing it where possible.  I don't want to give up my annual Stitcher's Hideaway but I may want to consider the less expensive Alumni retreat which doesn't involve a teacher and a class project.  I certainly want to try my hand at framing my own pieces thus saving on the cost of professional framing.  I really don't need anymore books but would be reluctant to give up my subscription to SANQ.  I certainly need to start using my very extensive fiber and linen stash more effectively.  If I implement a few of these ideas, I may reduce the spending in 2015.  But it is hard to make budget cuts when dealing with an obsession!  It remains to be seen how well I will manage.  Que sera, sera!

I wonder how my expenditure compares with that of other stitchers.   If I am to judge by some of the blogs I read, I am somewhere in the middle.  Some of the blogs I follow mention classes and workshops on an almost monthly basis while other bloggers clearly can afford neither the time nor the money for such things.  Other bloggers frequently mention new stash purchases and still others write of expensive painted canvases and the fibers to complete them, any one of which would equal my total annual budget.  And yet other bloggers comb the thrift shops for their supplies and charts.  I know one blogger who stitched free charts [offered legitimately by the designers themselves] for an entire year.  She called it her year of freebies.  So there is a very broad range of investment in the needle arts.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Rotation Stitching To Date

Over the pre-Christmas weekend, it was stitcher's choice and I chose to jump around quite a bit:  I made a little bit of progress on several pieces but nothing worthy of a photograph.  All, in all, it was a very simple and relaxing weekend: just some very easy stitching while watching a marathon of an old PBS series, The Duchess of Duke Street.  In short, it was a hermitting weekend.

Then came Christmas week:

Monday, it was back to The English Band Sampler, picking up from where I frogged out the errors.   When last seen this flower was a mere outline, now it is quite filled in.  I stitched a few more curlicues around the acorns and stems.  Now, that I have relaxed and stopped stressing over when I will finish this piece, I have begun to make discernible progress again.I also spent a little time cutting all the boards for the stitched ornaments.

On Tuesday, I finished the Sage tea towel.and kitted up the Mint towel.  The pair of tea towels was meant to be a Christmas gift for my secretary, but clearly I didn't get it done in time.  She'll have to wait till little Christmas, The Feast of The Epiphany, on January 6.

Then on Wednesday it was back to stitching on the dragon with the result that page 1 of the chart is completely done but for a few beads that will just have to wait till all the stitching on page 2 is done.  I have gotten a good start on page 2: the breast plates; the scales along shoulders, neck and head; some of the fill stitching and a bit of the face are done.  Of course, that still leaves the wings, shoulder, front claws, neck and face to be completed as well as a bit more scenery.  I doubt this will be finished in 2014 but it may very well be the first 2015 finish.  I do have yet another reason to despise rayon fiber: it is the very devil to frog.  No matter how carefully one picks the stitches, the wretched stuff shreds, leaving one with a fuzzy tail useless for weaving under existing stitches.  The only option is to lay it carefully on the underside of the linen and ever so delicately stitch over it, avoiding bringing any of the fuzzy mess to the front of the linen as one pulls one's stitches.

Then on Thursday, I worked on the Mystic Smalls and finished up the cross stitching and over one stitching on the needle book.Now, all that's left is the ribbon embroidery.  I'll tackle that tomorrow, since the Sage tea towel has dropped out of the rotation.  [I have deferred the Mint Tea Towel to January's rotation.]  With luck the needle book will be my final finish in 2014.

I didn't do any rotation stitching on Friday and so have no assembly finishes to show.  I did page through some of my baby and toy charts to pick out a design for a bib and a burp towel for my great-nephew Liam who is now weighing in at 3 pounds, having gained a full pound since his birth in November.  He is off the ventilator and is strong enough to have yanked out his feeding tube.  The NICU nurses, of course, replaced it immediately.  But it's good to know that Liam is a tough little guy and a fighter.  I have decided on a train motif for the burp towel: a locomotive pulling four flat cars carrying the letters L - I - A - M and a caboose bringing up the rear.  I will probably just use the same alphabet to stitch Liam's name on the bib.

As to the weekend goal of doing some non-stitching activities, I tried a new recipe: Egg Nog Pancakes from  I can't call it an unqualified success.  Though my husband enjoyed them, I found them both too sweet and too heavy.  I also detected a slight metallic aftertaste but I am guessing that was due to baking powder past its prime.  I'll be putting that on the shopping list before I bake again.  While still in a cooking frame of mind, I made a tray of stuffed pasta shells.  Then I puttered about the house, decluttering a closet, reorganizing my kitchen counter space and cleaning out the refrigerator and oven.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rotation Report

Monday:  The English Band Sampler.  I had to frog all the work I had done in the center of the flower because it was all one stitch too high.    There's no photo since there was no forward progress.

Tuesday: Sage Tea Towel.  Another leaf stitched.  There is a reason this piece is being stitched just one leaf at a time.  Each leaf in this chart has eight or nine different colors.  The whole thing is an exercise in confetti stitching.  And while I love the outcome, I am not all that crazy about the process.  So one leaf at a time is all I can manage before I want to throw my floss box across the room.

I did take a little time to start crocheting a blanket for Liam since I had some more stitching time but no wish to keep going on Sage.  I had originally started a blanket in pale silver grey and winter white but realized I didn't have enough yarn for a crib-sized blanket.  And, I wasn't sure my great-nephew would be home from the NICU before he had outgrown a bassinet sized blanket.  He was born 8 weeks early and weighed in at only 2 lbs.  He has a long road ahead of him and will be spending most of his first year in a hospital.

Wednesday: The Dragon of the Summer Sky.  I am back to this piece again and will probably make it my stitcher's choice piece for the weekend as well.  I find that Dragon Dreams charts stitch up rather quickly, rayon floss not withstanding.  I'd like to have this chart done before the end of December so that I needn't add another item to my WIPs list in the sidebar.  Here's today's progress photo.  Some more back stitching, some more fill stitching and a bit more done on the bottom right.

Today, it is back to the Mystic Smalls and I hope to finish all the cross stitching and the over one stitching on the needle book.  That will leave just the specialty stitches for next week.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Giveaway winners

I have contacted the winners by e-mail.  Here is the list:

Barrick Samplers' The Gilded Cage ... Vickie
Bent Creek's Acorn ...Rita E
Heart in Hands' Heart in Hand Sampler ...Beauty Bonnet
Homespun Elegance's The Stitcher ...Kim
Homespun Elegance's Witches Stitch, Too ... Joyce
The Twisted Stitcher's Pumpkin Gingham ... Joyce

The fact that Joyce won two charts is not a case of favoritism but rather the result of her being the only one to express an interest in either chart.

My next giveaway will be in January and will feature witches, giving folks 8 or 9 months to do a little Halloween stitching.  Look for the giveaway around January 3rd.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Catching Up

Since I was unable to stitch Tuesday and Wednesday, I did just a little catching up Thursday and Friday mornings: 3 hours working on The Dragon of the Summer Sky and 2 hours on the Sage tea towel.   This way most everything in the week's rotation saw a little time on the hoop, scroll bar or Q-snaps.  

Most of the remainder of Friday, was spent power napping vegetating.   But power napping sounds so much more dignified.

I made Dragon Dreams' The Dragon of The Summer Sky my weekend choice piece again and made some pretty substantial progress on it.  If you count four linen threads from the right edge of the comet, you will have located the division between page one and two of the chart.  As you can see, I am nearly done with the fill stitching of page one and have made a good start on the defining stitching of page two.  I can not even begin to express how much I detest the DMC satin floss [aka rabid rayon].  If I hadn't already used rayon floss in the companion piece, The Dragon of the Winter Moon, I would have switched it out for a silk in the same color.  The wretched stuff has a recoil, requiring a very tight tension when stitching, which slows the process down.  It's like using pulled stitches.  It also has such a high loft that each stitch obscures the linen threads immediately beside the stitch taken, making it necessary to use a thumbnail to locate the exact hole for the next stitch.  This also slows down the process considerably.  It took me a full hour to stitch just two rows of the fill stitch in the dragons' haunch.  This is the last of my Dragon Dreams charts.  And while I love Jennifer Aiken Smith's designs, I very much doubt I will miss her penchant for using rayon fibers.  I will not be using the nasty stuff again with the possible exception of using my remaining and very small stash of the stuff on Christmas ornaments.  I can manage small stints of stitching with rayon and even I will admit that it gives a nice sheen to an ornament.  But large areas like my dragon's body ... never again!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday Report

Tuesday's rotation piece: the Sage tea towel.  Unfortunately, I was unable to stitch at all yesterday.  There was simply too much going on at work.

Today's piece is Dragon Dreams' The Dragon of The Summer Sky.  I made tremendous progress over the weekend but it is unlikely I will manage a single stitch today.  I started my day at 8:00 a.m. prepping for a breakfast meeting that I hosted for the Regional Catechetical group.  Following that meeting, we moved on to the Regional Christmas luncheon at a local restaurant.  That took us up to 2:00 p.m.    On the way back to the office, I picked up the 3 foot hero for the parish Catechist Christmas meeting/party.  Once back at the office I cleaned up the meeting room and set it up again for the second event and then ran out for the trimmings: more paper goods, beverages and Christmas baked goods.  Then, labelled all the catechist Christmas presents [thank the Lord, they were already wrapped] and got the meeting materials ready: the agenda and the handouts.  The party ended around 9:30 p.m.  I am way too old for 13+ hour workdays  Normally, the regional Christmas meeting/luncheon is on the 1st Wed. in December and the catechetical program is the second.  It's just my luck that the year I host the regional event, they fell on the same day.

I am really looking forward to this weekend but I fear I will be in a state of total collapse for most of it.  I still have my Christmas cleaning and decorating to do.  That was the plan anyway.  We shall see if it comes to pass.

It's that time of year: a lot going on in the parish for Advent and Christmas.  And it will only get more hectic.  Next week is the last week of classes before the break.  We start off with a Pancake Breakfast with Santa after all the Sunday Masses, the Advent Reconciliation services on Monday, classes on Tuesday and Thursday with all the usual Christmas hoopla for the younger children.   Wednesday evening is the parish dinner at the rectory.  I am exhausted just thinking about it, especially since the plan for the following weekend is to do my Christmas food shopping and cooking and baking.  Gift shopping is a breeze, at least: my adult children just want American Express gift cards and I shop for my grandchildren on the Internet and have their gifts mailed directly to them.  I expect to be worn quite thin by Christmas but hope to avoid the Bah, Humbug spirit.  Come to think of it, I have a cross stitch chart of those famous Dickensian words.  Maybe this will be the year to stitch it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Rotation Progress

Wednesday's rotation piece was the last of my Dragon Dreams charts: The Dragon of the Summer Sky.

Wednesday morning, I kitted it up with the suggested fibers.  The fabric I am using is one of the bargain purchases made at Chris' Collections retirement sale, a 28ct Jobelan Blue Wing instead of the 28ct Zweidart Luguna in slate that was suggested.  The colors are quite close.  Happily, I had all of the Kreinik already in stash. One of the advantages of having a fairly extensive fiber and fabric stash is that kitting up is accomplished without the long wait for mail-order bits and pieces.  I do like being able to start a piece while the mood is upon me.

Of course most of my pre-work stitching hour was taken up by measuring, cutting and binding the edge of the fabric and gathering all the necessary fibers and beads from stash.  The result: was that very little actual stitching was done.  But, I was able to stitch for a portion of my lunch break and for a few hours after dinner, with this result.  Since I made this the stitcher's choice piece for the weekend, I was able to get a really flying start with nearly 1/3rd of the design complete.

Thursday's rotation piece was the Victoria Smalls Class Project from my first Stitcher's Hideaway, the Mystic Smalls.  I didn't have much more than an hour to stitch on Thursday, so the progress is minimal.  Still, it felt good to pick up this 8 year old class project.  For some reason, this photo isn't uploading and I haven't the time to figure out why or to take another shot.  I'll try again this evening after work.

It's been a very long while since I last worked on this project.  I haven't taken a stitch in it since February of 2013.  So, it feels fresh and new again.  I intend to spend the next months reacquainting myself with old class projects and hope, by the end of 2015, to have whittled my sidebar list down to just three or four.

I'll be taking another class with Thea Dueck in October of 2015 and I want to finish up all my previous class pieces from Victoria Sampler so that I have something appropriate to share at show and tell.  That means I'll want to finish this set of smalls, the Sturbridge Box and accompanying smalls and a Christmas  sampler.  I also have an Autumn sampler from her farm series in stash that I'd like to stitch, time permitting.  I realize this is a rather ambitious plan but I will just do as much as I can and be content with whatever progress I make.

Friday's rotation was sewing finishing.  Again, not much time was spent on stitching, so all I managed was to work a bit more on a tote using Mehitabel's Redwork Sampler as it's focal piece.  I'll post a photo of the final finish next week.

And the weekend goal of finding a life beyond the stitching chair was met by
1] visiting my mother and bringing her my annual pre-Christmas gift of a potted mini-Christmas tree.
2] sorting out some books to donate to the local public library's swap room. I'll probably ask my husband to bring them on down on his way to the Historical Society on Wednesday

As noted above, Saturday and Sunday was stitcher's choice and I worked on The Dragon of the Summer Sky.

Monday's rotation piece was The English Band Sampler: I think I am going to have to frog some of the interior of this flower.  Things aren't quite lining up.  So it's two steps forward and one step backward.

This has been a very long post, so I think I'll save Tuesday's progress photo till I've made a bit more progress.  Look for it tomorrow.  Meanwhile, don't forget to check out the sampler charts giveaway in the previous post if you haven't already done so..

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Another Giveaway

It's been a while since I offered a giveaway.  The last was on October 18.  I have been going through some binders where I have stored some charts I have stitched.  There really is no earthly reason to hoard these charts.  I'll never stitch them again.  I'd rather pass them on to someone who will enjoy them.  Over the next few months I will stage a few themed giveaways.

So, first, some sampler charts:
Barrick Samplers' The Gilded Cage
Bent Creek's Acorn
Heart in Hands' Heart in Hand Sampler
Homespun Elegance's The Stitcher
Homespun Elegance's Witches Stitch, Too
The Twisted Stitcher's Pumpkin Gingham

As usual, I ask that you commit to passing these charts on to another stitcher once you are done.   It has been suggested to me that I allow myself to be taken advantage of by folks who just turn around and resell the charts I give away.  I reject that notion.  My experience has been that 99% of the folks I encounter are honest.  It's the folks who feel compelled to e-mail me about the supposed sins of others that I worry about.  In any case, once I pass a chart on it really belongs to the recipient to do with as he/she pleases.  Do I wish the recipients pass them on?  Certainly, but I choose not to worry about that which I can not control.

Leave a comment if you wish to participate.  You may put in requests for more than one chart and improve your chances of receiving something.  If clicking on your user name won't bring me to a profile that includes your e-mail address, include it in your post.  

Good luck to all.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I must have second sight

In September, I wrote

I am determined to complete this sampler this month.  Yes, I know I have said the very same thing every month since January but this time I really mean it.  Of course, if I end up failing to finish this month, I will "really mean it" when I say I'll finish in October.  Oh, the lies I tell myself about my ability to stretch time!  

I had hoped to be done by now but clearly, as you can see, I am not.  Close, but as my husband says, "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades."  Such a charming sentiment.    I have reached the point where I imagine I will still be working on this project when I am 90.   I have a recurring stitching nightmare in which I see my family tucking the sampler into my coffin so that I can take just a few more stitches as I wait in line for my final judgment at St. Peter's gate.  

I began this sampler with such giddy optimism that I actually stitched "2012" in the line with my name.  How mortifying to have to frog out the 2 and replace it with a 4, or perhaps a 5.   Or maybe I'll just find a way to squeeze a tiny 2014 or 2015 into the bottom right corner of the last band as a reminder of the length of time spent on the project.
Ah, well, here is a photo of my Monday rotation progress.  It may not look like much has been done since I last posted about it here but I have done four Rhodes Squares, finished the center curlicues on the bottom left and top right, finished frogging the spiral border and the bottom border as needed, re-stitched the bottom border, and stitched another two flowers on the right.   I think that is pretty good progress for just one day's stitching: an hour before work, half an hour on my lunch break and a two hours while watching TV in the evening.
The first photo is of Band 7 in its entirety.

The second photo is a close up of the right side of the band, so you can see a little more detail.  I am enjoying this sampler again.  I haven't stitched on it in a little over two months.  It would seem that this piece is rather overwhelming, at least for me.  I need long breaks from it to maintain enthusiasm.

The Tuesday rotation piece is a pair of tea towels from Cross My Heart's A Sampling of Herbs leaflet.  I got a nice start this morning on the first one, Sage, as seen in this photo.  There is a lot of confetti stitching in these charts and I am not entirely crazy about that aspect of them.  [ The two overlapping leaves, small as they are, have 14 different shades of DMC in them. ]  But they do stitch up quite prettily as you can see here and here on the last pair I stitched.  Well worth the effort though I do believe I will be passing this chart on after this pair.  I don't think I'll be stitching any more of these herbs charts.  They are just a little too fussy and finicky for me.  I have some other herbal charts that were designed specifically for Huck towels that I will be using for the next pair I stitch.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Assessing November Goals, Setting December Goals

NOVEMBER GOALS: I mentioned an odd slump in a post midway through the month, one in which I only wanted to stitch the most brainlessly simple pieces.  It had its effect on November progress.
Christmas Gifts: Stitch a pair of tea towels, using the charts for Mint and Sage.  No.
Current BAP:  Work on Piper's stocking. No.
UFO/Class Project:  Finally finish The English Band Sampler and then pick up work on The Mystic Smalls projects.  No. though I did do a little work on the sampler.
Town Square SAL:  Stitch The Sweet Shop or The Knit Shop.  I stitched The Pet Store, Flocking To Knit and The Fishmonger's Shop.
New Start:  Start The Dragon of the Summer Sky.   This will be my last Dragon Dreams chart from stash, making the 6th chart of Jennifer's [not counting many, many freebies] that I have stitched.  The next series that I will work on will be Workbasket's Quaker Animals.  I have quite a few of those in stash.  No.  Instead, I stitched a much smaller piece, the Prairie Schooler November ornament [Turkey] from the  Year Round leaflet.
Sewing Finishes: Try to get another three or four projects completed.  I want to concentrate on gift totes and wall hangings this month.   If I catch up on the totes and wall hangings, I'll move on to throw pillows.  It all depends on how long my mood for finishing lasts.  I got a real rush last month as I watched the finishes stack up.

DECEMBER GOALS:  Follow through on the plans for a rotation.
Monday: The English Band Sampler
Tuesday: Mint & Sage tea towels.
Wednesday: The Dragon of the Summer Sky
Thursday: Mystic Smalls
Friday: Sewing Finishes
Saturday & Sunday: get out of the stitching chair and do a wide variety of things: walk, exercise, antique, reorganize, put the garden to bed for the winter, feed and observe the backyard birds, read, visit friends and relatives, try a new restaurant, experiment with the recipes I have been downloading, host a high tea ... whatever.