Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Some recent projects

I am going to see if I can get my husband to help bring photos to this blog ... but first I'll have to get my photobucket account up to speed ... have lots of photos to load and sort. That being said, I am very proud of the two biscornus I have just assembled though I gave one away before I photographed it [won't be making that mistake again] and the two Christmas ornaments I just stitched up ... even though the 2006 JCS Imaginating Santa was, IMHO, way too huge to qualify as an ornament even though I stitched it on the recommended count linen. The only tree it might actually suit would be the tree in Rockerfeller Center. And then there is the Halloween Trick or Treat bag I just stitched up for my brand new grandson ... okay, so at 3 months of age, he won't be doing much trick or treating this year ... but I stuffed it with three board books, a light weight flannel sleeper I had made for his father some 27 years ago and I'll be adding one of those bibs that look like fingertip towels with an aida insert. I used the Waxing Moon free chart "Checkerboard Pumpkin" as the basis for the trick or treat bag and added Liam's name done in what I am calling "candy corn" lettering [orange/yellow/cream from bottom to top], the phrase "Trick or Treat", some candy corn motifs and another checkerboard border around the whole. I am using the same candy corn motifs to make a border for the same "Trick or Treat" lettering on the bib. I used thin wale black corduroy to make up the tote bag and hope he will get a few years use of it when he is old enough to go trick or treating. Other than that, I have been working on my Passion de Croix SAL - I'll probably be the very last in the 123stitch group to finish it since I had to start all over again after a disaster when an overly damp pressing cloth caused a major bleeding of color. I have also been working on my Workbasket Quaker house. But soon I will have to turn my attention to the prep work for the Mystic Stitcher's Hideaway ... I received the kit in the mail last week and have been downloading all the additional instructions that have been e-mailed. I admit to being somewhat intimidated since some of the pre-work involves Kloster blocks and the very reason I was attracted to this Hideaway was the chance to learn basic hardangar skills ... which I definitely do not have as yet. Oh well, I shall do my best and stitch very carefully and slowly with the instructions always at hand and maybe I won't have to rip the whole thing apart when Thea sees it for the first time.
Off to work now.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I just stitched up my very first biscornu using the very clear instructions on
... a step by step picture tutorial which also includes a whole bunch of freebie charts. I did the olive branch, the cats [which I stitched in black with a Needle Necessities autumn leaves border to give it a Halloween look], one of the geometrics [also in the Needle Necessities autumn leaves] and one of the Algerian tile designs [in what was labelled Caron Waterlilies Peach Sherbert ... but was probably mislabelled at the store because it doesn't look remotely like Peach Sherbert as pictured on the Caron site]. All of the above were stitched on left over bits and pieces of linen or laguna from my scrap bag. Even the flosses were leftovers from other projects. So, with virtually no financial investment, I learned a new skill. Don't you just love the internet.
If anyone here has been curious about these little irregular pillows/pin cushions/whatever, the above mentioned site is a great place to start.
I have to admit that until I found this site, I was somewhat intimidated by the "finishing" part of the project. But guided by the photos in the tutorial, I found the whole process amazingly easy and I am quite pleased with the finished product. Though I have stitched four of these little projects, I have only "assembled" the olive branch biscornu. I hope to assemble two more today since it is my day off and all I am doing is laundry and a little pick-up housekeeping with the rest of my day devoted to stitching. I'll post pictures when I've got them all done.

Mea culpa continued

I didn't realize there was a limit to what could be put in each entry and was stunned when my computer stuttered in mid-sentence ... I hit the Enter button thinking to advance to the next line only to discover I had inadvertently "posted" an incomplete and unedited post. Oh well, I will learn how to do this eventually. I had started to say I had ordered all of the Sue Hillis Santa series and two of the Prairie Schooler Santas that I had wanted ... since I have many goals to meet over the next few months ... I believe I will save them for the Christmas vacation. It will be fun to stitch something Christmas-y during the actual season instead of the usual September/October/November time frame required to get them done for the season.

As to goals, I am slowly learning to moderate mine. For October, I want to work primarily on finishes. I need to finish two Homespun Elegance pedastal pincushions. Then there are the two samplers from CATS Stitching Circle Dinner 2005 [the Stoney Creek & Lori Birmingham pieces] that I wish to use as the covers of a crochet needle book for my mother's Christmas gift and the Liz Turner Diehl Sampler that I wish to use as the cover of a needlework tools case for myself. I plan on using the 2006 CATS Liz Turner Diehl Autumn pillow band as a bell pull instead and have a lovely acorn trimmed hanger for it. I need to hem and affix the LHN Seasons of Plenty samplers onto their appropriate prefinished pillows as a Christmas gift for one of my sisters. I also want to finish the Modern Art Goddess I stitched in #5 perles on 10ct tula into a wall hanging for my daughter as a Yule gift. There are three biscornus awaiting assembly. Finally, I have a trick or treat bag to finish for my brand new grandson. That makes 14 items to sew ... and still leaves another half dozen or so in the basket awaiting attention. Did I say I was learning to moderate my goals?

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

I will never again criticize, even within the privacy of my own thoughts, a blogger who does not post regularly. I started this blog in late summer and then school began and the days raced by. Here it is mid-October and I am only now returning to this blog. Happily, I have not ignored stitching in all this time and have completed a number of projects, including: Dragon Dreams' Stormbringer, Wiorkbasket's Quaker Cat and Mouse, Leisure Arts Corner Bookmark Dragon with Crystal Ball, Glory Bee's Home Sweet Home, LHN's Summer House and Starlight, Star Bright, Heartstrings' Bittersweet Season, and from the 2006 JCS Ornament issue, Imaginating's Santa and Sue Hillis' Merry Christmas. Finally, I have completed the stitching on 3 biscornus [front & back] and have only to stitch them up. I have also stitched a name tag to wear to the Mystic Retreat in November and have assembled it and only have to bead the edges to give it a pretty finish and then attach a pin back. I have done quite a bit more work on the Passion de Croix SAL and have started Workbasket's Quaker House, Sue Hillis' ornament from the 2007 JCS issue and CrossEyed Kats Red Snowfight Dragon. I have also managed to get quite a bit of sewing finishes done: made Best Witches into a stand-up, made Dragon Dreams Morning and Evening Dragons into a double sided gift tote, finished another of the LaDeDa Cardinal ornaments, finished the Imaginating Santa as a large pillow ornament, and the 2006 Sue Hillis ornament as a smaller "pillow" with a scallopped beaded edging that I was quite pleased with ... even made a beaded loop for hanging it, finished up Rainbow Gallery's Blackwork Victorian Lady as a scissor case and Japanese Lady as a scissor fob, stitched up a long-completed stocking for my son and trimmed it with twisted cord, and made the Home Sweet Home, Summer House and Star Light, Star Bright pieces mentioned above into throw pillows. I have also received the Thea Dueck kits for the Mystic Retreat in the mail and need to get started on the pre-work. I also ordered all of Sue Hillis'