Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Wrap-Up

My final finish for 2010:

Blackbird Designs Joyeux Noel book
Sweet Heart
Mystery linen
Called for GAST threads

This makes a total of 49 finishes for 2010! I had 31 finishes in 2009. I credit all the pin cushions and ornaments this year for the difference in numbers. :)

Here is an update on City Stitcher Adam & Eve sampler. I had put it aside for quite a while and when I picked it up again, I remembered why I put it down. I had to frog a big mistake before I could start stitching! Then, I went to add the border around it and guess what? Another mistake! Altogether I have fixed 3 mistakes and still managed to make a little progress. :) The fabric is more gold than the picture shows. But, check out how the date at the top (between the birds) has completely faded into the fabric color :( It says In the Year 1845. I see another frogging session and a color change in my future.

I am looking forward to the new year and wishing every one of you a healthy & prosperous 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Update

Here is the original list of projects that I picked out for the Crazy January Challenge 2011.

As mentioned before, I have been struggling with too many projects! And trying to whittle them down to just 15 has been the hardest part of this challenge for me so far!
Here is my revised list-

1. Renaissance Designs Five Christmas Trees Shimmering

2. Sheepish Designs Temptation (A & E)

3. With My Needle Quaker Hornbook

4. Shepherd's Bush Anna's Stocking

5. Bright Needle Pretty in Pink-scroll down

6. Blackbird Designs Spring Fling

7. Blackbird Designs Hedgerow Birds

8. LHN Needle & Thread

9. With Thy Needle & Thread Give Thanks

10. Praiseworthy Stitches Tiny Pumpkin Etui-scroll down

11.Hawkins House Apple Tree Sampler (A & E)

12. Raise the Roof Happy Camper

13. LHN The North Wind

14. Homespun Elegance Holiest of Nights-check out Vonna's gorgeous finish

15. Blackbird Designs Mystery Sampler-see Giovanna's beauty here

I am very happy with this list of items. And I plan to post these on the sidebar of my blog so you can help keep me accountable :) Is anyone aware of SAL's for any of these pieces?

BUT, this challenge doesn't include some important things :

1. WIPS that I would like to finish this year-Prairie Schooler Alphabet & City Stitcher Adam & Eve Sampler-both are large projects.

2. More large projects that I want to start in 2011 that I probably won't be able to finish-Plum Street Sampler's Paradise Lost, Margaret Bendig's Plum Blossom Kimono, Debbie Stiehler's Timeless Tomato and Birds of a Feather Le Printemps. The kimono and tomato are both classes I will be taking in March and June of 2011.

3. Other items I want to stitch as time allows-BBD Summer House Pincushion, BBD Autumn Song, Plum Street Sampler Rejoice, 1 Humbug, 1 Biscornu, and 10 ornaments from freebie designs.

4. I want to stretch my finishing skills and learn a new finish in 2011. In 2010 I learned how to do a beaded edge ornament finish and a round box finish.

Whew! Do you think I can do all this in 2011? If the real estate market stays in the dumps, I think I can do it. But, if work gets busy, this will be a challenge for sure!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas to Me!


It was a quiet nice Christmas day here. Lots of food! My girls are all becoming good cooks. And what fun it is to have them in the kitchen with me. The day's work is much easier with several sets of hands to help. (Not to mention, a son-in-law is a pretty decent cook himself.)

My dh finally took the hint I left on my Amazon wish list and bought me this! (It was there for over a year) Yes, that is Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow with all the HDF silks for it! Yeah, he made this year a memorable one for me! I still need the fabric, but this project is moving up my "to-do" list.

Thank you, Lorrie, for the little plastic container I didn't know I would need so soon.

I hope Santa was good to all of you!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two Finishes and My Sampler Wall

Here is Blackbird Designs Bluebird's Thread Keep finish-finished as a round box. This was my first time to attempt this type of finish. I used a papermache box and painted it a sage green.

Here is my latest finish & framing-Blackbird Designs Evergreen. I stitched this one last year for a friend's 50th birthday. And, as usual, fell in love with it while I stitched.
I can't believe what I am getting accomplished while waiting for the January Challenge to start! But, why aren't I working on WIP's? Don't know the answer to that one and it makes me feel a little guilty.

Here is my sampler wall with this years contributions added to it. I will try to tell you what is up there-
Row 1 (from the top, l to r) Blackbird Designs Evergreen, Sheepish Designs Betsy, Blackbird Designs Strawberry Garden, M Designs Flower Sampler
Row 2-La Di Da A Right Spirit, Blackbird Designs Joyeux Noel, Cricket Collection Walk in the Woods, Rosewood Manor Quaker and Quilts, Shakespeare Peddler Jenny Bean's Halloween Sampler
Row 3-Hands to Work This is the Day, Blackbird Designs Willow Tree, Blackbird Designs Moonlit Garden, Goode Huswif With My Needle

See that long skinny empty space at the bottom? Don't you think Blackbird Designs Mystery Sampler will fit perfectly in there? It is on my list for the 2011 Crazy January Challenge. :)

And this wall is seriously missing some A & E samplers. That is on next year's list too.

Merry Christmas to all my faithful followers, Google reader faithfuls, visitors and lurkers out there too! That means you, Cynthia, Lori, Carolyn and Dolores! It is a joy when someone tells me they have been checking out my blog! Stitchers are the nicest people in the world. I am so happy to be a part of this community!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More 2010 Framing & Finishing

We have been busy framing and finishing my 2010 stitching projects. Thankfully all my kids are grown and out of the house, so I don't have little ones under my feet while trying to get this work done.

My DH has been my framing helper. Most of my frames are recycled from my home or are fabulous thrift store finds! First is Jardin Prive Christmas. I wanted the frame to disappear and let the stitching pop-

Next, just back from the finisher, is Renaissance Designs Four Bows of Christmas. Turned out beautiful and is already on my tree :)

Don't forget Jenny Beans Halloween sampler-

Goode Huswife's With My Needle-

Hands to Work This is the Day-(please forgive the flash, but all the other pics were too dark)-

Waxing Moon-My Needle & Floss-

With Thy Needle & Thread Gathering Acorns-I like the fabric I used, but I'm having trouble with the puckering on the side seams. Is this a sign that I need to stuff it more?

Here is Sylvia's SAL finished as a flatfold, as promised-so cute! This one will be considered part of the Christmas decorations and brought out for display each year at this time.

No snow here yet. And even though the weatherman predicts rain everyday we are getting very little. Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Year of the Pin Cushion and Ornament

This was the year for pincushions and Christmas ornaments for me. Many years I struggle to stitch just one ornament for my annual EGA guild exchange. But this year they flowed easy from my needle. Here is the final installment of pin cushions finishes for 2010.

This is M Designs- Miss Mary Mac all finished for the SECOND time! The first one I did not like at all and was ready to stuff it when I decided to start over. This finish looks much better.

This is Blackbird Designs Summer Iris. I loved the grey/brown trim on this one. But I see a mistake. I am very careful to be sure the stitching line is straight when adding fabric to a design. But when I added the brown grosgrain ribbon it moved on me and the left side is higher than the right side. Not enough to worry about, but if this was a gift I would have redone it.

I have also been thinking about next year. I am participating in the Crazy January Challenge 2011 and am getting ready to make another change in my lineup. :) More about that in an upcoming post.

But I also want to challenge myself to get ahead of the game for ornaments next year AND use freebie patterns only! There are so many cute ones! So I am going thru my files and hard drive to see what I have saved up and pick 12 for next year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Angel Tree Topper is On the Tree!

Gay Ann Rogers Tree Top Angel

Ecru 18 ct mesh with gold flecks

Watercolours, Kreinik, and DMC perle cotton

Some of you may remember that I finished stitching this little beauty earlier this year. Here she is on top of my tree. I am so happy with her and the way my tree turned out this year. The construction paper chains were made with love by my 5 yr old grandson. The white envelopes are gifts for my daughters.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another 2010 Finish!

M Designs
Miss Mary Mac's Pins & Needles Pincushion
40 ct HDF Jackalope fabric
Called for Crescent Colours floss

Another pincushion that I culled from my Crazy January Challenge, but couldn't wait to stitch! I did change the colors around and used more of the Purple Aster (dark purple) and none of the Bamboo (white).

If you are guessing that something about Christmas had to give so I could stitch--you are right! I sent out about 15 Christmas cards this year instead of the normal 150. But the house is decorated and I will post some pictures later this week.

Have a great stitchy day!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One More 2010 Finish

Blackbird Designs
Summer Iris
30 ct Weeks Dye Works Beige
Called for WDW and GAST threads

One more pincushion to be. I hope it is not my last finish for 2010! This was another design I had to pull out of the Crazy January Challenge because I was so horribly over on the count! Isn't it funny-I don't want to put these off for another year, so I am squeezing them in 2010.

Thanks so much for all the kind words and comments on my
last post about the finish change for the Aury patriotic quaker heart design. I actually had that oil can in my stash with no idea what to use it for.

Monday, December 13, 2010

What Do You Think?

Remember the little Aury freebie heart that I finished into an ornament with a crooked tip? See the lower left ornament below-

Well, I came up with a bright idea (well, I actually saw the idea on another blog and a light bulb went off over my head :)

The oil can is tiny-the base is only 2" in diameter. And the whole shebang is only 5" tall. And I actually think you can see the Quaker star in the design better in this display. What do you think?

Friday, December 10, 2010

2010 ANG Stitch of the Month Finish

The 2010 ANG Stitch of the Month by Sue Reed is finished! It is the first Stitch of the Month I have ever participated in. Even though it wasn't planned, my project turned into a Christmas theme.

I did make a few changes in this design. Mostly they were color changes. There were 3 colors families. The pattern called for one family of colors and I changed it to one of the colors.

The only design change I made was on the outer diamond border. After couching the diamond outline, I didn't like the look of more couching around the diamonds. So I took the satin stitch from the inside of the diamond and used it again on the outside of the diamond. The tan Vineyard Silk looks great :) AND makes the colors in the diamonds really pop!

I have an idea for finishing. I want to use stretcher bars that fit the design exactly and use trim on the outside of the stretcher bars to cover the mesh. It would look similar to this-

This is an old needlepoint nativity that I stitched 25 (?) years ago. I used stretcher bars to display it on and didn't bother to even put trim around it. I should do that :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another 2010 Finish!

With Thy Needle & Thread
Gathering Acorns
40 ct mystery fabric from an exchange
Called for DMC threads

Here is my latest finish. The chosen fabric for the finish is on the top left corner. This is one of the designs that I had to remove from my Crazy January Challenge pile.

Tonight is my office Christmas party. So I am off to bake a sheet cake for the potluck.
More stitching to show tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sylvia's SAL 2010 Finish!

Here it is all finished! Sylvia's cute 2010 SAL. It was a fun and fast stitch each month. I am thinking about making it into a flatfold. Thanks, Sylvia!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another 2010 Finish!

Blackbird Designs
Bluebird's Threadkeep
36ct Lakeside Linens Maple Syrup
Called for GAST, WDW & CC Threads

I only made 4 mistakes in this small project! I was able to frog and correct 3 of them, but guess what? For the first time since I can remember I misread the symbols and used the wrong color!

The base of the vase is supposed to be GAST Avocado! I used the avocado in the top portion (in the parts that were supposed to be CC Clay Pot) and finished it before I realized the problem. So I just reversed the colors and now the base is CC Clay Pot.

I like the way it turned out. It has more of a fall/autumn feeling to it now. It is going into the "needs to be finish-finished" pile today.

Have a Stitchy Day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mary Wigham Update

Here is the latest on Mary Wigham. I am a little distressed over how many very light threads there are and how they disappear on this linen. I am ready to start substituting some more colorful threads. What do you think?

Below is what she looked like when I started stitching.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Part 6

Thanks so much to all of my wonderful followers for their kind and gracious comments. I love to share with all of you!

Today is my final installment of Christmas stockings for 2010. Two Pat Mazu stockings-the one on the left was our Evergreen EGA guild Christmas in July stocking for 2010. The one on the right is the 2009 Christmas in July stocking for our guild. I stitched 3 of them last year for my daughters and never stitched one for myself :) Well, I caught up this year.

Have a great weekend-I'll be getting our tree and decorations up. Oh, and stitching, too, I'm sure.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

2010 Christmas Exchange #2

This is the second Christmas exchange I participated in. It was on the Just A Thought message board. This box came from Lauren in New Jersey. (I don't know if she has a blog.)

I am just thrilled at this beautiful and well-thought-out box. See the pink pin cushion she stitched at the bottom right corner. And she stitched a humbug (even though I didn't know that was the name for it) with a ribbon flower on it and a beaded hanger. Her stitching is gorgeous!

My grandson saw the Peeps and immediately claimed them :) Thanks again, Lauren! Next year I will step my exchanges up a notch because my exchange partners are incredibly generous!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another 2010 Finish!

Homespun Elegance
Stash Keep
Mystery 28ct Linen
HDF Overdye Silk

I bought this kit during the online needlework show and it arrived Nov 20. So it was a quick stitch and finish.

The silk is a red/brown overdye from Vikki Clayton that I got in my exchange with Lorrie. I am embarrassed to admit that the name of the silk has escaped me and I can't put my hand on it right now. I will find it in my piles and update this post.

When finishing, I used the same lightweight batting on this that I use in ornaments and I wish I had used 2 layers or a thicker weight. The pattern called for fiberfil and I thought the padding would be too uneven for picky me.

Overall, I am a happy stitcher with this project!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2010 Christmas Exchange #1

This year for the first time I dipped my toe into the World of Exchange (WOE). As the acronymn suggests I have been harboring fears that my exchange partner would end up being disappointed in the box I would send.

But, thru an exchange board, I met Lorrie, another exchange newbie, who was sharing my same nervous concerns. We decided to do a private exchange. And look at my box full of goodies! (please excuse the bad picture-I had 2 and this was the best one)

The actual box is in the upper left hand corner-Lorrie painted it and put a copy of one of my samplers on it--that was a delight to see! She made me a beautiful pillowcase with my favorite color-pink-as the accent. Every item she included was a delight and more than I could possibly deserve.

Thanks so much again, Lorrie! (Did I tell you that I have already used the HDF overdye silk on a new project? Tune in tomorrow to see it!)

Click HERE to see the box I sent to Lorrie.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Project List

After much pulling of charts and putting back of charts and pulling threads and making lists and changing my mind, here is the list of projects for the Crazy January Challenge 2011. In no particular order-

1. Homespun Elegance Holiest of Nights

2. Plum Street Samplers Rejoice

3. Blackbird Designs Mystery Sampler 2009-see Giovanna's here

4. Raise the Roof Happy Camper

5. Hawkins House-Apple Tree Sampler

6. Praiseworthy Stitches Tiny Pumpkin Etui-scroll down

7. With Thy Needle & Thread Give Thanks

8. Little House Needleworks Needle & Thread

9. Praiseworthy Stitches Sunflower Friends

10. Blackbird Designs Spring Fling

11. BrightNeedle Pretty in Pink Pinkeep and Fob-scroll down

12. Petite Sampling Etui-collarboration by Cherished Stitches, Priaseworthy Stitches, The Stitching Parlor and With My Needle

13. With My Needle Quaker Hornbook

14. Sheepish Designs Temptation

15. Needle Delights-Rainforest Crunch-scroll down to 15th item

16. Renaissance Designs Five Christmas Trees Shimmering

A careful combination of small, medium and large projects by a broad selection of designers.

Did I tell you the initial 22 charts that I pulled turned into 23 charts? Then I had to reduce and that was the hardest part of this challenge so far! Despite my best efforts, I could only get to 16 charts. :) The criteria I had to use was sometimes bizarre.

For example, I had a different box-type project that I wanted to stitch (from Antique & Sampler Quarterly magazine). But I had all the Vikki Clayton silks for Petite Sampling Etui in my stash and I would have had to order a bunch of Gloriana and NPI silks for the other project. So, considering my budget, I went with PSE.

All of the fabric is cut and the last threads needed are on order. I'm anxious to get started, but still stitching to finish some small items for 2010.

More tomorrow!

Edited: The link to this amazing challenge is here and on my sidebar. It will take you to the original site and all the explanations (very simple).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Part 5

My first attempt to "stage" my picture. Hmmm... I think I better keep trying. :)

Here are the latest finished ornaments.

The larger one is a Kelly Clark needlepoint angel. I used several metallic threads including red, gold, silver, and white Snow. The rest of the angel was stitched with my favorite needlepoint thread-Vineyard Silk.

The small one is a cute design by Belinda Karls-Nace of Blue Ribbon Designs. It is Established With Love. This design was #3 in the SYHO series in 2010. It was stitched on 36 ct linen instead of the called-for 32 ct. So it is a little smaller than it is supposed to be and it makes the angel look bigger!
I got this chart in an exchange with a wonderful new stitching friend-thanks again, Lorrie!

(More about our exchange coming soon to this stitchy blog.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Crazy January Challenge 2011

It's Official! I am participating in the Crazy January Challenge 2011!

At first I thought 15 New Projects??!!

Then I started counting what I finished this year-(41 so far, but yes that includes all these smalls-ornaments, pin cushions, etc :)

So I started pulling out kits that I really want to start...

and charts that I already had kitted up...

and charts I really want to get to soon...

and a few needlepoint projects...

and a gift for the grandson...

and, well you see where I am going.

I had 22 projects pulled out!

How will I ever cut that down to ONLY 15???!!!

Here is DD#1's cross stitch snowman all finished as a flat-fold. It turned out so cute and this was her first time trying this finish. All her co-workers wanted her to give it to them. :) Thank you, Vonna, for your wonderful tutorial!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pincushions Finish-Finished

Blackbird Designs (l to r)
Small Token
Buttons & Pins
Bird in Hand

Ever since I bought myself a pumpkin pincushion for my birthday, I have been on a little bit of a "pincushion" kick. Here are my pincushions for 2010-All Finished! Since I always seem to be out of at least one of the called-for threads a few substitutions were made-Small Token-I used GAST Dungarees for the blue bird; Bird in Hand-I used GAST Buckeye Scarlet and a Christmas fabric for backing; and Buttons and Pins-I didn't chain stitch the whole body of the vase, just the handles and GAST Cherry Wine for the flowers .

Today's high is supposed to get to 19 degrees-pretty cold for us! I'm heading back to the fire!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Part 4

Here are my Blackbird Designs Christmas stockings for this year.

It is snowing here in western Washington. Time to build a fire and fix some hot chocolate!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Part 3

Today's ornaments are from a personal exchange. Check out the beautiful ornament I received from Vonna-The Twisted Stitcher. Nativities are my favorite Christmas decoration and this ornament will fit in so beautifully with my home decorations. I don't have any Prairie Schooler ornaments AND I love the use of non-traditional colors. Wow! You hit a home run, Vonna! Thank You!

Of course, I forgot to photograph the ornament I made for her. I know that she has received it so I will share this ornament that is the same pattern that I used for her ornament. I fell in love with her ornament as I stitched it and stitched one for myself. :) This is my version of the Windows of Faith, Hope and Peace ornament in the JCS 2010 Christmas issue. I used DMC #3809 because I had these fantastic matching beads that I wanted to use on the edging. Vonna's ornament is finished differently.

It is almost the weekend!
Have a good one!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Part 2

Here is the second installment of ornaments for this year. These are all pillow-type finishes. Top row (l to r)-LHN Fa La La and LHN Pear Tree. I would have beaded the edges of these two ornaments also, but I didn't have extra matching fabric for the backs.

Bottom row (l to r) Aury's 2009 and 2010 Fourth of July ornaments. Tip:When finishing a heart shaped ornament, don't leave the slit for turning next to the tip. It could end up like mine--a little crooked at the tip. I am thinking about removing the blue gingham ribbon on the small one and putting a trim all the way around. It would hide the tip somewhat. What do you think?

Here is the backing fabric-
More to come tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Ornaments Part 1

For some reason I have been really stitching Christmas ornaments this year. I think I have stitched more ornaments this year than several past years combined. These are the first ones to share (from l to r):Blackbird Designs from JCS Christmas 2010 magazine, Country Cottage Needleworks Visions of Sugar Plums, LHN He's A Flake, and Blue Ribbon Designs freebie Noel.

These are all finished with a beaded edge-a new finishing technique that I just learned this year. See my first effort-a freebie scissor fob by Brooke's Book here. I love the way they turn out! Sorry for the poor quality of my picture-just click on it for a better view.

I decided not to start another project this year. I want to finish up another WIP if possible. So I pulled out Mary Wigham and worked on her last night. I'll post an update on her soon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Dance!

Little House Needleworks
Traveling Stitcher
32 ct mystery linen
Called for Crescent Colours threads

Another 2010 finish! Now on to "finish-finish" some more items that I will be sharing soon.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Beaded Ornament Finish & New Start

There was stitching going on this weekend at my house! This is what I can share-

You saw this one before when I finished stitching her. But, today she is "finish finished." This pattern is a LHN Freebie, but I didn't write down where I found it. :( And I wrote Christmas Girl on the pattern but I'm not sure that is the name of the pattern.

If anyone recognizes this pattern and will email me, I will post the info and link, if possible. She is my second experiment with beaded edging and this one went much smoother than my first try. Thanks to Snippets and Stash for her tutorial and to Carol at Stitching Dreams for pointing the way to the tutorial.

I actually have some blue/green beads that I want to use for a beaded edging so I picked out an overdye thread that matched pretty well and now all I need is a pattern for a Christmas ornament that would look great monochromatic. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Here is my new start-it is LHN Traveling Stitcher. The needlebook is finished and the rest has a good start.

I am wanting to stitch the LHN boy skater ornament in JCS 2010 ornament issue. But I don't have the pattern for the girl skater ornament. Does someone have that pattern I could borrow or trade for?

Hey, did you hear about the Crazy January Challenge 2011? Check this out-I am thinking seriously about joining in!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

October ANG SOTM

This is the ANG Stitch of the Month thru October. I wasn't planning to do a Christmas themed piece. But it certainly looks like it.

I marked the outside border wrong. It is one row too small. But luckily the marks will be covered up with the stitching. Now on to November!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday, Dear Katy!

Happy Birthday, Dear Katy!
Here you are on your wedding day-2007
You are at such a great age-24
And the newest member of the family to learn to cross-stitch
Here is how I think of you- Halloween 1994
We love you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Two Updates & A Birthday Gift to Myself

Here is the latest on Gay Ann Roger's Snowflake Girl. I got temporarily distracted from her, but finally finished the prework. This is not for a class, but the instructions had a prework section. I love her already!

Sylvia's SAL is almost finished! The November block was quick to stitch and the whole thing is just cute. Talk about monthly instant gratification for those of us who get bogged down in big projects.

Lastly is my birthday gift to myself. It is a pumpkin pincushion that I bought off of Etsy from GlassDragonBearsEtc. It measures approx 3 1/2" X 3 1/2".

Now you see where I got the desire for Tiny Pumpkin Etui. I got mine from Denise at Threadneedle Street. She still has a couple more for sale-$24.
Edit:Thank you, Marlene, for pointing out that everybody doesn't know when my birthday is :) It was Halloween.