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!