Monday, January 31, 2011

Lotsa Stitching Going On Here!

It's been a while since I posted, but stitching is happening around my house. :) First off another Crazy January Challenge project is finished!! LHN Needle and Thread is not only stitch finished, but the pin cushion is finish-finished! Woo Hoo! I still have to assemble the scissor fob, but that is going to be fun and easy.

LHN Needle and Thread
32 ct natural linen
Called for Crescent Colour threads

For those of you planning to stitch this jewel, let me give you a little heads-up. The pincushion pillow has some little bumps (hills and valleys) in the stuffing along the edges. My pincushion was primarily bumpy along the bottom. So when you are tacking the stitching onto the pincushion it wants to follow the bumps. I had to frog once and still wasn't able to get it to lay as flat as I would like. Also, as you can see in the photo, I didn't tack it all the way to the bottom. The stitching was following the curve of the pincushion and I thought hard to see. The pins in the pillow came with the pincushion.

Remember my new rotation that I have started? The gist of it is that I work simultaneously on a large project and a small project. I get the quick gratification of small ones finished while the large ones still see regular progress. So SB Anna's Stocking is the large project I am working on and here is the progress on it. This one is FUN to work on. The 18 ct linen is large enough to work on in bed without my magnifier.

Shepherd's Bush
Anna's Stocking
18ct natural linen
Various #5 perle cottons-DMC, WDW and CC

I also started another project-here is what it will look like when I am all finished-

Margaret Bendig
Plum Blossom Kimono
18ct light grey mono canvas
Various threads including Elegance

Here is what my start looks like-

Margaret is coming to the Seattle area to teach this class in March and I am working on the pre-work. It will be my very first "official" class I have ever taken. Lets hope I can count past two when working on this one! :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First January Challenge Finish!

Blackbird Designs
Summer House Pincushion
30 ct mystery linen
Crescent Colours-Secondhand Rose and Shamrock

Doesn't Shamrock sound like it should be green? But this color was definitely blue, dusty blue similar to DMC 930 or 931. The fabric for the pincushion bottom is the pink ginham under the stitching. It is going to be very cute when finished. But for now, I am moving on to my next challenge project!

I have finally come up with a stitching strategy that I think might work. I have 2 projects that I am working on simultaneously. One large and one small. Each gets worked on every time I stitch. Of course, the small one will be finished sooner and will give me some quick finishes. But the larger projects should see regular progress too. Hmmm.... we'll see how that works.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Dance 2011!

City Stitcher
Adam & Eve Sampler
32 ct mystery linen
Vikki Clayton's HDF silks

My happy dance has officially begun! My second finish for 2011 and neither one has been from the January Challenge! Oh, well, I still have 11 more months :) Please click on the picture for a close-up.

You might notice that I removed the 1845 date on the top and changed it to 2011. The date was hard to read and needed to be frogged and restitched anyhow. My initials are on either side of the tree in peach thread. I also made the executive decision to leave off nipples-really do we need to see those to enjoy a sampler? Belly buttons, yes-nipples, no.

Passing Stitching on to the Next Generation

Here is a photo of our stitching day on Saturday. It is at DD#3's home. The only "older" person there was me. Everyone else here was 30 or younger. Front row-(l to r)-Amy, DD#1, DD#3, and Susan. Back row-Laura and me. Everyone was cross-stitching or knitting or both. DD#2 was missing on Saturday, but she is quite the experienced stitcher,too.

I had quite a time trying to find something I could see to stitch on without my lighted magnifier. I finally chose BBD Hedgerow Birds as the fabric is 20 ct, it was a January challenge project, AND I sat under the dining room lights. :) Thanks for hosting, DD#3!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

First 2011 Finish-Primitive Pincushion!

Remember the "Make & Take" class I told you about? It was at the local quilt store last Saturday. I stopped in there after my EGA meeting and this class had just started. Only $10 for this kit-I thought it was a good deal. But, I had only 2 needles and some scissors with me and, of course, I was unprepared with any other supplies. The teacher and other students were kind and generous and shared their supplies.

Here is the result. I used freezer paper for the first time to cut out my initial out of wool. Then I blanket stitched it to the background paisley fabric (don't look too close). That was probably the hardest part as the legs of the initial are only about 3/8" wide. For the first time I assembled an emery and stitched it onto the lining fabric. Stuffed with fiberfill and I feather-stitched around the outside seams. Voila! A primitive style pincushion and my first finish for 2011.

I did stitch more last night on the Summer House pincushion. I guess I am not quite over my year of the pincushion yet. :) AND because my heating pad cover was worn out about 2 years ago, I finally sat down and sewed up a new one yesterday. (The ironing board is up next for a re-cover.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Adam & Eve Update

This is where I was on this sampler before Christmas-

Here is where I am tonight!! Woo Hoo-not a complete finish, but close enough to almost start the happy dance. I still need to fill in the green, grassy section in the middle , some backstitching, satin stitching,and the basket on the middle left side. Then the real dancing can begin.
I must admit that my challenge stitching has suffered because I haven't been able to set this one down.

City Stitcher
Adam & Eve Sampler
Mystery 32 ct linen
Vikki Clayton's HDF silks

P>S> I don't like 1/4 and 3/4 stitches. ;(

Sunday, January 16, 2011

It Keeps Calling My Name!

Yes, it is Blackbird Designs Summer House Pincushion. Here it is in the Honeysuckle Manor book. And the two Crescent Colour threads I will be using-Shamrock and Secondhand Rose.

Pink and blue are my favorite color combination. They were the colors in my wedding many years ago. I have a luscious pink gingham fabric from Moda to use as the pincushion base already chosen. Actually I chose the fabric then picked the threads to stitch with :)

I started this design at the meeting of my local EGA chapter Saturday morning. We are already planning our regional seminar in June 2012. It will be here in Tacoma, WA. It will be my first seminar of any kind and I hope to be able to meet some of my fellow bloggers there! It was reported yesterday that we had 40+ teachers respond to the call for class proposals. And there were 100+ classes proposed! Wow! I am anxious to hear what the final choices will be.

Should I admit that on my way home from the meeting I stopped at a local quilt shop to look for some Moda sampler fabric I am trying to find? Well, it seems they were just starting a Make & Take class. So, I had to ask "What is a Make & Take class? It sounds like a cooking class" It was actually a primitive pincushion class and I sat down and started my 2nd pincushion of the day! Picture tomorrow :)

Crazy January Challenge Wrap-Up-

Thank you to Minna-the originator of the Crazy January Challenge 2011! It has certainly sparked my interest in stitching AND my wishlist has grown by leaps and bounds! Not only was I guilty of enabling other stitchers, but I was enabled myself :) Some of the items on my wishlist are OOP and I have put together a list of patterns to trade with so PLEASE take a look at my wishlist and email me if we might put together a trade, buy or borrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #15

Here is the final chosen pattern for the Day #15 start of the Crazy January Challenge.

Praiseworthy Stitches
Tiny Pumpkin Etui
Mystery linen and DMC threads from kit

Here is my pathetic small start. I seriously thought there was not enough linen in this kit. There are 4 small rectangular pieces and 1-2" square. So I started the needle book (the largest piece) to see if it would fit on the linen. It did!

I am so happy that I joined this challenge. But I have been waiting for the chance to go back and work on some of the earlier items. PLUS one of the items that I cut from my list of 15 is still calling my name, so I started it today. :) More about that tomorrow! Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #14

Hawkins House
Apple Tree Sampler
32 ct belfast linen-Light Sand
Called for DMC and some substituted GAST threads

I wanted to be sure to get another A & E sampler stitched this year. So here is Day #14 for the 2011 challenge.

This little bit of stitching was already fun and I'm looking forward to working on it more. I got to work on it while watching an episode of Hercule Poirot.

One more day to go and the challenge is finished!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #13

Renaissance Designs
Five Christmas Trees Shimmering
Stitch Guide by Pamela Harding
Called for threads-Various

Here is my start for Day #13 of the Crazy January Challenge. It is my only needlepoint project in this Challenge. I have a stitch guide written by the talented Pamela Harding. She chooses stitches that stretch my abilities! I admit that I might make a few changes along the way (what's new? :)

Only 2 days left-I can't believe it has gone so quickly!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #12

Snow update: Finally a dusting of snow overnight. But it is raining now, so it will be gone soon

Just Nan Over the Top
Glow Tin and Humbug
28 ct mystery linen
Called for DMC & Kreinik threads

This is my start for Day #12 of the January Challenge. This is a last minute substitution for the Brightneedle Pretty in Pink. The Brightneedle piece is a pinkeep and scissor fob-all over 1 stitching! I just couldn't face 3 over 1 projects. So Just Nan got picked. This kit also fulfills another of my goals for 2011-learn to finish a humbug!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #11

Little House Needleworks
Needle and Thread
2 different fabrics-32 ct natural linen for the pocket and 36 ct LL Light Examplar for the fob
Called for Crescent Colours

This is the start for Day #11 of our January Challenge. Thanks for all the kind words and comments on my starts. This year's stitching will be fun and beautiful!

For all of you asking about the interfacing I used on my over-1 project. Here is the skinny-

My local ANG guild decided to do the Quaker hornbooks as a group project. (There are some VERY talented stitchers in that group! ) One of them suggested using some lightweight interfacing on the back of our linen. NOT iron-on interfacing-the little bumps might be a problem. (The hand basting on my hornbook was not to hold the interfacing on-it was called for in the pattern.) I just basted a piece of interfacing around the edges of the fabric with my sewing machine. The basting can be removed and the interfacing trimmed when I am finished stitching. That's it! So far, it has worked wonderfully. No dropped threads!

For those of you wondering-yes, I am going to use the interfacing on the back of Give Thanks as soon as I frog the pumpkin. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #10

Snow update: Still none

With My Needle Quaker Hornbook
32ct Lakeside Linen Maple Sugar
Needle Necessities Overdyed thread #135

This is my start for Day #10 on the Crazy January Challenge. Yes, this is over 1 stitching! Absolutely couldn't do this without my lighted magnifier. The interfacing I stitched on the back of this fabric has been wonderful. I haven't lost a single stitch. This overdye thread is looking lovely.

Have a great day!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #9

Blackbird Designs Mystery Sampler
30ct. R & R Reproductions Highland Mist
Called-for GAST and WDW threads

This is Day #9 of the January Challenge. This is the biggest project I am starting as part of this challenge. It will be a fun one though!

I spent part of today sewing interfacing on the back of some pieces of linen. My ANG group told me a little helpful hint when we ordered the Quaker hornbook. The interfacing helps to keep the over-1 stitches from slipping behind the threads.

After my "problem" start on Give Thanks, I double-checked all my remaining challenge projects and discovered that I have 2 more over-1 charts! So, there might be another change to my line-up. More on that to come.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #8

Raise the Roof Designs
Happy Camper
32 ct navy permin linen
Called for DMC threads

Here is my start for Day #8.

I'm having company tonight and making homemade bread. Keep your fingers crossed as the tops caved in on the last couple of batches I made!

There is good progress on City Stitcher Adam & Eve Sampler. I will post a progress update at the end of this challenge.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #7

With My Needle & Thread
Give Thanks
28 ct linen
Called-for WDW threads
Here is the start for Day #7.

Just a small start because guess what I discovered?
Do you see on the bottom of the pattern that it says over 1 thread? I was anxious to get started this morning and stitched the whole pumpkin (and 2 letters) over 2 theads. Then, I thought maybe I cut the fabric too small? No, it is cut exactly to what the designer calls for. Oh, over 1 thread! So, I have already ripped out the two letters and when I pick this up again it will be for a frogging session.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #6

Sheepish Designs Temptation
36 ct Lakeside Linens Maple Sugar
Called for DMC threads

This is going to be an interesting project. There are several embroidery stitches incorporated, not just cross stitch. The first embroidery stitch was on the tree trunk. It is called a raised chain stitch and is a new stitch to me. Adam & Eve's hair is a threaded back stitch. Their "leaves" are woven and stand off the fabric. The apples are a Spider Web stitch. I like the look of it so far!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #5

Blackbird Designs Hedgerow Birds
Week Dye Works 20 ct Straw
Called-for GAST & CC threads

Here is my new start for day #5 of the January Challenge. This photo of the fabric is pretty true to the actual color. It is the called-for fabric in the pattern, but look how gold it is compared to the fabric in the picture on the cover. I like this color-it is just different from what I expected. OK-I'll keep an open mind :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My First Blog Award!

Thank you to both Marlene and Alyssa for giving me my very first blogging award!

Here are 7 items about myself that you probably don't know-

1. I was born and raised in Indiana and still consider myself a Hoosier, even though I have lived in WA for 26 years.

2. I am still married to the husband "of my youth." He was 19 and I was 20 when we tied the knot in 1979.

3. I have been a realtor for 10 years.

4. I started attending a new church in 2010 and am still adjusting. Learning new names gets harder each year.

5. My favorite TV show is American Pickers.

6. My favorite DVD series is Inspector Morse. But I like many, many British crime dramas.

7. This year's vacation will be to Yellowstone National Park.

This award is supposed to be passed along, but I am giving that more thought. I see that some blogs prefer NOT to have awards. What do you think?

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #4

Little House Needleworks
The North Wind
32 ct Mt Vernon Mist-not sure which line
Called-for Crescent Colours

Here is my Challenge Day #4 start. I am quickly running out of tacks for my stretcher bars. Of course, I didn't think to stock up on those before the challenge began!

I love this chart, but every time I read the words I add "poor thing" to the end because the nursery rhyme includes those two words, right? "He flies to the barn and keeps himself warm and hides his head under his wing, poor thing." I think I am paraphrasing-somebody let me know the right words??

Monday, January 3, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #3

Blackbird Designs Spring Fling
30 ct R & R Iced Cappucino
Called-for GAST Threads

Just a small start today-time has gotten away from me. And I am still stitching on City Stitcher A & E :)

I changed the fabric on this project to a different color to get more of a contrast with the threads-- a few color changes will probably happen too!

I received the fabric in the mail today for Day #5 Challenge project. Whew! It was close.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #2

Homespun Elegance
Holiest of Nights
30ct natural linen
Called for Weeks, DMC, and GAST threads

Crazy January Challenge Day #2 start-I've already made a color change to this one. I'm feeling very inspired by all the postings on this and the other challenges. Coming up tomorrow-Blackbird Designs Spring Fling!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Crazy January Challenge 2011 Day #1

Shepherd's Bush Anna's Stocking
18 ct natural linen
Called for threads-Crescent, Weeks, and DMC perle cottons

It is exciting to see all the posts already on the January Challenges! People are stitching! Here is my Day #1 start.