Wow. I can't believe that it is December 31! Where does the time go? Tomorrow we start writing 2012. The New Year always seems to rejuvenate me; I make grand plans to do various things better in the new year and sometimes I succeed, sometimes not - but then there's always a new year to re-set and start over again!
From a stitching perspective, I get excited about digging in my stash and making plans. Of course, I'm always going to "buy less" and "stitch more" but that never happens! I keep reminding myself that for me, stitching is therapy; it's my escape from the problems of the day, my way of letting my creativity shine, a way to relax-even if only for a few minutes. It's pretty amazing when you think about it -- we take a blank canvas (one that's mottled with a very fine count works best for me!) and we change it. We add color and texture with the fibers and the stitches that we add. When it is all finished we have a beautiful stitched piece that holds special memories for us. It might remind us of that special person that we thought of while stitching the piece with their initials carefully incorporated in a corner. Or, it might remind us of a special event, past or present; maybe we remember exactly where we were when we were stitching the sampler and who we were with... Some of my stitched pieces remind of special friends, people that I have met in person and/or through this blog; they all hold a special place in my heart.
2011 was a successful stitching year; if I counted correctly, I had about 30 finishes or so. That CRAZY Crazy Challenge for 2011 was a huge motivator for me. Going into it, I didn't expect to finish all 15 projects, but I also never thought I would finish 12 (and I did!) Needless to say, I'm happy with my results!
Here are some of my favorite finishes from this year:
Blackbird Designs Peacock Pinkeep -- as my regular readers know, there's always something from BBD in my WIP basket; I love all of their designs; in fact, I stitched eight of their designs last year. I was excited to stitch and finish this one in 2011!
The Drawn Thread's Game Board Sampler would probably still be languishing in the UFO pile if it weren't for the Crazy Challenge. I had to take a short vacation from stitching houses after stitching this one! Lelia (Stitches of Life) and I started this project on New Year's Day back in 2006 or 2007...I'm glad mine is finished.
Another Blackbird Designs project! And another project that had been languishing in my stash for a long time. This one holds special memories; it reminds me of my trip in 2007 to the Hands to Work Retreat in Virginia. I hadn't been blogging long and stitching retreats were kind of new to me. Oh how I wish I could do that one again! It was such great fun. The design is the Flowers for Sarah needleroll.
I love this Chessie and Me piece - Scarlett Pomegranate's Christmas Sampler. I was determined to finish the over one stitching by myself. And I did!
Quaker Stitches from Jeanette Douglas; proof that the designer knows best! I fretted over the light colored fiber in the medallion top center and bottom right. There's also some in the center of the piece. Bought like 3 or 4 different skeins of Belle Soie silk each time thinking that color would work better. In the end, I used the color that Jeanette had charted. What a silly girl I am! I had the good fortune of meeting Jeanette at the Stitchville retreat last April!
(Hope you are not bored, I'm kind of enjoying this trip down memory lane...)
This one is at the top of my favorite list. I love BOAF. Included the initials for all the special people (and pets) in my immediate family. Birds of a Feather Happy Hearts...
LHN Friendship Squares - this is one of the coolest things I did all year. Each member of the Friday night stitch group stitched a square. We added our initials and swapped squares and then made these little boxes. Love it!
Quaker Medallion Sampler - Enjoyed working on this sampler from C Street Samplerworks; I've got another one of her designs started (and plan to finish it in 2012!)
The last one I will include here, is the piece I finished in Virgina Beach at the Dyeing to Stitch retreat (another fun weekend with stitching friends). I was so close and so determined to finishing this one that I kept on stitching right during the opening reception - at one point I had to stand up, which I did but I kept right on stitching! In my room later that night I started my happy dance only to realize that I had missed a part and had to sit back down and continue stitching! Ha! I should have a picture of this framed, but I can't find it, so here are the unframed photos of Jenny Bean's Halloween Sampler from Shakespeare's Peddler.
Many happy memories...looking forward to making more in 2012!