Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fobs Finished...

Another one of my crazy challenges has been met -- I wanted to finish the Lizzie Kate seasonal fobs that came out last year. Summer got stitched in 2010, but Spring, Fall, and Winter were all waiting to be stitched.

Here they are posing with the little gems scissors that each came with:

Would you like to have these four charts so that you can stitch them yourself? Leave your name on this post and I will draw one name next Friday (Feb 4). One lucky winner will receive all four charts.

I'm going to work on one of the samplers now, so you won't see any finishes from me for awhile! Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rolling Right Along...

Well, before I share my latest finish, let me thank all of you for your kind comments regarding my Peacock Pinkeep finish. I'm still amazed at how nice it turned out. Thank you for stopping by and for dancing a little jig with me!

Some of you asked about the chenille trim. It can be ordered online through Quilter's Station. I dyed the trim using some Rit Dye, tan color.

Tonight I'm dancing again. Crazy Challenge Finish #2 - Blackbird Designs Winter Delivery. This is Loose Feathers #5. I'm still debating whether I will frame this one or perhaps choose some other finish - it's the perfect size for a flat fold. I originally pulled this out of my stash because the color of the linen was calling my name. I must say that I've grown rather fond of the design. And the Blackbird! The pattern calls for beads to be added to the tree branches; I will pick them up next time I am at my LNS.

Blackbird Designs Winter Delivery
Loose Feathers #5
28 ct R&R Cranberry Bog
DMC and Sampler Threads

I think I'm going to tackle those Lizzie Kate seasonal scissor fobs next. See you again soon. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 24, 2011

First Finish for 2011!

I am so excited to share with you my first finish for 2011! It's also one of my 15 Crazy January projects. I am so pleased with how it turned out; I was just "giddy" when I went to bed last night.

Without further ado, here is Peacock Pinkeep from Blackbird Designs:

Blackbird Designs Peacock Pinkeep
Loose Feathers #35
28 ct. WDW Straw/Grey Gingham Linen
Belle Soie Tortoise Shell
Belle Soie Rose of Sharon

It's a rather large pinkeep, about 6 inches in diameter. I followed the intructions provided for assembly and made only one minor modification. Rather than mounting the top to a piece of cardboard (like the bottom), I used a stiff piece of interfacing (kind of like skirtex). I want to be able to insert pins in the top too, not just in the sides. If I were to assemble one of these again, I would put the side together first and then measure for the top and bottom pieces to ensure a good fit (I assembled top and bottom first and then re-did them because they were just a tad bit too large.)

You might wonder about the fabric on the bottom - this is from one of the Blackbird Designs fabric lines - Harvest Home, I think. Joan gifted me with this fabric at Christmas time.

I just love it! Now on to another crazy challenge project...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This Week's Stitching

As you can see, I made good progress on Blackbird Design's Peacock Pinkeep. I would be even further along had I not caught a severe case of the "frogs" on Tuesday night. The alphabet was done and then I realized that I had forgotten to stitch the letter "I", so I ripped out "A" through "H" and stitched it all again. Then after fixing the alphabet, I realized that the bottom border was a thread off! Could I have any more issues with such a simple thing? Anyway, it's all stitched up correctly now. For those who might be wondering, I'm using 28ct WDW Straw/Grey Gingham with Belle Soie Tortoise Shell and Rose of Sharon. The instructions say to stitch with one strand of silk over two linen threads, but I am stitching with two strands of silk over two linen threads.

When this pattern first came out I remember seeing some stitchers stitch this design over one linen thread for a smaller sized pinkeep. Now I can understand why - this is going to be a super-sized pinkeep! I love the linen and the silk fiber colors though and I hope to get the top stitched today/tonight so that I can work on assembling this tomorrow. The instructions for assembly do not look too difficult.

I'm not sure whether I will venture out from my house today. It's cold, but not as cold as yesterday! When I left for work yesterday morning the air temperature was -15F and the windchill was -29F....brrrr.

Enjoy your day -- hope you find some time to cross some x's!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Delightful Gift!

I'm not sure whether I will have any stitchy photos for you today; oh, there will be time for stitching, but probably not until later today. I've been trying to straighten up our extra room where all of my stitching stash is stored. Unfortunately, this is also where all the extra things (i.e. crap) accumulate during the week and it's a little bit out of control!

I have to share with you a wonderful Christmas gift that I received from my stitching buddy Judy in Alexandria, MN. We got together last weekend (our attempt to get together in December was thwarted by a snowstorm!)

Judy loves to cross stitch, but she also does gorgeous Hardanger. We met years ago at a Nordic Needle retreat -we both took the Hardanger classes that were offered at that retreat.

Judy shared some of her Hardanger handiwork with me. Isn't it gorgeous?

She also gifted me with a round box; a piece of cross-stitch or Hardanger can be inserted inside the lid. I'm still debating whether I will stitch some Hardanger or a cross stitch design for it!

And, she gave me this cute tatted angel. If I remember correctly, she said that an elderly woman (in her 90's) tatted this angel.

I can't remember if I shared a picture of my dowel tree with you. You will remember that my husband made this for me last year. I pulled it out in December and put some of the smaller cross stitch ornaments on it. I enjoy looking at these ornaments and so they haven't been put away yet!

Before I forget, I've been wanting to share one more thing with you. Stitchville is having a retreat again this year. The dates are April 8 - 10. This year Jeanette Douglas is coming and she's designing a piece especially for the retreat. We had such a great time last year - the accommodations were very comfortable and the meals were outstanding. The classroom had great lighting and comfortable seating. Details can be found on Stitchville's website or click here for the brochure. Some pictures from last year's retreat with Blackbird Designs can be found here or if you are interested in my retreat report just go back to my blog posts here, here, and here. If you are thinking about attending a needlework retreat this year, I hope you will join us; would love to meet up with stitching blogging friends. Our snow should be melted by April! :)

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Crazy Challenge Part I - Complete!

Project #14 - Shepherd's Bush Pendants - these have been in my stash for awhile now. I finished the stitching on one of them tonight!

Project #15 - C Street Samplerworks "I Sigh Not for Beauty" - this is going to be a gorgeous sampler when finished!

Tired - heading to bed!

Friday, January 14, 2011

"C" is for Crazy

Yes, "C" is for Crazy and there is none crazier than me when it comes to stitching! I put needle and thread to fabric tonight and started project #13.

Now, if you've been following my recent blog posts or if you have paid any attention whatsoever to my Crazy Challenge list, you are probably scratching your head and wondering if I've totally lost it! "Why?" you might ask. Well, this project was not on my list. But, after a long week at work, a gloomy day laden with snow flurries, and an hour long bumper-to-bumper drive home from work, I decided that I needed a little bit of color to perk up my evening. As luck would have it, I have a few other projects in my stash, as well as enough linen and fiber to start my own needlework store. So what happened??? I changed my mind and added a different project to my list!

So without further ado, here is Crazy Challenge Project #13 - Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers #5 - Blackbird's Winter Delivery! And isn't that R&R Cranberry Bog linen just luscious? The alphabet stitched up quickly.

Tomorrow is the last day of the challenge - since we're in the midst of another mild snowstorm I will be spending most of the day at home and will likely get my last two projects started. Now, you might be wondering -- will they be the last two projects on the list or will they be something entirely different? You'll have to tune back in tomorrow for that answer!

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Projects #10, #11, and #12

Another catch up post - started two more projects and then...another cheater project...

Project #10 - Blackbird Designs - Tis the Season from the Joyeux Noel book

Project #11 - from Shakespeare's Peddler - Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler

Project #12 - from Blackbird Designs - Flowers for Sarah Needle Case. This has been in my stash forever! Seriously, it was a class project at the Hands to Work retreat that I went to in 2006 or 2007? (Margaret, you finished yours, yes?) Okay, the basting stitches and this little leaf were all I stitched at the retreat! This project will be finished in 2011!

It's been a very, very long week and I am so grateful that tomorrow is Friday. It's going to be a very cold weekend here in Minnesota, and fortunately, we don't have many plans. I hope to get my laundry caught up, my house cleaned, and spend some quality time with my stitching! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Catching Up - Part II

Okay - so that I can get caught up, I am going to cheat a little bit. Two of my projects for this Crazy Challenge are WIPs that I started last year. I haven't stitched on either of them yet this year, but I'm going to show you where I am at with them so far; a starting point for the challenge. These will be included in my count for 15 projects.

Project #7 CHS Alphabet Blocks - A, B, C, D are completely finished except for the filling stitches around the words. Blocks E, F, G, and H are in progress. I would very much like to finish this project in 2011!

Project #8 Jenny Bean Halloween Sampler - also started this one in 2010 (or was it 2009?) Anyway, wouldn't it be nice to have this one complete in time for Halloween?

Project #9 is a new start! Chessie & Me's Scarlet' Christmas Sampler. This is one of the Jenny Bean and friends charts. As you can see below, I completed the outside border today. This design is smaller than I thought it would be!

That's it -- I'm back on track now. Looking forward to the next six projects to round out my 15! It's crazy!

Catching Up - Crazy Challenge Projects #4, #5, and #6

Darn job put a crimp in my "crazy" plans this week, but I'm using the weekend to try to get caught up.

Project #4 -- This is filling the "TBD" space on my list. I have yet to finish the LHN Fall, Winter, and Spring fobs. I started the stitching on the Winter fob yesterday.

Project #5 -- C Street Samplerworks, Quaker Medallion Sampler (thank you for the chart Diana!) Have seen this one finished on a number of other blogs; it's a beauty!

Project #6 -- Folk Art Handbook from Hillside Samplings. This has been in my stash forever! Time to get it done. Lots of specialty stitches...

Sorry for the dark pictures - best I could do this morning! See you later!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

What Happened to Crazy Challenge Project #4?

Thank you for all your visits and kind comments. Just thought I would tell you that I haven't fallen off the Crazy Challenge bandwagon! Oh no, I'm just on a bit of a detour. Had to make a last minute trip out of town this week for work, consequently I won't have any stitching updates now until the weekend. I'm looking forward to starting project #4 though!

Hope you have a great week. Keep on stitching!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Crazy January Challenge - Project #3

Here's what I accomplished last night on project #3. This is another new start and it's stitching up quickly, so I'm asking myself, "why didn't I stitch this one sooner?"

Back to work today. Drat.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Crazy January Challenge - Project #2

Happy Monday! I still have one vacation day (today) left before I return to work. I think much of today will be spent taking down the Christmas decorations. While I enjoy looking at the ornaments each year and it's nice to sit and admire the Christmas tree each night, I'm always glad to see everything go back into the boxes. It seems to restore order! Maybe that's part of the magic each year; because it only lasts for a short time?

While watching football last night, I started project #2 on the Crazy January Challenge. I think I made good progress. Here it is - from Birds of a Feather - Happy Hearts Sampler!

I've had this one kitted up for a long time. Joined a SAL once but never crossed a single "x". I watched as other stitching bloggers worked on theirs. Linen Stitcher finished hers in June, 2008 so that goes to show how long I have been wanting to stitch this one! Now it's started. Keep your fingers crossed that I will finish it in 2011!

Later today I will decide on today's project (#3) - I think it will be another new start vs. one of the WIPs.

Before I go, I found a new love! Since I live in cold Minnesota, I tend to drink a lot of hot tea in the evening (it keeps me warm.) I have several favorite varieties (pictured below), and I've added a new one to my tea stash (no pun intended). It's from STASH and it is called Pomegranate Raspberry Green Tea. It's a winner!

Thanks for your visits and words of encouragement. I've been doing my best to keep up with visiting your blogs, but I'm behind again! :)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Crazy January Challenge - Project #1

Did anyone guess what my New Year's Day start would be? I've been itching to stitch it since it was first released just prior to the fall needlework market. It's also the first design from Heartstring Samplery that I have ever stitched (I don't think it will be the last either!)

Poppy Maye Russell is one of Jenny Bean's friends. I am stitching it on 35 ct WDW Cappuccino linen with WDW floss. I think I made pretty good progress yesterday.

Now, to decide which of the 15 projects I will work on today....hmmmm....I think it will be another new start. I'll post an update either later tonight or tomorrow.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

First Post in the New Year!

Happy New Year! Welcome 2011!

My DH and I had an enjoyable evening last night enjoying hors du oeuvres and watching movies, and I found time for some stitching! We have always spent New Year's Eve at home; it's our holiday for rest and relaxation.

I had hoped to have a final finish for 2010, but was unable to make the deadline; however, I am very, very close. Sampler Game Board from The Drawn Thread was my New Year's Day start back in 2006. It has languished in the WIP (or perhaps UFO would be more accurate) pile for five years. A few weeks ago, I decided it was finally time to finish it and I have been working on it a little bit here and there since November. Unfortunately, I still have 16 squares to go, so as I finished stitching the border last night, I added the year 2011! It will get finished this year.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I joined the Crazy January Challenge. It is a crazy challenge, but I have had a lot of fun going through my stash in preparation for this challenge. If you are not familiar with the plan, let me summarize for you. Pick 15 projects, start one of them on each of the first 15 days in January, then try to finish them in 2011.

Okay, so stitching is supposed to be fun, right? That's why many of us who have accepted this challenge have tailored it to meet our needs. I am going to work some of my current WIPs into the list, and some of my selections will be smaller projects. Maybe I'll finish the 15 projects, maybe I won't - but as I already stated, it sure has been fun planning it out!

So, with that said, and in no particular order - here are my first 14 projects. Yep, I still have to figure out what the 15th one is going to be!

1. CHS Alphabet Blocks (WIP - 4 blocks completed, 4 blocks partially completed)

2. SP Jenny Bean Halloween Sampler (WIP)

3. Heartstring Samplery Poppy Maye Russell

4. BBD Flowers for Sarah (WIP - but it only has about 10 stitches in it!)

5. CSS Quaker Medallion Sampler (thanks Diana!)

6. BRD Blessed Beyond Measure

7. BOAF Happy Hearts Sampler

8. BBD Peacock Pinkeep

9. Chessie & Me Scarlet's Christmas Sampler

10. BBD Joyeux Noel

11. SP Jenny Bean Christmas Sampler

12. WMN Blue House Needleminder

13. HS Folk Art Hornbook

14. CSS I Sigh Not For Beauty

15. TBD

I know, it's quite an ambitious list. Without a doubt there will be other projects throughout the year that I will want to stitch.

So now, it's time to hit the stitchy chair and start my first piece for 2011. Which one do you think it will be? I'll give you a clue, it won't be any of the WIPs on the list...

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful and warm New Year's Day filled with family and friends and time for stitching!