Monday, January 30, 2012

Drive By Post...

I have to make this quick! I'm working later hours today and I seem to always jam pack too many projects into the hours between waking up and leaving for work. Before I go though, I want to share this quick update with you...

Over the weekend, I finished up BBD Loose Feathers Autumn...(please excuse the wrinkles.)

Now, on to Winter...

And then...I just had to show you's too cute not to share it with you.

It's the Jeanette Douglas needlebook from the Dyeing to Stitch retreat last fall. The stitching was done by my friend Judy; I just finished it into a needlebook for her.

Cute, cute, cute. Well I have to go to work now. See ya!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Time for A Stitchy Post!

Wow - January is just fleeting by; I can't believe it's the 25th already! I shouldn't complain though; it's been a productive month for me. After the holidays every year I start my annual campaign to clean every room in the house. Not just your normal dusting and vacuuming either - I clean out closets and drawers and "reduce, reuse, and recycle!" As the year progresses, I make my way through the house...some years I get through the whole house, some years I don't. It's a good feeling though when the rooms are really clean and stuff is organized!

I seem to have stalled a bit with my stitching this month. Oh, not to worry, I'm still stitching, but maybe at a slower pace than earlier in the month. Still, I'm making progress and I have a few updates for you.

Let's start with some framing that I picked up recently. This was one of my first finishes this year and it is going to be a gift for some friends. I had it framed at JoAnn's and unlike the pieces I have framed for myself, I had them put glass on it. The design is Pray for Peace from Birds of a Feather.

The angled photo shows off the mottled look of this frame. I like it alot; I hope that our friends like it too. They lost their house to a fire last fall and so when they move in to their new home in February we will give this to them. I figured they may need something to hang on their walls!

Next up is a progress report on my Blackbird Designs Loose Feathers. I seem to be on a mission to get some of my WIPs done before starting anything new. This happens to be one of those WIPs and I'm making good progress on the center section. Can I just say that it took forever to stitch that big bird?!?!? I'm stitching on 36ct Irish Creme and using the overdyed threads as called for. I really like the shading in the alphabet and the birds!

Last but not least - I think this is the update I am most proud of. The piece is not finished yet, but it is really close! This was/is the oldest WIP in the basket. The design is called Mystery Sampler and the pattern was posted back in 2005 and 2006 over several months in the EGA magazine. As you can see, it is a band sampler. It's about 2.5 - 3 feet long. It's stitched with DMC.

I started this project in 2005. I got as far as "PQR" and stopped. I was afraid to do the pulled thread stitches I guess.

Two weeks ago at a Needlework Guild meeting, one of the ladies there had brought hers with. She had a little bit more finished than I did, but still had quite a bit left to do. Once I saw hers I knew that I had to get this finished this year! With some prodding from another friend (aka taskmaster Chris) I completed the rest of the stitching down as far as my name at our weekend stitching retreat two weeks ago.

This past weekend while watching football I stitched up the over one verse at the bottom.

All I have left is the two pulled thread sections (under PQR and above STU). If you look closely, you can see that I've started pulling out threads under PQR! I hope to share a finish with you on this one real soon!

So there you have it - you're all caught up with my recent stitching progress. Happy hump day and keep on stitching!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pay It Forward Follow-Up

Thank you Shirlee, Rebecca, Pat, and Kate for your interest in my Pay It Forward offer. Since there were four of you we drew names (with my DD assisting.) Shirlee and Pat, you are the lucky winners! Please send me your mailing addresses - you will find my email address in my profile.

Since there were only four of you, Rebecca and Kate - you are going to get a "consolation" prize. I would like to send you each a small gift for offering to participate. Please send me your mailing addresses too.

Today was a busy day, otherwise I'd have pictures for you. If you can patient a few more days, I promise it will be worth the wait!

Hope the week ahead includes some stitching time!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pay It Forward

It's been a long time since I participated in a Pay It Forward or even an exchange for that matter; but when Maureen from Maureen's Mountain of Stitching asked if I wanted to participate in her PIF, I gladly said yes. I had the good fortune of meeting Maureen and her mother at the Dyeing to Stitch retreat in Virginia Beach last fall. It was a delight to visit with them throughout the retreat!

This Pay It Forward was started last November by Karen at Stitching and Sharing . Since I will be receiving from Maureen, I have agreed to "Pay It Forward" to two lucky stitchers. If you want to receive a gift from me, then you also agree do the following:

1) If you win, you must be willing to post this PIF on your blog and do the same for at least 2 people.

2) Send no less than 5 stitching related items per person within the next 365 days.

3) Items can be DMC, other threads, stitching needles, straight pins, buttons, scissors, ribbons, ect. - a combination of items such as 3 threads, 1 pack of straight pins, and 1 pack of stitching needles or just 5 threads.

4) The items must be new and not used.

If you are interested in participating and would like to receive a Pay It Forward gift from me, please leave a comment on this post. Make sure you include your email address (or have it available in your blogger profile). If more than two people express interest, I will draw two names. Please comment by Friday, January 20!

Hope you are having a great week filled with lots of time for stitching!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Productive Weekend

Hello Friends! I've just returned from three days of stitching bliss! Some of my stitching friends have been getting together on this weekend every year for the last several years at the Belisle Ranch Retreat. This year, I was able to join them. The ranch is about a 1.5 hour drive, just across the border in Range, WI.

We arrived at "The Ranch" on Thursday afternoon at 3pm and stayed until about 11:30am today. We cross-stitched and ate and cross-stitched more. The meals were fabulous (not to mention the fact that they were cooked for us!) The accommodations were very comfortable. Here are a couple of photos of our stitching room; you can see that many of the stitchers were hard at work!

During the weekend, I managed to finish three projects; one is from my WIP basket and two are from the basket of smalls that you heard about at the beginning of the year. I also have one other WIP that I worked on extensively - it's not finished yet, but I put a really good dent in it and hope to have it finished soon.

Since it's late and I'm ready for some shut-eye, let's get right to the stitching photos! Here's the finish from the WIP basket. I'm sure you will recognize it; it's from the Cherrywood Designs Dictionary Series.

Cherrywood Designs
28 ct WDW Blue Jeans/Natural Gingham Linen
WDW Kohl

From the basket of smalls, this LHN design from the Nashville Needlework show in 2011. I also purchased the needlebook and pincushion; I think there is some finishing in my future!

Fresh from the Garden
Little House Needleworks
30 ct WDW Straw
Cresent Colours Fibers

The third finish also came out of that basket of smalls; it's the 2011 Shepherd's Bush scissors fob! Can't seem to escape that finishing work!

2011 Scissor Fob "Passion"
Shepherd's Bush
Kit - 30 ct Aztec Red Linen/DMC & WDW

The other WIP that I spent a significant amount of time on is one I started back in 2005. It's the EGA Mystery Sampler and is done as a band sampler. I got about a third of the way done (back in 2005) and got stuck. I needed a little encouragement (okay, maybe it was a shove) to get this one going again. I'll share a picture of this one next time.

Before I go, let me share with you a picture of Buttercup - she was the resident cat at the ranch. She was super friendly and constantly monitored our work. Buttercup liked getting cozy on our laps and she especially liked napping under our stitching lights, but as you can see in this photo, Buttercup also took a liking to one of these stitcher's lap trays! What a silly cat!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Mermaid

As many of you probably guessed, I went for the quick and easy win. Not a lot of solid stitching and mostly letters, so I was able to finish The Mermaid from Shakespeare's Peddler in just a few days. This was our class piece with Theresa Venette at the Dyeing to Stitch Retreat in Virginia Beach last fall.

I don't think I would have normally purchased this pattern, but I am strangely attracted to the design! What's interesting about this piece are the "patches." Yes, some of the motifs are stitched on a slightly different colored piece of linen and these patches then were stitched to the main piece of linen. I tacked them down and then went back and added the "topstitching". Kind of different and unique don't you think?

The Mermaid
Shakespeare's Peddler
Dyeing To Stitch Retreat - Class Project

I'm going to be away for a couple of days; going to enjoy a stitching weekend with some old and new friends.

Thanks for stopping by!

I Think I Can....

Will have another finish to dance about soon. The Mermaid by Shakespeare's Peddler is almost done, but you'll have to wait another day or so for a photo.

Last night I went to Needlework Guild; our group that meets on the second Tuesday of the month decided to do a WIP challenge this year. We each brought three projects that we wanted to try to finish this year and then the group voted to decide which project we should each focus on and finish during the year. As part of the challenge, we each pay $5 to a kitty. At the April, July, and October meetings, if we have made significant progress on our piece we will get a $1 back. Those who finish their piece by the November meeting will get their name put in a hat and the name drawn will get whatever money is then left in the kitty.

I took three projects with; this is the one that the group selected for me:

It's I Sigh Not For Beauty by C Street Samplerworks. You will remember that this was one of my designated crazy challenge pieces for 2011. Unfortunately, it did not get very much attention in 2011. This is all the further I got:

So, in the words of "The Little Engine That Could"....I think I can, I think I can...

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler - Finished!

I'm happy to report that I have a finish to share...Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler! This was one of my crazy challenge pieces from last year; I probably had about a third of it stitched and decided that I really wanted to finish it.

Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler
Shakespeare's Peddler
32 ct LL Navy Bean
Sampler Threads

What's next? I think I need to work on one of the many WIPs languishing in the WIP basket. These next three pictures are not the greatest, but will give you some idea as to which designs I'm pondering about tackling next.

The Mermaid Sampler from Shakespeare's Peddler (Dyeing to Stitch retreat piece):

I Sigh Not for Beauty from C Street Samplerworks:

Loose Feathers Autumn from Blackbird Designs...I should probably get this finished since the final part, Winter, just came out...right?

You'll have to stop back tomorrow to see which I piece I decided to work on next!

Until then = Happy Stitching!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Off to a Stitchy Start

Happy New Year friends! I hope that 2012 is treating you well; I know that I can't complain!

Before I show you my 2012 stitching progress, I want to take a moment to thank everyone that said a prayer and/or sent good wishes for my mom. Her surgery earlier in December went well and she's doing great. It will be a few more weeks before she regains full movement in her right shoulder, but every week she's doing a little bit better. We need to get her tatting again! :) Now, on to the stitching...

Late last week I picked up the final LHN ornament pattern for 2011 -- Good Tidings. I was itching to stitch it and so I started it on New Year's Eve and finished it on New Year's Day. I will do the ornament finishing later on, but the stitching is done. I like smaller ornaments so this is stitched on 40ct.

LHN Good Tidings
40ct LL Fawn
DMC and Crescent Colours

I usually will start a larger project on New Year's Day, but I had a little project that I wanted to get stitched; this is going to be a gift for some friends and I need to get it framed.

BOAF Pray for Peace
36ct PTP Legacy
WDW Fibers

What's my stitching plan for 2012? Remember this?

It's that basket of smalls which I am bound and determined to conquer in 2012! At last count, there were about 35 - 40 projects in this basket. Scissor fobs, small pincushions, etc. - all small projects that I should be able to complete in a couple of days. Let's hope this basket is close to empty by the end of the year.

Aside from all of those smalls, I'm planning to stitch on whatever tickles my fancy! At the moment, I'm set on trying to finish up Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler. I don't have too much left of it; if I can spend some quality time on it this week, she should be close to finished!

After Jenny, well, I'm not sure, but it's safe to say that I have a number of different projects to choose from. LOL! I've enjoyed reading all of your blogs and seeing the various projects you all will be working on...

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you find some time for stitching this week!