Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Return to Celebration of Needlework

This past weekend was my second time at Celebration of Needlework in Nashua, New Hampshire. This time I took two classes, both with Elizabeth Talledo of Dames of the Needle, who was a wonderful instructor. The first project was called Dauphin House Sewing Box (the picture of the finished project is from the Celebration website):

We coffee-dyed the linen and worked on the roof - it was nice to get a refresher course is blanket stitching.

The second class showed us how to make this lovely Zen Rabbit Sewing Purse (project photo again from the Celebration website):

We worked on putting together the orange suede scissor case (the kit included darling rabbit scissors!) and Elizabeth showed us how to make twisted cording on her awesome cording maker (I ordered one - I've always been afraid to try to do this, and her system makes it very easy).

I spent far too much money in the vendor area, but came away with some wonderful stash: several pieces of beautiful linen from a company called DoveStitch, two kits for over-one stitching (one is on silk gauze, which I've never tried), a chart called Antique Evergreen Sampler by Elizabeth's Designs which I fell in love with, and all the supplies for Lizzie Kate's Mystery Sampler, which I always regretted not buying when it came out. Sorry for the glare on the photos!

I also came home with a lot of free charts which were left in the lobby for stitchers to take. So I have enough projects to keep busy until Celebration 2014 and then some!

Meanwhile, though I haven't posted since the February blizzard (I was surprised to see how long it had been), I've been stitching away and have a couple of finishes to show for it.

Saltbox Village
Little House Needleworks

Dream Big
Country Cottage Needleworks

Dream Big is a birthday present for a friend of my son's, who has a pet rabbit, and once asked me if I would stitch him a bunny. I need to figure out how to finish it before I give it to him.

I'm almost finished with LHN's The Needleworker, which has been very enjoyable to work on. Once I finish the border I'll post a picture. And now, back to that blanket stitch...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blizzard Finishes

The aforementioned blizzard dropped about two feet of snow, necessitating a driving ban for nearly two days. Then our snowblower broker, so my weekend was spent indoors, and I had no excuse not to finish a few things. Here are the results of my enforced vacation:

I should have cut the linen for the cat a bit smaller and had the right side of the pillow be visually shorter than the left, but by the time I realized this I had already sewn the two sides together. Thanks to Carol for telling me how to attach the trim (use glue and a toothpick!) 

I took these pictures horizontally, but you know Blogger and its mind of its own! I started to rusch the ribbon  below for it using Vonna's tutorial (it's metallic and lacy and I love its look), but holding it up to the pillow it just didn't look good. Now if I could have done a ribbon like this lovely one of Vonna's, that would have been a different story. But rusty orange ribbon is awfully hard to come by.

I also followed Vonna's advice (thank you Vonna!) to iron interfacing to the back of my linen, and the pillows are definitely less lumpy than they would have been if I'd done them without it. So all in all I am a happy camper. Now all I need is another blizzard to get the rest of the finishing done!

I was reading some messages from a cross stitch list I am subscribed to, and there were several reports of craft stores no longer carrying DMC and using Sullivan's instead. There was even a mention of Michael's stocking another type of floss instead of DMC. Has anyone been finding this? While I prefer to stitch with overdyes when I can, I can't imagine having to order DMC floss online instead of running out to Michael's or A.C. Moore to pick up what I need!

My Just CrossStitch magazine came in the mail the other day. They have a new editor and I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were a number of designs I actually wanted to stitch! Usually I am lucky to find just one (not that I've done many of them other than ornaments - Summer Song was my first major piece) but maybe I'll find more that I like in JCS now. For anyone interested they had profiles of and charts from the designers of both Prairier Schooler and By the Bay Needleart.

It's school vacation week so my son is still sleeping - it's so nice not to have to rush around and get ready for school. I think I'll use the quiet time to get a little more stitching done...

Oy - I just looked at this in draft and accidentally closed the editor rather than the preview tab. Thank goodness for autosave!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Settling in for a blizzard (with stitching)

Here in the Northeast, we're being bombarded by dire predictions of a major Nor'Easter. We could be getting 16-24 inches of snow in my area, along with howling winds. School is already canceled for tomorrow. I've done the obligatory grocery store run, and only hope that we don't lose power so all the food I bought isn't for naught. What I really wanted to do was run out to my LNS and stock up on charts and floss, but I couldn't make the timing work. Not that I don't have plenty of stash, so I think I can make it through a few days of being housebound.

Since I blogged last (where does the time go?), I've been fairly prolific, at least for me, a slow stitcher at best. Nothing fancy, but I've enjoyed the pieces I've worked on a lot. So here's the rundown...

First up is the second in the series of Less/More by Lizzie Kate. I only liked two out of the four designs, so this will be the last one. At the very end, I lost my skein of WKS Purple Haze to finish the last motif in the design at the bottom. But Plum came to the rescue! The shade is so close, I can't even tell where I used it anymore. Can you?

Talk Less, Say More
Lizzie Kate
Mocha Cashel

Next I stitched this lovely little design by Helga Mandl from The Gift of Stitching Magazine (I can look up the issue if anyone is interested). I used Hand Dyed Fibers Bewitched, and love the variations in the color it gave the piece. I have the perfect fabric to make it into a little pillow.

Autumn Pinkeep 
Helga Mandl (TGOSM)
Peach Cashel
HDF Bewitched

After that I found a very old freebie I'd printed out years ago by a French blogger named Dominique. I've meant to stitch it for years and finally got around to it. I changed the color scheme a bit and used GAST Rose Garden, WKS Blue Spruce and CC Bean Sprout and Whatley Woodlands, along with a pink floss from the Lizzie Kate design for the flower, but I can't recall its name. I believe the translation is something like "nothing comes of running" but of course we know it as "slow and steady wins the race."

Rien ne sert de courir
Dominique A.
Cashel scrap

While looking through my freebie files I found one with a message I really want my son to take to heart, so I stitched it for him. As the Cowardly Lion would say, "ain't it the truth?"

Doing Right Quaker Sampler
Nancy Woodson - Liberty Primitives
Lambswool Cashel
DMC 3768

After this one I wanted something really quick, so I stitched up this cute little chart from The Sampler Girl from Kitty Kringle's Pattern Book for Christmas (Tanya might have offered this as a freebie on her blog at one point).It's done on a small piece of linen that I won from a giveaway by Carol of Stitching Dreams - I'm still thrilled that I won it more than a year later. I use the little red scissors she included all the time. The threads were WDW Schneckly (what the heck is a schneckly?) and Collards, GAST Old Red Paint, and CC Queen Bee.

Little Fir Tree Ornament
The Sampler Girl
Unknown linen

Finally, here's another ornament pattern I just finished - I couldn't help but think of Michele W., reindeer lover extraordinaire! Threads were WKS Havana, GAST Grecian Gold, and CC Spinach and Bandana.

Star Reindeer
Sharon Bennett (Daffycat)
Linen scrap

So what do all these stitched pieces have in common? Yes, you're right - none of them are finish finished. But since I'm going to be snowed in, I will have no excuse but to do that. So stay tuned...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Better late than never?

Long time no write! It's been ages since I've posted, so I do have some work to show for all my time away. I actually have some of it finished! First up is House Blessing by Barbara Bangser, which I got from Keepsake Needlearts. This is the third design of hers that I've done (the Thomas Jefferson quote and Storytime are the others); unfortunately there are no more that I am enamoured of so this will be it for awhile.

I made a few changes to the design - there was nothing in the lower right corner next to the Amen, so I took a motif from the top and added it there. There was a cross in the middle of the P in Peace, which I changed to kind of a star shape. And for some reason every H was charted differently, so I made them all the same. This piece reminds me of an illuminated manuscript and I loved stitching it. I'm going to hang it in my entryway, and hope that its sentiment holds true.

This is French Country Owl by JBW Designs, stitched on 36 count linen with WDW Sweet Potato.  Isn't he adorable? I had an old hoop that fit it perfectly.This was my first real foray into over one stitching (Carol, you amaze me with how easy you make it look!)

This is Promise of Spring by Silver Creek Samplers. This one took forever to complete - I kept putting it down to do other things, even though I really liked it. The lettering was supposed to be black but I changed it to WDW Havana, as I wanted a softer look. The linen is from Picture This Plus. If anyone wants to stitch this, be aware that the color given in the chart (Sterling) will not look like the picture of the design. The color needed is actually Tarnish (I found this out when I had to send Sterling back to PTP). The linen is somewhat grayer than my picture shows. I love its mottled look.

Finally, as of tomorrow I will be the mother of a teenager! My son turns 13 as of 4:13 am on Saturday. Gulp - I'm not sure I'm ready for this! His favorite subjects are Math and Science, so this was a natural (I hope he heeds the advice!) 

Even though I haven't been around much I am out there enjoying all the beautiful work displayed on your blogs. I wish you many blessings, whatever you celebrate, and a wonderful New Year!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Remember Me?

I could title this post the same as my last one - long time no post! The summer was busy with travel and keeping DS amused and not always on the computer, so I haven't gotten that much stitching done. But I did manage to finish a few pieces.

Moose Box
Lynda D. Baldauf (Scandinavian Stitches)
Scrap of taupe linen

I made this box for a friend who is a moose afficionado. It's the first time I've made a covered box, and I can't say it's perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I cut the cardboard insert a bit too small, so you can see the inside edges of the box. Still, for a first effort, it will have to do.

My other finish is from the kit that I got from Keepsake Needlearts. The only thing I used was the chart; I switched out the Aida for linen and changed the floss from DMC 310 to CC Black Coffee. At first I wasn't sure whether that was the right decision and thought maybe I should have kept the stitching black, but I really like the finished product. As I've said before, I generally don't buy kits from catalogs, but I really like the Barbara Bangser's designs. Here is the latest one I bought, called House Blessing:

By the way, Keepsake Needlearts has a $5 off code in each issue of Just CrossStitch, in case you are interested in checking them out.

I'm still plugging away at the Silver Creek Samplers design I've been working on - all that's left is a lot of snow. Hopefully I won't let 2 1/2 months go by again before I finish it and have something to show.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Long Time No Post!

Time has gotten away from me. Between DS's school ending and going on vacation to Florida (where Tropical Storm Debby definitely rained on our parade), I haven't been doing too much stitching and certainly no posting. I have a few small things to rectify this a bit. Here is a pinkeep I made for a friend who I will see when I visit her in Minnesota next week. This is Imagine by Bent Creek. I think it's Taupe Belfast, but it was a scrap so I'm not sure. Threads were DMC.

I can't say too much for the finishing - my ribbon and pins are a little wonky, but I hope she'll like it anyway!

Then I framed Wisdom and Compassion by Brightneedle for my therapist friend. The gold of the frame is a little lighter than it shows in the picture. Sorry I couldn't get rid of all the glare on the picture. The glass plate really enhanced the richness of the overdyed threads - they look more vivid than it did when I was stitching it.

It took me nearly 15 minutes to get the pictures to display the correct way - Blogger kept turning them sideways. It's so annoying when that happens!

I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the offerings in The Stitchery and Keepsake Needlearts catalogs lately. Usually I don't find designs I like, but recently I've bought these:

I had some birthday money so I splurged on the candle screen as well as the kit. Storytime is by the same designer as the Thomas Jefferson quote I stitched and framed a little while back .I'll do it in linen instead of the Aida contained in the kit. I enjoy getting the catalogs even though I don't often buy things, so it was nice to be able to place orders. 

I hope everyone is having a lovely summer. Be well!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Stitching Update

It's been awhile since I've posted but I haven't been totally idle. At Celebration of Needlework a vendor had a whole bin of old Brightneedle charts, and I picked up this one. I've stitched it for a therapist friend of mine; I thought the sentiment was perfect.

Let Wisdom Flower
Belfast Country Cream / WDW

I also stitched my first Lizzie Kate design, and enjoyed it so much I bought another one (Talk Less, Say More). Unfortunately I don't like the other two designs in the series - I don't particularly want to stitch the words Whine and Hate. So I'll just do two out of the four.

Fear Less, Hope More
Lizzie Kate
Cashel Mocha

Finally, I framed the Thomas Jefferson quote that I made for another friend. It always feels so good to finish a finish!

Jefferson's Book Quote
Barbara Bangser
18 count Charles Craft Aida

Now I'm working on a fairly new Silver Creek Samplers design. DS and I are going to Lake George for the holiday weekend and I'm looking forward to stitching by the water. Have a great weekend!