Friday, March 27, 2009

My First Needlebook

For better or worse, here's my maiden journey into the world of making needlebooks. I used this tutorial, and got a lot of help from Jean (thank you, Jean!) when I was having trouble figuring out how to attach the felt. She also gave me some nice ideas about attaching edging to it - I didn't have anything to use on hand so that step is still ahead of me. I wonder if I could navigate the mysteries of making twisted cord. Gotta hide those lumpy edges! Meanwhile, it's certainly nice to have a place to keep my needles. This was really fun to put together and I'll definitely try it again.

Mystery Sampler (Scotland)
The Gift of Stitching July 2008
Cashel linen, DMC floss

Friday, March 20, 2009

New Start and Book Find

Thanks for all the feedback about my needlebook fabric. By a landslide it's the darker material. Now all I have to do is make it. We've been in Florida visiting my mother-in-law so I haven't had a chance to tackle it. Maybe this weekend I'll get up the nerve.

I'm almost done with Moon and Stars, but I started LHN's Always and Forever while I was away. Stitching with silk is so nice - it just glides through the linen. I was relieved to find that this floss (Mer Blue) doesn't stain the fabric when I've had to frog. At first I thought the chart had a mistake in the border - I counted the left and right top stitches and it looked like there were 11 stitches on one side and only 10 on the other. I wrote to Diane Williams who told me there were 10 on each side, and I realized I'd been counting using the grids, not the actual x's. The grid on the right side only had 9 columns, not 10 like is usual. That'll teach me to make assumptions! At first I wasn't sure the floss was variegated enough but I'm happy with the way it's turning out. Here's what I've gotten done so far:
I am now the delighted owner of a book I'd been coveting. I don't usually find designs I want to stitch in books, but I found America's Best Cross Stitch at the library, and it has some lovely pieces. While I was in Florida I visited an amazing used book store called Haslam's, and lo and behold they had the book! They had two copies, and quite a few other cross stitch books. If you are ever in St. Petersburg Haslams's is well worth checking out.
I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. I'm looking forward to catching up on all the blog posts I've missed.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Trip to Joann's

Being at loose ends the other day, I decided to take a step closer to putting together the needlebook I have been promising myself I would try to make. So I took myself off to Joann Fabrics to see what I could find that would get me nearer to this goal. I found two different fabrics to use for the inside of the needlebook, and I'm in a quandary about which to use.

On first glance the darker fabric looks far more interesting than the light one (the purple color is the felt that would hold the needles). But the lighter fabric picks up one of the greens in the peacock and flower, and I am wondering if the white felt I'd use with it would show the needles better. Then again, maybe it's too boring. What do you think?

Here's the rest of my haul from Joann's: the linen is so I can try Vonna's baste and bake method for coloring fabric. I bought some fray check so I could put cording around an ornament and try to hide where the cord begins and ends. Now of course I have to make the ornament! You all are so enabling. Everything I see I want to be able to do. I hope that as I slowly pick up the tricks of the trade I'll increase my output of finished pieces. Thanks for all the inspiration!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Special Friends Award

Rachel over at Willing Hands kindly bestowed the Special Friends Award upon me - that was so nice of you, Rachel. I am so glad to be considered your friend. The description for this award reads "These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these kind writers. When you pass the award along please include these guidelines. I am to choose eight friends to share this with."

I appreciate every comment and piece of advice I receive whenever I post, so it's hard to single anyone out. These are some of the bloggers who have been especially patient and affirming to me: iStitchaholic, Just Another Stitching Blog, Kathy's Sit and Stitch, Linen Stitcher, Purple Wildcat, Snippets and Stash, Stitchful Thinking, and Stitchyangel's Treasures. Thank you all for being so friendly and helpful to me.