Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Flat and Double

I built the double casket yesterday.

 I only wasted about 15 sheets of paper trying to get it printed out in the correct size.  Then the fun started.  I  put on designs trying out what might look good.  I wanted to see if I could design a delft casket.  So I printed out some designs, mostly ones I've already stitched in some form to see how they would look.  A delft casket is a distinct possibility.

  It is interesting to see the two caskets together and see how they compare.

 The double casket is taller and will be more intricate on the inside.  I still think I would like one of each please.  But we shall see.  I am very excited to see what tomorrow's lessons contain.

I didn't get much done otherwise.  I worked on Beautiful since the time is ticking down for that project.  I leave next Tuesday!!!

I don't like one of the vine designs and want to add something.  Maybe leaves.  This project seems like it was slapped together with out of copyright alphabets and vines.

My goal today is to finish at least one and hopefully two rows of Beautiful.
Have a great day!

Monday, July 30, 2012

On the Home Stretch

I bought some more foamboard to build the double (as opposed to flat) casket.  I am going to download the revised templates.  I forget how we (DH mainly) figured out how to print them last time.  I should have written it down.  It should be easier to do since I've been down this road before.

I worked on Beautiful.  My goal was to get up to the last row of stitching.  I got there but I still have three half finished rows.  I have a week to get it done.  No problem.

I worked on Mute But Not Silent.  I am on the next to the last chart page.  I'm getting to the end.  The big job when I get all the stitching done is to hem stitch around the whole thing.  You can see that I only have the top left hand corner to do.

I will be glad to get these two project done as they aren't my favorite designs.  I'll be proud to have finished them though.
So now I'm off to cut up foamboard.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I'm an Architect

I got busy yesterday and made a model of the flat casket with foamboard.  It wasn't too hard to do as I have a wonderful tool - a foamboard cutter.

 It will cut straight down or at an angle.  So I taped it all together and with only a few minor adjustments I have a foamboard casket.

 I tried taping on the template edge but that looked very messy so I took it off.

I have been trying various parts of Sandy Orton samplers to see what looks good together.  Most of the charts are black and white so it is a little hard to tell what it would look like.

One thing I learned from this exercise is that there is a lot of stitching area.  Also, it is hard to get everything in appropriate size.  A cow that is smaller than an iris?  How will that look?

I imagined that the casket was larger than it is.  I thought it would be squatter than it is.  I guess a better way to say that is that it is taller than I imagined.

Here is Briar Rose all ironed and nice and neat.  I am happy with how it turned out.  I won't miss all that over one stitching, that's for sure.

I am working on the last few rows of Beautiful.  It is going well.  It feels absolutely huge compared to working on Briar Rose.  I think I can get this done with in a few more days.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Challenge

I finished the filling in of roses on Briar Rose.  All I have left to do it put in a few yellow centers and it is done!!!  Yeah!!  This was a hard stitch.  Too repetitive of a design.  Hard to see thread.  Charts that could have been better.  But I'm nearly done.  Whew.

I got the Sue Spargo kit yesterday.  This is what a forty dollar kit looks like.

It is butt ugly.  Now this is the challenge:  how to make an ugly kit into something I like and that I think is beautiful or at least cute.  I respond to color and music.  So the first job, since music is not involved, is to see what colors I can live with.  I went to the nice fabric store after Pilates and chose four new colors of wool felt.

I have some leftover wool scraps from the flowered mat I made last year.  I haven't gone digging for those yet.  Then there is the pattern of a bird.

 I don't like the shape of the bird at all.  Not the head, not the tummy, not the tail, not the feet.  So I am going to reshape him (or her) a bit.  I don't like the plaid material at all.  Maybe I can replace that with some from my stash.
 There are no directions - at all.  Do we sew something together before class?  If so, what size seam allowance to we use?   I am assuming that the class time will be spent adding embellishments in the form of thread, beads and stitches.  Do I just wait and hope that I will like it after the embellishments are added?  Not a chance.  I guess you could say that I am going to "Amyize" it.  There are no flowers on it.  I'll have to put some on.  That will "Amyize" it for sure.

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's an Alien

The motif I stitched on Mute But Not Silent looks like an alien.  It's not.  It's just a flip top table.  This was a common piece of furniture at the time.    The motifs are getting smaller so it will feel like I am getting more done.  Theoretically.

I am down to 9 more flowers to do on Briar Rose.  I am so impressed with Cathy B.  She just started and has so much done already.  Wow.  If I concentrated on this I could finish it today.  I'll see if I can stick with it or if I get bored and have to go on to something else.

I printed out more copies of the sampler to try different arrangements.  Everything could change though.  I think in the next lesson (Wednesday!) we get a couple of designs by Tricia Wilson Nguyen for the caskets.  So I'll wait and see what they look like.  I am also salivating at the thought of the arrival of our first kit of stuff.

I didn't get anything more done yesterday on Beautiful.  I should put in at least a few stitches today.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Soccer and Stitching

I've been watching soccer and stitching this morning.  I have almost 12 of the 24 roses filled in on Briar Rose.  I feel like I can get this done by the retreat.

I'm feeling pretty good about Beautiful too.  I finished a vine.

  I'm trying to figure out what the next row's motif is.  It is probably flowers but I can see a boat on water in it.  Then there is a lower case alphabet beside it.  I think I can finish this before the retreat too.
Here is the top row of Mute But Not Silent.
I'm hoping to get the Sue Spargo kit today.
I'm making chicken noodle soup tonight.  That's because I was watching a cooking show and saw how they made it. Every time I see a cooking show, I want to make it too.   I'm getting wild and crazy too, I'm going to put a leek in it.  But my secret ingredient is just a splash of  sherry.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stained Glass Roses

There are many over-dyed flosses that I just love the colors in them.  However, stitched  up they don't look that great.  So it was with trepidation that I took Gloriana's Cottage Woods silk floss and stitched up the inside of a rose on Briar Rose.  I knew I wouldn't want to take it out if it looked funky.  Over one stitching is such a bear to take out.  I think I like how it turned out.  It looks sort of like stained glass.  It's like each petal is a different color.  Now I have to figure out how to balance out the colors.  Maybe one stained glass rose on each side.

Here is a finished strawberry.  The cording turned out nice and tight.

I am working on the bottom section of Beautiful.  I am trying to use the same colors I used in the top section so that it goes together.  I took a photo of it next to a yardstick so you can see how long it is.  The fabric is 33 1/2 inches long.

Things to be thankful for:
I am not at the DMV renewing my driver's license.  (DH is)
I don't have to cook tonight (Noodles & Company instead)
Exercise class is over for today (I'm recovering from being red-faced and sweaty)
I made it to the top of Mute But Not Silent.  It will be possible to finish it in this century.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

No More Buttonholes

I've been to the bakery today.  It was so fun.  Banana cake, cinnamon rolls, cookies.  I have so many yummy creations that I don't know what to eat first.  A cinnamon roll with my lunchtime yogurt sounds good.
A friend told me to try the brownie with cookie dough icing on it.

I finished the buttonholes on Beautiful.  Yeah! I must be terrible at counting since I have had three different totals for the number of buttonholes on the middle section.  Latest count is 54.  Now I can work on the lower third.  What is interesting is that the lower third is upside down, it faces the center section.  I ordered some threads from Stitching Bits and Bobs a few days ago and I wish I had them already.  They would be great for stitching this bottom section.  Since SBB always takes a month to get here, I will have to work with the threads I have. 14 days until I leave for retreat.
The buttonholes are hard to see.  This project is really hard to photograph.

I have spent some time fiddling with Printmaster and the Sandy Orton samplers I found in old magazines.  I am trying to print them out 16 stitches to the inch so I can see how they look on various parts of the casket.  If I cut out the design area of the casket templates, I can slide the sized samplers behind the cut out to see how it looks and how it fits.  There are several parts of several samplers that I think I can combine.  I have much more fiddling to do.  I'm getting anxious to try a section and see how everything works out.  I like the Sandy Orton samplers as they are challenging enough and pretty enough.

I am putting a blanket stitch around the edge of the top for one of the strawberries I stitched.  I really want to finish it off today.

We woke up to thunder early this morning.  The rain is very welcome in this part of the country.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Proud New Owner

I am the proud new owner of a crown.  A tooth crown.  I couldn't believe all the technology that got me through this process this morning.  I worked hard and fast to get the bathrooms clean before going to me appointment.  It must have been a while since my last one.  I was expecting a temporary filling until the crown was made and expected to have to go back in a couple weeks to have the crown cemented in.  Nope.  I got the whole thing today.  Not only that but I watched Hoda and Kathie Lee and then The Price is Right with earphones on (so I didn't have to listen to the drilling etc.).  It was a breeze.  The worst part was writing the check when I was done.

I finished the "E" in Claire and ironed the letters.  In each letter is a small square of skirtex.  I am trying to decide whether to back each one with silk dipioni or glue a piece of scalloped felt to the back.  The felt way would be way easier.  I will lace the linen to the skirtex first.

I finished all the roses on Briar Rose!  Yeah!  Cathy B.  (http://www.needleandthread.blogspot.com) is working on hers too.  She is probably doing it the right way.  I have to go back and fill in all the roses with various pinks.  The countdown is on - 15 days until I leave for retreat.

I did some more buttonholes on Beautiful.  It really isn't worth a photo.  I hope to finish up the buttonholes today and start on the bottom section which has more vines and alphabets.

I got a call that the kits for the Sue Spargo class I signed up for are in.  I asked them to send me mine.  I'll show you what it looks like when I get it.

I am almost done with the large "E" on Mute But Not Silent.  I'd like to start the top row on the chart.

Stay cool.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I've Been Thinking...

When I tell DH that I've been thinking, usually he says Uh-oh.  He wonders what crazy scheme I have a mind to do.

I get so many ideas from seeing what other stitchers are stitching.  I don't even remember where I saw it, but somebody is working on a sampler called American Sampler that was in a Treasures magazine many years ago (Spring 1993).

 She was working on one of the people and I thought, I like how that person looks.  Usually, I hate the old timey embroidery of ugly misshapen people. I knew that I had that magazine.  An idea occurred to me, what if I did a mash up of Sandy Orton designs for my casket?  But first I had to find that particular Treasures issue.  I began digging.  I can't manage to throw away my old cross stitch magazines.  After making a big mess, I found all my issues of Treasures.  There are several samplers designed by Sandy (like I know her personally - not) that could be cut up to fit the areas on the casket.

Of course, along the way, I had to look at stuff and found several things that I know I want to stitch (as in that sweet little chick would be great in Claire's Easter basket!).  So I scanned one of the samplers and want to print it out to see how part of it looks on the back of my casket.

  Hey Sandy, if you're listening - design something to fit our caskets!  I have several more of her designs to scan, print, cut up and see how they look.  I am going on the assumption that I want to cross stitch on 32 count linen over 2.

So far I have 30 buttonholes stitched on Beautiful.  Yeah!  Almost half done.  I get on a roll and want to finish the whole length of floss that I am using.  One length makes about nine buttonholes.

I finished the R in Claire.  It is my favorite one.

I have a start on the last three roses on Briar Rose.  Yeah!

I tried making some cording with my sewing bird.  I am still figuring out what the best way is.  But I am happy with what I made.  I tried 3 strands of #12 black pearl cotton.  It was too small.  I tried 6 strands and that was more the size I was looking for.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Saturday's are very busy!  It is the day I sit down and pay bills.  Then it is off to the Farmer's Market.  I hurry back to get to Pilates.  Then home finally to play.

I finished the "A" as in Angel and "I" as in Ice Skates for Claire's Christmas Banner.  Now I am starting "R" as in Reindeer.

I am sick of roses!  Repetitive patterns are not very interesting.  I have memorized the rose pattern and am slowing plugging along.  There are slightly more than 4 roses left.  I guess if I worked on them all day I could be done.  But (whine) they are boring.  So my goal today is to start two new ones.

The countdown has started on Beautiful.  I think I miscounted the buttonholes.  In total there are 62.  I have 16 done.  So there are 46 to go.  ARGH.  I'm glad to have all the basting done and most of the pin stitches on the edge.  The goal today is 10 more buttonholes.

I felt lazy so I used my sewing machine to stitch the lining to the second bookmark.  I have just a bit of hand sewing on the bottom to finish and then I'll be ready to do the woven edge using my third hand.

I downloaded the second season of Downtown Abbey.  Maybe I'll watch the first episode this afternoon.