Friday, August 31, 2012

I've Got a Thing for Strawberries

Santa Baby is finished.  I think she turned out great.  Somewhere I have a round metal finishing form to mount it on.  I have been thinking whether to stitch "To Claire from Gran 2012" on the back or to just write it in permanent marker.  Also, I'll have to see if it needs some twisted cording around it.

I started something new.  When I was looking at blogs yesterday, I ran across the one with the Strawberry Summer in Olde Colonial's mini clock.  She had finished it and it looked great.  So I decided to kit it up.  I only had three of the six Weeks Dye Works it calls for.  So I ran to the LNS and luckily they had the other three colors that I needed.  So I started it.  I really like how it is turning out.  It is cuter in person than in the magazine photo.  I saw this on Willow Tree Stitcher's blog.  I am almost half done!  Maybe I'll get it done before the clock I ordered gets here.  I don't know why I like strawberries so much, but I do.

I got another magazine in the mail that I bought on the Bay of Evil.

 It has a sweets bag on the front by Sharon Cohen.
 Today I should get my Hand Dyed Fibers order in the mail.
It is supposed to be hot today.  I'll just stay in and finish my strawberry clock.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's a New Day

Things always look better in the morning.  Thanks for the great comments.  My BFF had many suggestions on what to do with the Mary Engelbreit ornament for Claire that was too close to the edge.  I hadn't thought of putting interfacing on the back.  Good idea.  It is too much work too just throw away.  But in the mean time, I started another ornament.  I'm calling it Santa Baby as it looks like a baby in a Santa outfit.  I made sure to follow the directions on this.  It said to cut a piece of fabric 3 inches square.  I cut it four inches just to be sure I had enough room.  It is a quick stitch as I only started it last night after dinner.  I think I will also stitch the smaller version of the first ornament.  It shouldn't take too long.

I made a small bit of progress on the Cherished Stitches Limited Edition kit.  It is kind of a boring design so after a while I start yawning and feeling sleepy.  I guess that is the signal to go on to something else.

I threaded the ecru silk ribbon I got the other day through the ribbonless end of Beautiful.  I really like how it looks.  It doesn't need to be overdyed silk.  I bought two yards.  I might have just enough to replace the ribbon in the other end.  Then the two end ribbons would match and Beautiful will be done.

We went to Barnes & Noble yesterday and I got a book.  It is "The Light Between Oceans".  DH said I should read at least the first chapter this week.  I did that this morning.  I think I will enjoy this.

I'm hoping the mailman brings me something fun today.  We'll see if he comes through.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Paying Stupid Tax

Every once in a while I do something really dumb.  I knew better and I just did it anyway.  That's what happened with the Mary Engelbreit ornament for Claire.  I cut off a hunk of material that I thought would be big enough.  I didn't measure or calculate or anything.  "This will probably be enough", I thought to myself.  Well, It wasn't.  Now I am paying stupid tax.  I spent all yesterday working on this and it was turning out well.

But the end of the wing is five threads from the edge.

I will console myself with the  fact that this is bigger than I thought it would be, bigger than what I wanted for an ornament  I have three versions of the chart for this ornament.  One from a kit and two from a book.  So I can stitch it again (ARGH) from a smaller chart if I want.  I can truncate the end of the wings just a bit or I can pitch it.  I hate to see my time and effort wasted. Not sure what I'll do.  Maybe I'll choose a different ornament to make.

I tried coloring the top design of the double casket.

I don't really like this design as it looks like it has been resized badly.  That flower looks squatty - wider that it is tall.  I think I'll change this design.  My original idea was a flowered oval with my initial "A" in the middle.  It really does help to color the design to get more of an idea of what it will look like.  I think that will be our homework for Lesson 5 - coloring our designs.  I have found out that Lesson 5 may be delayed due to computer problems.  I'm glad to know that as I will be less disappointed on Saturday if it is not posted.

Oh, well back to the drawing board.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Will it turn Out?

I am working on the Mary Englebreit ornament for Claire.  I'm working on 35 count white linen with DMC threads.  I wasn't sure it was going to turn out small enough.  I wasn't sure the colors would work together.  After some more stitching, I think it is coming together and will be fine.  I thought maybe the black backstitchig all around the edge would be too much for the soft colors.  But it is the Mary Englebreit style.  I might have cut the linen a little small.  I have to put in the wing and see if I get perilously close to the edge.  This is a pretty quick stitch.  I would like it to be smaller but it is what it is.

Yesterday I got a Sampler and Antique Magazine that I bought on the Bay of Evil.  I saw a darling little strawberry sampler on somebody's blog and wondered where it came from.  Well, it is one of four seasonal samplers that fit the mini clock by Olde Colonial.  So of course, I had to order the clock too.  I ordered it from The Silver Needle along with some Simply Wool threads to do the Erica Michael's Needle Nut piece that I won at the retreat.

I didn't get all my finishing done yesterday.  I wasn't sure about the Strawberry Hill finishing.  I sewed it together, putting in two small pockets, hoping that it would look okay folded in half.  But the way I have it, everything will fall out of the pockets.  I'm just not sure whether to take it apart and try a different configuration or just leave it.  I've got to think about it some more.
It is a lovely day.  I left on time for exercise class and every light was green for me.  I should buy a lottery ticket.

Monday, August 27, 2012


I'm a little slow getting things done today.  DH slept in and I didn't get started with the bathrooms until later.  And I goofed off a little so it took longer.
I have started some finishing. I ironed the Pink Lemonade needlebook, cut the Warm & Natural batting, pressed the lining fabric and it is ready to be stitched (by hand) together.  There is a small ribbon to be sewn on the far side of the front and a 2 inch ribbon pocket on the inside.

I also I ironed the Strawberry Hill project and am ready to do some machine sewing on it.  It would be nice to get those two things totally done today.

I started the Claire Christmas ornament.  I didn't get too much done.  I'm starting at the bottom and what you can see so far is her foot which will be outlined in black.  This is a terrible photo.  I'll have a better photo tomorrow.

I got just a tad done on the Cherished Stitches Limited Edition kit.  I really like the fabric and threads that I substituted.

I was tickled pink to see Claire wearing a dress that I made.  She is almost 9 months old now and the pattern was a three months old size.  Patterns for babies are so far off size.  She is so adorable.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pin Ball Ring

I bought this kit on the Bay of Evil.

It was cute.  At first I thought it was needlepoint but when I read the description I found it was cross stitch.  I didn't read it that carefully as I thought the ring came with it.  But come to find out, the ring is readily available from a shop in Colonial Williamsburg.  So I looked the shop on the internet that sells the pin ball ring and was shocked to find it is rather pricey.  You can buy the ring without the chain for 125 dollars (!) or with the chain for 250 dollars(!).  Are you kidding me?  It looks like the ring of a canning jar and it doesn't have to be silver for heaven's sakes.  Well, nevermind.  The kit contains aida cloth and being the linen snob that I am, I will most certainly change the fabric out for some nice linen.  My favorite linen of late is Wichelt Sandstone 32 count.  My BFF told me lots of designers use this in their kits.  I bought a stitcher's half and have been using it like crazy.  I substituted it for the linen in the Cherished Stitches Limited Edition kit and am really liking it.  I also changed out the threads too.
I finished the second temari in my cyberclass.

It turned out fine even though I am not a fan of the colors.  Only one to go.  But it is the big one.
I did some doodling on a scan of my bird.

It is hard to get a good idea of how it might look using a black marker so now I have to try out some varigated pearl cotton and see how it looks.  I am limited on colors but I probably have something that will do.
I'm going to kit up the ornament for Claire today.
I finished Pink Lemonade and need to get started on the finishing.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Last Saturday of August

This is the last Saturday in August.  The Scottish Festival is at the fairgrounds today.  It is 88 degrees.  Whew.  Too hot for me but we'll see if DH wants to go.  I'd rather stay home in the air conditioning and stitch.  I'm not an outdoorsy person.

I started the Irish Sampler by Sharon Cohen, Nostalgic Needle.  It is to be worked on 35.  All of a sudden I'm working several different projects on 35 count.  I guess I'll get used to it pretty quick.  This project is bigger than I thought.  Kind of big for a pin cushion or ornament.

I stitched my version of the Sue Spargo bird down. Now I am going to scan it, print it out and doodle on it.  My inspiration is Lee Popp's embroidery seen here:

I finished stitching Strawberry Hill.  The name isn't perfectly centered but that's alright.
I found some fabric in my stash to line it in.  I thinking of adding some pockets and thread rings.

I cut a piece of 32 count sandstone fabric to work the Cherished Stitches Limited Edition kit on.  I think I'll be happier with that.  I am going to use some Valdani silk to start out with.  I'll have to try a few stitches to see how the coverage is with one strand.

My goal is to finish off the Purple Thread project, Pink Lemonade, today.

I picked out the ornament I want to stitch for Claire's first Christmas.  It is an angel holding a heart.
Claire's got my heart that's for sure.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Again

I am amazed at how fast the week goes by.  It just whizzes past when I am not looking!
I am trying to tie up loose ends.  I want to concentrate on things that have been sitting around waiting for a little bit of attention and get them out of the way.  My sewing room is such a mess.  When things keep falling off my table and I can't get to my sewing machine for all the junk piled on it, something has to change!
So I finished off the little strawberry that I started on my way to Spring Fling this year.  I really like how my twisted cording turned out.  I am using a new method and my sewing bird.

I took out the sunflower on my temari that was too big and sloppy.  I put it in again even using the original threads.  Then I started on the "obi" around the equator of the temari.  I am very close to finishing this off.  I've told myself that I can not sign up for another cyberclass until I finish this one.

I have put some time in on the Purple Thread Needle book.  I have to finish this up as it is in the way on the floor of the sewing room.  I should just have a day when I don't stitch anything and just clean up.

I started the back cover of A Case of Indian Ink.

I also started the Cherished Stitches Limited Edition kit.  I'm not sure I like the fabric.  It is a 34 count and the kit says to use two strands.  The photo doesn't show the true color.

I think there is not enough room for two strands.  So, what to do?  I can change to one strand or substitute a different fabric.  I'm kind of leaning toward doing both actually.  The kit fabric is grey and doesn't do much for me.  I enjoy substituting Hand Dyed Fibers for regular threads.  We'll see...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Strawberry Hill

Yesterday at step class it was the instructor's birthday.  She had many balloons all over the floor and cupcakes for all of us.  I couldn't believe that she is 65!  She is my hardest teacher and everyone works hard to keep up with her.  We had fun celebrating her birthday.

I have been working on several projects.  I get distracted so easily.  Something cute comes along and I drop everything to work on it.  I took the Strawberry Hill project to work on at the retreat.  I didn't get much done as I spent most of my time trying to finish up Briar Rose and Beautiful.  I started it on a too small piece of linen.  Then I doodled with it just to see how it would look one over one.  I have wanted to do a mattress pin cushion with the edge having a strawberry vine design.

I started it again on a larger piece of linen.  I meant to just do the pin cushion part but I love the strawberry vine at the top so I added that.  Then I thought of making a hufwife and I've kept going.  I saw that there are six letters of the alphabet on a line and thought of doing my name instead.  So I made a couple of copies of the chart and cut them up to see how it would look.

I didn't really want to stitch the alphabet so I am going with my name.

There is another strawberry vine at the bottom.  This project is on 35 count but it doesn't look that tiny or delicate.  I am feeling more comfortable with smaller counts.
I got some mail today.  The mailman usually comes in the middle of the afternoon but today he came in the morning.  He brought me a package that I had ordered two months ago.

It is a kit for 30 Mary Engelbreit ornaments.  I want to start the tradition of making Claire a little Christmas ornament every year.  Now I have to decide on which one.  Too many cute ones to choose from!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I've Been Framed

I am a dyed in the wool in-hand stitcher.  But I know for the Cabinet of Curiosities projects I will probably need a hoop or a frame.  Sherri Jones told me about a hoop that she has that she can sit on so that both of her hands are free to stitch or whatever.  (She is left-handed, that has nothing to do with the discussion at hand but I find that interesting.)  So I've been looking around at needlework frames.  I saw the frame my BFF had at Spring Fling.  It took a long time to set up but had split rails so that you didn't have to lace the linen on or use staples or anything.  I found an Edmunds frame that I wanted to try and it wasn't that much - especially with the 40% coupon on Hobby Lobby's site.  So I ordered it.  I put it together all by myself.

 I have been trying it out on the A Case of Indian Ink project from Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly magazine.  I am cheap when it comes to wasting linen and I started this project in hand and close to the edge of the linen.  So it wasn't easy getting it in the frame.

This project is done over one on 35 count. (Am I crazy?)  So you can't really do the sewing method, you have to stab and pull.  I tried doing it over two just to see what it looked like but I liked the more delicate over one.
I didn't know if I could get used to using a frame.  This one is pretty good.  I am almost done with one of the outside pieces.
It is slower using a frame but I can handle it.  I still have to get used to tightening the wingnuts so that the fabric is very taut and stays that way.
I think it is a good thing to be open to new ways of doing things instead of staying the same old familiar rut.  But I still like stitching in-hand best.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Measure for Measure

I am on a roll.  I've made three tape measures this last week.  I made up a tape measure kit a few years ago.  It was hard because it was over one and I hadn't done much over one work.

I use this one alot.  Then in an Inspirations issue, they showed a bunch of tape measure covers that were gorgeous.  I meant to try one.  Many were embellished with silk ribbon flowers.  I don't know why but I like tape measure covers.  I got a couple of kits on Vendor night at the retreat as well as the Pansy tape measure cover.
This tape measure matches the Berry Thief needlebook I made.  I'm not sure I like how it is put together.  The end of the tape measure is stuffed into that strawberry on top.  A little awkward.  The strawberries along the edge are appliqued felt pieces with french knots on top.  I haven't done that technique before but it turned out okay.
This tape measure is so easy and I love the blue rose.  It has ribbon around the edge.
This one is my favorite.  So cute.  And it will match A Tisket A Tasket box.  But I just realized that I forgot the little navy blue dot in the middle of the pansy one.  So I am trying it again with Hand Dyed Fibers and changing a stitch here and there.  I want the leaves to be more round instead of three straight stitches.
I had a lot of fun stitching these and they aren't hard to put together either.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Birds of a Feather

I did some sewing on my Sue Spargo kit to get ready for the class in September.  I called the shop as I didn't know how big to make the seam allowance.  I'm not sure they know either but we agreed on a quarter inch seam.   So now it is all sewn together and I hand stitched the bird down.

I was surprised at how easy it was to sew the bird on.  I sewed my version together but haven't appliqued my bird yet.

I'm making them in parallel.  I'm thinking of how I want to embellish them. I want just the right color (or colors) of overdyed pearl cotton.
When you put something down and then come back later, you are seeing it with new eyes.  That's what happened with the second temari.

I went to do the sunflower on the other end and I realized that my first sunflower didn't look like the picture.  Why didn't I notice this before?  I thought, oh my, I can't see the darkest color peeking through on the petals.  So I tried putting the threads much closer together.
I guess this temari is a learning one too.  See how much bigger the first one is compared to the second one?

I am much happier with the second sunflower.  Now the question is, do I take out the first one?  Or am I too lazy?  Or do I call it a learning/different style sunflower?  I'll probably take it out and redo it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Box in a Box

Last week I promised to show you the last thing in the Cabinet of Curiosities Kit 1 box.
It is a small box.  It is like a baby casket.  Those four little balls are the box's feet.  There is a little escutcheon (lock?)  What a fun idea - to practice for our caskets by covering a small box with stitching!  I can't wait.  Dealing with a small box is much less scary (I am less afraid that I will screw it up) than with a very expensive large casket.  I wonder how we will attach the stitching to the box.  What design will we do?

I finally got my order from SBB.  I have become more interested in Sharon Cohen of Nostalgic Needle designs since this casket class has started.  I have bid on some of her designs on the Bay of Evil but not won any so I ordered some instead.

 I think they are done more in a traditional way.  I also got a cute little strawberry design from GPA.  I am enamoured of strawberries.

It is a lovely day here.  I have so many lovely things to work on.  I want to start the Cherished Stitches limited edition kit.  
Hope you have a fun day!