Saturday, August 31, 2013

Where I Am

I got fifteen inches (of nineteen) of the vine done on Romina's Box.  I didn't get the flowers in the vine stitched.  I got distracted.  But this is pretty close to getting finished.

I laced the top of the box onto a piece of mat board.  It looks good.

I saw that Kathy of The Unbroken Thread was working on her brooch and I wanted to keep up with her.  I finished couching down the gold stuff around the edges.  Then I put in the smooth purl and beads.  Then I was on a roll and put in the rose and leaves.  This is close to being finished too.  There is a lot of the filling in with teeny tiny pieces of the check stuff left to do though.

I worked a lot on the easy side of the shell of Mermaid's Treasures.  Then last night we got more lessons!!!  Oh no, I'm more behind than I thought.  I saw some photos on the website of the finished shell.  I can really appreciate how much work that is.  It also tells me it is possible to do it. At least two people have done it.   Now I really want to finished the outsides of the shell.

There is a new lesson coming on Sunday for Cabinet of Curiosities.
Too much to do and too little time!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

By Hook or by Crook

I got to my goal yesterday of getting half of the Romina's Box band done.  How much can I get done today?  I'll make my goal 15 (of 19) inches.

Then I worked diligently on the easy side of the shell for Mermaid's Treasures.  I got the mermaid stitched.

 There is a lot more stuff to put on her but her basic shape is done.  I also got a bit more of the edge stitched.  I'm at a point now that I think I can finished this side - by hook or by crook.
So I'll keep working at it today.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hard Shell

I worked on Romina's Box and got the lid done.

I put in a couple more flowers on the vine.  I'd like to get it half done today.  That would be about 9 1/2 inches long.  I'm at five right now.

I tried working on the front of the shell and the back of the shell.  It is so hard.

I made pretty good progress on the easy side with the mermaid.  I must work on this a bit every day to get anywhere.

I knew it was inevitable.  I knew I couldn't resist that long.  I gave in yesterday and ordered the beaded basket kit from Thistle Threads.

I don't need another kit.  But that doesn't usually stop me.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Other Parts

I started the two other pieces to be stitched for Romina's Box.

One is a 19 inch strip with a vine and flowers.  I was a bit put off by the length of it.  But if you just do 3 inches a day you can have it done in a week.  (This is what I told myself.)

Then there is the lid of the box.  I messed this up already but you can't tell it as I am two stitches off but it doesn't really matter.  That's what happens when you are watching a TV show and not paying that much attention to what you are doing.

I'm thinking I need to concentrate on the shell from Mermaid's Treasures and get that finished up.  I'm kind of overwhelmed by that too as it is really hard to keep one's place on the chart.  But I don't want to get too far behind on the lessons.
I put some of the purl pearl on the heart brooch.  Slow work.
I have a cold and my head is stuffed up and it is harder to concentrate.  Maybe that 19 inch vine is all I should tackle for today.

Monday, August 26, 2013


There was a small pile on my sewing room floor of fabrics that I meant to use for various projects.  Yesterday I used up that pile.
I had been meaning to line a pair of curtains to replace worn out ones in my bathroom.  I finally got the fabric which I was delighted with since it actually is drapery lining material.  I was very simple sewing and I'm happy I got that done.  Of course, nothing goes without a hitch or two.  One lining was too short and I had to add to it a bit.  Now they are done and hung.

Then a year ago I took a class from Amy Mitten through our guild.

 We stitched Mute But Not Silent sampler.  Amy Mitten's model had handkerchief linen on the back of it just to protect it.  I really liked the look of that.  It looked so nice and neat and you couldn't see the back of the stitching.  I always meant to do that.  But finding the handkerchief linen wasn't so easy.  Amy Mitten said she got hers at JoAnn's.  A few weeks ago I came across some handkerchief linen and bought some.  Now I have a hunk pinned to the back of the sampler.  I need to hunt up the instructions for Mute But Not Silent to see if Amy Mitten describes how to sew it on unobtrusively.

Then I got my glue out of the refrigerator and made up another lining for the trinket box.  I tried to get the original lining to fold like I wanted at the corner but just couldn't get there.  So I cut just a bit larger piece of the silk and glued the special Hobart Dark paper to it.

It has a couple of bubbles in it (rats!) so I need to reglue those places before I try and make it fit in the box.  I guess it helps to have something weighting it down while it dries.
Walking is done and bathrooms are clean.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Gold Thread

I decided to try out some of the thread that I got from Needle in a Haystack.

I needed some gold thread for a star.  This thread is made in Japan and isn't readily available here except from Needle in a Haystack.

I found that the thread is three ply and has a mind of its own.

I had my choice of a lighter gold or a darker one.  I chose the darker one.  I was working on 36 count Edinburg.  I used all three plies and it went fine. Two plies probably would have worked fine also.   The thread wears and breaks so it is best to use a shorter length of it.  The eye of the needle is where is usually breaks.  It looks to have a white core.

This design calls for some silver thread so I'll see if it acts the same way.  I expect it will.

These are the flowers I got at the Farmer's Market yesterday.  You can get a nice bouquet for not much money.  Usually they have bouquets of lilies which don't smell all that great on the kitchen table.  I liked the variety in this bouquet.

I went looking for my Just Nan Motifs chart and found it.  I like the flowers as a band for the back of Along the River James.

I was also looking for some tiny fish to put in the river.  I happened on a chart that I think will do fine.

  I am distracted by a Christmas design at the moment though.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Front and Center

I managed to get the front all stitched on Along the River James.

I took a look at the back.

I don't like it.  I want to change a few things.  The front is the hardest part with the most stitching so the back should be quicker.  I also came across a chart that I have from Just Nan as I was browsing Ebay.  It is the Motif one.  It has some elements that I think would look nice on the back.  It will go with the front if I use the same threads used on the front.  I am looking forward to trying out the bargello pockets on the inside.  I think that will be fun.

I have been neglecting Mermaid's Treasures. I'll have to get back to it.

I started a couple of new things.  I put a couple of stitches in Give Thanks from Drawn Thread.  This is the beginning o a chair.

I started Black Santa from Birds of a Feather but I don't like my linen.

It should be darker so that the white of Santa's hair and beard shows up better.  It would probably help if I used the recommended floss.  I really want Red Santa and Gold Santa but they are hard to find and out of print.

Friday, August 23, 2013

I Did It!

I sat down and finished Pocket of Posies.  It turned out better than I expected.  The corners are fine.  I didn't realize that the ribbon acts as a handle to the tiny etui.

I found a little button to put in the flower basket.
The photo on the pattern looks like there is a bead (not included in the kit) in the flowers.
I think the butterfly goes well with it.  I was wondering why there was a design on what I thought was the bottom of the box.  It turns out that is the back of the box.

I put on a button that closes with a hedebo.

I did the hedebo three times.  Twice with one strand of silk and then with some #12 pearl cotton, much better.  The pin cushion is bit too big for the box.

If I were doing this again, I would change:
the threads.  I don't like working with the wool and prefer silk floss
I'd make the pin cushion about 2 to 4 stitches shorter so it would fit better.
I would sew the lining to the linen and then turn it inside out.
I'd make an eyelet for the ribbon to go through
I'd fill in the ribbon on the basket somehow.  I don't think it is noticeable the way it is.
Over all, I think it turned out very cute.
I have a pattern somewhere for a lipstick style case from Merry Cox.  I'd like to try that out.

I was on a roll with the finishing so I worked on Romina's Box pin cushion.  It turned out nicely and I want to start another part of this project.

I got the front door in on Along the River James.  My goal for today is to finish all the stitching on the front.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Scaredy Cat

I admit it.  I was scared to finish the Pocket of Posies project.  I was afraid I would mess it up.  But it was sitting there in a box for a few days and I just had to do another step or two and see how things went.  I tried sewing parts of the lining by hand but then I thought, it really is more secure and efficient to do it on the sewing machine.  So I did.  Then I thought, what else can I do on the sewing machine?  Well, the seam to the thimble holder.  Then I cut some more of the skirtex because I think I can finish the pin cushion without messing it up.  Then I tried whip stitching two of the corners together.

 But there aren't any instructions to sew the lining corners together.  Do you just leave them folded nicely and do they stay that way?  Maybe.

Anyway, that is where I am.  The Pocket of Posies is about half finished.  I'm still worried about the corners.  But we'll see how it goes.

I got some more done on Along the River James.  I didn't finish the River James as it had more parts than I realized.  I want to get some work done on the front door.  But I have to search the directions and see what they say.

I played with Romina's Box a bit.  I cut some Warm and Natural squares and piled them up and whipped them together for the filling.  But it needs a bit more.  I found some fabric in my stash to do the bottom (and lining) with.  So this part is close to being finished.  I also cut some linen for the other parts of the box.
I read that two of the pre-stitching kits will be sent off next week for the Attic classes.  Cool.  I plan on changing some of the design on The UnPlayed Piano.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I am a competitive person.  I'm also very suggestiveable.  That's not really a word.  I have to be careful when watching food shows as I end up wanting to make what they made on the show.  So when I saw that Kathy on The Unbroken Thread was starting her heart brooch. (She was my original inspiration for getting the kit) I wanted to do mine too.  So I took out some of the stitching and restarted.  It is working out well.  I think the experience I got doing the round brooch is helping me do this one better.  I am on row three of the couching.  There is another row to go after this one.  I wore my round brooch to exercise class and someone even noticed it!  Heart's are very tricky as you can tell if they are a little off.  So I'm trying to be very careful.

I made a bit of progress on Along the River James.  I want to finish the River James.  The small tree was supposed to be stitched with one strand but I used two by mistake.  Oh well, no biggie.

I put in the sides of Romina's Box pincushion and the date.  I'm going to stitch my name around the other sides before I put it together.

I figured out how to use Google Play and downloaded two books.  I got one recommended by USA Today, The Silent Wife.  I even took some time yesterday to read a couple of chapters.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Bit of This and That

I finished the pincushion of Romina's Box.  I am going to put it together a different way than the directions say to.  They just fold it over and it looks sloppy.

I worked a bit on Along the River James.  I wanted to work my way up to the top of the house.

I started the heart brooch.  I also messed up the heart brooch.  I should have read ahead in the directions.  But all is not lost, I can begin again with couching gold threads around the outside.

I have worked a bit on the front side of the Mermaid Treasures Shell.  I have one quarter of the front done.  At least that is some progress.

There just isn't time enough for all the stuff I want to do!

Monday, August 19, 2013

And Now for Something Entirely Different

I didn't glue the lining in the trinket box.  I didn't do any more finishing on the Pocket of Posies.  I decided to try out the Strawberries so Faire on the Buttons a Bounty linen.  I picked some floss from my Hand-Dyed Fibers stash.  I am happy with it.  I want to add at least one more color.  Maybe a little white flower with a gold/yellow center scattered around.  It just needs a little something.  I am so much happier with the strawberries as compared to the acorns.  No queen stitches - yeah!

Then I auditioned color of over dyed floss for Romina's Box.  I rejected two colors and went with a pink and green (Hand-Dyed Fibers) instead of the model's red.  The pin cushion is going pretty fast as it is small.

I also worked on Along the River James.  I am enjoying this.  I got to the house.  I found out that we were just to do the basting/ backstitching.  Hah!  If I had done just that I wouldn't know that I messed up the counting and was way off.  Still figuring out how to get to Cleveland for the class this Saturday.

The bathrooms are clean.  The sun is shining.  I'm ready to play.