Friday, January 31, 2014

More Lessons

I was thrilled last night when we got the last lessons for the Winter Casket Keepsakes.  Now I can finish.  I am working on the bellows one, it holds the thread winder in a little bag.  I laced the tops together and the bottoms together.  I really like how the edges look.

  Using pearl cotton for the backstitching and lacing gives the edge a very nice design.  I didn't think mine would look as nice as Amy Mitten's but I am quite happy with it.
I was reminded how uneven the circles are on the hard disc side.  I am not crazy about the colors in this piece.  I really think it would be prettier in different colors.  These are probably colors similar to the original antique this is based on.

 Next I had to finish the little bag.  It was a bit trickier but turned out okay.

 I just finished sewing it to the top and bottom along the lower edge.

 The hard part comes next, it is the finger weaving of the cording.  I did this technique when I made the Vierlande Thread Winder Holder.  You have to do it in one session.  There is no putting down and coming back later.  And it uses some of that gold thread which is hard to work with.  I'm going to write on my fingers so I can remember which finger is AL, BL, CL etc.  I have Amy Mitten's tool to help make the cording.  Handy.

We are expecting more snow tonight and tomorrow.  This snow stuff is getting old.  I shouldn't complain as DH does the shoveling.  Thank goodness.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


It is not always easy to stitch on a plane.  The light isn't great, the space is limited.  The plane is moving.  But I managed to start two new projects.  One is a Jackie kit that I got at The Attic's retreat.  It is a bag with roses on it.  But it is all worked over one so good light and magnification is needed.  Stitching this was very slow.  Now that I am home, it will go much faster.

Then I started another kit that I just love.  It is called Summer Flowers by Brightneedle.  Cute.  But it is also worked over one.  (Why do I torture myself like this??)  It is a small bag that holds a ruler.  So sweet.

I went shopping today.  I went to Sears and got a telescopic magnet.  I wanted something that would help me find needles that I have dropped.  Mary Corbet recommended this tool.  It was inexpensive and I think it will be handy.

I also got another one of Mary Corbet's recommendations.
It is an Artograph Light Pad.  I can use it for tracing designs instead of taping stuff to my window.  I think it will be very useful.  It is still in the box so I'll let you know how it works out.  I have to trace the designs for the Home Sweet Home project.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I'm home.  We had a wonderful time visiting with our granddaughter.  What a smart, adorable, darling child!  We aren't biased of course.  Not much stitching got done.  Partly because we got a short lived virus and were sick as a dog for at least a day.  I did accomplish most of my goals for the trip.  Although I was not up to eating sushi when I had the opportunity.  To make up for it I had two Sprinkles cupcakes instead.  I ate at a Lobsta food truck.

We went to the ocean and let Claire walk in the water.  So cute.  We read books to her and watched her open her birthday presents.

 We saw the park where she likes to go play.

When we got home it was so freezing. 4 degrees with a -13 wind chill.  UGH.  School is closed here for the third consecutive day.  Now it is back to our regular life.

I got the new Jane Nicholas book, Stumpwork Butterflies and Moths, in the mail.

 What a nice book!  It actually tells how to make the butterflies and moths.

 I'm admit that I'm a little afraid of stumpwork.  As I was looking at the book, I was wishing that Amy Mitten would do a stumpwork butterfly as one of the Casket Keepsakes.  Then I know I could do it.  A couple of the butterflies look easy enough that I might try one.  but I have a lot of irons in the fire at the moment.
Tomorrow I'll show you some of the stitching I worked on while traveling.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

See You Next Week

I'm getting excited as I get ready to go on our trip.  It will be very weird to go from below zero temperatures to 80's - and back again.  It is snowing again.  Now where did I put my sun screen?

I did finish a leaf yesterday on Home Sweet Home.  I guess it looks okay.  There are four leaves to do on this side.  Maybe I can get another one or two done today.

I have been messing about with other stuff so I didn't get any more than the leaf done.

Sometimes I just have to think about things.  I've been thinking how to get that second piece of lawn done on Hampton Court.  First I'm cutting out what I've done as it looks awful.  Then I'm going to use one of these special tapes on the top and bottom of the space.  The first is Tiger Tape.
 This is tape with inches and centitmeters marked on it.

Then I can get a consistent angle for the stitching as well as a consistent width of each color.  But I'm too jumpy to work on that right now.
I'll be back next week to tell you all of my adventures in California.  I intend to try sushi for the first time and eat at a Food Truck.  I'll try to get in all my steps and DH will help by going with me.  I get to play with Claire and read her books and see her open her birthday presents.  It will be so fun.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Get Ready

That's what I have to do today, get ready for my trip.  I sorted out some kits to take with me.  Most are small It's Fine-ally Finished kits that I bought in November at The Attic's retreat.

I would like to get a leaf done on the Home Sweet Home box.

By the way, dq, you are listed as "no reply" and the email address I have for you no longer works so I couldn't answer you privately.  Sakura is an old Brightneedle design.  I saw it on another blog and wanted to stitch it.  I wrote to the designer and asked if I could buy it.  She didn't have a kit but let my buy the design.  I felt lucky to get to make it.

Good mail yesterday.  I used one of my Amazon cards to get this book recommended by Mary Corbet.

It's a coloring book.  But she is using it as a book of design ideas and is embroidering one of the designs.

 I want to follow along and see how she does it.
I also got a needle threader.  One side if for small needles, the other side for larger ones.

 It was a stocking stuffer idea from Gay Ann Rogers.  I love needlework tools.
I pre-ordered the new stumpwork butterflies book from Jane Nicholas and surprise!, it might come today.
Merry Christmas to me.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Sakura is done and complete.

I just used fabric I had in my stash for the lining.  Not too hard.

I finished stitching the white flower on Home Sweet Home.  It turned out pretty well.

I started the leaves.  Long and short stitch isn't my forte.  But I'll give it a good try.

This weekend is the Sampler Symposium at The Attic.  At one time I wanted to go but it wasn't in the budget.  But in honor of Amy Mitten teaching a class there today, I decided to pick up something that has been on my sewing table for months.  It is the Amy Mitten sampler Mute But Not Silent.  I've been meaning to line the sampler with handkerchief linen.  First I had to find this linen.  Then I had to cut and iron it.  The only thing left is to sew it to the back.  So now, finally, I am three quarters the way around the back.

I have to find some stitching to take with me to California.  Since we are 3 hours ahead in time, I'll wake up early and have to entertain myself for a while.  Then later in the day I'll fall asleep in my dinner.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


I finished stitching Sakura!  I didn't think it would take all day but it did.  I cut out the two parts and today I hope to get it all put together.  Then it will be done done done.

I started the white flower.  I wasn't sure whether the satin stitch padding was supposed to go inside or over the split stitch edge.

The book didn't say.  So I chose to do it inside.  There are two satin stitch padding layers and then the top layer will go over the edge.  I'm sort of on-a-roll with this and want to work on it while I have some momentum.

I got a Fitbit report on last year.  I walked 1161 miles (miles!) last year.  DH says that is half way to Peoria.  (That is a play on words based on the song Marching to Pretoria).  That makes me think of the saying " a journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step".

Friday, January 17, 2014

Two Strawberries

I worked hard yesterday on the Home Sweet Home box.  I got two strawberries done and I think they turned out okay.

 Then I did the little leaf things at the top of the strawberries.

 I have tried these techniques before and haven't been happy with the results.  This time things are working out better.  Next I have to do the white flower.  This box has six sides and I'm working on side number three.  That means when I finish this side, I'm half done.  Wow.  I wasn't even sure I could stitch this.  I may actually be able to finish it.

Not much else got done yesterday.  Today I want to work on the last part of Sakura since it is close to being done.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Parasol Front

I finished stitching the parasol front of Sakura.  It turned out nicely.  I made twisted cording using 3 strands of floss and couched it down across the top.  That really made it look done.

Only one more part but the stitching is all over-one.  ARGH.

I started on the strawberry bush side of Home Sweet Home.  So far it is going well.  I did a new stitch, knotted pearl, for the stem.  It isn't perfect.  I was supposed to start at the top but I didn't.  I was supposed to make the stem fatter at the bottom.  I didn't read that until it was already done, so I didn't do that either.  I've got my fingers crossed that the strawberries turn out.  I've attached some felt and now I have to do queen (rococo) stitches over the felt.

I started and then didn't like my first queen stitch so I ripped it out and am trying again.  That's my goal for today, get one strawberry that looks decent.

I haven't taken lawn #2 out of Hampton Court.  I was trying to squint and make it look better.  It didn't look any better.  After I take it out I'm going to give myself some more lines as guides so the angle will be correct.

I have a class in March and thought I ought to get back to the pre-stitching.  Time passes so quickly and can also sneak up on you.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bottoms Up

I've been making good progress on the bottom of the Home Sweet Home box.  Maybe I can actually do this!  I'm sure the sides of the box will be more challenging.  I have traced the strawberry bush side and that's what I'll do next.

I cut off the offending knot/snag that was on the back of Hampton Court. I am working on the second color of green.  There is a third color of green to put in and then I'll know if this part of the lawn is going to turn out okay.  I'm still not so sure.  I am upset that the angle of the stitches is way off.  Now that I see this photo, I think I'll have to take this out and try again.  This looks awful.

I got  pretty far on the parasol of Sakura.  Just some more flowers and some french knots and I am done with that part.

We got some more snow and it is "greasy" on the roads.  But the new snow has covered up the dirty looking snow. I'm going to dig out some summer clothes to take on my trip.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Back to Sakura

I am trying to finish up stitching the parasol of Sakura.  It is going well (no frogging!).  I think I can get it done today and then there is only one more part.

I finished the background of the pinball.  Now to start the other side.

I started something new.  I bought the kit of Tudor Rose on ebay.  It is divided into 10 (I think) parts.  I basted the outside edges.  Twice, because I messed up the first time.  Now I see that I started one stitch too high so I'm off again.  But whatever.  I'm doing the montenegrin stitch.  It is going well but doesn't look like much yet.

Another goal for today is to get rid of the snag/knot on the back of Hampton Court so I can continue.

I'm telling myself that if it looks bad, I'll cut it off and start again.  It's okay if I mess up, so I don't have to be scared to do it.
I'm appreciating being able to go to the Y this week since I missed so many days last week.  Our exercise class is having a get together next Thursday but I won't be there -  I'll be in California!!!

Monday, January 13, 2014


I just got back from seeing Dylan.  It was great to see him after about a month.  And he was wearing his glasses.  Bribery is alive and well.

I was afraid the bottom of the Home Sweet Home box was wonky.

The top and bottom arcs weren't the same size and didn't look like they were part of the same oval shape.
  I was not sure they were going to turn out.  I have lots of linen so I figured I could do it over if it didn't turn out well.
I worked on it yesterday knowing that I could cover a variety of mistakes with flowers and well placed leaves.

It is turning out better than I thought it would.  It looks like the picture of the bottom.

  I'm not done yet but it's looking good.  I may have to add to the arcs but I don't know yet if I have to.
I hope to finish the background stitching of the pinball today.  Just a little bit left to do.

I still have one bathroom to finish cleaning  but I got my steps in so everything is okay.  We're going out to eat tonight.  Yeah!