Friday, October 31, 2014

Two More To Go

It was raining this morning so I went off to the Y to walk.  I haven't been to step class in a while and I will probably be sore later.  I have my steps in so now I can be a slug.
I ended up taking out the quilling thing and redid it yesterday.  I'm glad I did.  Everything fits better.  I finished up the upper wing circles so today I'm working on the lower wings' circles.  Then there is much filling to be done.  But its not too hard - just time consuming.

I put in a thread in the Heart's Content biscornu.  Oh my, I am not crazy about cross stitching over one on forty count linen.  It uses the Tudor silk which is like stitching with hair.

This would be sooooo much easier over two.  I know it will look marvelous when it is done but I'm not up for it right now.  I want something easy and quick.  The other Heart's Content that I started, the peony scissors fob, is also difficult.  It is over one on 32.  That doesn't sound hard but it is tedious.

I'm going to a guild class on Sunday with Ellen Chester.  It will be fun as I am going with a friend.  There will be Panera for lunch.  I love the Sierra Turkey sandwich.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


I couched until I could couch no more.  I'm not the best at this embroidery.  I'm impatient, I'm sloppy.  It's not perfect.  But I soldier on.
So far:

I'm working on the round circles on the upper wings.  With any luck I'll get them done today.  I was surprised to see that some quilling is used in the roundel.  I've never done that before.  There is a little plastic tool.

I think my first one is a little big.  I'm trying to decide whether to take it off and try again.  Lazy A says leave it, artist A says fix it.  We'll see who wins.  The metal petals that go around the quilling will fit better if I redo it.

I want to start the Fair Maiden's Work Bag but I'm intimidated.  It seems like so much work and will take forever.  But how will I know unless I work on it a bit?  I also want to work on Betsy Morgan's Edinburgh Etui.  I have two kits coming in the mail.  One is another Jackie kit, Folio, from Needle in a Haystack.

 The Other is a Just Nan Exclusive from ABC Stitch Therapy.  You know I will be tempted to start those if and when they come in the mail.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I've been couching.   I picked up the Jenny Adin-Christie butterfly.

I wanted to see how much more I needed to do until I got to something interesting.  Stitching down felt isn't exciting.  I was happy to see that I only needed to stitch down four small circles.  So I did that.  Then the more exciting part came next.  Couching down pearl purl (or is it purl pearl?).  Anyway, I couched the outside edge of the wings and it is starting to take shape.

I am couching down the next gold thread.  After this is more couching of iridescent turquoise thread.  And then there is another row of couching after that.  I'm deep in couching mode.  Wouldn't it be great if I could get this finished before I leave on my trip?  I could wear it.  That's my goal.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sew Darling

I finished stitching Sew Darling.  I put the same border in the inside as I did the outside.

 I read the directions for finishing and was illuminated as to all the specialty stitches I left out.  But I don't care.  I like how it looks.  Here is one side:

Here is the other side (my favorite):

The inside:

I think it turned out great.
I still have to get some wool felt that matches better than the red in the kit for the needle page and the little button bag.  Otherwise, it is done!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dancing with The Stars

I admit that one of my very favorite TV programs is Dancing with the Stars.  But that's not what this post is about.  It is about me not reading directions.  Or having no directions to read!  I bought the Dancing Stars quilt pattern in Shipshewanna.  When I picked it up I was suspicious.  It was very light, as though there were not many pages inside but it cost nine dollars.  Hmmm.

 I really liked the quilt made from this pattern so I threw caution to the wind and bought it and some fabric too.

 I was right to be suspicious.  There are only two half pages inside and not a lot of information.

 I like directions spelled out for me.  I need directions meant for a five year old.  Very specific, one step at a time, lots of information and pictures.  Not going to happen with this.
When I looked at the pattern, I figured out that part of it is a paper pieced pattern.  I also figured out that the numbers on it were not indicating which fabric to use.

So I made a copy and proceeded to try and sew it right on the paper and figure it out as I went along.  After the first seam, I realized I had not planned well and the piece of fabric was not large enough.  So I took it out and tried again.  So far, so good.  I added another piece.  I goofed again.  Well, this is going to be harder than I thought.

Time for YouTube.  Maybe there are hints that would help me not mess this up.  The YouTube video was very helpful.  The first thing she tells you is that you will waste a lot of fabric.  The numbers indicate the order that the seams are sewn.  You should iron and trim after each seam.  You should not use printer paper, it's too heavy.  Copy paper works better.  I have stitched one star block.

It looks okay - not great, just okay.  I will get better as I go along (I hope).  The next one will be much better.  I'm an optimist.

Then I read the directions to finish Sew Darling.  I realized that I just ignored all the specialty stitches (and there are a lot!) and stitched it in cross stitch only.  Whatever.  I am almost done putting it together, I'll show you tomorrow.  It is very cool.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Yoko Saito Book

I read David's blog Cottage Down the Hill and he talks about classes he has taken with Yoko Saito.  He has made some of her projects.  I'm not really a quilter but I have sewn several quilts.  There isn't enough time in the world to do all the crafts that I would like.  Yoko's quilting is interesting and shows artistic talent for putting together fabrics and colors.  On impulse I bought her new book when I was in Shipshewanna.

It is fun to look at all the projects and to see how she does things.

 I would never think of putting together fabrics like she does but they are gorgeous.  Looking at the book made me want to make something.  Something little that wouldn't take forever.  I really haven't hand quilted much.  But I want to hand quilt one of her projects.  I liked these projects.

But then would her type of fabrics (yarn dyed wool, homespun) be available around here?
I googled her fabrics.  I could buy some on ebay or etsy or in Japan.  Oh, she has some kits!  That would be perfect.  I decided that Santa would want me to have a small Yoko Saito kit.  I found the most darling kit on an etsy site.

So I ordered one for Santa to give me.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


I went to Shipshewanna yesterday.  It is a big Amish area with buggies and horses on the roads.  I hadn't been down that way in decades.  It was interesting to see how it has changed and grown.  What a lovely day!  The weather was warm and the sun was out.  I went with Terry's mom.  We had a great time.  We picked up Terry and her friend Barb and went out to breakfast/lunch - brunch!  There are many lovely small bakeries in the area.  The one we stopped at was called the Bread Box.

 Now, I can not be trusted at bakeries.  I've been known to buy much more than I could possibly eat.  This was no exception.

Just look at those cases full of deliciousness.  Those pecan rolls were still warm from the oven.  You can't get any fresher or more delicious than that!  But since I couldn't decide which dessert to get, I got three.  I've fallen off the wagon so to speak.  I only ate half of the warm pecan roll and saved the rest to take home.

They also had jams, jellies and sauces there.  You could taste them so you knew what you were getting.  I got a couple. The pumpkin one is fabulous.  Then you could buy a whole jar of homemade pie filling.  How easy to make a pie, just pour it into a frozen pie crust.  Yes, I had to get one of those.  Then there were cookies and my favorite candy drops.  I was very bad.

Then in downtown Shipshewanna there are many little stores.  You could get a buggy ride if you wanted.  See the horse patiently waiting?

We went into one called Lacy Carved Eggs.  Very interesting.  There is a big building with lots of little stores inside.  One of the stores was a fabric store.  Now I'm in trouble.  I was looking for some more French General fabric as I have a pattern for a bag and want to get the exact fabric.  They didn't have it but they had this great quilt.

The bright colors attracted me.  So I bought five different fabrics to recreate this quilt.    I also splurged and got a Yoko Saito book. I've seen some of her stuff on other blogs.  The book has lots of projects in it.  I definitely want to make one of the smaller projects.
When you are in Shipshewanna, you must go to Yoder's.  They have such interesting shoes.  I like wild looking shoes so it was fun to see what they had.  They also have a ton of fabric.  Yes!  I found the fabric I was looking for.  Yeah!  At the fabric cutting counter was a machine that I remembered from my youth.

 It measured material.  As a kid, I used to buy 1/4 yard cuts of fabric to make doll clothes and the salesclerk would measure it out using the fabric measuring machine.

The retreat that Terry was attending was at a hotel with very nice grounds.  It would be a great place to walk in the mornings.  There were quite a few women at the retreat.

 I ran into one that I knew.  One side of the huge room was the shopping area.

 From the side it doesn't look that big but there was a lot of stuff there to shop from.  I tried to control myself.
Terry's mom and I had a great time and even were back home for dinner.  What a fun day!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Off Tomorrow

I worked on Sew Darling and got all the front done.  I like it.  I just have to do the inside border and I can finish it up.

Tomorrow I'm going to a retreat.  Well, I am just going to visit a friend who is at a retreat in Shipshewanna.  I've thought about going to this retreat but I had too much going on this year.  Maybe next year.  I have always gone to retreats with classes with cross stitch designers.  But this retreat is just for stitching whatever you want.  You do get a retreat project.  I think this retreat is put on by The Inspired Needle shop that is in Lemont Illinois.  Anyway my friend's mother and I are driving down to visit and shop.  Fun!  I'll tell you about it when I get back.  But I probably won't post tomorrow.

Also tomorrow I am officially old.  DH took me out to dinner last night at Carrabas.  Oh my did I eat too much.  I absolutely love their dessert called Chocolate Dream.

You can taste the high quality chocolate in it.  It is just the best.  I'm just the luckiest person.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fat Chance

I worked on the front flowers of Sew Darling yesterday.  I really could finish the front today.  The inside is really easy as it is only a border.  I think I'll use the same border that I put on the front.  It will be kind of a monotonous stitch but easy.  I can't believe I can actually finish this soon.

So what do I work on next?  I went through my bag of stuff that I bought this year.  There are a lot of candidates for the next stitch.  I have several things I want to finish. I would like to finish all the classes I took this year (fat chance!) and several things that I have to be in the mood to work on.  I want to make some progress on the pomegranate of the Autumn Casket Keepsakes.  So I'll probably pick that up.  I have to be in the mood for embroidery to work on Jenny Adin-Christie's butterfly.  I have a good start on the over-one-on-forty peony scissors fob from Heart's Content.  But last time I worked on it, I made a mistake and had to take it all out again.  ARGH.  But I am free, I can work on whatever I want.  How glorious is that?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Tale of Two Pansies

I tried new floss colors for the pansy on Sew Darling.  I'm happy with how it turned out.

A friend wanted to know what cardboard I used for the French General box.  I went to Michael's and got a big sheet of mat board for about 6.99.  For smaller projects, I use comic board.  It is inexpensive and easy to work with.  I still haven't hot glued the box together.  But I plan to do that today.

The French General box ended up larger than I thought it would be.

 I learned a few things along the way.  The Therm-o-lam was a pretty thick padding. This is a photo of the Therm-o-lam:

 Maybe a thinner padding would have been better.  Whatever.  Always check pattern pieces to see if they fit before you cut them out.  (Voice of experience here)  I have lots of the fabric left over.

 I probably could make a quilt.  I'd have to find just the right pattern though.  I like the blue and white one that is on the French General site.  Quilts take a lot of time so I'm not ready to do that now.
It rained today so I ended up going to the Y to walk and then I forgot my fitbit.  I have a step counter on my nano so I used that instead.  The weather is supposed to be splendid for the rest of the week.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Just Hot Glue

I got the top to the French General box all done and put it together with it's other side.  The box needs to have the top that wraps around glued to the bottom and I've decided to use hot glue.  I am going to sew some edges together too.

 But I did it!  It's nearly done!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I know it doesn't look like much but I have made progress.  I am half way done with the front of Sew Darling.

The best news is that I like it!  The border is more muted colors than the bouquet but it looks pretty to me.  I am going to make a few changes when I do the other side.  The pansy needs some tweaking.

 I want an overdyed purple for the bottom of the pansy and I want a color that shows up better for the top.

I put in a few more threads on the French General box top.  I would love to finish this today and I think it is possible.

Here is another thing I bought from the French Needle.  It is a French kit for a small round box.

 The bottom of the box is covered with paper that has the same design that the stitching will have on the top of the box.  It makes me think of that new design that uses a tuna can as it's base.  I think this will be fun to stitch.
Have a nice weekend!