Friday, July 31, 2015

Purple Queen

I worked on the Purple Queen yesterday. This is how far I got:

I changed her a bit here and there.  There is going to be a Yellow Queen and a Green Queen on either side of her.
I like her a lot.
This is Ophelia's doll being measured for her dress:

No, I wasn't brave enough to cut it out yet.

I wasn't going to go to very many retreats next year.  I was going to cut back.  But I just signed up for one.  I couldn't resist.  BFF#1 and BFF#2 are planning on going also so it will be a blast.

I was asked how I stitched trellis stitches.  The answer is, I follow the directions.  Amy Mitten gives great directions in her kits and I've had good results following her instructions.  I also looked up directions from Thistle Threads and gotten directions from a Catherine Theron kit.  Since I don't do trellis stitches very often, I always need reminding about what direction to point my needle and to always wrap my thread over the needle.
It is the perfect summer day here.  I wish I could keep this day in my pocket and use it next January!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer Day

It's a great summer day here.  DH is mowing the lawn.  My walking is done.  I'm stil not keeping up with Aunt Mary very well.  She has 108.000 steps for the last week.  She's got me beat.
So what did I do yesterday?  I stitched a quarter of the box for the Stitching by the Sea pin cushion.

I decided to try stem stitch as opposed to backstitch on the back of Harmony.  I didn't like how sometimes my backstitch wasn't exactly in the same hole as the previous backstitch so it looked like there was a tiny gap between stitches.  We'll see how this works out.
Then I got to thinking.  I see lots of people working on their caskets.  How lucky am I?  I have two caskets and a mirror. All I have done is the top to one casket.  Why am I not getting anything done?  So I thought I would try and make progress by taking the next step.  I want to do the three ladies from Mistress L's Band Sampler for one side of a casket.

 Who knows if it will fit?  Who knows if it will look good?  I just need to try and I can throw it away if I don't like it.  So I started it on 32 count Sandstone linen.  I think it will fit fine and I can add stuff around it if needed.  I love how it looked worked on 40 count so I hope I will like it as well on 32.    So far:

I got a present in the mail yesterday:

A beautiful scissors fob.  Thanks Barb!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I really do try to finish stuff even if it is ugly.  I changed the colors on the pre-stitching for the finishing class at The Silver Needle.  So the colors I chose didn't really go with the black and gray theme of the fabrics used in finishing.  But that's my problem.  I didn't follow the directions.  This is how it looks all finished:

I used comic board and really like the feel of it.  I used the kimono thread to sew on the front piece (no glue!).   The thread hardly shows at all.  I couldn't find the buttons that Mona gave us to put on the needle page so I used some from my stash.  I like the ribbon that Mona gave us.  It's really a sturdy seam tape as opposed to the vintage seam tape that is flimsy.  I'm glad that it is done.

Then I started on Harmony. I admit I used the sewing machine to baste the muslin to the back of each screen printed piece.  Then I tried putting it in a hoop.  I didn't like the tension and it was hard to stitch.  So I took it out of the hoop and am trying it in hand.  If I'm careful not to pull each stitch too hard, I'll be fine.  I just have to backstitch the lines.

Then I got out the linen to start the box that the Stiching By the Sea goes in.

 I was craving some just regular cross stitch after working on Ophelia's sampler (over one on 40, argh).  I sort of finished the sampler.  You can add initials to personalize it.  But there is no graph to go from.  It doesn't make sense to me to put Ophelia Wheterspoon on it and then add your own initials and those of your family.

 So I have to think if I want to put anything else on it.  Right now, the answer is no.  I just want to be done with it!  I have other stuff to do.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Yes!  I got the Harmony Kit in the mail yesterday.  I haven't started it but I will today.  There is a wonderful up close photo that will really help when I'm wondering about something.

Then there is a lot of thread, three cards worth.  There are also several different kinds of thread.

There are several fabrics.  I have to baste the muslin to the fabric as one of my first steps.
Then there is a packet of all the stuff you need for the stumpwork.

I think a lot of this work will need a hoop.  I'll have to see if I have another large one.
This will be a very interesting project.  The Or Nue is something that I have never done before but I love that you can get a lovely fabric design for the ladies dress with it.

I finished up the Butterfly Needle Case and scissors fob.
Here is the case:
It has a butterfly button to hold it closed.

I'm not crazy about the bird, he seems too primitive a style for the rest of the design. I changed his colors a bit.

Here is the scissors fob. It is done over one on 30 count linen.

Beware!  There is also a problem with the colors for this part.  Some of the symbols are switched.

Monday, July 27, 2015


I put together my Stitching by the Sea pin cushion.  I used #12 pearl cotton for the backstitching and whipping the stitches togethere.  It worked very well!

Now to start the box it sits in.

Then I wanted to start this JBW design.

 I saw it all made up at the Silver Needle and thought it was gorgeous.  It looked familiar, I might have that design.  I went through some stash and found it.  But as I was working on it, I was not happy.  First, it is hard to work on a piece of linen that is attached to the needleroll.  Then there is a major error on the chart. The symbols for Light green and dark green are switched.  So after stitching half of the stem and wondering why it was so light, I realized the mistake.  Rats.  I had to take it out and redo it.  I changed the light pink (which I couldn't find) to a darker pink to make the flowers look like strawberries.
I like the design but am still irritated at the mistake in the chart.  I think I can finish this one off today.
The bathrooms are clean and I have reached 10,000 steps.  Time to relax in the air conditioning.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


I am almost done stitching the Stitching By the Sea pin cushion.  I just have a little bit of two sand dollars to do and then I can cut it out and try sewing it together.  I've never made a pin cushion in this shape so we'll see how it works out.

I finished up this little disc pin cushion.  I wasn't sure about the color around the edge (yellow).  But I didn't have anything else that seemed to work.  So I went with it.

I changed some stuff and I like how it turned out.

I should get the new Amy Mitten kit for Harmony in the mail tomorrow.  I've read through the first few lessons.  It is great that each step is simple so I believe that I can do it.
It is another nice summer day.  I am noticing that the days are getting shorter.  These are the days to remember in the middle of winter.
Barbara asked about my next retreat.  Well, the next thing going on isn't really a retreat, it is a road trip.  BFF#2 and I are planning a trip to Minneapolis in the middle of August.  She has never been to Stitchville.  BFF#1 also lives in the Minneapolis area so we will meet up and hit the fun spots in the area: the General Store, Fabric Outlet, and Eagle Creek Quilt Shop.  I think BFF#2 would like to see the casket and mirror at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts too.  DS#1 also lives there so we can visit with him and DIL.
Happy Sunday!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Ophelia's Doll

When I took the Ophelia class from Merry Cox she told us about the man who makes the doll, Eric Horne.  He is elderly and may not be making them still.  On his website there are various sizes of dolls.  The lady who hosted the Merry Cox classes had a display of Ophelia and several similar dolls.  I wanted one of the smaller size dolls to be Ophelia's doll.  So I thought I would try ordering one and see what happened.  They take paypal, yeah.  The order went through.  Then just last week I got the doll!

She is amazing.  She bends just like the 9 inch Ophelia.  Wow.

  But she is nearly naked.  I have a bit of the dupioni silk left over that I used for Ophelia's dress so I'm going to try and make the 2 inch doll a dress to match.

Getting the doll made me want to finish Ophelia's sampler.  This is how far I am:

I have also been working on Stitching by the Sea.

This is the pin cushion part.  There are a few mistakes but I don't think they are noticeable.  Can't wait to put this one together.
It is a great summer day.  I've walked and been to the Farmer's Market and the Post Office.  I've paid the bills.  Now to relax and stitch.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Going Home

Last Sunday I was all done with the retreat but my plane didn't leave until 5:30 p.m.  What to do all day?  Stitch of course.  I walked and had breakfast at Starbucks.  Then I worked on Just Nan's Bride Mouse.  I got it all finished.

 I am not really happy with the tail.  I couldn't get it in the little hole at the bottom since I didn't have access to my tools in the hotel room.   I just tacked it down.  But at least it is all stitched, all beaded and all put together.

Then I worked on my retreat projects.  I am close to getting the Tall House Needlebook all done.  The Pulling Threads project takes a bit more concentration.  I decide to check out at 11 and take the shuttle to the airport.

I run into Janet at the airport.  She has to wait for her plane too.  It is great to have someone to talk to.  It makes the time go faster.
By the time my plane takes off, I have Tall House Needlebook all stitched.  I put it together this week and here it is all done:

I haven't used those little things that are on the spine before but it worked out fine.  We got a counting pin in our kit.

 The initials on the back aren't centered as well as I would have liked.  But it is what it is and it will have to do.
I have been a bit scattered this week as I have so many things to work on.  What to work on first?  I've kind of been picking up this and that, whatever is in reach and whatever I feel like.  I'll show you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Drawn Thread Class

How can it be the last day of the retreat already??  I love a needlework class and can't wait.  I am good for yet another day as I go walking and stop at Starbucks afterwards for breakfast.  I get the shuttle to the shop. I've got the drill down pat.   In class there is another cupcake waiting for us.

 They spoil us here.  There is also another goodie bag for each of us.  Nice.

Oh my favorite moment - getting a whole new complete kit to start.

I was wondering how the group was going to react to a drawn thread project.  There is no cross stitch except for when you personalize your project with your initials.  But the reaction seems very positive.  I was wondering if people would shy away from drawn thread stitches but the answer is no.  We get to choose between a pocket or a sampler.  I choose the pocket.

  There are two kinds of thread in the kit.

I'm thinking of how to incorporate the blue silk thread into the design. We are using Legacy Linen.  We start with the border to the third panel on the pocket.  So I start with the darker blue.  Cynthia notices the color change and says I should do it all in blue.  But that's not my plan.  I remind myself that I am the one I have to please and can do it any way I want.  So I use all three kinds of threads just to make it interesting.  I'm liking how it looks.  When Cynthia sees more of it done she agrees that it looks nice.

I take breaks and go to the shop and the quilt shop.  This will be the last day I can get stuff.  I take a photo of the row by row so I can remember what it looks like.

 I get some fabrics that I think will be nice to do finishing with.  This is my stash from the quilt shop:

I get this year's Prairie Schooler Santa not even realizing that this will be the last one as they are retiring.

I also get a Jeannette Douglas design that looks like fun.

Lunch is a make your own sandwich and salads.  The fund raiser of pin cushions is completed.  Everyone who brought a pin cushion gets a wrapped pin cushion to open.  It is fun to see what everybody gets.  It seems like everyone is happy with her pin cushion.
I'm am finding that the drawn thread stitches aren't as hard as I thought they would be.  I get a lot done on the third panel.  Again we have an ice cream break in the afternoon.

It is great to just stitch and shop all day.  People start to leave about 3.  I run down and get a Whataburger at the end of the strip mall.  It will be my dinner.  I've never had that before and wanted to try one.  They also have rootbeer shakes.  You know I have to get one, just to try.  The two sisters are kind enough to give me a ride back to the hotel.  Thank you Linda and Barbara, it's has been fun.

I'm not leaving until late tomorrow so I have a one person stitching party in my room.