Monday, August 31, 2015

Tray and Lute

I ironed the Blackwork tray.  I found the finishing directions and supplies.  (That's a minor miracle in itself!)

So now I need to change the thread in my sewing machine.  I was too lazy to do it last night.  The directions say to sew the linen and lining together by hand.  Baloney!  That's what sewing machines are for.  I cut a piece of comic board to fit the bottom of the tray but I'm not sure I'll use it.  We'll see.  I didn't stitch the square to mark the bottom of the tray.  We'll see how it goes.

Amy Mitten is a genius.  I have been working on Harmony's Lute.  There is so much detail that has gone into this little lute, it is amazing.  This will be a masterpiece once I get it done.  This is how far I am.

 I think the hands are next.

I filled in the froggy on the Big Mermaid.

 I love him - and I don't really like frogs.
So far:

I may start the squirrel next.

Tomorrow is the road trip to Stitchville so I won't be posting until next week.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


I finished two things yesterday.  I got the Monkey Mittens all done.

These mittens are just the prototype.  I have to evaluate and have my hairdresser try them on her son to see what needs to be changed.  I think the connecting stuff is too big and too strong.  I think I probably will have to make them just a bit bigger and adjust where the elastic goes. I didn't put any Warm'n Natural in them.  We'll see how it goes.  At least it is a start.

Then I finished stitching the Blackwork Tray.  Yeah!

Now I have to find the finishing directions.  I think the finishing will be pretty simple.  I forget what the tray is supposed to be backed with.

I got good mail!  I got the last part of Shepherd's Fold in the mail.

 I like that it will be an easy quick stitch.  There is a nice ruler in the kit.

There is also a nice magnet shaped like a sheep - of course.

I changed out the linen as I have with each of the parts.  This is how far I am:

I want to get at least one side done today.

 It was very foggy walking this morning.  We are expecting a hot week.  I'm going on a trip on Tuesday!  Stitchville, here I come!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Monkey Mittens

I have really difficult hair.  It has absolutely no curl.  I slept on curlers every night of high school.  It was really dumb to try and curl my hair as it became as flat as a pancake as soon as any humidity hit it.  Now that I am old and retired I've let myself go a bit.  No make-up, hair in a ponytail.  This year in our budget DH put in money so that I can get my hair done once a month.  Just finding someone who can deal with my hair is major.  I went to someone new this year.  She was great.  I decided I wanted a braid across the front like a headband.  She did that with ease.  As we were chatting while I was getting my hair done, my hairdresser mentioned that she has a son who is disabled.  When I told her I like to stitch, she said that she was wanting someone to make her son some mittens that would be very warm as he has poor circulation.  She wanted them to be on a ribbon or yarn so that he couldn't pull them off and lose them.  I have been mulling this around in my brain.  I know I can make fleece mittens.  The warmest mittens I have I got at a craft fair and they are made out of a sweater.

When I was at the fabric store the other day, I looked around for the softest fleecy material to make the mittens out of.  I found some sock monkey material that feels as soft as velvet.

 So I got some. I looked on the internet for a fleece mitten pattern.  I found one but each of the three pieces printed out a different size.  Luckily they are on an inch grid so I could see if I had the right size.  I am making them to fit me as I think I might be similar in size to a 10 year old.  So I cut out the mittens.

I looked at the YouTube video about making the mittens.  I got some really strong woven stuff to connect the mittens.

 So today I want to sew them together and see how it goes.  I want to put some warm and natural stuff on the inside.  So we'll see how it goes.

I found out what the last piece for Shepherd's Fold is!  It is a ruler holder.  I bet it comes in the mail this week.

It is raining this morning so I had to walk inside at the Y.  Then I went to the Farmer's Market and spend way too much money on things I shouldn't (chocolate covered orange peel!).  Yum.

Friday, August 28, 2015


Mr. Mailman brought me good mail yesterday.  I signed up for the Silver Needle's With a Little Help From Our Friends Stitching Circle.  Whenever you order something from this store they stick in a couple of Jelly Belly jelly beans.  I love a candy treat.  They wrapped the kit very nicely in sparkly tissue paper and a festive bag.

 This first kit is designed by Blackbird designs.

 It is a pin cushion that has two different colors of linen pieced together.

I like the design.
There are two thread bundles to make it easier to sort out which color floss is which.

They even include two sizes of tapestry needles.  Then there is a surprize gift.  It is these glass pins.

The photo of the project looks a little wrinklely.  But I'll iron mine and maybe add some starch so it looks nice and smooth.
I didn't get half as much done as I'd wanted to yesterday.  I am about half done with the blackwork tray.

  Let's see if I can get three-quarters done.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


Sometimes I wonder why stitching goes so slowly.  Maybe it just seems slow because I have so much I want to do and can hardly get to it.

I worked on the Merry Cox tray yesterday.  I should call it something else since it has morphed into a totally different design now that I have combined it with the blackwork design I found on the internet.

I am so lazy.  I didn't even try to figure out if the square blackwork design would fit in the center square of the tray.  I just thought I would stitch starting in the middle and see how much of it I could get in before I got to the outside edge.  Talk about planning ahead!  But guess what?  The design will fit with two stitches to spare.

I'm not sure I want to use the entire design.  I'm going to stitch most of it and decide later if I want to do the outside frame.  I'm using some overdyed purple Premium Vickie Clayton floss.  I wish she was still making this stuff.  I like it.

I was trying out the colors on the big Mermaid.  I thought the photo of the mermaid looked like her hair was too striped.  So I pulled some other colors.  But then I tried one of her tresses with the called for colors and it looks fine.

I started her reflection in the mirror.  I'd like to finish that part today.
I wanted to see what the striped sky looked like so now I have put in enough to see all three colors next to each other.  Looks okay.

I'd also like to get the sun done today too.  We'll see.

Oh, and another goal for today is the get the blue motif I am working on the Quaker Bag all in.

That would be some progress.  And yes, I would like to get the backstitching around Harmony's lute all put in.

 I'd better get busy.
I could get my Silver Needle kit today!  My fingers are crossed.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Question

Sandra asked me this question:  Do you find it easy putting in the tent stitches after the backstitch?
Well, the answer is yes.  But let me explain.  This is not my first rodeo.  I stitched this Sharon Cohen design a while back.

 I think it was the first time I used this technique of putting the backstitching in first.  It is fun to put in the backstitching and see the design emerge.  The backstitching gives me a reference point for the filling stitches.  This means that I am less likely to get lost.  I actually don't have to tent stitch every single thread.  You just have to fill in.  So when the backstitch obscures a thread or is at a certian angle, no tent stitch is needed.  I've only had a time or two where I have taken out a stitch because it went over instead of under a backstitch.  I haven't had a problem with splitting a backstitch when filling in.  I have been using this little plastic magnifier to help me see if I have covered all the stitches in an area.

I realize that this technique is backwards from how cross stitch is usually done.  In conventional cross stitch you do all the cross stitches first and then add the backstitches.  But I sure have been having fun doing the design this way.  Just picking out a small part to work on each day has been fun.  I don't want to quit and work on something else.

I got the strawberries done yesterday.  The colors of the stems and leaves are a little weird.  As in blue or teal instead of green.
So far:
I picked out my name on the Merry Cox tray.  I am going to do some more blackwork in the center of the tray instead,
I went walking in a light misty rain this morning.  I'm hoping my mailman will bring me something fun today.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Changing a design is hard.  You have to think about it for a while.  I've been thinking of how to change the Merry Cox tray.  So yesterday I went looking through some books for design ideas.   I saw a bird I liked and I saw some flowers but they didn't really go with the leaves very well.  So then I looked around a bit more and came across a blackwork design I found on the internet.  I decided I wanted to see how the pansy flower looked in the ovals on the tray.  So I tried stitching one with purple thread.

I liked it!  So now I'm putting pansies in all four.  My name will have to come out.  Picking out stitching over one is a pain.  Then I have to decide what to do in the center of the tray.  I can do some more of the blackwork design.  I'll have to think about it.

I got a bit more done on the big Mermaid.  This is fun just taking a small motif and filling it in each day. I finished off the butterfly.

 I wanted to see how her face looks all filled in.  Then I wanted to see the moon.  So those are the parts I worked on yesterday.

I think I want to work on the strawberries today.
BFF#2 is flying off to Betsy Morgan classes today.  I wish I was going too.  But what I really should be doing is catching up on all the classes I've already taken.
Next week is September!?!?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rainbow Fish

I am almost finished with the leaves and vine around the Merry Cox tray.  I want to get that done and go on to another part.

I filled in the fish on the big Mermaid.  I love it!  He is so cute!

I started the butterfly.  I hope to get it done today.

This is the only color I had on hand for the Mermaid purse.

Guess what is stitched in this color.  Her skin?  Nope, her hair.

Her hair, you say, that is a weird color for her hair.  I would agree.  The photo looks way more red than peach.  I may change this.

The bathrooms are clean.  My walking is done.  This sky is blue with lots of fluffy clouds.  It is a wonderful 70 degrees.  What more could I ask for?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

So Close

I am so close to having the filling chain stitch all done on Harmony's walnut lute.  Just one more thread will do it.

I don't know what comes next.  It might be the backstitching around the edge.

I finished stitching all the back stitch for the Mermaid Purse.  Yeah!

Unfortunately, the design calls for a bunch of Au Ver a Soie silk.  I went looking last night and only found one color on hand.  I may have to wait to work more on this until after my road trip to Stitchville the first week of September.

I put in a teeny bit of color on the big Mermaid.  I want to work on one of the animals, the butterfly or the fish.  This design uses all DMC. I bought all the floss a while back.

I finished the knitting for Ophelia's work book.  It took about 7 tries to get a decent little square of knitting using tapestry needles as knitting needles.  The rest of the book should be easy even though it is on 40 count.

I put some spray starch on the Quaker Bag.  Big improvement.  It is easier to find the thread I'm looking for.

Can't wait to see Claire on Facetime this afternoon.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


I am going to get some good stuff in the mail this week.  The last part of Shepherd's Fold is supposed to ship and the Silver Needle's first of four exclusive kits is also supposed to ship.  Yesterday I got the pre-stitching for a retreat with Lauren Sauer next May.  Designers are sending out pre-stitching way early.  I guess they hope we get it done.  I started it but it is not exciting as it is basting, backstitches and border stitches.  It is worked mostly in black thread.  I will certainly have this done by next May.  Let's hope I can find it when it comes time to go!

I got all the backstitching done on the big mermaid.  Yeah!

 Now for some color.  I put in just a start to see how hard it will be to go around the backstitching.  Not bad.

I fixed my errors on the mermaid purse.  Now she matches up.  She will be a lot easier to fill in with color as she isn't stitched solidly like the big mermaid.

Then I got another section of leaves done on the Merry Cox tray.  Slowly but surely I'm making progress.

I took out the incorrectly placed center of the motif on the Quaker Bag.  The linen is a little floppy and very hard to work with over one so I think I put some spray starch on it to make it a bit stiffer.

Just a couple more threads were work on Harmony's walnut lute.  I want to get it at least half done today.

It is a lovely day for walking.  I went to the Farmer's Market but, alas, there was no chocolate covered orange peel.  I'm going to learn how to make that stuff.  I am going to make a big pot of it at Christmas time.