Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Front and Center

I decided to start the front of Home Sweet Home.  It was a little scary.  How can embroidery be scary?  Well, if you have to try things you've never done before and you are afraid of messing it all up, it's scary.
I traced the design onto the fabric.

 First I have to do three windows.   I thought thread would be couched on an angle but these windows are done in a different way.  Organza is ironed on with stitch witchery kind of stuff.  Then you have to measure and put in rows of foundation stitches evenly across the window. I used Tiger Tape and  tape measure tape to help me.  Then you weave through the foundation stitches.  The first window I tried was a little messy.  The second window went better.  The window is bordered with Portuguese border stitch.  I haven't done that before.  I think I have the hang of it.

This side has about forty million leaves on it done in fly stitch. (Actually, there are around fifty.)  I tried one just to see how it went.  Not too bad and pretty quick.  The leaves are three different colors of thread.
So far:

Someone asked what color my amaryllis is.  I don't know. I threw away the box so I don't know if it said on there what color it is.  I think it will be red but it will be fun to find out.

It is snowing here so I had to walk at the Y.  I watched a whole season of Sneaky Pete on Amazon and enjoyed it although I didn't catch a few parts of it. I was stitching as I was watching.   I should watch it all again to see if I can pick up who everybody is and understand the entire plot.  But it was very good anyway.  It is very clever.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Update on Home Sweet Home

It really helped to name this project as the WIP that I want to finish this year.  I am very happy to say that I have finished the short side of Home Sweet Home that I was working on.

I started this side eons ago and getting back to it was hard.  But now it is finished!  I laced it onto its board.

Now I have the roof, the bottom and one short side done.  Three more sides to go.

I have started a long side.  I'll show you that tomorrow.

Here is an update on the amaryllis.  I swear it grew an inch at least since yesterday.  This is where it  was last Thursday:

Here it is today:

The bathrooms are clean.  I have to find a mistake that I made on Final Soliloquy.  A row of stitching is not meeting up to where it should.  ARGH.

I am still looking for threads for the Hands-On pin cushion.  Luckily there is the DMC equivalent listed.  I better get busy.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Suggestion

DQ said she would like to see me tackle something I bought in December.  At first I thought she meant the Just Nan cube.  I wasn't feeling it.  Too much confetti.  Then I went back and looked at what I bought around that time.  I think she means this one:

So I looked at what I need to do it.  It has this pink little square that goes on top.

It calls for Dusty Miller linen. To me it looks kind of bluey.  I'll have to look through my stash and see if I have anything that might do.  Then I was looking at the top.  Are those flowers ?  No, they are buttons.  Hey, I could use real buttons.  I wonder how that would look.  I know I don't have all the GAST called for but I could probably substitute.  I really like the other pin cushion from Hands On that I made a while ago.

I discovered that there is a new issue of Inspirations out.  I like to go to Zinio and get the digital edition.  This is a really good issue.  I rarely make projects from magazines.  But Inspirations is the exception.  They publish more advanced projects of a great variety.  I printed out three projects that I would love to make.  I almost ordered the Pheasant kit from Jenny Adin-Christie when I ordered the Wren.  I was so tickled to see it in the magazine.  It is smaller than I thought but much sweeter.  It calls for a lot of exotic threads.  I may still order her kit but it is great to have the pattern to see if I could make it.

 I love William Morris's strawberry thief design.  Nicola Jarvis has designed several variations of the strawberry thief.  I love this one.

Then there is Betsy Morgan's Tall Year Square.  I haven't taken this class.  Love the design.  Now I can make it.  Cool.

There are so many great things to stitch and so little time!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Santa Mouse

I got the linen in the mail to stitch Just Nan's Santa Mouse. It's a lovely gingerbread color.

  It is just a six inch square.  I stitched the mouse very close to one side.  I think I have enough fabric left to stitch another mouse.  I have a feeling that I have another Just Nan mouse pattern in my cabinet somewhere.  This is an overdyed fabric and I had a hard time seeing the holes so I put it in a hoop.  That helped.

This guy is very cute.

His bag of toys is made out of a tiny piece of felt.

He isn't very stable.  His tail is heavy enough to tip him over.  He has to be balanced just right. Maybe I should have put a penny in the bottom to give him some weight.  I'm getting a little mouse village.

I walked at the Y as I was afraid it would be very slippery walking outside today.  We are back to January weather with several inches of snow expected this weekend.  The neighbors gave us an amaryllis bulb for Christmas.  I'm not a very good gardener but all you have to do is water it once a week.  I can handle that.  All I have to remember is to water it on Friday.  It has started to grow.

Have a happy Saturday!

Friday, January 27, 2017

I'm Back

Thanks to all the kind readers who missed me.  I'm back.  Someone was not happy with what I wrote and I had to figure out if it was me or her.  It's her.  I do not want to offend anyone. The words I write are my own interpretation of the world as I see it.

I also wanted to see if I stitch to the blog.  Do I stitch so I can have something to show you or do I stitch what I feel like?  I've found that it is a little bit of both.  You encourage me.  So thank you.

I have a finish!  I finished the pin disc from the Passion for Needlework book.  I love it.  I learned a lot about working on the duchess satin.  It is pretty sturdy material.  I don't think it likes being in a hoop.  It was hard to get wrinkles out with ironing.  I mounted it on comic board with batting on it.

I got better as I went along.  I like the little pansy on the back, it looks better than the ones on the front.

  There is a coral stitch around the edge.

 Luckily the pins hide when I goofed.  I've done coral stitch before but I never remember how to do it.  It takes a bit before I get the rhythm of it again.  There is another pin disc pattern in the book that I may try later on.
After doing this project I think I can tackle the Flemish Ornament and just do it my way.
I am lucky enough to have been able to walk outside all week.  Today it was quite slippery.
I've got another finish to show you tomorrow!

Sunday, January 22, 2017


It is so foggy today.  You can hardly see up the street.  A regular runner on the trail gave me a present yesterday.  It is a light that you can put on your head or carry.

  I usually start off walking when it is still dark.  I tried out the light this morning and it worked great.  I couldn't wear it on my head because all I could see was water drops in the air from all the fog so I just carried it like a flashlight.  Isn't it nice when someone you hardly know gives you a present?

I started on the pin disc from the Passion for Needlework book.  I had some Duchess satin.  I found my micro pen (they have a tendency to disappear when you aren't looking!).

 This design is traced on the backside of the satin.  Being a rebel I had to try tracing on both sides to compare and find out how they are different.  I found that tracing with the micro pen on the wrong side worked fine but you have to be careful not to make unintended lines.

 When tracing on the right side, the ink tended to spread just a bit more.  So I prefer the wrong side.

I put this in a 4 inch hoop.  The disc will be a 3 inch circle when its done.  Now embroidery isn't my forte.  I used the Aver a Soie threads that I had on hand and not the ones called for.  I was not real happy with my stitching at first but as I've put in more and more stitches, it is looking better.

 If I keep working on this, I could finish it today. But right now I need a break.  This project is reminding me of the Flemish Fantasy ornament I started a while back. I'm learning what works when doing embroidery on Duchess satin.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Good Mail

I've been wanting this book for a long time.

 I ordered it (at a price too good to be true) last October.  I didn't realize that it was a pre-order and wouldn't be available until January 1.  But January 1 came and went and no book.  So last week I tried to cancel the order.  It didn't go through.  Then a couple days later the company emailed me to say the order had been cancelled.  Now I was free to order it from somewhere else.  I went to The French Needle site as I knew they carried the book.  The book came yesterday (after only two days!.
Oh my goodness, is it a beautiful book.  It is oversized.  The photos are tremendous.  Huge, clear and beautiful.  This is a book full of projects with directions and patterns.

 What I wanted to make was a pin disc by Susan O'Connor.

I love this!  There is another project in the book by Susan O'Connor.  I love it too.  I measured the size of it against one of my caskets.  Yes!  This will fit the back of a casket.  I love it too.

I went looking for the threads to start the pin disc.  I only found three of the Aver a Soie threads in my stash.  So just for fun I went on Stitching Bits and Bobs to see how much it would be the order the other threads.  92 dollars later, I decided to think about it.  I have a ton of thread,  I have a ton of silk thread.  Do I really need to order more thread for such small stitching?  No.  I don't.
Maybe I can start this today?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Rainy Friday

It is a rainy Friday here at the chateau.  I had to walk at the Y.  Tomorrow is supposed to be in the fifties.  What a treat for a January day!

I forgot to show you that there is a loop of the back of the Queen's Ruff so you can hang it on the wall.  It hadn't occurred to me that I could do that.  But all that work should be appreciated!

I'm still looking for that darn thread winder.

I made a caterpillar on the end side of Home Sweet Home.

I also started the flowers and grass at the bottom.

 I found some bees in my stash.  I don't like the hive because it sticks out too much.

 I may have to get another hive that will lay flat.  I'd like to finish up this side today.

I have a hankering to start a Prairie Schooler design.  Which one, you ask?  Well, I haven't decided.  I have a BAP of the Prairie Schooler alphabet that has been neglected for a long time.Maybe I should dig it out.  But that just seems too huge.  I want something cute and little.

I ordered some more springerle cookies.  Heidleberg Cate is making the cookies through January so in a weak moment I clicked "buy".

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I am almost finished with the Queen's Ruff.  My pleater board worked great. and I was able to take the ruff out of the hoop and cut out the rest of the parts and begin to put them together.
I sewed her head on and added her earrings.  I put in the feather and comb and pearl on the top of her head.

I laced the four pieces together leaving pockets for the thread winders.
I am very happy how it turned out.

  I have two minor problems.  I found this:
It is a piece of batting.

I don't know where it goes.  Oh well.  Pitch it.

Then I am missing one thread winder.  It is here somewhere, I just have to find it.  I still have to wind thread around the thread winders.  I haven't checked out the 15th lesson so there may be a few minor things left.  But I can certainly finish  it today.  Happy dance!!

I walked outside again today.  How lucky am I?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I was able to walk outside today!  And it is January.  It was a nice change from the Y which involves walking an oval about 48 times.

I got all the stitching done on the collar of the Queen's Ruff.

Now I am on to other things.  First up is pleating the ribbon that goes around her neck.  You are supposed to do it by hand.  I thought I would try my little pleating board.

  It is a board for making pleats nice and even.  I rarely use it.  I am going to iron down one side of the ribbon's pleats and then see how it looks.  After that is a feather.  It will be fun to sew this all together.  Soon!

I put in a few stitches into Final Soliloquy.

I can't believe how much it is taking shape with just a few stitches every day.  I should do this with several WIPs that I have.

I signed up for two guild classes with Linda Vinson.  They are in April.  I have two other events in April too.  Am I crazy?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I've Got It!

I got all the way around on the first row of detached buttonhole.  Then when I started the second row, I knew I would have to figure out the Picot stitch.  I reread the directions.  I looked up a couple of YouTube videos.  I tried a few picots.  I didn't have it quite right - yet.

  One more YouTube video for a twisted picot.  Aha!  That's the kind of picot I was looking for!  I went back and reread the directions and the light dawned.  I figured it out.

 This stitch reminds me of a buillion (another stitch that I used to be afraid of).  You have to hold on to the wraps.  I made a few picots I think are perfect.
I got it!

I looked at the pictures in the Home Sweet Home book.

 I wanted to see which edge was on the outside.  Okay, I got it now, the long sides are outside of the short sides.

Then I went to see what I had done on my lining.  That was part of the problem.  I'm glad I had only taped the sides together rather than stitched them.

 So I tried putting the tray in once I had reconfigued it so the long sides were outside of the short sides.

 I was able to put the tray into the lining - but just barely.  It fits very snugly.

  I think things are going to work but I have to be very careful as I put this together.  A commenter wanted to know the blog of the lady who stitched Home Sweet Home.  It is https://janetgranger.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/carolyn-pearce-home-sweet-home/  Her advise has helped me.  Thank you Janet Granger!

It's a warm rainy day.  I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond to get my favorite coffee, Dark Hazelnut and it was on sale.  Yeah!  I'm anxious to finish up the last row of the ruff.