Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Color Variations

I forget if I have showed my progress on this project.  I bet I could finish it if I worked all today on it.
The pattern:

This is my progress:

Only eleven more little squares to go around the edge.
I'm using 4210 DMC Color Variations floss.  It looks a little rough, not nice a smooth like silk.  But it is fine.

I have to correct myself.  I have been calling one project and designer by the wrong name.

  The correct title and spelling:  Heart's Ease Examplar Workes by Theresa Baird, Fraktur Sewing Set Part II.  I am working on the pin cushion that goes on a stand.
This is how far I am:
I really like the bright colors.
I'm getting ready for my trip.  Well, I'm going to get ready for my trip, I haven't actually started yet.  BFF flies in tomorrow night and Friday is our road trip along with BFF#2.  I may not talk to you until next week. Of course, I'll tell you all about our adventures when I get back.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

He Looka Lika Man

I've been working on the over one lady and man on Tudor Rose by Amy Mitten.

The lady is all done and I have mostly the head area to stitch on the man.  Good progress.  There is a row of hearts and crowns under this - all worked over one.  I'm hoping it doesn't get too tedious.  I did take out the cross stitch below the couple and put in the correct stitch, long arm cross. 

This is how the whole piece looks.

So what I have left to do is between the top and bottom rows.

Marilyn, I'm not nearing the end of the Mystery Project.  There are at least 4 more pages below the ones I'm working on now.  There may be more but I don't want to discourage myself in case I have 50 pages left!!

On the trip to Madison, I looked for 36 Count Edinburgh Sand linen at every shop we stopped at but only found small pieces.  When I got back home, I decided to order from Needle in a Haystack and see if they had some.  The very next day after my order they sent me a whole yard of it!!  Wow, great service, awesome fabric availability. 

Monday, September 25, 2017


Another Monday and the bathrooms are clean.  I've just been to Macy's and they have a very good sale!  I got a couple of rugs and saved a bunch on them.  I was nearly out of Ginger Souffle, it would take too long to get here if I ordered it so I had to go to the actual store.  Plus, shopping equals lots of extra steps.  I'm up to nearly 14,000 today.
I finished off the reindeer by adding beads.  The pattern used red beads but I wanted the beads to look like snow so I used some crystal looking ones.

Then I have a page finish for the Mystery Project.  Yeah!

I need a bit of a break before starting the next page.  Confetti stitching drives me a little nuts.
Although some people think I have a head start on the "a little nuts" part.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Reindeer

This is what I found when I was in my rabbit hole the other day.
I stitched a couple of these a few years ago for Claire.  I didn't manage to stitch any ornaments last year.  (Shame on me) The designs looked easy and quick.  I was trying to remember the ones I stitched so that I didn't stitch ones Claire already had.  I chose the reindeer.
I thought that might be cute for Evan.  I picked a piece of 32 count overdyed fabric that looked like sky.
I started stitching with two strands.  Is that too thick?  I went to another corner of the fabric and tried stitching with one thread.  I didn't like the coverage (or lack there of).
So I went back to my original start and continued on.
I just need to add some beads and it is finished.  I am reminded that I am not fond of overdyed fabric.  The holes were tightened up and the "hand" felt rough.  You can see it looks a bit wrinkly in this photo.  I think I'll finish it into a circle shape.  We'll call him "Dancer".  His antlers are a very light yellow and cream not green.
I colored my hair last night in anticipation of my trip this week.  It has a bit of a pink cast to it but that will wash out.  I know there will come a day when I say phooey with coloring, I'm going natural.  But I'm not there yet. 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Rabbit Holes

Every once in a while I go down a rabbit hole.  Yesterday I read my Embroidery News email newsletter.  I get it every week.  They were talking about Susan O'Connor's design called David Smyth's Garden.

It is from the A Passion for Needlework book.  I have that design traced onto the back of Duchess satin.  So I could start it anytime.  I actually know where it is.  But then other designs by Susan O'Connor were mentioned.  There is a Sweets Bag in issue 51 of Inspirations.  Well, I went looking for issue 51.  I had an aunt in Australia who kindly sent me Inspirations magazine for many years until she passed away.  So I have quite a few Inspirations issues.  They are a bit scattered about in my sewing room.  I'd like to organize them in order and all in one place. (Dream on.)

This is something I would like to stitch sometime.  There is another Sweets Bag in issue 36 but I haven't found that one yet.  You know, I could keep busy for a long time stitching things from Inspirations magazine.  I found a really old issue with a Betsy Morgan design that I have never seen before.  It is a Romanian doll called Cosmina.  Embroidery News also showed a sweet little design from Betsy that was a blue flower.

  I hadn't seen that design before either. 
Anyway that rabbit hole was fun but I didn't get much stitching done.
Here are the three pieces I have finished so far from Heart's Ease Sampler Works' Fractur Sewing Set II.

  I'm starting a biscornu next.  I wonder if the stitching stand is still available - and whether it costs the earth.

I been walking and to the Farmer's Market.  I was good, no candy, no cinnamon roll. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Scissors Case

I worked hard yesterday to completely finish the scissors case to the Heart's Ease Fractur Sewing Set II.  I copied the pieces so I would have a pattern for the skirtex and lining.  I cut out the stitched pieces from the linen.

Then I realized that I hadn't done the back stitching all around the outside edge.

  Since you lace the backstitches together to join the front to the back, I had to go back and put the backstitching in.  I bet myself that it wouldn't take that long.  It took 30 minutes, so not too long.

This side is worked in DMC floss.

This side is worked in Belle Soie silk.

It is like comparing apples to oranges when the design is not the same for each side.
I like the blue silk a bit better than the blue DMC.  I found out that the Belle Soie is not colorfast.  I sprayed a bit of Best Press on as I was ironing these pieces and could see some bleeding in the seam allowance.  No disasters though. 

I like how it turned out.

Someone asked me what the name of my new favorite beading thread was.  It is KO.

We are in for a hot hot Friday.  I'm getting excited as I have another road trip next Friday.  Both my BFFs and I are going to Indianapolis for weekend classes with Lauren Sauer.  Fun!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

As a Rule

I finish-finished this ruler holder from Heart's Ease Sampler Works' Fractur Sewing Set II.  This is so sweet.  I love the design.

Now two parts of the smalls are done.  I used DMC for the needle book and ruler holder.  They are nice bright colors.
On the road trip to Madison, I bought some of the Belle Soie silks it called for.  At least all the ones whose names I could remember.  I think I ordered all the called for Belle Soie from Stitching Bits and Bobs but I'm not sure if the order went through and I forgot to write down the order number so I can't even check. 
The next piece of this set that I am working on is the scissors case.  I'm using the Belle Soie so I can compare and see if I like the silk better or not.  I would say the DMC is a bit brighter.  On the road trip to Madison I also got some Anchor black (403) floss.  I had heard that it was preferred over DMC so I wanted to try it.  I would agree, I prefer it too.
It is supposed to be 90 today.  Hot!  It was pleasant (and dark) when I went walking this morning.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Finish!

I finished the Threadwork Primitives pinwheel yesterday.  It turned out very nicely.  I went looking for fabric for the back and happened to find just a perfect choice. 
When I was at Tomorrow's Heirlooms, I saw this banding.  I sort of remembered I had a pattern like this so I got this little package for 2.00.  It turned out to be perfect for the edge of the pinwheel.
It seemed like it took all day but it really didn't take that long.
I had a package of pins handy (Thanks, Polly!) to put around the edge.
I'll show you another finish tomorrow. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Egg

I really wanted to start one of these eggs:
So I got out all the stuff.  I traced the pieces on to some cardstock and cut them out.  Then I traced those pieces on some paper backed stitch witchery like stuff.   Then I had to sort what to iron on to what color of wool felt.  I ironed them on and then had to cut them out.  Yes, this is quite a process.  Then I had to sew them on.  Sewing through three layers of backed felt was sometimes challenging.  But I got one side of one egg done.  That's when I read the directions on putting the eggs together.  The lady sews them on the machine.  Which means I should have left a seam allowance when I cut them out.  ARGH.  I guess I'll be sewing this one together by hand.  But this was my first experimental egg and it looks like the picture so that's good.
Three more sides to go.
Now more tracing, ironing, cutting and sewing.  I have to be in the mood!
So glad to see Dancing with The Stars is on again.  I so enjoy that show. 
Yes, the new dishwasher was installed yesterday.  I don't think we have a rinse and hold on it but whatever. 
I confess I did not walk this morning because it was raining and I overslept and I am a lazy good for nothing. 

Monday, September 18, 2017


It is now time for confetti.  I swear the design has one stitch of one color in each of the 10 by 10 blocks.  It takes forever to put them in.  But I can now start to see what the page is looking like.  It also will be nice to start a new page.

And look at how much I have done!  That is a lot of work, my friends.
I'm not showing you the back because it is such a mess.  You don't want to know.
The bathrooms are clean.  The walking is done.  It is pretty dark when I start out in the morning.  Fall starts on Friday.

 Glory Hallelujah, the dishwasher is supposed to be delivered this afternoon!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Tudor Rose

I picked up the Amy Mitten kit I bought on Ebay a while back.  This is the part I'm working on:

I put a few more stitches in it.  I goofed though.  I was supposed to do long armed cross but I forgot and just did cross stitches across the bottom.  Right now, I don't feel like taking it out.  Who will ever know?

I got to the point where I could begin the lady and the man which are over one.  Each section of this chart is a challenge so I like that you just do one section at a time and not worry about the other sections.  It's not overwhelming that way.

I saw the next sampler in Amy Mitten's Around the World series and I like it.  My BFF#2 orders the samplers for the group and I can be part of her group.  The kits aren't shipped until late October.  Can I get Tudor Rose done by then?  Probably not, but we'll see.

My mother's husband died last week.  He was such a good man with a wonderful sense of humor.  He was born in 1929, at the beginning of the Great Depression.   He had many stories to tell of how they survived those times.  Old age had been very cruel to him so I'm glad is no longer suffers.  I salute you, Charles Hamilton, you were one of the best people ever.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Now Where Was I?

It is hard to settle down after going on a trip.  I don't even remember where I was and what I was working on.  The big pile on my footstool is a good reminder however.

I got my Colour and Cotton floss of the month.

Nice colors.

I don't think I showed you a good photo of the quilt kit I got.  I opened it up and starting reading the instructions.

I think I can do it.

I got the Threadwork Primitives pin wheel all stitched.  I need to finish it off.  I have to go fabric diving to find a nice backing fabric.

I went walking this morning.  The park was getting ready for a run so there were a lot of people there and the road was blocked off.  Luckily I got my walk in before any more craziness.  I went to the Farmer's Market.  Fewer tables this week but I found what I was looking for.  And I got a cinnamon roll.
And now for a stitchy Saturday . . . .

Friday, September 15, 2017

Road Trip to Madison 4

Sunday was our last class and the one I really wanted to learn how to make.  It was a Stumpwork caterpillar.
This will be a great addition to my casket.
The kit came in a darling clear paint can.  (I put my wren in it for display)

And we got some more chocolates!

The kit was really put together well with all the ingredients for the two caterpillars organized into bags.

We were working with the perfect thread for caterpillars, Very Velvet. It is a little fuzzy.  Luckily Lynn's carried some in the store and I bought some other colors.  It was fascinating to see how it was put together.  We used some specialty stitches but they weren't hard at all.  The teacher wanted us to know how to put in the ribbon, floss and bead decorations and how to make the head and the tail.  It was a small class and we got lots of attention from the teacher.  Would you believe everyone finished her caterpillar?  When you finished your caterpillar, you had to give him a name.  I called mine "Jimmy".  Then the teacher took a picture of you and your caterpillar.
We all worked very hard and started the baby caterpillar.  I finished mine.  He is so cute.

When I got home I bought some more supplies and made two more.

Special thanks to Polly for arranging these classes and providing a large assortment of snacks.
 Usually Sunday classes are done early but we worked until 5:30.
BFF#2 and I drove home after class.  We got home somewhere around midnight so it was a long day.  Chicago traffic sucks and I wasn't even driving.  We stopped at Beloit and got some "car food".  That is snacks to eat while we were driving.  Not the healthiest dinner there is.  BFF#2 dared me to eat just one Cheeto.  And I did.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Road Trip to Madison 3

On Saturday we went to our first class.  It was held at Lynn's of Madison.  Our class was small but that was a big plus.  We got lots of attention and help from the teacher.  Now, I have to admit that I had doubts about this class.  All I knew was that it was a round pin cushion with some ribbon decoration around the edge.  No cross stitching at all.  What is there to it?  Just seam two circles together and there you go.  I was so wrong.  There was a lot to learn about this project.  It was much more complex.

First, the kit came in a nifty container.  What a cool box!

I loved the class but it was really challenging.  I learned about using hand dyed silk ribbon woven on the bias.  There was velvet, crinoline, sequins, beads and roving as well as two magnets in it.  I never thought I could get a pin cushion stuffed that tightly.

 We got some great tools.  I never heard of using a porcupine quill.  What a handy tool!  One end can be an awl, the other can help stuff and tuck and many other things.  You can file off the end like a fingernail.

 We got a variety of needles.  We used a new kind of beading thread that I like much more than Nymo.

And to help us keep our energy up and encourage us, we got chocolate in a very nice package.

During break times, we got to shop at Lynn's.  She had a framed Death by Cross Stitch on her wall.  Oh my, was it fabulous.

The teacher was fabulous.  She was very helpful and answered our questions completely.  The directions were nicely illustrated and very complete.  The kit was put together perfectly.  I finished the pin cushion shortly after I got home.  I'm very happy with it.  I'm actually impressed that I did it.

As you can see, I'm using it too.
After class a group of us went out for pizza for dinner in the hip college area.

It was a great day.