Sunday, December 31, 2017

Last Post of 2017 - Not a Wrap Up!

Hard to believe 2017 is ending and 2018 is beginning.  I have a few things finished since my last post to share with you.  I was off the week after Thanksgiving and my goal was to finish 3 cross stitch projects.  The Chessie and Me book finish I forgot to photograph so I'll save that for my next post.  All three finishes were finishing techniques I had never attempted.

First up was a Mounted Tag Finish a la Vonna.  You can find her outstanding YouTube video from Vonna HERE.  Whether or not you have any interest in doing your own finishing, I'd suggest you watch all of Vonna's finishing tutorials on YouTube.  They are that good!  I can't say that it took me 40 minutes like Vonna to finish my tag - more like 4 hours but I'm very pleased with my first attempt!  Thank you Vonna for holding my hand through the process - even though you didn't know it!  :)
Prairie Schooler HoHoHo Santa
Just Cross Stitch Ornament Magazine 2014
Called for DMC
32 Count Summer Khaki

Up next was a Blackbird Designs stocking finish.  This is from Merry December.  I like stitching on higher count and thought I'd stitch future stockings on higher count fabric.  After having to turn this stocking on 32 count, I'm quite happy with 32 count!
BlackBird Designs Deer in the Meadow
Called from overdyed cotton floss
Called for fabric

I also had one of my finishes framed.  This is Scottish Excursion by Amy Mitten.  I substituted another linen (32 count LL Vintage Pearled Barley).  The angle of the photo makes this look odd.  I used museum glass for the very first time and am SO happy with it. Makes a HUGE difference in my opinion.
Close up of the frame.
I also surprising dug Ann Dale out and stitched on her for a bit in November (or was it December?).  This photo is terrible but that entire bottom row except for the far left tree is what I stitched this time around along with extending the borders.  I stitched all that in a week or so and just like that, my mojo for Ann went out the window!
Murphy turned 1 December 11th.  We celebrated with a cookie from the dog bakery - the cakes were too big for his 20 pound self - and a couple of toys for "aggressive chewers".  He wasn't happy with my taking a photo since I woke him up from a nap to take it just a few minutes ago.
Thank you so much for continuing to visit my blog and leave sweet comments!  They keep me going!  Wishing you all a healthy, happy and safe New Year full of happy stitches!


Sunday, November 12, 2017

What's Next?

The holiday season is pretty much here and we're starting to get ready for it.  In the meantime, I've had some stitching progress to share with you.

First up is my finish of Block1 of Autumn of Hawk Run Hollow.  It's a pretty dense stitch but went so fast!
Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow by Kathy Barrick
Called for fabric - 40 count

I also finished And Heaven and Nature Sing.  It went pretty quickly too.  
And Heaven and Nature Sing by Kathy Barrick
40 Count Vintage Pecan Butter
Called for NPI

I started this Blackbird Designs stocking at my EGA stitch day yesterday and finished it up today.  I stitched one of the deers twice and the toe twice.  Once for a color error and the other for a placement error.  Hoping to get this fully finished at some point!
Deer in the Meadow
Called for fabric 
called for overdyed cotton

I also pull out this ornament from Little House Needleworks and finished up the beaded edge (which was about half done) and stuffed it.  It's ready for the tree!
Winter Sheep by Little House Needleworks
Called for Fabric
Button Omitted

I have no idea what to stitch next.  Nothing is calling my name at all so I'm going to stitch the black border for block #2 for Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow before putting it away for a bit.  Maybe something will come to me!  Maybe a new start?

Wishing you and yours a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Organization, Some Time Away, and Two New Starts

So hard to believe that October is over and the holidays are just around the corner!  This month, Greg and I escaped to the Smoky Mountains for a week away along with dear friends.  It was just what we needed.  She is a stitcher too and we both started Autumn at Hawk Run Hollow with the goal of getting that top block done.  I was able to finish mine, she decided she didn't like her linen so she worked on other projects.  It was a great week!
Since we've been home, I've made good progress on And Heaven and Nature Sing.  It's been a fun stitch.  I thought stitching all the brown on the deer would be a slog-fest but it went rather quickly.  I should be finishing this soon.  
Before we left, I worked on organizing my DMC.  Thanks to a $.02 skein sale at WalMart and Greg making friends with a WalMart associate I was covered in unorganized DMC.  Since I wanted to share the loot with my friend who lives in a very rural area, I had to figure out what I had.  I decided to use those Ikea boxes I bought some time ago.  I cut a PO cardboard box to make a center divider.
I cut smaller pieces to use as organizational tabs inside.
I ended up with 4 very full boxes.  Very full.  These photos were early on in the process.  After these pics my husbands connection at WalMart texted him to say she had even more $.02 DMC.   I was able to share quite a bit with my friend and I sent some to someone in New Zealand where DMC is $1.69 a skein!  I can't imagine!  I plan on buying two more boxes when our Ikea opens up and then the DMC organization should be done.  No plans to organize any of the rest of it yet!  
It's all logged into the XStitch app along with all my charts, fabric, and other threads except for what I bought while on vacation and have not put away as yet.  I love being able to easily see what I have and need at a glance!  Getting everything in there went much quicker than I thought.  

Tomorrow is Halloween and then we are full on in the holiday season.  I'm hoping to find some calm days with my needles during all of the busy-ness.  I hope that you can too and that all your stitches are happy ones!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

More Finishes?

I've pulled out a project started long, long, ago when I was a fairly new stitcher.  Teresa and I traveled to The Attic Needlework in January 2011 for A Primitive Gathering and this was one of the projects from Linda of Chessie and Me.  The project is called Needlebook of Stitches.  We assembled the cover in class and made the cording.  We did a little bit of stitching as well.
The inside is really a sampler of stitches.
The linen is stitched onto wool.
The back cover has some cording with which a pair of scissors can be tied.  The front cover can be used to store spare needles.  When I got home, I finished almost all the stitching except for some of the nunn stitches on the border of the "pages".  This finished really quickly when I pulled it out and realized I was pretty close to a finish.  It's not my best work but it's a project that reflects my journey as a stitcher and I'm very ok with that!
Today, I actually turned on the sewing machine and used it!  I made a grime guard using the tutorial from The Left Handed Stitcher.  Here is also a great tutorial from Tonya at Tonya Stitches if you only have a fat quarter of fabric.  I've learned a couple of things to improve on my next time around but for now, this is good.  You can also see my new start - Heaven and Nature Sing from Kathy Barrick.  This has been fun to stitch.  I'm using NPI and 40 count Lakeside Linen Vintage Pecan Butter.
Last week and the end of the week before was all about Hurricane Irma and prep and then cleanup.  We are high and dry/not in an evacuation zone so we stayed.  It was a 5 days of prep/waiting and then several days of cleanup.  I was outwardly fairly calm but I had a headache for 5 days.  Here is a video from the hospital where my son works.  The entire city has felt the impacts in one way or another.   I've heard from many of you checking to see if we are ok.  I so much appreciate that!   

Hoping you have plenty of time with needle and thread this week and wishing you happy stitches!

Sunday, August 20, 2017


I'm so happy to share a few stitching finishes with you!  It's rare that I have a finish.  Oddly enough, I finished both of the samplers on my son's birthday - August 7th.  Both are SAL's with my EGA Guild.  The Amy Mitten project was our 2016 SAL and this year we have a Brenda Keyes/The Sampler Company SAL going.

This is the Amy Mitten project.  The Scottish Sampler.  This piece has chenille couched just underneath the house (the dark and light green).  It's not fun to work with in that capacity.  I'm glad to have this done.   It gave me problems as a linen thread disappeared somewhere.  Jill helped me out with the problems that ended up presenting in the house but the rest of it just landed where it landed.  I wasn't going to stress over it since almost the entire sampler was stitched at that point.
The Scottish Sampler/Amy Mitten
32 Count Lakeside Linen Pearled Barley
Amy Mitten's Hand Dyed Silks
This is County House Sampler from Brenda Keyes.  I first noticed this when Tonya Brockmeyer of The Scarlett House posted her sampler on Facebook.  I asked what it was and she told me and said it was one of her favorite stitches of all times.  The linen color here is off.  I would have never stitched a sampler on this natural/raw linen but I saw it stitched on it at Stitch and Frame shop and just fell in love with it.
Country House Sampler
Brenda Keys/The Sampler Company
40 Count Zweigart Raw Natural Linen
NPI conversion from Joe shared by Margaret the Sampler Lover

The color is more true in this picture.
This isn't a reproduction so I stitched my name in a blatant attempt to guilt my sons into keeping this when I'm gone. Ha!  Who knows, it might work!  :)
I also signed up for a Shining Needle Society for Barbara Jackson's Springtime Eggs.  I finished the first one right away but I haven't shared it here.  The 2nd one is in progress but has not been getting any attention lately.
I've spent the weekend organizing my stitching "stuff" because I could not find something I had been trying to find.  Still haven't found it but I'm confident I could find anything else stitching related if I was looking for it!

I hope you're having a great weekend and that all your stitches are happy ones! 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Country House Sampler and a Puppy!

I've been away from my blog but never intended it to be this long.  Tonight I decided to just check my camera on my phone and if I had pics, to post based on those pics.  I knew I'd been putting it off because I hadn't taken the time to take pictures of everything I wanted to photograph.  Sound familiar?  So here we go...

I've been working here and there on Country House Sampler by Brenda Keyes/The Sampler Company.  This is the first time I've used this raw Zweigart linen and I have to say I'm enjoying it!  Love, love, love the trees on this one and the red in the border.  It's been a lot of fun!  It's 40 count and I've got about 2 12 inch strands of one of the threads left.  I sent out a 911 via email and I have another skein on the way.  I was very good and didn't order anything else.
One of the reasons I've been away was that in May our puppy Murphy, fractured the growth plate in his leg.  We were able to avoid surgery, however, he was casted and needed weekly visits to an orthopedic vet for monitoring, x-rays etc to be sure surgery was avoidable.  
6 weeks later, his cast was removed and he was released from the ortho vet. The next day he was neutered and needed two weeks of additional limited activity.  Last Thursday, he got his stitches out and now he's free to be a puppy again.  To celebrate, we purchased a pool for him.   It took him a while but eventually he was splashing around and trying to catch the splashes with his mouth.  He's 7 months old now and has lost his puppy belly and puppy wiggle.
That's a very brief update on things here.  I hope you all are having a great summer.  Wishing you lots of happy stitches!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Longtime Gone Quilt

I've been very slowly working on Jen Kingwell's LongTime Gone BOM quilt. I joined the BOM last year and you know how that goes!  I had the best of intentions!  The BOM included fabric and they are super scrappy.  Very much outside my comfort zone and I can't say I haven't completely given up on trying to make things look planned.  The fabric selection, however, is so scrappy and diverse that I've had to give much of that up.    Here is my progress so far:
Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled UntitledUntitled 
Murphy has settled in nicely.  He is beyond spoiled but just look at that face!  He loves to ride in the car, bark, lick and play.  He's just turned 5 months old and is doing well with training.  
I hope all your stitches are happy ones!
Happy Mothers Day!

Monday, April 17, 2017

April is Almost Over!

Time is flying this year!  Hard to believe the long hot days of summer are on the horizon.  Our winter has been mild and it's been dry.  Our state is already experiencing a lot of fires.

I have been so busy and I want to show that to you today.  I finished all of Hands on Designs Chalk Ornaments Part 1. The hardest part with working with the dark linen was simply getting started.  Once I had a couple of foundation rows completed, the rest went very smoothly.  Finishing by Vonna Pfeiffer/The Twisted Stitcher who is a great communicator in addition to being a fantastic finisher.
Chalk Ornaments Part 1, Hands on Design
35 Count GunMetal, Weeks Dye Works
Called for Threads

My EGA Guild has a SAL each year.  This year it's Brenda Keyes for the linen SAL.  I chose Country House Sampler to stitch. I saw this stitched at Stitch and Frame Shop on a Natural Linen from Zweigart and loved it so I decided to give it a try.   I typically stitch on Lakeside Linen but I am really enjoying this fabric.  Here is a pic of my very small start.
Country House Sampler, Brenda Keyes
40 Count Natural Linen from Zweigart
NPI Threads
Our guild educational opportunity in March was to make a small woven basket for our stitching supplies.  Here is my finished basket that I have not yet lined nor have I made the pincushion.  I'm thinking of staining it a darker color.  Making the basket was a ton of fun and almost everyone left with a finished basket.  The dowel in the basket handle can hold a spool of thread.
Many of you know that we lost our beloved Cody and Kenzie over the last 2 years.  We've been extra busy lately because we decided to add a fur baby to our family again.  Murphy came to live with us in early March.  He's such a good (mostly) pup and we are totally in love with him!  He's a cairn terrier, the same breed as Cody and Kenzie, chosen because for some reason cairn terrier dander doesn't bother my allergies (I'm highly allergic to dogs).    
I have been doing some sewing too and I have a knitting project to show you that needs blocking.  I'll be back soon sharing more about that.  In the meantime, may all your stitches be happy ones!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pennsylvania Alphabet

I didn't mean to be gone so long!  Dad fell in early October and broke his femur just below his hip which created a host of logistical issues for my siblings and I.  Dad was in the hospital for over a week and in rehab for 6 weeks.  He's home now doing well but we've been going down to see him and Mom several weekends a month and my sister is visiting the weekends we are not there.  Unfortunately, my sister, brother nor I live in the same city as my parents.

During this time, I've been taking my stitching with me as there has been a lot of time just sitting with either dad, with my mom or both.  Mom also spent 3 weeks with us - she has mild dementia.  I started this particular project years ago but with 2 threads of silk.  It was far too bulky.  This is the project that has been going with me everywhere.  There have been VERY few stitches not stitched in the presence of at least one of my parents.  First, though, I spent an entire day in the hospital with dad ripping out what I had stitched.  It was just what I needed at the time.  The repetition of ripping was soothing but I didn't have to count.   

I finished it earlier this month!
Pennsylvania Alphabet
The Goode Huswife
32 count Birds of a Feather Barn Owl Linen
Chart and Linen are no longer being produced
Threads:  Soie d'Alger Noir and 2354, NPI 765, 905
Thread Choices My Own

A dear friend lent me her chart, which has long been OOO and impossible to find.  I fell in love with this years ago when I first started stitching on linen when I came across a photo on someones blog that I've long forgotten.  I'll never look at this project without thinking of my parents.
I don't think I've ever shared these three FFO's so I took a quick pic last month when I took down our Christmas tree.  I'm hoping to get a few more ornaments stitched this year to decorate a little tree we put up in our dining room.  
From left to right:
Quite Night - Erica Michaels 2007 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue Page 49
Snow in Love by Little House Needleworks
Merry Christmas by Blackbird Designs
There has been zero sewing.  I put my machine into the shop in December for some repairs and just got it back 2 days ago.  Yesterday was spent cleaning out my yarn cabinet.  I've been trying to work on one small organizational project each weekend.  The yarn cabinet was a bigger project but I couldn't see how to not do it all at once as I didn't want to live with the mess if I didn't.   So far, I have a 3 week streak though and I have something lined up for the next 2 weekends.  

I hope your new year has gotten off to a positive start!  So much of life is what we decide it's going to be and I've decided to have a positive outlook in an effort to encourage positive outcomes!  

During this hiatus, while I have not been posting I have been keeping up with blog reading.  I am always so inspired by all of you and it always makes my heart warm to see what you've been up to doing.  Thank you for your friendship!  As always, may all your stitches be happy ones!