Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday stitching

I got lots of stitching time in over the Christmas holiday.  How fun!

These first two photos ended up as Christmas presents.  The tree wall hanging is a SAL and the little holiday sampler is an original -- just some thread doodling I did.

I also dug out the heart sampler (Victorian Heart by Lynne Tomlinson Designs) and filled in the outside lacy area and the long, central ribbon. The ribbon isn't entirely finished plus I have to decide if I want to put beads or French knots around the outside of the eyelets. And then I want to add a few charms or beads in some of the patches. This has been in the works for some time now and I can see the end of this project nearing.

I also spent time stitching on the samplers from the Marqouir Group:

And, last but not least, Harvest Angel:

Here's hoping I can get lots done over the New Year holiday also ......

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Thank God It Fits !!

Yippee!!  ..... with plenty of room to spare  .....  a perfect Christmas present

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In the mail .....

That's where these christmas ornaments are now .....  going to my young nephews.  I love the hairy yarn in the cording.

I addition to these, I'm working on another Christmas present.  Hopefully, it will be finished before Christmas.  Once it's done, I'll post a photo of it.

Another project in the works is something new and as you can see I'm still stuck in fall colors.  But aren't they lovely?  The fabric is 28 ct tea stained evenweave, the threads are DMC and I am stitching it with 1 thread over 1.  So far I really like it.

Unfortunately, I cut the fabric a little smaller that prefered and then to make matters worse, I forgot to take into account the peaks of the diamond.  DUH!  This is why I would rather begin in the middle of a project.  There is no mistaking the middle.  - sigh -  It seems almost every time I begin at a corner, there is a problem.  However, I believe that the peaks will fit on the fabric.  It's just that 2 of them will be closer than I like to the fabric edge. 

This project is different from anything I have stitched before.  Normally, I would never leave motiffs unfinished before beginning another.  Plus I hate leaving all those threads just hanging there.  It's enough to set my OCD all a tither.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Boys are gone ....

Eure & Happy are back home and the house is quieter.  At least for a couple days.  On Thursday, a friend is going away for Christmas and her shih tzu, Precious, will be visiting for a couple weeks.  She's a doll.

I accomplished quite a bit over the weekend.  I worked on some holiday ornaments from my stack of finishing-to-dos.  Now all I need to do is add the trim around the rims of them.  I'm leaning toward cording.

I finally finished stitching this reindeer.  It will also become an ornament in the near future.  Hmmmmmm ... I'm thinking  ...... stuffed .....

I officially began the Christmas Design SAL by putting the canvas on stretcher bars.  I haven't actually picked out threads yet but will do that soon.  Oh my!  Everytime I look at this, I have no idea where to start.

I wasn't entirely  happy with my tea staining from last week.   Soooo, I cut a small piece off and re-stained it a second time.  Same conditions, 200 degrees F for a hour.  This time I used 2 bags of Cinnamon Stick tea (out of Earl Grey) and crumpled the fabric. 

Isn't it gorgeous!    I love it.

Now to pick out my threads and I'm ready to begin See the Star.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Something new, something temporary, something stained ..... and a finish

It's been very busy at my house these past few days.  My kitchen has a lovely new vinyl floor.  No more yucky carpet -- yippee!  My pack has swelled by 2.  A friend is away for a few days and I'm watching 2 of her papillions this week.  It's always interesting when the boys come to visit.

<--  Eure (short for Eureka -- as in the vaccuum cleaner) and my beagle Shasta showing off our new floor.

<--  Happy on the back of my couch.  One of his favorite places when he comes to visit.

Last night I decided to tea stain some white 28 ct evenweave fabric -- I think it's from wichelt.  I am both pleased and not so pleased with the result.  Here's what I did .....

I put the fabric in a 9x13 cake pan with a couple glass dishes to keep it from floating. 
Added earl grey tea bags (5 or 6) between the fabric layers and a bit of red wine vinegar.
Covered the whole thing with tin foil.
Cooked in my oven at 200 degrees F for an hour.

Can you see a problem already?  I didn't.

After the hour, the color was absolutely gorgeous -- a nice rich color with darker splotchy areas (at least on the top).  Upon closer inspection, I noticed most of the darker areas were not so splotchy.  They were very regular rectangles -- you know, tea bag shaped.  DUH!

So I mushed up the fabric with said tea bags and cooked again for about 30 minutes.  It didn't change anything.  After rinsing, drying and ironing the fabric, here is the end product:

Hmmmmm ... looks a little wierd.   I was going to use this tea stained fabric and fall-colored DMC threads for the Marquoir "See the Star" piece but I'm not so sure now.   I need to measure off the good area and see if it will still work.  It isn't a total bust.  I'll find uses for the goofy areas with smalls  **PLUS**  I learned a valuable lesson.

And last but not least, while staining and learning said lesson, I finished the Noel Sampler .... ta-da .....

I'm mostly happy with it.  I'm not entirely sure about the candle and flowers on the bottom.  The colors I chose don't exactly separate & stand out nicely, making it kind of blob-ish.  I can't even blame the photograph.  Oh, well.   It's done now and I'm not going to change it.  You may have noticed, I settled on a heart charm for the upper wreath instead of the flower or snowflake.  I haven't decided what to do next but will probably frame it.

Oh dear!  Finished and me still not in the proper holiday mood.

Bleechhhtttttt ! ! !

Friday, December 4, 2009

Noel Sampler

I stitched more on the Sampler Noel 2009 and since it is near completion, I started playing with trinkets to add to it.  I like the 2 angels in the wreathes (dollar store dangle earrings) and the little sequins stars around the border (I'll add them with a bead).  I'm not sure what to put in the top wreath:  the "crystal" snowflake or the gold charm?  Right now I'm leaning toward the charm but the more I look at the snowflake, the more I like it.  Hmmmmmm .... decisions, decisions. 

I should have time to work on this over the weekend and hopefully finish it.  I love finishing a project.  It always gives me a sense of accomplishment and makes me smile.

Once this is finished, I'm back on the Harvest Angel.  With a little luck, it shouldn't take too long to finish her.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving stitching

I was very productive over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Not only did I get lots of stitching done but (knock on wood) it appears the dreaded flea epidemic has subsided -- WooHooHoo! 

And little Firefly seconds that.

Can you believe nasty fleas on this little lovely -- what an abomination!

Anyway, back to stitching ......

I worked on Harvest Angel on Thanksgiving Day while at my dad's house.  I didn't really get much of her done -- too many distractions -- but she's closer to being finished.

Since it is fast approaching the Christmas season and I'm stuck in Autumn, I decided to kick myself in the pants and begin a very pretty French SAL ( 

The fabric is a 25ct Navy evenweave (can't remember which kind), the threads are all shiny -- talk about Bling.  This is something I've never done before.  I love adding beads and shiny threads to my stitching but this is the first time the entire piece will glitter.  What fun!

The white thread is Treasure Braid while the gold and pink threads are Kreinik braids.  The white and gold are wonderful to work with and make lovely cross stitches.  The pink thread seems a little stiffer and thicker.  It doesn't work as well as cross stitches on the 25 count (did I mention I'm stitching over 1) but it works well with larger stitches.

I plan on adding beads -- probably gold, maybe pink? -- once the stitching is finished.   And instead of stitching the bird and letters in the circles,  I'm going to add some pretty gold charms (which are not picked yet).

You would think that would be enough but I also pulled out lots of smalls that are stitched but need finished.  And here they are, my to-do-stacks, patiently waiting:

I spent most of a morning cutting out boards, picking & cutting backing fabric, cutting the quilt batting, gluing material to the back boards and the batting to the front boards, picking out buttons and various other assundries to enhance the finished smalls.  Whew! -- what a lot of cutting and gluing!  I thank the crafting gods for my electric cutter!  It definitely saves mega wear and tear on my hands.  We won't talk much about the gluing except to say that it isn't one of my strengths.

Some of these smalls have been stitched for y-e-a-r-s.  Others are recently stitched.  Some are for me and some are for gifts.  I figure if I do a couple a week, I should be able to get them finished in the near future (no pressure -- except for the Christmas presents for this year).

And speaking of Christmas again .... the kick in the pants did nothing but leave a bruise on my tush!  I'm still not in the proper mood for the season.  There is a neat pattern calling me with pumpkins and crows and other inappropriate autumnal symbols.  Bah! Humbug!

Looks like Fall to me ......