Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Tea Keeper, Baby Sampler, Candy Box

So as March winds down, I have three finishes to show.  Cold and windy weather meant more time staying inside I think.  First we have "The Tea Keeper" by Kathy Barrick.  I loved this design from the moment I saw it when it was only available as a club piece, a club for which I am not a member.  But good things come to those who wait and the chart finally became available to the general public.

I love the stern expression on this woman's face.  "Don't mess with my tea", she says.  But I definitely was not in the mood for another alphabet.   Somehow I remembered a Silver Creek Sampler that used a line from the song, "Do Re Mi", and I decided to use that line here where it was very appropriate.  So I stitched "Tea" across the top and "A drink with jam & bread" down the sides.  Bet you wouldn't have noticed if I didn't bring it up.  The fabric is 36 count Summer Khaki Edinburgh linen over 2.  It's all done in DMC with just a few color changes.  I also added the little teapot on the top to fill in the blank space left after my re-working of the pattern.   A pinkeep was the quickest finish for me.  Just added black mini-rick rack anchored with beads and straight pins.    It's happily sitting on the table where I work.



I have a new baby cousin born on Valentine's Day!  What a fun day to celebrate one's birthday every year.  I stitched an old sweet little alphabet freebie by Vavi for him.   You can get it here.  Just scroll down to 'Cocooning' at the bottom of the page.  She charted several variations of this piece.  I modified it to replace the many flowers with animal motifs and one key.   I picked 3 DMC colors in a 'boy' palette. 

Easy door hanger finish with a little batting, backing and rick rack edging.  The back is a darker blue and white polka dot fabric that complements the ribbon hanger.  I forgot to take a photo of the back.    The fabric is 28 count Cashel linen over 2 in some off-whitish color.

Oh yea.. one pink lion charm to cover-up the mistake I made in the rick rack edging. 


I've lately had the honor and stitcher-tunity to make something for a friend who recently got sworn in as a U.S. citizen.  I wanted a patriotic design, but not too patriotic.  I picked "Hat's Off to Uncle Sam" by Blackbird Designs which seemed to fit the bill perfectly.   It is stitched with DMC on 32 count MCG linen over 2.   Once I had stitched it, I scoured the grocery store shelves for a container that would be the right size for me to use as a candy box with the stitching adorning the top.  Trader Joe's to the rescue!  They had the perfect round tin of chocolate wedges.  I'd never done a round box top finish before, but a little running stitch for gathering and clipping the fabric curves made it easy to do correctly.  I love this little finish and I hope my friend does as well.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentines and Birthday Card


Time for a Valentine's day post!  Every year I send a Valentine's card to one family I know because they take that day very seriously!  They send out Valentines the way other people send out holiday cards in December.  Plus their cards are all hand designed.  This year I stitched the little roses design, "Petite Coeur" from Atalie.  It's done on 36 ct beige Edinburgh, 2 over 2.  Who knew that I could still see well enough to do that?
 

And here is the cute Valentine I received from my heart-loving friends.  Look at all the cool things she wrote....

Then I accidentally came across a Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery design from their Pen Pals Series.  Just too darn cute and I had to stitch it up!  This is stitched on 18 ct Dusk Aida from Sassy, a small scrap of fabric in my stash from a long time ago.   I sent it to my niece who was very appreciative.

Some time ago, I stitched up Isabelle Vautier's "Pause Cafe" on  36 ct over 2 Dirty Edinburgh linen.  It sat unfinished in a drawer.  But as Valentine's day approached, I felt the need to do something with it.  I made this quilty style mat to use as a big coaster or whatever.  Tricky to get that rick rack sewn correctly, but good enough for me.  Sent that to my  brother and SIL as a little Valentine surprise.



My brother's birthday is a week after Valentine's Day.  This year I made him a nice piece of chocolate cake from Lizzie Kate"s  "Birthday Blessings" on 16 ct caramel evenweave from Sassy.  I think he will like that I didn't try to stitch in all the candles! 

And did you hear that Lizzie Kate is retiring?  I guess she deserves a rest after all the designs she has produced over the years.  She will be missed, but there are plenty of her designs around to remind us of her.

Hope your Valentine's Day is filled with love an all good things!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Holiday Stitching

Long time, no post.  So here's a wrap-up of the as yet un-documented stitching, more or less in order of completion.

The first is "Kitten Mitten", a Cricket Collection freebie you can get here.  That kitten actually looked like a bear to me.  I just did a quick finish by sewing on a backing and blanket stitching around the edge.  Not a favorite of mine now, but it got the urge to stitch it out of me.



Next we have "Happy Snowman", a freebie from Shepherd's Bush that you can get here.  It's done on Cornflower Blue 28 count Jobelan over-2.  I expected this to be made into a card, but when I completed the stitching, I realized it was a perfect size for an Altoid tin top.   So another one of those under my belt  and it does make a cute gift for this time of year.





For whatever reason,  I really wanted to stitch Blackbird Designs "Be Mine".   I suppose it had been on my list for years, but I don't know why it suddenly rose to the top.  Anyway it's done on 36 count over-2 Vikki Linen.   I  used all DMC and adjusted the colors a little bit.  Then I added the little crocheted flower for a bit of interest.   I sort of followed an old tutorial of Vonna's on the wayback machine to construct it.  Her tute showed sewing the lining on by hand, but I did it by machine.  We both left the top open and just folded the top edge down inside the stocking.  So a very rough finish and not meant to hold any treats.  Just a decorative ornament.  I'm quite taken with this finish.



I had always planned to stitch a few of the Brookes Books Advent Calendar Animals.  This Polar Bear was a clear favorite.  I was planning to make this into an ornament for a friend, but that never happened.  I did need a card at the last minute though and this little guy filled the bill.  This is  done on a pre-cut tri-fold window card.  Carol was kind enough to send me some cardmaking supplies a while back and this one really came in handy to do a quick finish.


Finally, I was going through some old magazines and discovered "Winter Walk" by The Little Stitcher from the  Feb, 2014  issue of JCS.    I took out the bottom border and omitted one tree to make this card-sized.   Finished it up this morning to replenish the stock pile!

Seasons Greetings to everyone!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Manic Mushroom, Halloween and Birthday Card

So I was once again totally charmed by Fairy Wool in the Wood.  I'm so pleased that a newer, fun designer like Cassandra had some good exposure in the Oct, 2017 issue of JCS.  I almost immediately grabbed a needle when I saw  this "Manic Mushroom"  Halloween ornament design.  It's quirky like all of her designs.  I hope you can see the expression on the face of that large mushroom after he has discovered that he's destined for the dinner table.

This is stitched on 32 count linen over-two.  I finished it up as a pouch for a 6" embroidery hoop.  The backing fabric is the same as the bottom fabric.  It's lined as all mine are and has a snap closure in the inside center. Turned out pretty good for me.. less wonky than some.




Durene Jones shares a freebie on her FB page every Friday.   For some reason, this particular  one caught my eye, even though the heavily back-stitched designs that are so popular in the UK are not to my taste so much these days.  This is called "Pumpkin Boy", but I think of this as a female character.   When I wrote a message on the inside of the card, I referred to her as "Pumpkinette".   I think I liked the way those vines twisted around her arms giving some kind of feather boa effect.  I wasn't sure I loved her after the stitching was complete, but the card showed her off and it's in the mail.  This is stitched over-two on 28 count Summer Khaki Cashel linen... easy on the eyes!

I think THIS LINK will take you to Durene's photos, with this chart included, even though you may not be FB member, but I'm not sure.


I needed a birthday card for an early November birthday girl.  I send a stitched card to this person every year and it gets harder each time to think of something different to stitch.   This time I selected a snippet from the free design,  Snowflower Diaries Pumpkins for Cathey. 

I'm not usually a fan of yellow, but it worked out well for this card I think.  It's stitched over-2 on 32 count linen.  


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Assorted Cards

And the cross-stitch card machine rolls on.  Quick stitching, quick finishing.  About all I can handle during this time.

First up is this thank you card using a  modification of Snowflower Diaries "You are so Loved".
Basically I just took a partial chunk of the design to fit in the card space.   Her designs always look better in the hand-dyed threads she chose, but DMC is so much more convenient that I rarely go in for hand-dyeds.
 

Next we have a fang-tastic vampire duo from the Etsy shop "Crafty Like A Fox".  Easy stitching with no back-stitch and limited color palette.  Perfect for the couple who will be receiving it.  It seems that a lot of Etsy sellers are adopting this kind of modern look to their designs.  They seem to have that millennial, minimalist vibe.

Unfortunately, only a few months after the death of one of my beloved mentors and former employers,  another friend/mentor/former employer passed away.  I used another "Dear Rine" motif for a condolence card.  I hope I don't have reason to make any more these anytime soon.
 

I totally forgot to anticipate a friend's upcoming birthday so I did some diving into completed but not 'finish-finished'  designs to see what I could cobble together at the last minute.  This little design from "Cat's Whiskers" by Janie Hubble  filled the bill.  So tiny that I added some fabric trim.  The birthday boy was very appreciative.

And finally one more Halloween card that expresses my current state of mind.  This is "Just Batty" by Lizzie Kate, another very quick stitch.  I used seed beads for the boot buttons.  Seemed more proportionate.  The pretty brown and orange side ribbon and the adorable felt pumpkin sticker were given to me by our dear stitcher friend Carol of Stitching Dreams fame.   They were party of package she sent me that included assorted card making supplies and a cute note pad with matching stitcky notes.  Stitching friends are the best!



Saturday, August 19, 2017

Thank you cards

And my thank you card production continues for all those who have helped me out lately.  This sweet one is a design by L R De Rien.   It was a complete pleasure to stitch.  I stitched it on 32 ct Jobelan over-2 and misjudged its final size since I usually do 36 ct over-2.  The 36 ct fabric is rapidly becoming a thing of the past for me as my eyes are rebelling and I don't want to be bothered with magnifiers and such.  At any rate, I made a larger card and decided to go 'square' just for fun.  Stopped by the post office for special over-size envelope stamps and I was good to go on this one.

Next was a sweet quickie (although not so quick at the rate I've been stitching lately).  This design is Shepherds Bush "Come Home", again on 32 count Jobelan over 2.  Gave me an opportunity to do one more 'rustic' (euphemism for 'a 4-year old could have cut-out a nicer heart shape')  heart window.

And hot off the needles,  I made a modified version of the Heart in Hand, August Joyful Journal.  This was stitched on 32ct Lugana in Summer Khaki.  Love that color because white shows up so well, but it seems like they don't make it anymore.  I found this lone piece on E-bay.

The "One bite" substitution for the original "August" refers to the poem/song, "Melinda Mae and the Whale"  by Shel Silverstein. The theme is tackling large problems one step at a time.  I'm in the midst of tackling large problems and I find the poem inspirational.




Sunday, July 9, 2017

Tea and Cake, Band Sampler & Condolence Card

So this is a catch-up post. Blogging has taken a real back-seat these days as it has with many others. Actually, I just like it to record my projects.

 Lakeside Needlecrafts recently sponsored a 6-week free SAL designed by Durene Jones.  It was hosted on their Facebook Group.  The theme was "Tea and Cake".   The fun part of these mystery SAL's is anticipating each installment and seeing everyone's interpretation with varying threads, fabric and design adaptations.   This is not a design I would have chosen to stitch otherwise, but the process was fun.   I kept up on time through part 4.   And then life interfered.  But I finally completed it and made it into a large coaster or small mat yesterday.

It is stitched on 28 ct Jobelan over-2.  The fabric color is  "Twilight Mist".  The threads are the DMC suggestions except for the border where I used Carrie's Mardi Gras cotton floss.

I changed the wording a little also.


A close colleague, friend and mentor passed away recently.  I made this little condolence card for the family using a motif from the "Dear Rine" sampler SAL.   This is another free SAL hosted on the Dear Rine FB group.  I'm not really doing that SAL, but some of these circular animal designs are quite charming and useful when you need a small generic design.

I also decided to so some of Pam Kellogg's Never-Ending Band Sampler SAL.   I don't think I ever stitched a band sampler, so I wanted to see what I had been missing.  This is another free SAL with a Facebook group, but the patterns are all on Pam's Blog.  I started with the second panel and did half of it.  Each panel is about 18" long on 28 count over-2 fabric.  I enjoyed doing this, but half a panel was about all I wanted to do before I wanted to move on.  This on a light beige Jobelan fabric.  I don't know if I will ever do anything with this piece, but I enjoyed it.  

The patterns are all black and white so everyone chooses their own colors.  Stitchers on the FB group have shown some lovely color choices.  I had no idea what I was doing, color-wise.  I just jumped in and decided colors as I went along.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Octagon, Ghost Carrots, and Joyful World SAL Finish!

Had a flurry of stitchy energy in the last few weeks.   My eyes are feeling better and I'm feeling better in general after some much needed meds finally kicked in and did their job.   I'm showing photos that have been on FB and IG, but I know not everyone sees those and besides, I like to have the chronological record that blogging provides.

First up is this adorable four seasons freebie design from Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm.  She gave this to the members of the FB Primitive Stitchers Society.  The original had red and white striped candy canes for winter, but I substituted a teacup with steam rising from it.  That little motif is courtesy of one of the Little Stitcher's designs.  I decided to try and bind this in an octagon shape.  I almost ruined the piece in the process, but did manage to rescue it.  I had planned on a much wider border originally.  The backing is the same as the border fabric and there is a layer of quilt batting for the sandwich. This may be the last octagon I ever attempt. It's basically coaster size now and I rest my glasses on it when I take them off.  The fabric is 36 ct Edinburgh Dirty Linen.


I recently discovered an adorable Italian designer who goes by the name of Cassandra FairyWool and sells her designs on Etsy in the "FairyWool in the Wood" shop.  Her designs are primitive style that show-off her quirky, humorous side.   I fell in love with one of her recent designs called "Rabbit and Ghosts".  The rabbit looks very much like her real-live pet rabbit.  He's digging up carrots from the garden while ghost carrots are flying all around him.  I stitched it up and made a pouch for my newest wooden hoop.  It's stitched on 36 ct HDF linen.  That's a little wooden heart button in the bottom right corner, added for symmetry.


The finishing urge struck me and I completed the final five (count 'em, 5!) pages of the Joyful World Calendar SAL.  So all done now and nothing to do but wait for each month to 'turn the virtual pages'. Each used a different fabric, all from my stash.  Here are the final five:



 



And here are the ensemble photos:




Friday, March 31, 2017

Hare's Coaster and Calendar SAL

I had hoped to have at least one more finish before the end of March, but it was not meant to be.  I have two completed stitched pieces that are sitting with all their finishing materials waiting for me to take time to pay some attention to them.

So to have something to show, I decided to do a quick finish of this cute design by Gaynor of Stitcher's Anon fame.  This is a freebie design she offered to members of her Holmsey Hare's Heaven Facebook Group.   I was just so taken with that ring of hares, that I felt compelled to stitch it.  I had planned to make a pincushion, but the design fit so perfectly into one of these snap-in light weight coasters, that I couldn't resist such a quick finish.  I wish these coasters were still available in U.S. stores, but it seems that you can only get them in the U.K. now.    The original design used similar colors, but they weren't DMC so I just tried to match up DMC colors from the model. This is stitched on 36 count HDF linen.


Somewhere along the way, I managed to finish up two more of the Joyful World calendar pages.  So I've got seven of them done now.  This gives me hope that  I might actually get to all twelve.
My fabric trim for June really looks like an autumn fabric, but it seemed to go so well with the bear design that I used it early.


The sparkles in the border fabric for July kind of remind me of  July 4th fireworks.   I think the colors worked well for this one too.

I'm kind of amazed at how much fabric stash I have.  I think I won't need to buy even one fat quarter for finishing these.  And I'm excited that I can change out the March one on the fridge tomorrow to welcome in April!


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Clovers, Snowmen, Calendar SAL


I don't usually do a St. Patrick's Day design, but  something about Bent Creek's "Clover of Clovers" attracted me and I couldn't fight the feeling.  It's stitched on 36 count "Peep's Lost Sheep" linen from Dames of the Needle.  The trimming is a 3 strand braid of DMC floss.  I bought this little gift box from the Paper Source (within walking distance of my home) and used the design as a box top.  Then I added a bit of ribbon around the edge.  I think I'll use it as candy box with mints and green-wrapped candy.  I'll gift it to someone, just don't know who.  Turns out to be a good way to make a quick little gift.


Missed doing any winter holiday cards in 2016, but for the few I send I had enough from previous years' stitching.   To replenish the stock, I stitched The Little Stitcher snowman design from the  JCS 2016 ornament issue.  Tried something different with the finish, and I'm not particularly happy with the outcome.  But it's all part of the process.


I'm ahead of the game for Joyful World calendar finishes (or 'pages' as Nima calls them). Two more done and fabric selected for the next two months waiting for the finishing mood to strike!