Monday, November 21, 2016

A Fully Finished Object and a New Start

It's been a very busy week, as my lack of posts likely indicates. I have managed to fully finish Rejoice Tree after discarding several methods of finishing and sort of making up my own. 

Instead of a cube finish, I ended up using a large piece of styrofoam and I kind of made up my own finish. I didn't find a good sized ribbon to use, and since I had purchased stainless steel pins, I decided I liked how it looked all pinned up. 

What do you think?

close up of the pins

Thank you for all your comments on my decision regarding Vermont and At Our House for my co-worker. As most of you mentioned, cross stitching is about something we enjoy, and I unexpectedly received the chart just in time for Xmas, and since I had first seen it I had though of stitching it for him and his family. 

Therefore, Vermont will go back in the WIP file and I started on At Our House, even though the fabric was all wrinkled and necessitated a little washing. 

Here's the model stitch again:
My floss toss:

The colours are pretty similar, but I'm using a dark purple (WDW Taffeta) instead of brown for the lettering. I'm not a huge fan of brown in general, so I tend to change it out. 

As I said, I even made a start!

And then I decided I should be good and iron it, so I tried, and tried, and tried, and tried, and finally decided to throw it in the washer. The fabric is hand-dyed, but colour fast, so I wrapped it in a towel and washed it with a very little bit of laundry detergent. The detergent we use is free of scents, dyes, etc. 

It came out really well! I was always terrified to try this, but those creases were impossible!!!

I wish I'd taken photos, but it's flat now, and that's the important thing. I've also learned a valuable lesson in ironing first, before stitching, no matter how impatient I am. Especially if it will be a gift for someone else. :)

This is not a new photo, but I also finished the stitching around the squares on the Song of the Weather hardanger afghan! The only difference is the blank areas are filled in, so I didn't bother with another photo. 

The plan now is to use my sewing machine to do a quick stitch on the black fabric I've stitched the afghan to and keep the edge from fraying. I hope to manage that tonight and then tomorrow I can finish the edge of the afghan itself. 

To make sure I'm up to the task I practiced with my sewing machine over the weekend and I made a project bag. I loosely used The Twisted Stitcher's tutorial here. I didn't have the right size of interface to put between my fabric, so I only used fabric. I forgot to take a photo, but I had some longish fabric and I managed to make a project bag large enough to store my two scroll frames, so it works! And it was great practice. 

DH is actually a lot more comfortable with the sewing machine than I am since he took Home Ec. and I took Parenting (easy credit). He was able to teach me a lot of the finer details. 

Wish me luck and thank you for all your wonderful comments!

Happy Stitching,


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness - November Edition and Some Help Please!

Here we are at our second-last or penultimate Gifted Gorgeousness link-up! I have always loved that word and its iterations, like anti-penultimate, which is 3rd last. :) I think it keeps adding "anti"s after that, so 4th last is anti-anti-penultimate, etc. 

Hosted as always by the marvelous Jo aka "speedy needles" for her finishes this year (okay, that's maybe my inner voice talking) this is our monthly showcase for all the things we've worked on that are somehow related to gifts. So if we're giving them to someone or have received them for someone or it's a free pattern and therefore a "gift" from the designer, however you can shoehorn your work in, go for it! 

My summary since last month is:

Halloween Monster, a FFO!

Halloween Bat by Durene Jones, free from her Facebook page
Somebunny - for DD

I feel like somehow Somebunny looks like a weird ghost Goofy right now, but it will get completed for Xmas. I was disappointed to not get finished by the weekend, but I had to spend 2 nights on photo orders for Xmas gifts and they had to be done last week or they wouldn't be delivered on time, so not much I could do about it.

DD doesn't really know or care at this point either, but I'm a little disappointed in myself. 

Song of the Weather Hardanger Lap Afghan

for individual photos check the 2015 Completions tab

Almost done! I just have 4 more bands to attach to the backing, then either YouTube or DH will help me figure out how to use my sewing machine to make the backing a little prettier. Then I hope to make a fringed outer perimeter. You pull out out all the horizontal threads, then sort of tie the vertical ones together. Fingers crossed I can pull it off before I go visit my Grandma. She turned 93 yesterday... 93! 

If you're a follower you know she's had a lot of issues this year, and currently she's dealing with some severe back pain. They don't know if it's stress fractures or neuropathic, but they've upped her pain meds. Of course that has other side effects and my cousins and I are trying to prepare ourselves that she may not have much longer, but I don't think it will matter. We're going to be wrecks. 

She has been the most meaningful family member in my life. Always there, always willing to interact with us, fiercely protective of us, to the point where one day when my Grandpa said something she thought could be misconstrued she made him call me to apologize! Wow.. She's knitted I don't know how many amazing sweaters for us, taught me how to knit, just an amazing person. She's given so much of herself to so many people. I even made DD's middle name the same as hers, only turns out she's always hated it!! She's always had a great sense of humour too, and has kept it even though she's in pain pretty much every day right now. 

So I'd also like to finish off Rejoice Tree for her as an Xmas present. I'm debating about a cube finish that could be put on a table since apparently it's hard to get anything hung up in her nursing home. 

Last thing is, I kind of dislike working on Vermont.. and I'm debating about a new start. Your advice, as always, is appreciated! This is Vermont:

and this is the new start I'm considering:

A friend on the Cross Stitch Forum was de-stashing and passed along the chart. I'd always thought of stitching this for my co-worker's family and now I own it! I don't know if I have the fabric, but I might have something similar. I'm also expecting my FOTM from Chromatic Alchemy (new website, check it out, wish lists!) which is Florin and might work well for this pattern if it's large enough. 

I wanted to change the lettering colour anyway, but I think the other elements might still work on this fabric. 

I've started Vermont, although not much:

and I haven't started the other, but it looks fairly quick. 

Suggestions are very welcome, and thank you if you made it all the way through this long post. Clearly I had some things to talk about. :)

Happy Stitching,


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Super Stash Showcase

I haven't had much more stitching done, and what I did complete on November 8, I took a really blurry photo of, so I will attempt that again tonight and hopefully have more to show you in my next post. 

For now, I'm choosing to see beauty:

This gorgeous tree is still hanging on to all of it's leaves even though most of the others in the area are bare and/or brown. You can do it Awesome Tree!

And I decided to look through my stash last night and take some long overdue photos of purchases and a giveaway win over the last few months. 

First, the giveaway was when The Southpaw Stitcher was de-stashing and I was fortunate enough to win one of her fantastic giveaways!

I was really excited as I've had the beer one, 99, in mind for many years now. I like the idea of the chart very much and I think I have a few friends that would like it. Or DH might decide we should hold on to it. He can have it in his future "man cave". That's so many years down the road I might actually have stitched this by then ;) I like the smalls as well, and to my surprise Southpaw Stitcher sent me a few extras!

And this is after Kate had a look through when she was here back in September too! 1 or 2 found their way to the UK with her. :)

I also never posted about the stash enhancement while Kate was here. We went to La Cigale Brodeuse in Quebec first:

The two on the ends are designers I've never heard of before, and the middle one is Victoria Sampler, but the LNS owner charted different words for an old French Canadian carol in the center. She gave me the printout she had charted and I purchased the chart. The fabric is a nice size of white opalescent, and the threads will be for my proposed Tribal Bathroom chart that should match our office decor. We have too many doors near the exit and people are forever choosing the bathroom instead of the way out. :)

We visited The Wooden Needle in Stowe, Vermont the next day, as well as Ben and Jerry's of course, and Michaels.

Kate found a ton of patterns she liked. I think the LNS owner was very happy I had brought her to visit since she threw in some needles for free in both of our orders. That's the first time she's ever done that when I've visited. 

I had never realized that Prairie Schooler Santa had a hockey stick! So I have to stitch that one. I'm not so much on their designs generally, but anything with hockey I need to stitch if I even remotely enjoy the pattern. I also really like the basset hound Xmas pattern and may attempt to finish that one this year. The Kreinik threads are glow-in-the-dark that the owner said I could just have. She thought she'd had them for a few years now. 

Since I had so many new Xmas designs and 'tis the season I pulled out most of the ones I want to start some day soon. 

So many fun holiday stitches! And that's not throwing in the few little Mill Hill kits I have either. I don't know that any of them will be stitched this year besides the basset on the bottom right, but we'll see. I do like to take on too much every year occasionally. 

Also, did I ever show you the fully finished bat? I can't remember. 

DH's "real sound" T-Rex is modeling it for you. :D

Happy Stitching,


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Somebunny Photo Overload

Hello everyone! I was editing my photos and realized I've been taking a lot of them, but I haven't had time to write any posts, so this one will be fairly photo heavy. Since a lot of you mentioned you like seeing lots of photos anyway, I hope you won't mind. 

I've been plugging away at Somebunny quite a bit and a few days ago I was here:

I realized I had backstitched in the wrong colour thread, 310 instead of 535, so I frogged it all, mostly from the back once I remembered that's how you're supposed to frog backstitch. 

A little more backstitch, plus finished the stitching on one robin and some more of Somebunny's right arm. The variegation in the fabric shows us pretty well here also. 

This was last night before I moved the Qsnaps. I managed to finish 2 robins and the splotch of pink in the center is another robin, plus lots more backstitch. I've discovered I like working with larger Qsnaps with my stand. It's a little more awkward to stitch 2 handed with this one than it has been with others. 

And here is where I finished last night. I still think my goal of Sunday is possible. My in-laws will be here Friday and we'll do some celebrating, gift opening at that time. Then the plan is to head to a somewhat local (2 hours away) water park for the day on Saturday and relax on Sunday. We might even put up our Christmas tree and make that a holiday tradition for our family. 

I think I'll be staying up late tonight to hear the results of the election. I've been stress-eating all day... it's so bad for me, but can't seem to stop today, plus it's not helping anyway, and yet, this is what I'm doing. I'm hoping I will get lots of stitching done while I'm stressing all night. I really have no clue if we're going to watch the results or do something else. I kind of feel like binge watching something else or picking a movie. I might get Dad to watch The Mermaid. He's visiting for a few days, and DD is so happy! It's "Grandpa do this" "Grandpa do that". 

Happy Stitching everyone and tomorrow is another day!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Back to our irregularly scheduled blog posts now that the Halloween photo extravaganza is over. I'm still impressed Vickie managed her month of Halloween starts! There are some really fun designs in her starts if you're looking to enhance your Halloween stash. ;)

On to Somebunny! It's moving along fairly well and I started some of the backstitch since I've heard it can be annoying if left until the end. I generally don't mind backstitch, but I've heard others say these designs can break anyone. 

It will look like this:
 and here's where it sits now:

I will say that last night I was not able to stitch on this one. I needed something very low in intensity with few colour changes after a long work day, so I pulled out my hardanger lap quilt to continue stitching in the backing. I didn't take another photo last night, but this is what it looked like previously:

I may pull it out tonight since I'm almost at the point where I can pull out all of the pins for the edges. I don't think it will be perfect, but I'm good with "okay". 

Since I'm being crazy with finishes and over burdening myself I'm thinking after Somebunny is done I may go back to this one and try and give it to my Grandma for her birthday. I'll see her a little bit after her birthday this year and I think she will like it in her nursing home. 

I hope you've all been having a good few days post-Halloween!

Happy Stitching,


Halfway Through May

Here we are, halfway through May and I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath on what this month's project will be? I deci...