Thursday, February 5, 2015

Must find time to stitch

No really, must make time to stitch... These are the pieces I had framed in January:

This is for my son and daughter in law and their three pitbulls... such lovely pups, completely changed my thoughts about the breed. I did use my artistic license (no really, I have an official one - we rec'd them at stitch camp a few years ago) and added paw prints around the word family - it just looked too bare.  I also changed the verbiage at the bottom, it originally said 'and A dog'.  They have three, you can't ignore the others, their feelers will get hurt.

This is Spring by Shepherds Bush.  The mats are a purple and light green and really brighten up the mauvie look to the linen.

I printed out my pattern for the Serenity Harbour SAL and will start on that this weekend. I realized that one piece I've been working on was supposed to be stitched 1 over 2, yeah.... I did it 2 over 2 and had to go rummaging thru the stash in hopes that I had the colours. Thank goodness - I did!  I'll take pictures of the current rotation and post them here this week.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January Stitching and stuff

January stitching has been a bit slow so far this month.  I did complete a Shepherds Bush - Sunflower Summer before I started a new project - shocker there!  

This is Sunflower Summer by Shepherds Bush.  I decided to finish it before I started the new year long stitch a long - I work better on a reward basis... But, I have Spring at the framer now, Halloween is done and Autumn is on the floor stand rotation with winter and Christmas to follow.  I currently have three pieces in the floor stand rotation, they are each on scroll rods and we had bought a new pillow that came in a zipped, plastic on one side case/cover where I store the projects so I have them handy to switch out.  Since the other two projects are bigger, I like to have the smaller one to feel a sense of accomplishment. I have a spot next to the front door that is perfect for these small samplers so I plan on just rotating the seasons.  I like the challenge of the specialty stitches and I think they're cute too.
This is my progress on Serenity Harbour year long stitch a long by By the Bay Needlearts.  This is upside down but I couldn't figure out how to rotate it.  I opted to use only stash to stitch this and have added satin stitches for the sun... we'll see what other specialty stitches I add to it.

Miss Thing got a Red Heart Knitting machine for Christmas... as much as she loves it now, trying to figure out how to make it was a royal pain in the ...  The instructions were crap, all they said was to thread the machine and start cranking away... yeah, right!  I looked at what was coming out and it would have unraveled before we even took it off the machine.  So, off to youtube I went and found a video that explained that the first round you (the human machine) have to put the thread over and under the teeth for the first round.  

We finally figured it out but Miss Thing would stop to do something and rather than crank clockwise, she'd go counter clockwise... I think we pulled it out 4 times because its not easy to fix before she figured it out.  But then when she went home, I realized that she had done it again so this time (without the pressure to fix it NOW), I pulled out my crochet hook and fixed it so she doesn't have to start over.

Miss Thing is getting a pair of pajamas that matches her doll.  She picked out the flannel and I found the knit for leggings.  I've not sewn doll clothes before but I'm going to give it a shot.

I was hoping to get the old Disney Princess pattern when it was on sale but they were gone.  I will watch for it because I would like to make Snow White for her too.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Christmas Eve, I decided that the two projects I needed to finish were a stitching piece and a baby quilt.

The quilt won the race, however, its also been in process longer.  I started it before Jacob was born and have struggled to finish it much sooner than I did.  I guess part of the problem was that I decided that each of the different fabrics needed to quilted differently... yeah, that's not going to happen again!

I used my Singer 401a with a walking foot to quilt it and it sailed right through all the layers.  The 401a was made for this kind of work and she didn't let me down.
This is the front of the quilt with the requested numbers and planets fabric.  I found the planet fabric, then the gray, blue and peach star fabric and then, off to to find the number fabric.  I didn't have a pattern that spoke to me so I just made it up as I went.  Let me tell you, that was a challenge.  I made a mistake cutting the star fabric on my first block and thought 'well heck, I don't have enough of it to re-cut it' so I added a planet block in the center of each star strip.  To my eye it made the star pieces much less over powering. Now that it is done, people tell me that when I told them the fabric was going to be numbers and planets, they weren't sure it was going to work.  To be perfectly honest, I wasn't sure it would work.

I used an orange flannel to back the quilt as I thought it was a lovely warm fabric for our winters here in Colorado. While this was supposed to be a baby quilt, I decided that with these fabric choices, I would make a bigger quilt so he could use it longer than a year or two. 

My other finishes were stitching related.  
I couldn't come up with a present for my son and his family so, I decided to stitch this up for them. It's at the framers now so they should have it in a week or so.

Shepherds Bush Spring - I finished this about 3 months ago but couldn't find the embellishments.  So, when I realized I was going to meet with my framer, I was just going to suck up the fact that I didn't have the embellishments, that in my stash, I couldn't find a bunny charm and just get it framed.  I dated it, and then on a whim, looked one last time.  Well, whaddya know, there they were.  So, we determined what frame, mats and size at our meeting and I took it home to finish that day - because it was 12/31/14 and I had dated it 2014.

While I was there, I also picked up the framed Lizzie Kate 2013 Halloween Mystery Sampler.  I really LOVE how this turned out.

My stitching goals for this year, I have two Mirabilia's that I started a few years ago and want to finish them, a couple Shepherds Bush samplers that have been started (one is on the floor frame right now and will be done in the next day or two) and a few new projects that are calling to me.  One is a Victoria Sampler Christmas and the other is a beautiful monthly stitch along that started on 1/1/15.  I have my fabric ready and am still working on putting my floss together.  I've decided to use over-dyed threads and have had to convert the colors from DMC.  The other big goal I have is to get something framed each month because I have so much in my completed bin that I really want to see displayed in one way or another.

We'll see how the year progresses and how much I manage to accomplish.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas is coming

And I am so excited to have this finished and hanging on the wall!  The Lizzie Kate 2013 Christmas Mystery Sampler.  I'm always a bit late on timed finish We had originally chosen a green mat to go with a mauve to tie to the colors in the piece. In a fortuitous way, the green mat was no longer available and we ended up going with this combination of mats and I'm much happier with it than the green.

Another new piece hanging on the wall is one I stitched in 2004.  Since this was before the days of signing my pieces, how can I pinpoint it so easily?  I stitched in the car on the drive from Colorado to Louisiana for my father's 70th birthday.  In the dark.  By flashlight. So that my partner didn't have to drive while the rest of us slept.  It helped that this was done on a 10 count Tula (if I remember correctly) and because of that, I was able to finish most of it on the drive to and from.  It was much easier on the way back as we drove during the day.  Unfortunately, I don't know the designer of this as I no longer have the chart.  But, I am excited that this is finally on the wall and I think it is adorable.  However, in looking at the picture, I really need to take it down and press it.

Friday, November 28, 2014

On a completion roll!!!

This year has been the year of numerous stitching finishes.  I'm not sure what precipitated this change but, I'm not complaining. 

 It all started with finishing Firefly Fairies by Lavender and Lace.  These ladies had been languishing for years.  I started them in 2002 or 2004 or something like that, they moved from California, to Colorado to Maine and back to Colorado with me, never being completed.  And the real sorrow - all that was left was the sparkly threads and beading... I'm not sure what took so long to finish them but here they are in all their framed glory.
I'm not usually a fan of gold or silver frames, I think in this case, the mats and the frame really set off the piece nicely.

And the finishing train hasn't stopped!  Since May (when the fairies were completed), I have finished:

A baby quilt top - that I am now quilting - the request was numbers and planets, I didn't have a pattern so I punted - and I think it came out well.  I have backed it with a warm orange flannel and will bind it with the flannel too.

At the quilt show in Loveland - best one around in my opinion, I took a class to make these trivets, I would love to have the time to make a bunch of these for Christmas as they were quick and easy but I really need to finish the quilt top first.

These little mug rugs are quick and easy and, the best darn coasters to put under your glass in the summer.  They are fabric wrapped clothesline and absorb the condensation really well.  I'm still working on how to end it a bit smoother tho.

Second coaster, love the colors but not thrilled with the ending - must make the time to practice more and hand the test ones out like business cards to friends :-)

Lizzie Kate's 2013 Christmas Mystery Sampler - finished while we were up at camp so that our fabulous framer could take it home to frame for me.  I'm not a huge fan of the 'girly' colors but I think it turned out well.  Even tho it is a Christmas sampler, the colors don't pigeon hole it and it could actually be left up year round - it won't be but, it could be.  I'm one of those people who likes to have options - if I want to, I can and don't tell me otherwise :-)

The Lizzie Kate 2013 Halloween Mystery sampler, sitting at the framer now.  I'm really looking forward to getting this one back, we chose a great frame along with a triple mat set of purple, orange and yellow to set this off.  

Another recent finish - this is a Just Nan Round Robin ( I will post about Round Robins another day).  This piece was started when I lived in Colorado, traveled to Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Spain and Australia and found me in Maine (we had moved there by that point).  I started the top part and marked each person's section and asked that they sign their part with their name and where they live.  It makes for a great conversation piece.

 We took a quick trip up to the Lyons Quilt store to get fabrics for a few finishes - since its getting close to pulling the Christmas decorations out, I decided I should finish this one to hang it up.  I stitched this in the car on the drive to Louisiana for my dad's 70th birthday - that was 10 years ago, about time it was hanging on the wall.

And last but not least 'B My Valentine' by The Drawn Thread, I love the specialty stitches in this piece.  I think they are one of my favorite things to do.  You really have to focus and think to get them right and for me, are great fun.

I'm working on another piece that I would like to see finished before the end of the year.  I'm just not sure how possible that will be because the quilt takes precedence. Altho, with help like this, it may take longer!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thank goodness - Finished

Finally finished, the 2013 Lizzie Kate Halloween Mystery Sampler!  I've been working on this since it came out last year and was moving along just fine when distractions took over.  You know the ones, a new start, a quilt, canning and so on... But now, I can send it off to the framer and focus on this one:

What is it you ask?  This is a Just Nan Round Robin I started in 2004 when I was living in Colorado and its been all over the US, in addition to hitting Spain and New Zealand before returning to me in Maine - because by that time, we had moved to Maine.  The flosses are all silks, the fabric is a gorgeous sunny yellow and as soon as I finish this top part, its off to the framer too.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

The end is in sight!

I am working on the final color of sating stitching for the LK Halloween Mystery Sampler and then, all that's left are the few beads and charms.  So close but my eyes were tired last night and I wasn't able to get the last bit done.  I should be able to post a picture tomorrow :-)

Click here to enter the Victorian Motto Sampler Giveaway.