Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Have you ever had stitchers remorse?

Now friends, I admit I do get stitchers remorse, and I do some dumb things. I just had a case of it this weekend as I was poised to start “Quakers & Quilts” . All my fibers were bagged and tagged on my floss ring, I had my big piece of 40-ct linen serged and pressed, the DVD was going, I had my Diet Coke handy, the needle was threaded and poised……..and then……….I saw the vast expanse of blank linen. OMG. I realized how big this project is and how in the world am I ever going to get it done with all of my other WIPs?? Do you have these kind of thoughts? I dived in anyway and got started but I know it’s going to be a long haul.. Then right off I didn’t like the thread I stitched the first part with. It’s Belle Soie Cranberry and it’s so very dark- I’ll leave it in for now but I may end up replacing that with a varigated red that isn’t so dark. I moved on to a pink motif and started feeling better – maybe it was momentary BAP-panic?

So then yesterday I went out to purchase a couple of threads I needed and I went to a local shop I haven’t been to in a long time. This shop used to sell both needlepoint and cross-stitch supplies, but they phased out the cross-stitching about 2 yrs ago and replaced it with knitting. (darn knitters…..LOL) They still have a huge selection of fibers though so I really ought to go back more often. Anyway, while I was there I see they had a little bin of old leftover cross-stich patterns marked way down – 50 cents for most of them. Now here’s where more stitchers remorse comes into play. In it I find a copy of Paula Vaughan’s 'Summers Remembered' pattern for 50 cents. I had these 2 pieces stitched and up in my bedroom in the late 80’s before I got married. I never was completely happy with the framing but for some crazy reason I got rid of them when I got married and moved to Arizona in 1991. I don’t even remember what I did with them but in recent years I really regretted letting them go. I could’ve had them remounted and reframed and now I’m just wondering what was I thinking?!? I don’t do a lot of Paula Vaughan patterns but I do love her quilt-themed ones and these were so nice. Plus, these were part of my “stitching history” and they were a lot of work (oh I can still recall all that backstitching!) So I bought the pattern since I no longer had my original one, and in the back of my mind I’m thinking that maybe someday I will stitch them again. (picture me rolling on the floor laughing right now) Well you never know!

Then after I grab the Paula Vaughn pattern, I see a copy of Blackbird Designs ‘Pumpkin Blossom Needlecase” in the bin also for 50 cents! Bear with me please – another story. I had this pattern back when it came out in 2003 – and I stitched it. I wasn’t that happy with the colors for some reason, and then when I went to finish it into the needlecase I screwed something up and ended up throwing the whole thing in the trash. I didn’t like the finishing instructions and I was just disgusted so not only did the project get tossed, but I THREW THE PATTERN AWAY! Now of course it’s selling for big money on eBay (I’ve considered it but couldn’t justify the expense), and I’ve seen gorgeous finishes of this pattern especially when done over-1. I am my own worst enemy sometimes! Not to mention I have most of the Loose Feathers patterns since they started and this was a missing one in my collection. The good news is I was able to retrieve these 2 patterns from my past for only $1.00. I think it was meant to be. And I’m determined to restitch the Pumpkin Blossom needlecase and this time it’s going to be great! I also picked up a cute little sampler pattern below for another 50 cents – never have seen it or heard of the designer but I like it and you can’t beat the price. I think it must be very old as it calls for DMC flower thread and I’m not even sure that it’s made anymore (not that I’d use it anyway).

Thank you readers for visiting with me today. I’m plodding along with Quakers & Quilts after getting over my initial angst. I did finish My Quaker Lady before starting Q&Q – here she is and I’m quite pleased with her. I love the petite nature of this – the whole sampler measures only 7.5” square since I stitched her on 40-ct linen

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Netherfield is let at last...

Last week I got Netherfield Hall stitched for my Pride & Prejudice sampler. I took these pictures under artificial light and they're not the best but I'm happy with the house. You can see it looks pretty close to the house used for Netherfield in the movie. I used the house pattern from A Ball at Netherfield by The Stitching Parlor. I bought all five of her P&P samplers but I only using a few of the motifs from them to make my one big sampler. I still have lots to add to Netherfield - grass & trees, some animals, and of course Mr. Bingley himself. I am undecided as to whether to stitch him as a couple with Jane Bennett or leave him as an eligible bachelor - hmmm.

Here's my latest progress on My Quaker Lady. I have one small motif left to do plus the alphabet rows at the bottom. This has been such a fun piece to do. I hope to finish it up this week so I can start Quakers & Quilts on Sunday - woohoo!
Progress on my nine-patch scrappy quilt is also being made. It's pieced together in diagonal rows so each row gets longer and longer until you are halfway done and then the rows get smaller again. It's going together quickly thanks to all the trimming of blocks that I did. I struggled with picking the colors for the setting pieces because the nine-patch blocks are very colorful but it seems to be turning out well - at least in my opinion. I really love scrappy quilts.

Our Arizona weather has finally cooled off and we can say a thankful goodbye to summer! In fact today a cold front (okay well cold for us) moved in and it's quite chilly this evening. Time finally to put a blanket on the bed - yeah! Our days are wonderfully breezy and sunny and I sat and stitched outside on Sunday which was such a treat. Thanks for visiting and Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 09, 2009

24 and there's so much more........!

Ahhh.....I can recall one of my best college buddies saying that on his birthday - unfortunately it was a few decades ago! Yes folks, I must admit I'm a LONG way past 24 but hey I'm still here and tomorrow is my birthday so I'm celebrating. I don't know where all those years went that's for sure - you ever look back on your life and wonder where did that person you used to be go? I'm grateful for all I've had in life - lots of wonderful experiences, family and friends. I'm grateful I have passions like stitching and quilting in my life and I'm able to share it with people I've never even met like you! I appreciate you coming by and I love reading all of your blogs which inspire me every day. For today I won't look for any more wrinkles, get depressed about my weight or worry about getting older - I will enjoy the present and all its blessings. :)

I picked up a few new things from market - not much as we continue having employment issues in our household since May. However, you can't be good all the time, right? I still have some birthday discounts from some online stores I can use this month. I'm making a couple of short lists for those as I hate to waste the discounts. I'm anxious to pick up "With My Needle" since The Goode Huswife has issued it as a single pattern now. It's a must-have for me - go see Nicole's progress on hers- wonderful colors!

I picked up Quaker Diamonds from Rosewood Manor - I LOVE this pattern - and the Sarah Woodham reproduction sampler from Teresa at Shakespeare's Peddler. This is a gorgeous antique sampler Teresa has reproduced. "It's Cold Outside" from Blue Ribbon Designs is not new from this market but I've been wanting it awhile so picked it up with some of the supplies to stitch it. I've had this Quakers & Quilts pattern below for some months now but I finally splurged on the silks and fabric. The pattern calls for Valdani varigated threads which are cute, but I don't really want to start a stash of Valdani. I would rather invest in silks that I use more regularly - not to mention I wanted to stitch this on a smaller count of linen than what was called for. My LNS had done a conversion from the Valdani to Belle Soie which I altered a bit to my own taste. Don't the colors look luscious? I plan on stitching on Lakeside Linen's 40-ct Vintage Bisque. I can't wait to get started! If there are any of you that would like to stitch along I would love some company to share progress with. Another great thing is the new pattern from Rosewood Manor I just bought uses the same colors so I will get dual use out of a lot of my silk investment.
Here finally is an update on My Quaker Lady. She didn't get much attention last month while I was finishing up Beatrix Potter but she is fun stitch. I now have to buy the coordinating Gentleman Quaker of course. How's a girl supposed to resist a coordinating pattern?? I'm also waiting on my order of the latest special edition Gingher scissors below - "Elena". I got them from Mike & Carol's store (Carol of Garden of Stitches). They have the best price around for these and I've gotten great service always from them. Then I saw the new "Mia" edition at JoAnn's yesterday so I have to take my coupon up there this weekend and pick them up too. I don't care much for the plaid on the Mia scissors but I collect them so I must have them anyway!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Beatrix Potter finish, trades anyone? , & my P&P sampler

Hello friends - I'm back in Blogland finally. After a bit of AWOL time, I am back trying to reconstruct what I’ve been doing the last month or so. Mostly I’ve been on a mission to finish up my Beatrix Potter and here she is! I’m so happy – I’ve been stitching with the online SAL that Hazel put together in January. I had a bit of panic when I ran out of the lightest color of thread a few weeks ago. Big thanks to Nicole who answered my post on the HDF Forum and had more of the matching dyelot. Thank you Nicole! I’m thrilled to have my first Quaker sampler done.

I also dragged out my Pride & Prejudice Neighborhood Sampler which was lurking under my stitching table feeling very unloved. I had put it away after not being happy with some of my silk coverage - once I get annoyed with a project I have to take a break from it. I added another half-stitch over the entire tree trunk and I am happier now with it. I still want to do the same for the roof on the house but I’m putting that boring task off for awhile. After doing a bit of landscaping, the Bennett sisters' home (which is about one quarter of this sampler), is complete! Next up is Netherfield Place, the home of the infamous, very handsome, and eligible Mr. Bingley!

Here you see some of my inspiration - the Bennett family and their home from my favorite A&E version of P&P (hey don't look at that car in front of the house, I'm just glad some lucky tourist took some pictures and posted them online):

I have a couple of trades I’d like to make if any of you are interested. I recently brought home LHN’s “Home of Needleworker (Too)” from my LNS – thought I didn’t have it but it turned out I do own it already. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done this to myself! Anyway I have a brand-spanking-new copy of “Home of a Needleworker (Too)” up for trade and also two used patterns in good-as-new condition - LHN’s “Captain’s Inn” and “Peppermint Lane”. I always make a working copy so my used copies are in great shape. Is there anyone who would like to trade for some of these? There are tons of other LHN or Country Cottage patterns I’d love to trade for especially Liberty & Justice, most of the Dear Diary patterns, Two Roosters, Mayflower Landing, Traveling Stitcher, Gingerbread Trio, Beach Cottage and Cherry Hill. My email address is in my Profile.

I’ve also started on the My Quaker Lady SAL but I haven't gotten around to taking a photo yet to share - I've been concentrating on Miss Beatrix this month. I do love the pattern though and will likely end up getting the Gentleman Quaker to go with it.

AND….it’s market time again! More temptations and to-die-for patterns to add to our stash – HELP! Okay, so I have to live to 110 – as long as I can have my big Daylight magnifying lamp in the nursing home and they let me have needles I’ll be okay! I’ve been watching Kathy of CHS unveil each of the blocks of the new Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow and it’s on my list! I’ve not stitched any of the others from this series – not that I didn’t want to but they’re so big and it’s expensive to get all the silks. I’ve already determined that I’m just going to arrange my 9 favorite blocks from the CoHRH pattern for my own version of it – the other 3 blocks I like but they don't seem to really go with the rest that well so I'd rather do something different with those. I likely won’t start it until January though as I have plenty of other things going already that I want to focus on for the rest of the year. I know there are those over-achieving stitchers who will be posting finishes of CoHRH in no time at all but I’m content to go plodding along in my little stitching universe at half-speed LOL. My free time has to split between quilting and stitching and there's only so many hours in a day.

Hope this finds you all well, enjoying your autumn, and getting ready for October - my favorite month of the year! Pumpkins, leaves, cool weather, Halloween, and my birthday - what's not to love??

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Lady's Quaker SAL!

If you love Quaker patterns run over to Amy’s new SAL blog and check out the latest temptation. I love this pattern and just purchased it for myself.

It can be purchased on this webpage –
- select the ‘Quakers et Cie” link in the upper lefthand corner. There will be an option to buy the PDF version of the chart on the website and pay using credit cards or Paypal. Before checkout you do have to register yourself as a customer to the website and the page is in French but not difficult to figure out – name, address, email address and password of your choosing. The cost for the PDF version of the pattern is 6 euros which Paypal converted to a total of $8.65. I received my pattern via email already this morning. Yippee! Now just to decide fabric and colors! There are several different stitched versions you can view via links on Amy’s SAL blog.

Just when I told myself I wouldn’t start anything new for awhile! Let the fun begin!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ahoy! and a little finish!

Well it sure is the dog days of summer - can you believe we are nearing the end of August already?? About this time of the summer I start getting crabby - I'm tired of the intense summer heat and wishing autumn was already here. Of course, here in the desert we don’t really have much of an autumn and it won’t really start getting cooler until October but a girl can dream, right?

I finished up Little House Needleworks "Captain's Inn" this weekend. I'm very happy with it. I was stitching on an old piece of 32-ct Lugana I had ....and I had trouble with it "warping" while I was stitching. I've never had that before that I can remember, it was like 2 strands of floss were too much? Anyway, I had to block it and it seems to be okay now. I'm on my way with my someday-nautical-wall-grouping!

"Captain's Inn" by Little House Needleworks

worked on 32-ct pewter Lugana

I have been busy busy busy stitching and quilting away. I’ve made good progress on my English Band Sampler – and I am feeling confident this UFO will be finished by the end of 2009. I finished the strawberry band with the queen stitch strawberries and the gold work. It looks a little warped in the photo as I had laid it over a turquoise folder to be able to see the openwork.

I also completed the satin stitching band and the band with all the eyelets and buttonhole bars. Oh how I was dreading finishing that band and had put it off - it really wasn't that bad. The faggot stitch - that is the zig-zag looking part - is the worst stitch I've ever had to do. It's hard and there is nowhere to bury your threads on the way. Now I'm working on the lacis section. I am not totally thrilled with my first couple of dove's eyes rows but........ hoping I improve as I go along.

Since finishing up Captain's Inn, I'm going to go back and work on my some of my WIPs & UFOs a bit. Beatrix Potter needs her monthly installment for August and I'm loving the way she is turning out. I've been diligent about doing my 3 motifs every month so it should be done before long. I really would like to have it done maybe next month but no promises LOL.
And..I'm toiling away on a couple of quilts. I'm doing some machine quilting on one - and I really don't enjoy it at all. I would much rather take my finished quilt tops to a longarm quilter as they do a much better job but it gets expensive so I am doing this one myself. It's coming along though slow but steady. I'm not doing a lot of fancy schmancy quilting, just the basics to outline things for the most part. I'm also getting my nine-patch quilt blocks ready. OMG, I've been trimming and trimming and trimming. I have over 200 nine-patch blocks that my quilting group exchanged - all those have to be trimmed to the same size. Then I made over 200 half-square triangle units that I am also trimming - that's over 400 blocks to be trimmed! I've been doing 20 to 30 here and there - piles on the right side are done and piles on the left still to go. I am anxious to start sewing the rows together on this to see how it looks.
Not much new stash lately....the stash budget is very slim these days. I finally picked up the last 2 Loose Feather designs that were being held for me at my LNS...and just one of the new Prairie Schooler patterns - 'Boo to You' which is really cute vintage-looking Halloween designs.
I also picked up "A Ball at Netherfield" by The Stitching Parlor. I want to include the house from this pattern in my Pride & Prejudice sampler which has been sadly neglected for a few months. Hopefully I'll get going on that again soon. There was something I wasn't happy with on it and once that happens I tend to lay a project aside so I need to just deal with it and get back on track.

Thanks for stopping by friends.....I do so love reading comments so that I don't think I'm just talking to myself! I get a lot more feedback from all of you than my hubby!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lots of progress this week - even with the scorching heat!

You know it’s a good thing I have my needle and thread to take out my frustrations with. I’d like to jab a few people with my needle instead of my linen but that’s not possible I guess. It's getting harder and harder to maintain any kind of decent attitude at my job….between pay cuts, crushing workloads, and a benefit cut announcement about every 3 weeks, my mood is definitely going downhill! With all the cuts my company has made to our benefits, more and more people are taking retirement this summer leaving the rest of us to wallow in our misery. And yes, I AM grateful to still be employed….but it’s just not helping me feel much better frankly.

Thank goodness I have my hobbies and my dear husband and doggies. Isn’t it funny when your dogs know you’re upset and will come and sit with you…..they don’t know what’s wrong but they seem to know when you just need a good hug or a gentle head resting on your knee to make you feel better. This week it would have been our former dog’s 16th birthday….he’s been gone 6 years but we still miss our sweet Elvis. We got him about 18 months after we were married and he was sort of our ‘child’. We told him every night that he was the best dog in the world and he WAS. He has his own memorial brick at Chase Field here in Phoenix – that’s the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. We always stop by to ‘visit’ his brick when we go to a baseball game. I guess I’m being a bit nostalgic this week…thinking of better times and being wistful. Thank you for bearing with me……….

I have been able to make some stitching progress this week. This is a closeup of the floral section on my English Sampler and the little strawberries done in a brick stitch.

I’m happy it’s done – it’s my favorite part of the sampler. There are various stitches used – tent stitch, satin stitch mosaic stitch, etc. In case you’re wondering, those green things at the top are supposed to be sweet peas. Not that I’ve ever seen a sweet pea actually growing in the ground (okay I’m not a gardener) but I assume they sort of look like this! I’m now working on the strawberry band below it – doing some queen stitches.

I know a lot of people don’t like doing queen stitches but I really do! They take extra time but I just love how they look. Unfortunately, the queen stitch strawberries are paired with the double-running backstitch. If you’ve ever done it, you know the double-running stitch is supposed to look exactly the same on the front and the back. So you've got to very careful to follow the chart and not screw it up. Luckily the designer (Sandy Orton) did include some numbered drawings and even with having to reverse them it sure helps. Of course, it’s not like anyone is going to see the back, right? So I’m not sure why this technique was invented but being the well-behaved stitcher I am, I try to do it the correct way. :-)

I did finish up my little French pincushion stuffed with the crushed walnut shells from the pet store. The smallest bag they had was still huge and probably will stuff 50 pincushions. Guess I won't have to buy any more for a LONG time! I ended up having to tea-dye the rickrack as I couldn't find any ecru-colored at the craft store. Is anyone else having trouble sewing on rickrack? I found it hard but at least it's done. I was trying to catch the back of the rickrack and then the pincushion and make my stitches not show. Very tedious!

Now if only I was on a little boat gently gliding down a canal in France with a glass of cabernet….some fresh bread and brie cheese…..ahhhhh. That’s a trip I’ve always wanted to do. Wouldn’t it just be lovely?

Captain’s Inn is inching its way along too. It was kind of b-o-r-i-n-g stitching all that outlining of the tavern sign but now at least I can stitch the little ship on it. There are so many LHN designs I want to stitch, I could keep one going all the time and never get through them all!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A summer finish and back to the UFO pile....

Well I finished up Ida Mae Crow last Friday. I really like this piece - makes me think of summertime in the midwest - blackbirds, crows, and sunflowers.
She's heading on over to the framing pile now which is getting pretty stacked up. I don't do my own framing...I guess I could but I haven't ventured into that yet. Maybe one of these days when I have more time...ha ha!

Souvenir de France is close to a finish as well , I just have the border to do. I just love stitching with Silk n' Colors! I've decided I'm going to have to stitch this a second time for my dear old college roommate - we went to Europe together many, many years ago. I can tell you it was the trip of a lifetime which I'll never forget - and we both loved France. We still exchange birthday gifts every year and usually try to find each other something to do with France. This will be just perfect for part of her gift this year. I wish I had used this color of red for my French Alphabet Sampler which is languishing in the UFO bin. I think I kind of quit on it because I'm not thrilled with my linen and silks -but I'm not starting over as I'm on page 4 now. I am using Gloriana Cranberry silk and it fuzzes and tends to tangle a bit - just not my favorite silk but it was what everybody seemed to be using at the time I started that piece so I'm going to have to see it through. I concentrated all last year on my WIPs & UFOs - then as of January this year I set them aside for a bit and worked on all new things. Oh it was so nice to work on all new projects! I've decided now to try to get back to one or two of my UFO's and see if I can get at least one of them done this year.

This is "English Sampler" (in 2 pictures) as of the last time it was worked on. I took a class for this in 2005, geez has it been that long already?? I only can remember the year because I had made some notes after the class in a Word document which had a date on it. I worked on the center floral section today and I am almost done with it - there was some satin stitching and work with gold filament that I had put off. I do really love band samplers and this is a beauty - it deserves to be up on a wall even if that lacis work scares me!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Ida Mae is on her way.......

Miss Ida Mae is coming along very well. I actually have more done than the photo shows – I took the photo a few days ago but then got busy this weekend and never updated my blog. I am about halfway done with the flowers on the right side and then only the fence at the bottom to complete. So a finish can’t be far off. I’ve also been working on Captain's Inn here and there – not too much progress but every bit helps.
I couldn’t resist starting on Blackbird Design’s latest freebie - A Souvenir from France. I have been a Francophile for most of my life so I can’t wait to finish this. I have other Eiffel Tower patterns in my stash but this little one should stitch up quickly. I am using a scrap of some 40-ct linen I had with Silk ‘n Colors Auburn Frost. I must make a run to PetsMart this week to get some of the crushed walnut shells for the filling. (I just wish it wasn’t called “reptile bedding”!!!)

Hope all my US readers enjoyed the holiday weekend. A 3-day weekend was much needed in my case as I have a severe case of work burnout lately. Too many emails, too many teleconferences, enough of spreadsheets, documents, and deadlines! It’s not like I want to wish my life away and wake up and be older but I sure am tired of working and retirement seems WAY too many emails off. I just want to stitch and sew and work is cutting into my time!

Now a little drum roll please……..I am so happy to finally present the finished quilt top that has been in progress for a year!

"Like Water For Chocolate"

My quilting buddies and I (12 of us) each designed a section of this quilt to coincide with a chapter in the book “Like Water for Chocolate”. This was a popular Mexican novella that came out several years ago (also made into a movie). It’s a story of romance, star-crossed lovers, heartache, women & babies, and the book is sprinkled with recipes. It's not the greatest of pictures but you should be able to pick out things like a Mexican ranch house, broken hearts, peppers, quail in rose petal sauce, chickens & eggs, fire, a sombrero, a wedding cake, a Mexican flag, and even a little spider. Many of the pieced blocks were chosen because the name of the quilt block went with the story - for example “Love Everlasting”, “Butter and Eggs”, or “Kings Crown”. Here's a couple closeups of some of my favorite blocks - lovers Pedro & Tita dancing, the Mexican ranch house next to "quails in rose petal sauce", and mint tea.

We are making a little fabric book to mount in the bare spot in the bottom right corner – it will contain everyone’s name and the chapter of the quilt they designed. Each of us made the quilt in our own choices of colors and fabrics, just using the same patterns or variations thereof. I started off falling in love with a beautiful floral Moda fabric I intended to use as a border (and which inspired my wild color choices) , but in the end it was too busy for a border so I’ll use on the back instead. Now on to the machine-quilting which I’ll be doing myself. I hope I can do a decent job of it. Machine-quilting is not my favorite thing to do (nor do I excel at it) but I really can’t spend a couple hundred dollars right now getting this custom-quilted.

Thanks for stopping by to visit. I really do appreciate you listening to my ramblings! :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

The winning envelope please.........

I drew 2 names tonite for my blogoversary giveaways. The winners are:

#1 - Lisa from Australia

#2 - Theresa in Kansas (didn't see a blog listed for you Theresa)

I have emailed both of you for your snail mail addresses so I can send off the prizes. They're all sitting here just waiting for a mailing envelope and address.

Thanks to all of you who stopped by to enter. I so appreciate everyone's comments and visits! I don't have any special stitching friends here where I live so you are all my friends to chat with and understand my stitching obsession. It's a joy reading all of your blogs and finding out what YOU are doing too.

I spent most of the last few days working on some quilting projects. Right now I have 120 nine-patch blocks to press - oh my! I'm not looking forward to that!

Be back soon.........

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summertime progress & blogoversary giveaway!

So how is everyone doing out there? Are you all stitching away? We've been having great weather - our June has been much cooler than usual which has been so-o-o-o nice. Usually we are frying in temperatures from 105 to 115F this time of year, and we've had some very pleasant days. It also helps keep that air conditioning bill down a bit and that's always good!

I've been making some good progress lately - my DH has been out of town for 3 weeks so I've had more time to myself than I usually do. Not to mention no cooking and less laundry to do. :) Ida Mae Crow's dress is taking shape you can see below. This is my first time stitching on Lakeside Linen's "Vintage Buttercream". I think it's one of their newer colors and I love it! It's a really nice shade, sort of what I would call "butterscotch-y".

I also made a new start over the weekend. This is "Captain's Inn" from Little House Needleworks. I've always wanted to do a grouping of nautical-related pieces. You might think I live by the ocean - NOT. I live in the desert southwest but often wish I did live by some water as I'm starting to really crave it. I've kept a list of charts I'd like to do for this theme and it's time I got busy. I'm stitching this on 32-ct Pewter Lugana (I think....'someone' never labeled it when she brought it home).

It's been awhile since I stitched on an evenweave and I forgot how nice it is - no issues with the coverage like I get with some of the linen & silk combinations. (Note to self: stock up on some more evenweaves.....) It has just the right bluish-gray tone for this piece. I'm not real fond of stitching lettering and I'm anxious to get to the 'fun' part which is the tavern sign. That being said, I still do have plans to stitch the Gettsyburg Address one of these days. Erica Michaels has a chart out for that but I like the one that Liz of Primrose Needleworks is designing on her blog ( and hoping she'll offer the pattern for sale when she gets the model done.

Now on to more exciting things. I have a couple of giveaways in honor of my 3rd blogoversary! There are 2 sets of charts below - some of these are extras I had or they've already been stitched - might as well pass them on. I will also be including a mesh project bag with each set (which I'll be making this weekend so not pictured!). Two names will be drawn so sign up by leaving a comment if you want to be in the drawing for the giveaways. Signup deadline is Sunday June 28th - I'll draw the winning names on Monday the 29th.

Also, here is the information a few of you requested about the mesh bags. The pattern is called "Zip It!" by Nancy Ota. You can find it easily on the internet or perhaps at a quilt or craft store. The most economical way to make these is using black vinyl mesh that you can get at home improvement stores. I get mine at Lowe's but Home Depot probably has it also. It is sold as "pet screening" and you can get a roll for $8 or $9 usually - it's in the department where they sell replacement door or window screening. You can make at least 4 large bags out of one roll. Colored mesh is harder to find - most of mine I have bought at quilt stores or shows where they had vendors. I did find several places online where you can buy the colored mesh. Of these listed, I have only ordered from Erica's before and they gave me good service. As far as sewing skills, these are not difficult to make. The instructions are good and once you make one by following the directions you kind of pick it up pretty easily. You do need to own and know how to operate a zipper foot on your sewing machine. The inside seam is covered with single-fold or double-fold bias tape (either one works) - this is optional but I recommend you do it so there are no rough edges inside that could snag your project.

Links for buying colored vinyl mesh: (also has the pattern) (scroll WAY down the page)

Monday, June 15, 2009


Here is my cupcake flatfold - almost good enough to eat! I'm not sure why I made it but I love it. Pink is my favorite color and I find it pretty cheery.

Lizzie Kate's "Cupcake"

Stitched on 25-ct Pearl (included in the kit) with DMC

I sewed and stiched so much this past weekend that my fingers are sore. I think I was under some evil spell as I have never stuck myself on so many pins & needles in my life. Part of the reason is I was sewing project bags using vinyl mesh and zippers etc and it's a little hard to pin through those things (A lot of bent pins went into the wastebasket as proof). I've been planning on making bags for myself for over a year but finally got to it. I finished 10 of them. Now, I love Ziploc bags - I've been using the 2-gallon size for most of my needlework projects, however unglamorous the bags look. They are a fantastic invention I couldn't live without. But it feels great to have moved my UFO's and WIP's to these cute mesh bags. We're all happier now. :=) It's hard to photograph them as the camera sees through the mesh but you get the idea - they are really nice - take my word for it. They show up much better if you click and view the larger picture.

I still have more vinyl mesh and I'll probably sew a few more next month, especially the smaller ones for little projects. Somehow I'm obsessive about being organized - maybe because the world is such a mess I have to have my own little world in order as best as I can. Now I just have to find a basket that is big enough to hold all the bags.

While watching the rerun of Lonesome Dove last night (love that movie), I started a new little project by The Goode Huswife. This is Ida Mae Crow -loved it since I first saw it come out. It is not a big project so should go along fairly quickly. I'm so happy that the Goode Huswife is creating patterns again! I picked this pattern up with a few other odds & ends at the LNS last week. I got my latest Loose Feathers although I don't know that I'll ever stitch it -it's not one of my favorites but being that I love most all of the other 35 they have published I'm not too concerned! I think it's the grayish colors that don't appeal to me. Likely I'll soon see someone else's version with different colors and then fall in love with it. I was behind the door when they passed out originality!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Peppermint Twist - moved to the finished column!

Yeah ! I finished this one up earlier this week. I was stitching along with the blog SAL that started in January. This was a fun stitch and I really enjoyed it. I tried putting some beads on but decided I didn't like them and took them off.

"Peppermint Twist" by Blue Ribbon Designs

Stitched on 35-ct WDW "Straw" linen with various silks

I started up a new little project last night - this is Lizzie Kate's "Cupcake" and I am making it to go with this cute cupcake fabric I got at Joann's a few weeks ago. I changed a couple of the threads to match my fabric better - I'm planning on making it into a flatfold. It's a really easy pattern but I haven't stitched on anything that is 25 ct in a long time so it feels odd. I hope to be done with this over the weekend. I got the inspiration from Deb's ( photo album - once I saw it I had to stitch it! If you haven't viewed her photo albums of finishes (her own and from her finishing service) you are in for a treat! She does gorgeous work. I'm not sure where all this cupcake-craze came from but lately I'm seeing cupcake-related things everywhere. But hey, who doesn't like cupcakes??

Normally I shun fabric from Joann's but now and then they do have some cute fabrics for craft projects. I picked up a cute pirate-themed fabric. I recently saw the new pattern "A Pirate's Life" from Country Cottage and I might need to stitch it just for fun.

Hope to be back soon with my Cupcake finish!