Monday, May 31, 2010

Some finishing work...........$$ saved!

Well I hope all of you are doing something fun and relaxing on this Memorial Day and taking a moment to remember all those who have served our country and the thousands who have lost their lives doing so.

Hard to believe it is almost June already! It's been a busy weekend for us getting together with friends etc....and DH and I are taking a trip back to the midwest in a few days to visit various relatives on both sides of our family. I'm hoping the recent heat wave there is over by the time we get there....I'm not good at handling humidity anymore! It's hot here in the southwest but very dry this time of year so as long as you are in some shade, the heat really isn't that bad.

Lately I've been pretty annoyed at the high cost of framing. I have 2 things still at my LNS I've been waiting for since early March, and another piece at a local framing shop near my home. I had gotten a coupon in the mail from the framing shop as I've had other things done there, so I figured I would take advantage of it. How do the rest of you feel about these coupons? I'm beginning to believe it's a huge scam - I think the craft stores as well as the framing stores (who have to compete with the craft stores) have all raised their prices in order to offer you "coupon savings". I took my "Peppermint Twist" to the framing store, and with mounting, the frame, 2 mats, museum glass, "labor", and taxes, the 50% off price was $215!!! Is this crazy or what? Now I admit I am picky about my framing.....and that comes from years of learning what I like, bearing the cost of redoing things I wasn't happy with, not liking the work certain stores did, etc. So for "special" pieces I am willing to pay to have it exactly like I want it, but I am outraged just the same!

With all this in mind, I recently went through my box of finished pieces waiting to be framed and reassessed the projects. I was able to pull out 5 things that really don't need to be framed - either they are things I can finish into something else, or I can use small ready-made frames and do the mounting myself. Some of them have been sitting rolled up in tissue paper for many years and it's crazy that I haven't finished them up by now.

Here's what I got done last week. This Thanksgiving banner I did not stitch myself - it was a from an exchange I did 3 or 4 years ago and was finished into a banner....I had been wanting to get it framed but instead I did a flat ornament-style finish that fits better where I want to hang it for November. It's about 6" wide and 11" long - I'm really happy with how it came out, I used some autumn-themed fabric on the back.

I made the flatfold below out of snowman I stitched many, many years ago. It was from a book by Alma Lynne. I always intended to stitch the companion snowman and frame the both of them ........I have abandoned that crazy thought LOL. I love how it came out....I even added some glittery snowflakes I found in my craft supplies. The good thing about being a stitcher as well as a quilter is that I usually never have to buy any fabric to finish things - the total cost of these projects came to about $2.00.... I had to buy some extra DMC in the same color to make the cording. (so take THAT, you framing stores!)

I'll see you all when I get back from vacation. I'm making progress on Plymouth Sampler and back to finally working on Quakers & Quilts and hopefully I'll have some good progress to share by then. Keep on stitching!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Finally framed and this & that.....

Hi Friends & Followers! I've been waiting on some pieces that have been at the framers awhile but I've given up the idea of sharing all 3 of them in one post as it's taking so long. At least I've gotten one back so far. This was from an SAL last year - I still love it. I like taking my pieces to my LNS to frame but it always seems to take forever!

My Quaker Lady

stitched with Needlepoint silks on 40-ct Vintage Sand Dune by Lakeside Linen

I haven't been very good about answering questions...Jennifer asked where I got the pattern for my Pride & Prejudice Sampler. It's not really one pattern Jennifer, it is modeled after those "neighborhood" round robin samplers that have been popular. For inspiration I collected all sorts of photos off of the internet from the A&E version of the movie (it's my favorite). Then I put together a rough design and sizing on sheets of graph paper taped together. I pulled all sorts of patterns from my stash for various things, as well as "acquiring" a few more! My plan is to do all the major homes in the story - Longbourn, Netherfield Park, Pemberley, Rosings Park, and the parsonage & chapel where Mr Collins lived. Then I'm adding trees, gardens, people, and some of my favorite quotes. The Bennett house I designed myself. Most of the other houses I'm taking from the samplers that The Stitching Parlor has published. I wanted to do the story in one sampler. It's going to take me a while though with all my other projects going. Thanks for asking!

I haven't really had much time for stitching lately and that is making me very cranky! I sometimes get totally overwhelmed when I look at my stash and the list of what I want to get stitched or quilted but then I put it out of my mind because there' s not much I can do about it. I have thought about shutting down my blog as I don't have nearly as much to show as so many of you and I feel bad and frustrated about that but here I am plugging away. I can't even keep up with my blog reading - my numbers in Google Reader were up over 700....I finally got it down to about 175 but it's creeping up again this week. I don't understand how they figure that number - it can't be the number of posts but maybe number of lines or something? If anyone knows, let me in on the secret!

Here's my progress on 'With My Needle' and 'Plymouth Sampler' -not a lot but I'm inching along slowly.... Getting the border on Plymouth Sampler makes me feel I am closing in a finish...must be a an optical illusion huh? And 2 more lines of verse to go on WMN -I'm sick of stitching letters. (Oh I didn't really say that did I? I've got The Gettsyburg Address kitted up to go so I better get used to it!)

I did finish up a tote bag recently made of a "Bali Pop" - that's a set of batik fabric strips. I'll be using this to haul stuff when I go to my quilting retreats and sew days. It's really sturdy so you can pack a lot in it - even an iron. I'm calling it my 'Mary Poppins Carpetbag'. Remember that carpetbag Mary had and she would magically pull all sorts of things out of it? That's what I thought of when I finished this. Not only am I crazy for pincushions but I love making bags and can't resist buying more bag and purse patterns that I don't have time to make!

My quilting buddies and I recently had a great get-together with another quilting group. We had a wonderful day - shopping at a new quilt store, lunch at a winery/restaurant and then dessert and show & tell on a friend's patio overlooking the golf course. The weather and company were perfect! I'd like to share with you just a few of the great quilts we got to see - these ladies do some fantastic work.

Cherry Applique Quilt - wish I knew who did this pattern - I love cherries!

The one above was made with a couple thousand 1" squares!

This Mariner's Compass quilt was pieced and quilted entirely by hand by the lady on the right! It was awesome!

This is a "Seven Sisters" quilt-in-progress -it's done using English paper piecing.

Thank you for stopping by and I really appreciate it when you take the time to make a comment - I know it' s hard to keep up with everyone!