Friday, September 30, 2011

A few small finishes.........

Hi folks......I keep waiting for autumn but it’s still not really here quite yet unfortunately. I have been in such a bad mood this week but not sure exactly why – everything seems to be annoying me and I feel depressed. I’m sure others get the same way sometimes.....I’ve got new responsibilities at work that are stressing me....can’t seem to keep up with household chores....people are aggravating me.....I’m constantly worrying about family issues, the poor economy, and the state of the world. Once I get in a funk it seems like I just keep rolling downhill and can’t think of anything positive. I think sometimes it’s "information overload" especially when it comes to the news. I don’t need to tell you what goes on in this world, you all see it, but it seems like a never-ending stream of bad news sometimes. If it’s not violent and mind-boggling crimes, it’s economic disaster, wars, natural disasters, and everything else. I try to tune it out and be thankful for all the good things in my life but I’m not always successful. In reading some blogs this week I see a stitching exchange went bad for a group and a few bloggers here and there contemplating closing their blogs.  We've all got our share of anxiety I guess.  Somedays I wish I could go back in time about 20 years LOL. It seems I was a lot more optimistic then and life was a lot more positive in general. I’m sure that’s just me being nostalgic... and maybe this is an age thing for me but I sure wish I could get out of this funk.

Excuse my rambling on a bit but at least I’ve been stitching as much as I can recently and I still get lots of enjoyment from it. I don’t think many days go by when I don’t see something absolutely fabulous on someone’s blog and want to make it! In reality I’ll never even get what is already in my stash done, but part of this hobby (okay it’s an obsession really) is enjoying buying the stash, owning the stash, and dreaming of COMPLETING all the stash. When I sometimes contemplate stopping blogging, I know I really can’t. I would feel very alone as I don’t have a stitching group to belong to and it’s just my husband and I in our household and he’s not very interested in my needlework. When you put a lot of yourself into making something, you just have the need to share it with others in some way.

I recently got 2 small things stitched and finished since my last post and I’m starting to get in the holiday mood at least. This is the famous Peppermint Twist from LHN that everyone was stitching last year, I’m a little behind the curve but loved doing this one. I finished it as a little pillow – I’ve got hopes of getting a basket of smalls together for Christmas decorating.

LHN "Peppermint Twist"
recommended threads mostly

I also made this one this week - it stitched up really fast and I finished it according to the pattern directions with some black wool I had. Isn’t it cute? I just love it and will be putting out some of my autumn and Halloween decorations this week. (I’ll be adding this pattern to a stash sale page I hope to update this weekend.)  As you can see I didn't spend any time staging a nice photo - just stuck it up next to the sewing machine for a non-glamorous snap........

"Enchanted Crow" by Threadwork Primitives

Then I did a little stash-diving to find what little patterns I had for fall and Halloween.....found lots of good linen colors and several things to choose from. I had a very old piece of Cashel linen that I got probably 10 yrs ago – it was the recommended fabric for some Prairie Schooler pumpkins that never got made LOL. Well the color was more rust than orange so I decided to try and lighten it up – I soaked a sample piece in a weak bleach solution and then laid it out in the sun for an hour. Look at the new versus old – it’s now a perfect orange color for Halloween - yippee – I love it when I can use up some old stash.

Yesterday the mailman brought me the latest Gingher collectible embroidery scissors – these are the ones that aren’t available at JoAnn’s but only at specialty shops.  They’re called ‘Tessa’ and I must say they are probably my least favorite Ginghers so far. They look like some dated 1960’s fabric – or maybe the Arizona state flag?? Oh well...they’re just going in the box with all the others anyway!  I really do need to do something to get all these scissors displayed somehow.....

Until next time, may you find some happy moments stitching or crafting!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Come on Autumn!

We've gotten a bit cooler here in the desert - and we're all hoping the trend continues as we are so sick of the summer heat.  It's hard to believe it's fall already, the year seems to be flying by at record speed! I had all these plans to stitch several Christmas ornaments this year - darn!  Somehow I've got to find more hours in my days that's for sure. 

I want to thank all of you for your wonderful comments on my Quakers & Quilts finish - it really warmed my heart and is much appreciated!
I've been making good progress on Christmas Rules - still enjoying stitching this one. I am down to the last 4 'rules' and should be able to finish it this month. I want to be able to get it to my framer before the holiday rush so I can have it ready to  hang for Christmas. I have a long narrow sampler already hanging in my foyer and it will be a perfect place to swap in this piece come December.  (and my husband will be glad I don't have to put another nail in the walls LOL)

I've been so good about working on my WIPs lately but I'm getting a case of start-itis. The 10-year anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy reminded me that I had bought this BBD pattern way back in 2002. (where the heck did those years go??)  Attic Needlework gave out a complimentary addition to the chart -  some words and the date to commemorate 9-11-01 at the bottom.  It's sad that it's a whole 9 years later and I still haven't gotten it stitched! I decided I would get going  finally stitch it this month.  Here's my start so far. 

The chart specifies using 30-ct fabric but I used some scrap 40-ct linen I had and some Gloriana red silk. Unfortunately I didn't realize the added words at the bottom were charted as over-one - well that just isn't going to happen - over-one on 40-ct linen is too hard for me so I will rechart the words as over-two instead. It's weird but sometimes I can stitch easily on 40-ct and other times I am really struggling - I use my lighted magnifier all the time so can't quite figure it out. This project is rather hard for me to stitch on... I wonder if any of you notice a difference between 40-ct linen from different manufacturers? Are some 'tighter' than others??

I've been doing more sewing than stitching over the past 2 weeks. I finally finished a king-sized quilt top I started about 2 years ago - I am SO-O-O-O happy!   I've already ironed it all and have it hanging ready to take to a long-arm quilter in a few months (I try to space out my custom quilting and framing...$$$ know how that is).  I  don't have a big photo of it to show you. It's a subtle quilt - an antique reproduction so it's doesn't have a lot of 'wow' factor.  The beauty of it I think will really come out once it's custom-quilted.   Back when I purchased everything for this quilt I got a whole bolt of one fabric because I needed almost 10 yards just for the back of the quilt.  A bolt has 15 yards on it and I got a good discount which made it worth buying.   I think this may be the last king-sized quilt I make - it's tough working with something that big and also a real pain trying to iron it once it's all together!    If I count up all the materials, plus what it's going to cost me to get it quilted, this quilt is costing me close to $500.  Quilting isn't a cheap hobby that's for sure - not with the cost of most fabric being $9-10 per yard these days.  That doesn't even count 2 years of my time.  Believe me, it was a thrill putting  a big line through this entry on my WIP list!  I'll be back with some photos around Feb or March of next year when I get it back from the quilter.

Lately I haven't been tempted too much to bring home more stash - as Martha Stewart says, "it's a good thing" LOL.   I have so much already that I want to stitch...however I did recently pick up these from Threadwork's all Faye's fault as I fell in love with her "Pride & Glory" finish.  I want to get started on this cute autumn-themed one with the witch's hat.  I'm so glad that new designers keep coming to our world since some of our favorites have quit the business during the last few years.  I guess part of it is the economy and so many crafters doing other things like knitting, scrapbooking, etc.  I know that some of the designers have also cited issues with copyright abuse which makes me very sad.  It's great that we sell or trade our used charts  or stash we no longer want,  but I continue to support the hard work of the needlework designers.   I'm relieved to know there's no danger we'll run out of things to stitch!