Monday, June 25, 2012

Ornament finishes......June WIPocolypse...stash shopping...and blogging slump!

I haven't felt much like blogging lately....I've been reading and commenting a bit here and there but I've got a lot of worries on my mind and when I'm in that kind of mood I just have a hard time being upbeat enough to post on my blog.  I don't want to bring everybody down nor share too many details about my personal life, so updates have been sparse for awhile.   However, I have been stitching at least.


This past week I focused on doing ornament finishing.  I'm still on target for completing at least one ornament a month, and in fact I'm one ahead as I currently have 7 done.  Yeah me!   I stitched these 2 LHN ornies in April & May but they weren't 'finished finished'.   I love how they turned out...the beaded edge takes longer to do but I sure like how it looks.

Little House Needleworks - Merry Skater & Happy Skater

June's ornaments are below - 2 of the Blackbird Designs stockings. I'm stitching from their December stocking chart from the yearlong series - there is one more I want to do from that chart this year and I also have plans to do the little stocking with the Eiffel Tower on it from their Joyeaux Noel book.    I decided to do my finishing a bit different than the instructions - I sewed the stockings inside out like a pillow, then turned and stitched on twisted cording I made.  I'm finally getting better at attaching cording with the sewing method.  It's so much easier with 'hard' ornaments when you can glue it on but with soft-finished pieces I like to stitch it on instead of gluing.

from Blackbird Designs 'Merry December' leaflet

So I'm all set to start on my July ornament.  I have such a stack of ornaments I'm wanting to stitch that it's hard to pick just one!   I've decided to work on "Woodland Babies" from Victoria Sampler.  I love these little tart-pan finishes!  I plan on doing all 3 of the these from the chart, plus there is a fourth matching ornament in last year's JCS ornament issue.

I  got a little annoyed kitting this up.   Victoria Sampler sells the tartlet pans in packs of 4 but I already found some at a local cooking store which was great.  VS also sells an Accessory Pack with threads enough to make the 3 ornaments, little beads for eyes, and the little red buttons. I thought the price on the pack was high ($24) and planned to use my own supplies.  I was annoyed that there is no DMC conversion listed on the pattern.  I have about half of the overdyed threads called for, but there are several where there is only 1 or 2 stitches done in that color so I would rather use DMC than buy more overdyed threads.  I found a conversion chart online at least.   I can't find the little beads for the eyes but I'll substitute some from Mill Hill.  The micro-mini red buttons are hard to find!  JoAnn's crafts sometimes has little multi-color packets of these tiny buttons but I needed at least 28 red ones plus I may want to make some of these ornies for gifts.   Finally by Googling I found a quilting site that sells little packs of the red ones so I've stocked up on those.  Hooray for Bunny Hill Quilts!  I think I am finally ready to start stitching now LOL.   I love the birdie ornaments series by Cathy Jean that VS is also selling, but again, in order to get all the cute buttons and things that go with them it runs into a fair amount of money to be spent. 

WIPocoplypse update.....

As far as the ongoing WIPocolypse...I'm still plodding along on American Sampler.  I did finally finish the right-hand border by completing the rest of the flowers and the urn which was fun to do in bargello stitch.  I also made some progress working on the gardens around the house. (no those aren't giant green eggs...just trees without trunks yet...)  BUT...I have started the 'fill-in' around the top verse and I just hate working on that part! In the completed piece, the fabric surrounding the verses appears to be a different color of linen than the rest of the sampler, but that effect is achieved by weaving in a pale color of floss around the verse. (hopefully you can see the difference in the close-up photo below).  You have to go over 1 thread and under the next and so on and so on throughout the entire area.  Since I'm using 36-ct fabric it gets very tedious and even with my Daylight magnifier, it tires my eyes totally.  I'm only working on it during the daytime.  It's not too bad in the open areas where there are no words but around the words it is a royal pain!  You get lost and can't tell where you are or where you're supposed to place a stitch.  I'm making progress (slowly) but there is another verse to this sampler in the bottom border which will need the same treatment - OMG is all I can say!


and some Stash Acquisition.......... 

While visiting the Midwest with DH recently I was able to visit 2 stitching shops I've never been to before. Oh it was so much fun!!  (and DH didn't even mind hanging around while I oohed and ahhed over everything)  I visited Stitchville USA in the suburbs of Minnepolis, and Stitches & Stuff in Clinton Iowa - which is about 45 minutes from my hometown.   I spent a lot of money but my pile doesn't seem as high as you would think....amazing how quickly things add up!  I loved that they had a huge selection of linens at Stitchville....many colors I have not seen in person and in the count I like. It's always fun to see models you haven't seen before and get new ideas.  I highly recommend both of these shops if you ever get the chance to visit them!  We must have passed at least a dozen quilt shops on our roadtrip through 4 states but I only stopped at one...where I was able to pick up some of the Moda Blueberry Crumb Cake fabric line - I was coveting this last year when it came out so it was a happy find. Here's the stash items I brought back with me to Arizona......another Victoria Sampler holiday chart (Jingle Bell Tree Farm - gorgeous and WITH the accessory pack LOL), Maxim & Zoya from Plum St Samplers, some more BBD and Lizzie-Kate charts, Fancey Blackett from Pineberry Lane, another Word Play chart from With Thy Needle & Thread, lots of linens, a couple of kits (they had the cutest model made from a Dimensions kit - a winery - had to have it!), hand-dyed chenilles and rickracks, and a touch of quilting fabric to round it all out.   I've now decided to 'be good' the rest of the summer and try to work from my overloaded stash..........

I hope you all are having a pleasant summer.  The heat in Arizona hasn't actually been too bad yet.....the pool is still at a good temperature to enjoy it (the water gets too warm later in the summer) and we're hoping for a minimal forest fire season this year.  The west has really suffered over the past 8-10 years with the drought and so many fires.

Welcome to all my friends and followers - so glad you took the time to stop by!!


  1. Love the stash. The chenille and rick rack is so much fun. I wish it was easier to find. It really is a cool way to finish things off.

  2. Wow -- I'm loving everything, but your American Sampler is DIVINE! I've wanted to do it for a while, but you really make me itch to start it.

    Good luck with all your stitching --- oh, and I share your pain on patterns without floss equivalents!

  3. I'm sorry you're having a hard time right now. I hope everything works out for you, whatever your worries are. I love your finishing -- I especially love the Victoria Sampler ornies. So cute! Your American Sampler is wonderful! And the stash -- oh yum!

  4. I have the American sampler all kitted and ready to go. Seeing yours, makes me want to get it out and start.
    Any tips?

  5. I hope that your worries ease soon Jeanne! I absolutely love seeing your American Sampler progress reports! The fill-in seems tedious but I am sure the effect will be worth the time. Wonderful stash! The linens look scrumptious. Great colors!

  6. Very pretty ornaments, and the sampler is coming along so nicely. Love the new stash :-) I hope things ease up for you soon.

  7. Your ornaments are simply gorgeous, especially the stockings. Love that American Sampler - it's coming along well. I would love to stitch a Victoria Sampler design - there are a few that I really like - but the thread/accessory packs here in the U.K. are so expensive that it puts me off. You've got some great stash too. Hope your worries ease soon.

  8. Wow Jeanne!
    Great post, so glad for an update from you. The ornaments and the stockings look amazing.
    It is very frustrating when conversions are not listed on charts. It sounds like you did great finding what you needed.
    The sampler is lovely.
    I need to stitch out of my stash and stop buying too.
    Have a great week.

  9. Stitching has a way of soothing the mind. I hope your worries ease up a bit and that everything works out for you. {{hugs}}

    Your sampler is absolutely gorgeous!

    YAY on the stash enhancement! I have recently added to mine too but I haven't been too good about blogging about it.


  10. What sweet ornaments!!!! Love all your finishes and fun new stash too. The sampler is just so pretty. We are dealing with fires too, I can see one off my deck, hoping they get it under control soon.

  11. Welcome home Jeanne. Glad you had fun shopping at Stitchville. You made some great linen and fabric purchases.

    Your ornaments are adorable!

  12. Wow! The ornaments look great. American Sampler is lovely. Take care and enjoy your stitching time.

  13. I love seeing your ornaments and of course, the new stash! I don't know if you have a Hobby Lobby store in your area but I found the jumbo bottle caps in the scrapbooking aisle worked great in place of the tart tins. Just thought I'd pass that along in case it might help.

  14. Great post! Your ornaments look lovely Jeanne and you made quite the stash haul. LOVE IT!

  15. Wow, you picked up some wonderful stash. I love the Blueberry Crumb Cake fabric, and I don't know where I was when that came out, but I haven't seen it before. Lovely!
    Love the linen you got as well, and your patterns will be so fun.

    Your sampler is coming along beautifully! I don't know how you are managing the weaving section. I think I would be blind! The effect is really nice, and your half way there.

    Hope things get better in your personal life. I certainly know what it's like to go through a blogging slump.

    Take Care.

  16. Beautiful stitching!! Love the new stash, too. I have a huge stack of ornaments to do, too--honestly, I could stitch ornaments for the next two years and still have more that I want to do. I hate it when the embellishments are super pricey, though.

    I hope things get better. I can certainly understand the worrying = blogging slump. The same happens to me. Big hugs.

  17. Your ornaments are spectacular, Jeanne!! I just love the beaded edges, too--don't do them often because I never seem to have the time, but they end up looking so beautifully finished. And your stockings are fantastic--haven't gotten up my nerve to try one myself. Am too scared of the finishing :)

    Sure hope your worries ease a bit very soon. I'm feeling the same way lately and just can't post when I'm not in the right mood. Hopefully, I'll get one more post in before the end of the month!! I do hope your stitching gives you some relaxation and stress-relief...

  18. Your ornaments are so pretty, and Amercian Sampler is gorgeous. Love the colors in it.

    I am sorry to hear you are worried and hope for a positive outcome for you.

  19. Your ornaments are beautiful and I love how your American Sampler is looking.

    Nice new stash :)

  20. I am riding that worry train with you and it stinks. I hope all turns out okay for you (and me).

    You did a fantastic job on those stockings. Although it is more time consuming I prefer stitching the cording on.

    American Sampler is truly beautiful and worth all of that hard work!

  21. Hello Jeanne,

    Fabulous Christmas ornies you made! The stockings are really cute! I stitched that Victorian Sampler one from the JCS and just substituted the buttons for beads, made it into a foam core ornie and I think I had most of the threads. I just used a similar colour for those one stitches. But I agree with you about being annoyed kitting this one!

    Your sampler is really beautiful but sorry to hear it's causing you eye strain :( Nothing like some stash to cheer you up though!! Lovely new fabbys!!


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