Friday, March 30, 2012

It's not Mega Millions but we have two winners! (apdickens - where are you?)

Out of 71 nice bloggers who left a comment, the Random Number Generator picked #11 and #43 which corresponds to Jackie of Jackie Stitches and "apdickens".  Jackie I have sent you an email.    'AP'  - you left no email address nor do you have a blog or email address listed in your profile.  Please contact me so I can get this out to you - my email address is in my profile if you click on it at the right.  If I don't hear back from you within a week I'll draw a substitute name. 

A big thank  you to all who entered and sorry everyone couldn't win!   I didn't win the Mega Millions jackpot tonight either - boo hoo hoo - it's back to work on Monday I guess!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Needlebooks to giveaway - 211 Followers - thank you!!

I wanted to do a giveaway the end of February when I reached 200 followers but I'm late with getting it done.   Anyhow.....better late than never as they say.  Thanks to so many of you for being followers!  It means so much to me to have people who read my blog and kindred spirits with whom I can share my love of stitching and quilting!

I was trying to think of what I could stitch for a giveaway and I decided to use two Shepherd's Bush pieces I stitched a long time ago.  I've made them into needlebooks and I hope they find good homes!

I don't know if these patterns are even in print anymore...I believe they were called "Bluebells" and "Amaranth".   Each one of these is 4" x 5" with a ribbon-tie closure and some wool felt inside.   One is coral and light green, and the other one is blue.

You don't have to be a follower or do anything special - just leave a comment on this post and I will draw 2 names on Friday evening March 30th.   (yes I will mail outside the U.S. so anyone can enter).   Good luck everyone!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bit by bit....some framing and progress......

Well it's sort of dreary Monday here in Phoenix this morning.  That's rare for us but a storm moved in over the weekend and we had rain and hail yesterday.  It's pretty weird having hail in March here!  We actually had to go out between storms and get on a ladder to clear out some of the gutters that were overflowing in front of the house.  Guess we should be doing that when it's not raining but we didn't realize there was so much tree debris built up in them. All in all though it was a good day for staying in and getting things done around the house - including stitching of course! 

I picked up a few framed Lizzie-Kate  pieces on Thursday night....I always put museum glass on my pieces but it makes it hard to photograph them.   "Dog Rules" is getting mailed out tomorrow to a nephew in Colorado - I hope they like it!  I put a sort of rustic frame on it which I think should go well in their home.    The little piece in the pink frame is going to be hanging in my sewing room/office.  I found the pre-made frame from Victoria Sampler at the LNS and it fit the piece just right so was a little cheaper than getting a custom frame made. I like the buttons on the corners - fits right in with my sewing theme.  :)

"Dog Lessons for People" by Lizzie Kate

"Life's A Stitch" by Lizzie Kate

I've finished up my March ornament this weekend - yeah!   This is from Ursula Michael's Design...I don't know what year it came out in the JCS Ornament issue as it's in my '10th Anniversary Collection" magazine.  I stitched this ornament for an exchange some years ago on the old SBEBB group and always wanted it for myself.  I backed it with some vintage-looking Christmas fabric and love it.

"Holiday Sled" by Ursula Michaels
JCS 10th Anniversary Ornament Magazine

I've having a great time stitching an ornament per month and already completed 4 this year. I've kitted up LHN's "Merry Skater" and the companion piece "Happy Skater" for April. I'm anxious to start them but need to work on my Year of Smalls projects.  I haven't gotten the March one by Blackbird Designs started yet (better hurry!) but I'm trying to catch up with the January selection - the house is a lot of stitching.  I'm hoping once I get the house done I can finish up the rest a little faster. 

"Poinsettia House" - Little House Needleworks

Here and there I've been picking up a little stash....I've got "ornament fever" now and seem to be accumulating way more patterns than I have time to stitch! (as usual....)   When I picked up my framing last week another pattern sitting up by the register called to me loudly and then I saw the cutest tiny little hornbook (no photo)  that was a "must have".  I now have to go through my patterns and find an ornament pattern that will fit on it but I'm sure I'll find something.  Milady's Needle had some kits but they were $25 so I just bought the hornbook by itself ($12)  and will find my own pattern to stitch for it.   So I actually SAVED money this way, right??

Recent stash........

I'm plodding along on American Sampler...working on the house in the middle of the sampler.  There's a thread that is used for filling in the background behind the verses that wasn't showing up well on my light-colored fabric.  I ended up having to order a couple more colors of silk that I hope will you know you just can't go and order 2 skeins of thread from a website right?  So I added in a few other things....I'll be watching the mailbox anxiously this week for sure!

I hope your week is a good one and you find a few moments to enjoy something you love........ 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Jeanne's March WIPocolypse Update

Don't you love the photo of Ireland in my header?   Oh just imagine living in a cute little rowhouse like that with lace curtains. :)   I can almost smell the fresh clean air after the rain! 

Things have been hopping around my house lately - visitors from out of state, lots of work issues and the usual stuff.  Can't believe it's time again for a WIPocolypse update!   I've been looking online at the new things from Market but nothing has really blown my socks off (which I'm secretly glad about).  Wonder if I'm starting to reach some sort of stash threshold?  Probably not...I'm sure in no time at all I'll have another episode of internet shopping!  My wish list is never empty that's for sure.

Here's my progress on American Sampler...I'm finally getting 'in the groove' on this old project. It took me some time to re-orient myself back in January  after letting it sit a few years...some of my threads had been pulled out for other projects, I had changed some threads and not written it down (note to self:  never do that again!), I had to repurchase the chart, etc etc.  However, things are going well now....I made progress this month with the border on the right  - adding another queen-stitch carnation and some smaller flowers, finished the top verse and got a good start on the house.  I love the house and am enjoying stitching it.   The only thing is I wish I had picked a darker fabric ......back when I took a class for this project (circa 2006) the shop brought in a selection of fabric cuts and I just picked one and went with it.  However, there are parts stitched in white like the railing on the top of the house that aren't showing up well on my linen....oh well - I'm sure not starting over so will have to live with it.

I also am trying to finish up my March ornament - I'm close - still working on the darn backstitching.  This ornament is taking's one of those projects that doesn't look at all good until you get all the stitching and backstitching done.   Lots of half-stitches, metallic fibers, etc. I stitched this years ago for a gift - I love it but I'll also be glad when I'm done with it. 

I'm working on a little LHN project too - Poinsettia House for the 2012 Year of Smalls blog.  This was the January project but I'm just now getting time for it.   I'm stitching the house in overdyes and not doing it one-stitch-at-a-time.....hoping to avoid an excessively  'stripey' look but it's not working out entirely.  I love overdyes for lettering and small motifs but on big blocks of stitching I don't like the striped effect you sometimes get.

Two weeks ago I was able to get away for a weekend quilting retreat which was wonderful for the soul.   I don't have any big finishes to show you...I worked on lots of different things. I did complete a little top that I'm going to put on my dining room table this fall - it's all apple fabrics I collected years ago (not sure why but I was in an apple-mood apparently).  I still need to do the quilting and binding.  Unfortunately it barely made a dent in the apple fabrics!  That's the trouble when you've collected quilting fabric for almost 20 years  - using it up is almost impossible.  You make something and then you have loads of leftovers and scraps that you can't just throw away...the stuff multiplies like rabbits!  Also pictured is a wool folk-art heart - I saw this in a vendor booth at some show a few years ago so finally getting it's going to be a pillow soon.  It's all done with buttonhole stitching.  

Lastly, I got started on making some padded bags to store my stitched pieces in - I have lots of seasonal things that aren't always on display and have been stacked on the floor of my guest room closet.  I've cleared a shelf in an armoire I have - my goal is to be able to stack all these projects there in bags.  I hate wrapping them up in tissue paper all the time. It's a good way to use up excess fabric too - each one has a Velcro flap and a place for a label on the front. I got 3 done at the retreat but still need about 10 more.  They're easy and fairly quick to do.

Well now you know what I've been up to.   I'm  anxiously waiting on 2 of my quilts to come back from the machine-quilter and then I'll have lots of binding to do on them.  When I pick them up I have 2 more quilt tops to drop off and then my backlog of quilt tops will be gone!  For years I've had tops hanging in the's a great feeling to be getting caught up.  I recently gathered all my finished quilts together in one place and my husband could not believe I had that many.   I wish I had more room for displaying them but maybe the meantime they keep each other company in the closet LOL.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to stop by and read my blog - so many of you are doing fantastic things, I only wish I could do all your projects!