Saturday, September 05, 2015

Happy holiday weekend...catching up with my progress

It's finally September - yippee!  It's still hot here in the desert Southwest but the temperatures are starting to fall just a bit so we're making progress. August was really a scorcher this year - happy to bid summer goodbye soon.

I just got back from a trip to my LNS to pick up my framing of "Hannah's Brownstone" by The Scarlett Letter.  I love how it turned out!  I don't really have a place to hang it but I think I'll put it out on a little easel.  I really enjoyed this piece.

A couple weeks ago I finished up the SAL I was doing with a stitching buddy....may I present "Strawberry Fields Forever" by Blackbird Designs.   It's waiting its turn in the 'need framing' pile - this was a fun piece to do also. I made a couple slight adjustments in the border from what was charted....the chart has a couple 'missing' strawberries which my orderly mind felt the need to add in.

Do you ever wonder why it is that we keep buying more and more charts with similar motifs on them?  I can't count how many charts I have with houses, flowers and vines, birds, etc.  Yet I keep on buying more all the time!   I've noticed recently that it seems every other pattern I'm stitching or framing has a fruit basket on it - what's up with all the fruit baskets?!?  I'm really getting tired of stitching them - enough already!

I'm still trying to get a few Christmas ornaments stitched, I want to go back next year to trying to get one done each month.  This year I've only done 3 or 4 but here's my latest finish.   I added a little red swirl on the top of the piece so I could make the shape something other than just a plain rectangle.  This is also my first time using the miniature pom-pom trim - I've bought it in lots of colors just hadn't gotten a chance to use it yet.  It turned out pretty well don't you think?

I love doing ornaments. I've got a huge quilting project bag that I keep all my ornament supplies in - all the patterns I want to stitch, different bags of linen scraps organized by size, pages copied out of my many JCS ornament magazines, etc.  It's easy to kit up a project and all I have to do is grab the threads and I'm ready to go.  I could easily keep myself busy for at least a  year just stitching ornaments that's for sure!

I'm starting to get used to being retired.  It's kind of hard to turn your thoughts away from what's happening at work but I've been pretty busy getting various paperwork chores done to transfer our benefits over, handle my 401K savings account, and file for my pension.   I'm ready to start receiving that check each month!   Not saying I'll never work again...I may do some contracting or some part-time work just for extra money for trips and things like that but I don't have to and that's the good thing about it.  

I joined a Facebook SAL recently to stitch an older pattern by Imaginating - it's called "The Lord's Blessing".   I had already saved off the photo below of a stitcher's framed piece I saw on Jill Rensel's blog a few years ago.  When I heard there was a group starting up to do an SAL I was ready to jump on board.  I love how Jill framed this piece and want to do mine the same way when I'm done. I just started it 2 days ago so not very much to share yet in my progress photo but it's fun stitching along with everyone.  You know, it's fun to buy and get excited about all the new patterns that come out every year but I think it's great that there's still enough interest in a 10-year old pattern that a whole bunch of stitchers still want to stitch it!

Title this next paragraph under "more than one way to finish a project"..............

Since I retired I've gotten a little obsessed with wanting to get all my UFO's and WIP's under control. I've got a bunch of really old projects I want either done or off my list as they're sort of weighing on my concience.  Some of you might remember the French Alphabet Sampler that was really popular about 10 years ago.  It was a customized pattern you ordered and buried in the various alphabets that made up the sampler would be your initials, last name, names of loved ones, pets, etc.  I remember justifying the cost of the pattern to my husband back when I ordered it in 2003 -  $45.00 for a pattern was a lot to pay back then  (and frankly, it still is).  I finished almost 3 pages of the pattern but there were TWELVE pages in total and I hadn't worked on it in years.  This thing is huge!  The size of the stitched piece was about 22" square.  I really didn't enjoy stitching on it obviously....and I didn't like the color of linen I had used in combination with the red silk, and to tell you the truth I really don't want such a huge sampler.  It would take me  years to ever finish it, plus it would cost a fortune to frame and I have nowhere to even put it.  So I decided to kill it off!  It took a bit of bravery but I cut off the part I had stitched, took a final picture of it and threw it away.  I salvaged the leftover linen which I can use for other things.  So it's one big heavy UFO off my list!  I felt bad for a little while but overall, I'm glad it's gone!

That's all my stitchy news.....I also recently finished a T-shirt quilt as a birthday quilt for one of my brothers.  I used t-shirts of his that he no longer wears and I also added in a few that I purchased from favorite places of his or things that I know he likes.   I just mailed it off and hope he likes it when he receives it.   I found a nice backing fabric that has darts, pool and other masculine motifs on it and it worked out well with the colors of the quilt.    It's the first t-shirt quilt I've made but I'm also making a few for my husband as he had a huge collection of t-shirts he's saved from sporting events and places we've visited.  They're a lot of work to make but it's a nice way to preserve memories. 

That's all for today friends.   Happy fall!


  1. Good for you for getting rid of your un-loved WIP! I did that a couple of years ago with the Angel of Cross Stitch -- it was in the old Cross Stitcher magazine and used all the DMC colors. I un-kitted it and put it away to use the linen for something else and it was such a relief to be done with it!

  2. Good for you! I've thrown out starts before and will continue if need be. It's the only way to end it. But I did see a few other stitchers using the discarded piece for a pocket on a bag or fob. Maybe next time!

  3. Where did you find the Imagining pattern at and where is the SAL? I am inspired to join if I can find the pattern. I have checked out my two favorite stores and they don't have it. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you for your inspiration!

  4. Hannah's Brownstone and S Fields both turned out so pretty.
    the Snow ornament looks so cute with the pompom trim.
    That looks like a fun SAL.
    Congrats on having the courage to rid a huge WIP.
    The T-shirt quilt is great idea.

  5. Wonderful to see a post from you Jeanne. I am glad you are enjoying yourself. I like the swirl addition to the ornament. Clever and great!
    Good for you going through the UFOs and WIPs.

  6. Loved your post! So many great things to look at. Good for you to knock off one big project ~ perhaps you can incorporate the section you cut off onto s stitching bag or something.

  7. Your framed project is so adorable:) Love the changes on strawberry fields, and lol on the fruit baskets, I think mine are flowers & hearts! That ornament is stunning, good thing you have everything in order to make more wonderful ornies!

  8. What a lovely post , love every thing you stitched and what you are stitching now .

  9. Hannah's Brownstone looks fabulous in her frame. What a super molding you selected. Congratulations on your ornament finish! I like how you shaped the top and the use of the pom pom trim. The t-shirt quilt looks great. Good for you in getting rid of an old UFO that you didn't love.

    Robin in Virginia

    PS I say go for a year of stitching ornaments.

  10. I'm a firm believer that life is waaaay to short to spend even a minute of it stitching on something that doesn't appeal to you anymore. A round of applause for chucking that old alphabet and moving on!

  11. Great post! I have been eyeing Hannah's Brownstone ever since it came out. Any specialty stitches on it? I'm allergic to specialty stitches! Good for you for ridding yourself of that old UFO. It's hard but at least you saved some fabric from it. I've done that from time to time. Your finish of the BBD makes me want to drop all that I'm doing and start mine! The ornament finish is great. I've got to get more inventive with my finishing, I'm getting bored with flat ornaments and hanging stuffed ornaments, lol!

  12. Such gorgeous stitching, Jeanne, and the Snowman Trio finish is so, so adorable--I love it!! You are a genius to think of adding the top motif to change the shape from a plain rectangle--great job :)

    I'm glad you're enjoying retirement--I'm starting to think more and more about it myself. Just hard to leave my lovely coworkers, but I can always volunteer since I work at a library!

    Happy Labor Day weekend!

  13. What a lovely update Jeanne, everything looks wonderful. I too have bags of ornament patterns all ready to go, add a thread or two and I'm away:) I bet that was really scary cutting into your ufo - I did that myself several years ago with a project and threw the stitching away, couldn't believe I actually did that lol.
    Love the quilt you made for your brother, what a neat idea.

  14. I love all of your finishes and the new SAL. What fun! I understand about having projects that no longer appeal to you or are so overwhelming, but I would not have been able to throw it away. You have more courage than I would have. I know I would probably had to make it into a pincushion, a ditty bag, or cover a box-top, but I am glad that you did it and have moved on to other projects. Happy stitching.

  15. Well you are certainly thriving in retirement! Hannah looks beautiful. I love the colors too. And what a cute idea to add that arch on top of the ornament. That plus the pom poms make it perfect. And yea for cutting the cord on the old albatross of a UFO. Makes you fell lighter, doesn't it?

  16. Lovely finishes! I have a couple of really large UFOs that I liked when I started but now, not so much. I need to think about doing what you did since I probably won't ever finish them. More manageable projects are way more fun!

  17. Some gorgeous stitching to admire here! I love Hannah's Brownstone framed up and Strawberry Fields is just so lovely. Your ornie finish looks great, I bet it was hard to get the arch shape just right.
    Well done on getting rid of your old project. I am ruthless when it comes to getting rid of anything except for my cross stitch stash! I bet it feels really freeing to be rid of it.

  18. You have two gorgeous finishes here. Love the little ornament, it's beautifully stitched and finished. And you found a great frame for the Hannah sampler.
    A neat idea to keep a couple of little ornaments patterns kitted up in a bag and get out one whenever you feel like it. I think I will copy this idea :)
    It certainly needed some courage to just cut out the stitched part of your alphabet sampler and throw it away. I also have such an unwanted UFO but never managed to just throw it out. Each time I look at it I think "maybe one day etc" and then it wanders back into its bag - although I know that I will never get back to it. Sigh.

  19. I've noticed you've been selling some things on the FB board. I should do that myself. I admire you for being able to cut up your French AS - I have that piece too - I like the linen but I chose a silk that was too light and it is not dramatic enough. I should start over one day (ha !) Love your Hannah Brownstone - I gave this kit to a DF for her birthday last year. You are so lucky to be retired and so focused on what you want. I think you may want to do some contract work to keep some extra $$ flowing for trips. I LOVE your CCN ornament finish - it's darling and you do a marvelous job. I'm sure you could easily take in some ornament finishing if you enjoy doing that. So good to see you posting on your blog again and you sound happy - hope it cools off in your neck of the woods soon - Mel

  20. Looks like retirement suits you! I hope you are adjusting well to the extra time and all. Love all your stitching! I do love the way that Jill Rensel framed that piece -- hope you can get yours framed the same way. And the quilt for your brother -- fantastic! I love all your stitched pieces!


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