Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm still here!

Hello fellow bloggers and dear readers....I've neglected my poor blog for way too long but 2014 was a crazy year for me with family issues and all sorts of life events and things just fell off the track.   I'm trying to get back into some kind of normal routine this year and want to get back to blogging a bit more regularly.   I also finally caved in and joined Facebook last fall.  I've enjoyed joining some stitching groups but it does take some of my time.  However, I don't want to quit blogging so need to find time to balance both.

Even while not blogging, I try to stitch whenever I can and haven't lost my love of stitching at all.   In fact...I'm so excited - I'm going to a stitching retreat the end of April!  I've always wanted to attend one somewhere and since I'm a member of the Primitive Stitchers Society on Facebook I decided to go their retreat in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.   I will be taking a class with one of my all-time favorite designers - Kathy Barrick!  Woohoo!  I'm also taking a punchneedle class with Lori Brechlin from Notforgotten Farm.  Plus there will be a vendor mall and I'm getting to meet up with a cyber stitching friend whom I've corresponded with for a few years now.  I can't wait!

Here's some photos of what I've been doing the past 6 months...I'm making an effort to get through that pile of stitching items that need 'finishing'  - either getting them framed or made into a flatfold, pillow, etc.   I'm delighted that the pile is getting much shorter!

First up is this sampler from Heartstring Samplery which I got framed - this is "Forever Young".  I did an SAL with a friend and we loved stitching this piece.

This is also a piece I got framed in time to display it for Christmas last year - this is "Winter Silhouette" from Imaginating.  I wish I could get a better photo but the glass interferes with the blue color.  I display this one on a little easel as it's short and wide so works well on an easel instead of  hanging.

Below is a little project that I've been doing for a couple years now.  Several years ago I stitched this entire year of Shepherds Bush monthly-themed pieces ("A Year in Stithced") and I had a frame made that I rotated them in and out of each month.  However...I never really liked the frame too much so gradually I took all 12 of them apart and made them into little pillows that I could display each month.  I was so happy to get the last couple done in December!  I like them so much better this way so I guess it was worth all the trouble.

This is "Plum Pudding" by JBW Designs.  I made it into a little stand with a Christmas fabric border and an easel in back.  I'm using this method of finishing more often now that I'm gotten pretty good at it. I don't want to get every little piece I stitch framed - I'm running out of wall space and you all know how expensive framing can be. I'd rather put my framing money towards my bigger pieces.

Above is another easel-type finish I did.  This is Goode Huswif's 'Ida Mae Crow'. I stitched it a few years ago - it's out of print now but I suppose you might find it now and then on eBay.  I love how it turned out and I had a little crow I had made that fits right in with it.

This Halloween piece I made for a very good friend of mine that I work with.  As soon as I saw this pattern by Sue Hillis ("Yes I Can!") I knew I had to make it for her.  My friend loves driving a stick-shift car and she loves Halloween and witches. It couldn't have been more perfect and I found some great matching fabric in my quilting stash.  That's one good thing about having a large quilting stash....I almost never have to go buy fabric for something!

Just in time for Thanksgiving last year I finished up this cube of "Thankful Quaker" by Bent Creek.  I changed up the colors quite a bit in this as I thought there was too much brown. I basically pulled some pretty autumn colored threads from my stash and just stitched whatever color I wanted for the different motifs. I've done cube finishes before but I wanted to learn how to do the ones with hard sides that I'd seen modeled in a shop in Las Vegas.  I couldn't find any tutorials online for this type of cube so I just had to experiment but it worked out well.  I used several layers of foam core for the inside which I also weighted so it sits nicely and doesn't topple over. I used matboard on the sides plus I added some beads as little "feet" and a twisted cord trim on the front.  I'm glad to add another skill to my finishing list!

I've recently finished these 2 pieces below which I stitched as SAL's with a friend.  First is "Penny America" by Tree of Life Samplings, and the second one is "Trees of  Green" by Heartstring Samplery . I need to drop of Trees of Green at the framer soon but I'm working on a finish now for Penny America so that one won't get framed.  

I need to get through my blog reading list and catch up ...I'm been reading some posts here and there but still way behind.  I'm glad to see so many of  the regular blogs I read are still there as I enjoy reading about what all of you are doing.    For those who haven't dropped me off their list, I thank you!   I miss connecting with my fellow bloggers and I'm looking forward to trying to post at least a few times each month now. I've still got a little backlog of things to share and plenty of projects in progress!