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!