Friday, April 29, 2016

Another UFO killed off........

Happy Friday readers!    I'm happy to report some progress with my ongoing efforts to finish off some of my old stitching UFO's that have been sitting around my sewing room for years.    Back in 2008 I started one of those "house and garden" neighborhood samplers as a member of a group blog that Vonna from The Twisted Stitcher blog was organizing.   It wasn't a round robin, each person designed and stitched their own piece.  As usual I got carried  away planning the piece - I had big plans to do 3 rows of houses and gardens on a huge piece of linen.   Below is a photo showing how far this project ever got.   Everybody was in love with a big sampler someone in France had done with a Prairie Schooler birdhouse & sunflowers in the middle.  The chart with that birdhouse (Prairie Schooler Garden Samplers) was going for almost $50 on eBay at the time - way more than I wanted to pay but I wanted a birdhouse like everyone else.  Instead, I found a $6 Dimensions chart of birdhouses at Joanns and added my own sunflowers to it. 

As time went on I lost interest in this BAP but I didn't want to just throw out all the work I had done.  I thought at one time of filling it in with more houses and stuff in order to make the piece a semi-circular shape (I had to save the birdhouse part in the middle) but even that was too much work and never got done.   Last year I tediously frogged out part of that tree on the bottom so I could cut out the log cabin scene, the birdhouse and the little red millhouse I had designed.   Here's what I did with those salvaged pieces of stitching:

The birdhouse was made into a little summer wallhanging.......

I finished the little red millhouse with a pond and made it into a project bag.  I like to design and print  coordinated business cards that I use as labels on my bags.  These cards have little willow trees across the top.

The Prairie Schooler log cabin scene I made into a cube-style finish.  

It felt great to kill off this big old UFO and I salvaged some remnants of linen I can use for other projects - it's all good!

I'm also making progress on my old Teresa Wentzer Fruit Bellpull...this project is really tedious!  It's taken me almost 6 weeks to do my 3rd block - the Cherries.  It's been my TV project for the evenings when DH and I are watching TV.   This piece as designed has 6 blocks but there's no way I'm going to do all 6.  I've changed the order of the blocks from the design,  and I'm going to do one more block and call it done. I think 4 blocks will be fine.   That Cherries block was a real pain - here's a photo of what it looks like on the pattern book and below it is my piece.  In the photo from the chart you can see a lot  more color in the shading especially of the cherry stems. I'm using all the DMC as it's charted and I kitted this up over 10 years ago so I know it's not that the DMC dyelots have changed.  I'm just disappointed that the shading is so muted.  I had to go over some of the cherry stems with another shade of brown because you could hardly see them after I stitched them.  Thankfully the last block I've picked to do looks easier than those Cherries!   

Photo of cherries block from the book I'm real life those brownish/gold shades are muddied greens and the cherries are not "reddish" but more purple-pink.

My progress - 3 blocks done, one more to go!!

I've got 2 more little finishes to share....another project bag made out of a BBD freebie I had been a pincushion but I didn't like how I had finished it years back so I put it into a project bag instead.   And I've finished off another ornament piece into a little pillow for the holiday bowl........

BBD "Eiffel Tower" freebie from a few years part of a project bag

Christmas tree is a motif from Sue Hillis Designs 'My Favorite Things'

That's all for today....I'm off to start on my final block of the Fruit Bellpull but I'm itching to start a new project!  It takes discipline to work on these old UFO's but I'm getting there slowly but surely.     Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

This stitching obsession.. a tour of my XS world

Sometimes I can't believe how big of a part stitching plays in my life!   It's not just the stitching, but the organizing, storing, cataloging, etc.   But I can't help myself!   I use my home computer a lot - I keep my inventory of charts in Excel, have lots of finishing tutorials in Word documents, have hundreds and hundreds of photos I've saved from online that inspire me (my own "Pinterest" board I guess you'd call it), keep a wish list  of things to buy, a list of all the projects I've done and what I used as far as linen and flosses, a file of free and purchased digital patterns, etc etc.    Here's some photos from my craft room and I the only one this crazy??  Here's some photos of my stitching obsession......

My DMC storage - I have one drawer with all my DMC - I use drawer dividers I bought online and love how quickly I can pull floss and put it back when done

Overdyed and silk flosses live on rings on my pegboard.  I need to be able to pull my rings and search for colors so I don't keep them like my DMC floss..

I have 2 big file drawers filled with charts in folders by Designer or Theme....

Smaller charts are stored in binders I got on sale at an office supply store...........

Two drawers of linen storage.......why do I keep buying more?!?

Some of my kitted up projects waiting their turn......

A box just for all those cute Mill Hill kits!  I need to stop buying more stash!

A drawer full of Q-snaps and tools......

Another drawer with some of my finishing supplies....trims, pins, and things...

I make padded storage bags for all my framed pieces that aren't on permanent display in my home - mostly seasonal items.  I try to match the bag fabric to the theme - Christmas, Halloween, etc.  I have a spot on the front of each bag for a label showing a photo and name of the piece so I know what's in each bag.   I see our dog Abby snuck into one corner of the photo - snoozing on one of her many beds throughout the house!

All the storage bags plus some of my quilts live in this armoire in my bedroom...I  have too much stuff to even put out in my house!

A box under my bed full of Christmas cross-stitch items......don't want my stitched items living in the hot garage all summer.

Another one of the drawers with bags of finished items grouped together by theme - patriotic, etc.  Sometimes it seems that XS is taking over my house! 

I have had some more finishes since I last posted - and I want to thank all of you for your nice comments on my previous post.  I was having some email issues getting my comments mailed to me so I didn't answer most of them but I appreciate them!   

I did finally finish my "Old Nantucket" sampler from Little House Needleworks - took me about a year since starting it with some breaks when I got tired of working on it sometimes.  Most of you may have already seen it if you're a member of the LHN Facebook group.  One of these days I'll get it framed but I need to save up a bit.  I stitched it on the recommended WDW Cocoa linen but used 35-ct instead of the 30-ct called for as I didn't want it to be so big.  I used most of the charted flosses with a couple of substitutions. 

Below is "Labor for Learning" by Plum Street Sampler.  This is a petite sampler about 6" x 6" - it was fun to stitch.

A couple of ornament finishes below from Jan & Feb.....trying to get at least one ornament stitched every month but sometimes I get behind on the finishing.  The top one is by Lizzie-Kate, the bottom is a motif from the "Favorite Things" chart by Sue Hillis Designs.

Here is a little stitched piece I did at the spring 2015 PSS Retreat in Williamsburg VA.  It was from a class taught by Lori Brechlin.  Instead of making the necklace pouch Lori designed I decided to make my stitched piece into a pincushion instead and I added a little stitched remembrance on the back.  I'm making progress on my bag of "stuff that needs finishing work" LOL. 

I also picked up 2 quilts that I had quilted by a longarm quilter I use - she does beautiful work and really makes my quilt tops look good. The first one below is a t-shirt quilt for my husband - he has tons of t-shirts he's saved and enough to make 3 quilts.  This is the first one I've done for him which  has a "places I've visited" theme.  I'm currently working on a second one for him that's going to use up the 'miscellaneous' t-shirts and the third t-shirt quilt will be sports-themed.   I'm getting better at these with all this practice!

Close-up of the geometric quilting pattern - I love how this quilt turned out

This is a little lap quilt I made for myself - the pattern is called Friendship Braid - it's a fun quilt to make.  I had a hard time getting a decent photo of it but it's pretty colors and very feminine.

I just got back on from a weekend quilting retreat...will have photos of those projects on my next post.  I wasn't able to go to the 2016 PSS retreat in Georgia.. that's a long way from Arizona and I didn't want to spend the money this year.  But I had fun at my quilting weekend with friends here instead. I'm hoping next year I can go to the PSS annual retreat so I need to start saving for it.    Meanwhile I'm plugging away on a couple of stitching UFO's and some more ornaments....I feel good about the progress I'm making on reducing the pile of old projects lying around and I'm almost done with the backlog of items that needed finishing work.   It's all good!   

Have a great stitching week everyone!  I'm off to go visit some of your blogs now.......