Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 was a red letter year for finishes for me!

I had more finishes in 2015 than in any year I have stitched yet ~ and there have been 31 years!  I'm going to list out all my finishes for the year here, if for no other reason than to keep track of them in my own mind.  ;0)

#1 ~ For Love Quilts USA

#2 & #3 ~ The first two ornaments in the T'was the Night Before Christmas series

#4 - #8 ~ 4 Baby bibs & 1 blanket for The Legacy of Dorcas Stitching Charity

#9 ~ A Harry Potter Stitch

#10 ~ Plastic canvas tote

#11 ~ Lemon-Aid kitchen towel

#12 & #13 ~ Bluebird pillowcase pair

#14 ~ Monogrammed needle book

#15 ~ Honey Bee Happening

#16 - #19 ~ Cherry napkins, donation to a raffle

#20 ~ Coaster set for Legacy of Dorcas project

#21 & #22 ~ Towels for Legacy of Dorcas project

#23 Plastic Canvas wall hanging for Legacy of Dorcas project

#24 - #27 ~ Napkin set, donation for a raffle

#28 ~ Pillow ornament for Legacy of Dorcas project

#29 ~ The Beekeeper

#30 & #31 ~ Ornament made twice, one given away, and one for me to keep

#32 ~ Plastic Canvas, The Grinch wall hanging

#33 & #34 ~ Ornaments for our tree

#35 ~ Edwardian Lady Victoria

#36 & #37 ~ Pillowcase pair for Legacy of Dorcas project

#38 ~ Needlepoint eyeglass case

#39 ~ Frosty Friends

#40 ~ A UFO project, gifted to me partially finished.  I completed the stitching, did the backstitch, and signed both of our names to the piece.

#41 ~ A quick little stitch on the last day of the year

#42 - #44 ~ Halloween coasters

#45 ~ A stitching rescue, from a thrift store for .25 ~ I finished it into a coaster.

45 finishes!!!  I can't quite wrap my head around it.  It didn't feel like I did that much.  I had no clue it was adding up to that number.  I guess I can stop giving myself ANY grief at all for not stitching enough, lol!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Needle Arts Snobbery

This is something that seems to come up from time to time in the world of needle arts.  Now, I know I may be throwing out a few blanket statements with this post, so don't think I mean this for every single person in the needle arts world.  I don't.  Most of us have manners and can appreciate the time and effort and talent it takes to make something with needle and thread or yarn, even if it's a type of stitching that is not our forte.  But then....there are others...

Embroiderers who look down their nose at cross stitchers.  "It's no different than painting by number."  ~  "That's just a craft, not an art." ~ "It's just X's, not real stitches."

And then there are the cross stitchers...

"I like all stitching.  Well...except for those stamped pieces."  (Said with a look of disdain.) ~ "I would never stitch on Aida."  (And nothing wrong with that, but a little more stitching and a little less attitude would be nice.)

And then it seems as if many from all forms of stitching look down on plastic canvas work.  
"Oh, I remember doing that.  
When I was 10."

Over the years I've seen and heard some things in groups that just astound me at the disrespect of other's work, effort, and yes - TALENT.  One person shared a finished piece - a large nude that obviously took a long time and someone comes in to take offense and say she doesn't like having to see nudes and it should be removed - and this wasn't an admin, it was a new member no less.  Somewhere else there was a discussion of making the backs of pieces neat and one person piped up to say that when they received a stitched piece as a gift, they literally take it apart - no matter if it was framed or finished into a pillow/ornament/etc - to see if the back was, "neat enough to meet my standards." 

Oh. My. Gosh.

I just don't believe that snobbery should have any place in this wonderful, cozy little world of the needle arts.  If anyone should be getting along, it's us.  Even if our tastes are different in what we like to stitch and how we like to stitch it, there is room for all of us and there should be respect given in all directions.  No one form of needlework is better than another.  And yes, they are all art forms, not merely a childish hobby.  Both cross stitch and plastic canvas can be and are just as filled with as many specialty stitches as embroidery is.  And the vast majority of beautiful embroidered pieces couldn't be done if the stitcher wasn't working on something stamped.  And for that matter, there are many gorgeous cross stitch works that start as stamped pieces.  Linen is wonderful, but Aida will always have a sure and secure place in the world of cross stitch.  As a matter of fact, if you do charity stitching, there are some charities that require you to use 14ct Aida - period.  The back of one person's piece may be a perfect replica of the front and the next person's a hot mess - but it's all ok and good and we're all at different places on many different learning curves here.  So let's always give others the wiggle room they need on those learning curves without discouraging them or making them feel like their work some how isn't as good as someone else's or as another form of needle art.  

Needlework in all it's forms is a beautiful thing and there is room - and should also be respect - for all of them in our stitching world.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Well, this kind of snuck up on me...

In 5 weeks I'm headed to a retreat in the Smokey Mountains.  It's a trip that's kind of traditional for me and one that I look forward to all year long.  There are two gift exchanges at this retreat.  One is a gift box full of stitchy type notions and the other is a stitched ornament exchange.  So I know all year I have to stitch something for this retreat.  But for some reason, this year it slipped my mind until now.  When I stitch an ornament for giving, I like to stitch two so I can keep one myself.  So my stitching schedule grew by two ornaments, lol.  The pattern I chose for this year's ornament is a dove inside a circle with a filigree, leafy type of border around it.  It's charted in blues and roses but I'm changing it up to Christmas colors.  I'm going to give them a simple finish in the clear acrylic ornament frames that 123Stitch sells.

I have a little finish!  :0)  I finished up Frosty Friends a couple of nights ago.  I want to "finish" this into a no-sew cube, just not sure when I'll have the time to do that.  But it's going to need to be before Christmas, lol.  Although truly, this design is appropriate for the whole winter.  One thing kind of perturbed me about this pattern though.  On the picture of the finished product that comes when you buy the pattern, it shows two different ways of stitching it up.  One is like I have done it and the other shows it larger, finished into a pillow.  This one has a border all the way around it, that obviously "goes" with the pattern, as in, it's a style that is consistent with the look of the pattern.  But after you buy it and open it, you find the border is no where to be found.  You don't get the pattern for that.  I just feel like the way it's represented on it's packaging is misleading.  Because it obviously leads you to think that you can stitch it with or without the border, but then it doesn't provide or even address the fact that there is no border pattern.

I'm still working on Lady Victoria as well.  I hope to have her finished soon.  I can't wait to start her silk ribbon roses.  Sorry, no pic.  :-(

I took a Christmas stitch that I did last year and turned her into a pillow.  My intention was always to make her a pillow for Christmas this year, so after stitching her last year I just put her away in a project roll.  But this week I got her out and finished her up.  I am **super** pleased with how this turned out as I've never done anything like this before.  I can't "sew," not in the traditional sense with a machine, so this was all done by hand.  But it wasn't difficult or even terribly time consuming.  I started one day and finished the next.

And one more little extra I want to share. ~ Earlier this year, I stitched and made this little pouch.  It had been sold as a cosmetic case, but there is no way it would work for that.  It doesn't even close up in a way that would work for that and it's rather tiny.  So I put it away (procrastinating) with the intention of turning it into a needlebook at some point - which it's the perfect size and design for that.

So I finally took the whole 5 minutes needed this week and stitched in some felt and added in my needles.  I really love it.  A filled up needlebook makes me terribly happy.  :0)

That's about all I have for now.  Happy stitching everyone!  :0)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It's raining, it's pouring...

We are having a rain and thunder storm today in a very big way.  We haven't had a storm like this in a very long time.  The day really isn't fit for anything other than stitching.  But I'm also keeping the lighting low (headaches) and don't really feel like thinking or counting all that much.  I need a more relaxing form of stitching for a day like this.  And for me, that means one thing ~ plastic canvas.  I recently purchased an Autumn plastic canvas banner project from Herrschners.  It's this one.   I started on it one night last week and I'll work on it some more today.  I love how quickly most plastic canvas projects come together.  And it seems that in the world of stitching, it is most unappreciated by many.  But it's end results can be so very pretty and some projects I've seen are just as detailed as other types of stitching, complete with specialty stitches.  

But this one is easy and fun and will be super cute when done.
Here's my current progress.
Some of the background, one pair of ears, and one fall leaf, lol.

So this is what I'll be working on today.

The past two days I've been working on my "secret" project.  It's secret because it's a gift for my daughter, that I'm hoping to have finished and framed by Christmas.  I'm not sure I'll make it, but I'm trying.  It's Rapunzel, which she loves and I can't wait to give this to her.  Here's where I finished last night.  The past two days I've worked on finishing the castle and sun area and some of her hair up at the top.

Don't let this piece fool you.  It's not as simple as it looks.  It has almost as many three quarter stitches in it as it does whole stitches and the fabric I chose is that soft-as-butter kind that does *not* want to split for those kinds of stitches.  So it's slow going and time consuming, but I'm doing it.  I can't wait to see her face when she gets it.

Well, that's about all for me today.  I'm going to go dive into those owls and see how much I can get done on this super wet, dark day.  
It's kind of the perfect type of cozy for stitching.  ;0)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Stitchy updates, finishes, and pictures...

Remember when I shared with you this little stitch I was doing for my charity's animal shelter project?

Well, I turned it into this...

It was fun and I'm growing more confident in these types of finishes.

I also spent some time the past few days making some other kinds of pretties.

This is a little pumpkin pin cushion ~ very much just a rough draft of what I have in my head.  But a cute start at least, lol.

And two ornaments.  These can easily be put on my tree, but since they aren't too "Christmassy," I can leave them out year round as decoration.  Right now they are nestled in my grandmother's china cabinet.

This one is 3 inches around.

And this is a larger 4 inch one.

All the embroidery from the past few weeks got hand washed and is now hanging to dry.  I'll iron them tonight and then mail them off tomorrow.  They are going into a raffle to help a cancer patient with expenses.

 And yes, I am certainly still cross stitching too.  :0)  This is Teresa Gil's pattern, Edwardian Beauty: Elizabeth.  I am so close to finishing the stitching on it and that is super exciting because it will be time to deck her hat out in silk ribbon roses, beading, jewelry and lace on her dress.  I love it!

Hopefully by this time next week, I'll have the cross stitching done on her and can then move on to her embellishments.  I'll share lots of pic here when I get to that point!  :0)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, I met my stitching deadlines!

And......relax.  All of my current deadlines for this month's charity stitching have been met.  I enjoyed the things I made (especially this butterfly napkin set) but I'm glad to be done because I'm itching to get back to my own projects.  

This set is going to a raffle to help a cancer patient with expenses.  I do need to wash them and I am a tad bit nervous about that.  I'll put fusible webbing onto the back and hope and pray for the best!

This one is my favorite.  The flower petals are done in the "strawberry stitch," which was a new stitch for me.  I use a split stitch on the stems and satin stitching on the leaves and some of the butterfly sections.  French knots and backstitching finishes out the butterfly.  All of these same stitches, except the strawberry stitch, are repeated in each of the napkins.  I really love how they turned out.

You've seen these two already.  :0)

And then this little guy finishes out the set.  

I'm tired, I may take a couple of days "off."  We'll see.  I usually do right after I meet a deadline.  But usually by day 2 my stitchy bug is yelling in my ear to get back to it.  So we'll see what happens, lol.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Plans for my Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe threads

Let's chat a moment about those threads I won recently from the Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe.  I knew they were going to be pretty, but what I didn't know ~ only ever having seen them in pictures ~ was 1) exactly how *much* thread I would be getting and 2) how luscious and thick and yummy they would be!

I took this picture to share with one of my groups on FB.  I put my hand next to the threads so you could see the scale.

See what I mean?  That is *a lot* of thread!  And the quality is awesome.  Here are some more pictures so you can see the colors.

From left to right: Autumn Leaves Variegated, Copper Dark, and Copper.

Squash, Autumn Orange, and Burnt Orange. 

 Antique Pumpkin Light.

Now as for the others in the package, I already know what I'm going to do with them. I'm going to use them in the JOY sal that I'm doing with some friends.  The colors lend perfectly to this project.

These colors, again, left to right are: Autumn Leaves Gold, Golden Acorns (has a beautiful variegation,) The Best Orange, Autumn Red, and Dark Brown.

Truly, I'm dying from the pretty.  She has a Halloween set of threads that I'm currently drooling over.  I just may have to treat myself some time soon.  :0)

(The Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe did not ask me to review or post about these threads.  This post is my own personal opinion I wanted to share with my bloggy friends.)