Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday Update

Over the weekend, I finished the last bit of added stitching on my exchange piece. I'm really pleased with the parts that I added. I hope the recipient likes it. Tonight I will sew it all together. I had intended to do that last night, but the frog came visiting while I was making my stitched additions, and I had to pull out a bit of over-one stitching. It was quite tedious and time-consuming. I have all of the materials ready to go, so it shouldn't take long to sew it up this evening.

I didn't do any other stitching this weekend, because I was too busy doing other fun things with BF. A lot of it revolved around food. I was in a cooking mood all weekend and spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen. We also got some wonderful wine and cheese to go along with our meals. And chocolate truffles for dessert. :)

I also spent some time getting acquainted with my new sewing machine-- by hemming a couple of t-shirts for BF. The new machine did a fine job of twin-needle sewing. I'm finding the hemming a bit easier with this machine, because it doesn't require a foot pedal to run. I much prefer the start/stop button and speed control on the top of the machine. BF insists that he did not buy this machine so that I would hem his shirts, but really, I figure it's the least I could do. Just don't tell him how easy it is to sew a straight line! LOL

Tonight I will be working on my TW stitch-along project, Castle Sampler. I don't know how much time I'll have to work on it, but I have a feeling there won't be much progress made. Tomorrow will be back to the slow-going work on Adia. I love both of these projects, but they sure do move along slowly.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What a week!

This has been an extremely hectic week for me, and I haven't had much computer time since last Friday. I was out of town over the weekend, with no internet access at all, and didn't return until late Monday afternoon. That has been followed by three days of teaching a class at my office. I do this one or two weeks each month, so it's "routine" but it keeps me off of the computer. To top it all off-- the Powers That Be here at work have decided to move me to a different office location. Tomorrow morning. For added fun, the only co-worker who does the same work as me is out of the office until next week. So in addition to teaching, I also have to get all of the regular day-to-day stuff done. Oh, joy!!! LOL

What all this boils down to is that I haven't had time to check out any of your blogs to see what you've all been up to. I feel so cut off! I'm hoping to catch up tomorrow, provided the office move goes smoothly and is done first thing in the morning as promised.

In the meantime, this has been a pretty good stitching week for me. I can't post any pics today though, because I'm busy working on an exchange piece. I had all of the stitching done, but decided to add just a bit to the design. And of course, I still have to assemble it. That will be done in a day or two, then it will be on its way. I'll post a pic once it is received.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

If it's Wednesday...

It must be time for a UFO check-in! For the second Tuesday in a row, I stitched on Adia. I have been working on the beads-- there are a lot of them. I don't see much progress, but I know I'm getting closer with every stitching session. The photo on the left shows Adia as of January 17, and the photo on the right shows my progress as of last night.

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I've also been participating in a TW stitch-along that is on Mondays. I didn't get off to a great start with that this year, but I have been working on it the last two Mondays in a row, so maybe I'll start to see some progress once again. Lately I've been focusing on the castle in the center panel.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Stitch-athon Results and a New Toy

Image hosting by PhotobucketMy stitch-athon weekend got off to a rocky start. I began on Friday evening, after a leisurely dinner. First, I stitched the top red diamond bit shown here, only I stitched it in the wrong color. It wasn't too much stitching, so I ripped it out and began again. This time, I got the top 3 red diamonds stitched, plus the bits of filling in the first one. Then I realized that I had miscounted in the beginning and was ONE STITCH too many to the right. I ended up frogging my evening's work. After that, I wasn't very excited about stitching and decided to put it away for the night.

On Saturday morning, we were heading out to the country for the weekend. Since I made no progress on Friday night, I decided to stitch in the car. Not easy to do on 40 ct. linen!! Nevertheless, I made a bit of progress during our 90-minute trip. The rest of the weekend was pretty good stitch-wise, though I did have a few things out there to distract me from stitching. Even so, I managed to make pretty good progress, I think.

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I also did a bit of shopping over the weekend, and BF bought me a new sewing machine! I'm thrilled about it, even though he tells me that his mother will be mortified. Apparently, a sewing machine is not a romantic gift! LOL It's one of the computerized machines, with all sorts of stitches and a multitude of functions that I haven't entirely figured out yet. It's way more machine than I'll probably ever need, but it's nice to have the options. This will certainly make my needlework finishing a lot easier.

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Upcoming Stitch-athon Weekend

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.comThe monthly stitch-athon weekend starts this evening. For January, I've decided to work on Spanish Geometrical Sampler, by Heart's Content. I haven't worked on this project since November 2005, when this photo was taken.

I fell in love with this design the moment I first saw the pattern. It was designed in shades of purple and green, which didn't work with my decor. Finding just the right colors was a challenge, to say the least. I started with a beautiful variegated Waterlilies silk and from there found the shades of red, peach and greens to coordinate with it. I've been very pleased with how this project is turning out with the changes. The one thing I haven't yet replaced are the beads. My intention was to replace the beads with other silk threads, but I haven't yet found just the right thing, so all of the beaded areas are still bare.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Another UFO Out of Hiding

I'm itching to get back to my Spanish Geometrical Sampler, but I am planning to work on that one for the upcoming stitch-athon weekend and will hold off on that one for another day. I wasn't really in the mood to work on Adia again, so I dragged out the Anniken Christensen Simensen 1768 reproduction sampler that I have been neglecting.

I picked up this pattern by Scarlet Letter some time ago, following a visit to a needlework exhibition. I love samplers and this one really appealed to me. I purchased the pattern, 40 ct. fabric, and threads and set to work on it just days later. It wasn't until I had done a bit of stitching on it that I realized the flowers across the top of the sampler are done in free-hand embroidery. Now, I do know how to do this, but I really dislike it. The pattern also included the flowers charted for regular XS, which I tried, but I didn't like the result. You can see a partial flower that I stitched-- it simply isn't attractive.

Eventually, I plan to frog the ugly flower at the top and replace it with something else. I don't know if it will be the free-hand embroidery, but it definitely will not be those flowers in regular cross stitch. I figure I have quite a long way to go before I will need to decide what to put up there. In the meantime, I will enjoy stitching the rest of the sampler.

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SBQ - Happy Dances

This week's question is:

Have you had a happy dance yet this year? If so, tell us about it! (Or just point to the entry that talks about it.) If not, when do you predict it will be?

My 2006 stitching has gotten off to a great start, and January has been a prolific month for me so far. I started with a BIG Happy Dance for Santa's Magic on January 2. Since then, I've had 3 other HDs-- Quaker Diamond on January 7, Snow Wonderful, and Mother's Love needleroll, both on January 16.

I'll have one more Happy Dance before the end of this month, for a Valentine Exchange piece that I'm working on. The stitching is completed, but I still need to assemble it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

UFO Tuesday

Since Mother's Love is now finished, it was time to pick another UFO from the pile. The needleroll was a nice break, but now I am ready to get back to a larger UFO. So last night I pulled Adia out. This will be my UFO Tuesday project until it is completed. The photo below was taken before last night's stitching session. In just one evening, I haven't made quite enough progress to justify a new picture yet. I spent most of my evening beading, which was slow going, but I am happy with the progress so far.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Mid-January Goal Review

It's a little past mid-month, and I think I'm on track for January.

1. Finish Santa's Magic - completed January 2
2. Start and finish Valentine exchange piece - stitched, needs assembly
3. Start and finish Quaker Diamond - completed January 6
4. Complete Snow Wonderful - completed January 16
5. Assemble one FUFO - assembled 2 - Bee My Honey & Spring Morning
6. Spend some time on Spanish Geometrical Sampler
7. Finish UFO Mother's Love needleroll - completed & assembled

Happy dances and other things

This was an extremely productive weekend for me stitch-wise. I started by going to JoAnn's Fabrics on Saturday morning. Going to those stores is always a chore for me, and I often manage to talk myself out of it. While there, I picked up the fabric for my Valentine exchange project and two potential fabrics for finishing the Sekas heart that I stitched a few years ago.

We had a Monday holiday this week, so I was able to spend a good part of yesterday stitching. I started by finishing Snow Wonderful. I'm very pleased with the way that it turned out, and it was a lot of fun to stitch.

Heather-- this pattern is by M Designs. I stumbled across it one day while browsing at the Wyndham Needleworks website and just had to have it.

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Image hosted by Photobucket.comAfter completing Snow Wonderful, I decided to assemble a couple of needlerolls. I wasn't able to fix the plastic piece that broke off of my sewing machine, but I was able to use the second spool that is supposed to be for double needle sewing. So the machine works, as long as I only need to use one needle. That's good enough for needlerolls!

In addition to Mother's Love needleroll, I also assembled Spring Morning into a needleroll. I didn't get a pic of the assembled roll, but here's a pic of it after I finished the stitching on it. It's from a Victoria Sampler cyberclass that I completed in October 2004.

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Friday, January 13, 2006


I feel like this has been a light stitching week for me. I completed the stitching on my Valentine exchange piece and on Mother's Love, and yet I don't feel like I've accomplished much. Both of those pieces were completed on Tuesday, so maybe it's just that it has been a few days.

Last night I decided to focus on my stitching, rather than fooling around with the sewing machine. So I brought Snow Wonderful out again. I just love working on this piece! At the rate I'm going, I just might be able to finish it this weekend.

Hmmm... I just realized that this picture looks a little weird. I put it on a futon to take the picture, and the pattern on the futon cover shows through a bit.

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sewing Machine Frustration

I didn't assemble my needleroll on Tuesday as planned, so I promised myself that I'd do it last night. That little endeavor didn't go so well. I have a portable machine, and as I was taking it out of the box, I accidently grabbed the little gizmo on top that holds the thread as I was grabbing the handle. I didn't realize it until the little piece snapped off in my hand. I'm not sure if I can reattach the thing or not, but at the moment, it looks like NOT. :(

In the meantime, the machine has a second one that holds another spool for double needle sewing, so I will be able to use that. I just have to find the accessory box where the 2nd one is located! Of course, that doesn't solve the real problem-- and the machine won't be usable for double needle stuff unless I can fix the broken part. I'm hoping that I won't end up needing a new machine over this.

So, no pictures again today. Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Valentine Exchange Stitching

Monday was supposed to be my TW stitch-along day, but I was too exhausted yesterday to do much stitching after work. Instead, I spent an hour or so on my Valentine exchange project. I've completed the stitching and now just need to add beads. The stitching went so quickly that I think I will have time to do another teeny little something to go along with it. I'm really enjoying this piece and it's turning out even prettier than I expected. This weekend, I will go to the craft/fabric store to pick up the items needed to assemble it.

Yesterday also brought some squisy mail. That always brings a smile to my face, because I know there is something fun inside. This time, it was my Fabric of the Month shipment from Silkweaver. I have the 'customized' option, and of course I didn't print out my package selections, so each month brings a total surprise. January was a selection of 6 Silkweaver Solos. All were very pretty and I'm sure I'll find uses for them soon.

Today is UFO Tuesday, so I'll be working on Mother's Love needleroll this evening. With any luck, I'll be able to finish the hemstitching as well. Check this space tomorrow for a possible Happy Dance!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

FUFO Sunday

FUFO = Finished UnFinished Object or, what our UFOs and WIPs become after we finish stitching them and move on to the next new project. For some reason, it's like I have a mental block against doing anything with my stitching once I complete a project. So I've committed to doing some finishing one weekend each month. I'm hoping this will reduce my pile of FUFOs.

I really wanted to skip any finishing this weekend, but that would have been a poor start to my year of FUFOs. So I dragged out the sewing machine and turned Bee My Honey into a small pillow. The kit came with the pre-cut fabric to finish it with, so there was really nothing to it. I simply had to sew a couple of straight lines, attach the stitching to the pillow, stuff and close the seam.

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I also worked on my Valentine exchange piece over the weekend. It's turning out to be so pretty! Of course, I can't share a picture yet, because it's a secret. The stitching is very nearly completed, and I'll probably finish it into a (*#%*@#$ next weekend.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Quaker Happy Dance!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI finished Quaker Diamond last night. I haven't done much in the way of monochromatic designs, but I really enjoyed this one and will probably do more. I love the clean simplicity of the design, and it was so nice not to change needles every few stitches.

This weekend is supposed to be my weekend to concentrate on finishing. Not finishing WIPs, but finishing/putting together completed stitching. I wanted to hemstitch and assemble Mother's Love needleroll. But after sewing the lace onto it last night, I'm just not motivated to do hemstitching right now. Maybe the inspiration will come during the game. In the meantime, I'm going to finish Bee My Honey into a small pillow. The stitching on this one was completed in June 2000 and there is really no excuse for leaving it sitting in a drawer for 5 1/2 years.

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

So many projects, so little time!

Lately, I've decided that I really must do an inventory of my stash. I keep buying skeins of the same colors of specialty threads over and over, simply because I have no idea what I already have. It also doesn't help that my stash currently lives in various corners of two different residences. So 2006 will be my year to create a master inventory list. Pretty ambitious, huh?

I started out the other night by going through 3 bags of specialty threads. Much to my horror, I realized that I have several nearly-full skeins of Needle Necessities overdyed threads that do not have their numbers attached. Now I have no idea what the colors are! I believe that I can figure it out by tracking down the patterns that I used them on, and working backward from there. That's a bit of detective work for another day, though.

Slowly but surely, my stash is migrating into BF's house. Soon he will be wondering what happened to his previously male domain, and why there are bits of floss stuck to every piece of his clothing. Animals mark their territory in different ways-- I believe that stitchers use floss for this purpose. LOL

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.comI've also discovered a project or two that I had completely forgotten about. While rummaging through baskets at my condo last weekend, I came across a partially stitched Charmed Hearts kit by Shepherd's Bush. And I also found this little snowman ornament, which I *thought* was completed YEARS ago. But alas, his beads and charm have not been stitched on. Add that to the list of things to do.

Next up will be patterns-- there is a large shopping bag filled to near-bursting capacity just waiting for me to inventory. Sadly, this is nowhere near all of the patterns. I'm not sure, but I think this bag contains some of the patterns that are on the "must stitch" list. I'm almost afraid to look in that bag, because I know it will make me want to start even more projects.


This week's question:

Do you do your stash shopping at your LNS, ONS, or both? Which do you like better? Why?

I shop at both an LNS and various online shops and like each type of shopping for different reasons.

Online shops are great for selection-- there isn't much we can't find online. But they lack the enjoyment of touching the fabrics and fibers, and seeing the patterns up close. If I know exactly what I want, or if I am looking for something that is hard-to-find, I usually order online to save myself the trouble of going all the way to an LNS that may or may not have what I need. The exception to this is hand-dyed fabrics-- I often order those online, just to have them on-hand.

For browsing, you can't beat an LNS. I love to go through the racks of patterns, and often discover things that I didn't know I needed. If you want proof of that, read about my $73.88 skein of floss. The stitched models are also inspiring-- I often purchase patterns that I never would have stitched, simply because the model looked so much nicer than the pattern. I also like to see the store models that are finished in ways other than framing.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Tiny UFO

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAfter completing Santa's Magic, I'm a little burned out on large UFOs. Not large projects, just large UFOs. So I've decided to concentrate for a while on something smaller. For January, that is Mother's Love needleroll. I started this in late 2002 or early 2003, but for some reason I put it down and never got back to it. I suspect that it was the lace trim that SB puts on nearly all of their needlerolls. I love the look, but for some reason, I hate sewing it on. I did a bit more stitching on it after taking this photo and now have all of the stitching and beads done. Now I just have to whipstitch the lace and hemstitch the ends and it will be ready to sew up.

I took a break from Quaker Diamond last night, but I did take a pic of the stitching that I've done so far. This is about 2 days worth.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

January Goals

It's only January 3, and I've already made some good progress on my goals for the month. I hope I can keep this momentum up for 2006!

1. Finish Santa's Magic - completed January 2
2. Start and finish Valentine exchange piece
3. Start and finish Quaker Diamond - started January 1, approx. 50% completed
4. Complete Snow Wonderful - approx. 70% completed
5. Assemble one FUFO
6. Spend some time on Spanish Geometrical Sampler
7. Finish UFO Mother's Love needleroll

Monday, January 02, 2006

First Happy Dance of 2006

And it's a BIG one!!! Started in 1999, completed January 2, 2006.

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy, HAPPY New Year!

Redskins 31, Eagles 20

Need I say more? And on the stitching front...

I started Quaker Diamond today. When I purchased the pattern, I decided to change the thread colors to Watercolours "Moss" and some Soie Crystale in a pale yellow shade. My intention was to stick with a neutral fabric in 35 or 36 ct., but I discovered that the colors were just perfect on a piece of 32. ct. Star Sapphire linen. It will be a tiny bit larger, but that's okay.

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Since I finally had the supplies, I spent a bit of time on Santa's Magic yesterday evening. I'm so close to the end on that one, that there will not be any update pics until the big Happy Dance. But in the meantime, here's what happens when you live with kitties and leave your stitching unattended:

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And, just for fun, the latest pic of Snow Wonderful. It's an awful picture of it, but it will have to do.

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