Friday, April 17, 2015

Quilt Progress

Stitching has slowed a bit....I did start an old kit (on aida, even!) that I found in my stash, but I'm not feeling terribly motivated to work on it.  It is my Wednesday morning project - I drop off the kiddo at daycare around 8, but don't have to be at work until 10, so I take an hour or so to stitch in my car.  Classes at the college where I work will be ending soon, though, so my schedule will be changing for the summer.  Of course, then I could go outside and stitch on my lunch break....  :)

In the meantime, my daughter keeps asking when the "pirate quilt" will be done.  Here is my progress as of last night -
I love the way the colors are working together!  I did get some little wavy spots in my fabric, though....most obviously in that big "map" square in the middle of the lower row.  Hmph.  I'm pretty sure it is because 1) my fabrics are of slightly different qualities, 2) my sewing machine doesn't have a walking foot, and 3) I'm still a novice quilter/sewer.  Ah well.  I'm hoping a lot of this will be disguised once it is quilted with batting and all!!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

April WIPocalypse!

First, as promised in my earlier post, here is my quilty-thing.  (This is "sideways" - the top is the left-hand side of the picture.)
It already doesn't quite fit on my little basement table...and I'm planning to add a row to the top and bottom to make it longer.  Right now you can (hopefully) make out the three rows I have started so far - look for the red strips!  The one on the top left, with the skulls and crossbones, should be lined up off the top left corner of the tan map fabric.  So it was decent size to begin with, but the addition of more rows should make it close to twin-sized.  My daughter is just tickled with the fabrics, and I rather like them myself!

Here is the "Wise Old Owl" kit - note the broken threads from where I removed my first attempt at assembly.
Given that neither DH or I got the jobs for which we interviewed on the trip where I bought this, perhaps it is appropriate that I can't get it together properly.  I think the next time I try, I'll 1) use upholstery thread and 2) turn it from the top (instead of the bottom as the instructions indicated).  While this isn't finish-finished, it does fall under my WIPocalypse goal of doing more smalls, so there's that...

And here's a bit of progress on "Family Treasure III."
I wouldn't say I've been ignoring it, but I HAVE been working like mad on that darned owl...plus Just Nan's "Wings" lives by my chair upstairs, and I'd like to get that finished before I go to Celebration of Needlework at the end of the month.

Finally, Measi's question of the month:
Which specialty stitches do you love doing on projects? Which do you dread?
I love Algerian eyelets and Smyrna crosses.  I especially love the Smyrnas when they are done over enough threads and with the right amount of floss so as to look delicate and different - for example, I've done some that called for the stitch to be done over 2 threads with 2 strands of floss, and I felt that they just looked like big lumps of floss when they were finished.  I could barely tell them from a regular cross stitch!
In terms of dread....satin stitches.  I think I pull them too hard, because they always look "lumpy" to me, with thin spots and too-big holes.  I've been told in the past to try a laying tool, which helped somewhat, but they still aren't my favorite.  That could explain why "Wings" is still languishing - all the fairies have satin-stitched skirts!

Frustrated and Falling Behind (Again)

Time just keeps whizzing by.  Sometimes I wonder, what do I DO every day?  Ah well.

When we were traveling last month, I picked up an issue of one of the British stitching magazines because it had a cute little kit in it - for a "Wise Old Owl" scissor case.  It was on aida fabric, which isn't my favorite, but since I was not home with a choice of  fabrics to swap, I just used the kit materials.  
(pic from magazine website)
Well, I finished the stitching a few nights ago, and was quite excited to asemble the whole thing.  But...thanks to the horrifically stiff aida....I just could NOT get it to turn right-side out after I attached all the pieces.  :(  My backing actually separated from the aida, and after much swearing and unhappiness, I took it apart and left the pieces on my work table for a time when I have more patience.  Which may be never.

As I was skimming through the rest of the magazine, this pattern caught my eye - 
pic from magazine website)
Now, the colors aren't my cup of tea, but the idea reminded me of this - 
(pic from magazine)
An old pattern from (I think) Cross Stitch & Country Crafts!  I like the older pattern better, and was actually considering stitching it for some family members.  But it just goes to show you, everything comes back around eventually...

I've also dipped my feet back into the quilting ocean, and have been having fun with this pattern.  However, since I don't have the collection of fabrics (and it isn't really my kind of "theme," anyway), I've played around with a bunch of stuff from my stash plus 3 or 4 other pieces and changed it to a pirate quilt!!  Maybe instead of "In the Forest" I'll call it..."In the Brig"?  LOL  I'll have a pic of my progress there soon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March Small Check-in

Here is my contribution to the March Smalls SAL - a little floral heart design from an old issue of CrossQuick magazine.  Stitched on some 25-ct. bone lugana with DMC floss.  I have no idea what I'll do with this one, either....the magazine finished this with a nightlight frame, which I don't think they even make anymore!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

A finish!

With no thanks to my LNS, which never did manage to get the petite beads I wanted (so I ordered them from an ONS)...here is Black Swan Designs' "Fairy's Gate."
I really love this!  I used the DMC flosses called for, but stitched it on Sugar Maple Fabrics' "Butterfly Kisses" and swapped out the beads and sun charm.  Mine is more silvery than the model.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Confession

I don't like "country" style patterns....except when I do.  I used to think I was pretty picky about the patterns I added to my stash, but lately, I'm beginning to question that!
I found these 2 pattern books today at the thrift store, and paid less than $1.50 total for them.  The cover design of the Laura Conley calendar grabbed my attention (love the cute little lady!), and  the old Vanessa-Ann Collection book, "Quilt Designs in Cross Stitch" from 1989, had these great nautical patterns...what can I say, I'm weak.  And someday when I die, my family will return all this stuff to the thrift store  from whence it came without a second thought.  It's like the circle of life for old craft patterns!!

Saturday, March 07, 2015

March WIPocalypse Update

Not a lot to report, but here goes.

What I've accomplished this month:
1) I finished another small - the gingerbread house design in my last post.
2) Started another small, should be finished and posted in my "Smalls" post later this month
3) progress on "Family Treasure III" (just a wee bit, but something nonetheless!)
4) progress on "Wings" - no picture
5) "Fairy's Gate" is finished except for one color of petite MH beads - my LNS ordered them, but got the wrong ones, so that is still on hold.

And now for Measi's monthly question:
If money – and time – were not limiters, what projects would be on your stitching bucket list?

Is "all the projects" an option?  Hehehe
But seriously, my ridiculously huge stash got that way because I intended to stitch everything in it!  Every time I try to make some sort of prioritized list, it gets out of control.  So if I had all the money and time in the world, I'd fill my days with stitching, experimentation in the kitchen, and a sprinkling of exercise here and there.  I'd have new finishes - both smalls and larger projects - on a regular basis, not just once in a blue moon (speaking of which, I think I have a pattern of that...).  I often dream of a stitching/craft room filled with pieces I like - Rosewood Manor's "Spring Quaker," Passione Ricamo's "My Lady of the Snow," Shepherd Bush's "Shepherd's Earth," and couple other large designs, filled in with smaller pieces, baskets of smalls, and ornaments hung on tree-style displays.  I also want a mermaid-themed half-bath.  With no shower, there would be no moisture issues!  I have a couple pieces I'd love to stitch for that, another eclectic mix including a Mirabilia or 2, X's and Oh's "Mermaid Fair," and some older more primitive sampler pieces from my stash.
I actually need the time more than the money for all of this - I might need to buy some floss and embellishments, but all of these patterns I already own and I certainly have some fabric stash to use up!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February Smalls SAL

This is a little design from CrossQuick magazine, the June/July 1989 issue.  It is pictured stitched on perforated paper, and finished into a teeny paper gift bag...I'm thinking either an ornament or a little fabric drawstring bag instead.

I think this marks the end of my Christmas-themed smalls for a while!  I'm just tired of stitching holiday stuff.  Hmmm, back to the stash pile.....  LOL