Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Framed Finishes

I had two finishes stashed away waiting for a bit of cash so I could get them framed.  I also finished a pair of whitework pieces this year that I wanted to frame right away for my new craft room.   They are all Teresa Wentzler designs!  Here they are:

Tempest in a Teacup (TWDesignworks)
Stitched over two on 28 ct. white Jobelan
(I extended the border and added the little Irish saying.  I also removed the word "Tempest" from the teacup.)
Completed February 2001

Framed October 2012

Renaissance Bookmark (TWDesignworks)
Stitched over two on off-white Jobelan
(I stitched this bookmark for my husband, Greg.  He took one look at it and said, "Frame it!")
Completed August 2006

Framed October 2012

Beginner Whitework (TWDesignworks)
stitched on 28 ct. ice blue Lugana
Completed July 2012

Intermediate Whitework (TWDesignworks)
Stitched on 28 ct. ice blue Lugana
Completed July 2012

Framed October 2012
(Dark blue matting behind the openwork on the Intermediate Whitework piece)
Happy Stitching!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Give a Hoot

Since my mother collects owls, I was happy to find one of the latest patterns by JBW Designs this summer:  French Country - Owl.  It is a small design, and I stitched it on linen fabric in just a couple evenings.  I took my time and found a cute fabric to back it with and some matching ribbon for trim, planning to make an ornament.  Ma's birthday was falling on Thanksgiving Day this year, and I was so excited to be giving her an owl with cute autumn motifs in it.

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, I had the free time I needed to finish the ornament.  One problem -- I couldn't find the stitched piece anywhere!  I tore apart my house, my desk at work (I stitch at lunchtime, so I often have needlework there.), even my car, but I couldn't find it anywhere.  I figured I'd stitch another one easily enough in plenty of time, but as luck would have it, the pattern was safe in the little bag containing the stitched piece, the backing fabric, and the ribbon.  I hopped online and ordered another copy of the pattern.  Two days later, I was rummaging in a laundry basket of clean clothes in my closet and heard the rustle of plastic.  Yup.  I found my original stitching.  It was in a tote bag I'd used to take the items to the craft store to get the backing material and pick up some framed pieces.  It was lying right there on top of my laundry basket!  I received the replacement pattern in the mail that afternoon and immediately sent it to my cousin, a fellow stitcher who's mother also collects owls!

I was able to finish the little guy in plenty of time to give it to Ma for her birthday.  She loved her gift!  Here he is:

Country French - Owl (JBW Designs)
Stitched over two on 28 ct. Belfast Linen
Completed August 2012

Here's the back!

I've also been working on a small stack of Christmas ornaments from this year's ornament edition of Just Cross Stitch magazine.  I still need to create ornaments out of the finished stitched pieces.  I'll post pictures when they're complete.  Can't talk any more about WIPs - too many surprises!

Happy Stitching!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 2012 - IHSW 1

Hello, there, Stitchers!

It's been a bit since I've blogged - just busy with life.  However, I have been stitching like a mad woman!  Litte projects - ornaments for christmas, mostly, and a few other surprises.  Of course, I can't put them all here... it'd spoil a few secrets!

Here's a few I've been working on.  I stilll need to add the tiny buttons (I may use beads instead) for the Winter Fawn.

These are all from Just CrossStitch Magazine Ornament Issues

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 2012 IHSW 2

Well, I didn't get as much stitching in this weekend as I'd hoped, but I did finish the Wentzler Beginner Whitework piece.  I'll frame it, matted together with it's companion TW Intermediate Whitework piece, which I finished about 2 weeks ago.  Here they are!

Beginner Whitework (TWDesignworks) Specialty Stitches on pale blue lugana fabric.
Intermediate Whitework (TWDesignworks) Specialty Stitches on pale blue lugana fabric.

Friday, July 20, 2012

July 2012 IHSW 1

Sometimes, especially when my life gets a bit hectic, I feel the need to work on a smaller project.  I guess it's the fact that smaller pieces get done faster, so I have a feeling that at least something is getting accomplished in my life.  The fact that it is a pretty CrossStitch piece makes it even better!  So, for this IHSW, I've got two pieces to work on.  I just finished an Advanced Whitework Ornament designed by Teresa Wentzler and decided to do the Beginner Whitework Ornament, too.  I'm hoping to finish the Beginner piece tonight, and then I'll start back up on Sarabande, the large, French sampler I've been working on for quite some time - it's the piece I set aside in order to do a few small projects.

Here is the Beginner Whitework Ornament (TW Designworks), so far.  I have the final chain stitch border and then some pretty, off-white beads to do for the finish:

 And here is my progress on Sarabande (Long Dog Samplers), so far.  I'm currently working on the bottom, left corner:

Happy Stitching!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bloggin' 'bout Backstitch

I always hear how so many stitchers hate to backstitch.  Not me!  I don't mind it at all, because I adore how as I backstitch, the piece comes alive with detail.  I decided to take pictures of my latest project, a small Teresa Wentzler design called Playful Kittens, which I started for this month's IHSW, and specifically did to have a portable project to take out of town on a business trip.  Anyway, I finished the kitties today, and before I did the backstitch, I took a picture.  So, here are photos of the piece prior to backstitching it, and the completed piece.  Yay!! Another finished Wentzler!

"Playful Kittens" (TW Designworks) before backstitch

Completed "Playful Kittens" (TW Designworks) Backstitched
[stitched over two, on 28 ct. cream linen]
Completed June 2012

June 2012 IHSW 2

I've been on business travel this week, so it took me a few days to post this pic, but I did take a pic of my June IHSW project last Sunday evening.  "Playful Kittens" is a Teresa Wentzler design, which, though not a huge project, has plenty of color changes and an abundance of half-stitches!  I took this project with me on the airplane, and was stitching in-flight, so I've made even more progress.  See later posts for updates.

Happy Stitching!


Friday, June 15, 2012

June 2012 IHSW

I'm going on a business trip in a few days, and I wanted a small project to tote along with me.  You know, for waiting in the airport, in-flight, etc.  I decided to do a cute Teresa Wentzler design, called Playful Kittens, which she published in Cross Stitch Monthly magazine in 1989.  I'm just starting the project this evening,  to get a bit of a start before I travel, so I'll not bore you my empty fabric waiting for my first stitches. But here's a picture from Ms. Wentzler's website showing what it should look like when I'm done.  The finished project will be a just a little over 3x4 inches in size.

Happy Stitching!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Teensy Stitches

Sometimes, I question my own sanity.  For instance, around 2 a.m. on Sunday, I was still up, having just finished  "Stitching Forever," and I was in my craft studio putting away my floss from the project.  I wasn't in the mood to work on Sarabande, my French sampler, so I started flipping through my 5" binder of miscellaneous patterns to find another small project.  Small doesn't begin to describe what I decided to work on (until 7 a.m.).  After a few hours sleep, I got back up and finished it last night.  Here is my petit point Bluebird from the Crossed Wing Collection, finished last night.  It is stitched over one thread of fabric on 40ct. silk gauze.  Yes... I used a magnifying glass to stitch it! 

I figure after doing this one, stitching my Baroque design over two threads on 40 ct. linen will be a breeze!

I'll post a pic of Stitching Forever a bit later.

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 2012 IHSW 2

What a lovely stitchey weekend! I got quite a bit done on Sarabande, and like the way this is turning out.  Looks like I'm about half-way done!

Here's a close-up of the piece I worked on this weekend.

Oh!  I almost forgot... here'a a picture of my Old Ratty Threads (ORTs) for the Totally Useless Stitch ALong (TUSAL).  I live like a mile away from a big antique mall, so I picked out two nice, though dirty, cruets that I thought would make nice ORT jars.  Well, after trying about half a dozen different methods, I couldn't get the white film out of them.  "Oh, Honey, I need to back over to Bunker Hill Antiques!"  "Now what for?!"  "Another ORT jar!"  So, I went back (he actually went with me) and found another, CLEAN one!  And this one even had the glass stopper.  So, here we have it, so far.  Not bad for a start, eh?

Happy Stitching!


Friday, May 18, 2012

May 2012 IHSW

I've been working on my Sarabande French sampler for a few more weeks, and have made a bit more progress. I'm currently working on the bottom left corner motif. Hopefully, I'll finish that one and get to at least begin the one below it this weekend.

Here is the full pattern
Here's where I am today (May 18, 2012)

Happy Stitching!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Creating Minions

My 19-year old step-son brought his friend, Katherine, over last Friday for a visit, and they stayed for the entire weekend.  Seeing as my husband and I each have two sons from our previous marriages, it has been like swimming in testosterone for me for the past 12 years!  So, when one of the boys brings over a girl, or my neice visits, I get pretty excited to have some girlie time!  Sometimes we watch "chick flicks" and sometimes we just chat about girl stuff!  Thankfully, my mom also likes to visit every few weeks, so I enjoy that too.

Anyway, this weekend, when Katherine saw the framed needlework on my walls, and we were talking about artistic stuff like calligraphy, I asked her if she does any stitching.  She said she doesn't, and I offered to teach her.  My husband said, "Great.  Now you'll have Stitching Minions!"  Well, Katherine turned out to be a wonderful minion... er... student.  I love teaching others to stitch - as it is such a relaxing hobby that produces lovely finished pieces to proudly display.  I'll be keeping in touch with her to see how the little cardinal christmas ornament turned out, and to urge her to keep up her new hobby.  She was off to a great start when she left on Sunday, so I'm sure it will turn out as a beautiful first project.

Happy Stitching!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shoppin' for Stitchin'

I had such a great time today with my friends Rosemary (her blog is here) and Kayla (a blogger-in-waiting).  We went to The Stitching Post, a great needlework shop in Catonsville, MD.  First, let me tell you that Kayla lives in Colorado, and she only gets to the Washington, DC area about once each year.  She told us she purposely booked a later flight, so we'd have a few hours to go to The Stitching Post!  Of course, we couldn't disappoint her, so off we went.  After we shopped, the ladies at the store let us use their back room where they have a work table, and we sat and stitched and chatted our little heads off.  Then, we grabbed a bite to eat before Kayla had to run off to catch her flight back home. 

Here are the new patterns I bought today:

Image of Baroque
"Baroque" by Ink Circles
I purchased 40 ct. Linen evenweave fabric and hand-dyed silk floss to stitch this gorgeous pattern, which has my name written all over it!

"The Library" by Little House Needleworks
I purchased 36 ct. tan linen fabric to stitch this pattern. 

Berry Time - Harmony
"Berry Time" designed by Heritage Crafts from the paintings of Valerie Pfeiffer
I love Valerie Pfeiffer!  I'll hang it as a companion to the other two floofy birdie designs I have from this artist.  ("A Chorus Line" is featured at the top of my blog, and "Sitting Pretty" is a WIP.)

Stitching Forever" by Lizzie Kate
As far as projects go, this one is a bit whimsy for me, but it sums up my attitude pretty well!   Thanks, Rosemary, for pointing this one out!

So!  Now I have a nice stash of new items to stitch.  Ahhhhh.  A day well spent!

Happy Stitching!


Monday, April 23, 2012

April 2012 IHSW 2

So, I stitched a bit this weekend.  Finished 3 more motifs on my Sarabande sampler.  I'm really getting into this one again, after a bit of a hiaitus to work on smaller projects.  Now, with my progress this weekend, I'm really excited about working steadily on this to see it finished and framed on my bedroom wall.

Hijinks, my very curious kitty, spent several hours this weekend snoozing  quietly between my legs while I stitched.  I found that amazing, since she is generally into EVERYTHING!  Well, she decided to live up to her name tonight!

Happy Stitching!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 2012 IHSW

I decided to join a stitch-along sort of group called the International Hermit and Stitching Weekend (IHSW) this weekend.  Check it out!  http://joysze.blogspot.com/

I'm working on a large, French-style sampler called Sarabande, from Long Dog Samplers.  I didn't like the colorway that was originally charted, so I changed the six original colors to varied shades of purple/lavender and teal/turquoise.  The lightest lavender floss I chose is a metallic floss, and I found a beautiful white evenweave fabric with filaments of metallic lavender and turquoise threads running through it.  I think the end result will be very striking.

Here's a picture of the original charted project, as well as my work in progress (WIP), with a close-up of the section I'm currently stitching.

Sarabande sampler, originally charted in shades of gray, brown, rust, and black.  A bit somber for my tastes.
 Overall work so far.
Where I am now.

Happy Stitching!


New Beginnings

Well, sorta kinda under protest, I am starting a blog for my needlework.  My dear friend and fellow stitchaholic has been trying for a couple years to get me to blog about my stitching.  Finally, I relent!

I've been stitching for nearly 35 years - mostly cross stitch, with a bit of crewel embroidery, blackwork, and occasionally dabbling in other embroidery styles and specialty stitches over the years.

I love a challenge, and I enjoy complicated cross-stitch patterns.  But, I still like getting a small, simple project done, because a completed project is so satisfying.

So, feel free to stop by my blog anytime, as I'll be updating photos about my WIPs and other news.

Happy Stitching!