Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Day of the Leaf

Just a quick post before going off to do some stitching.  Tomorrow is the end of the month, and I  had set some goals for myself.  One was to have Block 2 of Village of Hawk Run Hollow done, and another was to have Part 2 of the Birds of a Feather Mystery Sampler finished.  I am at a place with both pieces where I need to stitch leaves, lots and lots of leaves.  Leaves and stems are right up there with alphabets as far as I'm concerned...they all give me the heebie-jeebies.  So, I have decided to sit down today and face my fears, and stitch each and every one of those leaves!  Here are a couple of pictures I took a few minutes ago of both pieces "before leaves".  I hope to be able to show a picture tomorrow "with leaves".

Wish me luck !  Hope you're staying cool!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stay-Cation equals Stitch-Cation

Hello, fellow stitchers!  I am enjoying a much needed week away from work.  This week was supposed to be our annual trip to the Outer Banks.  But, unexpected car repairs, refrigerator replacement, plumbing repairs, and the never-ending tuition bills for the girls pretty much wiped out our travel funds.   Sooooo, here I am taking a stay-cation.   All is not lost, though!  I have managed to do some things around the house that I've been putting off, and I've gotten a LOT of stitching done!
Allow me to share!  First will be some shots of a UFO I finished Monday.  And, no, it's not the style you normally would associate with me.  This is a design by Corner Stitch and Frame.  We have been going to the Outer Banks for @ 30 years.  Up until around 2005 or 2006, there was an adorable cross stitch shop at the beach.  It was always a highlight of my trip to shop there while on vacation.  The shop closed around 2005-'06.  The shop was also called Corner Stitch and Frame.  The owner has a line of designs by the same name, mostly Outer Banks related.  I bought this chart there and started it on our vacation in 2005.  For whatever reason, it ended up in the UFO pile.  My guess is that it was no longer so much my taste, although I do love the design.  I took it out recently, and looked at it, and realized it had AT MOST, 30 minutes of backstitching left to do.  So, Monday, I got it out and finished it.  My downstairs bathroom is my "Cape Hatteras Lighthouse" room, so once framed, this will hang there.

"Seaside Sampler"
By Corner Stitch and Frame

Next, I will share a photo of my progress on Birds of a Feather Mystery Sampler.  First, I have to say, alphabets give me the heebie-jeebies...I don't know why, they just do.  With this in mind, I knew that starting part 2, it was imperative for me to get that pesky alphabet out of the way first.  So, last night, I sat myself down and made myself finish it.  Here it is-now I can move on to the tree and birds!

"Birds of a Feather Mystery Sampler"
With My Needle

 For the past couple of days, I have started and completed not only 2 blocks of my Carriage House Samplings alphabet sampler, but the last 32 flowers of the glad to have that out of the way!  My goal has been 2 blocks per month, which will have it finished by the end of the year.  I have been remiss in sharing recent progress.  Since February, I have stitched E, F, H, L, P, R, X, W, U and Y..  Here are some photos:  I think I'm missing "W is for Willow", I'll add that later.

I finished Blackbird Designs "Pink House Manor" last week, all but the personalization. 

Last, but not least, is my progress on Villages of Hawk Run Hollow.  I am juggling 2 blocks right now.  My goal had been to devote about 6 weeks to each remaining block, in order to have this finished in 2011.  Block 6 was supposed to have been finished in June, but for some reason, I have really struggled with that one.  I was planning to work on Block 2 in July, it was partially done from a while back.  So, I am working on both, hope to have them finished this week.  I also have a picture of Block 8, which I finished in May, but never shared.

As usual, my photography leaves so much to be desired!

Hope you're managing to stay cool! 
Until next time...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Christmas in July

I am on day 4 of a 5 day mini-vacation from work.  I had so many plans to get all this stitching done, and work on cleaning and organizing my sewing room.  I did finish part 1 of my Mystery Sampler.  I have worked on a couple of letters of my Carriage House Samplings Alphabet Sampler.  Mostly, I've struggled to finish this santa.  I almost titled this post "Bah-Humbug".  As dear as the Prairie Schoolers are, and since I have collected each yearly chart since the beginning-1984-,  I have to say, I love them, and plan to stitch all of them, but, they are really tedious to stitch, in my opinion.  I think probably due to the fact that they are stitched on Davos.  Working on Davos means you ae basically stitching over one.  In order to keep the x's from sliding underneath the fabric threads, you have to use the over one method of starting the second "leg" in the northwest corner rather than the southeast corner.  And, you must use the stab method rather than the sewing method.  To look at these little santas, you would think they would take no time at all.  Perhaps if I were to stitch them on linen, they would work up much more quickly.  Anyway, I have worked on this one for 3 months.  My goal was to do one per month.  Maybe if I worked on nothing else. 
I think I'm going to take the santas out of my regular rotaion, and turn them into a 15 minute a day project.  Just do a wee bit of work on them each day and see how that goes. 
Anyway, as frustrated as I get, I love them, and they are pretty breathtaking when finished.  Here is my latest, 1993.
I am embarrassed to admit, I have now 10 of these stitched, and have not done the finishing on a single one.  I am planning to turn them all into ornaments.  I even bought one of those grungy, primitive trees to devote to just these santas.  With that said, I have decided to challenge myself to a little "Christmas in July" project~get these things done!  Wish me luck!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Anniversaries of the Heart Progress

I don't think I ever shared a picture of my finished "Valentine Rose".  I haven't personalized this one yet, except for the letter "S" on the door, for my mom.  My mom, Suzanne aka Suzie, was born February 3, so I will have her name and birthdate.  My husband was born February 2, so I will toss his initials in there somewhere-I need to figure out where they'll fit.  As usual, my photography doesn't do this justice...but I have to say, I absolutely LOVE the little chain stitched edging on the flowers, it just adds the perfect vintage touch.
Here is my finished "A Wish for You".  I dedicated this block to my great aunt Hazel, who was also my surrogate grandmother after my own grandmother (her sister Gladys) died suddenly at a fairly young age.  Hazel was born on March 14.  The "M" on the door is for Hazel's last name, which is Matthews, and for my dad's only sister, and therefore my only paternal aunt, Martha,  who was born on March 12.
And, here is Bonus Block One.  I liked that I didn't have to do any decision making as to whom I should dedicate this block to!
And, here is how it looks so far!

I'm really excited about the Loose Feathers 2011 series!  I am registered on automatic at one of my favorite online shops, and can't wait to receive my first shipment.  The shop owner recommended going with the linen used for the model, which is 30 count Irish Cream, so I went with that.  I've been stitching on nothing larger than 36 count in recent years, and using one strand of thread, so this will likely take some getting used to on my part!

I also managed to find a copy of the July issue of Cross Stitch and Needlework magazine(at KMart, of all places!), which features an article about Barb and Alma, along with a wonderful patriotic chart, "Land of the Free".  I ordered the "Days Gone By" linen for this, in 40 count, and am hoping to put in the first stitches in honor of Independence Day.

And, in reply to Ruth's comment RE: my Aunt Martha....Ruth, you said Martha must have been pretty nifty, well, she was, and still is, she's only 74 years old, and drop-dead gorgeous, she doesn't looks a day over 50!  And, we're from the south, so to pronounce her name like my grandmother did, it's Maahwtha.  Here is her picture:

Hope you're staying cool, wherever you are!   And, have a safe and fun-filled Fourth of July!