Friday, March 14, 2014

College Stitching

I took several creative stitchery classes in college, HEAVEN! I learned that stitching was not just a joy and relaxation to me but actually recommended by many Dr's as a stress relieving activity.  We completed several small projects and explored a variety stitching. Let me tell you that was the best college homework ever!  I really wanted to take the regular sewing classes they offered but I couldn't afford the lab fees and fabric needed for the courses.  Someday I would really like to go back to school and get my Bachelor's degree and sneak in some of those courses I couldn't afford back then. This is also when I discovered the joy of linen. I grew up in a small town in Wyoming and supplies were limited I had always just used Aida.

I was going through all my stitching tubs looking for blending filament I know I have but can't find and came across a few of the small projects we did in these classes and thought I would share.  I put them in my finish pile so I can actually do something with them 20 something years later, lol.  I thought the tulip would be a cute center to a pillow.  I think this was called shadow work I remember it had several layers the yellow of the tulip is underneath the gauzy first layer.

This next one was my favorite that we did.  First I learned about linen instead of Aida cloth for stitching and I loved the stitches and pulled thread on this.  I think this would make a great top to a jewelry box.  The silk roses are a bit smashed from being in storage so long.    I put my 3 inch embroidery scissors in the pictures for scale.
 Not sure what to do with this one.  I might just frame it in a small frame.  It is the most delicate a couple of the strands on the purple have moved.  It was fun to find these again!

Monday, March 10, 2014

New Organization!

I was out reading the blog of one of The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery girls and she posted THIS organization tip post.  I loved her crate that she had her project supplies in to sit next to her while she worked.  So not a valid option for when I had littles running around and playing in my supplies but it works great now!  I went on a crate search.  I tried thrift stores for a cool one like she had and didn't find much, then I was at Bed Bath and Beyond and in their drawer organization I found the cutest divided box.  Snapped it right up.  I wish the sides were a titch higher but other than that it works great!  So nice to have everything sitting out ready to go but still looking cute.  I am stitching even more because it is right there.

I have been looking at Etsy at all the amazing needle books talented ladies are making, I have not yet committed to one yet.  But I want to get one so I can put my traveling stitcher needle book back in its matching tote with that project.

 This is what it looks like when I am working.  I have needles in my needle book, my scissors are easy to reach and find!  All my threads are there to work with.  The square down from my scissors is where I keep the color I am working on so I can quickly rethread.  Sometimes I thread a couple if I have a large area of the same color and stick the second one either into the top of my needle book or on the magnet on my tablet if I am using a pdf pattern.
 Loved the pattern on this!
This is what is looks like when I walk away, to me it is tidy and fine to sit on the couch waiting for me.  It might bug some people but I love it!  My biggest issue is my Shih Tzu doesn't think twice about walking over it and drives me crazy trying to sit in it while I am stitching.  Comes down to she thinks I should only pay attention to her and stitching gets in the way of that, after a minute she usually settles down on my lap or my feet and gives up the quest to stop me.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Progress . . . Tapestry Cat

So this is absolutely my oldest WIP, I have learned some secrets over the years and she seems to be coming together faster now.  I may yet finish this little kitty.  The designer site had some great tips for stitching her designs, some of which I wish I had read before starting the project.  But the number one help was pre-threading a bunch of needles in the colors for the next section.  This pattern has you changing colors every few stitches and I felt like I spent more time threading needles than stitching.  But I thread up all 15 colors for that flower and stitch the entire flower and then thread another 15 or so for the next section.  Then I tried another idea from the blog and took an old piece of aida cloth and put masking tape around the edges and then in rows down it with space in between.  On the masking tape I drew the symbols and then put the threaded needles underneath.  I bought oodles of needles and it may take me several hours to thread them, although I if I did it with the TV off it would go faster, however stitching is flying now.

It looks like a tangled mess doesn't it?  But honestly I have never had a tangle, I have had a couple come unthreaded and with so many colors just a shade off from each other I have wasted that thread rather than stitch wrong.  It isn't practical for all pieces but for all the changes on this one it is wonderful.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Over One . . . OH MY!

Stitching over one is kind of magical.  It is so tiny!  You know how baby outfits in newborn size are so cute you want to squeal but the 12 months size of the same outfit is just kind of cute?  Well that is how I feel about this project.  I love that I left the large on the bottom of the piece so I can compare the cute factor.  This is so  much more what I was thinking when I started.  I have found that I don't have to think so much as I do it and my stitches seem to be smoothing out more.  Not bad for a first try at over one.  Now that I have showed you both versions I am going to pick out the large version.  My oldest is SOO bugged by the fact it is there and is constantly pestering me to take out the "wrong" stitches.  Anyway I am excited about my progress so far and am enjoying how fast it is working up.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Oh how I love a new project!

So in my search of the web to answer some of my stitching questions I read several mentions of a company called The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  Oh my cuteness!  I made myself a rule about the time I had my second child I could not buy a new stitching project without 100% completing one out of my stash.  Oh it has been a challenge but I have stuck with it.  I bent the rules by a few days on this one but as I knew I would be finishing my Traveling Stitcher I purchased the Once Upon a Time Sampler.  I have the fabric and Weeks floss ordered.  I picked up the DMC colors tonight and new package of needles.  I find I am a needle snob.  I just bought some DMC tapestry needles at Hobby Lobby.  I am spoiled it is official as I used them for a few stitches and I don't like them.  My gold John James needles float through the fabric in comparison to these.  They feel bigger to, even though the state they are the same size.  I may just throw them out and buy some new ones.  I noticed Bohin needles from France online when I ordered my Weeks, I think I will order some of those as well and give them a try.  I am a huge sucker for things from France.  I am so excited to start the Once Upon a Time border I would love to have it done by March 1st when the next piece of the sampler is released but I will probably be lucky to have my fabric by then.  Sigh.  I miss having a quality stitching store close by.  There are some great ones in the big city 30 -45 minutes away but I find it is faster to just order it online.  I am not so great at ever making it up to the store something always comes up. If you like this pattern and want to join in the stitch along make sure you buy the pattern now as it goes up in price next month.  After I finish another project so I can qualify for something new I really want to do their Halloween Sampler, it has skulls in the border!  LOVE it!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Pictures! Traveling Stitcher Finish!

This morning had glorious sun shinning through the windows and it is supposed to get stormy again so I took the finish pictures even though technically I still have two more sides to stitch up on the needle book.  I have been using this project bag since I bought it but it is SO much cuter now!  So excited to share it with you.

I have been looking on ebay, I would like to find some fun vintage buttons to replace these but I haven't found just the right ones yet.  Gives me something to do in my spare time I suppose.  I would also like to replace the string used to keep them closed with ribbon as well.  Also after all my searching for finished Traveling Stitcher pieces to view online I am in love with some of the scissor fobs.  I have decided to do one up with the extra fabric I have from this piece.  I have a strong feeling it will be over 1, I am really loving that tiny look!  Ignore the wild background, I do love the pattern but perhaps not the best  choice to show of stitching.  I just didn't want to use my ugly ironing board and this blanket was hanging out right there so voila!  My friend has the most beautiful ironing board.  I wonder if I would iron more if my board was beautiful?

I am back!

It has been almost 4 years since I posted to my poor neglected stitching blog!  I can't believe it didn't end up deleted from neglect.   Life has changed in the last 4 years so lets quickly catch up so we can start in on the stitching! We bought a house, added a few pets, lost a few pets to the rainbow bridge, we are still home schooling, I work very part time now.  But the biggest change this year has been that I am starting to actually have free time for myself!  It is sad to see my girls growing up but it is fun as well. I get the perks of more me time and of sharing my hobbies with them. They enjoy cross stitching with me.  My 10 year old has her first project on aida and is so excited!  My 8 year old is still working on the large plastic canvas projects they have for kids but has decided when she finishes this one she is going to do a project like her big sister.  It has been fun to all be sitting in the same room working on our projects.  I have had a great time pulling out my projects and finishing them or just in adding some new stitches.  I finished stitching The Traveling Stitcher by Little House Needleworks in 2011 and because it wasn't something I had ever done before I never attached it to my Impie, Hattie & Bea project keeper and needlebook!  Shocking, I know.  I love how life leads us back around at times.  I had started my Lizzie Kate ABC sampler project and had finished one line and not really liked it.  I wasn't sure what it was but it just didn't have the cute factor I had pictured.  So I did what I do best and put it away and pulled out another project to work on instead.  I pulled it out again last week and decided that it just needed to be smaller but I didn't want to buy new supplies so I flipped it and decided to try stitching it over 1 on the linen.  I have never done this before and thanks to the web I found some great tutorials but this one seemed to explain it the way I think.  I have finished the first line and I love it!  But I am glad I had corrective eye surgery a few years ago because whew! that is small work!  It reminds me of the petite point piece I tried in college.  After that success I thought, hmmm, someone out there should have directions on how to finish off my Traveling Stitcher.   I found a great finish of the Traveling Stitcher at the blog, Stitching the Night Away in Illinois.  I commented asking for tips and she kindly emailed me a link to directions from Impie, Hattie & Bea.  Today I can finally say I have completed 100% my Traveling Stitcher and I am thrilled!  Thank you Eva for your quick response!  As it is now 2 am I think I will post this and make it official I am back to blogging and stitching and then take some pictures tomorrow to share!