Monday, March 17, 2014

March WIPocalypse Update

The last month has been good to me!  I went to a retreat last weekend and was able to get some finishes in and get some things out of my UFO pile.

So, here are the things that weren't officially on my list that I knocked out at the retreat.

Victoria Sampler Beyond Cross Stitch Blackwork Ornament, Plum Pudding Needleart bird ornament from Holiday Samplings, and Shepherd's Bush Warm Heart

I also picked up two smaller samplers to work on at the retreat:

Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches Ohio Sampler Bookmark
Remember the Ladies Dutch Sampler by Thistle Threads

And here's Dutch Sampler finished!  I just put the final stitch in it Saturday night!

Next up is Family Sampler - final stitches put in Sunday morning!!  I hope to get this framed and up on the wall by our anniversary next month.  I already have a place picked out for it. 

For the rest if the "official list" no progress on my Liz Turner Diehl 17th Century English Stuart Garden, Drawn Thread Sanctuary, or Blackbird Designs Easter Parade.  The only progress I've made on my Prairie Moon Thine is the Trick and the Treat is to join a SAL with my good friend Loraine - we're going to work on this Friday nights.  I didn't do any stitching last Friday, so I'll start this next Friday. 

I'm also going to start working on a class piece every Sunday (my own version of Sunday School -LOL). The piece I'll start with is Betsy Morgan's Toy Chest Etui.  I'm missing part of the kit, but I have what I need to start back up with some of the stitching.  I'm sure by the time I finish all this stitching, I'll find the rest of the kit!

I was able to get some good progress on the Amish Dolls yesterday, and here is where I ended last night - I finished the girl and got more than half the boy done. I really need to find the rest of the kit because it contains the perle cotton I need for outlining. 

The last thing I started doing at the beginning of March was carrying a little kit in my purse to work on while waiting places. This is the snowman block from Blue Ribbon Designs Winter White Woodland.  I got a fair amount done during time I would otherwise be playing on my phone. I hope to get one ornament a month by doing this.

The topic for this month is:  Show us your favorite places to stitch.

I love to stitch where ever I can (except in a moving car - motion sickness!), but here is my favorite - my "nest" in the living room.  The little flannel rag quilt I made is for any fur-babies who want to lay with me.  I have a fireplace to my left and the TV in front - it's a very comfortable stitching spot!

Here's Odette laying on the quilt next to Mommy!

Monday, March 10, 2014


This weekend I was lucky enough to go to a local retreat with seven of my friends.  I went during the day, but slept at home - the best of both worlds (for me)!  The retreat was Thursday - Saturday, and I think I was able to get quite a bit done between the chatting and eating!

Thursday I worked on Dutch Sampler from Remember the Ladies by Kreinik designed by Thistle Threads.  I picked this back up last Sunday and worked on it a bit all week.  I hope to finish it next week.

Friday I was able to finish two small ornaments.  The first one was a Victoria Sampler Beyond Cross Stitch kit that I started about 14 years ago. 

The second one was a little Plum Pudding Needleart ornament from Holiday Samplings, I want to eventually stitch all four designs from this.
Friday we also worked on a group project.  It's the Le Petit Chapeau Pincushion from the book Purely  
Provence by Need'l Love. It was a bit of work, but I'm so glad we made these.  I LOVE my hat!  Thanks to Julie for the brown wool, to Teresa for the candlestick and Loraine for the lovely ribbon!

Friday we also worked on a group project.  It's the Le Petit Chapeau Pincushion from the book Purely Provence by Need'l Love. It was a bit of work, but I'm so glad we made these.  I LOVE my hat!  Thanks to Julie for the brown wool, to Teresa for the candlestick and Loraine for the lovely ribbon!

Here's a group pic of 5 of the hats that were finished. From left to right: mine, Loraine's, Dot's, Cindy's and Melanie's.  Too cute!

Friday night and Saturday morning we made some embellished pins to put in our pincushions. Here's a closer look at mine (thanks Kathryn for making me the butterfly pin and for the cute kitty!

Saturday I finished another WIP that I just unearthed - Shepherd's Bush Warm Heart. I started this as soon as it was released, and again put it aside for some reason.  Now I just need to put it in the cute little box.  I have the Christmas one ready to finish as well.

The last thing I worked on was this Ohio Sampler Bookmark by Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches. I got this when I ordered the samplers book Ohio is My Dwelling Place. I worked on the queen stitches and over-one, and promptly remembered why I put it aside!  LOL I really need to keep plugging away on this and get it finished.
I had such a fun weekend!  I can't wait until we do it again!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Joining a Few SALs

I love SALs - they are fun, you get to "meet" a lot of people, and they help keep me on track.

While I was reading WIPocalypse posts, I came across two more SALs that I thought would be fun to join. 

The first on I saw was the Stitching Bandit's Chatelaine Challenge. I remembered I had two Chatelaines languishing in my WIP pile, and when I went to sort through some of them yesterday, I found a third one!  I don't think I have any more, but as I get to the bottom of the pile, who knows what I'll find.

Anyway, the three Chatelaines I have are:

Mystery Sampler 1 (Friendship Sampler) - I used this as a Round Robbin in 2006.  It's only missing my initials, the date, and the beads (which are actually missing!  LOL - I need to go searching for them because I bought the whole kit, I just didn't send them around).

Mystery Sampler II - this is the one I completely forgot about!  I'm missing most of the pattern, so I'll have to go back to my computer and see if I can find it. I was keeping up with this for the first few sections, but I must have gotten distracted (what, me?).

The last one is Mystery II (Convent's Herbal Garden) - this one was gifted to me by my friend Jodi. She started it and I worked on it in a Round Robin where she sent WIPs around. She decided she would never finish it and sent it back to me - what a gift! 

I really like working on Chatelaine designs - I finished the four gem bell pulls (along with the test designs which I made into ornaments) and loved stitching them. Here's hoping I can get some of these done!

The next SAL I thought I'd join is Theme-a-licious 2014. I was intrigued by the March Madness theme ("Work on something different every's madness...of the funnest possible kind").  I don't know that I'll work on a different project every day, but my goal is to work on 31 different projects throughout the month - this will allow me to work on a project for more than one day, and work on a few things each day on the weekends. I'll include any craft as "projects" - cross-stitch, wool appliqué, quilting, embroidery, knitting, spinning, etc.  

I'm going to a local retreat next weekend (Thursday - Saturday), but I'm sleeping at home. I hope to get a few little projects finished and out of my WIP pile.  Here are a few found yesterday that I'll take with me.

So there are some goals to help whittle that WIP pile down!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The flu sucks!

I had every intention of posting my update for WIPocalypse on February 14th, but I finally succumbed to the crud that has been going around (and that my poor husband has had for over six weeks).

Luckily, I had a lovely knitting project that took only the amount of energy I had. I participated in this year's Ravellenic Winter Games, and just finished my shawl yesterday afternoon.  It's had its bath and is drying right now- just in time to cross the finish line!  

Here it is pre-bath.  

And here it is on the blocking mats.
The pattern is On The Bias by Dutch Knitting Design.  I used some of my hand spun that I spun in last summer's Tour de Fleece.  I can't wait for it to be dry so I can wear it!

Anyway, back to stitching and my February WIPocolypce update.  

I was on a roll before I got derailed by the flu - I finished two projects since the last post!

Bent Creek Snowglobe Mantel

And Country Cottage Needleworks Forest Snowfall 

And I made good progress on my Little House Needlework Family Sampler - I just need to finish the boarder and I can go back and fill in the family. 

Now that I've finished two of my WIP's, I'll have to pull out some more to focus on. I've been going through my HUGE pile of UFO's and making a list to post here (I'm not even half done). Hopefully if I can see them all in one place, it will keep me more motivated to make progress on them all. 

I suppose that's as good a segue as any to this month's discussion question: How many projects do you generally feel comfortable having in progress at a time?  Tell us about your one-at-a-time or rotation habits!

I don't know if you could tell, but I don't really worry about how many projects I have going at one time.  Every once in a while, I feel bad that I have so much unfinished, but that doesn't seem to last for long.  The ones that I feel the worst about are the class pieces - I have taken so many wonderful classes, and I rarely finish the pieces.  I'd like to get some of those done.

As far as a rotation, I usually use the "screaming rotation" method.  Which ever piece is screaming the loudest at me, I'll work on. :)

Right now I have some quilting projects screaming at me, so I think I'll go work on those...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Keep on Sewin'

I was able to spend the last two weeks working on some more projects.

Last Thursday I took another class at My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe - this time it was for The Beatle Bag by Abby Lane Quilts.

I had the fabric in my stash (yay for stash!) - it's from the Max and Whiskers line by Basic Grey. I picked it up during a shop hop a few years ago to make an apron, but it made a great bag!
This is the second class project I've been able to finish within the week of taking the class - yay me!

After I finished this bag last Saturday, I really a should have started in on the next quilt on my UFO list, but I wanted to do something quick and new, so I pulled out an apron kit I won when I took the Sew She Did class from Lori Holt a few years ago. The pattern is the One Yard Apron, and the fabric is from her Sew Cherry line. I decided to use some double ruffle ribbon that I bought in a grab bag from The Ribbon Retreat (purchased during another shop hop almost two years ago).

I've wanted an apron to use when I long-arm ever since I bought my machine, and this fits the bill perfectly.

And since I was on a roll, I also pulled out the cute tomato pin cushion kit Lori gave each of us during that same class.

It feels great to get some of these older projects finished!  THEN I worked on my Valentine's Day Mystery quilt. I'm up to the boarders and I hope to finish it up next weekend.

This weekend I finished my Be My Valentine Bench Pillow by Kimberbell.  Now we'll see how long it takes for the kitties to chew off those bows!  LOL
Now on to the stitching front....

Last week I was able to quickly finish my Bent Creek Snowglobe Mantel by sewing on the beads.

And last night I finished up my Country Cottage Needleworks Forest Snowfall!  That's two WIPs off my list.

And here's another gratuitous kitty picture featuring my almost-ever-present stitching buddy, Elspeth! :)

Speaking of cats...  I needed to add my final quilt from my Great Grandma to my glass chest - it's been in storage in the basement, and I was just able to find it last week and wash it.  This is our Wedding Quilt and it's hand appliqued and hand quilted.  It joins my childhood scrap quilt and my mother's quilt.  Sometime I should take all three out and photograph them.

As soon as I put it on the floor to fold it up, Korben jumped on.  As soon as we got him off, Elspeth and Elora jumped on, then Triana joined them!  Cats LOVE quilts!  LOL  I finally got it folded up and in the chest.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What a Fantastic Sewing Weekend!

Since it was a three-day weekend, I had the opportunity to spend 4-6 hours every day in my sewing room -YAY!

Friday I got this amazing full kit for Wind in the Whiskers in the mail from Nancy's Notions!  I've wanted this quilt so bad ever since I first saw it last summer, and I picked it up on clearance!  I'll have to work out some kind of schedule to keep me on track for this. 

Thursday evening I went to the AccuQuilt Club class at My Girlfriend's Quilt Shoppe. The project was a pillow using the Half Hexagon Die.  I decided to use the scraps from my Quilting 101 Christmas quilt so I could make a matching pillow.

I got all my pieces cut out during class and figured out my layout - and I even managed to get the first two rows sewn together. The pillow uses the middle size hexi.

I also cut some of the smaller hexi's as long as I was it it.  Saturday I played with them and made two little pin cushions - they just need to be stuffed. 

And Sunday I put the rest of the pillow together!  I'm so happy to have a class project completed the same week I took the class!!

I had a helper on my lap while I was attempting to work on this! 

I also worked on two Bench Pillows from the Kimberbell Pillow-of-the-Month Club this weekend.

Saturday I finished the top of the Be My Valentine pillow. (I signed up for the darker colorway)

And I got the center section done of the Winter Whimsy pillow, which I finished up on Sunday.   This pattern was free when you signed up for the 6 month club, so it didn't come with the fabric. I used scraps for the hats and noses and picked out new fabric for the rest of the pillow. I LOVE batiks, and used two of them in the boarders. Even though I don't care much for the color blue, I really love this snowflake pattern, and the touches of purple are really pretty.

I even got the pillow insert finished on Monday!


Now I just need to quilt the tops and put the backs on!

I took some time out to cut 96 1/2 square triangles with my AccuQuilt to make a cover for my serger (kitties keep trying to un-thread it!) to use as Leaders and Enders.  I got more than half of them sewn together this weekend!

I also spent some time working on my Snowglobe Mantle - and I finished part 3!!  Now I just have the beads to add and it'll be finished!!
By the way, this is the view under my Q- snaps! LOL

It was a great weekend - and I'm already looking forward to the next three-day weekend to see how much more I can get done!!

I hope everyone else had a great weekend too!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 WIPocalypse Begins!

Because I have SOOOOO many WIPs/UFOs and I just started blogging again, I thought joining in on the 2014 WIPocalypse would be great motivation to keep me on track. 

As far a a brief introduction, I learned to cross-stitch from my mother when I was in the 7th grade - that was...a long time ago!  I  have a problem with starting new things before I finish what I'm working on (look shiny!).  I had someone in a stitching group a long time ago who called me a "project slut", and she was right!

Over the years I also learned how to bead, knit, spin, and most recently QUILT!  I have the same "project slut" problem with those pursuits as well!

This year DH and I will celebrate out 25th wedding anniversary (yes, I was young).  We are kitty parents and currently have nine babies.  Six of them are recent additions.  In May of last year we discovered a kitten born to a feral momma who had a litter the year before under our deck.  DH was able to catch her, and we tamed her and fell in love.  That's Elora.  Over the next couple of months, we discovered she had three sisters (they all look very much alike!), and 8 nieces/nephews born to two older sisters from the momma's first litter that we didn't attempt to catch (our bad!).  All last summer we caught and tamed kittens (12 of them!), and got two of the momma's trapped, fixed and released.  The third momma unfortunately disappeared when we took her kittens.  We were able to adopt out half of the kittens, but ended up keeping the rest.  Luckily we have a large, multi-level house and everyone gets along.

So, back to the task at hand. Wednesday evening I pulled out a few WIPs to focus on this year. I know I'll probably add more as the year goes on, but I wanted to start with these six.

My current WIP is my Bent Creek Snowglobe Mantle that I started on Boxing Day. I've already stitched parts 1 and 2, and I hope to have this finished by the end of the month.  It's so much fun to stitch!  
I have a couple more zipper/zippie kits in my stash and they are great for when you want to work on something fun, fast, and not too challenging.

I'd also like to finish this one by Little House Needlework's called Forest Snowfall sometime this winter.  I started it in December and put it aside for my new Bent Creek kit. (Photo bomb brought to you by Willow!)

Next on my list is this 17th Century English Stuart Garden by Liz Turner Diehl.  I don't remember when I started it, it has to be more than 5 years ago, but it was almost finished and I got bogged down in the detached button hole leaves!  I just need to buck up and do it. I could probably finish it in a day or two. 
I have three more of these garden kits in my stash. My original thought was that I could frame them the same and hang them together - I should probably start another one as soon as I get this finished.

Next up was also on my WIP/UFO list last year, and I got some fairly good progress!  It's Little House Needlework's The Family Sampler. I was at a bit of a loss about what to do with the "family" section. I started it when the chart was first released in 2010, and at the time we had 5 kitties. By the time I picked this back up again last December, we had lost two of them. I brought it out Wednesday evening and talked to DH about it and we jointly decided it will become our 25th Anniversary sampler and I'll put all 9 of our current babies on here. I aim to get this finished by our anniversary in April. 

Here's where I started last year (I took this pic mid-January, and I had several weeks worth of work on it, which is why there is stitching in the rolled up part).

And here is where I am now - the people/animals are skipped, but there really isn't much left to do!

Also on my list from last year is The Drawn Thread Sanctuary. I started this about 9 years ago. The Drawn Thread is one of my most favorite designers to stitch, and I always enjoy myself when I pick this back up to work on.

Here's where it was at the beginning of last year.

 And here's where it is now.

This Blackbird Designs Easter Parade was also on last year's list, but I didn't get any stitches in it. It's on 40 count - what was I thinking? LOL

 It will be lovely when it's done, but definitely requires a bit more concentration.

Added to my list this year is Prairie Moon Thine is the Trick and the Treat. If I remember correctly, this is also on 40 count. I started this soon after the chart was released.
That gives me a bit to work on!  I'd also like to finish up one of my old Round Robin's - I have quite a few to choose from. I've set a goal to stitch for a least 15 minutes EVERY day. So far I've been able to stick with that, even if it means I go to bed just a bit later. 

I've always loved the saying 'Til needle, thread and fabric meet, I cannot count my day complete, and even just a tiny bit of stitching helps make me feel better!