Monday, January 9, 2017

Catching up 2016 smalls and finishes.

I have let enough time pass that I've forgotten what I've shown!

Per my goal for 2016 I did manage to stitch something small each month and finish it and to finish something out of the pile that had accumulated...except for December.  I don't think I actually finished any of the small things I stitched.   Towards the end it got a bit confusing.  I have things finished...I have finishing ideas...but I haven't settled on any final plans.  I am also tired of all the Christmas themed projects.  I am ready to put them away and work on them when the mood is right.

I do need to recap November and December, though.

One of my two finishes out of my pile is actually something I just completed in October.

I made 'Cat Tricks' by With Thy Needle and Thread into the little pillow like the pattern shows.

A simple blanket stitch holds the semi circles in place for a fun edge.

My November small and finish was another pillow using the same trims as Joy (my small/finish from October).  This time it was Lizzie Kate's 'My Favorite Time of Year'.

One of the small pieces I stitched in December was Little House Needlework's Tree Lot.

My December finish from the unfinished pile was Christmas Magic by Heart in Hand. I couldn't find where I posted this one but it was either a finish at the very end of 2015 or early in 2016.

I need to take pictures of a couple other small finishes from December but I'm calling the year a success.  I have finished more than the 24 items I'd hoped when setting the 2016 goal of stitching a small each month, finishing it, and finishing something out of the unfinished pile.  I have also finished a huge long forgotten WIP...Murky Manor by Glendon Place (which you can see in various posts plus the link).  My stitching time took a serious hit with my summer costume project but I did finish a nice number of projects.  I have never made an effort to keep track but I have chronicled them in my various posts throughout the year.

As for 2017 I am not going to set a finishing goal.  I don't really like finishing but I will try.  I have a few projects I might send out because I want them to be something special.  I do not really want a giant pile of smalls so I'm not going to go looking for anymore of those either.  I do not have any more long forgotten WIP's...honestly, (cross stitch, anyway) so I don't have any one project to focus on while in Florida.  I will just pick a couple projects and maybe some Mill Hill ornaments to pack for my stay in Florida.  Space is limited so I will have to think about it.  I do think I'll make more of an effort to write down the details of what I'm working on for quick reference.

Hope everyone is enjoying the new year and that you are finding lots of stitching and sewing time.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Lost time.

Where does the time go?  Good thing I didn't think I was going to do a post a day during December!  I couldn't even get my November small and finish posted.

We remodeled an empty bedroom into a new office/den and I am SO DISORGANIZED!  It's hard to move your office space.  I had some built in storage and am now trying to figure out the right way to store stuff using an old farm house table as a desk.  It does not help that my cats LOVE this room and race in whenever they see me heading there.  As you can imagine, they are so very helpful, not.

I do have some finishes, though.

Making project bags is all the rage right now.  Since I've been kitting and starting all willy-nilly having some new project bags has served me well.

The pattern: Zippered Style File by The Quilt Company is a very easy and fun pattern that has taught me not to fear zippers. (It is just a project sheet so I can't show a picture and I also couldn't find a link aside from where a shop could buy a large quantity of these patterns...sorry.)  The instructions are clear and 'almost' fool proof.  Of course, if you zip the zipper shut then keep pulling the tab right off the end of the entire zipper before sewing the edges, you're going to have a problem. I only did that once (and then again while making the little Lazy Girl bags).

These bags use any combination of fabric you want between the front pocket,

the back pockets...there is one with a velcro flap

and one that you can just slip things into...

and the lining.

I kept looking at my fabric collection and seeing more and more options so I kept making them.

I pulled out my serger and gave it a nice work out.

I have gifted a few of these and filled the rest.

My next zipper adventure was using a Lazy Girl pattern called:  Sweetpea Pods.  This pattern uses a method where the zipper is taken apart and reassembled using only half of the zipper and the original pull.  These were also quite fun to make.

I gave some of these away, too.  They work well to hold little things in a project scissors.  I also filled them with pink Wonder Clips to give to some quilting friends.

Just in time for Bonnie Hunter's newest mystery I finished the one from last year.

I am not sure why it got neglected.  Probably between my Florida travel and costume making I just put it aside and never gave it a second thought.

I also remember not liking it all that much.  I'm not sure why.

On the cross stitch front I finished Tree Lot by Little House Needleworks.  I am a fool for any pattern with a tree in a truck or on the roof of a car.

I also finished Jeanette Douglas's Florida Sampler.

My HEAD got another page completed.  Because the background is just colors flowing left to right I sometimes go on over to the next page to end the color.  I learned from that tree that I better start practicing parking.  Even so, there were just so many random stitches that it took me forever to stitch that thing.

Did I mention how I decided to buy the down loadable pattern and the page breaks are different?  I completed page 1 from the paper pattern...which took up part of page 2 in the downloaded version.  Now that I'm following the downloaded pattern my pages are shorter.  I like using my ipad to follow a pattern, though.  I think the next page that falls all the way left is page 8.  I will be glad when I get there and find 25% of the picture already stitched!  

Believe it or not this post has taken me a week, or longer, to complete so I'm going to end it here and post my November and December finished items in another post.  

Happy Stitching.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A birthday.

Today is a birthday at my house.  Or, at the Boy Wonder's house!  

He is 24 today.  

Time sure flies.

Here he is taking a selfie...before the word 'selfie' even existed. I am going to guess he was 8.  

Happy Birthday! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A picture...or 20... and everyone should have friends like this.

Where to begin.  It's only been a week or so since my last post but it's time to post about my October finishes and stuff like that.

But first...

I have to give a couple friends a high-five and a big thank you.

Yesterday I arrived at my Monday do-good community service locale close to 20 miles from home with a nearly flat tire.

The way things work in my that I will iron the shirts and my husband will maintain the cars.  So, this city girl had little skills when it came to what to do aside from call AAA.  First I asked my friend Lisa to go get air with me.  Yeah Lisa!  She had the skills I lacked.  When it became obvious air wasn't going to solve my problem she hooked me up with a local tire repair shop and we took my car over.  Then, when the car wasn't finished after our day of good two friends hung with me at the neighboring bar  coffee shop.  So sweet.  Everyone needs besties like this...can't thank you enough Lisa and Sally.

On to my October accomplishments.

My October small is Joy by Lizzie Kate from the 2007 JCS ornament issue.

Darn those dreaded corners.  If you don't put trim on the edge, no matter how accurate you are when sewing, the corners don't stuff or turn nicely.

My finish from my pile of unfinished pieces was this cute little Miss Crescent Colour's piece called Tick, Tack, Snow.  It finished up very nicely as an ornament.

I trimmed the edges with this bead-like trim.

I also stitched a Lizzie Kate that just called out to me from a basket of kits...Don't Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle.  This piece gave my tons of fits.  While gently tugging a knot I ripped 2 threads in the fabric!  Oh, man!  There are a variety of possible solutions but I decided to put a piece of fusible web on the back...which was strong enough to hold the stitches... then I put a second piece on just to secure the stitches.  The 'Stitch a Gift' frame came with a piece of fusible batting that is also applied to the back of the piece.  Those stitches are not coming out.  I just couldn't get a decent photo to dare you to find the repaired area.  Because it's under the white thread the picture was just too blurry.

This finish also had to go into a couple of ice baths because first the green then the red ran.  The piece got a drop of water on it from my ironing board cover.  I tried to just work on that spot but then the red had to get into the act.  It was so close to going into the garbage.

I also took a couple finishes to be framed.  Lady Bug, Lady Bug came out so sweet.  I can't wait until summer rolls around again to hang it on the wall.

I think this dark green frame is one of my favorites. 

Since Christmas is coming I also took Country Cottage Needlework's Christmas Carol in for framing.

Love that light green frame and the little white insert.

I almost forgot two other little pieces I recently completed...

Liberty by Midsummer Night Designs.

And, Cat Tricks by With Thy Needle and Thread.

Poor kitty dressed up like a pumpkin!

That has certainly turned out to be a lot of projects finished all of a sudden.  Now I will probably go back to feeling like everything is taking forever.  I have quite a few large pieces in the works but am trying to take time away to work on smaller pieces now and again.  I've pulled several Christmas patterns that I hope to stitch in the next couple of months.

Happy Stitching.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

September's small and finish.

I have stayed on track with a finish out of my unfinished pile and a finished small each month.  But, as the year goes on it is taking me longer and longer to get them finished...often into the first days of the next month.  October is liable to be a complete fail unless I come up with something fast.  It is an all around busy month.

My finish out of the pile is this cute little Christmas piece stitched earlier this year.  Primitive Stocking by Waxing Moon Designs.

My small is another patriotic piece.  Liberty Flag by Lizzie Kate.  I used all the same elements as the two previous patriotic finishes.

I now have a trio of matching little pillows.

I have not come up with a small yet for October.  I was looking through my old Just Cross Stitch ornament issues and think I'll pick an easy one since it's already the 20th!

Happy Stitching,


Monday, October 3, 2016

A little finish and a little organizing.

First, my table runner finish.  A fun fall applique.  I like any and all patterns that feature an old pick up filled with something....pumpkins, a Christmas tree, etc.

I bought a kit with the pattern at a nearby quilt shop.

I have to say, though, SHAME on my local quilt shop!  First, they cut width of fabric when it should have been fats.  Just fat 8th, no less.  Neither that truck nor the house can fit on an eighth yard width of fabric. I had to cut off part and make a seam to have the width.  Come on!  Secondly, nowhere did the kit say:  You better work on this with your stash nearby.  Or:  Warning!  Don't take this on a get-a-way or retreat because we have not included various bits of fabric that you'll need.  For shame.  And they do plenty of belly aching about how shoppers are quick to go to the Internet to shop.

Anywho, on to the cross stitch portion of this post.

I know we all struggle with how to organize our stuff.  Our patterns, our fabric, our ongoing projects and UFO's.  I am planning a major sewing room over-haul this fall/winter.  I have a wall of metal shelves that we will remove and replace with tall cabinets with doors.  I opted for the metal shelves in the first place because I like seeing my stuff.  I operate under the theory that out of sight is out of mind. Fast forward a bunch of years and my stuff has taken over and just looks messy.

So, first I needed to deal with a huge over-flowing basket of cross stitch patterns.

I bought a couple file boxes and created files for the more popular designers and a miscellaneous file for each season.

Some kits and books are in the back...Oh, look!  I worked hard to find that book with French words. I like foreign words in stitching.  I need to pull that book out and stitch something.

My boxes look so neat and tidy.  Then I spied some more patterns on my table.  Drat.  I hate to put them away because I really want to stitch these now!

But, what about the baskets by my upstairs stitching chairs?

Not one,

but two baskets of 'nexts'.

Wait...what about the basket on the trunk by that very same chair?  I really did cringe and wished not to look.

You have no idea what is in there!  Some big pieces, some patterns, and some kits.

I am trying.  Trying to stitch like a crazy person.  I can't say I'm not buying because there are new things every day!

I've been watching Floss Tube and I've gotta say...I have nothing compared to some stitchers!  Next year is a new year with a new plan to stitch more than I buy.  Seems reasonable, right?  We'll see.