Friday, August 26, 2016

There has been stitching!

Despite all my complaining about how much time the costume making took up...I still managed to stitch.  Not as much as I might normally... but I skipped my HEAD rotation and just worked on smaller projects.

I did finish the finishing on Lizzie Kate's Boxer Jr:  Summer-licious.



A quick simple yellow check ribbon ruched and held in place with pins.


I propped it up in the china cabinet in my front hall.


I also picked up one of the many projects I kitted up recently.  It's been kind of fun having all those projects ready to go.


Country Cottage Needlework's Christmas Carol.


My small for July is this cute free pattern from The Prairie Grove Peddler.  I tried to find a link but the pattern I have is dated 2008 so maybe it's not available anymore.  My nice large folder of printed freebies is busting at the seams and probably contains many old patterns not available.


I just made a little pillow filled with crushed walnut shells and attached a red checked ribbon.  Again, nothing fancy.


I used a red plaid fabric for the backing. I think I have just enough linen and fabric to make another one using a different free patriotic pattern.  I'll try to get it stitched in the next few days so I can count it for August but there's no guarantee.


I pulled this lovely little kit out of my collection of kits and took it to Florida with me.


Ladybug, Ladybug by Little House Needleworks.  I don't know why it took me so long to stitch this one.  I love geraniums and it was so quick.

In a recent post I hinted at a piece I was working on that wasn't part of the pile I binge-kitted.


Jingle by Shepherd's Bush was another nice quick stitch.  There are supposed to be some flowers across the top but I left them off so I'd have a square piece to finish as an ornament or pinkeep or whatever.

From far away you can see how the folded fabric that came in the kit has discolored at the fold.  I'll have to finish this one close to the stitching to avoid those lines.


Not a bad showing for feeling like I had very little sewing time.

Pam

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Where to begin?

I usually find summer to be my most productive time when it comes to sewing and reading.  When the kids were young we were free from all the school schedules and often spent weekends camping.  That combined with hours sitting by the pool meant I could read and stitch for hours.

Now that the kids are grown and almost never home, I can sew and stitch and read the day away. Well, you know.  Between laundry, errands, and whatever else fills a day.  Even my regular charity commitment takes the summer off.  

This year, however, I got in deep with the community theater group and costume making.  My only experience with costume making was when the kids were young or a handful of times when I helped the school drama kids with costumes.  In those cases I'd show up with my machine and someone would hand me the already cut out pieces and I'd sew them together.  

This time around, along with a more experienced co-costume designer from our high school drama booster days, we had to come up with costumes from scratch for Beauty and the Beast.  Oh boy! Neither of us had a clue!  

For 2 solid months we planned, designed, and invented costumes.  

I made the Silly Girls costumes...


My co-designer and I made costumes for Belle, Mrs. Potts, Madam De La Grande Bouche (the wardrobe),


Cogsworth, and Lumiere.


All from scratch...out of our brains.  And, besides their fantasy costumes, everyone needed an everyday costume for when they became human again.






I also spent an entire week, like it was my full time job, altering and adjusting the costumes for the town's people.


A quick shot of the set that my husband and my co-designer's husband made.  Each house spun around so the inside was exposed and rolled on and off stage as needed.


I know my pictures are not a great representation of the set and costumes but I am limited to what I was given by the theater guild's PR person.

Along with being thrilled the whole thing is over I am happy to say that the state's theater association judge awarded my co-designer and myself a meritorious award for the costumes.  The production only won meritorious awards...one to an actor and to the 3 leads for singing.  When I asked the other actors the significance of the judging and awards they explained that they would add credentials for future jobs.  Well, that's nice and all and I'm honored, but I'm ONE AND DONE!

My husband will continue helping the high school with building sets but I am just not interested in that sort of sewing.  It is a good way for him to put his skills to work for the community but I'll stick with the groups I am already involved with.

While I neglected my sewing machine I did manage some cross stitch so I will gather my completed pieces and put together a post as soon as I can.

In the mean time...I must go re-introduce myself to my sewing room.

Pam








Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Falling Behind.

I have fallen so far behind in blogging and projects that I don't even know where to start.

So, I will start with one of the things I showed as a WIP in my last post.

I was working on this Hinzeit piece called Washday.


While stitching it I remembered this fat quarter with clothes pins in my stash.


With the finished piece and the fabric in hand, I made a project bag.




It is made by creating a bag with the fabric which has been backed with batting.  The bag is made just the slightest bit larger than a regular zipper top project bag you can buy at cross stitch shops.  There was nothing scientific about the layout.  I just created something that was pleasing to look at using what fabric I had and my finished piece.


When making the bag, leave the top unfinished and large enough to fold over.  Hand stitch at the fold line to the zipper.


I ran around the edge on the sewing machine just to give it a finished look.

Easy Peasy.  Just don't forget that you can't iron your finished bag because of the plastic project bag.

Happy Stitching.

Pam

Sunday, July 10, 2016

If I say it out loud...

...maybe it will happen.

First, before I upload pictures and ramble about some projects...I'm happy to say that the skull buttons are on their way to DebbieSFL.  Congratulations!  They were mailed from a little local PO yesterday.

In my previous post I mentioned kitting some projects.  'Some' being the operative word.  I have been eyeball deep in costume making for a local theater guild so I have not had any time to focus on projects of my own.  That means I'm at loose ends in my sewing room.  When I decide to set the costumes aside and just work on something for myself I don't know what to do.  So, I putter.  I watch Floss Tube.  I check blogs.  And, I start stuff.  I'm not even going to talk about the shopping.  Let's just say, there are some new patterns.

This pattern caught my eye in a catalog but the kit was outrageously priced.  I found the pattern and a nice piece of fabric for far less.


I had this pattern out because one of my recent ornaments came from it so I found a random piece of linen and put it all in a project bag.  It is now part of the line-up.


Sometimes when I'm traveling and taking a couple projects I will kit some small pieces just in case. You know...just in case elves come and stitch for me while I sleep.  Does everyone do that?  Take way more projects than you could ever complete?
Instant d'hiver is one of those smalls that I've carried around for a couple years.



I pulled this pattern out to stitch a small ornament so pulled the threads for the entire project.  I am pretty sure the fabric was with the pattern already.  I am so bad about saving the name of my linens that it's always a guessing game as to what I'm stitching on.  Many-a-times I've counted threads along the edge of a ruler to try to figure out the count...let alone the manufacturer, dyer, or whatever.  I guess that's just how it goes for me.  After all these years I doubt I'm going to change.


Country Cottage Needlework's Christmas Carol is another project I had in my bag ready to work on if the need should arise.



Same for Little House Needlework's Ladybug.


I pulled this one out recently and assembled the threads.  So many thread colors for such a small piece. I was probably looking for something summery to work on.


I know I kitted this last fall.  When I pulled out the fabric I thought...what was I thinking?!  It's a lovely little Solo from Silkweaver but the colors?


I don't know.  I have to wonder if I was sleeping when I assembled this one.  The model is stitched on 32 count over 1.  The end result is a piece that's barely 3 1/2 by 3 1/2.  So tiny for so many stitches. This piece of fabric is 25 count.  I might replace it with a Monaco or something. My mental picture of this finished project is larger than 3 1/2 inches square.  If I stitch it 2 over 2 my selected piece of fabric is too small.  This reminds me...I used to get the Silkweaver 'Surprise Me' fabric of the month which is where this little piece came from.  That was the best fabric of the month program.  I got wonderful fabrics that I always love to stitch on.


I can't guess how this came to be kitted.  It's missing two over-dyed threads.  Could be I tried to get the necessary materials together but without some of the threads I just moved on to something else.  That's a key detail about how I come to have so many projects kitted.  I don't usually plan ahead...just see what I have the supplies for.


My need to kit another Prairie Schooler brought me to this pattern.  I'm using a beautiful brown linen that is just not quite big enough so I'll leave off the border.  You know how we all 'love' to stitch borders...not.  I don't think I'll miss it.


Now, here's where we come to a Floss Tube enabled piece.  I've had it in my stash for a few years.  I just love the vintage Winter/Christmas features.  A few years ago I decided to just do it...buy a Janlynn kit.  Reminds me of back when cross stitch was new and Aida was commonly in kits.  I'm not a fabric snob AND I can almost see Aida without a magnifier.  That is a real perk when trying to travel with cross stitch.  This piece is really too big for travel stitching but it's almost full coverage so the Aida detail should be lost. Maybe.  Whatever.  I stitch for me...not for how other people feel about the materials.
(Which is another way Floss Tube has influenced me.)  Lots of lovely pieces being worked on Aida.



Oh, wow.  I took a picture of the little bit I started and , here on my computer, the fabric looks different colors.  It's just the light hitting the one area vs the other area being shaded a bit.


This was a random start one night recently.  I'd finished Murky Manor and was desperate to NOT work on something costume related.  Yup.  More Aida.  I had a steel blue piece of linen picked out but I just couldn't decide.


I have this cute clothes pin fabric that I might use to make a project bag out of the piece so I went with the cream Aida.


When I went out to my stitching chair to get the Clothespin piece I found this in a project bag.  I've had this for years, too.  I love the piece of opalescent fabric.


While this is the last piece I will show...it's actually not the last piece I'm working on.  Besides Jeannette Douglas's Sunshine State Sampler featured in my last post, I am working on a little piece by my upstairs stitching chair.  You're just going to have to live in suspense.  I forget the name but it's small so should be quick.

I started this with the intention of counting it as my June small but then I couldn't find it.  Makes me a little bit crazy when I can't find something.  I never lose stuff so have zero coping skills for when it does happen.  Turns out it was in a new project bag.  Doy.


I made this bag when I was jonsing for a sewing project but couldn't really start a quilt project due to the aforementioned costume hell.   I used Vonna's tutorial on Floss Tube. Go ahead.  Go watch.  Then watch one of her regular Floss Tube videos and tell me you aren't sucked in?  Tell me you didn't see something that sparked your interest and made you go find the pattern?


I just used some fabric that was left-over from a purse.  I did not sew those squares together.  The fabric came already pieced.  I know.  I could totally do that.  I just didn't.

While making sure all my kits contained everything I'd need I came across this mystery box of pulled threads.  Hmm.  I'm usually so organized.  What was this for?  The box is so tidy I have trouble believe it was for a project I already stitched.  Eye roll, head shake, I just don't know.


I've left it as is just in case.

So, there it is.  I will try to work my way through this collection of projects and see where that lands me.

Here's hoping all the Floss Tube ladies quit showing me cool projects, patterns, and ideas.  I'm weak.  I'm buried in sewing projects.  I wish I could show the costumes but they're not mine to post.  Maybe once the show is over I can post a few. Did I mention it was Beauty and the Beast?  I mean, how do you make someone into a tea pot?  Or a wardrobe?  A clock?  Spit and hot glue and a whole lot of my sanity.

Happy Stitching.

Pam




Sunday, July 3, 2016

The one with all the pictures.

So many projects.  So very many.

I don't want to give the illusion that I've actually completed THAT many projects.  What I've done is kit projects, start projects, and buy projects.  I did manage to finish one or two, though.

In no particular order here is what's been happening in my sewing world.

Have you heard of the paint chip challenge?  It's a popular quilt guild challenge.  There are various ways to put this challenge together but what we did was let people pick two paint chips from a bag and a fat quarter of fabric from another bag.  All these were selected blind.  People had to create something from fabric that matched the two colors on the paint chips AND incorporate the fabric they'd chosen from the bag.  We were not trying to make this so hard that it took the fun out of it so we allowed people to use as much or as little of the selected fabric as they wanted and our paint chips had various shades of a color.  We had such a fun time with lots of laughs as people made their choices.

My paint chips and fabric were:

Ooh, that photo isn't that great.  The second card is purple..making it a nice match to my fabric swatch.  The pink and orange clashed a bit but I still thought I had good colors to work with.

Here is what I came up with:


A Jar of Bugs.  Such a fun little project.  To some degree I just made this up.  I saw something online once somewhere that I couldn't find again  I printed and blew up an outline of the car and the peace sign and just went from there.

The real creativity came in trying to make the jar look like glass.


I used the same gray background fabric but wrong side up to give the illusion of looking through the glass.  At the reveal party I had two people offer to buy it! I'm still enjoying it so it's not for sale.

Next up:  Jeannette Douglas Designs' Sunshine State Sampler.  I started this when I had no business starting something else...but here it is.


It comes with the charms and some lovely silks.  The picture shows the piece stitched on a cream colored piece of fabric but I had a nice piece of sky blue even weave.  Somewhere I might have the name.  I really do try to save that information but sometimes a scrap of fabric gets tucked into the bin without that info.


I put it on my scroll frame...something I rarely use.  I find it hard to hold or use but for a bell pull it is nice.



Progress is being made. I am trying to use strong cheaters since I'm not set up where I can use my magnifier.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it makes me dizzy.


Up next...I'm excited to show a completed Murky Manor.  You've all followed along as I worked away over the winter.  Once I brought it home it sunk to a new level of slow-stitch but it's finally done.


An astute reader will notice that it's actually not done but it will be with just a couple dozen stitches.
I thought I was done then started stitching the skull buttons on. Boy, those looked horrible.  My fabric is 36 count...a higher count than called for...so the buttons looked huge and silly.  I tried stitching the skulls according to the pattern and those looked just as bad.  So, now I'm just stitching more of whatever is in the background behind each pillar.


You can see a couple empty pillar tops.

So, that leaves me with 6 ugly (to me) skull buttons.  Anyone want them?  I'll give them to the first person who asks.  Just be sure to comment in the comments section, don't email me, so that others can see they're spoken for.  And, don't drag this out by being a no-comment commenter then making me chase you down.


I just don't see myself using these for anything.

I did manage a small piece for June.  Have I mentioned that I'm eyeball deep in costume making for a local theater guild? Beauty and the Beast.  OMG!  If you haven't seen it...the movie involves people turned into objects.  There are no patterns to make someone a teapot or a bureau.  I've been lucky to get a single stitch in on anything in my work pile.  So, even though I finished assembling this today, I'm counting it for June.


An artistic tipping of the camera to get the parts of the photo I really wanted.  The patriotic flag was a free kit included in the June 2016 magazine Cross Stitcher from the UK that I picked up at Joann's.  I just roughed up the flag graph to replace the Union Jack included in the original pattern.

I also started finish-finishing an old small for June.  The jury is still out as to whether this counts for June or July.

Lizzie Kate's Summer-licious... a Boxer Jr from 2006.  I forgot to put my initials so I'm not sure when I stitched it but I think it was pretty close to 2006.  I am working on ruching the ribbon.




I did not put a stand on the back.  Maybe I'll put a magnet because look what I can do with all those little chalk board finishes.  I bought a magnetic chalkboard at Hobby Lobby.


I don't know about you but I think I'm done.  Discussion about started and kitted projects will just have to wait.

Happy 4th of July....

Pam