Friday, December 31, 2010

I did finish

Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler this afternoon.  I stitched it on a piece of 32 count Days Gone By linen by Picture this Plus (I think.  I wrote the linen count and name on the pattern but not where the linen came from.  Oops.)  Such a nice piece.  It will go to the frame shop in January during the framing sale.  

I've had a few questions about The Mantle from yesterdays post.  What I didn't like was the 18 count fabric... too big and rough, or working with pearl cottons.  I'm not sure I knew that was the  fabric and threads when I ordered the kit.  I would have liked it better on nicer fabric with a higher count.  Other then that, it's not a bad piece.  I didn't put anything in the picture to give it good scale.... It's probably 18 by 10. 

And a final year end post..... One year ago, tomorrow, my husband joined the Y.  Never, ever in his life has he been a member of a health club.  He set out to run the 5K that The Boy Wonder runs Labor Day weekend.  He wasn't feeling quite ready for that after slacking on his gym attendance during the summer.  Well, today, these 2 boys of mine headed out bright and early to run the annual 'Holiday Blues' 5K.  No problem for the 18 year old kid.... or my 52 year old husband, for that matter.  Way to go! 

Here's to a healthy happy New Year!! 

The Queen Bee

As I embark

on attempting to post every day in January, with some sort of stitching or sewing project update, I've been organizing my sewing room.  Last weekend I sorted thru my stack of Pioneer Women Sewing Circle kits.  Each kit comes with a little story or background about quilting and piecing in pioneer times.  Also, each pattern comes with an idea for a 'make do' fabric.  The idea being that women didn't just go out and buy the necessary fabrics for a quilt, they created their quilts from what they had.  So, maybe all the blues wouldn't match in a doll quilt like this one.  The 'make do' suggestion for this was to replace some of the blue triangles with a similar blue fabric.  I did that.... but as is the way in my world... I actually LOST one of the 'make do' pieces and had to go back and use one of the original blues.  So, instead of 9 different colored star points, mine has 8.  That little 1 1/2 inch square later turned up in the washing machine!  I thought I'd looked everywhere..... guess not.  Must have stuck to my sleeve when I went to switch laundry around.  Darn laundry.  I used one of my favorite machine quilting stitches on this.... the wavy line. 

A little quilt like this can go anywhere.  Here it is trying to make itself at home on an old bench in the basement family room with some other quilty type stuff.  We'll see if it stays there.  I might like to put it where I can see it more since I love the fabrics. 

The next kit is a small quilt using log cabin blocks.  I haven't read the story so I'm not sure what this one will teach me. 

I also have all the installments of this row by row quilt.  I can't wait to get started on it. 
Look at all those wonderful kits just waiting for me.  I will go in order but I can already tell the row with the house, barn, and church is going to be my favorite.  (Knock on wood and all that other stuff.  Could turn out to be a construction nightmare.) 

As is always the case, there is more I hope to work on but I don't want to commit to more then I can realistically do.  Of course, as I've previously mentioned, I will be participating in the Crazy January Challenge. 

Hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year's Eve.  Being the home bodies that we are, we'll be home with the kids having a quiet celebration. 

The Queen Bee

Thursday, December 30, 2010


one down and one to go until my slate is clear for New Year's Day and the Crazy January Challenge.
Unfortunately, this hasn't been my favorite project to work on, but I was determined to get it done.  I guess I feel like if I've invested the money I'm going to invest the time.  It's hard to imagine ever doing it again, unless....say.... I was stranded somewhere and this was the one and only project I had.... I'd do it on a nice soft 28 or 32 count linen with DMC threads.   I don't plan to have it framed.  I'll make it into a wall hanging at some point.  While pressing it I noticed I didn't stitch my initials.  I guess I was a little too happy to be done. 

Either tonight or tomorrow I'll put the finishing stitches in Jenny Bean's Christmas sampler.  Now, that's an entirely different story.  Pure pleasure to stitch. 

I have big plans for January stitching and sewing so stay tuned.

The Queen Bee

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I have added a new page

to catalog my Crazy January Challenge 2011 projects.  I am working like crazy to finish my 2 major WIP's so I can start January with a fairly clean slate.  There are still a few odds and ends left in limbo but they might just stay in limbo no matter what sort of challenge I am starting.

Hope everyone had a great holiday.  This week will be for recovery, reorganizing, and preparing The Scholar for her trip to Spain.  Wish me luck.  Nerves are running in high gear. 

The Queen Bee

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all

and to all a good night!

The Queen Bee

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Things you can do when

you let the UPS guy or the mail carrier bring most of your shopping right to your door! 

You can whip up this cute wall hanging,

make some progress on The Christmas Mantle,

and contemplate which of the Pioneer Women's Sewing Circle kits to pull out. ( More about this next month, when I am a full fledged copy cat and mimic Carol's '30 days of sewing' daily blog posts.) 

The only thing they don't do is wrap.  I've managed to keep up, so that job is done. 

I'm not free just yet.  Tomorrow I will need to work plus run a few other errands.  THEN I'll be free.  Free to cook, bake and prepare meals for days on end!  All in good fun.  My cupboards are over packed.  By Sunday I'll be making a new grocery list, I'm sure. 

I have one more pre-Christmas post planned so I'll save all the holiday wishes.....

The Queen Bee

Sunday, December 19, 2010

This IS

what we made the kids get up for yesterday morning!  I LOVE going to cut the tree down.  The kids, however, would be happy to wake up much later on a Saturday and find the chore completed. 

Every year we drive to a tree farm on the tippy top of a hill just south of here and select our tree.  This year the weather was perfect.  A brisk 20', no wind, blue sky, and sunshine.  We've done this job, like a postman, in all kinds of weather.  Even so, it's still one of my favorite days. 

We prefer to trudge thru the snow and do the work ourselves.  No wagon rides for us.... although there was that one year it was windy, snowy, and below zero when we rode the wagon back to the barn.  We aren't totally insane!  This year we walked and best of all, the kids can lug the tree!!  That's Buttercup's shoulder in the bottom left.  No fool, is she.  She saw the other 2 had it under control.

Sorry, but indoor tree pictures aren't coming out.  We have it in our basement family room so there is almost no actual day light.  It does dress up the room, though.

Hope everyone is getting everything set for a fun and festive holiday.

The Queen Bee

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I should have bought a lottery ticket

today when I went to the grocery store because today is my lucky day! 

 Does everyone know what this is?

Yup, a length of Gentle Art's thread.  Raspberry Frost, to be exact.  It goes to this piece....

Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler. 

I found it on the garage floor over near the trash can this morning when I was putting soda cans in the car.  So, thanks to NYS's deposit law, I was walking past the back end of the car when I spied it on the floor.....less then 12 inches from the open garage door and the snowing  blowing world that would have eaten it alive and never given it back!

I haven't stitched on this since Monday.  Also, on Monday I carried a trash bag out to the garage.  Maybe the thread fell off my pant leg then, who knows.  I was in and out of the garage with the car 3 times on Tuesday so it's a miracle this thread didn't disappear into the great beyond. 

While the value of the thread is kind of small, you all know I would have been a crazed maniac trying to find it and if I made the trip to my LNS that would be the one color they didn't have.  Then, I'd be placing on order online.  And, naturally, since it seems silly to order just one little thread, I would have put a few other things in my cart.  Top it off with some shipping charges and it's become a pretty pricey piece of thread.  So, really, that one little length of thread just saved me $20 or $30 dollars by staying put on the filthy garage floor!

Lucky me. 

Back to work.  The Scholar comes home Friday so I need to get wrapping because once she's home I probably won't ever be in the house alone.

The Queen Bee

Sunday, December 12, 2010

An update on a

couple of projects.  First, here are the 2 Lizzie Kate ornaments.  I'm happy to say that they're safely on the tree and the second one (be merry) didn't give me anywhere near as much trouble as the first. 
Second, here is the mystery quilt turned tree skirt in position.  I am very happy with how it turned out.  It's also nice that I could finish a project into something useful when it had previously been folded away because I didn't have any idea what to do with it.

Today it's raining.  Tonight it 'might' turn icy then snowy.  I was banking on a snow day tomorrow but maybe the weather reporters have backed off on how bad it's supposed to be.  I planned ahead, anyway.  I changed my haircut appointment from Monday to this past Friday and shopped for cookie baking ingredients.  Even if the kids go to school I'm set for a day at home.  Knock on wood, if the bad weather does hit, that we aren't left without electricity!  Wouldn't that just figure?  I could still stitch and read by day light but the kids might be at lose ends.

Back to the sewing room.

The Queen Bee

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I thought I better

snap a picture of the hide'n'seek ornament while I had it in hand.  Be Jolly by Lizzie Kate with it's partner, Be Merry.
I've placed it next to the cute little bottle of homemade vanilla extract my friend Robin gave me.  She made her own, bottled it in really cute little bottles, and will be giving it as gifts this year.  So cool.  That, along with my cinnamon from Morocco, will make for some yummy holiday baking.  I have yet to assemble Be Merry  but I'll work on it soon. 

While I had the ironing board out this morning I pressed my Jenny Bean Christmas Sampler.  This is such a nice piece to work on. 

I expect to have it finished in the next few weeks.

Have a great day.

The Queen Bee

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The good, the bad, & the blind?

You guys are so sweet.  I ran downstairs to grab my thread list and spied the MIA ornament in one of the places I said it wasn't.  No need to belabor my blindness, we'll just celebrate the good news and move on.  I was going to take a picture to post with this but my day has been over the top busy.  Snowy roads have added travel time to everything.  I will need to leave for work again in a short while, so maybe tomorrow. 

The Queen Bee

The good, the bad, & the messy.

 Declaring a sewing day proved to be very productive.  So, yesterday I set out to take pictures of what I did. 

 First the good: 

I found myself in need of a Christmas tree skirt.  This is the mystery quilt from my quilt guild last year.  I quilted it, cut a circle in the middle and a straight line up from a corner.  I am still sewing the binding on.  I like how it came out.  Here is a picture before I cut into it.

the bad: 

 Isn't really all that bad. 

 I finished quilting this primitive Halloween wall hanging.  It really is square, the edges that don't look straight are just from it not lying flat... with the exception of the area over the star in the top row.  Honestly, I don't even want to explain how that happened.  It's a primitive piece, it looks it.  We'll leave it at that. 

& the messy.....

On Saturday I finished a cute little Lizzie Kate piece into a beaded edge ornament.  Problem is, I can't find it.  I have no idea where I put it to await it's mate.  It's not on the tree, it's not on the little pegs where I put ornaments until Christmas, it's not in the little plastic box with the matching piece.  I have no idea.   I rarely lose anything despite my work space looking like this.......

This is how I left everything Sunday night.  The machine needle broke and I just left it.  It was too late to be sewing, anyhow, so I thought it best to just abandon it until morning.  (I'm still not even showing you the worst of the mess.)  I did, however, clean up all those spilled threads from last month.  That's replaced by my 15 (aka 18) projects for the January challenge.  I am most afraid that the ornament might have dropped off the sewing table into the waste basket.  Saturday is garbage day.  Cringe.  I'm hoping I worked on it AFTER waste basket emptying but can't really remember.  Wish me luck as I search again today. 

It's a busy work day.  So, I better get moving.

The Queen Bee

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Here I go again.

The Boy Wonder got his acceptance letter to his first choice college.  Hurray.  Now I can clean out all those files from the other schools and start writing checks to Choice 1. 

Thank you all so much for the birthday wishes.  So kind of you.  I had a very nice day.  I didn't do any laundry or housework.  I read and sewed and puttered.  We had supper out at our favorite local restaurant and spent the evening watching DVR shows.  No complaints from me. 

One sewing room project yesterday was sorting my 15 projects for the January challenge.  That was quite a job.  Pulling threads, referencing what threads were in what kit because there were lots of duplicate colors, making a list of what was needed, going back to see what other kit had the threads and so on.  In the end I only need 3 over dyed colors and 4 DMC and one button pack!  Shocking.  There were patterns, threads, fabrics and lists spread out all over the place.  It's no wonder I ended up with 18 projects!  I'll have to think about how to handle that.  Maybe I'll start 15 then work the other 3 in as I finish things.  Or maybe, I'll nix a few as I get started.  I already know one that isn't going to be my favorite. 

Bent Creek's 'Christmas Mantel' is proving to be a real pain.  Anyone else working on it?  Last night I started stitching the last stocking in the line up.  I used one strand of perle cotton left from installment 1.  When that was gone I went into the thread pack from installment 2 but couldn't find the same color.  Instead there is a skein of DMC.  Huh?  Am I supposed to just substitute that instead?  That will look weird.  I'm resisting the urge to toss that project into the UFO pile.  Too much time and $$ invested just to turn my back.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet.  I don't have a stash of perle cotton to pull from and think the stocking will look strange with one section in DMC.  Maybe my LNS has some in stock.  I can't remember if that's something they carry.  Gosh, too bad I'll need to make a stop there soon. 

Better get moving.

The Queen Bee

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Time to decorate.

I love the house decorated for the holidays.  There is something about the soft glow of the lights in the evening that is so peaceful.  We will wait until closer to Christmas to cut down a fresh tree to put up in the family room, but in the meantime, this tree is in the living room.   

Snowmen are another theme I like.  Ironically, despite having many patterns, I don't have many cross stitch snowman.  Maybe it's the thought of stitching all those rows of white. 

I do have this very cute candle mat I made with a matching snowman candle. 
And, yup, today is my birthday.  Nice to have it on a Saturday.  I will spend a chunk of it in my sewing room.

I'll be back tomorrow to change the background.... again.

The Queen Bee

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let the count down begin.

I love Advent calendars. 

I made the first one years ago.  I can't even remember how long.  Sometime in the mid 1990's.  The weight of the candy is pulling the one side in so it looks crooked.  I tie on the candy every year and the girls take turns cutting it off.  Buttercup will get most of the turns. 

This second one is more recent.  I can't figure out why I didn't put a date on it.  That's not like me.  I stitched it maybe 4 years ago.  It's by JBW Designs.  Each day a new picture gets added until it's full.  I guess you could go the other way and remove one each day. 

Off to get groceries then to take The Boy Wonder to the orthodontist. 

The Queen Bee