Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 31

and not a moment too soon.  Not that it hasn't been fun...... I'm just tired of making sure I have something post worthy.  Without the 15 day challenge to start the month with, I think I would have been done by about day 12.   I really enjoy when other bloggers make the effort to post each and every day for a month so that I have something to look forward to reading.  But, maybe I just can't ramble that much.  I'm always sorry to see a favorite blog dwindle away.  I'm sure I'll tire of it someday, but in the mean time, I like to read what other folks are up to, and will post every few days instead of every day.

So, here's my latest stitching progress......before.....(my day 2 start)

and after.  Sad isn't it?

The minute I started patting myself on the back and thinking about how fast this piece was going I should have stopped right there. 

I started with the word 'assign' so that wasn't really the word out of place.... it's just that everything above 'But in Leap Year' was over to the right by 2.  I was probably going to take out the two February's, anyway,  because I don't like the color, but hadn't made a final decision because the barn is in the same color and I was waiting until I was stitching the barn. 

I don't know where I'm going with this piece now.  Maybe after I take a nap I'll feel differently.  (Not much sleeping went on around here last night as my husband left at 4am to catch a plane to Las Vegas.)  So, maybe I'll have another picture in a few days or maybe I'll have a different WIP to report on. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 30

Today I've been in my sewing room working on the Snowmen on Parade row by row series that I wanted to get started this month.  No amount of positioning would put these pictures side by side. 

Anyway, it's 3 rows of the quilt.... the hour glass row, the snowball row, and the start of the snowmen.  It will take hours of applique to do all the embellishing.  I love the way 2 of them are pieced.  Clever. 

I'm enjoying this row by row project so much that I might not put it away as soon as I though.  I had originally planned to just do the 1st instalment then move on.  The 2 pieced rows were from month 1 and the snowmen from month 2.  I'll see how far I can get before I tire of it. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 29

Well, I for one, will be glad to be finished coming up with a post a day.  Today, I don't have anything very interesting since I just had a finish last night.  I have stitched a little on ABeeC Sampler by County Cottage Needleworks.  

It has such nice colors in it. 

 Today, while tidying around the house, I pulled out my meager Valentine's decorations.  My favorite item is this stitched box of chocolates.  It's from a pattern in a magazine.... which one, I don't remember.  Maybe Better Homes & Garden's Cross Stitch Magazine.   I do remember it was on the cover and that I'd saved it for several years before actually stitching it.  The date on the finished project is 2000.  So, somewhere in the 90's. 

It used a lot of that horrible blending filament. 

I had the framer put it in an empty chocolate box.  The lid is showing signs of wear, but it's still cute and I like to put it out on the coffee table. 

Now, we're off to watch Buttercup in the All County Band concert. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 28

Dandy Dreams by Silver Creek Samplers. 

The fabric is a marbled yellow that doesn't really show up here. 

I'm not sure what I'll do tomorrow..... something will call when I get to my sewing room.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 27 of 31 days of S & S posts

Don't you wish you were a cat and could just throw yourself down anywhere and take a nap.  No regard to what's 'lady like' or ANYTHING! 
Honestly, Snickers, where is your dignity?  What's key is that she's only a couple feet from me at my computer.  She doesn't let me out of her sight.   At least, unlike our other cat, she doesn't feel the need to be in my lap at the computer. 

Since sewing on binding is bOHring, I don't have much to show for all the time I spent in my sewing room today.  I did, however, make matching pillow cases for the 2 twin bed quilts I've recently gotten back from the quilter. 

They're fun to make.  Almost addicting because you wrap the fabric all up in a tube, sew it shut, pull it out and sew up the sides.  It's almost magic.  There are lots of different patterns with different accent strips.  I know this style by heart, so just dug thru my stash and whipped them up.  I like to add a little embroidery (by machine) along the accent strip.  It helps it not get all wonky after it's been washed. 
Those are whales. 
I had a few pieces blocks left over from the quilt, so I put them together into a long strip and used that on this one.  

I'm still plugging away at Dandy Dreams hoping to finish it before the month is out.  I have a library book due back tomorrow so now I need to get cracking on that.   

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day 26

I felt inspired the other day when I saw a quilt in a catalog that caught my eye.  To me, it looked super simple to recreate.  Not that I'm trying to steal any one's pattern idea or anything.  I didn't care for the middle part so I eliminated that and made it much smaller.  Cool, isn't it? 

In my mind, I saw it in lighter, Valentine'ish' fabric with a heart appliqued in the center.  Instead it looks more Christmas like and a heart looks out of place.  Since this was a trial, using my graph paper sketch, I just dug thru my stash looking for fabric that I had large enough pieces of. 

Also, this was a very fun table topper to make because it's made from the center out in a circular fashion.  I'm sure it can be made row by row, but I enjoyed going around and around adding each row as I went.  It starts out with 2 inch finished squares and ends with 4 inch finished squares. 

It will look great on the table with a candle in the middle.  Now, before I hurt myself, I'll quit patting myself on the back for being creative. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 25

Tuesday is a hard day to post because of my work schedule.  Throw in an extra early dentist appointment and I'm barely home.  However, I do have photos of the 2 quilts I picked up yesterday.  I've shown them before, prior to taking them for quilting.  Normally I'd prefer to wait until the binding is stitched on, but who knows when that will get done.  It WILL get done, just no guarantees it will happen right away.

First is this cute nautical themed wall hanging. 

Here's a close up of the quilting.  It's done with red, white & blue variegated thread.  I love to use variegated thread. 

The first sailboat block I made looked wrong so I used it on the back.  I didn't like the background fabric with the other blocks. 

The second quilt is a pattern called "Just Can't Cut It".  It was super simple but lets you use some of those big print fabrics you don't want to chop up into small pieces. 

The quilting includes flowers and dragon flies.  Cute with the fabric.  Also, a variegated thread matching the various fabrics. 

Better get moving. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 24 of 31 days of S&S Posts.

Gotta love 'em.  No wonder my house is never clean.  I'm not sure why placing a hand in the very middle of the window was necessary to open the door, but there you have it.  (The garage door window was completely frosted over this morning.) 

Now, on to the real business of the day.... the framing!! 

Here are 4 of them......

and close ups of the frames.....
I can either run downstairs and sort my patterns or take a shot at each designer.....let's test my memory....

Freedom by Little House Needleworks.

An Apple a Day by Little by Little (I'm skeptical about that one.)

Pies by Country Cottage Needleworks

Zippity Do Da by La D Da. 

And, I've saved the best for last..... Jenny Bean's Christmas Sampler by Shakespeare's Peddler. 

Now, where to hang them?? 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 23

Probably, like most people who sew and sew and sew and have more projects then days in a month, I don't like to redo anything.   So, that's my excuse for not going back and taking a new picture now that I've folded the quilt up, put the pictures on the computer, and set out to write a post.  But, even I can see that the camera was having trouble deciding what to focus on.... the quilt or the carpet.  You get the idea, anyhow.  I finished the log cabin quilt that is the second instalment of the Prairie Women's Sewing Circle.  I don't know how I want to quilt it, so I still save that step for another day.  I'm ready to move on for now. 

Unless the weather is bad tomorrow, I'll make the trip to my 'not so local' LNS and pick up my newly framed cross stitch.  I can't wait to see it.  You can be sure I'll have pictures, though. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 22

I thought I'd be driving to the needlework shop today and picking up my framing but illness (my hubby) is keeping me home.  There are some kid related tasks to accomplish today so I'll stay home instead of leaving them to the sick one. 

I do have another finish.  Blue Moon by Brightneedle.  I altered the design by stitching a yellow sun instead of a blue moon.  I want sunshine..... in fact..... I want to be in the little beach chair by those beautiful waves. 

On Thursday night I half-heartily stitched 4 letters on Dandy Dreams.  Last night I stitched 2 more when I discovered I'd goofed on the placement of the 3rd letter on Thursday night.  So, last night I took out 4 letters.  Proof that I shouldn't stitch when I'm not really in the mood. 

Today I'm going to my sewing room and finishing those log cabin blocks.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 21

I have been busy turning this....

 into this.....
The second installment of The Prairie Women's Sewing Circle. 
I'm about done with the log cabin blocks.  That puts me about half done because I bet all those flying geese around the edge take just as long as the log cabins. 

I can't say I'm loving the dark Civil War fabrics in this kit.  Not quite my style.  Maybe when it's finished I'll like it as a whole.

Happy Stitching

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 20

My fingers are sore and cracked so I'm not stitching much.  I won't even mention what got jammed up under my thumb nail causing lingering pain, further adding to the hiatus.  I will say, it wasn't as bone chilling as it sounds.... the pain just lingers...

So, I'm going to post a teaser to a challenge of another sort.  It's a teaser because I don't have the results to show and I can't guarantee it will be ready any time soon.  I need a serious dose of confidence before I can start on this one. 

These 3 fabrics are what I was given in my quilt guild's latest challenge.  Anyone interested in participating put 3 half yard cuts of fabric in a bag with their name.  Then the bags were mixed up and we each chose one.  Now I'm supposed to make something out of the 3 fabrics to give back to the person who put the fabrics in the bag.  Fun, right?  Unnerving, too.  I'm scared to cut into the fabrics just incase I goof up.  I spent hours looking for a pattern for something that only needed 3 fabrics.  Since 1 is a large print I want to retain some of the picture.  That's not so bad.  What's hard is that one of the other fabrics is basically a stripe. So now I'm dealing with a large print fabric and a directional fabric.  I found a table runner pattern online and, hopefully, one of these days I'll be brave and get busy.

I don't know who got my 3 fabrics.  That's part of the surprise.  I didn't even think to photograph them.  Darn.  We'll all just have to wait until our June meeting.  Seems like forever away. 

Happy Stitching.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 19 of 31 days of S & S posts.

One of my quilts has come home to roost.  After sewing miles and miles of binding on here it is.....

And, a close up of the quilting.... as best I could... to show the wavy quilting lines to add some soft motion to the sandy background. 

 The minute this was done the quilt shop called and my 2 other quilts are done.  So, back to sewing on binding. 

Be sure to check out The Scholar's blog so you can see the amazing sights she's getting to see.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 18

I forgot that I'd planned to write about the Crazy January Challenge once day 15 rolled around. 

I've been reserving judgement about wether or not I'd do this again until I'd finished starting the 15 projects.  Much has been written about just how 'crazy' this whole challenge is because people have so many projects already started.  Not so crazy for me, since I don't start things until prior projects are finished.  Now that I've started 15 projects I'm afraid I'm going to feel at loose ends.  I didn't start especially large projects, although there are a couple that will take me a while to finish..... Peppermint Twist being upper most on the list.  It's that 40 count fabric that will cause me grief. 

Another thing that was challenging was keeping order.  I have 2 stitching chairs.... one in my bedroom where I get nice day light, and one in the basement family room.  The basement is where I do most of my stitching but some projects need to be worked on in day light.  I keep finding parts and pieces of projects in both places as I've taken them from one chair to the other on the day they were started.  Also, I keep moving things in order to photograph them.  Hopefully I didn't mix projects up.  Time will tell.

Would I do it again?  Maybe.  We'll see how it feels to slog my way thru the remaining 14 projects.  When I only had 1 or 2 pieces going I could look at my stash and think about what would be next.  Now I see those projects and know it will be about 6 months before I can even think about starting something else.   Possibly one thing I'd do differently is start something every other day in January.  Often, I ended my stitching for the day in a bad spot for putting it aside for an unknown amount of time.  If I was picking it up the next day it wouldn't be a problem, but it's possible I won't work on something for months when I'll have to reaquaint myself with it.  With a 2nd day maybe I could finish up a section or color or get a little more of a substantial start. 

What does everyone else think?? 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 17

I finished my first 15 Challenge piece yesterday.  No surprise, it's 'wee one bernard' as he was so close to being finished the day I started him. 

He's a cute one.  I could have finished another one yesterday but decided to work on something larger.  Dandy Dreams is the piece I ended up picking up.  I didn't photograph it, though.  We'd all be bored to tears seeing each piece every time I stitched on it. 

Then I took some time and stitched the binding down on the 2 Patch-ability kits I sewed during last Saturday's sewing day at my quilt guild.

We had some discussion about the positioning of the bunny.  I think he's too far to the right but that's pretty much what the pattern showed.  His ears would have been off the side if I moved him very much to the left.  He's cute, anyway. 

I have a project cut out and ready to work on in my sewing room so I'm off to start that.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 16 of 31 days of S&S posts.

I don't have much to show for yesterday's start.  We had plans for the evening, which is when I do most of my stitching. 
Another thing that was eating into my stitching time was my latest book.  Chris Bohjalian's Secrets of Eden.  Hard to put down.  I don't want to say anything to spoil the story, but it's a good one.  If you like John Grisham you'd like this.  If you think John Grisham is too 'legalish' for you, then this is the perfect murder mystery because it's light on that side.  In the beginning I found the appearance of the women who believes in angels kind of strange, but then she lends an interesting element.  Your feelings one way or the other for angels shouldn't color this book in the least.  Well worth reading. 

Off to my sewing room.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 15!

Here is my Dandy Dreams start. 

And, then there was........ 5!!!  What the heck?!  I knew I had more then 15 picked out.... I thought it was 18, though.  It's true... you leave this stuff alone long enough and it multiplies.  So, which one will it be and which will go back on the shelf?  It's a hard choice.

I decided that 'Fresh Watermelon' should be next.  I had this one out and by my stitching chair this past summer and somehow it got passed over. 

So, there they are..... my 15 Crazy January Challenge Starts.  Now the real work begins.  Finishing them.

I will continue my 31 days of Stitching and Sewing posts with both cross stitch updates and quilting type stuff.  Having 15 new cross stitch starts made the first half of the month easy.  Hopefully I'll be able to find enough stuff for the second half.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Day 14

Not a whole lot of stitching went on yesterday.  I managed just a little bit of the roof.

I suspect there will be even less today since it's been a busy one.  I'm going to start Dandy Dreams by Silver Creek Samplers.  The fabric is a pretty soft yellow.  I ordered the cut made available by Shakespeare's Peddler.  If it's the recommended fabric it's 28 count Chime by Picture This Plus.  If not, I don't know what it is. 

I think once the letters are done it will go quickly.  Even the letters are simple but I don't really like doing letters so it will feel long! 

Happy Stitching.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 13

I got close, but no cigar.  I only need to stitch the ornament on the top of the tree and the snow flakes.  So, sadly, there wasn't a second start yesterday.  Here's a quick and wrinkly picture. 
Today I'm going to start this whimsical Halloween piece from the September 2010 issue of Cross-Stitch & Needlework.  It's called Pumpkin Patch Quilts by Gail Bussi.  I was immediately drawn to the colors and the fact that it's a haunted quilt shop.  I even tried to figure out who the designer of the fabric in the background was since it matches perfectly.  No luck, though.  I've had this magazine laying out in my sewing room, turned to this page ever since it arrived last summer.  It should be fun to stitch. 

It's been fun to see the comments left on various blogs about this challenge.  People can't imagine wanting to start 15 projects all at once.  I rarely have more then 2 or 3 things going at once, so I can't imagine the number of WIP's other people have!  I will make my way thru these, as I don't leave things unstitched.  Aside from these new starts, I have one WIP and one that's on a slipper slope into the UFO neighborhood.  It will be rescued one day.  It's a big awkward pattern on a small count fabric.  I need to complete my recovery from Holiday Express before I can resurrect this newer one. 

Happy Stitching.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Day 12 of 31 days of S & S posts

So did anyone notice my double post yesterday?  Can't say how that happened.  I deleted the duplicate but it stayed in my reader.  Now, today, I have to click 'yes' 22 times every time I want to go somewhere to assure my security program that: yes, I do want to proceed despite the security certificate being revoked.  Any ideas? 

First, let's catch up with some prior starts.  Here is my progress on Lizzie Kate's 'Think Summer'.  Like the wrinkles?  There will be ironing today, just much later after the laundry is done.  I thought it was funny the way I clearly stopped smack dab in the middle of a stitch Monday night.  Wonder if I just got tired or if something distracted me.  I looked at it this morning and wondered how come I'd only stitched that little bit on Monday.... a day when I usually have lots of stitching time.... then I remembered my trip to the LNS to drop off framing.  Duh. 
Then yesterday I only had an hour or so to stitch.  This is the start of Waxing Moon's 'Summer is Sweet'.  There isn't a color photo so you'll have to imagine the pink and green watermelon like colors. 

 Finally, Day 12.  Wow..... 12?  Already?  I say that because I was taking a break from my morning of housework to read some blogs when I came to Rebecca's post for today.  I knew it was the 12th day but hadn't thought of it yet.. or noticed how close to 15 it was.  Don't get me wrong..... 15 days of this is enough, it's just that I actually have 18 projects picked out.  I really thought I'd get at least 16 of those started.  I was sure I'd have at least 1 day with 2 starts because I managed to finish something before the day was out.  And, who knows, maybe I'd even have a 17th start.  So far, that's not happening and maybe won't happen.  Today and tomorrow are the last few days of this challenge when I'll have lots of stitching time.  I originally thought I'd start one of my larger projects but when confronted with how few days were left and how many projects I had, I decided to start the smallest small left and hope to post again today renumbering this start as 12A and another one as 12B.  It's still early.... before noon.... it could happen.   So, today it's another Heart in Hand..... wee one bernard.  (Lower case letters because that's how it's printed on the pattern.) Cute, isnt' he?  Once all that white body is done the rest should be quick.  (Famous last words!) 
Wish me luck because I'd like to spend some time at my sewing machine too.  I need something to post about the second half of this month!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day 11

Today's start is.....

Summer is Sweet by Waxing Moon. I picked up the kit at my framing shop..... NOT yesterday!  Yesterday I was good and picked my frames and bought 2 packs of needles.  This kit came with the fabric, threads, and the frame.   From the copyright info on the pattern it appears to be a free design given to shops to distribute but not a widely available freebie. 

Today is my busy work day plus I have to leave the house even earlier so I don't have any pictures of yesterday's start.  Tomorrow I should be able to catch up.

Must keep moving......

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 10

Already?  Just kidding.  Tired yet? 

While yesterday should have netted me a completed piece, it was my ill conceived idea of working 1 over 1 that sank that ship.  After 2 hours this was all I had.....(on the right)..... Sorry, no pressing this morning.  Every time I plug that thing in I end up ironing whatever clean stuff is waiting and this morning I'm not ironing! 

While the little waves were cute, the rest looked like sad little blobs of thread.  1 over 1 ISN'T for me.  It takes just as long to pick out 2 little itty bitty stitches as it does to put 10 regular (2 over 2) stitches in.  Ugh.  Luckily there were 2 cuts of fabric in this kit.  I started over.  If' I could recapture those 2 hours (ha ha, I said recapture.... can you tell I'm an accountant??)  I would have finished this.  I made one change so far... it's called Blue Moon so, naturally, the moon is supposed to be blue, but I thought I'd like it to be a sunny picture so I made the moon into a yellow sun. 

Today, my first course of business is to drive about 45 minutes to the shop where I get my framing done. I am taking this pile of lovelies in for framing.  She does such fabulous framing.  Then I'm going to put my blinders on and WALK OUT THE DOOR..... after buying some new needles..... BUT that's it.  I swear.  

For today, once I'm home without buying anything, I'm going to start this cute little summer piece. 

Honestly, quit laughing.... I really intend to not buy anything.