Monday, January 4, 2016

My First Finish for 2016

The WIP I decided to work on first this year is a bell pull I designed for a class I taught on specialty stitches. However, I had only stitched the first band and decided to complete it so I could post the picture for those who took my class.  Here is  the completed piece. Now I just need to make a bell pull out of it.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year

I always feel like the brand new year brings a fresh start in many ways. New years day is a great day to be peaceful and reflect about the year we have completed as well as  how and what we want to change for the new year we are beginning. For my stitching I plan to

  • improve my stitching technique
  • learn new  stitches
  • finish stitching at least half my WIPs 
  • end the year with no more WIPs than I started the year with
  • learn how to do professional quality finishing
  • stitch projects from my stash  (except for the ANG class I already committed to) 
  • buy additional supplies only if needed to stitch projects in my stash
  • stitch everyday because it brings me great joy and peace 

I celebrated the new year by spending the first day of the year watching movies on Netflix and stitching. I focused my stitching on two projects: First I worked on stitching a Bell Pull Sampler I designed to commemorate a Cross Stitch Retreat where I taught a class on specialty stitches. The sampler incorporates all the stitches I taught and was given to the students so they could practice the stitches and create their own needlework piece to commemorate the retreat.

I also wanted to have a new start for the year. In December I was introduced to a  designer I had not heard of before, Amy Mitten. She designs a variety or reproduction samplers and her own line of hand dyed silk threads in authentic colors. The design I ordered as a Christmas present to myself is called "With the Same MO #2".  To celebrate the beginning of the new year I put in the first row of stitches.   

The sampler will look like this when it is done: 

May  2016 bring resolutions to any outstanding issues you have in you life as well as peace of mind, health, well being, joy, laughter, love, and anything else your heart desires. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

WIPocalypse ~ November ~

Here I am on December 4th just getting around to reporting on November.  The question for this month is:  Which designer has inspired you to stitch the greatest number of designs and why do you think that is? 

Since I do both cross stitch and needlepoint I will list two designers one for each major style of needle work I love to do. For cross stitch the designer that has influence me the most and taught me the most about the specialty stitches and techniques used in cross stitch is Teresa Wentzler. You can see pictures of all her designs by starting on this web page:  I have stitched at least a dozen of her designs and have four large ones on my WIP list. They are challenging butabsolutely stunning when completed.  I started stitching with one of designs called "Stretch" (one of her free designs) and went from there.

Needlepoint is a little more difficult to pick one designer but I would have to say Laura Perin's designs  really engaged me in needlepoint even though I didn't start with her designs. I like gemetric patterns the best and I loved many of her designs especially the ones that mimic quilt patterns. From that start I have branched out to other designers such as Nancy's Needle and Gay An Rodgers but have also learned to work with to painted canvas. Below you will see two examples of needlepoint both os which are charted designs.

Our fall in upstate NY was lovely and all the fall leaves inspired me to start a new piece on November 1st and I finished it on November 27th. The design was from the November/December issue of  Needlepoint Now Magazine and it is called Winter Scenery. While quite beautiful I used fall colors instead of the original blue colorway and call it Fall Leaves.  All threads were #5 DMC Perle Cotton. The design calls for # 8 but I wanted more coverage.

Additionally I also completed a design created for EGA and ANG members by Mary Waldsmith called Elegant Holiday Tree. All three sections use the same #12 Kreink metallic but each section uses a different off white thread. The bottom section uses Caron WaterColours, the middle section uses RG's  Neon Rays, and the top section called for Caron Impressions but I used Pepperpot Silk instead. 
It was a wonderful month of stitching but now it is time to focus on more Christmas stitching. 
See you next month and everyone have a wonderful holiday season.
 Here is an example of a Laura Perin Design.

Monday, November 2, 2015

WIPocalypse October 27th

Here I am posting this 6 days late. So where was I on my stitching on October 27th. If you look at the right had colum of my blog you can see I have quite an extensive list of WIPs. Instead of getting smaller which was my plan on January 1st it has continued to grow as I find new and exciting stitching opportunities. I have added six new starts this month (London, Charizard, Noel, Retreat Band Sampler, White Ornament, Martina's Geometric) and completed two projects. So the WIP list grows to 24. 

My two finishes include a free design from Paine Free Crafts called a Golden Baby Dragon. This was stitched on 16 count aida cloth with DMC threads. You can find this cute design here:  I stitched this in honor of my new grandson who is currently warm and safe with his mother but will join the rest of us in March. The TLO above the dragon stands for "the Little One" which is what my DH calls him.   

I also finished a painted canvas cupcake for my son who has a great imagination regarding efficient techniques to frost cupcakes. His wife and every other female member of his family was in stitches as he described his technique. Our led us to picture the ultimate disaster that would ensue with his technique. However he gets a lot of points for trying to come up with ways to make his wife's life easier. 

I spent a good amount of time in October preparing for a class I taught on specialty stitches at the Cross stitch Club Retreat on October 17th. I designed the piece for the class and put together 72 kits which included fabric, needle minders that I made, DMC floss, a thread sorter card, the design layout, stitch instructions, and finishing instructions to complete the design as a bell pull.   Experience is a great teacher and I learned a lot through this experience. I also had a fantastic time teaching the class and I had a great group of students.

  However, the only picture I have is of the threads I included to stitch the design. I charted the design but did not stitch it before the class. I  will never do that again.  While the students took home the design, we didn't stitch it during class. Instead we  used the fabric (28  count Ivory Lugana) to practice each of the specialty stitches included in the design. While I had this all on PowerPoint slides the room set up did not allow for projection. Fortunately I took samples of work that I had done so the students could see what the stitches looked like completed.  I am now stitching the design after the fact. When I have completed it I  will post it and updated stitching directions for the class and others to download. I hope to teach needlework classes again and will am currently preparing proposals for the next set of classes I would like to teach at next year's retreat. 

The question this month is: Are there any fibers or materials used in stitching that you are nervous to try? I would not say nervous. There are definitely fibers that don't appeal to me and therefore I don't try them because I either don't like the texture or weight of them. Theses are usually fibers that are fuzzy in nature. There are some that I would like try that I haven't tried because the right stitching opportunity has not come up yet. These include very velvet and silk ribbon. 

Until next month may the stitching force be with each and every one of you. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

SFS Check In ~ October 2015

Carry Over 52.98
Budget: 25.00
Amount Spent: $ 30.55
Amount Earned: $2.00
Final Balance: 49.43

This past month my spending was on buying two copies of a chart called Celtic Butterfly by KLT Charting, One for me (electronic0 and a hard copy one for my exchange partner at a cross stitch retreat I attended.. I also bought her a butterfly needle minder and and some Threadworx fibers to stitch the butterfly.

In addition this month I purchased 3 skeins of DMC floss for a project and a new needlethreader. 

I managed to finish a design from Paine Free Crafts: A Golden Baby Dragon 
which you can get from their web site at

I started it to participate in a Summer SAL and then finished it in honor of my grandson who will be born in March. 

I also finished a Painted Canvas this month.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

SFS 2015 Check-in ~ September~

Carry Over 34.59
Budget: 25.00
Amount Spent: $ 6.68
Amount Earned: $0.00
Final Balance: 52.98

This has been another slow month for cross stitch as I am focused on stitching Christmas ornaments and the ones I am making right now are needlepoint painted canvases. You can see in an earlier post my Ireland ornament for my grandson and I finished the background on a cardinal for my Mother-in -Law (see picture below). I spent $6.00 for the skein of silk floss for the background but I did not count it here as it was used entirely on my needlepoint project. Now I am working on a Cup Cake canvas for one of my sons.I did finish one cross stitch piece, the Rhode Island bag tag for my DH.  During the month of October I should be doing more cross stitch because I will be working on a mini bell pull and a couple of cross stitched ornaments. However I will not need to spend much since the only thing I may not have are a few floss colors for which I will buy DMC.

Here are some pictures.


The Cardinal

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A New Finish - Ireland Christmas Ornament

In June, while on a trip with my husband,  I went shopping at the Wool and Willow needlework store in Ohio. I purchased this painted canvas by Silver Needle for my grandson. He visited Ireland in this summer and I made this to commemorate his trip.