Final sharing from 2013

It’s time to clean up the hanging threads of 2013 and make sure I’ve shared everything I’ve meant to share. I’ve been a neglectful blogger this year, so I have a few pictures I haven’t yet posted.

425 bone appetit 11 13

Bone Appetit from Lizzie Kate’s Halloween Thrillogy. I finished this a few days after Halloween.

425 pieta framed 11 13

Later in November, I got Pieta framed. I took a quick picture to show my father before Christmas. He was traveling for the holidays, so I’ll be sending this off to him shortly. I never did get a better picture than this. Dad joked I should take a picture with my phone. I thought it was a good suggestion. That one wasn’t better.

After I sent Wendy her ornament, I started working on ornaments for myself that I’ve wanted to stitch for a very long time–Brightneedle’s “To Thee” stockings from JCS Ornament issues. I stitched them on 28-ct. Country Cream Vintage linen. I used all DMC for each ornament.

425 to thee love           425 to thee hope

To Thee Love, from the 2004 JCS Ornament Issue, and To Thee Hope, from the 2006 JCS Ornament Issue.

425 to thee peace 12 21 13                     425 to thee a very merry

To Thee Peace from the 2003 JCS Ornament Issue, and To Thee a Very Merry from the 2008 JCS Ornament Issue.

I rotated the colors in Peace to give her a pink dress instead of pink accents. For A Very Merry, I added the year and moved around the eyelet stitches above the year to fit. I also had fun with the eyelets. Many of them are off center.

Finally, I made progress on 272 Words by Primrose Needleworks. I’m not quite done with the first page. Instead of GAST Nutmeg for the text, I’m using soot by Nina’s Threads, which I ordered from The Thread Basket.

425 272 words 12 30 13

That does it for 2013. I’m going to participate in the Sampler World Snoot Parrots SAL 2014 on Facebook, so I’ll have another WIP very soon.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year.  Happy Stitching! :)

Merry Christmas

I participated in an ornament exchange with Wendy this year.  She sent hers early, but I had to wait to open it. Like all things this autumn/winter, finishing and sending Wendy’s ornament took longer than it should have. Here’s what she sent me:

425 Fresh Fallen Snow from Wendy 12 13It’s the gorgeous Fresh Fallen Snow by Little House Needleworks, which was published in the JCS 2011 Ornament issue. It was quite easy to verify the particulars, because this was on my list of ornaments to stitch–

to stitch list

I’ve got a few ornaments rated 10 before I move on to the ones I’ve rated 9 (or lower), but I don’t have to wait for this one. I’m so lucky! Thank you, Wendy. I love it.

Here is the ornament I stitched for Wendy. It arrived before Christmas, and we opened our packages sort of together on Facebook. That was nice. :)

425 Tweet Gift 12 13

A “Tweet,” Merry Christmas and Healthy, Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

Happy Stitching. :)

Berry Emery

I stitched Blackbird Designs Berry Emery over the last couple of days. I used the charted fabric and fibers.

425 berry emery 08 22 13Just a quick cutie to break up the Pieta stitching.

425 berry emery fruit bowl 08 22 13

I’m getting a full fruit bowl. :)

Berry Emery by Blackbird Designs from It’s Berry Time
Stitched with recommended fibers and fabric

Happy Stitching! :)

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I have a brown thumb, so I grow mine one stitch at a time. :D Here are the pieces awaiting assembly. At a quick glance, you can see the pink pieces appear to have seam allowances that are too small. If any parts are going to end up in difficulty, these are the pieces you’d predict. You’ll soon see that wasn’t the case.

425 wip patchwork garden 08 04 13 top diamonds  425 wip patchwork garden 08 04 13 middle diamonds  425 wip patchwork garden 08 04 13 bottom diamonds

Assembly in progress~~

425 how does your garden grow collage

The top and bottom pieces stitched together…

425 wip patchwork garden 08 06 13 chain chomp

At this stage of assembly, the boy and I agreed it looked like a Chain Chomp from Super Mario World. You might also be able to see that in addition to interface, I lined each piece with quilt batting. I had two reasons for this. First, I came across the idea on this blog while looking for photos of other stitchers’ completed balls. That post’s pictures didn’t load for me, ironically. I was intrigued by the recommendation to use batting. I’ve never had the experience with lumpy fiberfill she mentioned, but that seemed a good reason to try it. My second reason for using the batting is that I love this project so much, I wanted to prolong the experience.  Eventually, though, it was finished…

425 patchwork garden complete collage

I love it. There are a few wonky things “wrong” with it. But I love this piece so completely, I don’t even care. That’s so uncharacteristic of me. Here’s the wonkiest part~~

425 patchwork garden complete 08 06 13 top shreddy

I’m not sure how/why that happened. That’s the white fabric, which puzzlingly, had the largest seam allowances of all of the linen colors. It’s DMC brand. It had the loosest weave and was the stiffest fabric I used. The stiffness was nice for finger pressing, but something went wrong with the stuffing. I chalk it up to the loose weave. I would ordinarily flip out over this. But Fray Check is my friend, the ball is safe and I am wabi-sabi about the whole thing. As I said, uncharacteristic. Love is blind. ;)

425 patchwork garden complete 08 06 13 heart

Happy Stitching! :)

Adventures in Framing

Happy Independence Day!

Framing isn’t usually adventurous, is it? It can be deeply satisfying, maybe nerve-wracking or frustrating, but it’s not especially dramatic. Up until now, the most adventure I’ve had with framing was when I made a poor choice for a frame, and “fixed” it with gold cream paint~~

425 Watermelon Sampler framed

That was it. Until yesterday. A couple weeks ago I took the Doctor Who piece for the boy, and Missing You by Prairie Moon to be be framed. Missing You is three years old! I haven’t had anything framed in three or more years! Truth be told, the adventure wasn’t in the framing, but in photographing it for the blog. Anyway. First up, I’ll show you an ordinary framed piece. I loved the look on the boy’s face when he saw the finished piece. He just loved it. Made me so happy.

425 doctor who framed 07 13

So, that went well. :) Then, there was my piece. It all seemed to be going fine. When the framer put down the molding, we both knew it was exactly right. I was, and am, so pleased. I kept it in front of me for hours that night so I could enjoy it. I’m weird like that. I get excited when projects are all done. I took a photo with my phone, and shared that on Facebook. I should have been satisfied with that photo. So much trouble would have been avoided. I didn’t take Missing You outside to photograph when I took the Doctors, and ended up waiting quite a few days before I took it outside. The weather was very uncooperative here. Another opportunity to avoid trouble wasted.

I finally had the right combination of remembering and good weather yesterday. The picture-taking went according to plan. Then I went inside. Wait. No I didn’t. I tried to go back inside. The front door was locked. The back door was open, but the deadbolt was locked. All I can say is, I am so grateful I was “properly” dressed and had shoes on. That wasn’t the case when I snapped the pic of the Doctors Who. I had just spent the night alone. The husband was out of town, and the boy was at a sleepover. I couldn’t call anyone. My phone was inside. The husband wasn’t going to be home for about six hours. I had a doctor appt. in fifteen minutes. Needless to say, I missed it (oh, shucky darn). Then I remembered my friend has a spare key to my house (CHEERS!!). She only lives half a mile away. Off I trudged. Her car was gone. GROAN. No one wanted to answer the door, except their dog, who, you know, can’t. GROAN. I thought I knew where she was, figured she’d be home within an hour at the longest, sat on her stoop. Finally her husband answered the door. I’d woken up the sleeping household. I sympathized, believe me. Their insistent, barky dog is now one of my best friends. ;)  Hubby went to look for said spare key with no luck. It was in friend’s car. SIGH. He called her. I heard the confused silence when he informed her I needed my key. :D Lucky me (considering), she was on her way home. Fifteen minutes later, the door was unlocked! Hooray! She was going to give me her spare key. NOOOooo, I need you to have it in case I do this again! I wouldn’t put it past me. You shouldn’t, either.  This is what all the fuss was about:

425 Missing You framed

I should have been satisfied with the phone picture. It wasn’t bad. In fact, it’s arguable a better picture. It has much less glare. That’ll learn me.

425 Missing You iphone

Happy stitching, and may your stitching be free of woes. :)

February Catch-up

This is what I was up to in February:
425 peace on earth finished front back 02 13

Peace on Earth by Victoria’s Sampler as appeared in 2011 JCS Ornaments issue. Stitched on 28-ct Cafe Mocha linen.

I love this little purse so much. It was fun to stitch.

425 think snow 02 13

Think Snow by Sweetheart Tree. Stitched with recommended fibers and beads on 32-ct Blue Ice linen.

I’m not going to mention how many times I’ve lost and found this chart, mmkay? I think I love the final choice of linen color, though I do occasionally wish I’d used the opalescent gray I bought for it, because it was sparkly. But the icy blue makes me happy without opalescence, so it’s all good.

Happy Stitching! :)

Fruit of the Vine

Peel me a grape?


Fine, I’ll stitch my own. :)

It’s supposed to be a scissor fob. I forgot to add the cord. Maybe I’ll do it later. I’m fine without it right now.

Fruit of the Vine by Sheepish Designs
Grapes stitched on 32-ct Lavender Bliss, leaves are 36-ct Patina linen.
Grapes stitched with Crescent Colours Plum Paisley. All other stitching used recommended DMC floss.

I have a tiny bowl of fruits:

Warm Heart

I finished Shepherd’s Bush Warm Heart a while ago. I had the box the model is finished in. I especially love the flowers coming out of the snowman’s head. I love the box, too. I filled it with lucky stars, because I like to have a reason to make them.

Warm Heart by Shepherd’s Bush
Stitched with supplies included in kit
Modifications: Stitched a couple extra snowflake motifs instead of words

Ornaments, plus a couple other goodies

Well, I’ve been scarce, haven’t I? Part of it was not feeling like blogging, and part of it was Webshots changing over to Smile. That completely discombobulated me. I’m still pouting that all my linked photos are gone.

I hope you had a happy, blessed holiday season.

I may have been hiding, but I was stitching while doing so! So, pictures, pictures, pictures!

First: June Monthly Sampler finished into a flat fold. Yes, I finished stitching it in ’07. Yes, I have many more flat folds to complete. Don’t judge me.

Next is God Bless Those by Shakespeare’s Peddler. I ordered this as a gift to myself and stitched it up straight away. Now it needs to be finished, as my many previously mentioned monthly samplers do.

God Bless Those by Shakespeare’s Peddler
Stitched with included supplies as charted on 40-ct linen provided; key charm added where stitched key was charted.

Now the ornaments. :)

I finished the Shepherd’s Bush Merry Be pincushion as an ornament. The fabric you see was used as backing. The red isn’t that bright, but you get the idea. When I try to darken photos, Picasa gets upset. I was going to ruche the ribbon like the model, but I liked it plain. I like the knotted ribbon, too. Amazing ideas can come from impatience and laziness. I liked the plain finish so much that I didn’t bother to cover the slice I put into it with a seam ripper. I’m learning to be wabi sabi about my stitching. Sort of. You can see where the slice was, but I’m not helping you find it. :D

Hardanger Poinsettia by Carole Rodgers for Cross Stitch & Country Crafts, April 1994. This was stitched on 32-ct Picture this Plus Phoenix linen. The flash was really bright on this. The red is darker. The splotch is pink, which I really like. That only took eighteen years.

He’s a Flake by Little House Needlework. I stitched twins. One for an exchange partner, one for myself, because I lurve him. They were stitched on 32-count linen (I think Rue Green) with the recommended colors, except the red. I don’t remember what I used. It was less brick-y, but not really bright.

Christmas Beer, front and back. This is modified from Christmas Cheer by Heart in Hand, as appeared in the JCS Ornament issue, 2001. I removed the year, moved the stars, and used the hearts from a different ornament on that page (I can’t remember the designer offhand. You don’t want me to procrastinate posting this to go check, do you?). The beer stein was modified from a picture of an old design I had saved on my computer. This was stitched on 32-count linen, Rue Green.  I’ve been planning this for forever, too. This ornament has great family sentiment behind it. It’s based on a carol my husband “wrote” while enjoying Christmas cheer. Here are the lyrics:

A McGinty Carol

Christmas cheer
For Christmas beer
Christmas is
Our time of year!

{You’re welcome. ;) }

I’m thrilled I finished two ornaments that have been on the back burner for so many years. You know how it is: so many ideas, so little time. And so many distractions.  Nod, nod

Happy Stitching, and all the best in 2013.

I’m in Love with a Tiny Quaker

Quaker aux Clefs by Jardin Prive. This would have been finished sooner, but life events prevented me from stitching. I suffered withdrawals, but I’m OK now.

Quaker Aux Clefs 08.12

I changed a few of the colors because the colors the chart called for didn’t resemble the model. I know that colors can “change” or appear different depending upon the surrounding colors, but there was no way the peachy color of the vase and medallion outlines was ever going to resemble the pink of the butterfly. I’m so glad I modified the colors, because I love these colors so much. I can’t get over it. They make me so happy.

This piece was a case of irresistible start-itis. I tried to decide what sort of finishing treatment I wanted to do, and I only wanted it to sit on a table, inviting you to pick it up. I thought I’d make a hemstitch and it would be pretty, pretty, all done. But the scrap I stitched this on wasn’t big enough for a standard hemstitch. I decided on a picot-edged pulled thread edging. That’s sort of what I ended up with after a few adventures. The most amusing adventure was with the light green. I thought I was using the original color. I certainly meant to. But when I had to cut a second length, the newer stitches weren’t the same color. Somehow during a previous project, I had wound a different color around the stitchbow. I figured out what color that was, and continued stitching with it.

quaker aux clefs complete2 08 25 12

I began the first step of the picot edge: pulled satin stitches. Next I was supposed to pull around the satin stitches in a “V” shape, after which I would tuck under the edge and hemstitch it. I started to do that with little success. I decided to tuck the edges under and hem it without the typical hemstitch, which amounted to just tacking it down on the backside (see below). Then I was going to do the final pulled stitches for the picot edge. Only by that time I was in love and my heart said it was done. So it’s done like this, and I’m so happy. I’m in love with the colors and the piece.

Here’s a peek at the back and the tacking of the hem.

Quaker aux Clefs by Jardin Prive
Stitched one over two on Lakeside Linens 40-ct Oyster Mist
Fibers used: DMC 152, 223, 407, 522, 926, 3022, 3051b 3768, 3859

Happy Stitching! :)

Hello, Poppet

I completed the stitching of the bunny side of CHS’ Patty Parsley in 2009. I completed the name side in 2011. I finally finished it yesterday. What can I say? I have a talent for procrastination, coupled with a tendency towards a short attention span where stitching is concerned.

Here is my poppet showing off her handiwork. I used to call her Poppet. Now she’s Patty Parsley. I suspect her nickname will remain Poppet.


She loves to stitch.

Patty with just her new pillow~~


And here she shows off the pillow on its own~~

Patty Parsley pillow, name side Patty Parsley pillow, bunny side

I don’t know why I took so long to finish this pillow, but then, I never do.

Happy Stitching! :)

Challenged to the Limit

This project took FOREVER to complete. I mean years.  I’d never stitched on silk gauze before. That wasn’t too difficult, I don’t think. I can’t be 100% certain, though, because stitching this piece was so much harder than I anticipated.

Ring O' Roses 05.04.12

Ring O’ Roses by Elizabeth R. Anderson, Miniature Embroideries.
Stitched one-over-one on 48-ct. silk gauze with black silk floss, as provided in kit.
Finished with a two-sided mirror as provided in kit.

When I bought it, I assumed it was 40-ct. gauze. You know what happens when you assume, don’t you?

It’s 48-ct.     This was definitely my limit.

Anyway. HARD. Hard to see, harder to frog. I used 3X magnifiying cheaters. It was still hard to see. There are many mistakes. I don’t know how many, but it’s so hard to frog when you can’t see. There’s enough that the image was a little wide to fit perfectly in the mirror that was included in the kit (that I was tricked into buying because it was 50% off). I don’t care. I finished it, and I’m so glad. I would stitch a bit, get confused and stabby, and not pick it up for months on end. Even when I became determined to finish, I put it down for months after completing a mini-goal. This week I persevered and stitched the girls in the center. And now I’m done!!I rewarded myself with chocolate. Because I didn’t have cookies.

Here are the ladies–

Ring O' Roses finished 05.06.12

See? TINY. So, hooray, I did that. But never again. Not 48-ct, no, no, no.

Happy Stitching. :)

Fiddly bits complete

So I had this idea. I got it when I was thinking about stitching Shepherd Bush’s Warm Heart. I thought I could make it work for Take Joy, too. And I could have. Except the motifs are so tiny, it turned out the return on time invested was pretty small. I don’t like empty boxes and such. I remember when I was a kid, someone told me it’s bad luck to give an empty wallet as a present; you should always put at least $1 in it. Now, I know it’s bad luck to be superstitious, but I still don’t like empty vessels. If I see a box, I want to open it and see what treasure it holds. But making a tiny star, or tiny ornaments didn’t hold much promise after I completed this tiny star. I stitched the star twice, once each for front and back and whip stitched them together. It’s “stuffed” with the excess fabric, nothing more.

 It’s cute. It’s TINY.

See? So tiny. I made about a zillion lucky stars from scrapbook paper, and the star is about the smallest item in the box. But the box isn’t empty, and that’s magical.

Take Joy complete 04.09.12

Take joy in your stitching. :)

Full of Hope

So WordPress changed the page for writing posts. The old page was intuitive and helpful. This page, the opposite. I only see things that appear to help those that know HTML, in spite of clicking the Visual tab. I am not one of those HTML-type people. I’m pretty pissed and discouraged. WordPress doesn’t want casual bloggers? Tell me. <insert irrational, frustrated name-calling here> It doesn’t help that I discovered this on a day when other programs are successful in their  attempts to make me crazy. Oh, whaddyaknow? I saved the draft, and everything changed back to “my” normal. So that’s a good thing.

Anyway, Full of Hope is finally finished.

I used the ribbon from the kit and attached it in a simple serpentine fashion. I bought additional pink pearly pins to attach the ribbon with the serpentine pattern. I love it.

Here she is, ready to be mailed to my cousin. She was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas. I stitched this in my mother’s honor, I finished it in hers. With the pinkeep, I sent all my hope for a smooth recovery. I noticed in the picture that one of the pins is sneaking out. I hope she slips that baby back in.

I hope this finds you healthy and that you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day.

Happy Stitching! :)

Exchange Day Came Early

Because we couldn’t wait (kiddies, much?), because all ornaments had been received, the exchange moderator moved the opening day to yesterday. I gasped and squealed when I saw my giftie. It was on my to-stitch list. I’d admired it on other blogs. And now I don’t have to stitch it, or think about how I want to stitch it someday, because I have it! I’m thrilled to bits. Thank you, Carmen. :)

exchange from Carmen

Joy of the Snowflake by Litlle by Little from the 2011 JCS Ornament issue. How perfect is that trim? It’s whimsical and gives the ornament movement and life. Carmen attached it with matching beads.  Just gorgeous. Did I mention I love it? Because I do. :D

Here is what I stitched for Lyn, and previewed the other day–

Love was Born 12.11

She says she likes it, and I’m relieved. Exchanges always tie me in knots, which is why I don’t participate in them often. And then they’re over, and I’m so happy I did it.

Lizzie Kate, JCS Ornament issue from the 90’s, 32-ct shell linen, recommended fibers, flat finish. And stuff. I’ll likely edit it with proper info later, but you get the gist.

Happy Stitching! :)

Ornament exchange preview

I stitched an ornament for an exchange on a Yahoo group I belong to. The opening date is Dec. 20. I can’t show what I stitched until then, but I can have fun and show a preview here for myself.

This is sort of a picture of the back. The starry pattern is the fabric I used for the ornie back, and I did put our initials and the year on the back with blanket stitch. Really, though, I used a neon framing tool that eliminated the ornament’s image and changed the trim’s color and moved the initials to the center of the ornament. And now I realize how complicated that was, but I was goofing around and didn’t know what I was going to do until I did it. It was just a bit of fun.

Happy Stitching! :)

Forgot to post

There are a few things I forgot to post. First, my TUSAL shot–

Next up is my latest WIP. When I started this, I expected it to take less time than it has, not only because I always underestimate how long a project will take, but also because I was working on another project that took me much longer than it should have taken. I’ll post about that project soon.

This is Jacks are Wild by Waxing Moon Designs. The lightning bolts are stitched with glow-in-the-dark DMC thread. I’m going to frog the yellow swirl. I will replace it with DMC’s new memory thread or their flourescent thread. I haven’t decided yet. I’m stitching this because the husband and the boy are both named Jack. I’ve decided to have fun with the project because it’s a funny image, and it will make it more fun–and wild. ;)

And last, something that’s been finished since August, I believe.

Elizabethan Stitching Accessories by Tristan Brooks Designs. The original plan was to make a mattress cushion, but apparently, I can’t count. I pouted for a while before assembling them. The pincushion is stuffed with lavender. Mmm…

Happy Stitching! :)

Justice in our Hearts

I stitched Giulia Manfredini’s freebie Justice in our Hearts for the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. According to her, the translation of this Psalm comes from the book, Lighthouse Psalms, (Honor Books, Tulsa, OK), from the Holy Bible New Century Version.

Justice in Our Hearts 09.11

I made a few modifications. I used all Caron Waterlilies, but used pine forest for the green (my choice) and cherry for the red (to avoid a second trip to the LNS). I stitched the white stripes on the flag with honeysuckle rather than leaving them unstitched. I didn’t use the silver metallic, but stitched the stars with honeysuckle and the candle flames with Tahiti. The biggest challenge/modification was crafting my own heart. The pre-fabricated heart Ms. Manfredini used is no longer available. So I faked it. I’m very happy with the way it turned out.

Small finishes

Two small finishes of projects stitched earlier this year.  First is Petite Confidences, or Key to My Heart. I saw a different way to stitch smalls together in Ginnie Thompson’s Linen Stitches and thought I’d give it a whirl. She outlined her pieced with chain stitches, saying it made for a pretty finish. It certainly makes for a pretty outline. I can’t say I noticed much difference when they were assembled.

I used a grommet to be able to hang the lock. I was going to use eyelets for the key, but I used thick interface to make the pieces sturdy and had trouble getting eyelets through each of the keys. I made Kloster blocks instead. It worked out well. This picture shows them hanging from my purse handle. I moved it to the zipper because my zipper pull broke, but I’m thinking of moving it again.

Petite Confidences 05.11

Next I finished the Tulip Bookmark by Needleworks. I struggled with the cord, but I’m happy with the finished product.

Needleworks Tulip Bookmark 06.11

Happy Stitching! :)