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............. . ."She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight" Proverbs 31:13 NAS

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Under a Copper Moon Finish & Holiday Patches

I last told you about this piece on June 29.

I have finished all the stitching!

The mountain is a piece of batik fabric. Toni gave us the mountain pattern and we placed in on our piece of fabric to decide which part of it to use. 

It was a lot of fun! It will fit in nicely with my other southwest stitching as soon as I can get them framed! We had a GREAT framer here who had a wonderful eye for color, used anti glare art glass and was very reasonably priced. Sadly he retired. But I enjoy my retirement. So,  I can't be too mad and wish him not to have a fun retirement.

So I now need a new project to stitch. I have been attempting to reduce my UFO (UnFinished Object) stash, so next up is Holiday Patches. It was a project I started in 2015 with my Night Canvas Group when I was with Foothills EGA. The Canvas group met at my house once a week.

The original project had fabric included, but the designer ran out of it, so we had to choose our own. We then had a list of threads and were to choose what would go with the fabric. Lucky for me,  I had fabric that worked with the original threads, so I did not have to figure out any substitutions. It is on 15"x16" stretcher bars.

Sometimes when I pull out one of these UFOs, I find a nice surprise. This time it is the cute snowman needle minder! 

This brings me to an odd trend I noticed. I started this UFO reduction with Yei-bi-chei, it had a second canvas (the mask) we had to applique onto the bigger canvas. So did Della Robia Santa with the garland and Under a Copper Moon with the moon.

Under a Copper Moon has fabric attached, just like Holiday Patches. Will this trend continue?? 

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Just a Short Public Service Announcment

I recently ordered some Kreinik braid online from one of my favorite local needlework stores (LNS) and it came in a white spool. I was wondering if this could be a counterfeit, like sometimes happens with hair products? Bottle looks the same except part of the cap is a different color.

So, when I was on the phone with a needlwork shop about something else, I asked her about it. She told me that the spool supplier for Kreinik ran out of black and only had white. So white it is!!

Bottom line:  if you happen upon a white spool of Kreinik, no fear it is the real thing!!

You can go back to stitching now.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Paper Crafting Supply Storage Idea


Today I am going to talk a little bit about paper crafting supply storage. I have quite a few punches. These are made of metal and very heavy. I used to store them in shoe boxes on a bottom shelf. A bottom shelf since they are so heavy. I weighed the box with the most punches and it was over 10 lbs. 

Well, I am getting tired of bending over and lifting those boxes. My husband has a Craftsman Tool cart, and I know the drawers can handle some weight, so,  I did some research and purchased a cart from my local ACE Hardware. They even assembled it and loaded it into our vehicle for us!

It snugs away in a corner of my studio and is well hidden by the doors.

I have punches in two of the drawers. 
Each drawer can handle 100 lbs (which is why I weighed the shoe box).

One of the thinner drawers handles my score board and other items.

The thinner drawer on the top handles all my Sizzix Big Shot items. 
I have a Fiskars rotary cutter (for thick items) and my supply bag I take to club on top of the cart.

The bottom drawer is nice and deep and holds my regular Sizzix Big Shot and my Sizzix Big Shot Plus.
This is great since it cleared desk space and it feels more open now. Also give me more room when I sew.

It is on wheels, but the they lock, so it stays in place. There is also a removeable handle on one side. 

So far it has been GREAT! My score board and cutter used to share the same drawer in another cabinet. Now my cutter is in there all by itself and I no longer have to move it to get to my score board.

That is all from here!

Monday, July 12, 2021

I Have a Dilemma & A Heart for Hospice UPDATE


My friend Laurel did the Southwest Sampler and gave me the rest of her ball of #8 pearl cotton. I then found someone else with a partial ball and it should be enough!!


I was not aware until recently that anchor no longer makes pearl cotton for the U.S. market. This apparently has been the case for a number of years. Where have I been??

I was in need of some to finish off this Heart for Hospice heart. I had used thread from my stash and never thought I would need to worry about an Anchor thread.

I started out with some watercolor in my stash called Havana and worked from there choosing a purple and an ecru # 5 pearl cotton and some purple Kreinik braid. Well you can see in the photo there is a bit of green, that is where I ran out of the #5 Anchor Pearl cotton. I also needed some other pearl, so I went to a shop that told me they don't carry it. Then I called a shop in Denver and she told me the same thing, BUT she told me why. This was nice, since it saved me calling more shops or driving 50 - 60 miles one way to a shop.

So I was able to make it work by using some green from my stash and then I changed the Kreinik to a blue to pull the two together. Now I just have to remember which chapter was doing this (it was pre-covid) and turn it in!

But my biggest dilemma is my dire need for a ball of #8 Anchor Pearl Cotton in color 337. I have been collecting the threads for Margaret Bendig's Southwest Sampler from 2008 Needlepoint Now. I have found everything except the #8 pearl. There are three colors and DMC makes an almost perfect match for all of them, except they do not make DMC #3778 in pearl, only floss. The closest DMC in pearl cotton is #352 and that is WAY TOO PINK.

So, I am on a hunt for a ball of #8 Anchor pearl color 337. I am also working on other possible work arounds. I have a friend who did this piece and she gave me the rest of her ball of cotton. I also looked at her piece and it looks like this thread is only used on one area, but it is the border and this piece is 15"x16". I would hate to run out near the end! I thought about using three strands of floss instead, but the border stitch uses two of the #8 pearls. So it would not look good to do one half pearl and the other floss. I suppose I could try floss for both? So much easier if they still sold pearl here in the U.S.

I learned years ago, that if you buy a chart that uses special threads to get those right away because dye lots change or they stop making the thread. I never thought that would have been true for Anchor Pearl Cotton!

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Della Robia Santa is a Standup!

 I decided to make Della Robia Santa into a stand up myself.  I think I did a fine job!

I used four layers of foam core, wrapping two layers with fabric and two with the stitching. I padded the stitching side. I used archival red line tape and stainless steel pins. I also cut and covered a strip of foam core to serve as the base so it would not fall over! Before I covered the base, I used my sewing machine to sew my initials and the date on the fabric since these were not on the stitched piece.

I then used redline tape and secured the front to the back and covered the seam with some red grosgrain ribbon and some fancy gold and white ribbon.

I used the two ribbons to make a flat bow and then I secured it down in the center with a fancy stitch counter I had on hand. I have a pin cushion with stitch counters I have collected from seminars, chapter events and gifts from friends. I do not really use them as stitch counters, they just add pretty to the pin cushion. I had two of these that looked like Christmas and so I used one for my Santa.

As a follow up to my last post about this Santa, I used Kreinik #4 braid in color 32 for the background. It is stitched with Father B's Background stitch.

Finally my little helper:

Happy Stitching!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Under a Copper Moon

I needed a new project to stitch on in the evenings now that I have finished American Patchwork.

So, I picked out this project that was a Saguaro ANG (American Needlepoint Guild) two day workshop in October of 2018. It is called Under a Copper Moon and was designed by Toni Gerdes, who also taught the workshop.

This photo is not how it was by the end of the workshop, I had worked on it a bit afterwards. The mountain at the left is a batik fabric we cutout, padded and applied to the canvas using fusible web.

The moon was on a separate canvas on which we heat applied copper foil and stitched over the top. It was then padded and appliqued on the bigger canvas much like I did with Yei-bi-chei.

It is on a 15"x10" piece of sandstone 18 count mono canvas and uses a variety of  solid, overdyed or variegated cotton, silk and metallic threads. The copper metallic is DMC Metallic Effects and is a PAIN IN THE YOU KNOW WHAT to work with, but it sure is effective. 

Happy Stitching!!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

American Patchwork is Finished!

I last told you about this canvas project on June 10th.

I have been stitching most evenings and got it finished and even put it into the tray!!

This picture was taken without the glass, so you can actually see the stitches.

The project was designed to fit onto a Sudberry House Shaker box, but I already had this Sudberry Petite Serving Tray. The opening of the tray is larger than the Shaker box, so at the teacher's suggestion I traced the oval onto my project and added to the squares as needed to make it larger. This took a bit of work, some squares needed to be make larger or totally made up since the original called for basket weave to fill in smaller areas. But it came out nicely in the end!!

It was fun to do and I put the instructions into a portfolio, so it is kind of like a stitch book now.

American Patchwork, by Debbie Stiehler.

Now to put away any leftovers of the 27 different threads that were used for this project!!

Happy Stitching!!

Friday, June 25, 2021

Quilting 101 Update

 As I told you on June 9, I am taking a quilting class with my local quilt club, Quilting Bees. Later today will be the last class (class 4), so I thought I would share with you my progress.

Here are the results after 3 classes (actually I jumped a head a bit, teacher said we could) and I put all the pieces together which we could have waited to do at class 4. Class 4 includes next step decisions, so I wanted to get a much done before then as possible. It is about 24 inches square. 

Throughout we have learned how to cut fabric, best sewing practices, etc. 

Class1 was creating strips.

Class 2 was creating the four square blocks.

Class 3 was the center square in a square and Flying Geese.

Class 4 will be sewing it all together and deciding next steps. I may add a border and not much more. Some people may want to make more of the same and put them together to make a bigger quilt, etc. Lots of possible options to learn.

I think later in the year, maybe the fall we will get back together to create the sandwich and quilt it. This will give people time if they are making it larger with more blocks. Just another fun topic for class 4.

That's All Folks!

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Della Robia Santa Garland Attached!

 I last told you about this project on May 30th. 

I finished the garland and was brave and cut it out!

Here it is attached to Santa.

As soon as I get some #4 Kreinik braid in color #32, I plan to do Father B's Background Stitch and will attempt to finish is myself as a stand up. It will not be shaped, but a rectangle. I can handle that and have done it before.

Happy Stitching!!

Friday, June 11, 2021

Land of the Free Framed

 I last told you about this project here.

Yesterday a Mill Hill Frame I ordered for it came in and I framed it up all by my little self!

There is no glass and I am ok with that. I have used these Mill Hill frames before and really like them. Originally I thought I might use a red or blue frame, but I think this brown looks great!

Now it sits with my other patriotic items on display for May, June and July. 

Happy Stitching!!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

American Patchwork Update

I can't believe the last time I posted about this was October 16, 2010

It is called American Patchwork by Debbie Stiehler. It was an April, 2010 Foothills EGA workshop.

I have stitched on it since then and got this far by the time I started back on it on May 31, 2021.

Since it is easier to work on the garland for Dela Robia Santa at my studio desk, I picked American Patchwork up to work on in the evenings. I set a goal to get it finished by July 4. Note I did not say what year!

Here are some progress photos:

June 2

 June 4

 June 8

I have one partial square to do to finish the red stripe. The edges are not smooth since it will be finished inside a tray with an oval opening, so I do not need to finish each square around the edges (unless I want to) because they will not show.

After this is the white stripe and a little bit of a red strip at the bottom in the middle.

July 4 here I come!!

Happy Stitching!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Quilting 101 - Day 1

My local quilt club, Sun City Festival Quilting Bees, is holding a 4 week class every Friday afternoon in June, called quilting 101. We  are learning (or re-learning) the basics. We will end up with a project that is about 24 inches square, but we can add to it and make it larger if we want. 

Here are my fabrics.

Day 1 we worked on squaring up our fabric and proper cutting. We made strips and four patch squares. Here is my result.

This Friday we will be working with half square triangles.

I can't wait!!

That is all for now!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Needlework Tool Case - Finish Finished

In 2011 I volunteered to be a pilot stitcher for an upcoming Embroiderers Guild of America (EGA) Group Correspondence Course (GCC) called Needlework Tool Case (since retired) by Mary Long .

A pilot stitcher is kind of like a manuscript editor. We stitch the project with the provided instructions marking any corrections or areas unclear to us. A good pilot will also mention the good stuff about the instructions. The idea being we find any problems before it becomes a GCC.

Our instructions were to only do the stitching and then mail it to the designer for critique - just like we would if it were a GCC. We act in all cases like it is a GCC, except it has a more condensed time frame and we need to pay closer attention to the instructions, if that makes sense.

As such, I never finished finished it (finish finishing is making the stitching into it's final product - pillow, framed, etc.). For whatever reason at the time, I just did not understand what I was supposed to do to finish it. Well, I was bound and determined this past weekend to get it done. This time the instructions made total sense to me and I got it done! Go figure. 

It did take a bit of hand sewing though, so a tad time consuming. I used my sewing machine to sew on a lining. Then I had to fold the canvas edges over the lining and hand sew that down. That was followed by hand sewing down the inside with all the tool case pockets (which I could make on the machine). That was followed my hand sewing down the twisted cord I had made for the edges. Good thing it is baseball season! I love to stitch to the baseball game because it is slower paced and there is the instant replay! 

Here is the outside of the tool case. It is roughly 9 1/2" x 5 1/4". It folds into thirds.

Here is the front. I decided to make my cording the tie down with a button.

Here is the inside. Felt for needles and pins, a pocket in the center and a scissors holder (twisted cord and slots. The inside is made of Ultrasuede. Below is all that was shown in the instruction. We were told we could make other holders for the inside, but I was not sure what I might need and could have used some examples to give me some ideas. 

Happy Stitching!!

Monday, May 31, 2021

Red, White and Blue

I have an area where I put out a seasonal display - mostly stitching. In May I put out the patriotic stuff in Red, White & Blue (RWB) since Memorial Day is in May. I leave it out for June for Flag Day as well as July for Independence Day. There may be a few summer things out too, but it is mostly my RWB stuff.

Since today is Memorial Day I thought I would post some photos of my display.

Here is a link to the History Channel's website with some information about Memorial Day.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Della Robia Santa Update

 As I mentioned in a previous post, I have started this piece from the Rocky Mountain Region 2008 Seminar again. It is a two canvas project: Santa on one and a garland on another. Well Santa is all done, except for the background. Now on to the second canvas- the garland. You can see where it will go and she had us basketweave in green over the white canvas.

I think I am moving quite along on this partly because I stitch almost every evening for 3 - 5 hours and because it is not too big. The Santa is 5 3/4" x 7" on 10 x11 inch stretcher bars. It has been quite fun, although a bit tricky on the coat in places. As you see she has it slant in different directions on each side. Well she only charted the right side and said to reverse it for the left. The stitch for the sleeves was tricky for me to figure out at first. The rest of the coat was not as difficult to figure out and I am still enjoying stitching it. 

Below is how much I got done on the garland at Seminar. It has the grape clusters and part of a poinsettia competed.  She also had us make an apple (covered a red pony bead) but that is not attached yet. You can also see at lower right a doodle (practice) of a needlewoven bar which are used for the poinsettia and for leaves. For size reference the needle minder is about the size of a quarter and the canvas is on 6 inch square stretcher bars. 

What is Della Robbia?
I should mention it here that the design spells it Della Robia (one b).

Della Robbia is named after an artistic style of the 15th century Italian sculptor Luca della Robbia (1400-1482) and members of his family. They used fruit such as apples, oranges, pears and grapes as a decorative element in their work. This idea was eventually used in live arrangements such as wreaths or garlands and the style became known as della Robbia.

Here is a link to some art examples at the National Gallery of Art.

That's it for now!

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

EGA Stitch-a-Long April Project

Since 2017, EGA (Embroiderers Guild of America) has been doing a Stitch-a-long with a different project each month. I follow it on the Facebook page, not sure where else they post. 

In April the project was about the Aztec Stitch, a stitch I have always wanted to try. It is a two part project to be completed in June and when done it will be a cute scissors case.

The first steps involve stitching the nun stitch border and then removing certain canvas threads. This project is on 18 count mono canvas, but I believe you can do this stitch on fabric as well, but probably not sturdy enough for a scissors case, plus I am not sure what the June portion will involve.

Here are the four colors of pearl cotton I chose.

Aztec stitch portion completed.

This was very fun to do. Not too tricky, but you do have to pay attention to where you are going and not skip a set of bars! This part of the project is about 2"x4" and took very little thread.


The EGA Stitch-s-Long Facebook page is a PUBLIC page. Here is what they say on their About page:

"Come stitch with us! The Embroiderers' Guild of America is the largest organization dedicated to hand embroidery in the United States. On our stitch-a-long Facebook page, you can stitch with us as we explore the resources available to us via EGA. Whether you are a long-time EGA member, or someone learning more about EGA because you're interested in membership, this page will help you connect to embroidery and the world of EGA. Happy stitching!
Please note that this group is set up to help with specific projects designated as Stitch-a-Long projects for the group. You may also post pictures of your projects that relate to EGA and its activities. Due to the large size of this group and its specific mission related to EGA, we request that you NOT post pictures of unrelated projects. There are plenty of show-and-share groups for that purpose.
Instructions for our first project can be found here (plus, you can download our free Little Book of Embroidery Basics there, too!):
Important note: Posted designs are produced by individuals and do not imply EGA endorsement."


That is about all for now, Happy Stitching!!

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Della Robia Santa

It may be apparent to some of you who follow me, but I have been attempting to reduce by WIPs and UFOs as a goal for 2021. I still plan to do new stuff, because that is fun too, but attempting to keep that to a minimum. Wish me luck!!

In case you do not know a WIP is a Work in Progress and a UFO is an UnFinished Object. I am not quite sure the nuances between the two, but I am sure I have plenty of each!!

I have also taken back to stitching in the evenings for anywhere from 3 - 5 hours. I have a stand reminder on my watch and try to look up every 20 minutes. I stitch and listen to TV while my hubby watches. So we spend time together each night. When he asks me if I want to watch (insert show name here) I usually tell him, "sure, I can stitch to anything".

Since Yei-bi-chei is done, my next project from the cabinet is one from the 2008 Rocky Mountain Region (RMR) Seminar that was in Denver, Colorado. We had moved to the area the year before and this was my first RMR Seminar. I was lots of fun and I met a lot of nice local chapter ladies. Good memories. 

This is as much as I did at Seminar and how it looked when I started back up on May 19. 

It is a canvas project and will involve cutting out the stitching on the green canvas and attaching it to the white - it is the garland Santa is holding. It is attached in a way I have not done before, so something new there. But first I must get all the stitching done!

Here is my progress so far.

I am thinking it will look nice as a stand up. I will just need to find a place to have it done, that is not an area I have done much finishing myself, and I hate finishing canvas projects - the canvas is just too darn stiff and hard on the fingers.

Happy Stitching!!

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Yei-bi-chei Update

 I last told you about this project on my May 8, 2021 post.

I finished it! 

Here are some photos.

As mentioned on May 8, I was not sure I would have enough gold accentuate to finish. I did not, I was about 12" short!! I emailed the instructor and she sent me a spool! So this is how it looked when done.

The next step shown below was to remove canvas threads all around it. A bit scary, but I have done it before on a smaller piece, so I forged ahead.

Before I added the mask, I had to pad the area it was to be placed. Here is how it looked once the padding was complete. There are four layers of felt, each in decreasing sizes. You put the smallest one down first and work your way up to the biggest, and final piece.

The reason to remove the canvas threads is so we could use them to attach the mask to the other canvas, as shown in progress below.

Once that was all done it looked like this on the back.

Then I used a needle to put all the threads under the scotch and straight stitches made earlier. This secures the canvas threads. Here is how it looks below.

Here is the front after all the canvas threads are on the back and before the final steps.

Below is the FINISHED stitching after couching down around the edges a cording I made with two colors of the silk threads from the project and then a gold thread is couched on top of it. Then I added the real feathers, a square turquoise colored bead between the eyes and a tube bead for the mouth.

I am thinking it will be tricky to frame with that tube bead, it is approx. an inch long. Probably will need a shadow box and it was designed for a matt to go up to the edges of the stitching on the right - that is why the mask is not a full circle. I could almost do it myself since the opening is 8"x10". But probably not...stay tuned.


Also in case you are interested I found this link about Yei-bi-chei from the mask museum.

Happy Stitching!!