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

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas Gift Stitching

In 2021 we had a new baby addition to our family. Niece Jill her husband adopted a little baby girl that is the half-sister of the baby boy they adopted last year. Her name was just the right size for me to adapt this "Baby's" First Christmas to Aliya's! Her mom loves penguins, so when I saw this in the December 2021 issue of Just Cross Stitch Magazine, I knew I had to make it for her!

My college roommate likes rabbits. But realistic ones not animated. So, when I saw this year long series for 2018 called Mini Bunnies in Just Cross Stitch Magazine, I thought of her at once. It did not stitch it right away, I wanted to figure out a way to finish it. After some stops and starts I figured it out and stitched it for her Christmas this year. Here are the twelve rabbits. Top photo has Dec, Jan, April, May, Aug & Sept.

This photo shows Feb, March, June, July, Nov and Oct. Oops I photographed them out of order.

I found a shadow box that was just the right size, but I needed it to be kind of a reverse shadow box. So I trimmed the mat so it touched the glass and then there was room for all the monthly rabbits behind!

I cut out a template so I would know the opening. I cut comic book board to match the inside, then marked it with air removable fabric marker (I tested it first to make sure it would go away, and it did)! I used the outer mat as my pattern for the size and placement of the picture. For December, I cut the stitched piece leaving a couple of squares one each side, centered it on the drawn square and sewed it on with my sewing machine. I used a longer stitch than normal so not to perforate the comic book board. I also put my initials on the back and the month it was supposed to be, a couple could go either way! You can see, for the other months I did not cut out the stitched piece, I lined it up with the sqaure I drew on the comic book board and sewed it in place. A little trial and error. While both look good, the later method was easier.

Now all Sandra has to do, is open the back and change out the rabbit each month. Being a shadow box, it has a wide frame and sits on a table on its own.

Happy Stitching!!
Merry Christmas!!!!


Friday, December 24, 2021

Some Christmas Stitching

 I told you about the ornament I stitched for our tree on the post. Here it is on our tree.

This year I joined the online ANG Chapter of Cyperpointers. The November meeting program was this cute design by Linda Lachance of Northern Pine Designs called Christmas Bell. It was designed to fit into an 8 x 10"-inch frame with a matt. So, I am on the hunt for the right frame. It was quite fun to stitch with different stitches, fun thread and beads. 

That is about all for now, more tomorrow.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

For those of you in the United States, Happy Turkey Day!! 

For everyone else, have a great day!

Pillow is a Pine Mountain Design.

Enjoy the day whatever you may do!

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

This & That

 I have been busy stitching items to sell at our community Club Expo. It was Nov. 6 and I did quite well selling more than other Expos. Our last Expo was March of 2020 and I think buyers were happy to have then back. 

Quite popular were my Foxwood Crossings sleds :

The Lumenaris wool applique scissor fobs also found good homes. The cat and rooster did not sell, but there is always next time! 

Everything in this photo sold except the golfing Santa. I was a little surprised since we live in a golf community. Again, maybe next sale. The golf is by Hinziet, the Santa's are from 2000 & 2001 Just Cross Stich Christmas Ornament issues both by The Sweetheart Tree. The southwest design is a section of a bell pull kit that I can't find the chart for right now, but I bought it in the late 1990s.

Not expo related is this fun Halloween card I made with a pop up inside.

That about covers it for now!!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

What 2020 Meant to Me Display

My quilting club, SCF Quilting bees asked members to create a 9 1/2 inch square quilt block that represented what 2020 meant to us.  Twenty people created blocks and I was one of them. Each block was finished by a Quilting Bees person and then they were hung in our recreation center hallway.

My block is in the center of the bottom row - close up below.

Each block was held to each other with gold safety pins and the upper left pin had a bee bead on it while the upper right pin had 3 crystals in bee colors. The quilt came down last week and they gave us the pins!

My block is full of symbolism: 

  • The center is my home with night and day sky in the corners
  • The bandana heart represents my hubby since he likes to wear a cowboy hat
  • I embroidered and finished a number of samplers
  • I read 150 books
  • I spent time with our dog
  • I made by first lap size quilt
  • There is a bit of a "rookie" error in the block, but I left it on since 2020 also meant going with the flow and not being overly critical
It was a lot of fun to make and very exciting to see it hung up in the rec. center! I don't get to Quilting Bees as much as I would like since they meet on Fridays and I have other commitments, but I try to go when I can and participate in some way.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Gifts of Christmas - Joy

I have been going through my stash and organizing it, collecting threads or buttons for projects, etc. In the process I found this fun little shop hop project I purchased at my local needlework shop in Littleton, CO which has sadly, since go out of business. It is called Christmas Gifts - Joy. The shop hop theme that year was Christmas Gifts - I think I only made it to this one shop. It was designed by Nancy Boggio.

I knew when I saw it that it would be perfect for my sister in law in Iowa, since she loves purple and snowmen. The fabric, specialty threads, button and charms came with the kit. The specialty thread is used on the scarf and hat band and is an overdye. I stitched it, as best I could at a diagonal on the hat band to give it the appearance of stripes. 

I finished it as a flat fold.
It is pictured on the fabric I used for the backing. It was fun to make and finish!

Happy Stitching!!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

American Needlework Guild 2021 National Seminar

This year, same as last, the American Needlework Guild (ANG) held their 2021 National Seminar virtually. I did not sign up last year, but I did sign up for a class this year!

The class was Santa Gnome by Janet Zickler Casey. We had one zoom meeting near the end of the month, which I could not make. Janet was available via iso groups/email if we had questions.

Below are some progress shots with the finished Santa at the end. We started with the hat then moved to the nose, followed by the beard and the holly leaf.

The holly leaf was worked by blanket stitching a wire around the outline then filling in with long/short stitches. It was then cut off and placed on the hat.

The original has the leaf slanting to the right. We were to make a hold in the canvas large enough for the two wires at the bottom of the leaf. I put the hole a little too far to the right, so if it angled right, it hung over the outline of the hat and I thought this might be problematic for a finisher. I did not want the leaf going straight up, so mine angles to the left. Works for me!!

We received a nice letter in the mail from ANG National before the virtual seminar started. It included a mask and thread holder which is an invitation gift to the 50th Anniversary Seminar next year in Tucson, AZ. Which, I am hoping to attend in person!

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Catching Up!

Time to catch up a little. I have been attempting to reduce my stash because like most of us I will need to live to 200 to finish it all. But I can humor myself with this attempt at reduction. You will also see that while I reduced my stash, I also signed up for new stuff!!!

It is an addiction!!!

Here is a little coaster kit from Scotland. It is a Wee Highland Coo. I included a copy of the information sheet because it is interesting and I don't want to type all of it!

Then I worked on a pilot class which is for ANG National in 2022, so I can't show you the photo of that project yet. I have to wait until ANG announces it. But, I did finish it and it was a lot of fun. Different stitches and fibers than I normally use.

Then I worked on some Christmas Stitching and some cards. The ornament is from 2000 or 2001 Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue. I made it to sell at our Expo, but liked it too much. I am keeping this one and will make another!

Some fun card layouts. I used by Brother Scan n Cut to create the heart cutouts and then placed some rainbow glitter paper underneath.

My local Paper Crafts Club had a challenge to use weaving. So I used cardstock strips and twine to create this open weave card.

This is from my stash, Priceless by Glory Bee. Copyright 2005, so the prices may have gone up since then but the afternoon is still priceless!

This is a chart with charms from Hinzeit called Golf  is also from stash and I do plan to sell it at our Expo on Nov. 6. I have a small black easel it stands on.

I backed it with some grassy green fabric and black ribbon on the edges. 

So I reduced my stash by three items. But I also did four new things =>> the Santa ornament & the other the pilot class plus these next two pieces. OOPS, but at least two of the new items are finished!

This is a ANG cyber-course called Elements by Carolyn Mitchell and the colorway I chose is called Fire. She also has one with blues, greens and grays called Earth. This is the completion of Lesson 1. We are getting one Lesson a month. Lesson 2 is Oct. 1. You can see by the thread bag photo it is quite vibrant!

This year the ANG National Seminar was to be in Kansas City, MO. They opted to go virtual. I signed up for a class by Janet Zickler Casey called Santa Gnome and have completed Lesson 1. Lesson 2 was emailed today and we should have all lessons by the end of Sept. when a zoom call is planned. This was sort of the second ANG Seminar I have ever been too. The first was in Washington D.C. just before 911. I remember passing the Pentagon every night as we shuttled to different needlework shops. We drove home to North Carolina on Monday 9/10. 

ANG mailed us some Seminar goodies, a mask and a thread minder which is an invitation to the 2022 Seminar in Tucson which also celebrates the 50th Anniversary of ANG. I hope to be able to go next year!!

That covers it for now!!

Happy Stitching!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Anchor Floss on Spools as Seen at Joann's

I was in my local Joann's Fabric Store on July 22, with a friend and spotted this display of Anchor Floss on spools. It was just being put up so it is not complete. I was intrigued by this and purchased a spool to compare with Anchor floss I have at home. I purchased color 0336.

The display is very nice and it appears it will have all the anchor colors using the same numbers on the skeins.  There is a handy DMC to Anchor conversion chart on the display rack.

The spool has 10m of 100% cotton six strand embroidery floss. The skein has 8m of 100% cotton six strand embroidery floss. My skein is from Germany, the spool is from Hungary, assembled in the USA. Spool Color number is 0336, skein is 336.

When I first compared these side by side the floss on the spool seemed thinner than that on the skein. My local stich group thought the same and we even compared individual strands.  In all fairness, I must add that my skein could be anywhere from 20 to 2 years old. I am not sure how to tell, and not sure that makes a difference thickness wise.  

The cut piece on the left in the photo below is from the spool, the other is from the skein.

I though it might be nice to see how each looks when stitched. So I quickly stitched some samples. I did the best I could to stitch each in the same manner. That is, I did not use a laying tool for either spool thread or skein thread. However, I did strip and recombine the strands before using. I used fabric from my stash.

The ground fabric from left to right is: mint green 28 count Cashel Linen,  an unknown 14 count aida and a French Blue 18 count mono canvas.

The set of stitches on the left in each sample is floss from the spool, the right side is from the skein.
The stitch order and floss count are the same for all:
Band 1 is tent stitch with 2 strands of floss.
Band 2 is cross stitch with 2 strands of floss.
Band 3 is satin stitch with 2 strands of floss.
Band 4 is satin stitch with 4 strands of floss.
Band 5 is cross stitch with 4 strands of floss
Band 6 is tent stitch with 4 strands of floss.

Some strand counts may be too little or too much for the fabric count, but I wanted to be uniform throughout. 

Here are some close ups of each.

Cashel Linen 28 count linen

 14 count Aida

French Blue 18 count mono canvas

Bottom line: I do think the floss from the skein gives a little bit better coverage, but maybe not enough of a difference to worry. This is my opinion only. I hope I give you enough information to make your own decisions. 

There are many factors besides the thickness to consider when buying on the spool vs skein. Here are a few I can think of:
  1. Desire to support local needlework shops (LNS) - if there is one.
  2. Storage (will I need a new system if I use spools?)
  3. Cost (spool has more on it for the same or less amount of money)
  4. Ease of obtaining (Anchor floss may not be available at my LNS)
Personally, I try my best to support the needlework shops whenever possible. Also, I do not want have to figure out  a new storage system for spools, cost is not a huge concern and my LNS (or needlework shops I work with online) have what I need. So, for me I will be sticking with the skeins. Although, I must admit for some projects that jumbo spool with 30 m could be temping!

I hope you found the blog post helpful and 

Happy Stitching!!

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!