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

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!

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!!