Wednesday, November 18, 2020

What a Year!

Where to even begin?

My last post was back before the world changed.

I am pleased to announce that I finally finished Flower Power !

This was interrupted so many times, that I was afraid I would never get to finish it. The older I get, the more I hate unfinished projects!

This design is big !

Flower Power - Crossed Wing Collection

It is quite an odd size. I don't have a frame in the attic for this one!

Another little one I stitched was Sew Happy, a folk design from All Through the Night.

Sew Happy - All through the Night

I have a much better chance of framing this one.

Over the summer, I made a HST (Half square triangle) quilt top for Martha, my mother-in-law. I used some plain muslin pieces to embroider.

 I miss you quilt! Atleast I thought to take some photos of it!

Currently, I am knitting a pair of socks. I always forget how long that takes. I guess I am a slow knitter!

After that I am not sure what I will do. Usually I have it all planned out. I think that Flower Power took so long that I got out of the habit of thinking what was to come next.

I hope all of you are staying safe out there. I hope we will be looking back on this year very soon!

Monday, February 10, 2020

First Finish of 2020!

I finished one of these socks in 2019, and the second one a few days after New Years.

I guess I can wear them on St Valentine's Day. Otherwise, I'm all set for next Christmas!

After that I got back to work on Flower Power.

I finished up the blue Delphiniums and the two little hummingbirds at the top of them.

Then, I went back to the middle of the design to finish up the little blue butterfly and the bird flying over head.

This is how it looks so far:

Please forgive the wrinkles!

Next I will move over to the left side, to start on the Columbines. If you look closely, you can see one that I finished (next to the Day lily and on top of the daisies).
I am determined to finish this design this year, however, it does get tiresome working on something this large without a break. I am thinking that I might make a small quilt next for a change of pace.

Once I get started, I will post back and let you know.

That's all for now. Hope everyone's having a good year so far!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

It's been a very busy and distracting year!

I don't have too many finishes this year, but some of the projects I worked on were quite large.

Most of the year, I worked on Flower Power. I would say I am not quite two thirds of the way through. It is so much bigger than I thought! Hopefully it will be a 2020 finish.

I left off in the Delphiniums over on the lower right.

Nasturtium and Caterpillar

Daylilies, Shasta Daisies, Delphiniums and Hummingbirds 
Please forgive the wrinkles!

In between I worked on several family projects, as well as the constant home improvement painting projects that seem to never end.

Then I worked on a little pattern that was gifted to me by my friend Sonia.

Mice Sewing from Designs for the Needle 

Sewing Mice on 14ct Fiddlers Cloth using DMC
This was a bit of a change of pace for me, not the usual type of design I stitch, but I thought this would be cute when it was framed and hanging in my sewing room. I will post a photo when I find a frame.

Next, I worked on the Autumn Velvet Acorns. This was a kit by MJ Hiney which I had my eye on for some time.

Autumn Velvet Acorns - MJ Hiney
The Autumn color palette is my favorite, but there is also another color palette kit for the Holidays available.

This is a lovely kit that includes 3 pieces of hand-dyed silk/rayon velvet, hand dyed silk ribbon for the acorn caps, embroidery floss for the stems, metallic floss for the criss-crossing, and beads and sequins.

These are quite detailed, and took me a long time, but I managed to I finished them up in time to put on the Thanksgiving dinner table!

Then, I started the Christmas stitching. I finished up a little Mill Hill beaded ornament, the little Glory Angel.

Mill Hill Glory Angel
I made two of these and whip stitch them together, so I can display them in my bay window.

Then I worked on the Mill Hill Sapphire Crystal.

I have been making these over the last few years, usually one a year. This was the 6th and last in the series.

Mill Hill Sapphire Crystal
All of these are also two ornaments whip stitched back to back, so they can be seen from both sides.

Here are all 6 of the crystals.

Not the best picture I'm afraid! They look much better hanging up. It is surprising how heavy they are.

I'm sure I left somethings out. As I said this was a very distracting year. At times I didn't know if I was coming or going!

Now I am working on a pair of bright red socks (for me)!

 Should be my first finish of 2020. Ha! It will be in time for Christmas 2020 anyway!

I hope all of you have a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

Monday, January 7, 2019

First Finish of the Year!

I saw a little kit that was on sale on Craftsy.

I have wanted to practice my fair isle knitting because I have in my stash some yarn and a pattern for a sweater. This kit was on sale, and I couldn't resist the price.

The pattern itself was very easy, but there was something wrong with the gauge. I read all the reviews and everyone said that it came out too large. So, I decided to drop down one size on the needles. Well, it was still too big, so I ripped it all out and came down one more size on the needles. I had to add some rows to it because it was coming out to short, but I finally got something that was wearable.

I am not too thrilled with the acrylic yarn. I prefer natural fibers, but it will be good as an extra hat.

I also have this hat that I knitted last month. I forgot to put it into my 2018 finishes.

This one was also knitted of acrylic yarn in my stash. Ha! The pompom kinda got away from me on this one!

Stay warm!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

What I have been up to . . .

For most of the past year, I have spent my energy on home improvement type jobs.  I finally finished painting my 1980's orangey oak kitchen cabinets a new white color. That was a much bigger job than I thought it would be. I also painted an old table and chairs that we had in our cellar. I painted them to match the cabinets. Then I painted the kitchen walls, and made curtains. Phew!
I am hoping my husband will paint the ceiling.

Here is a pic of the new (old) table and chairs.  Mickey loves sitting on the tablecloth and looking out the window.(The radiator is right under the table). He's no fool! Sorry about the blurriness, but the auto-focus was off on my camera when I took it.

While I was getting ready to do my 2018 update, I found a few from 2017, that I neglected to include.

I finished up The Industrious Bee Sampler.
I like the way it looks on the  raw linen.

Industrious Bee Sampler
28 ct Irish Linen using DMC

Next I stitched The Mini Bunny Egg from Waxing Moon Designs. This was intended as an ornament. I bought some trim for it, but never got around to making it up. I was disappointed that the stitching didn't show up better.

Mini Bunny Egg - Waxing Moon Designs
40 ct hand dyed raspberry linen and DMC threads

Then I finished up my Victorian Velveteen Rabbit.

Meet Sebastian . . .


He has movable joints and poseable ears. I like how his face came out, but ooooh those ears!
The pattern said to use pipe cleaners. I didn't have any. I used the only wire I had which was very very thin, too thin! It either broke, or popped right out of place. I fussed and fussed with it, but I really couldn't do anything about it.
I would like to revisit the situation someday, but I really don't have a good idea how to fix them without taking the whole head and ears apart.
It was a disappointment after all that work!

He mostly looks like this now. His ears are floppy and no longer poseable.

Oh well, I still like him.

I knitted a linen stitch scarf, which I actually finished last December 2017, but I never took a picture of it. I used Kougi hand painted merino yarn. this was a fun project to do, and it came out just the way it was supposed to for a change!

 After this, I know I worked on several beaded Christmas ornaments, but I don't have the photos here.


I started 2018 with an old stamped sampler that I have had in my stash for ages.

Give to the World Your Best Sampler - Paragon

These stamped samplers are great when you just want to relax and not think too much!

Next, I stitched Counting Magpies from Birds of a Feather.

This is an old English rhyme that goes:

1 for sorrow, 2 for mirth,
3 for a wedding, 4 for a birth
5 for silver, 6 for gold,
7 for a secret, not to be told.
8 for heaven, and 9 for hell,
10 for the devil's own sel.

I stitched it on overdyed linen using weeks threads.

Counting Magpies - Birds of a Feather
28ct overdyed linen with Weeks Threads

Next. I stitched Americana Sampler from The City Stitcher. I have long been a fan of The City Stitcher!
This one worked up quickly. I like the primitive look of it on the 28 count raw linen.

Americana Sampler - The City Stitcher
28ct raw linen and DMC threads
After that, I worked on Dragonflies, an arts and crafts style pillow cover.

Dragonfly Pillow Cover
It is worked on linen using gold and olive DMC perle.
The body and wings are worked in satin stitch. Other stitches used are stem stitch, and French knots.

Please forgive the wrinkles!

I have not gotten a chance to make the pillow, but it will work up to 21" X 21".

Then, I started my new project.

Flower Power - Crossed Wing Collection
32 Ct Antique White linen with DMC and metallic threads
This design is HUGE, an absolute monster. I knew it was big, but I didn't get a full sense of it until I started it. It will take me forever to finish this one!

I put it aside for a while to work on the Christmas stitching. This is what I have so far.

Please forgive the wrinkles.

I left off working on the nasturtiums on the lower right corner. I love how realistic everything is.
I love the bugs the best. Notice the caterpillar on the leaves.

I love the bee on the Shasta daisies below too!

The insects are all done one over one, so they take quite a while, but it does give them great detail.

I will go back to this after the holidays.

Next I turned my attention to some goldwork.

For the longest time, I have wanted to stitch the goldwork Christmas ornaments from Benton & Johnson. For those of you not familiar with Benton & Johnson, they are an English company that has been providing the gold metal threads for the Queen of England's Wardrobes and badges. They have been around for ages and ages!

They are now part of Toye Kenning & Spencer. Their website is not very easy to use, but if you do a search on Christmas ornament kits, you will find them. There are three of them, a Dove, a Snowflake, and an Angel, and best yet, they are on sale.

All things considered, these kits are really quite a good value considering the quality of everything included. The problem however is with the shipping from England! OMG! $$$.
Because of this, I thought about it for a long time before I decided to go for it.

These kits are all designated for beginners, but I would say that it would be good to know something about stitching. None of the stitches in themselves are difficult, but working with the metal is, well, fiddly at times.

The Dove looked the easiest, so I decided to start with that one.

The kit included the pattern with a little instruction booklet, the calico (ground fabric), the backing fabric, the felt padding, red wool felt, the spooled couching, the sewing threads in yellow, red and metallic gold, and all the gold threads, and the spangles. There aren't a lot of photographs in it, mostly drawn diagrams. Also included is a heavier gold thread for hanging the ornament.

There are directions for tracing the design and transferring it to the ground fabric. I traced the design onto some waxed paper and basted over the design.

After that I carefully pulled off the waxed paper to see the design on the red felt.
Then I  couched the gold perle on top of the stitching. This part is a little tricky. The gold has to be stretched a little so the yellow thread will go inside the coil, and will not show. You have to be careful not to overstretch it.

It was a pleasure working with all these materials. They were clearly of very fine quality.

 I made the snowflake next, saving the angel, which seemed the hardest until last.

The hardest thing about the angel was using the gold plate. It had to be folded back against it self over and over again, all the while minding the direction and shape of the angel's wing.

Well, I'm certainly not in the same league as the Benton & Johnson people, but I got it done!

Here are all three of them.

I am glad I got them done. We will enjoy them for years to come!

After these, I worked on some Mill Hill beaded ornaments. I have been working them double, and then whip stitching them together so they can be seen from both sides. Some of them I had done one side last year, and just had to finish them,

I worked the Aqua Crystal this year. It is the 5th of 6 in the series of crystals.

Aqua Crystal Snowflake - Mill Hill

There is one left in the series. I will save for next Christmas.

I also finished a few others:

I made a few others but I can't seem to locate the photos.

WOW! I feel like I have been writing for hours! That's what I get for not updating more often!

I hope everyone has a very Happy and Peaceful 2019!