Saturday, March 31, 2012

Retreat Part 2

I've saved the best for last. 

I've always liked Lizzie Kate patterns but after meeting Linda and hearing her talk about her business I'm now a Lizzie Kate LOVER.  She was such a genuinely likable person that I became instantly enamored.  First she gave a power point presentation about the development of her business then a talk about how a pattern goes from an idea to a full blown pattern ready for distribution.  It was very interesting.  Not that I want to scare her or anything, but if I could be a groupie, I would. 

So, here's the project she had for us.  (The theme of the weekend was 'fall') 

Sorry, it's sideways.  You know how it is to move pictures around once they're uploaded, right?  This will just have to remain sideways because I already uploaded them out of sequence.  I'm done adjusting!

Look, there are Jelly Bellies in there!
Another cool thing was that the chair across from me remained empty all weekend, so Linda often came and sat.  Here she is signing fabric. 
 And, here is my finished project....
 signature and all!! 
I don't think I'll wait for the summer framing sale this time.  I can't wait to get this framed and hung. 

So, go forth and keep Lizzie Kate in business!  It's truly a joy to know someone so cool is designing these fun and whimsical patterns. 


Friday, March 30, 2012

So, where did I go last weekend?

I attended a cross stitch retreat hosted by Stitcher's Garden.  That link will take you right to the retreat page but you can navigate around and find the shop's home page if you'd like. 

While this was the 10th retreat hosted by Stitcher's Garden, it's the first one of theirs that I've attended.   This shop finds a designer or two to present, which was also new for me.  I'm usually just happy to sit and stitch and visit for several days with no worries about household chores.  Not to mention how fun it is to get away for a weekend and visit a new shop. 

This retreat included Linda Ebright of Lizzie Kate and Lori Markovic of La D Da.  Both of these designers are favorites so I couldn't let this opportunity pass by. 

I hate to admit to being bad about picture taking since I had my camera with me every minute, but I didn't really know the other ladies and don't want to assume it's OK to post pictures. 

I have a few, though. 

This is the shop.  It's in an old Erie Canal barn.  Cool, isn't it? 

Linda spotted the camera and posed.  Lori is in the background. 
Lori's project was a needle book that slides into a cover.  She premade everything and we did the stitching on a piece of wool using waste canvas.  I've done stitching on waste canvas before but I don't think many of my retreat companions had.   I'm not sure anyone loves this process.  The end result is cool, though. 
Once the stitching was done we applied the piece of wool to the cover of the pocket using a piece of double sided fusible paper.  Easy enough. 
Tomorrow I'll show you the project from Lizzie Kate. 

Until then....


Thursday, March 29, 2012

One last ornament.

Last fall I participated in an ornament exchange that was really fun.  We each bought the Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue and chose an ornament to kit up.  We put together 6 kits of the same ornament.  That meant we only had to buy the special threads, beads, fabric or whatever for one ornament.  Often, one skein of thread was enough to assemble all 6 kits.  When we got together for our usual Fall weekend, we exchanged kits and came home with 5 new kits.  I was the keeper of the page number each of us chose our ornament from.  If anyone told me the same page number I'd have to get more detail to be sure we weren't choosing the same thing.  That way I got to be surprised, too.  Although, truth be told, I knew exactly what ornament some people WOULD pick.  Some of us just have a style that is easy to spot.  Anyhow, it was tons of fun and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. 

So, on to my final ornament finish from our fall exchange.  M Design's Geometric Floral Ornament.  The finish is kind of predictable, given my latest discovery.  Pinking shears this time, though.

I really like red on a Christmas tree. 

Be sure to stop back tomorrow because I've been holding out on you.  I've saved the best for last...although I only just participated in this event last weekend so I couldn't post anything...although I could have basked in your jealousy and envy up until last weekend.  Guess I didn't think of it until now. 


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I'm sure getting

a lot of mileage out of this finishing style...not to mention my money's worth from the wavy blade.

After having such success with Fresh Fallen Snow, I thought I'd use the same method to finish a couple more large ornaments.

First is 'Joy' by Little by Little Design Company. 

I put a piece of batting between the stitching and the felt to add some thickness. 
I used a herringbone stitch around the edge and the same silks it's stitched in to make a piece of cording. 
 And, since I was on such a roll, I did the same with 'Naughty or Nice' by Lizzie Kate. 
I used a little stitch that doesn't show.  It's a straight stitch that goes over and catches the stitched piece every other stitch. 
I'm pretty sure everyone can manage this finish.  Give it a go and see....


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Taking a break from

cross stitch projects for a show you how my pumpkin patch is growing.  I completed the 5th block of The Great Pumpkin.

This has proven to be an easy block of the month to keep up with...knock on wood.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Good Tidings

to You by The Sampler Girl is my next ornament finish from the 2011 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Issue.

This is where Carol got me hooked on stitching on Monaco over one.  Loved it.  I loved how nicely the details showed in each stitch.

I had a terrible time photographing this little guy.  First, he's not really an ornament in my world.  I stuffed it with crushed walnut shells so it's too heavy to hang.  Also, I don't want to limit it to Christmas.

I will find places to prop it, depending on what other decorations are around.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fresh Fallen Snow

by Little House Needleworks from the 2011 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue. 

I wanted to finish this one like the magazine showed but hand stitching that blanket stitch all the way around wasn't really in the cards.  That's my favorite applique finishing stitch but done using my sewing machine.  The stitches can easily slip out of place when they're hand done.  So, I did a trial run and decided that using my sewing machine would work like a charm. 

First, I carefully turned under the edges and pressed into place.  Then I stitched the piece to the piece of white felt using the blanket or button hole stitch.  I used a matching green thread. 

Perfect.  (Hint... cut the felt larger than needed and trim down after sewing.  That way you're not stressing over centering.) 
I bought this wavy rotary blade to make the edges on the felt. 

Back to the sewing machine to sew the white to the green with a straight stitch done in white.  I stitched close to the edge of the stitched piece.  These stitches don't show.  Then I trimmed the green felt and attached a piece of cording with some matching thread. 
Love it.  I'm looking for other pieces that need the same method. 


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Oh, Joy

Now that I've done the flat fold thing to death...I'm moving on to ornaments. 

I've loved this one since the first time I saw it.  The thing that deterred me was that I liked it stitched over one.  I can't see to stitch over one.  That is, until Carol turned me on to Monaco fabric.  Yeah! Carol.  This little cutie is stitched on 28 count over 1.  I'm in love, let me tell you. 

Oh, Joy by Val's Stuff.  Just Cross Stitch 2010 Ornament Issue. 

It's simply perfect, isn't it??


Friday, March 23, 2012

One last flat fold.

This one came as a kit...sort of.  The kit came with the pre cut cardboard but I had to pick the fabric and the trim.  Oh, I also had to buy the bear charms.  Maybe you could call it a semi-kit.  Really, having the pre cut board made finishing easy...or easy'ish'.  Stretching and centering are sometimes a challenge. 

 It says 'An Old Bear Lives Here with His Honey'. 
I liked the green heart fabric I found in my stash. 

One more empty project bin. 


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Another flat.

'Love and Faithfulness' by Little House Needleworks. 

I finished this the same way as 'Wisdom'.

Pretty much the same as yesterday.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Flat folds

are one of my favorite finishes.  Sometimes I'm afraid to do my own finishing, though.  But, I can't keep sending things out.  There just aren't that many choices anymore.  So, here goes...

Today I am featuring 'Wisdom' by Little House Needleworks. 

Pins are my favorite embellishment. I'm always on the look out for new and different colors. 

More to come.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Once again...

a framed finish. 

This frame was just perfect.  Look how well the orange hue on the frame matches the detail of the picture. 

Again, I wish fall was coming. 


Monday, March 19, 2012

The month is

ticking down.  Day 19 and I still have a few posts up my sleeve.  There is hope, yet, that I'll fill the entire month. 

Over the next days I'm going to tease you along with some finishes.  I've been busy taking framing in, dropping off quilts, making block of the month blocks, and doing a little cross stitch finishing. 

First up,  this fun Haunted Quilt shop cross stitch picture. 

I love how well the purple frame matches.  I've never done the layered look before.  That black inner frame really sets it all off.  Too bad fall isn't right around the corner.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

I am women, hear me

squeal!  And screach.  And race walk out of the garage.  My friend said... what?  A spider?  NO!  I'm not THAT bad. 

First off... it's my second month of posting every some days the posts are a little, shall we say, less interesting? Less picture worthy?  Yes, picture worthy.  Nobody wants a picture of this anyhow. 

So, my friend is out in the driveway with her car with a dead battery.  A little oops with the lights.  So, I'm about to climb into my gigantic vehicle when I spy a dead mouse on the garage floor.  I ran it over... just a little bit of it...while pulling in.  It was RIGHT under the driver side door.  UCK.  I don't do mice.  No way, no how.  I'm a mom...I can clean up unmentionable stuff...but put a mouse (dead or alive) in the same room with me...forget it.  That's why I own cats. 

So, my friend did the dirty work while screaming a little herself.  I jumped her car.  Now we're even. 



Saturday, March 17, 2012

Separation anxiety?

I don't think so.

I made this quilt and donated it to the drama club at the local high school. 

 My plan was to have them raffle it. 
Turns out they're so disorganized that they couldn't do that.  I didn't give it with strings attached so couldn't take it back when they wanted it in a blind auction basket.  So, I neatly wrapped it up along with a matching pillow case and here it is. 
I just hope there are TWO people with deep pockets...because that's what it's going to take to get the price up high enough to make me feel like it was worth my time and energy.  It could never know.


Friday, March 16, 2012

A finish!

A little finish, anyway.  Another block of the month is under way....and it's going to be a fun one. 

Merry, Merry Snowmen by Bunny Hill Designs.

You'll have to imagine it with the embellishments for eyes, noses, etc.  (That's a little snowman up above the obvious one peaking out of the corner of the square.) 

This quilt is so darn cute I can't stand it.  No way is this pattern leaving my possession!  It's readily available online so hurry and get yours now while they're available.  When you're still loving it down the line as I'm showing my finishes don't let me tell you...'told you to get yours'.  I know how it is to fall in love with a pattern when it's too late.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Needle me.

Needles?  Where would we be without them?  Lost.

I like tiny little needles.  The finer the better.   I found these lovely needles a couple years ago. 

These particular packages are sample packs of various size and purpose needles.  They're from Foxglove Cottage by Jeana Kimball.  You can find them at  I'll admit to being in love with the package.  The smooth, sharp needles are just a bonus! 

What she doesn't have are blunt end cross stitch needles of the same luxurious quality.  If she did, I'd be buying them by the gross.  As it is, I can't leave a cross stitch store without a package or two of John James's size 26.  The only thing I'd change about those is making them finer.  Probably they couldn't be any finer and still get  2 threads into the eye plus have a blunt end.  Not to mention how many of them I break in a year. 

The bummer of a good sharp needle is how many times I stick myself.  I think I'm used to handling the dull ended cross stitch needles so when I need to sew with a sharp needle, I spend more time stabbing myself with both ends of the needle.  Ouch!  A thimble is a must with such fine needles because the end with the eye can do just as much damage. 

If I could make one more would be to have more time to spend with my needles.  Someday, I keep telling myself.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Do we like the trappings

better than the finished products?  Sometimes I wonder.  I can stand and stare at a notions wall for a good long time.  I don't like or want all the gadgets but I do enjoy pin cushions, scissors, needles...oh the needles.  I like a tiny little needle when I sew.  Which reminds me, I have the coolest packages of needles but I didn't even think of those when I was taking pictures.  I'll show you those tomorrow. 

Today I have this on my mind.....I mean, really!  That box of Cosmo threads is awesome.  I needed 16 skeins for a project.  The shop only had 15 but 12 were still boxed up.  Man, if I could buy all my thread like that I'd be doing nothing but monochromatic projects. 
 These lovelies are for a Crabapple Hill project. 
Now, don't go holding your breath or anything.  I'm a good 2 years into another Crabapple Hill project with no projected finish date. 

I once bought the Valdani threads for a cross stitch project simply because I WANTED those little balls of thread.  Turns out the prepackaged collection was in skeins but I'm sure the end result will be worth the investment....assuming I complete the project in this life time.  That's a conversation for another day.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oh, pooo!

My machine is back after having its tension adjusted, I  got it all set up and ready to go but when I started cutting fabric for step 2 of my 3 part mystery quilt I came up short.  There is nothing more aggravating.  I can't say for sure what I bought but I usually round up when buying fabric for a specific pattern.  Also, since this is a nice neutral, I can almost bet I bought extra because it would make a nice addition to any stash. I needed 100 rectangles to sew to the sides of these hour glass blocks. 

 I managed 76 then only had this little bit left. 
The upside is that I bought the fabric recently at the shop where I like to take quilt tops to be quilted.  So, I quick like a bunny, bought some batting and assembled backing for the 2 quilts I started at my quilt retreat in February.  At the quilt shop I found the fabric, bought a half yard, and dropped off 2 quilts.  Yeah, me. 


Monday, March 12, 2012

It's almost too easy

to come up with a post today.  Daylight savings time. 
Why-oh-why do we still have to do this?  Yesterday wasn't so bad, but today?  A whole different story.  Maybe I'll move to Arizona.  Or maybe Hawaii.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

They're coming

and they're after your money.....
Catalogs by the ton.  This is just a couple days worth.  Except for the coupon out of the Yankee Candle catalog, the rest landed in the recycle bin. 


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 10

Are you bored to tears yet?  Only 3 weeks to go.  Let's hope I have that many more days of things to say.

In the mean time, I went shopping for a couple odds and ends.  What is up with this?

Look at the sticky mess labels are leaving on everything.  Is it really necessary for my grilled cheese maker to have an enormous sticker on the top? 
 This is the mess the price tag left on this pretty soap bottle. 
Thankfully a little WD 40 did the trick.  Maybe if the price of glue went up manufacturers would quick sticking stuff all over everything.