Monday, January 28, 2013

Valentine's continues.

Hmmm... crane your neck a little....

so you can see beyond  my efforts to be artistic and focus on the little stitching piece. 

I can't believe I started this 3 years ago!  I almost never put something down once I've started it but I guess, once Valentine's Day passed, I lost interest. 

La Playa by Katy Rankin was featured in the March 2010 issue of Cross-Stitch & Needlework.  I remember starting it right away because I just loved that heart sculpted in the sand. 

I backed it with a piece of beachy fabric.  I think I'll put a ribbon hanger on it, too. 

I keep reading blogs where people mention how fast January has gone.  Not in my house.  It has been the longest month ever.  I'm loving all the open time for sewing.  I just hope it keeps up.  My annual quilt retreat is just a couple weeks away so I'm trying to finish odds and ends so I'll have a clean slate when I pack my sewing room. 

Until next time....happy stitching. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baby, it's cold outside!

14' right now.  It was 5' when I sat in my car at the end of the driveway at 6:45 waiting for the school bus.  I really can't complain....heated house, heated car, heated office, attached garage and a nice warm coat.  It just seems like something we 'should' do...complain about the extremes in weather. 

Now that I got that out of the way...on to the latest Valentine's project. 

I'm on a real bender. 

This is Smitten by Sandy Gervais using a fabric line called Flirt.  I think I should have gotten a closer shot of the birds.  I can only do so many re-do's, though. 

I was starting to think about what theme I'll switch to once I burn out from Valentine's Day.  Maybe a Patriotic theme.  I got the urge last summer and bought some cross stitch patterns that I never stitched.  By the time I finished whatever I was doing at the time, the urge passed.  If I start now I'll have a nice collection when summer rolls around. 
I was at a sewing day this past weekend with my quilt guild when my quilting buddy pulled this creation out of her bag.  Her own personal traveling design wall!  It's nothing more than some foam core board and batting.  Clever, no? 
I have so many projects under way I don't know what to work on next.  Love these long cold winter days with nothing to do but sew (and cook, read, clean, etc.)  If I get that all out of the way early, I can spend the enitre afternoon in my sewing room.  Lucky me. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

'Snow Chick' update,

A quick update on my Snow Chick from the previous post....Jen from Punkie Pie let me know that the pattern is 'Brrr!" by Sandy Gervais.  So, there you have can buy the pattern and any charm pack that appeals and whip up your own snowman or snow chick.  I love Sandy Gervais patterns.  In fact, I just bought Smitten yesterday when I stopped by my local quilt shop to pick up step 3 of the mystery quilt pattern.  I've fallen pray to their marketing ploys..... stop for the almost free mystery quilt steps and shop a little.  It's important to support a good cause, though, isn't it? 

I noticed a mistake in my wall hanging.  The hat is supposed to be part of the first round of borders around the snowman.  I added the hat then started going around her.  She looks less squat, however.  I say....if that's all it takes to look taller and slimmer...bring it on.

I've finished my first ornament in my quest to complete at least one ornament a month.  Woot.  So far I'm on schedule!  One ornament a month...check.  It's not finish-finished.  I have 4 similar ornaments by Handblessings I plan to do.  I'd rather finish-finish all of them at once so they match. 

Little Boy Playing with Truck by Handblessings. 
One more observation....what is it with Blogger and AOL?  Maybe it's not just AOL this time but....AOL if you're reading....we need to be able to upload pictures to our blogs like we used to.  I'd already figured out I could go into the HTML mode and do it...but really....can't you fix it?  Going to Firefox works, too.  I don't want to have to do that, though.  I want AOL to be my full service home page. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Isn't she pretty?

Hard to believe I doubted her cuteness. 

She's a girl, too.  What does that make her?  A Snow women?  A Snow Belle?  
I have no idea what the name of the pattern is....I had to use my original snowman wall hanging as my model.  I must have given the pattern away.  The fabric was a charm pack put together by my local shop.  So, I'm pretty much no help if you want to make one for yourself.  You'll just have to wing it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My sewing-filled weekend brought to you by...

Crock Pot.  I had both crock pots cooking away so I could spend as much time as possible in my sewing room. 

I finished the Christmas table runner I mentioned recently.  It's on top of Bonnie's Easy Street mystery.....seeing as I didn't finish that on Friday like I planned.  I had to make an unexpected drive to my son's college.  A little mishap on his part required his mother's involvement....all is well, though. 
Isn't it cute?  I used my favorite blanket stitch along with double sided fusible to adhere the applique.  I added seed beads for eyes and a decorative stitch for the heart.  I haven't quilted it yet.  Sometimes it takes a while to have the proper vision. 
I also took down this snowman wall hanging and used it as my model for a Valentine's version. 
I wasn't convinced I liked the results so I left it in my sewing room hanging off the ironing board.  My plan was to 'walk in on it' and see it from a fresh perspective.  Oh, yeah!  I like it.  I'll add the face and the scarf after I've quilted it. 
I have also finished my monthly allotment of SamSarah Advent pieces.  I had to hold myself back from starting a 4th.  They just seem to move right along.  I want to do some Valentine's Day smalls plus a Christmas ornament before January is past. 
It's so nice having long winter days with lots of sewing time.  Don't you agree? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Easy Street

One of the mystery quilts I've been working on is called Easy Street by Bonnie Hunter. 

Here are my finished blocks.  I chose red, brown and black where Bonnie chose bright colors...aqua, purple and lime green.  Those bright colors just aren't me.  Plus, I would have had to go buy them I just pulled from my stash. 

If anything looks wonky, it's because the blocks are just spread out on the carpet. 

One of the down sides of doing a mystery quilt is that you can't choose where the colors will fall.  I would have prefered the red and brown be swapped.  As it stands, my star points (on the blocks with the black centers) are brown.  I think that if they were red they'd stand out more. 

Over the next couple of days I'll work on sewing the rows together.  It will be a slow and tedious job since the blocks are huge (15 1/2 inches) and have many seams and points to match. 

All in all, for a mystery quilt lover, it was pretty satisfying. 


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A new year with a new plan.

I've stitched and sewn my way through another year.  I was discriminating in what I purchased (on the cross stitch front, anyhow.)  I'd be lying if I claimed the same was true when it came to fabric for quilting.  I traveled a bit and visited a number of new-to-me stores.  I also participated in a bus trip/shop hop.  I finished both block of the month quilts and a mystery quilt in a timely manner.  I also managed to finish several small projects that have been in my stash for a number of years.  A stroll through my past posts should show a fair sampling of what I've done in 2012.

In 2013 I hope to continue working my way through my stash.  I have so many projects kitted and ready to go.  Sometimes I don't know what keeps them from being 'next'.  For example, this row by row table runner.  You'll just have to trust's a table runner.  I've had the kit for 8 years!  When I opened the package and started pressing the fabrics I loved every one.  The colors are so 'me'.  What took me so long?  I've finished the rows of peppermint candies.  There will be gingerbread men, stars, and santas.

Probably the fact that I'm so easily distracted causes currently owned projects to drop down the list.  Once something is under way, though, I stick with it.  It's just getting under way that's hard. 

I am also a sucker for a mystery quilt.  Once started, I try my hardest to keep up.  Here is one example.  It doesn't look like much.  This one has a new part released on the 15th of each month.  I think there are 6 parts.  I've done part 1 and 2.

I am also up to date with Bonnie Hunter's Easy Street Mystery.  The final part was released today. I plan to spend the afternoon in my sewing room but it's a huge step so I expect it to take some time to complete. 
I have finished a number of cross stitch projects during the year and put the last stitches in 6 Fat Men on the 29th of December and finished the 3rd Sam/Sarah Advent small on the 31st.  I am planning to do 3 of these each month.  By next fall I hope to create some sort of advent calendar but I don't have a solid plan yet.  Between batches of 3 I'm going to do a variety of smalls. Mostly, these will be what I work on during the day when I manage to find some stitching time. 
6 Fat Men was a fun stitch. It was the piece I kept by my evening tv watching chair...which is different than my day time stitching chair.  I was thinking of a new project for evenings when I pulled another snowman kit that is pretty cute.  I had the fabric out, the threads ready and was looking for a needle when I asked myself what I was thinking.  I have 2 old WIPs that I should really concentrate on so back in the bag he went.  Both WIPs are a little complicated for evening stitching but I should really make an effort.
So, there it is.  My resolutions for stitching and sewing in 2013.  Here's to making and keeping them!