Monday, 25 February 2019

February WIPocalypse

I spent most of the past month working on small projects which can be seen here. This past Monday I picked up my larger WIP to try tackling it once again. Don't get me wrong, I love the design. It's just that I've had such a difficult time with it in terms of the floss colours. This is an older design from the Blackbird Designs book, A Fine Collection and because it's an older design the dye lots have changed for many of the called for floss. I didn't want to spend more money ordering floss which still might not work so I've dug into my stash in a search for just the right shade or another skein of the requested floss. In some cases I've stitched and then frogged out a section three times because I didn't like the looks of it.

Here's my progress up until now......Blackbird Designs February Hearts. 

I'm stitching this on a 28 ct Lakeside Linen Mocha. I haven't used 28 ct for some time now but I thought the colour suited the piece. I'm still now sure if I love the colours. I think it will grow on me more with time.

I really don't know what I'm planning for my next start. I've been checking out the Nashville Needlework Market to see some of the upcoming releases. There are several this year that I like so I might treat myself to two or three pieces. In particular Heartstring Samplery, The Scarlett House and With Thy Needle and Thread each have a piece that has caught my fancy. 

It's a cold, blustery day today so I'm about to sit for bit with a cup of blackcurrant tea and stitch for a while before supper. Looking forward to my quiet time with needle in hand!

Friday, 22 February 2019

February Smalls

Plenty of snow dumps in our area during the latter part of January and continuing on into February have led to plenty of time for hibernating with my stitching. As my thoughts turned to Valentine's Day, I worked on this pretty stitch for the occasion.....Blackbird Designs Sweetheart Pincushion. 

The linen I used for this design is a lovely 36ct from Dames of the Needle called Sweeney Red. One of the two floss colours used is WDW Fawn. Fortunately I had two skeins from different lots because the first skein was almost identical in colour to the WDW Sandcastle being used as the other colour. There were no variations in colour between the two and I ended up doing some serious frogging and hunting for another skein. I'm really pleased with the end result though. As usual, final finishing will come at a later date.

My second finish for the month is a sweet little winter design released by By The Bay Needleart called Chilly Winter. This is the second of two designs released under the same title in this chart.

I'm hoping to get around to stitching the first design in this series as well. I'd love to finish the two little cushions to add to my winter displays next year.
Since I've finished these smalls I've had trouble settling down to stitch anything else. I've been doing a little reading and browsing the needlework market's upcoming releases. I am considering stitching another of the Blackbird Designs strawberries and there is a Threadwork Primitives pincushion which I'm interested in too. Decisions, decisions..... See you soon with a post of my larger work in progress.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

January WIPocalypse

First month of the year and I'm off to a great start. Record cold temperatures and two significant snowfalls have made for lots of indoor stitching time.
As I'd hoped, I managed to complete two of my major WIPs that were carryovers from last year. 
I'm thrilled to share my first finish which is Plum Street Samplers Pomegranate Santa.

I thought that I had started this in early 2018 but it turns out I actually started it in early December of 2016! It's about time I finished it off, lol!  I dragged my feet of this one many times. A lot of frogging took place and all that snow at the bottom border was time consuming. The shading on the pomegranates turned out better than I expected. I just couldn't seem to keep focused on this one for some reason but I am very pleased with the final results.

My second finish was equally satisfying for me as I'd started it in late September of 2017. However I must say that I enjoyed working on this finish. This the The Primitive Needle Annie Hyssop's Harvest Moon.

It was the colours which first drew me to this design, in addition to the fact that it was a Halloween piece and I love Halloween. As I stitched it I loved every little motif that developed. I can't wait until it's framed. Hopefully I won't have to wait too long!

My first new start for 2019 is one that doesn't even appear on my WIPocalypse list of hopefuls. As I as browsing through my charts I came across this design. Prairie Moon The Good Shepherd is one which I first started stitching in 2007. I wasn't happy with much about it at the time. I disliked my fabric choice and finally put it aside for a couple of years. Then I decided to do away with it and restart it if I ever got around to it again. Fast forward to Jan. 2019 and this is that time. A fresh start with new fabric and a new conversion of the silk floss has made me fall in love with this piece all over again. One final motif and I will actually be complete!

So are these sheep, or cows? 

Can you tell how much I love this one?! I'll have the final pic of the finish for you next month.

I've also made a small start to another Blackbird Designs piece which also doesn't appear on my list. Are you starting to see a pattern, lol! 
This piece comes from the BBD book, A Fine Collection, and it's called February's Hearts. I found an older piece of fabric which worked but it's 28 ct so I'm using two strands of floss for coverage on this one.

 Not much to show yet but hopefully more by next month. 

The cold let up a bit today and we had a couple of visitors to the feeder. I believe this is a male House Finch along with his mate.

Friday, 25 January 2019

January Smalls

Happy New Year Smalls Stitchers! First off I want to start by thanking Heather @ Stitching Lotus for all the work she put into this group over the past few years. You did an amazing job and we shall miss your leadership but sometimes you just need a change. Now I want to welcome Mary and thank her for taking the reins and manning the helm. If you think you'd like to join us in stitching up a few smalls over the next year follow the link to Mary's blog where you can read all about our 2019 Smalls SAL.

I've started off my year with a Blackbird Designs pattern and for those of you who know me you'll know I do love my Blackbird Designs. However this is a little different for me. I'm going to attempt to finish my little stitch into a strawberry emory! I've loved these sweet little finishes for some time now. So I bit the bullet and ordered BBD Deck The Halls which contains six different charts for emory finishes. From the book I chose Christmas Cactus as my first stitch. My four Christmas Cacti plants had just finished their blooming season and I wanted to keep a little reminder around of their beauty.

As you can see, I've not started my final finishing yet. For starters I need to pick up some thread for my machine and then find the necessary time. I don't think it will take much to finish this at all. I just have to figure out what I'm going to use for my strawberry's cap. I hope to finish off the remainder of the charts in this book over the course of this year or the next. They are quick stitches and a welcome reprieve from some of my larger WIPs. See you all next month!

Sunday, 6 January 2019

2019 WIPocalypse plans

A New Year, a new start to WIPocalypse. My name is Lynn and I've been cross stitching for 38 years. I'm self taught and can't get enough of this craft. 
For once I'm starting the year off right by finishing off WIPs from 2018 first. Two larger pieces left from last year were both so close to a finish by year's end but time caught up with me. I'm happy to say that as of Jan. 3 I've already completed one leftover, Plum Street Samplers Pomegranate Santa. A second finish is very close behind. That will just leave one remaining 2018 start to complete and I think I will leave that one until a little later in the year.

I'm really having a hard time committing to any particular list. There are so many charts in my stash that I want to start and my mind jumps from one to the other. Big, small, seasonal?? What I decided to do was to pull one chart I loved from each of my favourite designers and leave it at that. Will I complete them all?.....probably not. Most likely I won't even start a good portion of them. My choices are driven by mood and what's going on in my life at the time I start a new piece. Looking at my list however gives you an idea of my tastes in stitching for those of you who don't know me.  Here is a link to my 2019 WIPocalypse list. You will also find pictures of this year's and previous year's finishes by clicking on the links below my header.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

December WIPocalypse and final post of 2018

So we have come to the final posting for WIPocalypse 2018. I can't believe the year is over! I also can't believe that I haven't got my Pomegranate Santa completed yet! I spent so much time on small finishes this month that there was very little time left for any larger projects. I'm only just now starting to pick it up again and work at it. Here's my progress as of tonight.

As you can see, all that remains is the snow to be stitched at the bottom of the piece where the deer are. I've only got one row in and several more to go. With a busy weekend ahead of me I'm not sure this piece will be completed by year's end. I really had hoped it would be but at least there's not all that much remaining and what's left shouldn't take too much longer. 

My granddaughters received their ornaments (Full Circle Designs) I sent them and have sent me a video as well as the pic to let me know how much they liked them. They are also wearing the sweatshirts that I gifted them with so I was glad to see that they fit!

I received a surprise piece of stitching for Christmas from my hubby. When we were vacationing in Muskoka this summer, we stopped to visit a friend at his antique shop in Port Carling. I spotted several pieces of petit point that I fell in love with. Unknown to me, while I was in the basement of the shop checking out the books, my hubby purchased one, had it wrapped and hid it in the car before I could see! I was thrilled when I opened it Christmas morning!

The frame is similar to a shadow box and is quite old. The back is starting to come off of it so I will take it in to my framer and see if they can reinforce it for me. They have done that in the past with antique frames I've used for my stitching.

I also stopped at my framer the week before Christmas to pick up this beauty.

I'm so happy to finally have this one framed! This is And Heaven and Nature Sing designed by Kathy Barrick. As you can see it's been hanging around for a bit in my finished stitches drawer. This was a gift from me to me and well worth it. A pleasant surprise came when the framer called shortly before I dropped it off and told me that they were giving me a discount on the frame. They said it was priced too high and they didn't feel right with the quote they had given me. Merry Christmas indeed!!

That finishes up my stitching for this month. Now I'll have to start looking at what I want to work on in the coming year. I wish all of you a very Happy New Year and wishes for good health and many blessings! I'll leave you with a couple of pictures from my visit this past week to Alight at Night at Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, Ontario. Follow the link and you can learn all about it.

Friday, 28 December 2018

December Smalls

December has been just a flurry of smalls stitching. As usual I waited far too late to get started on my ornaments which I was gifting and ended up doing a marathon of stitching and finishing. All in all I'm pretty happy with the results. The first two pictured were for my sons Jeff and Daniel and their names can be found in the tree branches.

The remaining three are word trees and spell Snow, Rejoice and Santa. 

I love doing these name and word trees! They stitch up quickly and make awesome gifts. All of the above designs were created by Helga Mandl. Unfortunately she is no longer designing. M Designs also did name trees many years ago. I tried contacting them as well for more charts but there was never any responses to my emails. I am fortunate enough to have ordered all the charts for my immediate family plus a chart pack of 10 designs for Christmas before they were no longer available. 

If anyone know of another source for these could they please let me know? I would love to order more name trees for close friends. The ornaments I have gifted so far have been very well received and loved.

In addition to these 5 I finished off the ornaments for my granddaughters. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the finished pieces before they were gifted. Here's a photo of one of the girls displaying her gift.

Now I'm off to start some more word trees. I ordered some lovely new overdyed floss from ColourComplements and from Nina's Hand Dyed Floss just for stitching more of these ornaments. Maybe I'll be ahead of the game for next year!