Tuesday, 30 April 2019

April WIPocalypse

April showers bring May flowers......well I haven't seen any flowers yet but we sure have seen enough showers to last a lifetime! We've waited so long for spring and it sure has been a long time coming. All those rainy days I spent putting in several hours of stitching time with this beauty, Blackbird Designs Moonlight Visitor.


I stitched this in thanksgiving for my niece and I didn't plan it but I managed to put the final stitches in on her birthday. I'm hoping to stitch a piece either in memory or in thanksgiving for every member of my family. These are for my own collection, not gifts, and so far I've finished a piece for my niece, and three pieces in memory of my father, my aunt and my maternal grandparents. I'm in no hurry with this plan and when I see a suitable design for someone I'll work on it.

I also started Rosewood Manor Summer Quakers on the first of the month. I'm also in no hurry for this piece and pick it up whenever I feel it calling. Several years back I stitched Spring Quakers by the same designer and vowed that I would stitch another of the seasonal quakers at some point in time. Now is that time. I'm stitching this on the same count fabric,28ct, so that they can be displayed together. I'm enjoying this but I'm no longer used to stitching with the 3 ply Valdani. I've been stitching so much with one strand that I find this so thick!


My second start for this month is The Scarlett House Mary Ann Farmer 1834. I don't have enough done for a progress pic as I only started it this morning. I'm using a lovely 36 ct Silkweaver Solo piece of linen. I had to wait several weeks for the silks to arrive that I was missing so it didn't get started quite as soon as I'd hoped which is why Summer Quaker was substituted in the meantime.

Just these two projects will keep me busy for some time and bring a little taste of that summer so long awaited. Happy stitching!


Saturday, 27 April 2019

April Smalls

I had hoped to be spending time outdoors by now stitching in our gazebo. Mother Nature it seems has different ideas though. Spring has arrived (at least our snow has gone!) but cold temperatures and lots of rain have resulted in more time indoors than I had planned. 
You would think that would lead to more stitching but that hasn't been the case this month. I managed to squeeze in this small Easter finish just in time for the actual day.


This little finish is from the chart by Kathy Barrick called Bowlful of Bunnies. I had thoughts that it would be finished into a little tabletop pillow in time for Easter celebrations but things didn't turn out that way. However I did manage to finish off one of the small stitches languishing in my finish pile into a pillow. 


I've shared this stitched finish here before but this is Country Rustic Primitives He Is Risen. I love the simplicity of the piece and I finished off the back of it with a simple grey wool. 

I'm not sure just how much stitching I'll be getting done over the next several weeks. We are in the process of emptying all our bedrooms of furniture and removing the existing carpets in preparation for the installation of hardwood floors. Some painting of the rooms will also be taking place. Consequently the remainder of the house is a mess since all the furniture from the bedrooms has to be stored somewhere and that somewhere is in the rec room,  upstairs living area and in the garage. To save money we are moving the furniture ourselves as well as removing the carpeting. A bad back prevents me from doing as much as I'd like so I have to rely on my husband and what free time he has left at the end of the day's work. Somewhere in all this prep work we also have to find time to clean out the gardens and open the gazebo for the summer. Help, lol!!
It will all be worth it in the long run but I can't promise an entry for next month's small. I look forward though to checking in on all of you to see what you've been up to!  

Sunday, 31 March 2019

March WIPocalypse

March was an extremely productive month for my stitching. Miserable weather meant we didn't venture out much and my stitching was often in my hand. I managed to complete two designs, one I showed you last post and a surprise finish.

First up is Blackbird Designs February Hearts. As much as I loved this design when I first saw it, it certainly proved to be a challenge with the differences in the floss dye lots. I kept going though and did finish it. I can't say I'm 100% happy with the results but it's not all bad. Unfortunately this wasn't the best lighting in this pic.



I stitched this on 28 ct Lakeside Linen Mocha using Gentle Art floss. It had been quite a while since I'd stitched a large piece on 28 ct and it didn't stitch up quite as quickly as I'd hoped. That basket proved to be a challenge as I could easily lose my spot on the chart.

When I finished this one I had no idea what I wanted to work on next. I spent several days looking through charts and rejected each one for one reason or another. I knew I would be placing an order for some of the new releases at the upcoming Needlework Market but it would be several weeks before I had those in hand. 

While I was cleaning out the closet in my craft room I found a bag. When I opened it I knew what I was doing next. I found a WIP which has been around for several years. In fact I picked it up again last year and posted some pics here if I remember. Once again it never got finished and was hidden away in the bag. I decided that this year was THE YEAR! Believe it or not I was entering my eighth year of working on this project. The design in question..... Paradis Perdu by A Mon Ami Pierre.  Within a couple more weeks I had finally finished it!!







This piece was started on 7 Jan 2012 and finished 20 Mar 2019, a little more than seven years from the time I started it. It is stitched on 28 ct Queen Anne's Lace using Vicky Clayton Hand Dyed silks. It's just one of those pieces that kept getting put aside in favour of something else.  I am so happy that it is finally complete!

My market purchases arrived this week and I'm browsing through them this weekend to see which design I'd like to start next. So many choices! 

March Smalls

I spent most of the month of March working on two larger WIPs but I did manage to squeeze in a small finish for the month.

Pineberry Lane came out with some sweet designs for St. Patrick's Day last year and I decided to stitch one up to add to my bowl of small pillows that I display each year. 



This is called Basket O'Luck and is stitched on 36 ct Dixie Sampler Hand Dyed Italian Lace using DMC. I had the time to finish this into the pillow but it seems my hubby has stored my pine shavings and my crushed walnut shells in the garage in a location which I can't reach. I keep meaning to ask him to bring them back into the house but it always slips my mind, lol.  Sooner or later.......

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.



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