Friday, 30 October 2020

October Smalls

As much as I'd hoped to stitch some Halloween smalls this past month it just didn't happen. I realized I was falling behind in my stitching and I had some Christmas stitching to get started at as well as two birth samplers to work on. Christmas stitches will have to be mailed well in advance this year so now I'm pushing myself.

I got started on the first stitch which is a Christmas gift for my eldest granddaughter. It looks anything but Christmas though as she had requested that I stitch a snake for her. A snake! Where was I going to find a chart for that? It couldn't be a childish serpent either as she is now 15 going on 16. I spent several weeks checking out online links to patterns but so many of them were actually larger or complicated pieces which I just knew would take a huge chunk of time to complete. Finally I came across a pattern that I thought would work. Tribal Snake is a cobra snake design by Kim Treagust of KLT Charting Designs. I downloaded the pdf chart and after checking it out I decided to stitch it over one. The design was much larger otherwise and I didn't want a framed piece. 

 So far it's going fairly quickly. I basically started with the outline and then will do all the fill in next. I'm stitching this on a piece of 28 ct Sudden Storm Lugana with a Victorian Motto floss, Something Wicked.

I think it's going to turn out pretty cool. The floss looks black in the pic but it's actually a dark grey-blue.

That's the only small I've worked on all month and I only got started at it a week ago! I'm also getting ready to start my younger granddaughter's choice which was a little easier to find, lol. She chose a rabbit so I ordered a kit from Alisa which is where I found the Hedgehog kit that I stitched a few Christmases ago.

Here's a link to what it will look like. I will not be using the Aida for this. I will use the floss supplied and look through my stash for an appropriate choice of linen or evenweave. I find the evenweaves are a bit easier to work with during the final finishing.

That's it for this month! I would also like to stitch a couple of actual Christmas ornaments for the girls in addition to their choices so I'm on the hunt for a couple that won't take too much time so that I have time for some personal stitching before the holidays. See you soon!

Thursday, 29 October 2020

October WIPocalypse

October is almost finished! Where has the time gone? At times it has seemed to stand still during this pandemic and at other times it just races on. This month we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving.....sort of.

The turkey fixings and pumpkin pie were still on the table but this year it was only my husband and myself sharing in a much smaller feast. Despite the fact that family were not able to join us because of the increasing covid cases in our region, we still have much to be thankful for. We are blessed with a very supportive family and friends as well as contined good health up to this point. My husband is also continuing to be paid from all three of his employers even though choirs cannot sing and the churches were closed for a good part of the year. Also we have that new grandbaby on the way!!

Stitching this month didn't occur until about the midway point of the month. The holiday, storing things for the winter and putting away summer clothes occupied a good part of our time. However I do have a finish to show you!!  First though I'll show you what little stitching I did on two of my other projects.

I have almost completed the Birth Sampler with the exception of the child's name and birthdate. Just a bit more on the bottom border and then we wait for baby's arrival.

I hope to get the name charted next week but I won't be putting it in until the baby is here.

Next I have a pathetic amount of stitching that I added on Victoria's Garden. I only managed to get in one flower and part of another.

No stitches were put in on Fanny Compton this month because I was determined to finish A Yuletide Welcome once and for all! I'm pleased to say that my mission was accomplished. 

I'm so happy with how it has turned out! The designer is Paulette Stewart of Plum Street Samplers and I stitched this on the suggested fabric, 40 ct Lakeside Linen Vintage Buttercream with the suggested floss with the exception of one. This was my New Year start and it was the second time that I started this piece. I originally started it in November 2017 on a 32 ct fabric by Kiwi Illusions but I was really unhappy with the loose linen and I wanted it to be smaller. It was put aside for a little more than 2 years before I tackled it again. I also have A Ghoultide Welcome in my stash but I think it will still be awhile before I get to it.

 With Thanksgiving over I spent a bit of time putting some of my Halloween stitching on display.

The next pic is of my Halloween finish last year,  The Primitive Needle Annie Hyssop's Harvest Moon. I've had it stretched but as yet it is not framed.

Here are a few other favourites. The first pic actually resides at my son's home now.

I'm busy working on some Christmas gift stitching now and don't think I'll get to any personal stitching for a bit yet although I'm itching to start something new. Who knows?.... maybe there will be something started during the next month. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, 3 October 2020

September WIPocalypse

 This month is known as Sampler September for those of us who love samplers. It's a great excuse to start a new sampler of course! I decided to do just that but I didn't get very far. On September 1st I put the first stitches into a design that I'd eagerly been awaiting..... An Orchard Invisible - Fanny Crompton 1833, designed by 1897 Schoolhouse Samplers. I didn't get very far however before I realized that my dye lots on some of the colours were just a little too close and that I would have to make some new colour choices from my stash.

The lettering for Fanny's name is GA Holly Berry. The same colour is also used on the crowns. As you can see my dye lot for the lettering looks more pink. Rather than frog it I decided to leave it for now and I changed the floss on the crowns to a substitute. At some point I may frog the letters but I'm waiting to see how the rest of the piece plays out. Fanny it appears, likes pink! Follow my link above for the pattern and you will see that the  flowers in the urns as well as the berries in the basket are all stitched in different shades of rose but my lots are all looking pretty much the same.  I will have to sit down with this one at some point and make some more colour substitutions. I had other things that needed to be worked on so I've put it aside for now. It's definitely a disappointment as I was hoping to get going on her but that's a fairly frequent occurrence with dye lots. I'm stitching this design on a lovely piece of Lakeside Linen Vintage Meadow Rue, one of my favourite fabrics.

Next I pulled out Victoria's Garden to see if I could get a bit further ahead on it.


It's a lovely design and is slowly taking shape. I'm really enjoying my time spent on this. After a several days I put it aside as much as I hated to and put some time in on the birth sampler for my upcoming grandchild. Baby is due at the end of November and I know I'll be working on a few Christmas pieces throughout that month so it was best that I moved along with this one. Sorry about the lighting on these. It's been overcast most of today and I can't seem to get the colours right on the fabrics.

I have only the bottom border and a few more stars located above it to complete. The personalization will wait until after baby's arrival. I know their name choice as they are aware that they're having a boy but one can never be too sure! I just might jinx it if I go ahead and stitch it now. Plus we have to wait for the birthdate. I can't even put in the month of November because baby is due at the end of the month and could very well be late, arriving in early December. I will, however, work at the charting of the name over the next several weeks.

So I started Sampler September with one sampler and ended the month with two others! Yuletide Welcome didn't even appear on my radar this month. 

I have so many charts that I want to get going on. Some are seasonal and some not but I also know that I have two designs to stitch as Christmas gifts for my granddaughters which will take considerable time. In fact, overall I'm stitching much slower this year. I think I'm having a hard time concentrating during the pandemic. I've never stitched so few pieces as I have this year so far. 

In my previous post I showed pics of the sweet pillow which accompanied part of my gift for my daughter-in-law's baby shower but I neglected to post photos from the event. I'll leave you with a couple of those now.

Monday, 28 September 2020

September Smalls

 Only one small was completed this month but it was an important one and all my other ideas were pushed into the background. I originally planned on stitching some new autumn or Halloween smalls. I even have some lovely new (to me) designs by Early Workes the I especially ordered for this purpose. 

While I was checking out my new purchases, I noticed a pile of loose charts that I had put aside on one of the shelves in my cross stitch room. So I pulled out the charts to have a look at them and figure out why they hadn't been filed away yet. Perhaps they were being considered for future stitches? As I looked through them I came across one in particular called Oh Mother Dear, designed by The Sampler Girl. Bells started madly ringing in my mind as I realized that this particular chart was based on the children's tale, The Three Little Kittens. 

Why was this so important? Well, it just so happened that my daughter-in-law's baby shower was coming up mid month and instead of including cards with our gift we were asked to bring a copy of our favourite childhood book. Yep, you guessed it! Mine was The Three Little Kittens! It's no longer in print but I had found a copy in excellent condition from an antique book shop on Etsy.

Having come across this particular chart was absolutely perfect. I decided to stitch it to accompany the book. I've included a pic of the original chart to show you. The poem is based on three kittens who lost their mittens and therefore should have no pie. The original chart includes the kittens and the mittens but also a key. I replaced that key with a small cross stitched pie since it's an integral part of the story. I also personalized the design with my initals, the year and the baby's initials. The addition of a small heart button completed the piece which I finished into a small pillow to place on the shelf in the baby's room. I found the perfect backing fabric for it in my stash too!

I think perhaps that this book may have influenced me more than I realized. Take a look at the illustration on the final page. Could it have anything to do with my current obsession?!

The chart for this piece was very simple and didn't take long to complete but my month has been taken up with working on the birth sampler, a couple of other samplers and then a trip home to Windsor, Ontario to check on my mother who turned 90 in late August. 

This pic was taken with my niece. I loved the balloons and the Birthday Girl badge that they pinned to her shirt.

It's very unfortunate that my middle sister and her family were unable to join us because they live in the US and the border remains closed between the US and Canada due to the pandemic.

Watch for my WIPocalypse post in a few days to see the rest of the stitching which has been occupying my time. See you then!

Monday, 31 August 2020

August WIPocalypse

August was a somewhat productive month for my stitching. I say somewhat because I did stitch but not on a regular basis as usual. As Covid rules have relaxed here, we started going out a bit more and have had some close friends over to distance with us outdoors. It's been a pleasant change and I know my mood has certainly lifted.

Partway through the month I decided it was time to get moving on my Victoria's Garden again. Here is a pic of my progress at this point.

 It's moving along and I do enjoy what time I spend on it. The motifs are lovely. I particularly like the larger flower baskets on either side. Also the off centre flower in the basket on the bottom left. There's a reason for that as you'll see once I have the border complete.

Here are a few close up photos of the motifs.

Isn't that little dog cute? Victoria's Garden has some little creatures in it as well as flowers!

In the last few days of the month I got started on a birth sampler for my grandson who is slated to arrive at the end of November. This design is actually called A Birth Sampler and it was designed by The Goode Huswife. The chart is now out of print but a good friend has loaned it to me. When she mentioned that she had just the sampler for me to stitch I asked her to send a picture of the design. I showed it to my son and daughter-in-law and they loved it. It's simple and the colours are most suited to a boy.

As you can see, I started in the middle of the piece so the final line was stitched first. Then I moved up and started working at the beginning. Just two more lines of text, a few more stars and the border, which is quite simple, and it will be finished. Of course I won't be stitching the name or date of birth until later despite the fact that they have already chosen the name. With my luck they would decide to change the name or it could end up being a girl, lol!

Here's a pic of what the actual design looks like.

I love the simplicity of it! When this is done I will be looking at charts for a birth sampler for my nephew and his wife who are expecting for January. I also have promised my granddaughters some stitched pieces for Christmas so I expect I should get moving on them too. With all of this my Blackbird Design I started earlier in the summer has been on the back burner along with the completion of Yuletide Welcome. If you recall I was waiting on the arrival of more floss to finish it. The floss has arrived and I hope to get back to it very soon. I say that but Sampler September arrives tomorrow with the first of the new month. You'll just have to wait until my September post to see what I've chosen. That is, unless you follow me on Instagram!

Sunday, 30 August 2020

August Smalls

 I have lots of small goodness to share this month. Only one was actually stitched this month and that's my sweet little August pillow by Nikyscreations.

Isn't it sweet? I loved it the first time I set eyes on it and knew that i just had to stitch it.

The rest of my post is made up of smalls that are FFO (finally finished objects or ornaments). I pulled out 4 small stitched fall pieces that I figured it was about time I finished off so I could display them this season.

First up is Autumn Greetings, designed by Country Rustic Primitives.

Followed by Early Workings Vintage Jack,

Threadwork Primitives Ever So Grateful,

And finally Threadwork Primitives Give Thanks Pinkeep

I gathered them all together into a small display to see how they looked.

I've pulled out some Blackbird Design Halloween smalls that I hope to get started on for next month. With any luck I can complete more than just one!

Since autumn will have arrived at our next smalls posting, I'll leave you with a photo of my summer stitches which I currently have displayed on my dry sink. A couple of the finishes are from friends and it makes me smile every time I see them!

PS I'm not quite sure why my writings are appearing in different sizes and fonts when I selected just the one type. This new Blogger format is a learning curve!

Friday, 31 July 2020

July Smalls

I've been trying off and on all day to get this post up from my laptop and finally gave up in disgust. I'm posting from my tablet now. On July 1 we celebrated Canada Day and that got me into the mood to stitch a couple more of Jeannette Douglas' Patriotic Snippets. I received the floss I was waiting on for last month's snippet, #5, and started by finishing it off.

It's hard to see the shine from the metallic floss but it's there. It's been years since I've used any kind of metallic floss or blending filament. I'm not a huge fan of it but it served its purpose in this piece to demonstrate the Northern Lights.

I'm not committed to stitching these in any particular order so the next start was snippet #2.

I was really motivated because I went ahead and did the final finishing of each of these! Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not fond of finishing and tend to put it off but I've had a lot of time on my hands lately so here are the results.

After seeing how well they turned out I pulled out my Canada 150, another Jeannette Douglas Design, that I stitched up last year and completed the final finishing on it as well.

I'm so pleased with how they all turned out. I was able to display them with some of my previous patriotics, just in time for the holiday.

The last snippet stitched this month #12, I finished up last week.

I'll wait until I've stitched a few more before I do any more pillows.

I've been concentrating on larger projects this year and when I need a break these are a great diversion. They stitch up quickly and I've feel like I'm making progress. 

The weather here has been so hot and humid. In fact Ottawa broke a record for the hottest July ever! When the humidity gets bad I spend most of my time indoors. I'm really hoping August cools down some. If it does perhaps I'll get in the mood for some autumn smalls!