Wednesday, 30 December 2020

December WIPocalypse

The last two months I've mostly concentrated on small finishes for gifts. I planned on posting last month with the one finish I did have but I realized that I wasn't able to show you a pic because I'd already delivered the piece to my framer. I asked him only to stretch the piece for now and I'll get it framed later with consultation from my son. The finish is of course the birth sampler I stitched for my grandson.

 I'm quite pleased with how this looks. We wanted a birth sampler that wasn't really babyish and would grow with the child so that it could be hung in his room at any age. It's really a great birth announcement for a boy.

After finishing this one off I pulled out a kitted work by Shakespeare's Peddler. It's a small Christmas sampler called A Wassailing. It was a limited edition kit when it was released so as far as I know it's no longer available. It's stitched on Lakeside Linen Vintage Meadow Rue with Limited Edition Gentle Art floss. I've managed to complete a little more than half of the piece and I'm really hoping that I can finish it by year's end.

That's it for current WIPs although there are a couple still hiding in my pile, lol. They can wait for now as I start searching through my stash for what pieces I would like to work on in the coming year.

I didn't accomplish any of the goals I set out for myself last year with the exception of two. I completed the Pennsylvania Dutch Sampler that I had started last year and I chose A Yuletide Welcome as my Christmas stitch for the year. All of the other charts that I had pulled remained untouched as well as the WIPs from the previous year. As per usual, I ended pulling and stitching out a completely different choice of stitches. In light of that, I may just not compile a list for next year and just go with the flow, lol! 

Sunday, 27 December 2020

December Smalls

 December was another busy month for smalls in terms of final finishing. I needed a push in the butt to get moving because once again I left things to the last minute and with less ambition and enthusiasm.

My granddaughters ornaments were the first priority specifically their requests, the snake and the rabbit. Here are the results of the final finishes. I've included photos of the backing fabric I used as well.

It was difficult to find a fabric in my stash to back the snake with. The fabric I chose reminded me somewhat of a snake's skin although it's not as clear in this picture as I would have liked.

With those two finished I moved onto finishing their Christmas ornaments. I cheated and pulled two previous stitched ornaments out of my pile and finished them up.

I squeeked out the final finishes on Dec. 14, packaged all their gifts up and mailed them out by Xpress post on Dec. 15. Believe it or not, they arrived at their home in Quebec two days later!! I was shocked. After all we all know how long it's taking to receive mail during the pandemic. 

I wasn't able to see the girls over Christmas but they took and posted a few pictures for me to see them opening their gifts. It looks like the ornaments were a hit as well as their requested pieces.

I also managed to finish off a name tree for my friend Trish and I finally got around to stitching one for myself after all the others were finished.

The first name tree is designed by Nouveau Encore Designs and my name tree was designed by M Designs who unfortunately is no longer designing.

I also finished the stitching on two small ornament finishes of a design called Twinkles by Stitcharoo Gifts. I spotted this little ornie on either a Facebook or Instagram post by another stitcher. I thought it would be a sweet and quick little finish.
I have stitched in on two different fabric linens. One is a pink-blue colour and the second is a light green with brighter colours for the floss.

As you can see, I have almost completed the final finishing on the first one. These will be put aside for next year's gifts for my granddaughters so I'm already ahead of the game!

I don't know how but I managed to squeek out all my finishes on time!

Saturday, 28 November 2020

November Smalls

November has turned out to be a very productive month in terms of stitching. I needed a kick in the pants to get moving and I don't know where it came from but it sure worked! I started out the month working on my Christmas gifts for my granddaughters. The oldest requested a snake and the youngest, a rabbit.

 They both turned out far better than I could have hoped for. The snake is called Tribal Snake and is a design from KLT Charting Designs while the rabbit is simply called Rabbit and is from an Alisa Kit out of Russia. I will be turning these into flat ornament finishes so they may hang them or display them on an easel in their room.

I also give the girls a tree ornament each year and this year, to put less pressure on myself, I decided to use one of the many unfinished but stitched ornaments that I have in my collection. I plan on finishing these up this coming week. 

Next I finished most of the stitching on a name tree for a friend. I ran out of floss just as I was finishing the stitching on the tree stand. I ordered more but if the floss doesn't make an appearance in time I will substitute with one other that is extremely close in colour or I may just leave it as is. This name tree is designed by Nouveau Encore Designs.

I know that I had another skein of the floss but I suspect that it fell in the wastebasket near my work area and went out in the trash. This particular tree spells Trish but that T looks more like a C to me so I hope she likes it. I made a small error in counting in the letter R but rather than frogging I adjusted and made sure the same error appeared on the opposite side of the tree so the branches would appear the same. The picture doesn't show it but the fabric is a lovely silver opalescent. If the floss arrives and it's finished, the tree stand will be wider than it is in the picture. Right now the tree looks a little top heavy!

After finishing my gifts I was relieved but didn't know what to tackle next. While rooting through my stash I came upon a partially finished ornament from a start in Oct. 2011. I think I abandoned this one because I didn't like the appearance of the Toasted Marshmallow for the snowman but didn't want to frog it all out. I had got as far as stitching the main body with the Joy lettering. I had no idea what floss I had used other than recognizing the Toasted Marshmallow. The original chart called for DMC for the remainder of the floss and I could tell that I had used an overdye for the red. So I dug out several reds and compared them to what I had done until I found the right one. It had been some time though since I'd stitched with 2 strands of floss, lol!

Here is Sam Sarah Design Studios Winter Joy. It's can be found in the 2007 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Preview issue for those of you who collected these issues.

I decided that it was about time that I had a name tree for myself on our tree. I had a custom pattern by M Designs from 20005 that I ordered sitting in my stash. Imagine.... I've had it for 15 years and hadn't stitched it yet!! I still have 2 others waiting for me to stitch for my sisters too. M Designs has retired as I can no longer get these from her so I am glad that I ordered them when I did!

Mine is not completed yet but I'm stitching it on the same silver/grey opalescent as the previous one. I'm using a really lovely Christmas green silk floss by Gloriana called Serene Green. I love it so far. I've got as far as stitching the letters Y and one of the Ns.

My name tree is stitching up faster than I expected considering it's stitched over one. If I had stitched it over two as I had the earlier one it would have been far too big and I wanted to hang it on the tree, hence the over one.

I have found several other UFOs in my Christmas stitches that I might work on throughout December or I may just stitch something completely new. I haven't decided yet.

I also managed to finish off two of my larger pieces this month which I will post about next week on my monthly WIPocalypse.

Not too shabby this month considering my previous motivation, lol!

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.