Thursday, September 28, 2006

Blackbird SAL - Part 4

Only one more section of When This You See to finish, and that is going to wait for a few days before I start. Meanwhile I have to get cracking on the Robin's Nest RR - I have Vash's to work on and I have my Vermillion freebie bird picked and printed out. Then to work on my Guild RR - I currently have Dana's Christmas tree and she has chosen a traditional European Christmas theme for her. Not a problem there, since I have so many of the JCS Ornie issues in my possession. But I would like to get these must-do's out of the way before any more 'free' stitching.

Our stitching get-together at Marj's was a lot of fun and so nice to get out for the day since I have been so housebound the past month. It is so inspiring to see everyone's stitching (and knitting) and it just spurs me on to turbo-stitch once I get home. We are starting another round robin within our group - based on the neighbourhood round robins that we have seen online, so that's another project starting up. We hope to have our fabric and first house done to pass along at the next gathering which will be ar Marsha's on November 11. But the nice part is also that there are no time constraints in our own RR, whoever is ready, passes along to whoever is ready to stitch one.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Carrie and I went on a little shopping trip yesterday, mostly to scrapbook stores, in the Mississauga area, but since we were in the 'neighbourhood' of course I had to stop in Gitta's, one of the very few LNS in the Toronto area. I pawed eagerly through tons of leaflets and oooh'ed and aww'ed at lots of shop models. And even met up with a couple of stitchers that I know! I ended up leaving with the new JCS Ornament issue (yeah!) and 2 gorgeous hand-dyed fabric remnants. One is a nice sized piece 15" x 15" of Autumn Fields Belfast - this one I'm so in love with - and another piece 11" x 27" of a nameless blue fabric - the dying is very subtle so it looks like sky and clouds. I was thinking this might be a great piece for the Bent Creek Spring Snapper series.

I'm off to Marj's today for a stitching get-together. Must get my stitching, and of course food, put together!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Saisons Sampler

Wow I didn't realize I scanned this so crookedly. Sorry about that! This WIP pic is a long time coming, since its been a long time since I picked the poor thing up. This is the Thursday sampler that Marg and I have been working on but we sort of took a several month hiatus. I'm working on Winter now and actually I'm near the bottom of the piece, although I only scanned in this section since its HUGE!

Did I mention what a dream Gloriana silks are to work with? I'm in love with them all over again. One strand gives great coverage on 32 ct, luckily, because they are horrendously expensive silks. One skein unfortunately does not seem to be enough to work each season in but we can probably buy an extra skein for each and split it in half. Luckily we are both using the same colours.

Here's a peek at Spring which was done in 'Blue Grass', until I ran out of floss.

Winter is being done in 'Sierra Haze'.
Autumn will be done in 'Apricot Grove' and Summer in 'Granny Smith Green'. That leaves the tree in the centre which we are using 'Jacaranda' and Ecru for odd bits here and there.
Our Guild meeting on Wednesday night was a busy one ~ we passed on our Christmas tree RR's (I'm one of the few who isn't doing a Christmas theme ;-) and started our sewing cases. It got a little confusing, so say the least and we all had a lot of fun (not) with the double sided tape. But its being done in a similar style to the Etui boxes we made a couple of years ago, except on a much larger scale, and with a lot more pieces. So I have lots of homework which I must try to get to soon before I forget what I'm doing.

Yeah....the weekend! Being back to work this week has been tiresome and I'm really looking forwards to a couple of days off and Sunday is a stitching get-together at Marj's new house! Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My Needleroll Exchange

I received my needleroll from my exchange partner, Cari. Its exquisite and the stitching she did is wonderful. She said the needleroll pattern is from Au Fil des Reves, and the fabric she used is Lakeside Linen's Renaissance Red.

With the needleroll, Cari included a lovely kit called Anemone Scissor Pouch by Sue Hawkins. This is done on 18 ct canvas, which I haven't used before and I'm excited to work on this.

Thank you so much, Cari, I absolutely love the Needleroll and the kit you sent along!!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bent Creek Snappers

My stitching has certainly been very haphazard the past few weeks. I guess since I've had so much more stitching time, I find I'm getting bored with my WIPs very quickly and I tend to be switching them from day to day.

One good thing is that I've picked up my very ignored Bent Creek Snappers that I started on January 1st, with the very best intention of course to stitch one per month. So when I picked it up recently, I hadn't even finished May. Stitching rotations just don't seem to work for me! Anyways, I'm almost caught up, finished off August yesterday and did some more work on the border. I'm using a mixture of GAST (which the patterns call for) and good ol' DMC if I don't have the GAST. Its turning out nicely.

And I've decided on my theme for the Guild RR project - Celtic knotwork. I pulled out my old JCS ornie issues (at Isabelle's suggestion) and saw a couple of ornies I had always wanted to do with Celtic knotwork in them. Now I just have to stitch in the top of the fabric, pull some threads and embellishments, and we're off.

My stitching time is going to start being curtailed as I'm back to work part-time tomorrow.

Pam, I didn't design the border as it came with the series as a freebie. However I think it was altered from the original layout of 4 across, 3 down, to fit better with the rhyme, and the lady who changed it, kindly sent me a copy of what she had done.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Blackbird SAL - Part 3

Part 3 of my Blackbird SAL is complete....just in time to start Part 4 tomorrow! These was an intense section though, with a lot of filling in of the grass. I'm pleased with the way my little change has worked out. I used one strand of GAST Chamomile with one strand of DMC 370, since I found 2 strands of Chamomile to be a little too dark. I used 2 strands here and there though so as not to lose too much of the variegation which really enhances the look of this piece.

Section 4 is going to be the right hand side flowers and vines, a break from the last section which is the rest of the grass and lettering.

Thank you for the suggestions for my Guild round robin, Isabelle and Margaret! They are much appreciated. I haven't quite decided for sure on my theme but that is coming soon, I have to stitch my first section this weekend.

Monday, September 11, 2006

New Guild Projects

I need HELP! I am seriously in a creative slump and time is running out. Our needlework guild started up last week and although I missed the first meeting, Marj kindlykept me up to date with all the goings-on. We are starting a Round Robin at our next meeting - next week - and I have to be prepared with my piece ready to hand off to the next person.

So basically we have to come up with a theme, including colour scheme, which is to be in the shape of a Christmas tree, although the theme doesn't have to be Christmassy. Its not like this was just dumped on me, I really had all summer to think about it, but you know how things go, I always thought there was plenty of time. Now suddenly I'm scrambling trying to come up with my theme and I am just hitting a dead-end. Any ideas, anything at all, anyone????

The other project we are starting is the making of a sewing case, which I believe also starts next week. Luckily Marj offered to take me along fabric shopping and we hit a lovely quilt shop on Saturday and picked out our fabrics, basically one fabric for the outside of the case, one to line the case, and another coordinating fabric for the accessories - ort bag, thimble case, etc. This one sounds like so much fun to make and I'm really looking forwards to starting. There is apparently almost no stitching in this, most of it is put together with glue and double-sided tape. I can't wait to start! Here are the fabrics I picked out, I was thinking of an older Victorian type of look for mine. The large flower print will be for the outside, the pink for the lining and the smaller matching print for accessories.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

PS Birth Sampler

Another happy dance for me - the stitching of all the animals in my PS Birth Sampler is finished! Just a little work left - stitching the baby's name and birth date for the back, baste my edge for finishing into a bellpull and putting it all together. Well more than a little work, I guess!

If anyone has any good bellpull finishing techniques they would like to share....pretty please?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Feel like a little Happy Dance

I finished off my next PS block - E is for Embroidery. How cute is this one! These blocks are so great to work on, large blocks of the same colour, great 28 ct fabric so very easy on the eyes - especially after dealing with the 40 cts of HoHRH or the CHS alphabet. But when you are stitching the PS blocks, you realize how many little details have been included in the design that you don't really appreciate on first glance. I will be sad to finish these off!

I also finished Part II of the Blackbird SAL, a little later than everyone else, because of the surgery and I was waiting to get my WDW 'Thistle' in the mail. I am so glad I broke down and ordered this thread, the colour varies from brownish to pinkish and back again. The effect when stitching is amazing looking and I could never had gotten the same look using DMC.

So now I am scrambling to catch up with the others in Part III which started September 1st.
A huge part of this section will be the grass which is all done in GAST Chamomile. Unfortunately though my Chamomile seems to be quite darker than what appears in the picture and when I stitched against the flower vine in the bottom section, I couldn't see much difference in the 2 colours. I didn't want to go ahead with it as is, because I didn't think I would be too happy with the finished result. So I dug through my DMC and pulled on the equivalent for Chamomile - 371 which is just as dark. I then pulled out 370 which is a lighter shade and decided to use one strand of this and one strand of Chamomile together and hopefully it will give me a lighter green effect than what I was getting and the flower vine will show up against it.

Did I mention that I'm finding these GAST and WDW to be a headache? After looking at everyone else's SAL pieces in the group album, there are such differences in shading from one person's house to another, even though we all used GAST Pebble for it. And the same with the bird and flower dish on top of the house! So I guess the best, is just to use your own judgement as you stitch along these pieces. Its true, no two are ever alike!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Feeling better

Thank you all for your good wishes for my surgery. I'm so glad to say its all behind me now although I will have the staples in for a few more days as a not so very nice reminder. I'm feeling much better and much more like myself - and I'm stitching! Hubby always says its a good sign when I pick up my stitching and I agree.

Here is a picture of the gorgeous gift basket from my stitching friends ~ Anita, Ann, Linda, Marg, Marj, Marsha and Nancy. How exciting it was to get this delivered the other day. And all in my favourite colour too - purple! Thanks again, I was truly spoiled and touched to receive this lovely gift.

My water is boiling for my tea - and time for me to get back to my favourite stitching chair.