Thursday, November 29, 2007

Secret Santa Strikes Again!

I have been actively stalking my mailbox, I really hate this superboxes as they are called, they are grouped together in random sections, and ours happens to be down our street about 6-7 houses, on a curve of the road, so you never know when or if the mailman has been by yet. I am so anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new Paradigm Lost fabric and with it, hopefully also my stitching mojo, but instead yesterday afternoon, something very mysterious arrived in a very small envelope with a Belgium stamp.

The Secret Santa has made an appearance in Canada too! I have been reading about these mysterious envelopes making their way in various spots around the world and imagine my delight and surprise when I found one in my mailbox too, accompanied by this lovely skein of floss and card stamped from a friend!

So no PL fabric for me yet but something better arrived instead! Thank you, Secret Santa!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lucky Stars Quilt

Not too much stitching from me the past few days....I guess I'm in a bit of a slump right now. My Paradigm Lost replacement fabric is on its way to me and hopefully when that gets in, my stitching mojo will be revved back up to swing back into full speed again.

Meanwhile I did get a quilt top sandwiched. I think I have 4 quilts tops pieced and ready to go, dreadful huh? This one is called Lucky Stars and I think it was originally started almost 5 years ago. I actually did get one Lucky Star quilt finished, because it was a fat 1/4 quilt, and being a beginner and very enthusiastic 5 years ago, I bought far too many fat 1/4's. So I weeded through them all, and picked out the golds and greens and finished those into a very nice twin sized quilt. I decided to keep all the blue and purple fat 1/4's and make a matching quilt.

Which kind of fell by the wayside for quite a long time, all the pieces nicely cut, until finally last year I sewed it all together, and now at long last its sandwiched together. Its still laying out on the floor of our extra bedroom, waiting for some kind of inspiration as to how I'm going to machine quilt this one. I keep thinking if I look at it long enough, some kind of magical inspiration is going to hit me, but I realize that I'm really only looking at it on my way to bed at night and the only kind of inspiration to hit me then is how comfy my bed and pillow are going to be. I hope it doesn't take me several years to quilt this one!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanks and a finish

I've calmed down since my Paradigm Lost fiasco of last week. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments! Have I mentioned lately how much I appreciate reading your comments, they really are so heartwarming and touching and bring a smile to my face, each and every one of them!

I'm going to take the advice of Sweet Pea, Tannia, Barbara, Kendra, Monique and Annemarie, and use the motif that I've finished in something else, and scrap the fabric for some other use. And as Old Yankee Stitcher (sorry, I don't know your name) said, I learned a new technique in tea-dying, so nothing is ever a total loss. I've taken the plunge and reordered a fat-half in 40 ct linen. I debated for a while over fabric counts for PL, but I really do like stitching on 40 ct linens, so I stuck with that. This time though I ordered a huge piece and I'm not cutting this baby down...just in case :-D I really don't think I want to restart it again.

So to soothe my ruffled feathers over the weekend, I calmed myself with some gentle stitching on 28 ct and finished off my JBW stocking:
There is a wee bit more to the design on the lower left hand side, it didn't all fit into the scanner!

And I dug out my CHS alphabet and finished up H is for Horse.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Paradigm is Lost

Well a lost cause that is.....see my lovely motif above? I finished that last night and as I was happily stitching away, thinking, wow I'm really getting a lot done tonight, I may even get this motif completed, but hmm, its just not looking quite right, now is it? I pulled out my picture of PL and looked again at the chart and no its definitely not right, this motif is supposed to be square, not oblong-ish looking. Hmm, again. Time to start counting linen threads. So I started to count linen theads, not the easiest to do, at night, on 40 ct fabric and lo and behold I started to realize my problem! This is a 40 count from I count from left to right and but only a 36 count when I count from top to bottom!!! No wonder my motif came out with such a wonky shape!

Definitely not Zweigart fabric here, which made me remember the mysterious unmarked bag that it came in. All the linens were marked Zweigart or Permin, except for the odd mysterious random piece that were just marked with the size of piece inside the bag. Well you can imagine my choice of language here, not blog-worthy at all.

I'm so disappointed, not that I have so much stitched, but this was the fabric that I had so lovingly tea-dyed and was so pleased with the outcome....and meanwhile what am I going to stitch my PL on? At first I thought, oh well, what does it matter, its PL and the motifs don't have to be square to matter. But then I started looking at my size of fabric and got out the measuring tape again and calculator and since I started 2 1/2" down from the top, I don't have a long enough piece of fabric for PL with 36 ct from top to bottom. And yet more choice unblog-worthy words......

So I'm giving up for the moment, checking out, crawling under a rock and feeling very sorry for myself. PL has got the best of me right now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

RR's, F&S's, and stash

I finished my section on Nicole's Round Robin! Another one is ready to put in the mail and send off to Carissa. I'm really happy with the way my section turned out. I used patterns from two different designs from Elizabeth's Garden and I managed to squeeze a couple more sheep in there because I thought they looked so cute! Here is a scan of most of Nicole's RR, not the entire piece, it didn't all fit in my scanner, so the last section with Leslie's house I had to leave off.
And yesterday's mail brought Ulla's squares for me from the Fair and Square exchange, all the way from Sweden. Look how sweet they are, hmm, she doesn't mention but looks like a Prairie Schooler house to me?!?
And here are the squares that I stitched for her (I remembered to take a picture this time around). She commented that she liked redwork and quaker designs so I chose this for her, which is actually part of one of The Workbasket tree freebies. I thought the red and white were a good choice, since they were the colours of the Canadian flag, which is a coincidence, since Ulla stitched the Swedish flag on her block.

And one more picture, bear with me! I got some long awaited stash in the mail yesterday, my birthday stash which only took 6 weeks to get here! Well we can all guess where I ordered from :-D

And for some reason this one particular design has absolutely caught my attention. Its called 'Of Female Arts' by The Primitive Needle. I'm in love with it and its just one of those that I'm dying to start.

Of course there are only like 9 or so Christmas things I really really want to do in the meanwhile....but I just really have to do this too. If only I didn't have to work for a living! And the kids didn't have to eat!! Meanwhile I'm envisioning fabric choices and floss choices....and getting myself started to work.....

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pretty Scissor Pocket

I've been a bad blogger and not updating as much as I should....the days seem to be flying by right now. Kristy's stomach bug got passed on to me last week but luckily it didn't last too long. Nick's asthma warranted a middle of the night trip to the hospital for more treatment but he is much recovered now. Kids do get over things so much faster then us olde folke!

We had a birthday lunch for my sister's 60th birthday on Saturday, it was just a girlie thing, mothers and daughters, and so much fun. There were 12 of us, sisters, nieces and cousins , hosted by my other sister . I recently was able to entice my quilting sister Karen over into the wonderful world of cross stitching so I thought it was time for her to have a lovely pair of snips to go with this fabulous new hobby (or, obsession LOL) . So I picked up a pair of pretty scissors and made this scissor pocket and scissor fob to hold them. This is from a Lori Birmingham kit.
Back view:Rachel (Willing Hands) let me know that she received my PIF for her. This was a fun little freebie put out by Plum Street Samplers and she said she was very happy with it. Hope your week starts out great!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Stitching Update

Its been almost a week since I've updated and I don't know where the time has gone! Its time for some long overdue stitching updates and since the camera isn't cooperating with me today, its scanner time:

Here is my Paradigm Lost start from November 1st, not much to see but its a beginning :-D
Paradigm Lost by Long Dog Samplers, on 40 count tea-dyed linen, using Gloriana silks

Here is a link to the SAL to see all the other lovely starts on PL and Cirque-des-Cercles: Snowbirds SAL. Its not too late to join us if you want to get in on the fun!

My JBW Stocking is moving right along, what a nice little design this has been to work on.

JBW Stocking, on 28 ct Graziano white/celery linen, using DMC

And finally I started Nicole's Neighbourhood RR. I'm using an Elizabeth's Design cottage and I'll fill up the space with some other trees and flowers. So far, so good, I think. I love how the little sheep came out, I'm thinking about adding another one....

I've had 2 sickie kids, Nick's asthma is kicking up and Kristy had a very bad stomach. Something tells me working at McDonald's has its downside - eating too much food there, combined with Hallowe'en treats! Of course a 16 year old will never admit to that!!