Monday, December 31, 2012

Sampler Guild

The Rocky Mountain Sampler Guild has an ongoing project this year.  Katrina and Judy started us off with an adaptation of a free pattern from Paulette Stewart.  The small sampler will become the top of a stitching box.  Judy and Katrina supplied fabrics for the lining of the box and backings for the smalls, but I picked out the fabrics shown above.

I've enjoyed stitching on all the small pieces to this project.  Here is the box top (the box is on order!).

After taking this picture, I've decided to rip out the little basket under the bird and restitch it in a darker can't even see it!  Here is the outside of the pretty needlecase.  Now, I'm not a great finisher, but with the great instructions that Katrina and Judy supplied, I was able to accomplish this with no problem.

Sorry for the shadows........I need to find a better place to take these pictures!  Here is the inside of the needlecase, a scissor's fob and the small bird will become a floss keep, once I add a metal ring to the cording.  I loved the idea of pinking the edge of the felt in the needlecase, think it added just the right touch.

At the December guild meeting, the "table gift" was a kit to make a scissor's case to go with the rest of the accessories.  Believe it or not, it really is green, not blue, and it looks wonderful with the rest of the items.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Start

My horrible, terrible, oops, wonderful daughter Jen, talked me into doing a Christmas Eve start.  It was hard to decide which project I should start, as I have so many WIPS at the moment!  On December 4, Paulette shared her sampler exchange piece with her mother.   She had stitched Sarah Spurr by Carriage House Samplings.  I loved all the red in the piece (she changed colors and used AVAS silk), so I added this pattern to my hoard......I mean stash.  Jen and I changed a few of the NPS colors that the pattern called for and off I went!

Jen has also convinced me to join a stitch along with the Attic starting at the beginning of the year.  We'll be working on The Ann Bowers Sampler by The Examplarery.  This will be my New Year's start.  Oh, great, now I'll have two more WIPS.  I really have joined the nut house!

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Madison Area EGA

I'm really rather excited about the items we will have for the drawing at my EGA chapter's show in late October.  Many of our members donated their time to stitch up these beauties.  Since I'm a sucker for Halloween, we chose a Prairie Schooler pattern, When Witches Go Riding. Audrey, Mary Jo and Sandi worked on this piece.  I purchased a frame at Lynn's.
I worked on an old pattern "A Walk in the Woods" and finished it up recently.  Here it is completed, also with a frame from Lynn's.

Eek, I need to work on my photography skills!  The frame looks really boring in the picture, but honestly it's much nicer in person.  I actually hated stitching on this one since I had made so many mistakes when I first started this project many years ago, but by the time I was finished I was sorry that I was donating it.  Guess I'll just have to buy a lot of drawing tickets and hope I win it back.  It would look wonderful in the new half bath in the basement!

The drawing has two more cross stitch pieces.  My co-chair, Mary Jo, has made a beautiful four season sampler that she made into a bell pull.  I don't have a picture of that but it's wonderful.  Our chapter president, Sandi, has finished a Christmas cross stitch.  I will share a photo of it when I have it framed.

The other group project that is going into the drawing is a hardanger runner that the Hardanger Interest Group worked on........Gerry, Diane, Kathie and Jane.....many thanks ladies!  And, Sandi donated the kit!

Do you notice that the design on the end of the piece looks different than the middle of the runner?  I'll let you in on a secret.........I accidentally cut the wrong threads on the very last motif!  Yikes, was I upset.  Our hardanger interest group came up with a solution and I added more needleweaving to the outside of both of the end motifs.  I not going to admit to anyone that I totally messed up........oh, okay, guess I just did that, didn't I?

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer Project

It's been a crazy summer in Wisconsin with all the heat that a majority of the country is suffering from.  We finally have pleasant weather that doesn't take your breath away, I've opened the windows and am enjoying the fresh air.  Hurray!

We've been having some construction going on in our home for almost three months.  Originally we were going to make a simple room in the basement so that I could have my projects, supplies and office space.  I'm not sure how we changed, but it is now a multi functional space that we'll use to entertain in as well.  Guess that means I'll have to keep things tidied up a bit!  Here's an early look at the space.
You might be able to see that we've opened up part of the stairway wall on the right.  This is a view towards the entertaining portion of our basement.  The room is shaped like an L, with my work space in the short end of the L.  Here's a view where it begins to take more shape.

We actually have a bit of drywall in this photo.  This area is opposite the space in the previous picture.  My work space is to the left, out of the picture.  We've come a long way since this photo.........paint, tile and most of the trim work is now completed.  If you've ever done any remodeling, you know how frustrating it can be.  We had several things which didn't come in on time or only partially came in; the plumbing company sent the wrong sink, etc.  You just expect this stuff to happen, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating.

I'll share just one more photo today.  The paint is on the lower half of the wall and it's taking shape.

I'll post some stitching updates tomorrow.  I've been finishing up some items for our EGA chapter's show drawing in October. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Springtime in Wisconsin

Like most of the country, we are experiencing an usually early spring........we are at least a month ahead of normal and even set records for temperatures in the lower 80's in March.  That's unheard of here!  But I'm certainly not complaining!  As a result, I have been working in my garden.

One of my favorite trees is my 'Betty' Magnolia.  She has prolific blooms before the leaves appear, then continues to bloom sporadically all summer, with only a flew flowers at a time.  But she is gorgeous and I always know that spring is officially here when she is flowering.  'Betty' is one of the little sisters series of Magnolias.  Here she is in all her glory:

In fact, I like her so much that I dug out three ugly juniper bushes on the other side of the yard and planted another 'Betty" in that spot.  In 15 years, the new "tree" will match her sister.  Here is the tiny Miss Betty:

Can you see her?  She is the tiny twig behind the two peonies!  Who knows, perhaps it will be 20 years before she matches her big sister!  I do wish I had taken a before picture so you could see the junipers that used to be in this spot.

Even with all the gardening, I do have a little stitching progress to show.  In an earlier post, I mentioned that I was ripping out stitches from a project for my EGA chapter.  I have been making steady progress in re-stitching this design.  Once completed, I'll frame this and donate it to our annual show's drawing.  This is "A Walk in the Woods" by Cricket designs.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lieber Award

I had a very nice surprise earlier this week. Elizabeth at Threads Books and Things passed on the Liebster Blog Award to five blogs including mine. Thank you Elizabeth! (Sorry, Elizabeth, I can't figure out how to insert the Liebster Award image) I am very new to the blogging world, I only began in January and my daughter Jen practically had to force me to get involved. I had been a lurker for quite some time and had passed on several of my favorite blogs to her. She showed me how to use Google Reader to receive blog notifications automatically, so now I have a constant flow of inspiring needleworkers and their projects. Of course, as you all know, this can be a good thing or a bad thing (for your pocketbook!).

This award is given to those bloggers who have less than 200 followers and has the following guidelines:

1. Thank my friend who gave me the award and link back to her blog.
2. Post the award on my blog.
3. Pass the blog award to five other bloggers.
4. List the bloggers I have passed the Liebster award on to and let them know by commenting on their blog.
5. Share five random facts about myself that people do not know about me.

Five random facts about me:

1. I love watching Dancing with the Stars and American Pickers! You can't find two shows that contrast with each other as much as these two do!
2. I love cars.............sports cars, old muscle cars and classy old Duesenbergs. I enjoy going to "Back the Fifties" in Minneapolis and the Barrett Jackson car auction in Phoenix, Arizona.
3. I have been married to my wonderful husband for 40 years.
4. I have two grown who does dog rescue and one who does needlework. They are both great fun!
5.  I love needlwork, gardening and reading books.

The five blogs that I would like to pass this award to are:
1.  Linda at Stitching in Suburbia
3.  Natalie at Stitching 4 Joy
5.  Barb at Wicked Stitcher

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What's in a Frame?

For quite a while, I have been thinking about reframing an old cross stitch piece.  I stitched this back in the 80's and have always loved the piece, but the frame just made it look unappealing.  Here it is with the old frame.

Please ignore the ripples in the fabric.  In my haste to put this into it's new frame, I ripped it out of the old one when it occured to me that I should take a before and after photo!  Now, in all it's glory, here is the same sampler in it's new, updated frame.  Of course, I also took this picture before lacing it back into the frame.  I'm so impatient1

My next dilemma concerns where I want to hang this's in a very sunny place.  I usually frame my pieces without glass (unless it will be in a bathroom), but I think in this case that I am going to use museum glass and spacers on the piece.  Museum glass blocks more than 95% of the harmful UV glass which is a good thing!  I hope this will be the right decision and I can always remove the glass if I absolutely hate it!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Miss Jane

I've snuck in a few stitches on this beautiful sampler, "Jane Atkinson" by Scarlet Letter.  I'm loving her.......she has my first name and she has Adam and Eve.  Lately, I'm obsessed with A&E Samplers.  I'm beginning to get quite a selection of these in my stash.  That said, I was planning to start "An All Was For An Appil" by Scarlet Letter, but Jane won out.

                                                                     Jane Atkinson

                                                                     Scarlet Letter

                                                 40 count Golden Harvest Linen by Silweaver

Here's a close up of my work so far.  Now, compare this picture to the photo on the booklet............I have a tiny bit left to stitch, don't you think???? 

Hmmmm, the color on this is a bit screwy.  It's actually a bit more rusty looking rather than pink.  Oh well, you get the idea.  I'd be interested in how many of you are stitching on this sampler too.

And, if you have a special A&E Sampler that you think I should add to my stash, please let me know.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Obligation Stitching

Do you ever have something you HAVE to stitch on?  That's me at the moment.  I'm working on a cross stitch piece that I started several years ago and never finished.  I decided to finish it and contribute it to my local EGA chapter as one of the items for the drawing at their annual needlework show.  I've even convinced a few friends to put in a few stitches on this piece.

What's the problem, you ask?  Well, I discovered that I made a big counting mistake on this piece........of course, I hadn't put a note in the bag with the project, so I didn't remember that!  Uff da!  I spent 3 1/2 hours cutting out all the mistakes.   After two hours, I decided to have a glass of wine while cutting.  Now usually, that spells disaster.  (I think I was secretly hoping to "accidentally" cut the fabric, so it would have to be thrown away.)  No such luck, I've successfully removed all the "bad" stitching.  Here's a photo of how it looks right now:

                                                                    A Walk in the Woods
                                                                       Cricket Collection
                                                                  30 count Busy Bee linen

Just so you can relate, I had all but two letters stitched into the piece.  Not even close now!

Of course, I have something that I really want to stitch's a "Jane" sampler.  I'll show that to you in the next post.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

AOH Update

Here is a photo of my completed piece.  I absolutely love all the Blackbird designs.  They seem to have a timeless appeal. 

I'm showing a close up of the last block.  I changed the saying to "Families are like samplers, Stitched together with smiles, tears and love".  You probably noticed that it is dated 2011, when in fact I actually finished it very early in 2012.  After putting most of the work in on this piece in 2011, I wanted to indicate when all that work took place.

Anniversaries of the Heart

After working off an on all last year, I finished this project earlier this month.  Although I love the finished piece, I have to admit I didn't love working on this 30 count linen.  It was too loose and floppy!  I customized each block with members of my family and changed the verse in the last block.  I also listed all the cities that I have lived in along the bottom edge. 

I'm patiently waiting for the frame that I ordered.  When it's all finished, it will be hanging at Lynn's of Madison for a while.  I'll post some photos soon.