Friday, September 30, 2005


Image hosted by Acorn Tabletopper. Dutch Treat Designs. Designed by Claudia Dutcher. c.1998. I saw a shop model of a tabletopper and knew I had to make one. Then, is was in my closet for a couple years! My girlfriend Sue D. helped me get started on it. I used perle coton #5 (DMC) and Fiesta Watercolours (Caron). I changed the suggested acorn brown to match my cedar chest, then, finished it with the nun edge.
Image hosted by I had this on my cedar chest last Fall & then noticed a stain (ice cream? coffee? the boys? the cats?). I sent an e-mail to Claudia Dutcher for washing instructions. She responded right away. After the machine washing it looked great ... nice to know the Fiesta Watercolour didn't mess up in the wash. Entered this into the Porter County Fair and the Lake County Fair over the Summer. Guess the judge thought it was pretty, too.
Image hosted by Photobucket.comBuzz My Grapes Tabletopper and Bellpull. c.2000 Dutch Treat Designs. Designed by Claudia Dutcher. This one is so pretty. (yes, I still like the Acorn design -- this one is just different). It is not all cross stitch -- some use of rice stitch, herringbone, and pulled eyelet stitches, too. It has grape clusters made and bee hives. I'm using a grey-lavender Anne Cloth (18 count). The color is spectacular. Using all DMC perle coton #5. I will use DMC 3041 or 3042 perle coton #12 for the nun stitched edge.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Stitcher's Roll & SBQ

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Today's "Stitching Blogger's Question" was suggested by Cheryl and is:

Have you ever just quit a project while in the midst of it? (We're not referring to UFOs here, rather projects that you know that you'll never work on again.) Why? What did you do with it - throw it out, give it away, put it away?

I have taken a couple workshops & courses to learn techniques. I wanted the teacher's instruction, detailed directions, and hands-on advice. Examples:

-workshops on Japanese Embroidery & Hedebo (both very good workshops; however, I realized the needlework wasn't what I wanted to pursue further or finish the samplers.
-EGA Course in Drawn Thread -- withdrawing linen threads, hemstitching & embellishing. I learned a lot. Just wasn't interested in finishing the cross stitch bands on the sampler; Did do all the drawn thread bands.
-Instruction in Crazy Quilting -- well, just wasn't what I wanted to do.

None of these are finished projects -- I learned how, kept the detailed instructions & the projects have enough stitching done on them for practice ; ) I put them in a box in my closet & when I need to use any of these techniques, I have them on hand to either review the directions .... or put in a few more beginner stitches.

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While looking for an ornament, I was happy to come across my Shep Bush Stitcher's Roll. After I stitched this kit, I put it in a special box, and had it stored in my cedar chest .... It is such a pretty needleroll kit & fun to stitch. will keep it in my creative corner for awhile.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Twisted Threads - Scissor Fob

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI managed to get the cord sewn on yesterday afternoon. I used Pea Coat & Onyx (Weeks Dye Works), + Black Crow (GAST) in the cording. Looks nice on my black Dovo scissors. I was itching for a happy dance / finish!
Image hosted by Photobucket.comThe tabletopper in the background is called Buzz My Grapes c.2000, designed by Claudia Dutcher of Dutch Treat Designs. I enjoy working on tabletoppers, especially when getting together with stitching gal pals. I am using DMC perle coton #5 fibers. This one is beautiful on a grey-lavender cloth -- close in color to DMC 3041. There will be BEE HIVES, too. Will get to the hive soon. So stay tuned.

I do not know anything about mail art. Our EGA chapter is going to have a workshop in May 2006. I'm looking forward to learn about this. When I looked on-line, I have found beautiful envelopes ; )

Margaret: About Mary Garry, I have my Milkpaint Sampler stitched & have the hemstitching completed. It is supposed to be a "fold" for skeins of silk. I have two scraps of linen (left over) which I want to stitch -- then will put it all together. At that time, I'll post some pictures. Mary Garry is a favorite of mine. I enjoy reading the stories & stitching the designs. After I get some of these WIPs out of the way, I want to devote more time to some of her charts.

Isabelle: The John Irving book is: Until I find You. It is really long (well, aren't most J.Irving novels lengthy) but I enjoy his books. This is a time line novel & begins when the main character is around 4 years old. Quite a book.

Grammy K (my Mom) will be here around 10:30 .... I am going to bake a cake & make a casserole. I think she will be 78 on her birthday (tomorrow). Wow. Means I will be 48 on my birthday in January. How scary is that?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Been Reading .... more than Stitching!!

Been Reading:

Image hosted by This is a beautifully written novel. Just do yourself a favor and read it.

UPDATE - Finished :
Image hosted by Finished this 9/27. I think this was written around 1940 -- Setting is in a Georgia, depression era. It is a powerful novel. The characters are well developed.


Image hosted by Until I find You - I'm a fan of John Irving & I read his novels. This one is good. Widow for a Year was my favorite of his .... but, I was on vacation when I read it & maybe that had something to do with it.

Image hosted by Found out yesterday that Bee Season is a movie. What a surprise - and Richard Gere cast as the Father. There is nothing I can say about this book that won't give away the story. When I was mid-point of the book, I thought I had everything figured out .... and I was so wrong. This is the sort of book that you keep thinking about after you read. And makes you re-think parenting & roles of those things that influence our children.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThis is MarkHaddon's book. Been on the best-seller list awhile. It is young adult fiction & well written. What a challenge!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI know this was popular with several reading friends. Honestly, I thought it was so-so.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Specialty Stitches

Image hosted by What is the most challenging specialty stitch you have ever stitched?

Ascending & Descending Montenegrin: Had no problem following a diagram with numbers; however, when I used a pattern (honeysuckle graph) -- and had to figure out the stitching on my own -- it took quite a while. I was thrilled to finish this needlework band. (click on photo to enlarge). This sampler is a WIP & is loaded with specialty / challenging stitches. Update: this is part of a band sampler from an EGA course. EGA in sidebar -- course English Band Sampler. I have a lot of areas to embellish before posting a photo.

Bullion Rose is a close runner up because I had a difficult time winding the fiber around the needle in a consistent direction. Once I got the hang of it -- the bullions improved. I prefer using a straw needle (applique needle) + pc#8 for bullions (ie. DMC 107) . The bullion roses were done on a stretchy black fabric -- then made into covered buttons. I have not sewn the buttons on anything yet. can click the photo to enlarge.

Image hosted by Do you stitch for events like weddings, engagements, or other things that might not last? If you have been unlucky and the two people broke up, what happened to your stitched gift?

I stitched a sachet bag for my daughter when she was 16 & had her first steady boyfriend. Knowing this was a first crush .... I put their first names on one side of the sachet bag inside a heart & the reverse side had a floral design. It was on my daughter's shelf with the floral design showing until she packed for college At that time, it still had the flower petals, from her first Homecoming dance tucked inside.

#28: Which way do you stitch (/// and then \\\, or \\\ and then ///) ? Can you (or if you haven't done it before, do you think you could) change the way that you stitch temporarily if it is asked of you?

I learned how to stitch by ///, then \\\. That was how I was shown, initially, and kept stitching that way. If I was asked to stitch a certain way, I could do that. In the round robin I am currently in, 5 stitch one way and 2 stitch the other way. I didn't notice until I read this question!! These are my friends & however my project is stitched is ok with me.

#27: What do you use to hold your fabric while you stitch? A hoop, a q-snap, a scroll frame, something else, or do you stitch in hand? Have you always used just the one thing or have you tried one or more of the others? Which do you like best? Why?

I have tried all of the above. I prefer a scroll bar/frame for samplers -- qsnap for smaller things like sewing smalls -- in hand for over one stitching. (Why? For in-hand small stuff I need a magnifier & it is easier for me to do in hand.)

Why? I prefer using my lap frame which supports either scroll bars / q snaps / or stretcher bars & one of my magnifier clips on (if needed). I put the frame on my desk and use hand weights (like the small ones from the gym) to keep the frame from falling over! This way I can pull the project close to me and use TWO hands for stitching. I use K's (side bar for link)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Love critters & needlebooks

The chipmunk is stitched & WTF.

The rabbit has a nun edge, off white fabric lining & felt insert (same color as the ruby flowers). Nice to have such cuties in my stitching bags.

In the Woods has several critters & I would like to stitch the squirrel and fox, too. Maybe next year.

I found some aida fabric - - a discontinued color (which is a close match to the scrap I used for rabbit & chipmunk) The color of the fabric looks like the chipmunk photograph, I'm not sure why the fabric color is so different in the rabbit picture ... came out with such a blue tint, maybe the flash?

P.S. About the edge .... there are diagrams on line. One nice diagram is located on the Dutch Treat web site - see sidebar. I enjoy tabletoppers (too) and the edge does make them beautiful ; )

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Green or Peach? Hmmmmm....

Image hosted by peach ?

Image hosted by green?

I'll put in more eyelets before choosing --- I'm leaning to peach. Maybe it will not work. The green is good. Matches everything well.

Color Choices .....

This is the Gay Ann Rogers Mystery Sampler (so far). I need to decide my second perle coton #5 color .... I like green-grey DMC 727. Still thinking I might need to introduce a new color -- like DMC 353. Will continue with some more eyelets and see which color enhances the design ... Should be able to click this snap to enlarge.

Monday, September 19, 2005

MIOM - A list of WIPs

Noticed my WIP list is shorter in September - than it was in January 2005. Here is my list. I listed my WIP's by how long I've had them! These are wonderful designs that I've been working on & setting aside for whatever reason -- the projects I want to finish to make room for more:

1998: Ann Scutt Sampler (from Scarlet Letter)
2000: Gay Ann Rogers; Mystery w/a Little Bit of Glitz
2001: Hillside Samplings - My Stitching Chair Necessaire
2001?: Mill Hill - Acorn Sampler Afghan (only stitch this in the Winter months)
2002: Shepherd's Bush - In my Garden Roll (fob is stitched)
2002: Sewing Chest Designs - Old Saybrooke Sampler
(to be made into sewing case w/fob & NR)
2002: Milkpaint Sampler (Have the hemstitch all the way around. trying to decide what to stitch on inside pockets. just don't know if I want the Abigail Adams saying stitched or more M.Garry motifs inside. )
2003: Patricia L. Preston - Remember Me Sewing Pouch with Accessories
2004: Claudia Dutcher - Buzz my Grapes Tabletopper (needed more green perle cotton)
2005: EGA course - English Band Sampler (needs a lot of embellishing)

I have several things in the WTF category -- which is ok. I don't usually 'finish' until I need them ; )

This week, I've decided to work on the color problem I had with the Gay Ann Rogers sampler. I was moving along & found my coice of DMC 3042 (perle Coton #5) was too close in color to the canvas I selected. My only goal is to find another perle coton that works with the Amethyst Watercolours by Caron. I am thinking to scrap all purple/lavender & try some peach or grey/green.

After I choose some possible choices, I'll try to get more of the eyelets worked (with Kreinik metallic stuff on spools). Maybe if I have more of the metallic worked, I can figure out the color problem.

I've got to hand it to ALL designers -- choice of colors is vast. Not everything I like works! I'm not very fond of canvas. Prefer linen or evenweave over canvas & congress cloth.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Where is Nikki?

Yes - our Nikki playing Hide-n-Seek.    He does look sweet when he SLEEPS.
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Nikki & Button

Image hosted by Photobucket.comNikki is a brat.  He will sit on the couch - behind your head and bite your hair.   He doesn't really like you to pet him.  He likes to be NEAR you.  yesterday morning, he fell asleep on the bed -- I thought he was sleeping soundly.   Started laundry & returned to the room to find him peeking at my stitching stuff AGAIN.   No No Nikki!    He continues to get into everything and stalk our Button (older cat on the floor).   Button is nearly 19 years old & puts up with Nikki at every turn.   Button loves to be held & stroked -- she looks for our son, Alex, all the time.   Alex will pull her up next to him all the time.   Two cats - total opposites.   sigh.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Monday, September 12, 2005

Thistles: backyard & Gift Card

One of several thistle plants in our backyard.
Finished the gift card kit.

Over the week-end, I added a piece of lining material into the rabbit needlebook (Prairie Schooler pattern) and cut out a nice piece of felt -- the felt matches the rose color flowers. Need to find a something for the hearts needlebook -- I put felt inside & realized it would look better if I put some lining inside before the felt. Think I have some material that will work out.

Today, for MIOM I'll work on my chipmunk WIP (Prairie School - In the Woods). Will be nice to have new needlebooks -- Should be quite a pair with the rabbit & chipmunk. My goal this week is to get more done on the needlebooks and the Sanctuary (so neglected).

Friday, September 09, 2005

Ironweed, Thistles & MIOM

This is a photograph of some Ironweed (thank you Lee for correcting me) in a natural part of our backyard - usually there are a lot more prairie wildflowers .... not so this past Summer because of lack of rain. It is very dry. Indiana prairies are beautiful when the wildflowers are in bloom. Which leads into my MIOM project this week ....

Image hosted by Is this kit beautiful? I received it as a gift from my girlfriend Lillian. I saw the photograph on the kit -- loved it the first second I saw it. Directions specify using 2 ply floss for CS & BS. Well .... I tried using two strands .... and it looked terrible. It was so bad, I pulled out another fabric (larger count) and stitched this up for Lillian's birthday (March).

Couple days ago, while seeking out a WIP for MIOM -- I came across this kit & contents. I frogged out everything & started over ... it was another failure. I tried a larger needle -- tried putting in tighter cross stitches. Terrible result. Sigh. Frogged it out again this afternoon. Now, am using ONE STRAND of floss and it looks terrific. I'm hip hopping along & cannot wait to get the whole design finished and mount this on the purple card (included with this kit).

Enjoy your weekend. Saturday is the Popcorn Festival in Valparaiso. Should be a nice event ; )

P.S. I don't know the count -- IMO too small a count for 2 strands. Chelle: The rabbit is a bead -- was a gift from gf's who went to a store in Michigan. Jenna: This was purchased in Scotland by my friend. (I've never been to Scotland) I'd love to see your BM. If you used 2 strands, I'll shoot myself. Karen: I've got all the thistle motifs done & added a border. It really came out nice. Today will get the edge done & sew it to the purple card. Update: Finished with a nun edge ; )

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My 1st sewing small + EGA (Part II of 15)

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThis was my FIRST Prairie Schooler project. I visited a needlework shop & was given a complimentary pattern. Went home & didn't stop until it was DONE. (Summer of 1998)

Image hosted by Photobucket.comThis is a Mystery Sampler by Jana P. Kerr.

Permission is granted for EGA, ANG, & other stitching groups to publish the Mystery Sampler in their newsletters or make copies for their members. Thank you Jana P. Kerr : ) There are 15 parts. So far, TWO parts have been published in NeedleArts Magazine (The Embroiderers' Guild of America, Inc.). The various parts will showcase different types of needlework -- part I marking stitches / cross stitches + part II double running stitch. I am using Anchor floss on linen banding. I enjoy working on this & look forward to viewing other EGA, ANG, & other stitching groups take on this project.

I received my quarterly magazine & read the whole thing (cover to cover). The current EGA President, Arminda Taylor is ending her term. In her message to members, she quoted Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice: "We don't accomplish anything in this world alone ... and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something." Another quote from Flavia: "Lives are tapestries woven from our experiences by the weavers of time in a pattern we cannot see."

Stitch well today.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

From WIPs to WTFs

Image hosted by Photobucket.comPrairie Schooler c.1994. In The Woods (book #46): My needlebook. A very old WIP. Need to finish cross stitching with green floss. I planned to finish the green cross stitching last night -- didn't happen!

Image hosted by Mill Hill: Woodland Santa. My last perforated paper kit. Will add felt backing closer to the holiday.

Image hosted by Ok? Better picture. After viewing what others have done with their kits .... I'm putting this aside for a couple more days. And thanks for the suggestions & links to pictures. I like the idea of inside pockets with felt pages for needles. Just have not quite figured out what I want to stitch on the pockets -- have a couple linen scraps left & should come up with something this week ; )

Last night was the White Elephant sale. What bargains to be had. My favorite find was a Mary Garry pattern .... need I say more?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Beaded Button

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My second attempt (first photo)

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My first attempt (second photo)

On September 21, 2002, I attended a workshop taught by Judy Hendrix, who taught our EGA chapter How to Make a Beaded Button. I have made TWO. Our chapter is having a repeat workshop on September 17th .... and I was asked to Assist teaching.

I have three more buttons prepared to embellish with seed beads. It is a very interesting project & I get a kick out of seeing everyone make up their own - unique - buttons. Once the buttons are decorated, a pin backing is attached. Additonal link in sidebar ...


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