Friday, July 29, 2005

Life's A Stitch

OK, second photo. I just realized there was a way to "add another image" sorry. Newbie here. This is stitched over-one thread; size apx 1 3/4" x 1 7/8". Lizzie Kate design - modified colors from overdye to Anchor Floss choices. (Summer 2003) The toughie part was the sawtooth border. I used graph paper to modify & get the corners the way I liked them.

Worked the Home Ec blg yesterday 4 hrs & today 2 hrs. I loved meeting other women interested in sewing and crafts. The big hit of the building was a youth skirt. It was recycled blue jean top -- cut -- with neckties sewn on -- to create a mini-skirt effect. Totally awesome. Fun to chat about.

Love is kind

Ok, my first photograph. (thanks DH) Stitched over one thread (Summer 2004) finished into a pin. I adapted a pattern from Mary Garry's Sewing Cabin - Seasonal Momentos. Per theme, made some color changes, too. apx size 1.5" x 1.5"

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


27-07-2005: #22 What is your most unique/interesting stitching quirk? (This could be something concerning the way you stitch, how you organize your stash, etc.)

Everything I do is quirkie. I have shoe boxes for floss which my friends say is crazy. But, I figure why spend my stitching time organizing floss? I don't think any system works!

1) I have a ziplock back full of odd threads -- you know how you cut lengths of floss, use 2 strands, have 4 clean strands? Well, I put them in a zip lock bag (I have a lot of them). Never mind the 50 or so empty floss bobbins in the drawer, unused stickers with DMC floss numbers, and 200 empty floss-a-way bags -- I put orts in a zip lock bag. And, yes, I use them for stitch samples.

2) I have a basket (think nut/candy cup - favor from a bridal shower) made of metal on my desk. When I use up a skein of floss, I save the color number bands. I toss the bands into the basket, until I go shopping. When I go shopping, I take them with me -- already know what colors I've used up! The bonus is the metal basket -- Magnets stick to it.

3) I have a metal mesh file basket on my desk. (from Staples) The front looks like a bulletin board for all my magnets & EGA pins. It is a collection of stuff I enjoy looking at while I stitch!

4) I found a small set of drawers at Hobby Lobby (on sale) and loaded up every drawer. There is no special order ... but, nobody is allowed to touch it ... I should dust for finger prints.

5) I have a basket on top of my drawers (see#4) for magnifier & odd supplies (beads, fibers, buttons, charms). I throw everything in there for the current project I'm working on .... that way, my daughter's cat cannot get into anything while I step away.

I'm sure I have more quirks. I love to stitch, don't like to waste time keeping things tidy!

20-07-2005: #21 Have u ever done a color conversion? If so, did u think about your results & would u do it again? If not, would u like to try someday?

I have used color conversions most frequently when a project calls for overdye fibers. IMO projects are great with some overdye fibers, but, I like solid color fibers added for balance. + there are things I want to be washable when finished & I have heard some overdye bleed on the ground fabric. If I don't like how things look, I rip it out and try something else until I'm satisfied. Usually, I get going on a project and make changes as I go along ... makes it unique! I like to try different things all the time.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Deep Fried Oreos + Needle Chat

Porter County Fair (Valparaiso Indiana) has to be the best in Indiana. I get excited thinking about all the tents, lights, people, exhibits, entertainment (I'm not a ride person - but, most say the midway is great) and animals. Walking thru the food vendors we HAD to get deep fried oreos. So rich, it was sickening, one bite was enough for me. Walked further down & they had deep fried twinkies, snickers, etc. My stomach lurches thinking about it. Never mind the heat index of 115 degrees, fair people unite and perspire together. (Dare I mention the Porter Co Fair Queen is enrolled in welding school -- doesn't that just rock?)

I love the fair. I am a fair junkie -- have the 10 day program memorized in a few hours. My family yields & goes along. This year, my husband took some days off work to accompany me to the dog show (agility and showmanship). Never mind the Llama stuff. And Sheep stuff. You think Shep Bush has cute sheep? I may even go on the ferris wheel one night. The view from the top -- looking down at the lights is poetry.

Heard we should have a high of 77 degrees on Wednesday which is great -- military personnel, veterans, seniors, and library kids get in free .... Summer Reading participants ride for free x 2 hours. Valpo Univ band plays a patriotic concert at 5:45 (and our Tori will be on piccolo for Stars N Stripes). Vetran's recognition program at 6:30. I cannot wait. Other free stuff include the hyptnoChick, acrobats, pig races, magic show, and Pie Day. Try to top that!!!

Have finished a Mill Hill magnetic pin cushion. I found this lonesome kit in a sale bin & the fringe intrigued me. Stitched it up (beads on linen) and worked this looped fringe -- which loops thru the previous loop. I put in FOUR ceramic disc magnets - wrapped in saran wrap (sometimes those magnets change fabric colors) -- added a strip of cheap felt and stitched the thing shut. Took some doing (first time for this kind of thing) and it is really cute. The flower head pins jump right to it.

Now am concentrating on perforated paper entries for Lake County Fair (due 7/31). Lake County fair has a larger Family Arts exhibit -- Porter County has a better overall fair -- IMO. I enter stuff into both -- love the ribbons and love seeing my stitching friends. Together, we celebrate the wins / losses and crab about the judging. It is great. I wouldn't have it any other way!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sometimes .....

Sometimes your convictions blind you of the truth.

Spent a lot of time on an ornament. It is Chessie's Tree from the Ornament Magazine 1999. The cat looks cute - tree ok -- then I stumbled. Ended up with red beads on the ends of the tree branches. I just thought it needed more color. Stitched the year - per pattern; took it out; stitched the year again closer to the edge (this is over-one). Still didn't seem to have much charm. Got out some 902 DMC floss and stitched the long arm cross all the way around. Ta Da - what am improvement.

Started the finishing of a Shep Bush freebie pattern - I put it on Hickory Heatherfield & it is a joke to use. Think old man's winter trousers -- and somehow I thought it would be great. Looks like dirt for the garden theme poem. Everything I stitched, I changed to lighter colors. Eventually, I've got it ready for finishing. Not sure if it does the pattern justice ... I should have used a natural linen or something. This may be a learning piece nobody sees ; )

Did struggle with the cord. Used 6 skeins of floss (multiple colors) and it was too darn ugly. Went to 2 stores for more DMC & found 6 skeins of one color -- made a new cord & struggled mightily with tacking it on & burying the ends -- what a project. Now I know why my cord drill stays in the drawer...

I won a $25.00 gift card for Barnes & Noble. The librarian phoned & said my name was chosen from the Summer Reading program. I am thrilled.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Turns my Brain ....

"She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain"
Louisa May Alcott

Sarah Ban Breathnach writes: "Virginia Woolf believed that when we women who read too much arrive at the pearly gates carrying our beloved books with us, the Almighty will tell St. Peter: "Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.

Between reading & needlework, I can cope with anything!! My two vices!! They turn MY brain towards the positive energy needed to make it thru each day. For those irksome, irritating obstacles in life, I have this little voice which whispers "Please, give me strength" and when my patience is short the voice whispers a little longer line, and says: Please, give me strength to make it thru the day" When I'm rocking toward the edge, and want to roar, it says: "Yeah, I know you are busy up there, Hey -- I don't ask for much". And wink-wink, I turn to reading and stitching. Guess somebody was listening after all ....

Thank you creative needle ; ) my finishing yesterday was pretty good .... the three kittens came out better than expected. smallish & difficult to line up the edges; however, too cute when done. I put three of them in a tiny basket (found at JoAnn Fabric Store) with a red fabric. Made a braid with red floss & dmc metallic floss. The pyn keep pattern by Ellen Chester is lovely. The stitching over-one (magnifier inventor is a genius) and I didn't adjust her motif very much. I used 4 ribbon pieces for lacing the edges together & made small bows in the corners -- didn't finsh like the model (pictured on-line). The finishing idea came from the front cover of a Fine Lines magazine. When ever I'm stitching over one -- there are no mistakes, no ripping out, just 'pattern adjustments' How creative.

today, after dropping off a form in Lake County -- running 5 errands -- I'm working on my canvas box lid until it is done. Or until my eyes dry up in my head. This thing has got to work. It has to look nice. I should just stick with linen!!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Porter County Fair Entries (revised)

I hope to get some pictures in a photo bucket account real soon. Ribbon Update

Category 1 Arts & Crafts .....

Special Occasion (any Holiday, Special Event)
(1st)101b. Tree Ornament: Mill Hill kit - mitten design
(4th)101c. Needleart: Reindeer Parade (JBW design). 34ct blue linen
(1st)101e. Wearable Art: Mill Hill kit - carrot cart (bunny rabbit)
(5th)101g. Other: Ruth Sparrow's Our Flag was Still There, bookmark. 34ct linen

Toys (0-no ribbon)
(0)105b.Other: Three Kittens

Wearable Art
(0)109c. Accessories: Amulet -- EGA group course.

Home Decorating Articles (not quilted)
(1st)110c.Pillows: Original Design "All we have is all we need" done in silk AVAS - w/blackwork motifs done in multiple colors. 25 ct tea dye linen
(3rd)110e.Other: Cross Stitch design on a huck towel. Strawberry Basket (Design Connection)

Miscellaneous Crafts
(0)113 Beaded Tassel Fob (Kit by Jupiter)

Category 5 - Needlecraft

Needlepoint & Quickpoing
(1st)505a Canvas: First Steps (Genny Morrow) in whitewash oak box lid
(1st)505b Plastic Canvas: box made w/verigated yarns - was a Camp Quality model last August for the kids stitching.

Counted Thread Work
(1st)506e. sampler: Dawn Lewis Acorn Sampler -- from a class she taught a few years back & I just got the glass on w/frame
(3rd)506f. Other (not suitable for framing) ex pillows, afghans: Dutch Treat Design - Acorn tabletopper
(1st)506h. other: Sheperd's Bush - folk heart needle roll (28 ct lav mist linen)

Miscellaneous Needlecraft
(2nd)507a. combination of techniques: Victoria Sampler heart kit (has asissi work & other nice stitches)
(2nd)507b.other: Eliza's Pyn Pillow (Ellen Chester freebie pattern) sandstone linen 32 ct? or 34ct? (look for the pattern & picture on Thread Gatherer's web page)

Sixteen Entries -- 13 ribbons. Lake County Fair starts 8/4 -- more news then

Friday, July 08, 2005

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye."

The Sanctuary (Drawn Thread) & Fair Entries

I am behind in the Drawn Thread - The Sanctuary ... SAL (Stitch-a-Long) .... by A LOT. I know tomorrow the group gets together and goes over the Hem Stitch. I am still working on one of the center areas .... and should be done with the next all-around border of lovely trees and gates and stuff. It is a beautiful pattern & helps to have Sharon H show some of the stitches & share tips. I think Linda R will be showing us the hem stitch. I need a refresher!

Porter County Fair .... July 21-30
Be there! I don't know how many entries I will have ready for drop off on the 17th.

I know I have a tabletopper (acorn), one sampler w/glass (Dawn Lewis), one plastic canvas box (CQ project), and a pretty Reindeer Parade small pillow/ornament (JBW design?) ..... maybe I'll have the 1st steps into the box lid. Usually I have about 8-10 entries .... spent so many stitching hours on the English Band Sampler Course .... Think this little Scissor Fob would be a good entry? I did get the stitching completed .... not the finishing. I need a yellow and blue cord. Not sure the tassel.

Back to 1st steps -- I'm on the last stitch. I need to couch down some laid floss. Still need a border in another color -- don't want the canvas edge to show! I see a 'dome' effect on the canvas & don't think it will matter in the box lid. Canvas is really not my thing ... but this design by Ginny Morrow was so beautiful.

Been bogged down with a headache that I woke with yesterday. Today, went to Walgreen's for some Sudafed. Felt like a criminal while the clerk filled in by name/address in a book, verifided my identification w/my driver's license, and then I signed their book. Guess Sudafed is a hot drug item. I just want this headache to CEASE. I have things to do ....

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Cord Making + Mystery Sampler

Hi, happy fourth .... sort of.

Oh what fun .... went to EGA chapter meeting last night. yeah, and let me tell you about the dome light that wouldn't turn off -- and the 3 of us (carpoolers) trying to get the interior light off with the doors open .... eee gads. Mosquitos ate their dinner courtesy of us .... but, back to the chapter meeting.

We were in a series of lessons for scissor fob making ... there were three lessons -- cross stitching (May), tassel making (June), and last night cord making. Now, I've had a drill for making cords in my drawer a good year or so (never out of the package) and enjoyed using it last night. I even had a handy-dandy weight .... sold separately. HA ; )

chapter web site

My friend Sue is an excellent teacher. She said for small pillows + ornaments: use 4-6 lengths of floss (don't separate) for cord making. For stockings & larger pillows - use perle coton.* She suggested taking measured strands of perle coton + making small samples to figure out the diameter cord you like. Her formulae was measure around the project and multiply x 4. So, if you have a final length of 8" (2" per side) multiply by four, or 32" lengths of floss -- to give you a starting length for your cord. BEFORE TWIST

*Sue confesses to watch for sales on cording at Hobby Lobby. What a hoot.

So, she cuts off lengths of DMC 734 (like split pea soup color) ties them in a knot -- hooks to the drill, and knots the other end around a pencil. Hands it to a new guild member & makes the cord. She shows us how to make bi-color floss cords and metallic floss cords. Of course twisting it and letting it fold back on itself is quite cool! An awesome demonstrations.

I .... idiot (I for Idiot) have my handy drill ready ..... lengths cut -- knot in one end over the drill hook .... and the other end around my finger; when my buddy, Sue, reminds me not to twist around my finger and cut off my circulation ..... what would I do without her. yeah, I get handed a pencil .... I put it around a pencil and made a couple cords. Fun-ness.

Sue continued her lesson ... she showed us how to stitch the fob sides together and how to stuff and how to add the tassel (which I didn't make yet) and how to add the cord .... and HERS WAS BEAUTIFUL. Then sew the thing shut. It is all so easy when shown.

Ok, here is the bonus. She has another way to finish a fob .... she had another tip ... demonstration. She used a 6" square of linen/evenweave, had her motif stitched in the center. She turns it over and folds the points into the middle. So, the square becomes a diamond --- then, folds it again ... the diamond shape is back to a square shape. Like oragami. And the edges are beautiful. Sue says "now sew on a button" in the back where the corners meet.

Remember the I for Idiot .... I'm like, yippie -- thought we didn't stitch anything -- drop a puff of stuffing on the square -- just fold - fold again - add a button .... done!. Yeah -- good thing Sue was there! No, Sue says, you gotta sew the edges before adding the button. With the sewn edges -- I bet it will be beautiful.

Mystery Sampler -- in Needle Arts magazine -- suggests a METER of linen banding. I swear, I think I have 36" or one yard. Not 40" or one meter. It is my pet peeve about mystery samplers -- tough to get the right sized ground without knowing a final stitch count. So, I posted a note on the yahoo group and keep my fingers crossed somebody in cyberland knows the stitching count length.

Now, let me tell you about Man Day in Valparaiso .... on Father's Day, my husband (wonderful man) decides to paint my bathroom. He dumps everything into the sink and starts painting. Oh, honey .... what dropcloth? Argh.


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