April 30, 2008

Mystery Progress

I have been neglecting my Papillon Mystery sampler project and finally picked it up this weekend. I managed to finish part two and put on all the beads up to this point. I was waffling on whether or not I liked my design choices but now that more of the design has been completed and the beads are on, I'm pretty happy with it. I've started part 3 which involves filling in between the two sides. I hope to have another progress picture shortly. Who knows, I may even be caught up by the time the next section comes out!

April 28, 2008

A finish!

Yesterday I finished my BBD piece including putting on the antique buttons. I'm not sure if you can see it in the photo but the middle button has a flower petal carving around the edge which I thought went quite well with the design. As you can see, my chain stitch is definitely on the "whimsical side. I tried three times to get the left handle to match the right and just gave up!

I think it came out really cute. I'm not sure if I will use the same fabric for the back or regular fabric. I'm going to have to take it to Joann Fabrics to pick out some ribbon because I couldn't find anything in my stash that suited the piece.

Now that this piece is done, I've picked up my Papillon Mystery Sampler and managed to finish part two and put the beads on for parts one and two. I will show you a photo of that tomorrow. I hope to start part three this week as once I have it in my hands, it seems to work up quickly. I'm really enjoying all the different specialty stitches the piece calls for.

April 26, 2008

Exchange Received

I found out that an exchange I sent out for a birthday has been received in Germany this week.
The recipient loves butterflies and lavender so I used two colors of purple hand dyed cotton to stitch this butterfly pattern from My Aunt's Attic. It came out MUCH larger than I had anticipated - I guessed quite wrongly that the piece of fabric I found in my stash was 32ct. Ummm... I don't think so! I also had to rip out the last butterfly twice because the wings weren't matching up. I didn't stitch the design exactly as charted and I'm quite happy with how it finally turned out. I was glad to send this one off in the mail.
Here is a photo of the fabric on the back of the cube. I thought it was really pretty.

April 24, 2008

What a difference a dye lot can make

I recently purchased a skein of Caron Waterlilies at my relatively local LNS (they only had one skein) because I really want to stitch the project on Temus Fugit's blog. After reading the project directions, I realized I would probably need two skeins so I ordered my fabric (28 ct. Light Mocha Cashel) from ABC Stitch Therapy (my online go to these days) and two additional skeins of Waterlilies Cherry.

Well, my extra skeins arrived today and boy are the two dye lots totally different. The two skeins on the right are the ones I received today. I really don't care for them, I wanted my project to have the look of the skein on the left. The two on the right are much darker and some sections even have a bluish tint to them. Sigh....what are the chances of finding the same dye lot again? Slim right? If anyone out there has Caron Waterlilies Cherry in dye lot # CS101910 - I will gladly and gratefully buy it from you. I am quite disappointed and not sure what I will do - maybe choose another color to use for the project?

April 23, 2008

Braving the Blanket Stitch

Well, I took a deep breath and started putting in the blanket stitched flowers this morning. I got the first one done before I left for work and finished the rest up this evening. Once I got over trying to make them "perfect" they went quickly and were fun to complete. They really add a pop to the piece I think. I have the eyelets to do yet on the bottom four flowers and then it will be on to the chain stitching for the basket. Sorry the photos are lousy - no zoom capabilities.

I've actually had quite a surge of stitching mojo this week. I had been mainly knitting and working only on a birthday exchange - Happy Birthday Ilse - but picking up this BBD piece has been good. I also started and finished the front of an exchange piece and plan to start the back tomorrow. Maybe I will actually mail an exchange out early!

Only two more days until the weekend - hope you're having a great week and thanks for stopping by!

April 21, 2008

Keeping Busy

We had a glorious weekend here - definitely springy! It was sunny all weekend and in the 60s both days. I painted my dining room and also raked the yard out. Needless to say I'm quite sore today. As a reward for working so hard all weekend, I did spend some time stitching yesterday afternoon. Picking up a needle was about the easiest think I could think of! Here is my progress on BBDs Buttons & Pins. I picked up this chart when I was in Las Vegas in February. It is a bit different in that it calls for blanket stitch and chain stitch in parts. I've been a bit intimidated by this and I think subconsciously I've been avoiding the piece. But I am soldiering on. If any one has already stitched this piece, did you stitch the centers of the blanket stitched flowers before or after doing the blanket stitch part?

I've also been expanding my knitting skills with a new pair of socks. This is the Butterfly pattern from Fiber Trends. I've learned how to do yarn overs properly to create a butterfly pattern. Unfortunately, I don't have sock blockers so it's a bit hard to see the pattern. I will work on trying to get a better photo. I'm using Blue Moon STR in the Ruby Slippers colorwy. I really like how this pattern is written - clear and very easy to follow.

April 16, 2008

Needlework Show

The online needlework show has opened today! I really like this avenue for shopping as there are always some new designers to put on my list that I probably will never see in my local LNS which has been pretty dismal lately. I really like two of the new CHS designs, Black Horse Inn and Frederick. I am also putting three My Mark designs on my list - Home, Grace and A Garden Walk. Two will be stitched for friends and the house one for me. I really like the new "emotions" pieces of which Home and Grace are a part. I also like the Sue Hillis design Pirate's Creed. I think I will stitch this for my office at work! I'm sure I will find some more favorites before the show closes next Monday. Don't forget to go browse!

Thanks to all of you who've left such nice comments about my friend Charlie's passing. Stitchers always are such a comfort to those of us who need it and I'm thankful to be on the receiving end this time.

As for my own stitching, I have very little to show at this point. I did pick up my UFO CHS alphabet piece and do a bit on that. I'm up to I is for Inn. If anyone needs M for Mermaid, please let me know as I ended up with two in my possession. Sorry this photo is so bad. I really need a camera with a decent zoom lens. Maybe for my birthday this year.

April 14, 2008

Goodby Charlie

My friend Charlie stitched these amazing masterpieces while he was going through some recovery several years ago before I knew him. I have not know Charlie for long - only three years - but he's always been special to me. He was one of the most caring individuals I have ever met.

He was brought into my life for a special reason I think - to show me what it means and how to die with dignity. It is a lesson I will not forget, I promise. He got to see these finished just this morning. Through a chance conversation in February, he learned I was a cross stitcher and showed me the unfinished pieces that had been tucked away for several years. I told him they were too beautiful to stay rolled up in the tubes they came in originally so as a small gift to Charlie and his family, I finished them into stockings that his family will now have forever. I will miss you greatly Charlie and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am blessed for having known you.