Sunday, September 25, 2016

Borders and Bindings

Ack!......someone told me yesterday there are 92 days until Christmas....holy moly.... as if I am not already freaking.   Life has been hectic lately...big changes at work with a major re-og.  Same boss but he has new demands and responsibilities so that means I do too.  Upcoming travel plans. Something like 4 out of the next 6 weekends when I am away or have plans.   Summer decorations down but not away.   Fall decorations out but not up.  Yard work to do.    I kind of have myself wrapped around the axle stressing over when am I going to get this all done!!  And now I need to stress about when will I Christmas shop!!! thing at a time......activate mission cybershop.

And somewhere in the middle of all this I think I  'hide' behind my stitching.   Does that make sense?   I make a diversion from all the things that need to be done by 'needing' to get my stitching time in.    I do so enjoy the stitching time but let's face it.....little fairies are not coming in the night to do my time to suck it up buttercup and meter out my time better....

OK that's my rant for this Sunday morning.  I am sure I am not alone and others get the same overwhelming feelings at time.  Enough lamenting and now some sharing of accomplishments.
I spent last weekend in Philly with my daughter.   After I helped her in her office with a giant mailing, she helped me get my quilting done.   I still need to square up the edges and fold, press and add the binding.  Here's a sneak peak at the finished product.  On Sunday we went to the Mancuso Quilt Show in Philadelphia.   I am seeing a trend....each year it is shrinking by a few vendor which saddens me.  I saw the same decline with CATS (Creative Arts and Textile Show) until they folded.   Hopefully I will get it trimmed and folded up nicely until I have an evening free to attach the binding.   I am not putting any pressure on myself to add the border this week since I need to get ready for OCMD.
As always, my stitching pals and myself love love love our retreats at the beach.

I finished up the 'body' portion of Random Threads and now it is time to pull the threads for the border and hem stitching.  Time to read the directions twice and pull once.  I was going to wait until retreat next week in OCMD but well, I just can't wait.  I will pick up the needed charms at Salty Yarns.  One of my upcoming weekends away involves a long flight (Yikes!) and I am thinking it will be a great time to stitch the border.   My seat partners on the plane may not agree as I  continually pull the needle in an out.   Nonetheless I am going to have everything ready to stow in my carry-on and to keep me distracted from BEING IN A PLANE for 5 and 1/2 hours!   No fear of flying here.

Another candidate to take along on my flight is the Boo to You witch I am working on.   I frogged and restitched her face in the proper color.  One would think this was an easy stitch because it is on a large (18) count.   Wrong, lots of counting here.
Here are some of the fabrics I selected at the quilt show as possible backings for the witch when I am done stitching.

And then there is a Will update.   No, he is not standing already.   Mom or dad are holding him up.   My D-in-L is so good about sending pics and videos each week.   I hope to see him in the new few weeks.   He saying yes, Grandma, come see me!

Happy stitching all.   I for one will be taking it one day and one task at a time and before I know it......things will get checked off my long list of things I need/want to do.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Progress and Running Amok

Borders added, seams pressed and ready to quilt.
Ok, so I didn't get the quilt finished.   What!?   No surprise to me......I usually do bite off more than I can chew.    I was disappointed that we stopped working last weekend. In retrospect, it was the best thing to do......moving forward would have just lead to workmanship that was less then would find a place within my range of acceptable.    I have my quilt sandwich ready to stitch but I have learned (as can be verified by the recent $168 machine repair bill) that I need someone to help me pull the quilt top through the machine to keep the quilting straight and even and prevent the heavy drag on the machine.   This will prevent me from bending the entire shaft of the presser foot....again.   And I have found out from Roxanna's son, his grandmother's full name and I think I will stitch a label with her name to add to the back.
Going to pack this up and go to Philly next weekend for a
sew-a-thon with my daughter to finish this up.

Yesterday, at my guild meeting, we had a speaker who instructed us in pinning rather than lacing.  Pretty easy and I think this could quickly become my preference.    She provided instruction, pre-cut mat board, pins and the frames.  We provided a stitch design of 5 x 7.

I am not really in love with this frame but I dilly dallied and the selection was slim but the time I got to browsing through the collection of frames she brought.

Also, not much on my Random Thoughts.....but progress all the same.  I am still confident I will be finished the main body before retreat.  I will get the moral support I need to cut the pull the treads for the border around the design and to be able to finish the stitching by the end of the year.   This is one of my challenge projects for 2016 so that is my incentive.

Not much cross stitching because I needed to turn my attention to the finishing of Pinning to Stitch.   My EGA guild meet for the first time this season and we were all to bring in our completed stitch-a-long to share.   Yikes!    This meant I'd better assemble the needle book and the 'envelope' for all the pieces.

It is always fun to see how other stitcher's pieces turn out.   We all work on the same pattern but the outcomes can be very different.    Buttons or charms added, different finishing techniques, etc.

And as if didn't rant about how I don't jump from project to project......I starting something new.
#1. I have no willpower
#2. I can justify just about anything.

This is  from Pat Thode at Heartstrings.    I need a take along project.....and the fabric count is 18 (stitched over two) is easy to stitch on and see even in bad light.    And I can blame Diane H. who showed us her finish and got us all smitten!

And I am frogging already.   I use floss bags to store my floss on a ring in my stitching bag.   Seems I put 3774 in the bag for 3773 and vice versa.   Needless to say, my witch looks like she have a tan and had the white zinc oxide on her nose to protect it from burning.   She may not look bad above, mid-frogging, but compared to my stitching friends and their facial color mine  was really off.......frog frog frog and restitching in my future.

Happy Stitching all and thanks for stopping by......

9/11 Remembered

As I sit typing and watching Sunday Morning recap on 9/11 I am taken back to exactly where I was when I heard of the first plane strike.   The disbelief, the shock and the terror that we were all filled with as we watch the horror unfold.  I have not yet been to the 9/11 Memorial in NYC but I do plan to go one day and I am sure I will be reduced to tears from the emotion.  I live close enough to NYC to know someone who knows someone who lost their life that day.  The world is such a different place since 9/11.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Project Progress

Wow!  I can't believe how much I have stitched this week it looks like I have stitched this week.   I don't really think I had tons of stitching time but this piece works up so fast.   Again, I wonder what was I thinking when I pushed this off to the basket of UFO's.

I would say I am 3/4ths of the way through the main stitching and then on to the pulled threads and the border.    I am less fearful since I read the instructions for pulling the threads and they are pretty good.
 No truer words then those above.......let's all take time to stop and smell the roses.....

I will need to pick up some charms when I am at my retreat at the end of the month.   I am sure I HAD them but equally as sure they found themselves attached to other projects that came along.

As for quilting progress......last night we cut all the inner borders, outer borders and bindings.   Why is it so much easier and more fun to do it with someone else?    I stitched all the border sections and binding sections into three longer pieces while DD#1 had the tedious job of tucking and hiding the threads on the back side.  Still hopeful I will have some quilting progress to share before the weekend is over.

And now for our Sunday morning moment of nature.    Today has dawned a beautiful day as was indicated by our sunset last night.   I know we are in a storm watch with Hermine but it is hard to believe after this sunset and with today's blue skies..........

The sky was on fire!

Stay tuned for a Stitch-a-long I am planning to host.....Yikes! What am I thinking??    The project will be Queenstowns Samplers - Corsica River.   (see this post)  So far I have two cyber stitchers interested and one non-blogger and myself.    More details and kick off will follow.   Kick off won't be until 2017.  The Stitch-a-long will not be a competition - just encouragement and sharing of progress.   I am imagining one post a month to share everyone's progress.  More details to work out.   Stay tuned.

 Happy stitching all and stay safe if you are in the storm's path......

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Need some guidance ~UPDATED~

I have a labor of love I hope to be working on this long weekend.   My friend  turned over to me the quilt top her mother stitched.   Pretty little flowers in embroidery floss stitched with six strands in mostly stem stitch.  Roxanna found the quilt when she helped downsize her mom for a move into assisted living a few years ago.  Her mom has since passed away at the ripe old age of 102.

 And now this stitched work of art has been sitting in my sewing room for at least two years.....

I took Roxanna to the quilt store and we bought the fabric for the border and binding and backing and somehow I volunteered myself to finish it for her.   Initially I was all happy go lucky about my part in creating an heirloom for her family to pass down through generations but then my excitement turned to fear......what if I ruin the quilt top.   Much trepidation has been felt so it has sat......and sat......and sat some more.

My dilemma is.......the floss and washing it.   Of course, I will have to wash the final creation to make it all quilty with the batting.....but what about the floss running?     Do I soak the quilt top in white vinegar and cold salt water to set the colors before I start on the quilt top?   Is there a better method to use?  Is there a product out there I don't know about that I should use?   I know why this has been sitting in my basket 'o stuff all this time.....fear!  This is a family treasure and I could ruin it!    DD#1 will be here on Saturday and Sunday and I'd really like to take the first step towards completing this.  Roxanna will be 83 this fall and I would really like to have it for her birthday.      Any thoughts, suggestions? signed Desperate in South Jersey

~~~~~ So I took all your ideas and forged ahead.    Rather than deconstruct one square to wash, I laid a clean fluffy white towel on the kitchen counter and using a clean white washcloth, I  gently wet and blotted a section stitched with red.   Pat L. said if the red doesn't run.....I was good.....and I was.    I then, just to be safe, soaked the whole quilt top in a freshly scoured, rinsed and wiped out kitchen sink.  I soaked it in cold water, white vinegar and just about a drop of Orvis soap.   Surprisingly there was not even any dirt that came out.   I rinsed and spread it across the patio on top of a several clean beach towels.   Still wary, I didn't want to hang it while dripping wet and have dye run.   After it was nearly dry I moved it to the clothes line where it will hang for the rest of the day.   Tonight I will press it and be ready to start the cutting of inner and outer borders and binding tomorrow with Heather.   We have an overnight of stitching and sipping wine planned!    Hopefully, I will be able to show a completed quilt by Monday, save the hand stitching of the binding. Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions!  ~~~~~

Saturday, August 27, 2016

What is this?

Yes, what is this exactly........progress on a long forgotten UFO.  

Bless you fellow stitchers that rotate multiple projects.   I guess there is something to be gained from the mental stimulus you get from getting up to speed with a different project every day/week.    I did that crazy January challenge many years ago when you start a new project every day and although fun and exciting.....truth be told, I still have some of those starts in my UFO basket.....

This is my progress this week on Drawn Thread's Random Thoughts.    It was kitted with all NPI silks and I have decided I really like working with them.

Progress is going well except for that pesky over one section.   But even that is not bad.....lettering is always so enjoyable to me.

And what is this.....Mr. W. is getting estimates for some pool fixes.    I was sure when he came home from his summer tour he would lower the boom on the pool.   We need a new liner, a new skinner assembly, a wall panel replaced and filter repairs......I prepared myself for him surely wanting to take the pool down and scrap all the aluminum.....considering in the next five years we will most likely be moving and a pool is not necessarily an asset and the fact that he has not been in the pool in at least the last 15 was safe to prepare myself.   But surprise of all surprise his first reaction is to get estimates for the necessary repairs.   We shall see what the estimate looks like.   My argument is whatever we decide to do it will cost money - $$ to repair/$$ to remove and then fill in the area and landscape.

And what is this craziness?   Here is a pattern I just bought at a Trunk Show at my August Guild Meeting.   (See my other blog - DVHSG. Scroll down to the section on our speaker.)   It is called Corsica River Sampler by Barbara Hutson of Queenstown Sampler Designs.  I was just really taken by this piece.   It is a large 337 stitches by 451 stitches.    There is a lot of blackwork which is something I really enjoy and sections of Assisi stitching which I have never done.  I tried to get some friends interested in a stitch along with this but have only had one taker so far.  I will be selecting fabric and fibers in October when I am in OCMD but I don't plan to start this until at least January.  I may even stitch this in NPI silks since I am enjoying working with them.

For now I want to concentrate on Random Thoughts and finishing some stitched pieces and other UFO's.   Now that's a challenge! Who knows what my spin on it will be next week.  So nice to have choices.

Ok, I am off to do some much needed yard work before it heats up too much.   Hoping for a nice dinner on my deck this evening and possibly cracking open one of my new bottles of wine.

Thanks for stopping by and happy stitches one and all.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fourth and Final Installment

Today's trek took us to Sodus Point by way of a field of sunflowers.    There is a farm in the area that, for whatever reason, has a field of over 700,000 sunflowers.  It was really amazing to see sunflowers as far as you could see.   Not exactly sure why they felt the need to plant all those sunflowers.  There was no store or shop, just fields and fields of sunflowers.    This is Frederick Farm in Clifton Springs, NY
Look at the perfect rows.   I can't even get my few lettuce, tomatoes or peppers in rows that neat.

On to Sodus Point.....This is the second lighthouse built after the original tower fell into disrepair, Congress appropriated a second stone lighthouse be built which was completed in 1871.  This became the residence of the Sodus Lighthouse keepers for the next 80 years.  

Sodus has a nice protected harbor and was a very active port with railways that brought cars and cars or coals to be loaded on the shipped and set sail on Lake Ontario.  It is a tiny fishing town at the end of a long long (miles!) road with a few small town restaurants, a marina and a lovely park and beach area for swimming.


 The view was awesome and the grounds and flower beds very nicely maintained.

Doesn't this look like a nice place to summer? Gorgeous porch and the view that is shown above.

Next stop, the lighthouse on the pier.......

 Oops, we got detoured by wading in the lake!  No walk down the pier for us.

We headed back and after crossing the Erie Canal we found some lunch. The plan was to take a little bit of a ride down the western shore of Cayuga Lake to the Lockwood Farm.   It is a lavender farm.   Unfortunately for us, it is only open to the public in June and July.  From the owner's blog (link above at "Lockwood Farm") seems like a lovely place to spend the afternoon. 

Sightseeing done, we settled in for an evening of sewing.  My two small pieces completed left me to pull out a WIP.   This is a piece in my guild's 2016 challenge.   We were to list up to five starts that were less than 50% done and 'challenge' ourselves to finish them.   I have turned my focus to  Random Thoughts by Drawn Thread.  I love how fast band samplers come together so heaven knows why I put this in the basket of unfinished pieces.   I also like to try new things and  the border, drawn work and hemstitch caught my eye.    I hope to have it all stitched by October Retreat so I can get guidance on the drawn work from a fellow stitcher who has finished this already.   That's you Diane!

The white on white stitches aren't showing up very well but trust me, they are there.

DD#2 spent the evening cutting out the next furry friend in her quilt.  Meet the Bunny Block

All those little pieces!  Bless her little heart!

Unfortunately we woke to heavy rain on Sunday.   Looking at the weather ap, the green, yellow and orange were tracking from Atlanta to Ontario and we were not going to escape the rain.   The weather nixed our plans to stop and stroll through Skaneateles and it was straight home.

We did so enjoy our time together.   No other family members craving our attention or asking what was for dinner.   No dogs jumping about.  No non-crafters telling us stitching would be get their nerves.  We enjoyed it so much that we plan to make this a yearly crafting-palooza of an event.   We are looking at Rhinebeck NY about the same time next year.   There will be some sight seeing, some crafting but tons of fun together!