Saturday, April 22, 2017

It's that time again

Springtime and yard work.   I made some great progress on weeding flower beds and prepping my vegetable garden but there is so much more to do.   Our weather continues to see-saw between unseasonably warm, rain and then cold or to use the words of the weatherman, raw.   I feel like I am ahead of schedule as far as the gardens are concerned but could easily fall behind schedule if the weather does not cooperate!  So wonderful to see everything greening up.

Because I have been spending time in the yard and the gardens, stitching does suffer.  Alas, today is check in day for my FB SAL and I have failed to reach the bar.   No worries, I am not stressing it.   I am close and of course, I got tired of stitching the blackwork row and jumped ahead to the Assisi work.

I have four more of what I refer to as the 'fuchsia' flowers to complete.   The schedule was quite lenient and there is no reason that I didn't finished except that I lost interest in the first row.

 I have also put in a lot of stitches in my Mon Ami pattern.   I can actually see a finish in my future on this piece......which has languished in my workbasket for several years.   This is how far I was when I picked this back up in January.  I really look forward to completing the stitching and then finished this.  I will need to get some silk dupioni for the lining.

Next on my list, I plan to attack Uncle Sam and finish him up.......maybe by the 4th of July and maybe not.....I remind myself this is my enjoyment and not my stressor!

Thanks for stopping by and happy stitching one and all.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Bit of a mess

I seemed to have had a run of a week to ten days with not much stitching.  Once I did get stitching again, I didn't pick up my stitching on Corsica I should have.

Instead I put needle and thread to linen on my mon ami piece.   I know borders are necessary and often pretty but....I felt like I was not seeing any progress so I jumped to the motifs.   Each motif is so quick and so doable in a little bit of time.

It is nice to see progress.    I am hopeful this will be stitched and finished this year after many years in that WIP basket.

Oh I am out of order in so many ways......I signed up for, canceled and then signed up again for a Betsy Morgan class.   Oh the mess I am.   The piece is just too pretty, was my first thought.   My second thought was why sign up for yet another class to have yet another small or worse, yet another unfinished class piece.   Then, I waivered back to signing back up because I knew once I saw everyone else's project I would be sorry.   So there you have it.....I am a true waffler!

The pre-stitch was easy.....except when I was stitching along all gung-ho on the initials and I started to stitch an "m".....because that is what was charted and the initials of the designer.   Duh.    Amok, I run amok as random.  Class day was yesterday after my regular guild meeting.  The class consisted of a review of the kit contents, twisted cord making,  tassel making and the joining stitch Betsy prefers.   All instructions were reviewed and may tips and hints given.   We got to see a lot of Betsy's exclusive designs.  This morning  I finished the scissors fob complete with tassel made using Betsy's method.   I rewrapped the tassel because I thought my job yesterday was messy.

This is the rest of the kit.  A companion piece to the scissors fob.

Now back to my classwork. I layered my fob per instructions, first ironing on the interfacing, then inserting the skirtex and last pressing and tacking the mitered corners.

I need to work on my tension.   I do like the finishing stitch she used.   It is easy and very sturdy.   It doesn't take long to get into a rhythm.  I have spent years trying to make teeny tiny stitches that don't show but really do so I am all about just embracing the joining stitch that is this uniform.

I am going to hold fast to not start the class will be hard.....I have made a bargain with myself to not dare start until I have either finished the assigned Corsica River section or finish my Uncle Sam.  Really, I should make it both.   Getting my hands on Betsy's Virgin Queen will be my reward for the completions.  But I could get distract by making tassels.   They are fun, fast and easy.  

The weather has finally turned nice and a bit of yard work is calling me.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Thanks for stopping by and had a great week in stitches!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Hot Mess

I am a hot crafting mess.    I started an EGA stitch-a-long this week only to decide that with the fibers I choose it was (no other word) yucky!  Out that came and back to square one with that project.

This is the restitched version.
I started my pre-stitch for a Betsy Morgan class I am taking later this month.  I used two strands of silk only to not like the bulky look so I frogged that too.  How those silk threads shred when you frog!   And I was trying to be extra careful as our instructions are to bring all the leftover thread to the class.   Ugh!      Thankfully I had only stitched the border and flowers on one half before I had the mind boggling revelation.  I hope to manage to get the pre-stitching done this weekend.

I have moved onto the next assignment in my FB SAL.......because I finished the first assignment ahead of time?   No, because I wanted to see what the next section was like.   Oh I am out of control for sure.  But I can say  the Assisi work is interesting.   There are two school of thought, stitch first and then outline or outline, then stitch.  As you can see, I am doing the outline first and it is making the stitching whiz along.
 I am exactly halfway across the top row.   Better get my needle in gear, stop straying from the assignment and get that first row done.

For my take along piece, I have managed to complete the left hand side of third section and should be turning the corner on that at stitching night this week.  
 It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that I have charged full steam ahead in yet another project!  Kind of no choice move on this one.   I am making a auction item for a friend's fundraiser for Brain Cancer and the event is next weekend.

Yes those are my squares for my mystery quilt.  And in the upper left corner are Rows 1 and 10 sewn and pressed and just waiting for Rows 2 through 9 to be stitched.  Say no more.   I am scattered.  Isn't admitting you have a problem half the battle?

At any rate, a co-worked and I bought a bunch of scratch off lottery tickets and I was tasked for how to make them/display them as an auction item.  I have promised to delivery my item Monday morning.   I grabbed some branches from the yard, some tissue paper and started.  I debated about using a glue gun but thought with my tendency to make a mess of late, floral tape was the better choice.   And besides doesn't everyone have a half dozen rolls of it just lying around?   I tore about two inch squares of yellow tissue paper and literally just scrunched them up and then taped the 'flowers' to the branches.

First time chalk painting.
 Nice use of a Moscato bottle.

Kind of doesn't look like much in the photo.   Think artsy, think whimsical, think impressionism.

Even though it is sparse, it actually kind of turned out how I envisioned it.   One point for me!

Although I should have been cleaning, closets need straightening and laundry needs to be put away.....    just call me Side Track Robin!  And remember that wall paper project?   Yeah, not seen any attention from me in weeks.    And that makes more points in the no column.    Before you know it, I will be distracted by the yard and gardens!  Ack!  But first  I think I will go back to my sewing room and clean my mess before I have to cook dinner and maybe earn a point on the achievement side.

Have a great week everyone.   Thanks for stopping by.   Keep on stitching.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Little bits

Poor tulip and daffodils.
Even with a snow day last week I have such a little bit of time for stitching but here goes......
We did dodge a bullet on the nor'easter last week and were more plagued by the ice damage to the trees.  

The trees were beautiful in the bright afternoon sunlight.   The noise from the wind and ice falling from the sun baked trees was quite loud.


This one is at a house up on the highway where friends used to live.    I remember when these trees were planted.   The weight of the ice just snapped off the branches down one entire side of the tree.  Every road you drive down there are branches down and trees still being tended to.  So sad to see all the damaged evergreens.  It could be worse.....I've seen no issues of trees into houses or on vehicles around here.  Leonard, my tree guy, most be a busy man right about now.

At any rate I spent most of my snowday just lazing around and not taking advantage of the 'free' time.....well, I took advantage of the free time to do nothing for a change.   I never made it to my sewing room to finished squaring my quilt blocks.   In fact, all the sewing 'stuff' is still piled at the bottom of the steps waiting for me to take it upstairs.  Just not enough hours in the day to get it all done.   And when I had a free day, I just crashed!  The overtime should, operative word being should, be coming to an end.   It will be time to catch up on all the things I let slide both at work and at home.   Most mornings I have tried to manage to carve out about 30 minutes to stitch.  It is like a drug people...admit it....we need our daily fix or something is missing or worse, we get out of sorts.  

My Stitching Friend is coming along.   I just crossed the halfway point.   This is the piece I take to work.......lunch at my desk means no stitching at lunchtime.   The little bits here and there and I will get this done.   

 Uncle Sam has seen so little of a needle with thread in my hands.   I only have his legs and shoes and he will be done.   I'd have to check but I may not even have put in any stitches since I last posted a pic!

I did further goofing off this past weekend with some shop hopping and lunch out with a girlfriend.   We always have a blast when we are together.  Here are a couple of oddities we came across.  First a kitchen wench (?) made of kitchen gadgets.
And then in an entirely different store, a man made out of ties.  More evidence that one person's trash is another persons treasure!

On Sunday I took my friend Roxanna to a concert by the DE Women's Choir.   Of course since I don't take pictures of people you will only see the beautiful stained glass windows of the church they performed in.  

There are four of these windows down each side of the church.   Each is an easy 15 foot tall.   Such a shame that what is showing white is actually green.

One of the same windows looking up from the windowsill.

 This is actually a real Tiffany window.   Imagine that.  In little old Salem County, NJ.  Roxanna enjoyed the concert and of course we have to do dinner out.   (She is 83 so it becomes a social event for her.)  The Delaware Women's Choir sang their repertoire for their upcoming tour to Austria.   It was a real treat.

I had the best weekend in a long time.  No work, just play.   Not that my quilting weekend was not great, but that involved driving and traffic and not sleeping in your own bed.  

Hopefully more stitching progress to share next time up.
Until next time....thanks for stopping by and have a great week in stitches.

Corsica River, One month in

Time for a one month update.   This is my FB SAL.  I am close to halfway through the first assignment which is the complete row of blackwork.    My needle is parked at the mid point.  

So I never go outside the lines.   I obey the rules.   I behave as if someone is always watching.   So what is hiding under the pattern?    Yes, I moved ahead to the next section.   I got curious about the Assisi stitching.   So you see, I am MORE than halfway because I have a head start on the next section.  

I had planned to do the black backstitch last to show a crisper outline.....well it is much easier to backstitch first and fill in the the with the red long armed crosses.

The nice gentle repeat of the first row is making it easy.   For me, I just need to find the time to sit and stitch!

 Hope to see some updates from other stitchers on FB later today.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Quilting Weekend Getaway

Just back from a quilting weekend.    Believe it or not but this is the first time ever I've done a weekend with my sister.  Crazy I know.

We participated in a Mystery Quilt weekend.  You buy your fabric, follow the cutting instructions provided and show up with all your pieces cut and all your equipment and paraphernalia to follow along with the mystery.   Wow, think you need to take a lot for a cross stitch's nothing compared to a quilting weekend.

Here's a bit from show and tell of previous projects that were shared.  These women were so talented and so welcoming and great to be with.

Beth didn't work on the mystery quilt but worked on adding the finishing rows to this huge quilt.

 This was Beth's attempt to use of her scraps.  Mission accomplished!

 A Christmas block of the month club quilt.

 Another block of the month beauty.

Below, it the back to the above lap quilt.

 My sister's appliqué wall hanging.

I eye this pattern every time I go in the store....I even may have bought this pattern somewhere along the way.   I love Halloween stitching.   It is fun to work in all the bright colors.  Better check my stash.

Pretty block of the month from Keepsake Quilting by Barbara.

 Katie created this baby quilt this weekend for a soon to arrive grandson.

 One of Darlene's many

 Everyone's was so different.   Sarah's is so pretty in the red and white and here's another gal that got to Clue 14.

And my work for this weekend.    When it came to the mystery, I managed to complete 13 of the 14 clues.   Clue 14 is the final assembly into rows and joining them for a quilt top.   I stopped sewing because I wanted to square up all my pieces before the last step.  I don't know if I am making a mistake to do so but....too late.   No turning back once I started.

The orange with white symbols under my thread, my bobbin keep and the pins will be my binding.   The backing is the cream colored with the colored symbols that is under everything.  

There were 15 in the class and it was just the right size.   Cynthia and Jan from the Quilt Block were great hostesses and made it a nice weekend.   Tips and hints were shared.  Of course there was a trip to the store to buy necessary tools and some upgrades to existing tools.  I was shamed (lol) into buying a new 6 x 12 ruler (see mine covered with paint from a rug painting project).

We had a nice time together and met some great new friends.    We exchanged emails and added each other to Facebook friends lists.   I am now in the mood to sew up a storm....and with a nor'easter coming this Tuesday and I am hoping for a snow day in my near future, and time to finish this quilt top.  Not enough hours in the day to do all the crafting I want to!!!!