Saturday, December 24, 2011

Assorted updates

I had neglected The Great Escape SAL for a while, but I'm all caught up. My scruffy owl, named Wol by the designer, is up to date now with full body and wings. He'll get owl feet in the new year I hope. These stitches are so hard to do well, especially on the higher count fabric I chose. I just have to think of my work as 'rustic' and not get uptight about it.

In a few spare moments, I crocheted a couple of coasters to use up leftover cotton yarns. I actually don't intend to use them as coasters. For me, they are the perfect size to use as a hot, wet compress over my eyes and nose when I get a sinus headache. Large enough to do the job and maybe avert the need to take any meds, but small enough to keep my hair from getting wet and frizzing up! I keep losing them when I do my laundry.. sacrifices to the drier gods. So I made a couple of new ones.

This pattern is called a snowflake coaster, although it does have eight vertices, not six, but who's counting?

And this is very standard type of flower coaster. There are only so many ways to make these with worsted weight yarn since you only get about four rounds before the item is too large for a coaster.

And now for some fun gifts that the mailman brought be lately.

First, my friend Wendy
sent me a beautiful tatted snowflake. You wouldn't believe how fine the threads are and how perfect every stitch is!

A very fun surprise package arrived from Michelle. Look at this great array of goodies. A gorgeous pin cushion with the cutest birdie ever, a lovely beaded fob with a sweet little ladybug on the end, some heart charms, plus beads, ribbons and floss from South African companies that I had never seen before. How lucky am I!

Annette sent a card with an adorable heart-felt (little wordplay there) ornament. We both agreed this will work right through Valentine's Day!

Finally, I was lucky enough to receive one of Nia's cute little felt mistletoe ornaments. Hoping this results in lots of holiday kisses!

Many thanks to all of these ladies for remembering me this way. And many thanks to all those who take time to stop by my blog. The stitching community is the best, yes?

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sewing Machine Cover & Village Update

My ancient sewing machine contracted a little problem with the hinge that attaches it to its cabinet. I had a nasty time one evening with the machine stuck half in and half out of the cabinet. Once I got it out, I decided to leave it out til I can figure out what to do about that hinge. That of course called for some kind of dust cover. I found this tutorial that looked reasonably easy and would probably fit my machine without any adjustment to the measurements. I had some blue fabric to use, but I was afraid it would not be heavy enough. Then I saw some bloggers who suggested adding a mid-weight fusible interfacing if using quilting cottons. I'm glad I took that advice.

This project was another stitcher-tunity to do a little embroidery. I found this cute drawing of a sewing machine (so I'll know what's under the cover I guess) and decided to use it. I was exhausted after holding the piece up to the window to trace it while standing up. My felt tip pen wasn't all that happy to write at that angle either. My fabric shifted some, so my result is bit more, shall we say, 'whimsical' than the original. I was too tired after tracing to pick colors, so I settled for all red, DMC 814. All in all, I'm happy with the result and I wouldn't hesitate to make more.

This is covering a Singer Touch 'n' Sew 648 that was a college graduation present from my mother about 1000 years ago.

The Birthday Village from San-Man Originals is just about done with only one more month to go. October brought a red barn with an array of pumpkins surrounding it. November is a bit scary with that giant turkey. I assumed the people are heading to Thanksgiving dinner, but maybe after staring that big fellow in the face, they are changing their minds and opting for the barn dance next door instead. A little re-charting of the people here as usual with this SAL to make them look a little more to my liking.

I have received some lovely stitchy gifts this past week and when we get a little sunshine, I'll take photos and show them off.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cottage Pinkeep Sampler Quilt

I was feeling a little down yesterday so I decided to employ a bit of stitch therapy and finish up another little art quilt for AAQI. A 'finish-finish' always lifts my spirits. This design is the Cottage Pinkeep Sampler by Deborah Thorpe of Midsummer Night Designs. Deborah has granted me permission to use her design for this purpose. It's stitched on 36 count linen from HDF. I love the sweet motifs and muted colors, but I thought it needed a bright border to set it off. Might be too bright for some tastes, but I love it.

My addled brain totally forgot to post the wonderful gifts I won from Carol's contest. I had already put the toys away in separate places when I remembered I hadn't taken a photo, so I gathered everything up today and took a picture to share. Funny thing, Carol also included some chocolate, but that is nowhere to be found at this point...hmmm? Anyway I just love the wonderful stitching bag that has a nice flat bottom so it stands up on it's own. Carol included a couple of lovely fat quarters and nice little journal. And the pièce de résistance is the sweet little pin cushion she made for me. It's stitched on black fabric.. something I could never hope to do and it's stuffed with the crushed walnut shells that are so popular these days. It's fun to hold and squish... could be marketed like worry beads I think! Thank you so much, Carol.