Monday, December 30, 2013

Last of 2013 Stitching

Last minute gifts and cloudy days didn't make for great photos.  But I think the gifts were appreciated by the recipients.  Using my new found mounted felt ornament skills, I stitched up Snowy Pines by Little House Needleworks.  I like that this can still be displayed during the winter months since its theme is not holiday specifically. I've wanted to stitch this for a long time, mostly because of that cute bear and his French knot nose!  The fabric is 36 ct Summer Khaki Edinburgh linen.

The UK Cross Stitcher magazine had a set of designs for cute robins that just stole my heart.  I thought I was tired of that sketchy back stitch style of design, but this was just too adorable to pass up.  This one made a great last minute card and I'm sure I'll stitch the others at some point as well.  This is stitched on a scrap of Vikki HDF linen.

And finally, this is a New Year's thank you gift for a friend.  The design is Day 8 of The Little Stitcher's 12 Days of Christmas for 2013.  That little girl, all dressed up, holding a muff in one hand and the final arm of the snowman in the other, is just the sweetest thing.  And these primitive designs are so quick to stitch up.  Again, this is stitched on Summer Khaki Edinburgh linen. 

I used this to make a 'winter survival kit' with hand salve, lip butter, a nail clipper, and the all-important Starbucks gift card.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and a wonderful 2014 ahead!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Winter Ornament

Haven't done a lot of stitching lately.  I guess there hasn't been enough of interest for me on TV and my stitching is always done while watching.  Or maybe I just need one of those periodic breaks from crafting and have preferred reading in my free time.  Anyway, I did stitch this pretty winter tree, "Arbre d'Hiver", from Jardin Privé, one the four seasonal tree freebies you can get here.  It's stitched on 32 count bone evenweave with DMC threads.  I don't think I even changed one color.  Just back-stitched the snowman since he seemed to be lost in the background without it.  

Vonna has been showing so many mounted felt ornaments lately that I thought I'd give that method a try.  I took her tutorial as a starting point.  She does everything so precisely, and I never do that, but  I more or less followed her lead.  I discussed some details with her about gluing and materials.  I thought the craft glue might bleed through the felt, but it didn't, so that part worked well.  I just used synthetic felt, but it was thicker than most of what I see these days.  I think it might have come from a fabric store rather than a big box craft store.  I now wish I had a zig-zag rotary blade for the edges.  The pinking shears work ok, but much more difficult to get a nice edge.  The stitching is stretched over comic book cardboard with a layer of batting to give a little depth.  I'm reasonably happy with this and I think it will make a nice little gift.  And it's suitable for display all winter since there is no particular holiday flavor to it.

I also make a couple of self-closing gift enclosure cards.  And they stand up for display as well.  The first is one of Daffy Cat's freebies from 2008, Jingle Bell Reindeer.  No beads, just French knots for the 'necklace'.

The second is from the 2013 JCS ornament issue, "Peace Bird", by Rosewood Manor.

Here's a photo of how it works to stand it up.  The bottom folds up and I'll use a sticky seal to close.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wrist warmers & fingerless gloves

Finally the frogs took a holiday and I managed to finish the wrist warmers I had been knitting, knitting and re-knitting.  They certainly are not without errors, but at least they are finished.  I think they are good enough to give as a gift.   I'm hoping the recipient will appreciate the effort anyway.  These are the Phytolith Fingerless Mitts, a free ravelry pattern.  The yarn is Knit Picks Swish worsted in Indigo.   No thumb or thumbhole.  Easy to slide back up your wrist if you want to get them out of the way.  Easy to knit if you don't go all Walter Mitty and make tons of mistakes!

Fearing that I wouldn't want to give them as a gift, I knitted a pair of old, reliable Fetching Fingerless Gloves as a backup.  I think I can knit those in my sleep now.  I've made this pair in the same Paton's Classic Wool as I did a couple of years ago.  Now I can give these to someone else and I've knocked out another hand made gift.

I also finished up a card from one of the motifs in the Prairie Schooler Button-up Snow series.  I think this little guy making a snow angel is my favorite one of those.

 And I leave you with the latest appointment reminder card I received from my dentist.  Apparently they no longer use the term 'recall cards' for the negative connotation that word has acquired over the years.  


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chanukah Pinkeep and French Cellphone Case

Most of my crafting time since my last post has been spent in frogging everything I attempt.  Very frustrating.   So I have some knitting in the works that should have been finished long ago, but not when I can't make any valid forward progress!

I really never stitch for the Jewish Holidays.  Frankly, what small ornament patterns exist for this are so uninteresting that I'm never tempted and I don't do larger pieces much anyway.  But when I saw this Shepherd's Bush Chanukah piece, I was intrigued and thought I'd stitch it up.  Who would have expected a Chanukah design on that site!  I was still mad at myself for not being able to crochet my favorite trim in black for the Mary Gary Halloween ornament. So I gave it one more try for this one.  This thread seemed to have a little more heft so it went much more smoothly this time.

The design is a bit busy, but I thought the idea of doing a Chanukah-related word for each letter of December was pretty clever.  The 'B'  for bulbs was a bit of a stretch, but I couldn't think of anything better so I went with it.  I know Chanukah starts unusually early in November this year, but with eight days, it will slide into December as usual.  I substituted little buttons for the dreidel button they had at the top.

Taking a break from that knitting, I decided to stitch a little French design that caught my eye.  This is a free sample from a magazine and I believe the designer is Perrette Samouïloff.  You can get the freebie here.  She's such a perfect little French girl with her kitty.  It's stitched on what I thought was 32 count lambswool Jobelan, but it came out larger than expected so maybe it was 28 count.  Whatever.. goes with all the other mistakes I've been making.  I turned it into a cell phone case for WOCS.  These are photos before I added a button on the back.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Turkey and Eagle

Not too much stitching in the last few weeks.  Seem to have spent way too much time fighting off one kind of minor health problem after another.   I was scheduled for jury duty too, but luckily my number was high enough that they didn't need me on the actual day so I was excused.

One piece of good news during my downtime.... a big, beautiful, new Joann's fabric and crafts store opened in a mall nearby!  Usually, I just hear about these things closing.  What a pleasant surprise!

When I finally felt a bit better, I just wanted to stitch something cute.  So out came "Bok Bok", a freebie from Plum Street Samplers that came out in 2009.  You can still get the pattern here.  He's such a an elegant little turkey, stitched on a piece of lavender hand-dyed Aida.  I turned him into a coaster/mat to use for the season.  I'm afraid the guy got all dressed-up without knowing his Thanksgiving fate!

I also managed to finish a square for a WOCS quilt.  They are doing a couple of quilts for wounded warriers and vets.  I thought this sweet piece, "Pride and Glory", from Threadworks Primitive would work well for the theme.  The rules required white, 14 count fabric, and I had one lone piece of Aida in my stash that filled the bill.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall, Halloween, Winter

A few assorted finishes to show today.  I finished one more cell phone case for WOCS.  This is based on a digi-stamp, 'Happy Harvest' by Doodle Garden.  Tried a different way to do the closure just using a fabric loop.  I think I like it better than elastic actually.

While I was packing up my finishes to send to WOCS, I remembered a little tea wallet I knitted some time ago, so I sent that too.  Nobody needs a special pouch to hold their teabags, but the pattern was too cute to pass up.   The free pattern is right here.

Next I finished a classic Mary Garry Halloween design.  I think I'll send it to a friend who has a brand new grand-daughter.  First Halloween ornmanent!  I was trying to do a crocheted border in black, but my eyes said no way.  So I substituted star sequins with beads and a running stitch. This is on 36 count linen.

I needed (needed?) and extra Halloween card, so this little Prairie Schooler witch filled the bill for a quick stitch.  I had planned to get more elaborate in the finishing, but I always seem to run out of steam for that when it comes time to actually do it.

Inside, I have the cutest vintage printable.  You can download it here.

And cold weather holidays will be here before we know it.  So when I happened to stumble on this Shepherd's Bush Warm Heart little Miss Snowlady, I just had to stitch it in anticipation.  She's just perfect for a neutral holiday card.  Oddly, she's wearing the colors of the Washington football team.  I guess that influenced me to stitch her as well.  The photo got cropped on the right.  For once, I did manage to get the circle centered in real life.

 I think it might be time to do a little knitting.  I always get the urge around this time of year, but after I do a little bit of it, I get bored and quickly return to x-stitch.  We'll see what happens.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Farewell to Pumpkin

With great sadness in my heart, I'm writing to say goodbye to our dear blogging friend, Cathey.  The news of her passing arrived yesterday via her friend Katie.  At least her suffering is over.  My thoughts are with all of her family and friends. 

You can read more here on Katie's blog

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pumpkins for Cathey

Today is the big day to show love and support for our dear blogging buddy Cathey at the Pumpkin Patch.   This is Cathey's blogoversary so first we congratulate her for her many years of successful, entertaining blogging.  And we also want to send all the positive pumpkin energy we can as Cathey goes through difficult times.

When I first learned of this special event, the brainchild of  Sharon/DaffyCat, I immediately starting working on pumpkin stitchy projects.  Some are still in the works, but here are the finishes.  Hope they bring a little surprise cheer.

We start with a cute little girl coming out of a pumpkin to yell, "Surprise"!  This is a quilty mat/coaster from a design by  GreenBeanBaby .

Next is a cell phone case to be given in honor of Cathey to WOCS for distribution to a woman in a domestic violence shelter.  The design is the Autumn Mini-Sampler by Waxing Moon.  The x-stitch fabric is a scrap from an 18-count evenweave fabric in my stash that I really can't identify.  Plenty of pumpkin love on this one.

A slice of the October Doorways design by Vermillion Stitchery made a perfect bookmark  to welcome Halloween and show off some cute pumpkins.  This is on 36 ct Edinburgh linen with a black gros-grain ribbon fused to the back.

And finally, a finish for a design I stitched last year.  This piece is "Autumn Buddies" by Oakhaven Designs stitched on 36 ct HDF linen.  Perfect size for an Altoid top and perfect expression of pumpkin love for my "Autumn Buddy" Cathy.

Cathey, hope your day is filled with wonderful surprises!  You have tons of friends pulling for you.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Nook Jacket & Cell Phone Case

My Nook tablet said that summer was over and cool weather is on the way so he wanted a new winter jacket.  The sleeve I made a while back is ok, but not as convenient as I would like.  Luckily, I had stitched up The Sampler Girl's "Austen/Alcott Sampler" for just this purpose.  I love that sampler and bought the pattern as soon as it was released. I did it over-one on 25 ct. Jobelan so it would fit on the cover nicely, leaving me room for a flap closure if I managed to position it correctly.   I searched through a ton of tutorials to pick one that resembled a book cover and wasn't too tricky to sew up.

The tutorial I picked is a simplified version of this Kindle Cover Tute.  I left out the pockets inside that she added for inserting boards to firm up the cover.  Some deep purple corduroy in my stash left from the old days of sewing clothes worked well for the outside body.  I pieced it with the stitching and changed the direction of the nap on each piece to add a little interest in shading.  The lining was from a Gatsby collection of modern quilting fabric.  Didn't come out perfect of course, but very usable and I'm quite happy with it.

After I made the cell phone case I posted previously, I wondered if WOCS might be interested in adding those to the type of gifts they make for people in need.  Turns out, they do make gifts for families in a domestic violence center, usually for the kids.  The center accepts donations of used cell phones to give to the women for emergency 911 dialing and they said they would love to get some cases.   I whipped up this one by adapting a design by Diane Duda of DudaDaze and stitching it with simple embroidery stitches.  The original painting is called "I Love You, Little Dog".  Diane does the most fabulous whimsical paintings and sells originals, prints and accessories like notecards featuring her work.   I love how some of her originals are done on cereal box cardboard!    

The wedding I attended over Labor Day was just marvelous.  I hadn't been to a wedding in many years and it was so much fun to go to one.  I really danced the night away too.  I thought I'd show you the cute gift wrap idea I used from a Martha Stewart tutorial.  It was really quick an easy, plus it looks a little different from the standard.  This is the "Pyramid Box" that you can find here with some additional cute ways to wrap a gift.