Monday, July 24, 2017

If it's Summer...

...I must be working on quilts.  I don't know why, but when it gets hot outside, I want to create quilts.

At the moment, I've joined a couple of exchanges on FB.  In these exchanges, you make one 12" block for each person that has signed up and then mail them out to each person.  Here are some of the squares I made for the June/July exchange.  The colors were chosen but we each got to pick out what block to use them in.


I chose the Wagon Tracks block from QuiltersCache.com.  These were the last ones I needed to do for June/July.

For August, there were so many of us signed up, we got divided into smaller groups.  My group has 11 people with one person doing 2 blocks so I had to make 11 blocks total.  Our group was totally random for the colors and the block choices (as long as it finishes at 12").  This time I picked the Mosaic block from PatchworkSquare.com.  Since I had been running behind on the previous exchange, I wanted to make sure I was on the ball for August; my blocks are already done!  Here are the blocks I did:




These were a lot of fun to do!  The big squares in each block are 5" and the little ones are 2".  I have bins of both those sizes already cut so that saved a bunch of time.


I've been trying to tame my fabric stash while I've been making these quilt blocks.  I'm also doing a leader/ender project as described by Bonnie Hunter.  I've folded almost all of my fabric yardage (again, using Bonnie Hunter's technique) and rearranged it on my shelves.  Here are the before and after photos:



Now, I just have to deal with a few more yards and all the pieces that are less than a yard:



The first photo is mostly yardage.  The second is my "fat quarters" and scrap pieces.  Not all of the fat quarters were fat, they were smaller.  True fat quarters (18" x 22") are all getting folded the same way and put in a drawer together.  All the other pieces are getting cut up into:

  • 5" squares
  • 2" squares
  • 2½" strips
  • 2" x 3½" bricks
  • strips narrower than 2½ for string quilts
  • little bits smaller than 2" for crumb quilts
As I'm working on managing all these fabric chunks, I'm doing the Caroline Chain from Bonnie Hunter's book Addicted to Scraps as my leader/ender project.  It's the first one in the book.  I'm thinking about just doing every one in the book.  I'll get back to you on whether I do or not.  Here's what it looks like in the book:


I've been cutting a lot of the 2" squares and 2"x3½" bricks for this one.  I've been cutting 5" squares from my fabric chunks first and then I do a bunch of the smaller squares and bricks for this quilt.  I've been throwing the dark and light sets into these two baskets on the floor but I guess I needed some help from Spooky.


The shoebox tubs have the brick and squares in them and I just grab them at random to piece together.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Sunday, June 25, 2017

La Belle Dame...FINISH!

Yes, that's right, I finished La Belle Dame Sans Merci!


I stitched this on 25ct., 1 strand over 1 fabric thread (1x1), using full cross stitches.  There are 223,675 stitches in this piece.

Now I'm going to choose a different focus piece plus add a couple more projects into my rotation.  My new focus piece is going to be God Speed, also from HAED.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

La Belle Dame update

I finished another page + partial page on La Belle Dame...!  I've now finished through page 30 plus pages 33-38 (partials).





The bottom edge looks wavy due to my not putting it in the frame completely straight.

Since I took this photo, I've finished pages 39 & 40 which is 6 stitches high across the bottom to the right edge.  I'm working on pages 31 (full) and 32 (partial) at the same time.  The finish is in sight!

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Sunday, May 7, 2017

New start

Yes, I know, I really should finish something before I start anything new but 😛 to that.

This is a retired pattern from HAED, Little Bee Eater.  I'm stitching it on 32ct., 1x1 full crosses.  The fabric is Summer Sky from Wichelt that I got from 123stitch.






Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Shop Updated

Hi Everyone!

Just a brief note to let you know that I've just added over 30 items to my Etsy shop:  XedStitches.

The new items include magazines, leaflets and books...all for cross stitch.  Here are a few of the new additions:

 

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Thursday, April 27, 2017

La Belle Dame update

I've finished another page on La Belle Dame Sans Merci from HAED!  I haven't been working on anything else lately which is why I'm making such good progress.


The knight now has his legs!

This is pages 29 & 37 finished.  Since taking this photo, I've finished page 38 as well...it's only 6 stitches high.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Monday, April 10, 2017

Another La Belle Dame update

Whew!

Since it's been too cold to use my sewing room (it's unheated at the moment - my space heater died), I've been making great strides on La Belle Dame Sans Merci.  I've finished another full + partial page!





This is my final row of pages so I am getting excited.  I've already got fabric for the next project to go on this scroll frame!

I also bought fabric for another project that I'll start as soon as I can either finish La Belle or comfortably spend time in my sewing room.  The cold room is also why I haven't made any more progress on my Finish It Up challenge.  I'm dying for just slightly warmer weather!  (sigh)

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

La Belle Dame - update

Woo hoo!  I've finished another page on La Belle Dame...  To be accurate, it's 2 pages of the pattern but the bottom page is only 462 stitches (6h x 77w).






No, that's not a needle minder in the photo - the magnet's not strong enough.  It is strong enough to hold my pattern page in place while I'm working though.

For the record, the pages I just finished were 27 & 35 out of a total 40 pages.  That means that I have 4 more full pages and 1 partial page left to right plus the 6 stitches high partial pages across the bottom left to do.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Christmas Stitching Challenge






Well, there's nothing to report on my Christmas stitching - I haven't done any.

I have been working on my La Belle Dame...  Since I haven't finished a page, I haven't rotated to any other project, Christmas or otherwise.





In other news, I am making a start on adding listings to my Etsy shop, XedStitches.  I just finished sorting out the items I need to list:  magazines, leaflets, books, kits, etc.  There is a lot!  Not only do I have a bunch of cross stitch stuff, there is quite a bit of quilting and sewing too.

I currently have 222 items for sale in my shop and by the look of my office area, I'll be close to doubling that!  (whew!)

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Diamond Painting

I know, it sounds so cool, right?  Unfortunately, they aren't real diamonds (sigh).  Also, there's no paint involved.  I consider that a good thing...paint's too messy.

I heard of diamond painting on the HAED FB page.  One lady on there was doing a HAED in this medium rather than cross stitching it.

I thought it looked interesting so I bought myself a kit.  The one I chose was a simple, inexpensive one (not a HAED) just to see if I liked this craft.

It came today!  It came from China and wasn't supposed to be delivered until at least March 9th so getting it 8 days early was a bonus.  I unpacked it and here it is:


The "diamonds" get attached to the front of the canvas, which is sticky.  You can see the color key on the right side of the canvas.  For this particular kit, the diamonds only go on the trees, not the ground.  The pink thing peeking out on the right side, is the grabber "pen" for the diamonds.  If you look closely, you can see that there is a clear plastic sheet covering the canvas - that gets peeled off to expose the stickiness.

Here is a close-up of the "diamonds".  They are small, about 1/8" (2.5mm).  These happen to be round, but I know there is a square version, too.  If you click on the image for a larger view, you will see that these are numbered 741 and 742.  These numbers correspond to DMC color numbers so ordering your own supplies just got simpler!


I got this kit on Amazon.com.  If you were to look for suppliers, the best places appear to be:
Please note:  If you order complete kits from the China suppliers, the images are NOT LICENSED.  That means the artist's work is being ripped off and they are not getting any compensation for their art.

Ordering supplies, the canvas, diamonds, tool, etc., is perfectly fine but please make sure you order the patterns from legitimate sources (your local needlework shop, designers' websites, etc.). 

If I enjoy doing this and like the way it looks, I might do a few of the cross stitch patterns that I own in this  medium rather than stitching them.  I would do the ones I like but not sure I'd ever stitch this way.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

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Finish It Up Challenge






Well, I made some progress on my challenge list, even though I didn't finish a goal.

I did some hand quilting on my bulls-eye quilt this past month.  As I said, I didn't finish it but I did have to move the hoop so that's something.

Here's the quilt:


...and here's a close-up of the quilting:





The thread is a red, white and blue variegated Sulky.  It looks less "patriotic" than it sounds.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Christmas Stitching Challenge





Well, it's time for an update on this year's Christmas Stitching Challenge...and I actually have one!

The last round of my rotation, I started Heirloom Nativity Sampler by The Victoria Sampler.  When I work on a piece like this, I stitch until I have to roll my scroll frame.  Here's what I've gotten done so far:





It looks like there's plenty of room for another band but the next band is the shepherds in the forest, or something like that, and it's a bigger band like the angels.  This is the first 7 bands out of 30.

The fabric is the recommended 28ct. linen.  The color name is something like Ice Blue (I forget what it's called).  It's about the same shade as DMC 927.

That's it for now.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Monday, February 13, 2017

La Belle Dame...update

Woo hoo!  I finished another page on La Belle Dame Sans Merci!  Well, it's a page and a bit because of the partial page at the bottom.


I have 5 full pages + 7 partial pages left to do.  The end is in sight!

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Friday, February 3, 2017

Finish It Up Challenge


Yes, I know.  I'm late with this post!  The real irony of that is I am never late for anything else.  Hair appointment?  15 minutes early.  Church?  At least 15 minutes early.

Here's my list for this year:
  • Put all my loose floss on bobbins finished January 27th with new purchases done February 3rd
  • Stitch a design for the candlescreen that I have
  • Assemble my Happy Blocks quilt top
  • Assemble my Crumbs quilt top
  • Finish hand-quilting the Bullseye Quilt
  • Finish the Log Cabin Star wallhanging
  • Hand-quilt at least 10 blocks on my Christmas Strings quilt
  • Finish my Through the Storm cross stitch as a free-standing block
  • Finish my green Temari ball
  • Finish 1 of my Santa kits (not cross stitch)
  • Make bookcases for my sewing room
  • Decorate wooden "S" for my sewing room
I'm glad that I post the list every month.  It's like a refresher course on what I'm doing.  ;-)

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Thursday, January 19, 2017

La Belle Dame... progress!

Good Morning, Everyone!

I finally finished a page on La Belle Dame Sans Merci

It's been cold here lately and the space heater in my sewing room died, so I've been stitching in the living room next to the fire.  The only problem with that is there are more distractions than I'm used to so I haven't been stitching as intensely as normal.  ;-)

This is actually a page and a bit.  The bottom row of pages are only 6 stitches high, so I'm including them as I work on each full page above.  That means that this is page 25 & page 33 done.

I'm excited that I'm on the last row of pages!  While I love this pattern, I'll be glad to finish it - that means I'll have a scroll frame empty for another big project!  lol

I'm taking a break from stitching for a day or two.  Not burned out or anything, but I've started working on getting all of my floss on bobbins.  I have more than I thought needing to be done.

I've also created a database for all of my specialty threads (non-DMC).  I do have an app [XStitcher] to inventory all of my DMC but I needed something for all the other threads I have.*

The app that I'm using for my inventory list is AirTable.  It's free for Apple - I don't know if it works on any other operating system.

* XStitcher does have inventory capabilities for GAST, Weeks Dye Works, and Anchor but I would rather have all of my specialty threads listed together.

Happy Stitching!

Stacy 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Christmas Stitching Challenge


Hello Everyone!

Well, for 2017, I don't have any progress to report on Christmas Stitching.  I'll admit, I'm not even done packing up the Christmas décor from last month.  I still have a 7' Christmas tree up in my office area!  The ornaments are off it, but I still need to get the lights off and then pack the tree away.

It's been cold here (WA state coast).  Not like most of the US, but cold for here.  The difficult part is the insulation, or lack thereof, in my house.  My office area is currently 58.8°F (14.9°C).  The chill in the house is keeping me in the living/dining rooms 'cause that's where the fireplace is (we have a wood insert - it's the only source of heat).  I have been getting some stitching done...just not Christmas themed!  ;-)

I am close to a page finish on my La Belle Dame so I'll see about popping a Christmas project into my rotation.  I'm thinking that this year, I'm going to concentrate on a larger piece - probably the Victoria Sampler's Heirloom Nativity Sampler.

I was going to mention my post-Christmas purchase, then I realized that I'd done that in my last post.  I think the cold office is affecting my brain.  Back in front of the fire I go...

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Monday, January 9, 2017

This & That + WIP update

Hey Everyone!

Happy 2017!  I hope everybody had a great holiday season!

I didn't get a cold, which is a minor miracle, so that is excellent.  I'm also another year older, not just due to the new year, but because I had my birthday (Dec. 27).

For Christmas, I got jewelry from Hubby and a 123stitch.com gift certificate from my Mom.  I haven't used the g.c. yet but I know at least some of what I'm going to get.  I bought this:


The pattern is called:  Rosarium and is by Chatelaine Designs.  I'd been searching for a US source for a different Chatelaine pattern and while I did find one, it was less expensive to buy it directly from the designer - even with the $ to  € exchange rate.  I would rather give my money to the designer any way, so I did.  The other up side to this was I had the pattern within minutes!

I'll be spending part of my 123stitch g.c. on some of the flosses and embellishments that I'll need for this pattern.  I'll be buying some other "stuff" as well so I won't be getting everything for Rosarium all at once.


Now for a WIP update!  The HAED FB page has another challenge going on right now (it started Jan. 1).  I've been working on Mini Wings in Repose (retired pattern) as my challenge piece when it meets the "requirements".  Well, this time it did so I worked on it.  I finished this challenge, which is to finish a page of 7300 or more stitches, on Saturday night.  Here's my progress:


I'm doing this 1x1 on 32ct. in half stitches.  This completes page 4 of the chart.  At the bottom right corner of what I've just stitched, you can see the swan's head starting to form.

Well, it's cold at my desk, so I'm going to go sit by the fire and possibly stitch.  I'm working on La Belle... again, apart from the short break on Mini Wings...

Happy Stitching!

Stacy

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Finish It Up Challenge


This worked well last year, so I'm doing this challenge again this year.  If you want to participate, just add your blog address to the comments section of this post (you do need to be a "member" of this blog to comment - I was getting too many spammers).  Feel free to download the above image for use on your blog as well.

The items in your list can be anything as long as it's craft related.  

Here's my list for 2017:
  • Put all my loose floss on bobbins
  • Stitch a design for the candlescreen that I have
  • Assemble my Happy Blocks quilt top
  • Assemble my Crumbs quilt top
  • Finish hand-quilting the Bullseye Quilt
  • Finish the Log Cabin Star wallhanging
  • Hand-quilt at least 10 blocks on my Christmas Strings quilt
  • Finish my Through the Storm cross stitch as a free-standing block
  • Finish my green Temari ball
  • Finish 1 of my Santa kits (not cross stitch)
  • Make bookcases for my sewing room
  • Decorate wooden "S" for my sewing room
As you can see, my quilting needs some attention!  Only 3 of these are cross stitch related.

I hope my progress helps motivate you to make progress on your lists.  Anyone who participates should try to do your updates on the 1st of each month.

I'll also be hosting the Christmas Stitching Challenge again this year.  The initial post will be up on the 15th of January!

Happy Stitching!

Stacy