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Monday, August 27, 2007

Vintage Stitches started

rolling my eyes Here I go again - starting a new project. At least it's not a huge project? It's the way I get into trouble - I just couldn't help myself, LOL. Anyway, here is my progress so far (just started yesterday).

Vintage Stitches August 27

Don't look too closely now, because I've already "altered" the design slightly. I just got off counting and couldn't stand to rippit for a third time... But I don't think that my slight alteration makes much difference at all. I also think the model stitcher chose to use just the blue and purple areas of the overdyed threads for the grapes in the center, but I went ahead and used the entire length of silk. My grapes are very colorful that way. wink, wink

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I found it!

And that could be a good thing or a bad thing... good that I'm not crazy, and I get to try the technique I saw several years ago at the quilt show in Paducah... bad that I just busted my budget on the kits of fabric, instructions, dvd, batting, adhesive quilting guide, and scissors.

The technique is described on the Cotton Theory Quilting web site. It is kind of a quilt-as-you-go, what I was trying to search for as "stitch and flip". The instruction sheet calls it "fold and finish" so it's no wonder I couldn't find it with my search terms. I tried every which way to find it on the 'net, all to no avail. Then this morning their booth was the second one I happened upon at the quilt show. Less than an hour into the show, my budget was totally smashed. But I'm thinking it will be worth it. I'm not going back to the show tomorrow - I'm going to play with my new toys here at home. I'd like to make a potholder to test the technique before jumping into my full-size quilt. :)

I managed to pick up a couple of other things while at the quilt show - a few fat quarters and a couple of new tools (one that makes creating fabric yo-yos SO easy). And at the Silver Needle booth, I purchased one thing - the chartpak for Jeannette Douglas Designs' Vintage Stitches. They had a stitched model, and let me just tell you, the chart picture does not do this design justice. It is gorgeous, and the jewel colors are so vibrant. It's done with several different types of silks and metallics, a few beads, buttons, and even a hand-painted charm. I'm looking forward to adding this one to rotation! I'll be going stash-diving to see if I have a fabric that will work well. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

SSS block for August

Super Second Saturdays 2007 quilt block for August, Double Quartet

The block for August is finally finished (I usually do these the weekend that I get them, but haven't had the chance to work on it until today). This one is Double Quartet, and once again, I love the colors.

I'm on vacation for a week! I'm going to the quilt show tomorrow, and maybe Thursday. Friday I'm planning on a day of stitching with Melanie at her new apartment. We're going to the Bristol race Saturday. Then it will just be a couple of days of relaxing and playing with whatever I feel like - cross stitch, quilting, beadwork, games, movies - who knows? I just know it's gonna be fun!

My Daemon

If you haven't read The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, then I recommend it (for those fantasy-reader-types out there. It's a very good book, the first in a trilogy. I've read all three, and was completely absorbed by them. The concepts are fascinating (I do love books that challenge me in some way).

Anyway, I know they're making a movie of the first one, The Golden Compass, and so I've visited the web site to view trailers, etc. I also took the quiz to find out who my daemon was, and I'd like to present the Ocelot Aerodon. I think it's interesting how he's an animal I would have chosen - gotta love the kitties of all kinds. :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

A bit more progress on Middy

Mirabilia's Midsummer Night's Fairy progress, August 19, 2007

I've started working my way towards the left, trying to be consistent as I work my way up. I love the beads on her. I scanned this on a different scanner so the picture is slightly greener than she actually is, but it's not too off-color.

I went to a get-together yesterday with some of the Nashville stitchers (and one from Indianapolis) I've met through the various stitching bulletin boards (TWBB, Chatelaine, The Wagon, etc), and had a really nice time. I even got a couple of stitches in while we were chatting and sharing. Once again, however, I forgot to bring more of my projects for show-and-tell. I promise to do so next time!!!

Ann, I actually have two projects which are very close to completion - Unicorn Mystique and Fantasy Sampler. It would probably take a couple of nice LONG weekends to finish each one of them, and I'm actually hoping to do that before the end of this year. If Middy will ever let me put her down. She is just being too fun to stitch right now, LOL, she won't let me even think about anyone else at the moment. :)

Thanks to everyone for your lovely comments! I'm so glad I have my stitching mojo back again.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Finished-finished

Morning Glory bracelet with glass leaf beads

Now it is really finished, with the glass leaf beads placed at random around the top of the "stem." The leaf beads have a rainbow finish, which just adds more color depth to the piece.

Is it the weekend yet?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Morning glory bracelet

Morning Glory bracelet, Ndebele stitch


It's finished with the exception of adding a few glass leaf beads near the flowers (I don't have any on hand, so I need to get some). It's very different. I think C described it very aptly - it's something Phoebe from Friends would wear. :) If I make another one, I plan to do the flower in blues. I've got so many things I want to make right now, and I just bought another book - Beautiful Bracelets: For Beginners and Beyond by Jill Oxton. It has quite a few really cool designs!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Winter Night quilt done!

I put the finishing stitches into the binding Thursday night, then washed it last night. Today I signed it, and then we drove up to visit C's mom and presented it to her (it was a surprise). She was really pleased to get her very own blankie, and was excited that it was her favorite color blue too. :) It felt so good to give it to her.

Here it is (well, a quarter of it) finished, and a closer picture of the quilting - stars and clouds.



Also today I took my third bead weaving class, Ndebele stitch, also known as herringbone. The bracelet project is really neat, and I can't wait to finish it and share - I am stitching an Ndebele tube that will slide over plumbing solder. The solder is flexible, so that makes the bracelet adjustable. When I finish the ends (Ndebele flowers), you won't be able to see the solder at all. It's really fascinating the things you can use to make jewelry!

And one more photo - sometimes cats just sleep in the cutest positions...
Stilts sleeping so sweetly on the cat tree

Saturday, August 04, 2007

More Middy progress

Mirabilia's A Midsummer Night's Fairy, progress August 3, 2007

I've about decided that Middy will be my focus piece in my new rotation. I've been thinking about my rotation, which I pretty much abandoned in April, over the past several weeks, and I've decided it needed to be retooled. I'm down to 17 projects now, from a high of around 34 or so, and I've been thinking of putting all of my WIPs back into rotation, the way I was doing it several years ago. The trade-off is that while I'll get to visit with all of them more frequently, I won't make as much progress on any one in particular (except the focus piece). What can I say, my rotation is a work-in-progress itself! :) Oh, and I won't be timing myself, I'll just work on one until I'm ready to move on to the next.

But I'm not sure how much progress I'll make this week on Middy, because Winter Night has come back from the quilter's, and I'm going to start working on the binding. I'd really like to have the binding done by next weekend so we can take the quilt up to C's mom. This time Carol Ann Byrd quilted it, and she did the neatest thing! Inside the bag that held the quilt is a little quarter-fold note that she printed out from her computer. It has a picture of the quilt (in the frame, with the longarm machine) on the front, inside is information about the quilt - quilting pattern, thread, pieced by, quilted by, and machine. On the back is a little bit about her. What a neat memento!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Pretty TW WIP

I haven't had much time to visit blogs lately, so when my friend Cathy mentioned a sneak peek of Teresa Wentzler's Illuminata (a design-work-in-progress by TW herself), I had to go see it for myself. It is beautiful so far. I can just imagine how beautiful it will be whenever she finishes it! And it really seems like *my* colors. :) Teresa's Illuminata design-in-progress

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Beading as you go

Thanks for all your compliments! I'm still stitching on Middy, and I plan to have another progress picture to post this weekend. I've always loved the color family 924, 2768, 926, etc., and I get to have my fill with this design. :)

To answer your question, Kelley, and Ann, yes, I do bead as I go. I didn't always, but I do now. I find it eminently more satisfying to do that, because almost always the beads are just so beautiful and really enhance the design. Plus, I just LOVE beads, so it gives me a lot more time to enjoy them instead of waiting until the end. The key to this is that I rarely work in a frame or hoop anymore. I work mostly in-hand, which is why you'll often see my fabric quite wrinkled. I stitch using the sewing method instead of the stab-stitch (unless I just absolutely have to), and cross stitching in-hand is most comfortable with the sewing method. Since I don't use a frame or hoop, I don't have to worry about crushing or distorting the beads.

I have one little mini-rant that I just have to get off my chest, and it has nothing to do with stitching. Our local elections are tomorrow, and I have never been so frustrated and incensed by the sheer volume of calls we are getting at home by candidates leaving their voice-mail pleas for votes. In the last 45 minutes, we have had about 7 or 8 that show up as "Unknown Name - Unknown Number" or 000-000-0000 on the Caller ID. At first I wasn't answering them, preferring just to let the answering machine get it because sometimes they would just hang up. Now they're leaving messages. And they're even apparently getting so smart as to hang up before the answering machine kicks off, then redialing until they get a live person. Know this - every candidate that uses this method will NOT get my vote, I don't care how good they might have been. They should not be allowed to get away with this level of intrusiveness. The Do Not Call registry should include these type of calls as well as surveys and non-profit solicitations. I pay the phone bill, and personally I think that if they are going to call me, they should have to pay me, and handsomely, for the privilege of attempting to solicit ANYTHING from me - money, my vote, my opinions, whatever. I'm almost to the point of giving up the home phone and only using my cell. At least I know that the only people who call it are the ones I want to talk to.