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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Cat Eyes has a new home

Yes, thanks to Katie, Cat Eyes has a new home. And Leslie, thanks for your comments and support - I actually thought it was a phase over a year ago when I considered moving it out of my rotation, and set it aside for a little while at that time. Now I've really decided that it's time to let it go, and I feel better that it's going to a friend's mom. I truly hope she will enjoy it.

So, I'm going to move it out of my rotation list and move on to something else. Ooh, Enchanter is next in the list - one of my many, many TW wips...

Oh, and some framing news - I finished Mini Perle over two years ago, and this morning Melanie and I took it to Midtown Gallery & Framers to pick out a frame (she was looking to frame a print for herself). It took about an hour and many frame and mat samples to come up with what I believe is the perfect frame, no mat (I think it took all of 10 minutes to come up with the perfect frame and mat combination for her print, lol). I should have it back in a couple of weeks, so I have a little time to find the perfect spot to hang it. It's the perfect kind of day to be out running errands like that - sunny, high of 80 degrees, very nice.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bye-bye Cat Eyes

So I decided that I would start rotating down the list of cross stitch projects this week, just for something different, and I pulled out Cat Eyes, which is actually a needlepoint project stitched with wool. I worked on it for fully one evening while we were watching several episodes of Charmed (or was it a couple of episodes of Prison Break?... ). Anyway, I kind of remembered why I haven't stitched on it in a long while - because although it's a cool design when finished, I find no joy in actually stitching it. I actually find it rather tedious. And it is for that reason I've decided that I will no longer feel obligated to finish it. There is a stitcher who was interested in the chart several years ago, and I had promised to send it to her when I finished it, so I've emailed her to find out if she is still interested and get her snail mail address. If she's not, I suppose I can try to find someone else who would like to have the entire WIP to finish. It's not that I don't like needlepoint - in fact I do, but I like the more geometric designs with different fibers, not solid tent stitch with wool.

This brings me back to something I've been struggling with for the past oh, year or so. I have to be very careful of starting too many projects, or having too many going at once, because my tastes have changed over the years, and I find that I don't love some projects as much as I [thought I] did when I started them several+ years ago. And it's hard to give them up, knowing that I've invested time and money into them. I think there's a guilt factor in there too. My parents never gave me the "there are starving children in China" line at dinner, but I almost have that kind of mentality regarding my projects. Has anyone else ever felt this way?

Okay, so I just got a "failure notice" email, which shouldn't surprise me - the last time I corresponded with that stitcher about Cat Eyes was 2003. Does anyone else have any suggestions? I don't want it just taking up space in my craft room anymore, but I would hate to just throw it away.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Middy about halfway

A Midsummer Night's Fairy, about half-finished

I think I've gotten about to the halfway point with Middy. She is still a joy to stitch, so it's no surprise that I continue to focus on her.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Christmas comes early

... in more ways than one...

Britty Kitty Christmas ornament

First is the Britty Kitty Christmas ornament that I stitched this week. How this came about is that I found another WIP that I had started some time back - far enought that I'd completely forgotten about it until I saw it between the pages of the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue that I just happened to be organizing the other day. I had started the Britty kitty on 28 ct. antique white reflections lugana from Silkweaver. It's the same fabric I'm using to stitch Aurora, and I thought it would be really pretty (with a nice little sparkle) for the little kitty ornament. Once I pulled it back out and started putting some stitches into it again, I realized why I had abandoned it the first time. Over-1 stitching on lugana is for the birds. It is extremely hard for me to do. Why? Because if you've ever looked at lugana, the warp and weft threads are loosely twisted. I don't know if you can see it, but there are some closeup pictures at Willow Fabrics.com (I'm not a customer, I was just searching for a good photo on the 'net). Anyway, this is compounded ten-fold by the fact that there are also little metallic threads running through the fabric also. After just a few stitches, I wanted to tear my hair out, so I decided to start over, on a completely different fabric. The end result? I stitched it in two nights, and am looking forward to finishing it and hanging it on our tree this year.

Second is my Christmas gift from C, which I already knew about, and which he graciously allowed me to go ahead and order early so that I could start enjoying it now... my new 160GB iPod!!!

iPod

I picked it up from Fedex yesterday afternoon, and I can't believe how small and sleek it is. And that it holds so much music (and audiobooks - I'm about to become an audible.com customer too, hee hee). The earbuds that came with it are the best-fitting ones I've ever tried. And my friend Melanie, who recently bought a new car that doesn't have a cassette player, gave me her cassette adapter so that I can play it through my car stereo. Now I just need to organize my library a little better... :) It's Christmas in September for me!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My weekend of quilts

I don't remember what quite happened to me last weekend, but unusual for me, I didn't whip up the block of the month that I picked up from my quilt shop for the Super Second Saturdays quilt. I also completely missed the block of the month for August for my Afternoon Tea quilt - I was so focused on other things, I guess, that I completely forgot to do it! So, here they are, Ohio Star block for SSS 2007 and block #9 of Afternoon Tea (2 variations).

SSS 2007 quilt, block 9 - Ohio StarAfternoon Tea block 9, 2 variations

And I finally finished Christopher's Bear Chase quilt. I picked it up from the quilt shop back in July, and it has been sitting in my craft room, waiting for me to cut and piece the binding. Actually, I had a plan... wink I was waiting until after I'd been to the Nashville AQS quilt expo, so that I could purchase the pattern and dvd for the fold and finish quilt and try it (the binding technique) out on the placemats I just made. I didn't have to hand stitch the binding to the back of the quilt - I used the same decorative stitch as I did on those placemats to sew it down by machine. It went a LOT faster, so the binding wasn't as much of a chore! See, I had a plan... winklaugh I love the quilting - I think it's just perfect and accentuates the bear claws. I think it was called square spiral. Another Christmas present down... now if I can just get back to the Double Wedding Ring quilt! I'd love to have it finished by next Christmas.

Closeup of quilting
Christopher's quilt finished

I've also been beading a little bit, and stitching on Vintage Stitches while we watch Charmed, football, and racing. Not enough to take a new picture yet, but hopefully by next weekend. I'm already looking forward to our next set of vacation days in October (just a nice long weekend, can't wait!).

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Friday, September 07, 2007

I'm on The Wagon!

I've joined a group on a bulletin board called The Wagon, that is... the Stash Only Stitchers group. As the tagline for this group reads, it's a place to "Come and support each other as you stitch from what's only in your stash!"

Though it may not seem like it, I've curbed my stash enhancing experiences (as far as cross stitch is concerned) somewhat over the past year or so.

Last weekend, I spent some time in my craft room cleaning up and putting things away, and I actually spent some time going through my cross stitch charts stash. I pulled out a few charts that I know I will never stitch, and I spent a little time just browsing through my collection. I have a LOT of really pretty or cool designs that I want to stitch one of these days. So if I get the itch to shop, I think I can quell it with a trip through my stash!

Edited to add that The Wagon can be found here: http://thewagon.yuku.com/. I think that you do have to register with Yuku to access the board, but registration is fairly easy, if I recall correctly. :)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Finished placemats

What a really cool technique, and now I have reversible, dimensional, quilted placemats. I'll call these my summer and autumn placemats.

Back of placemat


Front of placemat

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A few updates

I took a picture of my quilt show stash and labeled everything.

Quilt show stash enhancement

I've been working on my test project for the fold and finish technique - a set of placemats. I haven't finished them yet, but almost! I just have the binding to add. They are reversible, and I'm looking forward to trying them out as soon as I have them done.

I've worked a little more on Vintage Stitches, and am continually impressed by how backstitching can so enhance the cross stitching. For example, the grapes in the upper left and lower right corner are basically the same pattern mirrored. But the upper left grapes don't have any backstitching yet, and the lower right grapes do. It goes from looking like nothing to perfect little grapes.

more progress on Vintage Stitches

I took my fourth beadweaving / stitch of the month class yesterday, and created another bracelet in peyote stitch. The little clasps are magnets which we also covered in peyote stitch. I think the clasps and the main section of the bracelet look great, but I'm not totally happy with the edging - the color I chose seems to wash it out, especially on my wrist. It blends in with my skin a little too much, I think. I'm trying to decide whether to take that out and use a different color of beads for the edging. Or maybe I could add a few more beads to give it a little more definition. I'm just not sure, but this is the first time where I've questioned my color choice. I love the rest of the bracelet - it reminds me of a Victorian Christmas. :)

Peyote stitched beaded bracelet, flat
Peyote stitched beaded bracelet on my wrist

Middy was calling to me, so I've pulled her back out of my bag, and I've been stitching on her a little this afternoon, in between loads of laundry. Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!