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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Aurora, Kitty Litter, and new stash

This will be really quick - here are the latest on Aurora and Kitty Litter.



And I got some new items in the mail today to help me kit up a couple of new projects I plan to start soon - the first shows my new Spooky House chart along with fabric and Kreiniks (I can pull the DMC from stash), the second shows my Autumn Fire Sampler chart and Dinky Dyes silk floss (got those a couple of years ago) with new fabric and Kreiniks. I picked up the required 4 bicone crystals too yesterday (not shown) along with several other colors at my LBS. :) And finally, I would be remiss if I didn't thank Kat for her generosity - 5 of her charts, including the 2 newest ones! They are left to right, top to bottom, Egypt, Mayan Mystery, Briar Rose Page 1, Iris Biscornu, and Dragon Tattoo.




And I finally got out my magnifier and the 2008 JCS Ornament issue - I've had the fabric cut and the floss set aside for months now, just haven't set aside the time to actually start it. Pam Kellogg's Poinsettia Biscornu is my current project, and I hope to have a photo to share in a few days. Still working on the binding for my quilt, but don't expect to get back to it until this weekend.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Whirlwind weekend

Wow, was that fun or what?! :)

Friday I drove over to the hotel after work and helped Kat set up her room. When we were basically finished, we helped Dana (Thutmosis) out some in Jo's (Dinky Dyes) room (fondling pretty silks as we put them out for display!).

Saturday (and Sunday - I know, SO not my usual m.o.) I was up before the alarm (!) and enjoyed briefly visiting with Kat, Dana, and Fran before the market opened. The Cross Eyed Kat room was sandwiched between Just Nan and Dinky Dyes, and there was a flurry of activity in the halls because of the early bird specials offered by many of the designers.

It was really interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes, and I thoroughly enjoyed helping Kat and getting to know her. I also enjoyed meeting several other designers and all the retailers who came to shop. I had the chance to peek into a few other rooms (couldn't possibly check out them all - there were like, 5 floors of them!), so of course, my creative energies are running wild now, and I want to stitch this, that, and the other, all at once. :)

Here are a couple of pictures I took to share - a view from one corner of the hotel on the 4th floor, looking across to Kat's banner, and finally a picture of Kat and me in her room, standing in front of some of her designs. Oh, and the outermost left and right designs on the wall behind us are stitched with some glow-in-the-dark Kreiniks, which just happen to show up really great with black lights!




And I just have to share one of my personal favorites, Ambigram Alphabet. A through Z, and when you turn it upside down, it's A through Z again. Too clever!!!

So I guess you could say I had a FABULOUS weekend! :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Nashville Needlework Market

This is the show that is known as the Cash n Carry Market for retailers only. And I am so excited to be helping out this year in one of the designer's booths! Kat Rocha of Cross Eyed Kat asked me to help out when her usual assistant could not this year.

So I don't know how much stitching will be accomplished this weekend (it's all day Saturday and Sunday), but I'll be drinking in the experience of being around designers, other wholesalers, and shop owners for two whole days. And I'll probably come up with a wish list a mile long, ha ha! :)

I look forward to sharing the experience with you afterwards. I'm just getting ready to go meet Kat (and see Jo Mason of Dinky Dyes and Dana (Thutmosis) and maybe others) this afternoon.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Melanie's Pinwheels

Finished!!! I'll get to present it to Melanie at her Tea Party on February 27.


I'm currently sewing the binding on Bamboo. Showed both off at Quilt Guild today, and everyone LOVED them both.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Binding some Pinwheels

Yesterday I picked up the three quilts I was having quilted by Pam Thorne. They are all just as beautiful as I'd imagined they would be. First to do - binding for Pinwheels, because that one's a gift and I'd like to get it finished as quickly as possible. Here is a sneak peek at the binding being attached to the front. Now I'm working on hand stitching it to the back.


And, as promised, here is my progress on Avatar, who finally got some attention over the last couple of weeks - he hadn't been seen for over a year, so I think he's a bit happier now. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My first Biscornu

In January I went to my LNS' Moonlight Stitch. The owner usually has a little make-it take-it for everyone to do, and this time it was a little biscornu. I've admired these, but never made one myself (though I have a pattern kitted up to do from one of JCS' Christmas issues). I got it stitched while we were there, but didn't finish it until just this week. It looks a little lopsided to me, and I think that's because of where I stitched the dimple. But it's finished, and that's the important part!


A couple other pictures I haven't shared (one I'll need to retake) are of some of the cross stitch pieces I had framed at the end of 2009 / beginning of 2010. Here are Butterfly Song, The Sun Sets..., and a corner of the second Mirabilia Halloween Fairy (aka Trick or Treat). It was really hard to capture a good photo of Halloween Fairy because the frame is really dark (like a dark cherry) and glossy, and the weather and lighting have not been cooperating. :)






The frame for The Sun Sets... is a charcoal gray. When I was first looking at frames, I had thought something washed out would look good (like beach-y wood), but everything we tried just washed the design out. I really like the charcoal gray frame - it's simple and not overpowering.

Oh, and I should have another cross stitch update pretty soon - I've been stitching on Avatar some this week, and I'm about ready to get back to Kitty Litter. No quilting going on at the moment - it's all about the cross stitch.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

January block completed

Finally, I finished quilting my January block of the month, and here it is hanging with the frame.


I think the designer did a really good job of capturing the January vibe - it feels like a very cold, almost barren block (even though it's very pretty, in my opinion).

February's block is much more colorful, and I hope to have it finished before month's end.

And I have another update on Kitty Litter to share - the darkest green of the background is now finished, and I did have enough floss for that section (with a little bit left over, whew!), so I'm feeling pretty positive about having enough floss for the rest of the project (another thing Dimensions is notorious for - not including enough in the kit).

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Moving my blog after all

In preparation for moving my blog to a new location, I've turned off comments on what will become an archive of my blog posts to this point. Because my host doesn't support Wordpress, and because I've been with them for nearly 8 years and always had great support, I don't feel like going to another host at this time.

Over the last week, I've been playing with the Custom Domains option of Blogger, and I've decided to just go with that. It's a familiar interface, and I'll just get over not having the posts on my server with the rest of my site. You shouldn't notice much of a difference, other than the address and a slight layout change. The new address is http://stitches.doodle-head.com/. Please update your bookmarks and links, thanks!

Made a decision

So I've been playing around with the Custom Domains option of Blogger the past few days, since my web host does not support Wordpress, and I just don't feel like going through all the trouble of switching hosts (I really like the one I have and haven't had any problems with them in the nearly 8 years of hosting my web site).

I think I'm going to keep the archive of my original blog on my web site, but my new blog home will be here at stitches.doodle-head.com.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Sigh, I have some real work ahead of me

I just read that as of March 26 this year, Blogger will no longer be allowing / supporting publishing via FTP. They offer two options (Custom Domains like blog.doodle-head.com or Blogspot hosted like doodle-head.blogspot.com). I don't think I like either of these options (neither allows me to keep doodle-head.com/blog and neither allows me to keep everything on my server), so I have some research and work ahead.

For those of you who use your own hosted server, what do you use and why? Let me say in advance, I do not know PHP or JavaScript, but I'm well-versed in HTML, CSS, and know a little ASP. I would be willing to learn PHP if the learning curve isn't extreme, and obviously my timeframe is more limited than I'd like.

Oh, and I'm tech support for my quilt guild's and my father's blogs, so I'm going to have to figure out something there too - and I JUST got my father to start using his blog a little. He's not as computer-geeky as me, so I've got to make sure whatever I do for him is something I can support.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Snowed in again (yay!)

Friday morning it began snowing here in Nashville, and fortunately we were prepared (got milk and other sustenance Thursday evening with the rest of the crazy people at the grocery after work, LOL).

C and I took advantage of the time stuck inside with our favorite hobbies. Here's my stitching progress so far of Kitty Litter (now with a kitty).


I think I'm going to continue stitching down to the bottom of the design and work my way to the right so that I balance out background and design stitching.

Saturday I finally put away some of the fabric leftovers I've used in recent quilt projects and pulled out fabrics for my new block of the month for 2010. I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but when a guild member (and former guild president) brought her project in to share with us one meeting, I fell in love with it. Then I got a preview of my LQS' block of the month for 2010, and wasn't in love with that. So I decided to try and get the back issues of the magazine featuring this series (Quiltmaker, all of 2003 issues). I still have the Nov/Dec issue to find, but I also have several months before I get to it (fingers crossed). I plan to use my stash entirely for this wallhanging.

Here is the border piece, complete with flannel insert (though I still need to put the sleeve on - I did finish sewing on the binding late last night).


I got started on the January block and actually finished piecing it. I still need to appliqué the top part and then quilt it, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out. And I remembered how to paper piece! Sure, it took me a few minutes to figure out where to get started, but once I did, I didn't have any unsewing to do. :)


I think this will be a really fun block of the month, in that I'll actually have a finished product every month that I can enjoy immediately, not having to wait until the very end to put it all together.

We still have snow on the ground, but the roads should be cleared today (high of 44), so perhaps we will have our guild meeting tomorrow (we don't meet if schools are closed, and they are closed today). Looking forward to getting together with my bestest buds this week - at quilt guild, at dinner one evening, and at a lunch this weekend.

Update: no guild meeting tomorrow (schools closed again). And here is what I worked on after work today - still needs to be quilted, but the appliqué is done.