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Monday, July 29, 2013

Just because

CC picked out today's nail polish, and I just had to share (he really likes it). This is China Glaze Flock Together over China Glaze Avalanche (with a couple of coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri). I promise I won't be sharing all of my nail polish adventures here, but I thought it was fun enough to show off a pic of this one.

And to keep this on-topic, here is the appliqué done for Chateau Hexagon.

I used the starch method from LizzieB Cre8ive. Now on to the hand embroidery!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Autumn Fairy Happy Dance!

Finished today - first is a photo of part 6 (the tree section), and then a shot of the entire design.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New project prep

This afternoon I pulled out my lightbox (an invaluable tool for appliqué) and set to work prepping my new block of the month, Chateau Hexagon. I picked a red Frixion pen to transfer the design on the fabric, so it's kind of light, but here it is, ready to start stitching.

But before I can start stitching on it, I needed to correct some mis-stitching I did on Auyumn Fairy. I frogged the stitches tonight, and I've started putting them back in the correct place. New pic soon!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I love packages in the mail

My first mystery block kit arrived today! Here is the kit - such excellent little fabrics (Phyl - look closely at that dark green - looks like tiny gingko leaves to me)! And not shown are 12 skeins of Anchor floss in yummy colors. Can't wait, can't wait to start! But I will - I'll be working on hexies again tonight.

Thanks to Annette for turning me on to this one.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Purple hexies number 6

It's hard to believe that I've finished the 6th hexie block (well, the hexie part anyway), and am working on the 7th and final one for this quilt. I love these things, and probably because of that I'm ignoring other projects.

Think I'll try to work on some pink hexies tonight just a little bit while listening to an audiobook. Feeling just a little tired, so this is the perfect sort of non-thinking project.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

And some stitching did take place!

I stitched on Autumn Fairy's tree at the bottom. The grass is finished, and I've just started working on the pretty confetti. :)

Then I worked on the Haunted House. The moon top is almost stitched - just about 5 or 6 more rows of 712 to go. Oh, and I backstitched the other bat.

And then I pulled out Desert Mandala, and even though I haven't finished part 3 yet, Annette suggested I go ahead and start stitching on one of the scenes (I had mentioned that the feathers were not finished but I didn't feel like stitching the gray-green of them at the moment).

The whole thing so far:

Closeup of top scene:

And speaking of Annette, she showed me a piece she was working on - Chateau Hexagon Mystery block of the month, and as soon as I saw it, I was hooked and headed on over to join in. Hexagons, cute handmade buttons, appliqué, and hand embroidery - sweet!!!! It should be approximately 26 by 37 inches. Since she mentioned that I was the reason she started doing hexagons also (Hex on the Beach, YAY!), I suppose turnabout's fair play. :)

Gifts, cross stitch stash, and succumbing

I wasn't the only one who shared prezzies with the group, and so I thought I would show you what I came home with.

A mug rug from Terri, a pin cushion from Annette, and a magnet from Pat - coordinated! The magnet says "cross stitchers are hot" :)

Cheryl showered us with gifts in her version of Dirty Santa. I got this cute Mocha Rouge Vera Bradley case (holds a pair of glasses nicely), a Mill Hill beaded ornament kit, and a bottle of Orly - Monroe's Red (not pictured in this photo).

And I chose these from the free / trade pile on the table (from a couple of people, but I can't remember which was from whom).

I love Mirabilia mermaids, and have been thinking of getting Bluebeard's Princess for a while now especially.

As if those weren't enough, we went shopping at the Stitchin' Post, and I limited myself to one magazine and 3 Mill Hill kits, LOL! CC has already asked me to stitch the Happy Halloween skull on the front cover. :)

One of the other non-stitchy things that lots of the girls brought to trade / give away was nail polish. Up until this point, I had resisted this new "hobby" but I finally succumbed to peer pressure (and the joy of just looking at the pretty colors) yesterday. I had stopped wearing it a couple of years ago because my nails are short, and I keep them that way mostly because of my work (lots of keyboard work) and stitching. Also, I had NO idea how to properly apply it - I didn't use a base coat nor a top coat, and the colors I liked to wear (dark) would end up staining my nails. Also, there are a LOT of new polishes on the market now. It's a whole new world since I last bought polish. The girls were happy to educate me and to send me home with this:

Yes, most of that is very dark, very blue or purple or green. :) Black on black is my first choice to dive into (oh, and I'm starting to learn about combining polishes for sparkles, but I'm not going to do that just yet). I call them my hacker nails - or Abby nails (if you watch NCIS). I have a lot of clean up to do (with an elf brush generously donated by Cheryl), but they are painted and curing now. What have I gotten myself into? :)

Edited to add photo of my black on black - love it!

Quilting stash enhancement

One of the things we did this weekend during our get-together was go out to a local quilt shop and, well, shop!

I was looking specifically for pink fat quarters, as I don't really tend to use pinks in my quilts, with the exception of the pink and brown quilts that have been blocks of the month. Since pink is up next for my hexie blocks, I wanted to get a nice variety. I also was looking for a nice black on black print for the little one-half inch frames that go around the hexie blocks. I didn't want to do a solid, but I didn't want something to distract the eye from the focus - those wonderful inner hexie parts. I found both, and a little more...

Here are my new fat quarters. Yeah, there are a couple of other colors besides pink in there (and the little raccoon fabric was too cute to pass up - top row, far right).

And here is my new black on black print for those skinny frame border pieces.

Once I put them all down on the floor, Stilts decided one of two things - either they were hers, or she thought that if she sat on them, I wouldn't leave again anytime soon. Oh, my dear clingy cat-child.

I opened them all up this morning from their rolls, and got a little bonus that I couldn't see while they were all rolled up. Two of them are not the same pattern or color throughout.

So, it's like I got 4 in one and 2 in the other (I will try to use the border print in my hexies - I really like it!

I also picked up a charm pack of The Morris Apprentice (Barbara Brackman). My colors, definitely.

I can finally share the secret project

This weekend I got together with some stitching friends, and we had a wonderful time. More about our weekend later, but here I can finally share what I made for them - needlebooks from Sew She Sews. When I first saw that blog post, I knew I had to make at least one for myself. It took me a couple of years to get around to doing it, but once I made one, I decided to make more for this weekend's get-together.

Here is the inside of one - I included a couple of skeins of floss and two Bohin needles (a 24 and a 26), my favorite needles EVER. :)

And here is the assortment of needlebooks that I finished, each one unique. The little owl one is mine. :)

I think I'm going to divide up the other stuff from this weekend into separate posts because I've got quite a few photos to share. More later!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Making a pile of half-square triangles

I finished my 50 additional half-square triangles this afternoon for Fall Frolic, so I get to mark that goal as complete. I now have a total of 70. I think I'll probably try to do a similar number next month, leaving me with 60 in the final month that I receive my blocks in the mail. I have no illusions that I'll get the quilt put together that month, but I would really like to finish putting it together by the end of 2013.

I really think that Primitive Gatherings (the quilt shop that has put this particular block of the month together) has done a great job at divvying up the appliqué blocks and the number of fabrics it has sent to cut each month (they send between 8-9 approximately 10-inch pieces to cut into the 2½ inch and 3 inch squares that will be necessary to piece the quilt top together). The variety of fabrics has been really great too, and of course, they are my fall colors (favorite!). Duh, this quilt is called Fall Frolic. But I've been really pleased, and I know they are fabrics that I would not necessarily choose, but they are perfect in this quilt.

July blocks of the month, part 2

And last night I finished the blanket stitch appliqué on Fall Frolic block J, cute little acorns and leaves. There are just two more appliqué blocks to go, the last one is just like the first. Now I need to work on making some of those half square triangles that go into the setting for the quilt, so I'm not overwhelmed by them at the end.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

July blocks of the month

These are the four July blocks of the month for the Super Second Saturdays 2013 quilt. The fabrics colors this month are muted and seem like the perfect colors for July.

And here's my 5th purple hexie block. I'm pretty sure I said it before, but I just love these hexies! Since I just have two more of the purple blocks to make, I've also been basting some pink hexies, in preparation for the next set of blocks.

I just fused the wool appliqué pieces to the background fabric for the 10th block in Fall Frolic. Tonight I'll be blanket stitching the pieces down while we kick back and watch a little television.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Autumn Fairy, part 5

Seeing Spring Fairy recently finished made me want to work on Autumn Fairy again. Over the past couple of evenings I worked on and finished part 5. Here are closeups of part 5 (though a little fuzzy, sorry!).

Once I finished part 5, I decided to go ahead and correct the crystals. I had previously put the heart in the top, and it just looked out of place there to me. Once I stitched part 4, I realized that it would look much better there.

Of course, then I had to decide what to put in the top part where I took the heart off. I found this crystal teardrop (and Spring Fairy has a crystal teardrop in the same location, so it seems like a no-brainer). Martina may have updated the instructions since she released the design, but I can't find anything in my chart about this, so I'm just going with what I think looks good. I'm not sure what color this is, but it's kind of a dark topaz.

Here is the entire design so far.

Being so close to the finish line on this one, I'm going to continue working on it - all I have left is the tree, which will probably take me about a week or so to stitch. Of course, my Fall Frolic block of the month just came in the mail. And this weekend I get to pick up my other block of the month, so I'll be working on those too. Happy things to work on, and of course, there's always my hexies! I almost have the 5th purple block finished!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Visit with a Wizard

Magnificent Wizard, that is. I stitched his beard and a little more of his robes, plus a little more of the background castle stitches this time around.

That leaves 8 more cross stitch projects (of 21 in progress) that haven't been touched in 2013. Not bad - I think I might be able to get to them all at this rate.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Hexies galore

I completed another hexie block this morning, upper left corner in the photo below.

It's strange, but these seem to go much faster than the long rows. I'm sure it's just an illusion, it really does take the same amount of time to add hexies in long rows as it does in very short ones, but it certainly seems quicker for these.

And I thought I would share a photo of my miniscule progress on Hex on the Beach - yes, I know I said I would not start this until my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt was finished, but we all know by now my self-restraint is virtually non-existent. ;-)

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

And a nice holiday off for CC and myself. I took off yesterday too, and spent most of both days in the sewing room. I worked a little on Jared Takes a Wife (those units go slowly), and then switched gears to Clifford's Bear Chase. I managed to put the final 6 bear paw blocks together this afternoon.

Now that project will move to the pieced sashing stage - once I cut the sashing pieces out. :)

I also finished 8 more High Cotton blocks, and need to cut some more pieces out for that one so I can continue to use it as a leaders and enders project. This makes 50 blocks pieced so far. I can see now that I need to add some more blue (I only have one blue fabric - 2 blocks, and one sort of turquoise blue fabric - 2 more blocks so far).

I've pulled out Magnificent Wizard from the shelf and have been working on the wizard's beard. I think I'll work on some more of that tonight.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Drumroll please!

I'd like to present Spring (Appleblossom) Fairy, finished today!

First here is part 6, the final part of the design - lots of confetti stitching.

And now I happily present the entire design!

In part 6 (the tree), I used the wrong color in the lower right part of the tree by mistake. It was supposed to be Waterlilies Alpine Moss, but I used Dinky Dyes Blue Mountains. I liked it so much that I used it a little more in the design, and I like the subtle effect.

Down to 21 cross stitch WIPs now... still quite a lot - and most of those are in the large to huge range. :)

Getting it done in July

With just a few days left to go in June, I finished up my goals for the month. To recap:

1. Complete the June blocks for the SSS 2013 Block of the Month quilt and have 25 alternate blocks completed by the end of June. Done, and I made 30 alternate blocks.
2. Complete the Fall Frolic block of the month (should be I) and make 20 of the HSTs that will be used in putting it together, minimum. Done, and I made 22 or 24 HSTs.
3. Finish the super secret project that I haven't mentioned on this blog yet - I won't be able to show it until end of July, but I want to get it finished well before the deadline. YES, DONE!!!  Put the finishing touches on them just in time to meet my goal - will share photos near the end of July.
4. Finish putting together the additional 8-pointed stars I have cut out for Eldon. Done, and I put together enough log cabin blocks to set in to 6 of the blocks.

Goals for July

1. Complete the July blocks for the SSS 2013 Block of the Month quilt and have all 49 alternate blocks completed by the end of July.
2. Complete the Fall Frolic block of the month (should be J) and make 50 of the HSTs that will be used in putting it together, minimum.
3. Make the binding and attach it to my SSS 2012 Block of the Month quilt, which is back from my quilter, Ruth Donnell. That way I can mark this quilt as finished!
4. Finish piecing the bear paw blocks (6 left) for Clifford's Bear Chase quilt.