Quaker Update

It’s been a rough Spring, between tooth problems (dentist tomorrow- again!), colds, allergies, etc.

I took this picture this morning.  Yes, Quaker Gone Tropic should have been done by now.  No excuses, other than massive allergy problems that miraculously clear up if I go outside or leave the house altogether.  Wheezing (haven’t had asthma in over 10 years) sneezing, congestion, headaches, and a nonstop cough have kept me from stitching.  We have tried to figure out what I am allergic to, even getting rid of the new furniture and rugs temporarily, and while it helped it didn’t end it.  I got rid of my mattress topper, my foam cervical support pillow… and still feel like my airway is going to close permanently.  I have coughed so much that I have lost weight.  Whatever it is, it is miserable.

 

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In this picture, you can see that I finished page 6 and page 8.  Since I took this shot, I have finished page 5.  (I only had a little more palm tree and the orange plant to go.)

There’s a problem here.  Neptune/Poseidon or whoever he is is DOWN one row altogether.  He should be one square higher.  I haven’t decided whether I will rip him out or not.  What would you do?

This one should be finished in a couple of days, barring repeated disasters at the dentist.  I will be glad to see it done!  Then on to the next UFO.

Rant ahead:  If you don’t like rants, stop here and happy stitching to you!

I have so much stuff for sale on Etsy and eBay,, and sales are little to none.  I hate how much shipping costs,  and I don’t make anything on shipping at all.  When you consider what I paid for the pattern, or the pattern, frame, mats, framing job, etc., I almost always lose money.  Charts are barely moving.  My finished pieces – forget it!  I never will figure it out.  Someone is always willing to pay more for a wrinkled stitched-on-14-count-Aida piece made in China than to pay for mine.  I was hoping to make back SOME of the money lost to the dentist but that doesn’t seem likely.  I had one person make an offer to buy a piece a couple of months ago, and they barely wanted to cover the cost of the materials, never mind the framing.  And how about my labor?  I would much rather be selling something else, but stitching is all I have so when I need money, this is what I try to do.  I would NOT recommend it to anyone.  Same for knitting.  I found out I was allergic to wool one day when I wore one of my lace shawls.  Welts up and down my arms and everywhere it touched.  This shawl had been washed and blocked.  I was so sad to have to put them up for sale on Etsy — about 12 of them.  All lace, all made with laceweight yarn.  I priced them at half of what others were going for, and watched people buy shawls that were straight knit stitches, just rectangles and triangles, made with acrylic yarn for more than TWICE what mine were priced.  I ended up donating mine to charity, and of course lost the money paid in listing fees.  Maybe I need to become a hoarder, instead of an antihoarder.  I don’t like anything hanging around that I won’t/can’t use, like cross stitch patterns that I stitched, books I didn’t enjoy, shawls I can’t wear, fabric I don’t like, and the list goes on.  Rolaframes?  All the rage.  Mine are on eBay.  (I hate them.  I can’t get the fabric tight and neither can my husband.  I love my q-snaps.)

What do you do with used charts?  Craft supplies you dislike?  Do you hoard them, sell them, swap them?  Suggestions are welcomed.  Do you ever sell your work?  Where?

Happy stitching to all!

 

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Marching on

Since my last finish, I have been working on Quaker Gone Tropic.  I am pleased to say that I *finally* finished page 3 and 4!  Both page 5 & 6 are underway now.

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This is mostly page 5 and 6 in this photo.  The little starfish at the bottom is not finished yet.

I think I ripped out those seashells four times each.  I’m not overly happy with the colors, but they are better than their previous incarnations.

In the upper right corner of this picture, you might notice that I ripped out the green and changed the color.  I had finished that bit of silk and there was no matching color in the rest of the same skein.  The difference in color was stark — from green to deep teal, and I couldn’t pull it off.  It had to go.  I wasn’t pleased but what can you do?  I think dye lot issues are the most maddening.

 

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When I pulled the piece off the q-snaps, I was unhappy to see that doing so ripped to stitches in the gold section below the big orange flower up top.  I switched to a Rolaframe, but I can’t work with those.  I need someone with strong hands to load the project for me, then it is too large and awkward to balance on my lap.  Back to q-snaps it went — this time big ones that fit the piece.  And I couldn’t balance that, either.  It kept flipping forward.  So back to 14″ q-snaps, with no fleece between the stripped clamp at the top and the stitching.  This seems to be working and isn’t affecting tension.

You can see that this piece is HUGE!  I am a little past halfway.  🙂

While I am still enjoying the actual stitching, I can’t wait for this one to be done!  It feels like it has been around forever.  (I started it on August 15, 2016.)  Maybe this one will reach the finish line soon!

Have a happy, blessed Easter, and as always, happy stitching!

Heartland Sampler

Hooray, it’s finished!

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So why did it take so long?

My poor fabric choice.

This is 40 count lambswool linen.  It’s rough and scratchy and I have sensitive skin.  It can shred skin right off my fingers.  Another issue was the color — notice my barely-there sheep and picket fence (on the right, about halfway down.)  Once the piece is on mounting board, this may not be an issue but if it is, I will have to pick a different color and re-stitch it.

This was a fun piece to do and *should* have been finished much sooner.  I am so glad it is out of the WIP/UFO list.  🙂

I changed the color of the house to slate (Gentle Arts) because it would have been washed-out white too.  Other than that and some human mistakes, it was stitched as designed.  The chart was easy to work with, mistake free, so I would buy more patterns from the Scarlett House and would recommend you do too!  🙂

Happy stitching!

Finalmente

As my dad would say…  that’s “finally” in Italian.  🙂

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I finished it yesterday.  The weird angles are because it is in a small q-snap as I am picking out the border.

On to something FUN!!!

I was thinking Heartland Sampler (but uh oh… a big house is next and I have had it with houses) or Guadalupe or Quaker Gone Tropic.  I’m feeling lazy so whatever is already in q-snaps is going to win.  😉

I think they all are in q-snaps…

I have 10 starts and 11 finishes for this year.  I know I will be starting my last baseball pattern soon, probably on Opening Day — it’s coming up quick!  Other than that I have no plans to start anything else.  Of course all plans are subject to change.  🙂

I’d really like to knock some things off the WIP–in-perpetuity list.  That’s my only goal.

My youngest son and I planted zinnia and marigold seeds today.  We’ll see how that goes.  Last year we had maybe a 60% success rate.

I’m off to finish frogging that border.  I am almost done and want to get it over with before I have to worry about dinner.

Happy stitching!

Spring sprung

Finished!!!   I finished it into a banner.

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I haven’t seen a finish like this.  I did make one for Valentine’s Day a long time ago, but it was quilted, not cross stitched.

After ironing the finished pieces, I made “sandwiches” of the stitching, quilt batting, and cotton fabric.  I sewed these together by attaching wide double-fold bias binding, spaced them 3″ apart between wide quilt binding, and sewed the quilt binding closed.  I left 15″ spare binding on each end in case I want to hang it someplace else sometime.

My phone camera washed out the S and P in this early afternoon light.  (It’s supposed to be mostly sunny all day, but it’s been mostly cloudy.)

I wish I could tell you that the dental woes are over, but they are just beginning.  I am thinking of selling off some finished, framed pieces to pay some of my dental bill.  (I have Primary Sjogren’s Syndrome, and besides dry eyes, dry mouth, and nerve damage, it has decimated my teeth and gums.)  😦  Trying to decide which pieces to part with is not easy.  Maybe seasonal ones that are only out sometimes?  Ones that none of my children have claimed for their own?  It’s so hard to decide.

I finished pesky Abigail Adams and have made progress on the other two.  Not fun, but I am plodding along.

Have you seen the Nashville Market previews?  I don’t see anything that is a must-stitch for me, and that is usually how it goes.  It’s a good thing because I may have to sell off some new patterns too.  😦

I’m going to keep smiling anyway!

Happy stitching!

R and I

The sun was out long enough this morning for me to take better pictures of the letter I and my just-finished letter R.

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The fabric is more purple in real life.  On a cloudier day indoors, the pictures made the fabric look white.  I dyed this one myself the other day.  Dyeing fabric might be more fun than cross stitching!  This is 28-count Cashel linen.

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Another piece of 28-count Cashel linen that I dyed the other day.

I was hoping to finish one letter a day then work on the Early Americans, but yesterday I didn’t have as much time (DENTIST AGAIN!) and didn’t finish the R until late this morning.

Today I will start the letter P on hand-dyed pink Cashel when I have a chance.  Hopefully this project will be finished soon.  I am so bored with the Early Americans series that I need to just plod through it as much as I can to get it over with — not a good feeling.  I hope I have finally learned my lesson to NEVER sign up for automatics on a series that I can’t see.  If I knew it was going to be 80% boring bland houses, I would have passed on this one.  😦  I am so NOT enjoying it that I am rewarding myself with these letters in between sessions.  Whatever works, right?

I hope your stitching is not boring to you, and that the sun is shining wherever you are.  (It’s been close to 90 degrees every day for about a week and a half… too warm for February!)  Be happy, and stitch the FUN stuff first!  😉

Microfinishes

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Paul Revere at last!  The Muddy Puddle floss came and I was able to finish him!  Abigail Adams is nearly finished, too.

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The letter G… stitched on blue 28 count evenweave.20180221_180953_Burst01_resized

The letter S, stitched on 28 count Watercress Jobelan.

I have the letter “I” finished too, but the picture was not good.  I need daylight to capture the color of the fabric.

The letters are from the Cricket Collection pattern, “Spring.”  I am stitching each letter individually on different colored fabric because I have a finishing idea for them.  🙂

I’ve been down with tooth trouble, which means more time to stitch.  I just wish the tooth trouble was all in the past.  Let’s just say I had NO trouble until I went to the dentist.  They made it bad on the first visit, excruciating on the 2nd, and worse than bad on the 3rd.  $1700 later, and I have a lot of pain.  I had NO pain when I first went.  Not happy… but I am stitching!

Until next time… happy stitching!

Midwinter Stitching

A little progress (and I do mean a LITTLE.)

 

Quaker Gone Tropic.  On the left is the latest update.  You can see that I didn’t really get much done on this one.  There was an error in the green section on the right, and I ripped that back and re-stitched it.  The county fair is coming up this month and this was to be my entry.   That isn’t happening this year!

It is still a fun project to work on.  I just haven’t been stitching much.  I’ve had a subluxated wrist and a bout of tendonitis in my left wrist, and I am a lefty stitcher.

 

Heartland Sampler, updated version on the right.

There is definitely some improvement there.  It’s encouraging at least!

 

Paul Revere, updated version on the right.

With 29 stitches to go for the finish…  I ran out of floss in that color.  Of course it is overdyed, and I don’t have a shop nearby.  Thankfully my order with Stitches n Things has not been completed as of now, so Deb was able to add the skein of Muddy Puddle.  Hopefully one skein is enough to finish the whole project.

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Mary Burgess.  A little progress here too!  🙂  Somewhat embarrassing to show you how little I have done this year, but I’m human, and definitely NOT perfect.

I had burned through (or sold off) my entire yarn stash, minus one skein of cotton for dishcloths and two for a shawl (someday.)  I picked up a big skein of baby yarn in white to make these for charity.

 

These are burial sets for babies and one burial blanket by itself.  I have made hundreds of these sets over the past ten years (though not many at all for the last six years or so.)

I also tried some of the scrubby yarn and made a scrubbie for my kitchen.  I am not too happy with how it turned out.  The pattern was designed for regular cotton yarn.  Mine is very hard where I sewed in the ends.  I knit the scrubbie, and I knit continental style.  My first two fingers are missing some skin because of it.  I had to switch to English-style knitting which is painfully slow.  The yarn was hard to work with too (due to the nature of the construction) so I won’t be making any more for a while.  Too many wrist and finger problems here to want to struggle with that.  Been there, done that, and ended up in wrist braces for 6 – 8 weeks, sometimes longer.  The crocheting also triggered the carpal tunnel I have in both wrists.  My wrists and hands are just so bad!  I have to take it easy because I want to be able to stitch for the rest of my life.

Plans?  Uh…  I guess I will plod along on UFOs/WIPs for a while.  I would really like a finish!  I contemplated starting something smaller, but do I really want another project hanging around?  I won’t be knitting or crocheting for a little while until the tingling/pain/tendonitis calms down.  I still can cross stitch as long as I use a bigger needle (26 or 24.)  I am thankful for that.  I have only a few projects using that needle size going right now.

My UFO/WIP list currently:

Heartland Sampler, 40 ct lambswool linen  (13″ x 7.25″)

Quaker Gone Tropic, 32 count lemon whip lugana  (11.5″ x 28″)

Loara Standish, 35 ct linen (11.5″ x 33.5″)

Cardinal Points, 18 ct Aida (12.5″ square)

Emmanuel’s Song, 32 ct linen  (4.5″ x 18.5″)

Our Lady of Guadalupe, 28 ct jobelan (11″ x 15″)

Paul Revere, 32 ct lambswool linen

Mary Burgess reproduction sampler, 35 ct linen (7.5″ x 17.5″)

Samplers, 36 ct linen  (4″ x 11″)

Betsy, 36 ct linen  (4.5″ x 12.5″)

A Right Spirit, 35 ct linen

Hopefully I’ll finish SOMEthing soon!

Wishing you happy, pain-free, mistake-free stitching!

 

 

Class and 2018 finish #1

I finally have a finish!  It was a 3-day project and was fun to do (although the ric-rac row was a bit of a pill.)

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Fear Not needleroll, Shepherd’s Bush, from Shepherd’s fold 2014

Making it into a needleroll is another story.  The last one I did sat for about 15 years unfinished.  Yikes!

I started off January by teaching an introduction to cross stitch class.  I covered the different types of fabrics, different threads, tools like needles and scissors, how to floss toss, thread conditioners vs. wax vs. nothing, etc.  Then the girls got to choose their patterns!  I presented them with a large number of freebies and some designs that were donated by a cross stitch store just for our class.  Three out of four girls chose designs from the store!

So their projects were 2 Lizzie Kate freebies, one Lizzie Kate design, and a freebie from My Big Toe designs.

The girls set out to purchase their supplies.  One girl wanted brown fabric and got a crash course in how to dye with tea and coffee.  She accepted the challenge and dyed her own Aida!  None of the girls chose linen fabric, although it was an option.

For our next class, we started stitching!  I taught them the loop method, how to end threads, stitching one stitch at a time and stitching across a row.  I taught them how to read the chart and how to find one’s place on the fabric.

I think the biggest challenge was their limited supply of hoops.  They forgot to buy a bigger one and one girl really needed a 7-inch.

It was a great experience!  They asked intelligent questions that I just take for granted and it got me to look at stitching through the eyes of a newbie again.  I am self-taught so I made lots of mistakes along the way and would have liked to have someone teach me back then!

I hope I did a good job.  Their mom said they have been stitching away!

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I hope I can teach again in the future!  I had a great time!

Did you have someone teach you to stitch, or are you self-taught?  Have you ever taught anyone to stitch?

I hope your January stitching was more productive than mine.  My current projects are all BIG and I feel like I will never finish anything!  Slow and steady, I guess…

Have a blessed week!

 

A Little Progress

After posting the other day I decided to try an experiment.  What if I stitched just 3 needles worth of floss on a few UFOs every day?  Would that make a dent in the ever-increasing pile of unfinished projects?  Would it maybe break my stitcher’s slump?

The slump is still here.  But I have made a little progress!

You can see a little bit of progress on the wave and fish, and the plant on the right.  Better than no progress!

Even Paul Revere got some stitching done on him!

This one had a little frogging done on it, but you can still see a little progress.

I made a little headway on Emmanuel’s song — very little.  I’m signing off here and getting that one out next.

In case what I am doing isn’t clear:

Today on Heartland, I did one needle of Country Redwood, one of Endive, and one of Picket Fence.  I used them up completely, except for Country Redwood (I ran out of things in this section that needed it.  I stitched the flag today.)  Then I waxed and threaded needles for tomorrow — Endive, Picket Fence, and Soot.  It’s ready to go as soon as I can get to it.

Today on Quaker, I did one needle of aqua, one of green, and one of purple silk.  Then I threaded another aqua, another green, and I have a pink ready to go.  I stick the needles in the fleece that I use to make my q-snaps tighter.

I hope this helps someone who may be in a slump someday.  It is working for me so far, but we know everyone is different.

Happy stitching!