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!

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Stitching

Last time I mentioned losing my stitching muse during Hurricane Irma.  Guess what?  She is still lost, out there floating around somewhere.

I have ZERO finishes to show you.

I’ve been slowly working on a few pieces.  Some were already started and languishing in the UFO pile.

I have no photography skills.  I have neuropathy in both elbows and both wrists, and apparantly I shake when taking pictures, even though it must be a very fine tremor.  I apologize for the quality.

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The Early Americans by Little House Needleworks, No. 6 Paul Revere

Borrrrrrinnnnngggg…  This project is languishing due to lack of interest on my part.  I just picked it up again this week and am in no hurry to get back to it.  I think I may tear the border out.  It remains to be seen.

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A little progress on Quaker Gone Tropic.  It’s still a fun stitch, but the aqua wave is rather long and gets to be … dull… to stitch.  At least I can jump around, which you see I have been doing!  One aqua strand at a time…

 

winter

This is Lavender and Lace’s Celtic Winter.  My husband suggested I stitch it to sell since I didn’t want the pattern any more and didn’t want to stitch it.  Interesting?  Heck no!  Stitching for money is a waste of time.  You get less than a penny per hour.  I am trying to talk him into stitching it, if it’s such a great idea…

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This is my start on Joan Elliott’s Our Lady of Guadalupe.  Sorry for the weird cropping, but I didn’t realize the pattern was showing in the picture.

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I actually picked at Heartland Sampler yesterday.  It was kind of fun.  I still hate the scratchy fabric though.

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My Christmas stitch for 2017.  Emmanuel’s Song.  LOL  Ugh…  It was moving along fine until a couple of people told me the words were illegible.  I have never been fond of the “new”  Shepherd’s Bush font anyway, so I picked out a row of OVER ONE stitching.  I then had to chart all the lines of words over again.  Today I stitched the bottom row here in my own font.  And what did those same people say?  Suddenly they could read the other font.  I was ready to bash my skull against a wall!  It is staying as is.  I will gradually rip out the offending font and replace it with my own.  While ripping out the third line during school today, I raked my needle across my thumb, slicing it open.  I washed it and put Benadryl gel on it, but it is still itchy.  I am allergic to nickel.  Needless to say I am ready to throw this thing…

I guess I am not getting much pleasure out of stitching lately.  I know this, too, shall pass.  This just seems to be a prolonged episode of stitching funk.  I keep getting tempted to start some small freebies just to have a finish.  Maybe it would boost my morale.  Maybe?  But I haven’t done that yet.  We’ll see what happens as the new year rolls around.

If I don’t come back before next year, a merry blessed Christmas to you and have a wonderful, blessed, prosperous new year!

 

July stitching

Saturday was finishing day — these are the pieces that are finally finished.

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Main Street Gazebo

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Early Americans progress

I designed these and stitched them over the weekend.  You can’t see “love” or “joy” because they are caught in the q-snaps.  I am not sure how I will finish them.  I had been thinking little pin pillows as gifts for my ever-changing weekly prayer partner at our ladies’ Bible study, but then I started to second-guess myself.  What if she doesn’t sew? Now I don’t know…

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After much time spent ripping out the right side, I finally finished this one!  The *local* beeswax made a huge difference.  The other beeswax was drier — this one was soft and not leaving chunks on the floss, and it made the Valdani thread stop shredding.

I also had a start but no photo yet.  It is the Mary Burgess Sampler from the Essamplaire, which you can see here.

I have been working a little on Samplers from the Scarlett House.  My “goal” would be to finish 2 UFOs before starting another project.  I have 11 to choose from, which is so embarrassing.  I’d really like to get the number DOWN — to 5 or less.  I would feel better.  Wish me luck!

Happy stitching everyone!

Summer stitching

batter up

I didn’t end up waiting until the All-Star break to stitch this one.  Since Nathan Hale and the Main Street Gazebo still hadn’t arrived in my mailbox, I thought I would probably be stuck working on them through the break.  All the colors except the green were changed to DMC.

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Little House Needleworks again!  Bee Sampler, stitched on buttermilk jobelan, which is a really pretty light yellow and sadly doesn’t show up well.  This was stitched with the called-for floss colors.  The beeswax is from a local bee farm in my town.  It is much softer than the beeswax I bought from an online needlework shop.  Maybe theirs had been sitting around for years?  I don’t know.  But this wax is soft and smooth and doesn’t flake apart.  If you are in the United States, I bought my beeswax here.  They also have an Etsy shop.

Last night I started the gazebo.  Since you all know I am dreading the big house on Nathan Hale, I put that one off for now.  I feel like I just received these two patterns and now the coffee shop is being released.

I do wish there was a LNS within a half hour from here.  Both are about an hour and a half away.  One marks up everything above retail, and the other is a traffic nightmare!  I ordered Nathan and the gazebo online and paid almost as much in shipping as I did for each pattern.  It works out that I paid about $8.50 for each $6 pattern!  I know shipping is expensive, but I also know that it costs $2.61 to ship that package!  I am considering having one of the more local shops hold several months’ worth of these for me, then making the ride out to get them.  Unfortunately that would leave me very behind in stitching them, and when I have done this in the past, I have never finished the series.  !!!  Hence, I still have 2 Little Sheep Virtues to do, and 4 from Shepherd’s Fold 2014.  That’s embarrassing to admit.  I can’t keep paying about $5 to ship them though — I’d rather have the money for something else.

If you have a good LNS, you are blessed!  If you don’t, have you found an online shop with reasonable shipping charges?  And do they actually have the products in stock?  I hate ordering online and then waiting for weeks or months — especially when it involves threads and I am in the middle of a project.  (That’s how Quaker Gone Tropic ended up as another UFO.  I waited weeks for the order that contained the silks I wanted.)

Bible school is this week and that is going to severely cut into my stitching time.  I usually stitch afternoons and evenings.  Maybe I won’t attend every night.   The Bible study topic for adults is one that doesn’t interest me in the least.  😦

Until next time… happy stitching!

 

Finishes/Progress

Happy Summer!

Here is my progress so far on the Early Americans:

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This one has become such a pain!  I ripped out most of the eggshell (Classic Colorworks) floss and replaced it with DMC B5200.  The eggshell didn’t show up on the lambswool at all.  Stitching houses was always one of my favorite things, but this Martha Washington house wasn’t fun at all for some reason.  I don’t have Nathan Hale yet, but it is another big house.  I *will* work on it when it finally comes in, otherwise the project will become a UFO.

Next up is the finished (and very wrinkly) baseball player.  I changed the floss to DMC 823.

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Following these finishes, I worked on Faith of the Heart.  I had a lot more done and realized my counts were off.  A lot of it had to come out.  😦

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I had to put in that partial grid just to figure out what was wrong.  Frustrating!

Once the picking apart was finished, I needed a break.  So I stitched up this Little Sheep Virtues, No. 6, Simplicity.

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This one took less than a day to do.  Unlike the previous one, which took months.  ???

My only change was switching the sheep to Caron Impressions.  It made him fluffy and bumpy.

Yesterday’s start was Little House Needleworks’ Bee Sampler.  I didn’t get far, but it is a fun one.

bees

The fabric is buttermilk jobelan.  It is such a pretty yellow!  The picture doesn’t reflect the actual color at all.

Stitching plans:  Finish the Bee Sampler and go back to Faith of the Heart, unless Nathan Hale and the Main Street Gazebo arrive first.  Start Little House Needleworks’ “Batter Up” during the baseball All Star break.  Beyond that… who knows?  It would be nice to finish up some UFOs, but I am committed to working on the Early Americans and Main Street.  So many of my UFOs are on 35 or 36 count (5 out of 10, plus one on 40 count) and I get bored with that easily.  Getting back to Quaker Gone Tropic would be nice as I haven’t worked with silk in a very long time.   Soon it will be time to think about Christmas ornaments too.  One day at a time, right?

One of the ladies at church has a bee farm, and I finally got to talk to her about that.  I asked if she sold beeswax for threads, and she does!  Her prices are very reasonable so I am going to order some.  Waxing threads for the higher count fabrics seems to work very well for me.  I will report back when I have tried them.

Enjoy your summer!  It is too hot to be outside here so it is a great time for stitching, unlike winter when everyone wants to be out.  That’s Florida!

Two more finishes

I finally finished “Home of the Brave.”  It is sitting on my Americana shelf in the living room.  You might be able to see it in the photo below.  The pictures that I took of it didn’t come out well at all.  I am not thrilled with my finish but mostly I never am!

And I finished Liberty Manor!

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A finish I actually like!

The pin is an old one that I had bought in a cross stitch store about 20 years ago.  I used to wear it on patriotic holidays.  I haven’t worn pins in years.  It will be joining the others on the plant shelf.

I started “Faith of the Heart” by With Thy Needle and Thread.  It is slow going.  I special ordered the Valdani floss since I couldn’t find a conversion chart.  I am not impressed.  The first skein had several slubs and a knot, and the thread just shredded.  I tried Thread Heaven and it wasn’t much better.  Beeswax seems to be the only thing that makes it acceptable to use.  Next time I would probably not order it but use whatever color I like.  Maybe I was just unlucky with it, which is certainly possible, but at this price I can’t afford to work with something I don’t like.

I also started another “America” by Little House.  This one is for the plant shelf.  I had to do some serious frogging and haven’t caught back up to where I was before.  😦

And I frogged the entire roof on John Hancock.  My skein of CC Muddy Puddle wasn’t even close to the one on the chart’s photo — it blended in with the Hickory Sticks too much and hardly had any grey in it at all — more of a black.  So I am going to re-do it with a new skein which is mostly grey, like the photo.

That’s a lot of reverse progress!  I guess it is more of a “regress” update.  😦

Until next time, may the frog stay far away from you!  (And me, too!)

May Update #4

I worked on John Hancock on May 10th and for a little bit today.  I have had painful fingers lately and stitching on this project hurts.  It is 32 count lambswool linen, which everyone knows is NOT my favorite fabric.  It requires a bit of tugging to get the needle through the very uneven weave, and when my joints hurt, it is just too much.

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John Should-have-finished-by-now Hancock

Yesterday I picked at Home of the Brave too.

home brave

This one isn’t moving along as quickly as I would have liked either. I’m not crazy about either the blue or the green floss for this particular project.  At this point I am too lazy to change it out.

Yesterday’s start was Samplers by the Scarlett House.

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Not much progress here.  I am using 36 count linen that I dyed myself.  I love this pattern.  Samplers are my passion — not that you would know it by what I have been stitching lately.  I need to get back to it, particularly reproduction stitching.

We made our first trip out to the closest cross stitch store to our new home.  GPS said we would arrive in an hour.  But with the horrible traffic, it was an hour and a half.  My husband drove and we had our boys with us, since we planned on having lunch there.  The traffic was enough that I don’t know if I would ever go back, and bear in mind, this was a weekday in the middle of the day.

I was disappointed that the store didn’t carry any fabric higher than 32 count.  The charts seemed to be partially arranged by theme, and partially by designer.  I was never really sure what I was looking at.  They were mostly out of overdyed threads so I couldn’t get all the ones I need.  But I did like the store owners very much.  I am sure they are willing to do special orders.  I was just hoping to get some higher count fabrics and I am loathe to order any sight unseen, since I know I am not a fan of Wichelt and I actually didn’t like the 32 count from Picture This Plus either.  Gasp!  Yes, I said it.  Too tight a weave post-dyeing, means lots of tugging to get the needle through and lots of pain.  Strangely I don’t have this problem when I dye fabric myself.

I did pick up three charts.  Two by Plum Street Samplers, A Merry Hart and American Sampler.  One by With Thy Needle and Thread — Faith of the Heart.  I couldn’t get all the overdyed flosses for these never mind the Valdani thread (which I have never used.)  I can’t find a conversion chart for it either.  I’m not sure what I will do about that.

Stitching plans now are up in the air due to finger pain.  I should probably work on something on 28 count because of that.  Tomorrow is a “new start” day and having so many UFOs is starting to really bother me.  We’ll see if I stick to it until the end of the month!

Happy stitching!

May Update 1

This first project was finished in April.  It is a free design from Shepherd’s Bush.

ewe are

If you purchase the JABCO button, you receive the pattern for free.  It was quick and cute and took just one Sunday afternoon.

Ta – da!  I finally finished my school project.  I don’t plan on starting another since the remaining subjects for this year are the most teacher-intense/involved.

joyfulness lsv
Little House Needleworks  Little Sheep Virtue No. 12

And I started this one last night.  Here it is after two hours’ work, on fabric I dyed myself.

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Little House Needleworks Home of the Brave

May stitching to date:

1st – no stitching.  A sewing day.  😦

2nd – finished Little House Needleworks’ Little Sheep Virtue No. 12;

– started Little House Needleworks’ Home of the Brave

3rd (today) – plan to start  Hands On Designs – A Year in Chalk, February

The stitching has been fun, but the sewing — not.  I have done more work with my seam ripper than with my sewing machine, I think.  I have been getting advice along the way, too — but it still seems that sewing will never be my “thing.”  I am a happy cross stitcher and a frustrated, stressed seamstress.

Maybe I will have a finished dress to show you next week.  Please don’t hold your breath!

Until next time… keep stitching and smiling!

A few small finishes

A Little House Needleworks pattern that came with the Classic Colorworks floss to stitch it.  A fun little project!  Stitched on my own hand-dyed “Antique” linen.

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It sure needs ironing!

Another Little House pattern that came with the floss.  Also stitched on my hand-dyed “Antique” linen.

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Ironing isn’t my favorite thing…

Betsy Ross, the first in the series “The Early Americans” from Little House Needleworks… stitched in Classic Colorworks cotton floss.  The border is from Vonna, the Twisted Stitcher.

Unfortunately,  I chose 32 count Lambswool linen (Wichelt) and the stars in the side border don’t show up.  I have tried 3 other colors of floss that I ripped out already.  I am not sure that I can keep the border on this one and may have to rip it out.  I have set it aside for future decision when my brain has had a break from this piece.  Your thoughts are welcomed.

betsy

Madonna of the Garden, by Mirabilia, framed.  It made it to its destination in time for the birthday.  🙂

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I have pulled “Isabella’s Garden” out of the UFO pile and am working on that, along with my Little Sheep Virtue school project.  I am about 70% done on that one.  Isabella is probably only at 20%.  Her head is almost finished and some of her dress.

I would *love* to finish a few of my UFOs.  I only have 6 others — Quaker Gone Tropic, Heartland Sampler, A Right Spirit, Loara Standish, January (well, I only put 3 stitches into that one!) and Cardinal Points.  Then I wouldn’t feel so bad about starting the Little House ABC Sampler series.  Or something else!

I am going to ask someone to put Loara and Quaker on scroll rods for me.  I have the rods, but my arthritis won’t allow me to put them on and tighten them myself.  😦

Happy stitching!!!

November Wrapup

November was a strange month and not a very productive one as far as stitching is concerned.

The month started with a bang:  We were scheduled to list our home for sale on November 1st.  The agent listed it a few days early.  By day 2 we had multiple offers!

This involved packing up closet clutter, having professional photos taken, and showing our home 5 times in 2 days.  S-T-R-E-S-S.

Thus followed a frantic flurry of longer-distance, and unfruitful, house-hunting trips.  Lots of stitching time was lost.  Lots of stress means that when I am home, I don’t always feel like stitching, which is so NOT me.

But there was a little progress and several finishes.

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Plant Kindness, by Little House Needleworks, stitched on Aida

This was my stitch-during-school project.

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Little House Needleworks “Gentleness”

Another school project, stitched on 32 count linen.  I hate how the white is barely visible.  I changed the color multiple times too.  😦

 

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Little House Needleworks Little Sheep Virtues “Gratitude”

Another school project.  28 count lambswool Jobelan in the called for threads.cam01289

Ewe & Eye & Friends, “Primitive Sheep”

32 count natural linen with DMC floss

And I started EE&F “Primitive Hive” right away.

There was some progress on Quaker Gone Tropic this month.  My camera batteries died and I grabbed my cell phone to snap these pictures, then forgot about QGT.

This is it!  I really made no other progress this month.

If you look at the photo with Prim Sheep and Hive, you will notice that I stitched them on the same piece of fabric.  I left enough room for my framer to frame them (some day.)  This wasted less fabric than cutting them individually, because of all the extra needed to fit in the Q-snap.  Yes, I do use a complete q-snap but removed one clamp for the photo.

You can see scraps of fabric beneath the upper and lower clamps.  That is FLEECE.  Yes, fleece.  Just scraps that I cut up.  You can put your needles into it, whether threaded or not.  I had read a tip years ago to use felt, and your loose old clamps will fit better.  Well, the felt BLED onto the linen.  So then I tried quilt batting.  If you like to put your needles into it, you will deal with lots of bits of fluff and that was a PAIN, especially when it would get caught in the eye or cling to the floss.  So I tried fleece, and it is by far the best!  No bleeding, and no fluff.  Try it!

I think you can see my normal stitching spot in this photo.  My lamp is never far from me!

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If it isn’t incredibly hot out (which isn’t that often)  I like to stitch out here because of the abundance of natural light.729-pine-island-drive-14

I never actually stitched here, but this is Home of my Stash.  On the left you can see my flosses in the triple tower.  I got the DMC drawers from the local LNS when it dropped cross stitch for knitting.  😦  They only sold old patterns anyway and had been a yarn store from before I moved here.  In these drawers I store ALL of my floss, including overdyed, all my beads, Whisper, Petite Braid, and beeswax.

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The bureau holds the rest of my stash.  The top two drawers hold other stuff.

Drawer 2 holds my patterns and kits.  Drawer  3 holds fabrics.  Drawer 4 holds most of my q-snaps and gadgets (Kreinik threads, charms & buttons, thread conditioner, pieces of fleece for my q-snaps, magnifying glass, Tacky Bob, etc.  The bottom drawer is the Cross Stitch Graveyard, where finished pieces reside until Someday when they get finished or framed, and patterns that I am finished with.

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I have been stitching for 25+ years now.  No, I don’t have much stash, but I used to have LOADS of stash until I lost the vision in my left eye in 2001.  I was told that it would never come back, and I couldn’t see well enough to stitch, so I sold or gave away EVERYTHING except my DMC floss and Gentle Arts floss.  Then I got my vision back.  And everything was gone!

I lost my vision in that eye once more in 2007.  I was told it was too far gone and not coming back.  This time, I kept my meager stash.  And my vision came back 8 weeks later.

This month looks to be another hectic one.  My youngest child will turn 10 this week.  My parents are coming to visit this week.  Son #2 is graduating with his master’s degree in meteorology, Christmas, New Year’s, my birthday, my wedding anniversary, and in between finding a house and moving!

I would deeply appreciate prayers regarding finding a home.  Everything we have seen is in terrible condition (but priced too high for us to fix it) and not what we are looking for.

Since Hive is nearly finished, I hope to finish that this month.  I have the Little Sheep Virtues for December ready to be my school project.  I am not sure about anything else at this point!

Have a blessed, peaceful December!