Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fractal White Tiger March 2016 Update

This month, I added 6 days of stitching to my Charting Creations "Fractal White Tiger" chart based on artwork by Ricky Barnard. The photo to the right shows my progress through February.

In March, I added 1,540 stitches to this piece. It still does not look like anything in particular, but I do love the way the colors work together.

This is how the piece looked last month.

I began this piece as a part of A New Stitchy Start. I do hope you will visit to see what everyone else is working on.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

TAST 2016 Stitch 35

TAST 35: Threaded Cable Chain Stitch

This week the Take A Stitch Tuesday (TAST) lesson at taught the Threaded Cable Chain Stitch. I found the trickiest part of this stitch to be choosing the right project to add it to. I did not want to put it on any project that would be washed or might allow the threaded stitches to be pulled out of shape in the future.

I opted to add this seam to the last block I need to embellish from the first Crazy Quilting International Under the Sea Do Your Own Block Round Robin I participated in during 2015. (The post sharing those blocks when they returned home is here.) 

The cable chain stitch above was created using a strand of DMC #4215 size 5 pearl cotton.

DMC #4250 size 5 pearl cotton floss was threaded through the cable chain stitch. (I liked the way it looked after the first step of lacing and thought about leaving it as it was in the picture above.)

I love the texture this stitch created on the block!

TAST stands for Take a Stitch Tuesday. It is a personal stitching challenge offered by Sharon B. on Facebook and on her blog, You may read more about it hereIf you follow the TAST Facebook group, you know there are some incredibly inspiring examples of these stitches being shared. Anyone may join at any time during the challenge. Thank you, Sharon, for offering TAST!

Thank you for stopping by!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

1 X-mas Item a Month - March 2016

This month, I managed to make an ornament out of a round crazy quilt block I pieced and finished embellishing in October of last year. 

I apologize. It is really difficult to photograph the white stitches so they will show up.

Sewing is not my strong point. My ornament did not turn out as round as I had hoped.

This ornament will be a gift and I wanted to dress it up a bit. It was the perfect opportunity to try out this beaded edging tutorial that Pamela shared on her blog, Hokkaido Kudasai. It took me a while, but I really enjoyed the process. (Thank you for the great tutorial, Pamela!)

I used light blue and clear size 10/0 seed beads on the ornament. In my opinion, the edges looked so much better with the beads. It appeared a bit more circular, too. On a Christmas tree, I imagine the beads will catch the lights and shimmer.

There has been a bit of progress on my Winter/Christmas wall quilt over the past two months, but not much. I am s-l-o-w at embroidering snowflakes and fear I bored with it quite quickly. I think I will aim for at least one flake a day next month and see if that speeds things up! (You may see more photos of these round robin blocks in this post.)
The Christmas stocking I have been working on for my husband has also had a bit of stitching added. The little tree scene is now complete.
My mind tends to blank with ideas (or I feel the ideas I have will not work well due to their location on the block), so my progress has been slow. I do hope to have the embroidery completed by next month's post, though. I believe the cross-stitched Santa is from Alma Lynne's Country Cross-Stitch. I liked the angles I cut the Santa fabric with when I pieced the stocking, but now I am wishing I had gone for a rectangle that could have easily been framed. I have a few ideas I may try this month to take care of the large open space on the left.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I do hope you will visit the 1 Xmas Item a Month blog to see what the other elves have accomplished.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

TAST 2016 Stitches 30 - 34

TAST 30: Long Tail Chain Stitch

When I saw the examples Sharon B. shared of the long tail chain stitch, I knew I would use it to add snowflakes to the Winter/Christmas wall quilt I have been slowly working on. I used size 12 white DMC pearl cotton.

After seeing the way my friend, Christine, used this stitch, I knew I had to make a snowflake using a sequin and the long tail chain stitches. (You may see Christine's long tail chain stitch examples here at Patchwork Allsorts.)

TAST 31: Fancy Bobbin Edging

Rather than using the blanket stitch I typically use to create this beaded seam on under the sea blocks, I tried fancy bobbin edging with a variegated size 5 DMC floss on Sandy's block in the round robin we just completed.

I look forward to trying this stitch out in a couple of different ways in the near future!

TAST 32: Raised Cross Stitch Flower

I have seen some beautiful examples of the raised cross stitch flower, so I look forward to trying it again with different fibers. I am afraid my flowers turned out a bit square. (Though when I mentioned this, one of my son's friends pointed out that it is hip to be square!) This was worked with size 8 Anchor variegated pink pearl cotton.

I used one of the templates from Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Templates Set 2 to make the "X" to work these flowers.

TAST 33: Pekinese Stitch

For my first attempt with the pekinese stitch (which I have also seen spelled pekingese), I used size 8 green pearl cotton and some flower sequins secured with Mill Hill petite glass seed beads on Sandy's under the sea block. I used one of Sharon B.'s template to trace the vine.

Earlier today, I used another one of Sharon B.'s template to trace a vine onto a black and pink block I will be using to make my first messenger bag. 

I back stitched along the vine with black Anchor size 8 pearl cotton.

Next, I laced pink Anchor size 8 pearl cotton through the back stitches. I am adding a few extra pictures with this stitch because my first few tries, I pulled the thread too tight or it twisted up part way through the lacing process. I found it helpful to leave the bottom of the lace a little loose before bringing the needle back down through.

I did the same thing when I pulled the thread back down and then I gently pulled the thread until the loop was the size I wanted it to be. (I also found it easier to rotate my work as I looped through the top and the bottom.)

Although I was excited to see the contrast between the black back stitch and the pink laces, once it was completed, I was not sure it created the effect I had hoped for. I tried whipping the back stitch with more pink floss, but my loops are so small, I felt it almost covered them up. So, I removed the whipped stitches and opted to leave it as it was.  This is a stitch I found relaxing and enjoyable.

TAST 34: Oyster Stitch

I chose to use the oyster stitch to create pink leaves along my pink and black vine. I LOVE the texture of this stitch and do plan to use it again in the future. It took me a couple of attempts to get the stitch right. Once I figured out my oops (trying to loop under the wrong section of thread), I really enjoyed it.

Although my flowers are on the square side and the black is a strong contrast to the pink vine, I found I really liked the floral vine these three TAST stitches created.

I fell a bit behind with my TAST stitches, but am happy to say I am now all caught up! I look forward to seeing which stitch Sharon will share next week. 

TAST stands for Take a Stitch Tuesday. It is a personal stitching challenge offered by Sharon B. on Facebook and on her blog, You may read more about it hereIf you follow the TAST Facebook group, you know there are some incredibly inspiring examples of these stitches being shared. Anyone may join at any time during the challenge. Thank you, Sharon, for offering TAST!

Thank you for stopping by!

Please note: I am not affiliated with Sharon B.'s templates. I did receive a set to review and was encouraged to share my honest opinion. I must say, I love using them and find them incredibly handy!

Monday, March 21, 2016

IHSW Update and CQJP 2016 February Block Seam 1

For International Hermit Stitch Weekend (IHSW), I worked two projects. 

First, I worked on my Heaven and Earth Designs Twilight Duel Chart based upon artwork by Ruth Thompson.

It is spring break here and both of my boys are home. I worked on this before the boys were up in the morning. This photo shows how the section I worked on before I began. 

This is how it looks now. The 127 stitches I added were all shades of blue and mostly filled in between these two white wing tips. Some stitches also filled in beneath the bottom wing tip.

My next full update on this piece will be on April 11th - the 2nd Monday of the month. I hope to have a lot more progress by then.

The second project I worked on has been silently screaming for my attention. I finally pieced my Crazy Quilt Journal Project (CQJP) 2016 February block last week. While my boys enjoyed a little bit of computer time together on Saturday, I embellished the first seam.

CQJP 2106 February Block Seam 1
Some of you are familiar with the Joyful Embellishments group Valerie Bothell began on Facebook last year. I am trying to incorporate the seam combinations (and motifs) I have not completed into some of my current works. I took a look at the Pinterest board Valerie set up with all of the stitches and decided to add #218 to my block. First, I used a mechanical pencil and lightly traced a curved line from Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Template Set 2 that was perfect for this seam. Using green size 8 Anchor pearl cotton, I stem-stitched along the traced line. Next, I added detached chain stitches (lazy daisies) to each vine. Finally, six French knots were added to the tip of each vine using size 8 DMC #498 pearl cotton.

You may learn more about IHSW here. I do hope you will stop by and see the stitching the other participants completed this weekend! You will find links to their blogs here.

I am also linking up with Monday Stitchery Link Party #50 at Super Mom - No Cape! (Wow, this link party has been going for nearly a year already!) I do hope you will stop by to see the free embroidery pattern and to check out the work other bloggers have shared. 

If you stitch, I do encourage you to join the fun! IHSW happens the third weekend of each month and the Stitchery Link Party is every Monday. 

This weekend, I also managed to work in our garden boxes and to pull a lot of weeds from the backyard. (There are still a lot to go, as the rains have kept me from them.) Our family also made a trip into Portland, Oregon. We visited Powell's City of Books (I LOVE Powell's and encourage you to visit if you are ever in Portland.) We had lunch at the Deschute's Brewery Portland Public House. (They have a gluten-free menu and worked with me to ensure my meal had no dairy or egg either.) Portland Saturday Market was our next destination. (Loving crafts as much as I do, visiting the vendors at Saturday Market is always a treat!) Then, we made our way to Guardian Games. Our eldest son went with us last year when a Dutch relative was visiting, but our youngest had never been. He was impressed (and possibly a little overwhelmed) by the number of games. We spent the evening playing the board game my eldest chose for his birthday gift. It was a wonderful weekend full of family time. 

I do hope you enjoyed your weekend! Thank you so much for visiting.

Please note: I am not affiliated with any of the shops or products linked to in this post. I added them in case anyone reading was curious. However, I did receive set 2 of Sharon B.'s crazy quilt templates to review and I do love using them.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Happy Friday!

So... I didn't share my birthday when it rolled around. I am only mentioning it now to share a couple of lovely homemade cards I received. This one was created by my friend, Diane. She is the dear family friend that taught me how to cross-stitch when I was younger. I love it!

And Veronica gave me this beautiful card.  (If you missed the Christmas cards she made for us in 2014, you may see them here.)

This was the front. (I could not decide on a favorite animal the first time I was asked - my reply to the question was, "I like frogs." I must say, I love Veronica's frogs.)

This was inside the card.

And this sweet sunflower decorated the back of the card.

As if that were not spoiled enough, Veronica also made this sweet little Valentine for me.

This was the front.

And this was inside.  Entirely too sweet! Thank you, Veronica!

It is Friday and my eldest is headed home from school to spend Spring Break with us. I can barely wait!  I'm not sure how much stitching I will accomplish, but I am planning to link up with International Hermit & Stitch Weekend (IHSW), if it's not too late. (You may find information about it here and the blogs linking up this week are listed here.)

Thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

CQI UTS RR #2 - Sandy's Completed Block

This morning, I completed my work on Sandy Black's block.  I do hope she likes it!

Before this round robin began, I purchased a set of Stitcher's Revolution Iron-On Transfers SR10 Sailor's Delight. (I am not affiliated with the shop or product.)

Some of you were guessing which block I would choose. If you thought I was going to choose the other block, you would have been correct. However, I could not bring myself to cover the swordfish fabric print with this octopus. And I really wanted to add the octopus! Rather than ironing the transfer on, I used a chalk pencil and traced it onto the block. Then, I outlined the octopus with split stitches (so I would not accidentally rub the chalk markings off) before embellishing the seams.

When selecting colors to use on a block in a round robin, I look at the work the other ladies completed. The mermaid block Annette embellished had a fair amount of pink. The other blocks did not. Adding pink to my block would help make the blocks more cohesive as a group; so, I used pink DMC flosses (#3689 & #3354) and needle painted the octopus. Mill Hill Petite Glass Beads #42018 were added as the little suction cups on the tentacles. (This motif took roughly 10 hours to complete.) This fellow is far from perfect, but for my first octopus, I am not complaining!

Two shades of green Mill Hill Petite Glass Seed Beads were used to make this little beaded feather stitched coral.

I also added a couple of Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST) stitches. So you may see this photo again in next Tuesday's post sharing examples of Fancy Bobbing Edging and the Pekinese Stitch.)

I traced a couple of the vine shapes from Sharon B.'s Crazy Quilt Template Set 2 for the seam with the sequin flowers. (I am not affiliated with the templates, but I did receive a set to review and love working with them!)

I also added two pieces of lace I received from Raviolee Dreams (I am not affiliated with the shop.) To help cover the raw edges where I clipped the lace, I added bullion stitched sea stars.

And I just love this little seahorse bead! I purchased it and the little sequin flowers from Thearica through the Crazy Quilting and Other Supplies Facebook Group. (Again, I am not affiliated with the shop.)

Here are all of Sandy's blocks together. The photos do not do them justice. Sandy, I do hope you like them! They will begin their journey home tomorrow morning.

Thank you all for stopping by!


Monday, March 14, 2016

Twilight Duel Update #7 March 2016 and Treasure in the Mail

I have to confess, I feared this post may not have visible progress on my Heaven and Earth Designs Twilight Duel cross stitch, based upon artwork by Ruth Thompson.

This is how it looked when I shared it last month. I only added 5 days of stitching to it in February. I'm afraid I have not worked on it since February 21st. 

I was happily surprised to look at my spreadsheet and see that I added 1,447 stitches in those 5 days! If you look closely, you will see 3 tips of the dragon's wing.

Percent complete: 
Project - 8.25% 
Page 2 - 52.54% 
Page 3 - 2.16%
Page 7 - 2.7% 

I am linking up with Monday Stitchery Link Party #49 at Super Mom - No Cape! this week. It is a great place to visit for a free embroidery pattern (it is a cute rabbit this week) and to find links to more eye candy. If you do any hand stitching and have a blog, I encourage you to join the fun!

Yesterday, I meant to share photos of the wonderful treasures I received from Kim at Wisdom with Needle and Thread last week. Kim held giveaways every week in February to celebrate her 3rd year blogging and I won Week 4. Those of you that know me and my love of snowmen and Santa may be able to guess my absolute delight!

I met Kim through her Halloween Ornament Exchange in 2014. We have emailed back and forth ever since and I was blessed to find a new friend.

Along with my goodies, Kim sent this wonderful Christmas tote.

All of the sweet treats she sent me fit perfectly!

This Mary Hickmott's New Stitches No. 32 cross stitch magazine is filled with Christmas patterns.

This darling little Stitch & Zip Santa and Toys Mini Stocking Needlepoint Kit from Alice Peterson Company has the design printed directly onto the mesh cotton canvas. I'm not sure I have stitched anything without a chart, so this will be something fun and new!

I do so love snowmen! "Frosty Friends" by Bonnie Sullivan of All Through the Night Folk Art designs with a bit of Whimsy is just too cute!

This Bird Brain Designs Yard of Snowmen Table Runner is just screaming for me to start it.

Here is a close up. This is going to be SO cute!

The fabrics and pearl cotton are wonderful! I'm already working toward a few finishes so I can justify a new start...

In addition to the giveaway items my friend, Kim, 
surprised me with two cuff kits.
The Flower Cuff by Orna Willis 

And the Tree Cuff by Orna Willis.

These two kits include needles, threads, beads, canvas, wires, and instruction booklets. I do foresee myself learning some new stitching and sewing techniques!

Kim, you are just so generous. Thank you so much for all of these treasures!

After a month of giveaways, Kim is now celebrating her birthday by sending out RAKs (random acts of kindness.) I do hope you will stop by her blog to see her lovely work and to check out her birthday party. Here are the details.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Please note: I am not affiliated with any of the shops listed above.