Saturday, December 31, 2011

Stitching time

Stitching time always means progress time for me. I have spent a lot of time stitching (lovely!) and quite a bit of time planning what I am going to stitch next.  I always make new year stitching plans but they are always loose plans knowing that if something screams loudly form my WIP basket or the kitted and ready to go basket plans will change. I am close to several small finishes and of course would hope 2 or three of them could be done with any diligence at all by year's end. I would love to have all my current small things done by then so I can start the year with new things from the WIP pile.
I am still in love with ATS and will continue to stitch on it throughout 2012.
I want to start the January BBD stockings so I have kitted them up and they are ready to go. The December ones were such a fun stitch.  I loved them.
I want to join the SAL on the Attic website for Ann Dale. It is another of those really big projects that I love that I want to try to keep up with. Doubt I will be able to but there is nothing wrong with trying.
There is a sampler Facebook group that is doing a SAL on Mary Wiggins and since mine is in the WIP pile I may join them for the motivation.
I would like to see what Ellen from With My Needle has planned for her newsletter stitching. I love the idea that I am stitching along with other stitchers on the same projects. I may join that one depending on the choices.
I want to do a block of the month type design and since I have Anniversaries of the Heart started I will probably stick with that to whittle down the WIP pile. I have several others I would love to stitch already kitted up but I am such a slow stitcher.
Speaking of the WIP pile....I have been looking at the list and decided to take some different types of stitching off of there and see what progress I can make. So for now the list to work on for 2012 is
Anniversaries of the Heart
And They Sinned

Blackbird stockings Jan – Nov
2 sets of Halloween stockings
Scotty Biscornu gift
Whitework drawn thread sampler (EGA class piece)
Crewel confidence (EGA Group correspondence course
Mystery sampler (EGA group project)
Hummingbird kit gift
Common Ground
Santa pillow Homespun Elegance gift
SHT wedding sampler for a friend
Mary Wiggins with a SAL
Bluebird Box by Crossed Wing Collection
The last newsletter from the Attic  put me in the  mood to stitch one of my Darlene O'Steen samplers that has been sitting around for a while kitted and ready to go, either the Proper Stitch sampler or Pinks.  I am drawn to band samplers and haven't had one in the pile for a while. Wonder if I can find it, either one......
5 of these are very small pieces and some are close to being finished so the list is not as daunting as you would think. Of course added to that are two SAL's that will be new starts that are alway large projects. I of course feel free to add and subtract as I go as the WIP list is long and varied. I feel like as long as I am stitching from the WIP basket I am meeting my long term goal to whittle it down.
This year I am doing something really different for me.  Starting in May I am taking a class on designing a needlework casket. I think this will be an ambitious project for me but I have always wanted one and my husband truly pushed me to take this class. I have taken many forms of online classes from the one I took almost 20 years ago that was an online teacher who described in words what our next row of stitches should be because the design software available now didn't exist to the Victoria Sampler Stitcherama I really enjoyed to the online classes offered by Margarit of Essamplaire that I always look forward to.   We will see how this new class goes.
The list of new starts I want to do could be even longer but I really want to finish my WIP pile so I can replace it with all these lovely new starts. New starts that are calling my name right now........
Sweetheart Tree anniversary sampler for my husband and I 
Sweetheart Tree tea box new start
Margaret Cottom by La De Da
6 Fat Men by Lizzie Kate
Elizabeth Hancock
Christmas Garden by BBD.
Winter Wonderland by BBD
Victorine Delacroix by Essamplaire
Dorothy Walpole by Scarlet Letter
Oh, I do so love big samplers.
I have never done a New Year's Start that I can remember but this year one of those might just have to come out of the packet and add their name to the WIP hall of fame. (Famous for not getting finished)
I enjoy planning what I will stitch, mostly I try to get it organized so I don't waste valuable stitching time hunting down the pieces for a project.
Have a safe and lovely New Year's Eve. We will be home quietly enjoying the snow and hopefully a fire. Hope you find some stitchy time. Marjo

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Digging out

So, I spent quite a bit of time yesterday working on trying to bring some semblance of order to my stitching room. To call it a disaster area would just be trying to be kind. It is the room where everything get shoved when no one else knows what to do with it. Add to that the fact that I have more stash than I could ever hope to finish if I lived forever and kept both my eyesight and my mind.  Really I wonder at myself sometimes.

I did get quite a bit of work done on sampler for a friend who recently got married. It is just a small sampler but it has given me fits all along. I got help from Cathy @ Inspired Needle to change most of the thread colors out. Then I decided to change the charting of the name, then I didn't like how it looked and spent a good bit of stitching time on Friday taking it all out again. So today I put it all back in and I think I am satisfied with that part. Now I just have to finish it and add the beads. I should have by all rights been done with this thing months ago.  I will show a picture after it is gifted. Maybe. If I ever want to see it again. Which is doubtful at this point.
I am joining a Stitching Challenge on the Blackbird designs bulletin board. I intend to do all the stockings that I have purchased but not stitched yet. So that gives me 12 choices already if you count the Halloween book full of stockings. I also want to work on, and with any luck finish, the Anniversaries of the Heart designs as well. There are several other patterns of theirs I would love to do as well. I bought the Weekend design book and the little sampler in there appeals to me. I hope to be able to stitch that out of my stash. I bought some of the quilt fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop to make a bed runner that is appliqué which is the only kind of quilting I can do. Not so good at cutting lots of straight lines. Mine always end up crooked. I wanted to have a hand pieced item to work on. That way if light is low where we meet to stitch or I am just too frustrated with what I am working on then I have an alternative.
Early in the year I got some towels to transfer designs onto and stitch. I have not done even one of those but I do intend to have one of those in my stitching bag as an alternate to my big projects. I hate to waste any stitching time I might get and so I like to take more than one project with me on our weekly stitch gatherings. I am working on the BBD stockings, some Christmas ornaments and the freebie Tea designs that came out a year or so ago. I am going to work on some of the smaller stitching projects for a while. I want to participate in the two big SAL's this year and actually try to keep up with them.  I think those are really my only goals for stitching this year.  Of course the Attic has announced theirs but due to a death in the family Ellen Chester, WMN, has not announced her choices as of yet so I will have to wait and see what I think as to whether I can complete it or not. I am such a slow stitcher that it is just not realistic to think I can get that much done. Of course other than the SAL there is no real deadline to the stitching. The BBD  group is loose, no pressure so I didn't mind jumping on that. I intend to spend some more time this week putting the stash into more organized sections so I can focus on what I have outlined to stitch and then I can shop my WIP basket for something that is calling my name. I hope to continue to work on my WIP pile to get it completed and then I can shop my stash for some new starts.  Of course all this is subject to change.
So what plans do you have for the new year stitching wise? I am seriously hoping to stay on the wagon for a while. My stash is getting way out of control.  I want to only purchase threads I need to finish things. I should have plenty of fabric to stitch most any sampler I want to stitch. I seem to have used up a bunch of threads lately so I will have to buy some more thread but only if I start something new. All my WIP should have their fibers unless I robbed them.....which is entirely possible. I was looking at my WIP list today and I still really want to complete everything on there. I have already ordered a couple of samplers but from now on it just goes on the wish list and then if get some finishes I will consider a purchase. That is the only way I am going to get this under control. Hope you have lots of stitchy time today. Marjo

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

finishes, but not by me

 These are a few of my favorite things. Long stitched, finally finished.
Homespun Elegance Merry Stitches

Homespun Elegance 
CHS Quaker Sampler 
These are the finishes I got back from the finisher a couple of weeks ago. I absolutely, absolutely love them and will definitely be sending some more items to her in the future. They are just so fun. I wish I could do this myself but cannot and just need to get over it and move on.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Yes, I am still stitching

It has been way too long since I updated my blog. Sorry about that, not sure where my time goes but go it does. I think my biggest drawback has been trying to get decent pictures made of my progress on my pieces. I have been working on small items or gifts (not Christmas gifts just gifts) and the small finishes have been so exciting as I usually work on really big projects that at times seems never ending but for me the fun is in the stitching but I would like a finish or two occasionally. I have finished some ornaments lately, at least the stitching.

I did something new this year. I am a terrible finisher. I have so many finishes that are languishing in a box in my stitching room that I really love and need to have up in my home but I just have no skill in that direction. Well, I decided that I would send a few things out to be finished. Other than to a framer I have never done this before. I was so excited to get a package in the mail (okay, I am always excited to get a package in the mail!!!!) full of  finishes. I had sent out my CHS quaker stocking and some ornaments a couple of larger designs to be made into pillows.  She sent back the ornaments and the stocking and I am in love. Oh what a wonderful job she did. I am ready to send her another box of ornaments to be finished. It is truly a wonderful thing. I could never in a million years made them look that good.

I have been on an ornament kick lately. I am stitching the Victoria Sampler bird ornaments. I find they are going quite quickly when I get a chance to stitch. I am also going back and stitching all the BB design stockings. I am loving those as well. I am almost done with the Christmas/winter ones and am moving on to the January ones. I am finding I don't have the threads for many of them. I find that hard to believe but search as I could some of them are just not to be found. That is one of my biggest frustrations as I am dependent on shipping to be able to move on with my stitching. That is one of the reasons I like the the project packs that Victoria Sampler provides - I am never missing those threads unless I lose them.  I have so many ornament designs that have caught my fancy. Many of them freebies from designers that are kind enough to share, plus all those years worth of Just Cross Stitch Ornament editions I have saved. I have a large box of Christmas ornaments that are just waiting to be stitched. Some of my favorite designers for ornaments are the Little House Needleworks and Homespun Elegance so I have kitted them up so they are ready to go. I keep them in my Whitman's Christmas tin with all the stuff I need to stitch so I can always grab that and go. I think I have 10 or so patterns kitted up in there.  There is nothing more frustrating to me than to have time to stitch and can't finish/work on something due to missing threads. So here are a few of the things I have been working on lately. Hope you have some stitchy time this week.