Monday, December 29, 2014

More Halloween stitching...

...because I didn't get enough Halloween stitching while working on Witches Hollow!

This one is called Happy Halloween:

Actually, I had kitted this one up to start right before I found out I could borrow Witches Hollow; this one then got pushed back. Then, someone posted on the 123Stitch MB that they were looking for this design, and it is apparently very hard to find. It turns out that the designer, Curtis Boehringer, lost a lot of his cross stitch patterns in a fire at his printer's shop, and this was one of them.

Donna, who was looking for it, had seen this picture of it stitched up into an ornament:

She was looking for someone to stitch it using similar colors (the chart only calls for three colors), so I offered to do it if she could wait until the end of the year. I have it kitted up with PTP Haunted and over-dyed threads, and I'll stitch it for myself later; it lends itself to all kinds of color combinations with that border and wording.

I have spoken with Curtis, and sent him copies of both sides of this chart (the other side has a jack'o'lantern sampler). He is planning on starting a web site where his patterns will be available for download, and this will be one of them.

I should be done with this one in a couple of days, then I have a model that needs to be finished. I need to decide what project I'll start for myself in the new year...

Hope everyone has a happy, healthy and stitchy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Witches Hollow is done!!

I was doing some major happy dancing last night at about 11:20, when the last stitch went into this piece! Witches Hollow by The Primitive Needle, on PTP Haunted Edinburgh:

The stitch count on this is 197 x 395, so on the Edinburgh it measures about 11" x 22"; the size makes it difficult to get a detailed picture of the whole piece. Here are a couple of closer shots:

I played around with floss colors on this one quite a bit, both to add more color and because the different fabric seemed to call for it. I'm really pleased with the outcome.

Again, I have to thank Teresa for loaning her chart to me. I made a wish on the 123Stitch MB to borrow this chart, and Teresa actually trusted me enough to grant it, even though we've never met. Stitchers are the most amazing people! It worked out well as an incentive to finish it, too, because I didn't want to hold onto it too long.

Wishing those who celebrate it a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Love this frog!

I've finally put the last extensions on my Q-Snaps, and am heading toward a finish on Witches Hollow. There is a cute frog on top of the tombstone:

Here is the whole piece so far:

I'm hoping to be done in a week or so, but this week I need to get the Christmas tree up and do some cleaning, so it might be close. On the other hand, my guys are heading to Iowa this coming weekend, which should mean lots of stitching time, so it's possible I might be done by next week; I guess time will tell.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Friday, December 12, 2014

I'm in love with this needlework stand!

I have to confess, I've never worked with a needlework stand, as I just didn't see how it would work with the Q-Snaps that I always use in a great variety of sizes. I also flip my pieces over a LOT during the process, both to tie off ends and to check for/fix knotted floss, and I thought this would be difficult to do with the piece attached to some kind of holder. So for 25 years I have worked at a table of some sort: kitchen, dining room, craft room, folding...I've worked at them all.

Well, now I have a stand that I can use and take with me when I travel, and it is beautiful. It was designed by Judy Odell, and she has posted a lot of information in her blog. I just received mine today, put it together in about 5-10 minutes (only five separate wooden pieces) and I'm ready to go!

Here is a picture of the whole stand:

A side view:

The part that holds the "arms" can be set at two different heights (I've got it at the higher setting right now), and can also be set at a large variety of angles to get just the right setting for your own taste:

The two arms at the top can be placed in a several positions, from very close together to far apart:

They can also be angled so that they are further apart at the top and closer together where you're working.

My Witches Hollow WIP is on Q-Snaps that are about 15" x 24", and it rests comfortably on the stand:

When I want to turn it over, I just pick it up and flip it, then place it back on the arms, where the little posts at the bottom keep it in place.

As I said, I've never used a stand before, so I can't compare this one to any of the others out there. I just think that this is a beautiful and easy-to-use stand at a reasonable price. And if you go to Judy's blog, you'll find she's offering this at a discounted price until December 24.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend, and I'll be back on Monday with hopefully my last Witches Hollow WIP picture until the big finish!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Getting there...

I was hoping to have the fourth scene in Witches Hollow finished by today, but it was not to be. Here is my progress as of last night:

Hopefully I'll be able to finish the scene this week, but stitching time will be a bit limited as I promised my son I would get the tree set up this week. That means that I also need to wrap the presents I've already bought, so there's something to put under the tree!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, December 1, 2014

It didn't look that big when I started...

...Witches Hollow, that is; maybe because the chart picture is so small. The stitch count is 197 x 395, which means I'm using a full fat quarter of the Edinburgh linen. I've extended my Q-snaps for the third time now, and am almost finished with the third scene:

I spent the weekend stitching grass, and I still have two rows of it to stitch across the width of the design--ugh! But then I get to move on to the fourth scene--yay! Still hoping to have this finished by the end of the year.

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 24, 2014

More Witches Hollow

On Saturday I finished the second scene (which I think will be my favorite):

Yesterday I started on the third scene (there are five total):

Teresa, the kind person who loaned the chart to me, commented that she liked that I had a different needle minder each week. At first I was using a witch hat, which I had picked up at my LNS. Then I received a big, blingy bat in the mail, so I had to use that one for a while. But both of those were large, so they only fit  when I could put them at the top of the fabric; now that I've extended the Q-snaps, I need smaller minders that fit along the side. Besides, it's always fun to switch things up a bit!

For those in the US, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving; to everyone else, a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 17, 2014

More Progress...

... on Witches Hollow by The Primitve Needle:

I'm hoping to finish up the second "line" this week; then I'll be about 2/5 finished. :)

Stitching will slow down around Thanksgiving, as I can't spend as much time in my craft room when there's cleaning, cooking and visiting to be done. I've got a small project kitted up that I can work on in the kitchen while my mom is here (hi Mom!!).

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Progress on Witches Hollow

I'm working steadily this piece, and have now completed the top "line":

There are four more "lines" like this one in the pattern; if each one takes about a week and a half to stitch, then I should finish this one around the end of the year. Although, it might be a little longer because holiday preparations take a bite out of my stitching time this time of year. I am really enjoying working on this, though; it's hard to put down!

As I've mentioned before, I spent several years stitching models for Karen Kluba of Rosewood Manor. Part of the contract is that once she is done with sending the models to trunk shows around the country, I will get my pieces back, already framed. Well, I finally got a couple back, and they are gorgeous!

The first is the first model I stitched for Karen, called My Token of Love:

I stitched this right before my husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary, and I was allowed to personalize it, which makes it even more special.

Having passed the "test" of my stitching abilities, the next project Karen sent was Past & Present, which I absolutely love:

The last model I've gotten back is My Heart's Desire Needleroll, which appeared in the February 2011 issue of The Gift of Stitching:

That's all for now from my little corner of the crafting world; hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Stitchers are the best!

Every year about this time a wish list is started on the 123Stitch MB, in which people post any stitching wish and grant wishes, either from their stash, by ordering items or sending a gift certificate. It's really a mood-booster to see the generosity of stitchers, as some pretty hard-to-find charts/items are gifted.

My wish this year was a long-shot, as I wanted to borrow someone's Witches Hollow by The Primitive Needle. This chart is hard to come by, and sells in the $150 range on eBay, which I just couldn't bring myself to pay. I'm not even a big fan of primitive designs, but something about this one really struck my fancy; the motifs and colors used just called to me. :)

Amazingly enough, a fellow stitcher offered to lend the chart to me (thanks Teresa!!), and it arrived last week. Here is my start on it:

With a close-up of the owl:

I think part of the reason I don't usually care for primitive designs is that so many of them are stitched on brown/tan fabrics; I barely have any of that color range in my stash. For this one, I pulled out a piece of my favorite Halloween-stitching fabric, PTP's Haunted on Edinburgh. I'm looking forward to seeing how different the design will look on this fabric; I think the colors will pop nicely.

Speaking of colors, this chart calls for a lot of over-dyed flosses. Luckily, I had about half of them in my stash, and I ordered and received the rest last week. However, last night as I was finishing the owl, I was thinking that it had used a lot of floss, so I looked at the instructions and, sure enough, I was supposed to be using one strand of floss instead of two! That's probably another reason I don't like prims; even on 36ct fabric, I'd rather use two strands of floss, because I don't like to see fabric through the design.

So, I am going to continue to use two strands, and just raid my stash for more floss in colors that I like. This will definitely be a one-of-a-kind finish!

As far as my previous WIP, Lightning McQueen & Friends, it has now been put away until this one is finished. I was able to finish Mater before I put it away, and he is just adorable:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy week!

Friday, October 24, 2014

As I've said before...

...I LOVE Judy Odell! I have so many goodies, I'm not sure where to start!

 Hmm, maybe with the model I finished for her that took a bite out of my blog-able stitching. It is called Tapestry Sampler, and the colors are just beautiful:

She released it at the Online Needlework Show, along with her Sophia's Rose:

Her pattern contains both the stitching and finishing instructions for this clever stitcher's toolbox. To show the versatility of the finishing instructions, Judy asked me to stitch up another design; I chose a couple of Lizzie*Kate designs, Spooky String and Tingles Spooky, which I showed in a previous post:

Here is the finished toolbox:

Another piece that I sent to Judy was Just Nan's Honeysuckle Rose, which I stitched many years ago and then put in the "finished" bin:

Using her finishing instructions for "Your Grandmother's Pincushion", which she offers for free in her Facebook group, Judy turned it into this:

Another finishing technique Judy showed at the ONS was for a dry-flower vase:

She asked me if I had a finished piece that might work with this finish, so I sent her Passione Ricamo's Poinsettia Fae (again, pulled from the "finished" bin). However, Judy thought it was just too romantic to finish into a vase, so she made me this gorgeous easel instead:

I just love whatever Judy has sent to me; here is a picture of several of my treasures all together:

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No Cars...

...yet, but I'm going to start on Luigi today:

I am having so much fun on this one; nice, bright colors and easy stitching with all full cross stitches (and a bit of back stitching, but not too much!). It is making me want to do the two other Vervaco Disney alphabet kits I have:

I bought the Tinkerbell kit at the same time as the Cars kit, probably about seven years ago. The Pooh kit I just happened to find on eBay within the past year, and I just love it. They would be cute to stitch up for my 3-year-old niece and nephew (twins). Of course, they'd probably be in high school before I'd actually get them both stitched up!

Hopefully I'll have Luigi and Mater done by my next post...stay tuned. :)

Hope everyone is having a great stitchy week!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

And another Halloween finish (and a wintery one, too!)

Yep, finished up The Mysterious Halloween Town by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery:

I had so much fun making changes and playing with colors with this one! Here's a picture showing the chart photo, so you can see some of the changes:

I finished it just in time to enter it in The World of Cross Stitching's #projectoftheweek on their Facebook page, and they chose it!

Talk about fun!!

After finishing this one, I finally pulled out Country Cottage Needleworks Frosty Forest so I could stitch the last block. Luckily, I had stayed caught up until the last block was released, so a couple of days' work led to this:

It was stitched on Silkweaver Karma on Belfast, and I made quite a few color changes to this one, too. It was kind of strange to get into a winter piece after so much Halloween stitching lately, but I'm glad it's finally finished.

I'm kind of wavering about what to work on next, but I'm leaning towards a piece I started in February 2008 called "Lightning McQueen & Friends". My son was 6 years old at the time, and we watched the movie "Cars" at least once a day back then. It looks like I put a day or two into this one, and then it disappeared into the Bucket 'o' WIPs:

The fabric is Silkweaver's Ametrine on opal Lugana, which I thought looks like a sparkly, sandy, desert background. My son is 13 now, and over six feet tall, so it seems a little silly to stitch this now, but I do really like the pattern, and it will always bring back good memories of when he was just a little guy!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Another Halloween finish

It is definitely the time of year for Halloween stitching! After finishing Ghostly Mandala, I picked up Lizzie*Kate's Tingles and was able to finish it this past week. It is stitched on PTP Cauldron on Belfast:

Continuing on the Halloween theme, I then went back to The Mysterious Halloween Town by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I had finished parts 1 and 2 before I put it away, and tomorrow I should be able to finish part 3; hopefully all four parts will be done by the end of the weekend.

The shop in part 3 is charted as a bakery, but that just doesn't seem very Halloween-y to me, so I changed it up quite a bit. I wanted to call it a potion shop, but I couldn't get that to fit in the sign, so it is an elixir shop:

This one is being stitched on PTP Haunted Edinburgh. Once it's finished, I'm not sure what I'll be working on; I'm getting in the mood for a new start...

Earlier tonight I was going through my bucket of finished pieces, looking for something that Judy Odell could use for a new finishing idea that she had. I didn't realize just how many Lizzie*Kate designs I had done that haven't been framed yet:

Her designs are just so much fun to stitch, especially the Halloween ones. :)

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2014


That is what ghosts say, so it seemed a fitting title for this post since I finished Ghostly Mandala by Ink Circles this week:

The pattern can be found in the Just Cross Stitch 2014 special Halloween issue. I stitched mine on PTP Mire Cashel, using Mill Hill beads (requires 5145 beads). While the beads look black in the picture, they are actually rainbow black; this picture shows the different colors a bit better:

I have now moved on to my Lizzie*Kate Tingles WIP. Today I finished up part nine, so there are three parts remaining:

This one is being stitched on PTP Cauldron Belfast. Depending on how much stitching I get done this weekend, it might be close to finished by Monday. Ever since I finally finished the model I was working on for two months I've been loving getting to decide what I feel like working on; so many projects are calling to me!

Hope everyone has a great stitchy weekend!